I was going through the writer’s block for a long time and my kind friend suggested me to read some “Self-Help” books. To tell you the truth, I was skeptical about reading them at first, but once I started reading pages after pages, I got hooked on them. I read nine books of this genre and in the end, my writers’ block was cured since I finally had an opinion about something and I could easily rant about it. But I warn you; you will not like my opinion if you are a fan of “Self-Help” books!
The primary message a self-book conveys, according to me, is that you lack qualities and are not enough. It belittles you and makes sure that you buy more of these books to feel better about yourself. Reading these books gives you a short-term dopamine high, just like drinking alcohol or smoking a cigarette. It makes you feel good for a moment; but once you sober up, all those emotions and feelings come rushing back. You crave for them more and end up buying more of this stuff just to feel good about yourself.
In fact, I can list you all the things that I find wrong with a self-help book. You better brace yourself.
- It is Hard to Follow:
The solutions that are offered in these books are seldom easy to follow. They expect a reader to improve his/her personality even though he/she is riddled with self-doubts and insecurities. This kind of person can never get rid of such feelings by simply reading a few lines from a book or learning an example of a person who has never struggled with similar issues.
2. Make Little Sense:
Some of these books offer guidance that does not make any sense at times. Not every one of us can become Gautam Buddha and give up on all our possessions. Yet they compel the readers to do the same. They tell you what to do, but not how to do it.
There were few books that suggested to just take a deep breath and not feel sad. According to them, meditation can cure sadness and depression without even properly addressing these issues.
4.It is Not Problem-Specific:
The solutions described in these books are never problem specific. Since they are written for a wide range of readers, they take a common problem and offer a common solution. So, according to them, if you are facing problems with your economic conditions; waking up early every day will eventually solve your problems.
5.Offers False Hopes:
Toward the end of these books, they give false hope to the readers by stating that everything will get better eventually and not to worry about it from now on. But sometimes a person needs a reality check rather than a false hope.
6.Too Boring to Read:
The content of these books is rarely interesting. They usually use an example of a person who became successful by following his/her principles. These examples keep on repeating themselves where at one point you get tired of reading the book and stop reading it abruptly.
After reading a handful of these books and criticizing them, I made a list of my own solutions. Ironically, even these solutions will be termed under the self-help category, making me a hypocrite. But I will not force you to follow them since they were made by my viewpoint. What works for me may not work for you. Keeping that in mind, here is what I came up with after intensive research.
- Embrace the Situation
Acceptance is the key to any problem. If you keep on stressing on a single issue, you are bound to get dragged down by it. If you think you are messed up at some point; just accept your mistake and move on. Thinking about “what if scenarios” will not make the situation any better.
- Know that you are Not Special
If you believe that you are special and deserve greatness, you start to give yourself a false entitlement. If you believe that you are “normal”, you can easily enjoy whatever life throws at you.
- Do not Rely on Anybody
Do not depend on anyone. You came into this world alone and will go alone. Do not expect anything from anyone. Remember, expectations lead to disappointments. Start doing things for yourself instead of expecting somebody else to do them for you.
- Stop Caring About the Results
Overthinking is a bottomless pit. The more you go down; the darker it gets. There is always a 50-50 probability. You will either succeed or you will fail. Nothing apart from this could happen. So, it is pointless to waste your time thinking about the results of your actions.
- Follow Your Gut
Sometimes your instincts tell you to do something, but out of fear and insecurities, you fail to do it. It is always better to do it first and regret later than to not do it and regret. Trust your instincts.
- Don’t Limit Your Happiness
We tend to put conditions on our happiness. “If I have so and so or achieve something, I will be happy.” This sort of conditions limits your thinking process and restrict personal development.
In conclusion, I would like to say, it is useless to stand in the mirror and say that you are confident and happy. A happy and confident man never does this anyway; he just is. As Mark Manson, the author of the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” stated, “Life itself is a form of suffering.” So, choose your suffering well. After all, life is short, enjoy it the most.