5 Tips To Cope With Self-Help Overload
from our Angel Messenger Creative Team
The good news is you want to transform your current life situation. The bad news is that everyone and their mother wants to tell you how. You’re inundated with self-help memes, infographics, articles, tweets, and more.
It’s like you’re a celebrity hounded by paparazzi: everyone is shouting your name and vying for your attention. It’s hard to know what we should be doing, what we shouldn’t be doing, and if we should just ignore everything and call it a day. In other words, you have self-help overload, and these 5 tips should help.
The self-help industry only works if you don’t
Self-help is a big industry. In 2010, the self-help industry in the US was estimated at $10.53 billion. That’s quite a jump from where it was in 2000 – a “mere” $5.7 billion. In other words, the self-help industry is growing fast, and we’re the ones fueling it.
Although the self-help industry may appear to have good intentions, it’s not so different from other powerful industries today. Whether you’re talking about fashion, cosmetics, or self-help, they all thrive on one of our deepest fears and insecurities: we’re not good enough, but we can become better.
Now, many people eschew the beauty and fashion industries’ ridiculous standards. We can see an image and know that a lot of editing and airbrushing went into it.
But even if we manage to see through the beauty and fashion industries’ ploys, we often fall prey to the same ones inside the self-help industry.
- We “should” improve ourselves
- We “should” heal from trauma
- We “should” create our dream life
- We “should” become abundant in all of our major life areas
- We “should” try the 5 Second Rule
- We “should” do the 5 Minute journal
- We “should” try the 4 Hour Workweek
- We “should” say affirmations
- And practice breathing techniques
- And do 10 minutes of yoga a day.
This doesn’t mean self-help is inherently evil. It just means that the self-help industry thrives on your insecurity. It needs your insecurity just as much as you (think you) need self-help materials.
How to cope with self-help overload
Darling reader, you are not broken. You are whole and worthy exactly as you are. But life can be challenging, and we are all constantly learning how to navigate these challenges.
Yes, self-help can help. But we’ve all been made to feel like there’s so much wrong with us that we could spend our whole lives reading the latest New York Times bestseller, and still not be good enough.
To help you deal with self-help overload, consider trying these 5 tips.
#1: Take “should” out of your vocabulary
If you feel called to a specific self-help resource because it deeply resonates with you, and it feels right in your gut, trust your intuition. But if you have FOMO because everyone’s doing something you’re not. Or, if you feel like you “should” jump on the latest bandwagon, then it’s time to step away from self-help. It’s not helping you.
The best way to practice self-help is to do so intentionally and from the place of a conscious decision. Not from a place of “should” or “guilt.” And definitely not at the fast pace we’re expected to keep up with.
Trust yourself and believe that deep within you, your own intuition knows what you need to heal. And when you acknowledge this, you will be guided to the exact self-help information that is perfectly aligned with you.
#2: Stop being a self-help sponge
Are you a self-help junkie who absorbs everything like a dry sponge? It might be time to wring out all the extra self-help you’ve been absorbing. Not sure how? Consider these ideas:
- Unfollow certain accounts that “inspire” you
- Put down your books
- Try a 30-day detox, where you don’t read any self-help books, blogs, or follow “inspirational” social media platforms
- Focus on one author/guide/coach, and integrate their tips and their tips only
- Focus on JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) rather than FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
Believe it or not, when you stop being a self-help sponge, you’re actually doing some important self-help.
#3: Be your own self-help
Self-help materials are powerful in that they posit themselves as authority figures we must obey. But self-help suggestions are just that – suggestions. Not dogma. And when we think self-help is dogma, they can leave us worse off.
The reason for this is simple. Self-help resources make big promises. And after you’ve tried a method or read a book, if you fail to see the light, or get your big breakthrough, you think there’s something inherently wrong with you. Then self-doubt piles unto self-judgment, and the mudslide buries you. Not exactly what you were hoping for when you picked up The Secret, now was it?
While so many resources want to help you replace confusion with clarity, if they’re not the right methods for you, you can feel even more befuddled.
Consider this novel idea: Listen to your self. What does your self say?
#4: Self-help doesn’t have to say “self-help”
You can engage in lots of self-help without ever going near the “self-help” section. Think about it. Self-help means helping yourself, and that can funnel down into a myriad of actions.
Exercise is one form of self-help. So is doing something – anything – you’re passionate about, like playing an instrument, or spending time in your favorite park, or cooking, simply because you enjoy it.
- What is it that lifts you up?
- What activities make you lose track of time?
These things are a surefire way to access some serious self-help, not reading yet another book on what you need to do to overcome x, y, and z. Unless of course, it’s something that deeply resonates with you.
Be aware that your best self-help may not come from the self-help section. It may pop up where you least expect it.
#5: Assess your journey
This is probably not the first or last time you’ve encountered self-help materials. But before you feel “should-ed” into buying the latest self-help book, ask yourself, “What has helped me in the past?” What were the practices, techniques, ideas, or philosophies that made an impact on me?
Why not just go back to that same book, method, technique, or philosophy? Why not read another book from your favorite self-help author?
In other words, take note of what has helped you. And don’t be afraid of returning to an “old” and no-longer-trendy topic. It might be just what you need.
Self-help should help you. And sometimes, when we’re in our most vulnerable state and feeling lost, we buy into every promise the self-help industry makes us. If you’re dealing with self-help overload, remember these 5 ideas – but only if they help!
Much Love & Angel Blessings,
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This a great article. I read somewhere that women are the primary customers ,(don’t like the word ‘consumers’) for self-help.
My favorite suggestion here is #4. It’s just to follow a dream or an inclination. Many interests, like music, exercise, or art, have their own inherent healing powers!
Thanks for the reminder that we’re good enough as we are.
Yes, absolutely! Music, body movement and art have incredible healing powers and are also unique in their ability to open us up to our natural intuitive selves. They create “flow” in the physical body. Getting caught up in what everyone else is telling us we “should” be doing can be just a distraction. Thank you for commenting. 🙂