When Self-Help Becomes Trendy.

It is fascinating and quite horrifying to realise that things are not always what they appear to be. It is also embarrassing that you have been doped by by your own imagination and not facts. I use to think that self help books were the answer to solving many of my problems. But I guess by now you know, where I am headed. They did not work.

First of all, I was under the misconception that once I started reading them, I would be so motivated that things would somehow click into place. I would develop a better mindset and start feeling great about life! Never happened. Why, you may ask? No amount of advice or reading is going to take you to where you want to be. If all you do is sit around and think of all the things you want to accomplish and read a million and one books about how to do the same thing, then you’ll be dreaming forever.

Essentially at some point in all this reading, you have to take action. In all these challenges of writing all the things you want to do or accomplish, you have to get up and do.

Also, I realise now that some of those advice had nothing to do with my reality and so were not applicable to me. I was looking externally at a solution that never matched my problem. I got so caught up in the thought of making a change that I kept tripping up myself.

Wow! I made a vision board or I wrote down some goals, let me take a nap, that was hard work after all.

Then, next years comes around and the plan is still there. Well at least I had a plan, but this is no comfort at all. You have a plan that was based on someone else’s because it seemed like a good idea, not because it really was a solution to your problems. So in the end I continued on my quest to find the next book or video that would be the one and the only thing I ended up with is a collection that I need a home library for. By the way, I love books, just not those that remind me that I have failed at yet another attempt at succeeding!

I know what to do and I know how to go about getting it done, but strangely I was hoping if I stalled long enough there would be a miracle that would take the decision out of my hand, and that is the escape that those self-help books offered, an escape from making the tough, unpleasant and unpopular decisions.

Then, there is the fallout when you realise that you have not made the kinds of gains you thought you would, when the example of what success is is not in your reality. Then you realise that the after images fed to you by these books and videos never really guaranteed it would be the same for you. I realise now that I was more invested in someone else’s reality and not my own. Maybe the author or that personality made it, became a success but did I stop to think if that was for me or if I even wanted their success. After all, a certain concept of success has been ingrained in many persons that have no bearing on their passions or personalities. Being a certain kind of success had me running to get it from a book, from a video and from images readily available.

So what is left when all else fails? Where to turn when success cannot be found in the self-help trend? Well, because of this pandemic I have had to deal with health challenges that have made me a bit paranoid and the struggle to practice mental wellness a daily event. It has forced me to look within and to realise that I can only be happy if I am brutally honest with myself about what I have not gotten right and work in incremental stages (baby steps ) to improve. It also means accepting that there are dreams that were never mine to dream and therefore finding pursuits that really matter. My success is knowing that I take care of my physical and mental health, that I recognise that everything that happens to me after this is within my control. It is in knowing that no person can tell me what my future will be, because God has placed me squarely in the driver’s seat and He is my instructor.

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Loves to tell and hear untold stories about people, places and experiences!

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