Mental Health

Reading Self Help Books Won’t Help You Help Yourself

I am the self-help book hoarder. At first I bought and read self-help books because I wanted to do precisely that: help myself. I am a person with a great emotional range due to being highly sensitive. By sensitive, I mean on a HSP level – so this covers all of my senses including an aversion to strong smells, loud sounds, crowded places and rough fabrics. It means I’ve had to work conscientously with myself to maintain balance in a world that is arguably more crowded and moving at a faster pace than ever before. So I was always seeking help of all kinds – advice from others and reading books. Lots of them.

It got to the stage where I ended up with enough self-help books to comfortably fit a rather long shelf, when I realised I’d made no headway in helping myself at all. Don’t get me wrong, it was useful to read the books to see the commonalities between the advice, but in a practical sense I had done nothing. All I’d managed to do is stall. Specifically, I’d stalled for two whole years from the point that I picked up my first self-help book!

It was then that I jumped into action. Only action will see a tangible manifestation of self improvement within your life. This can be in the form of working towards a specific goal or writing a list of things to achieve and driving towards them. I wondered why I hadn’t sprung into action before, and realised that it was because I didn’t feel ready. I had an aversion to change.

The thing is, if you had to pick up a self-help book in the first place because you wanted to help yourself, then you’re mentally already part way invested into a change. By picking up the book, you were already signalling that you wanted change. But we are all too comfortable with what we know and sometimes it’s hard to imagine anything different and can be a bit scary too.

All I’d say is it’s ok to take your time. Some people’s advice will be ‘take action now!’ But they are not you. If you need time to adjust to the idea of making a change, then take it.

To save yourself some money on the path of change however, you don’t need to buy every self-help book under the sun. Don’t become a hoarder of them and think that by reading them that that alone will change your life, because it won’t. Have courage and patience with yourself and you will see the positive changes that you only dreamt of before. And if you slip or feel discouraged at any point of your journey, my golden rule is, ‘Don’t give up’. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Don’t listen to discouraging voices whether they are from yourself or others whilst on your path of improving your life. You can do it! đŸ™‚

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Twitter: @pohappinessblog

If you enjoy inspirational quotes, I post them *almost* daily.

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