Do Self Help Books Really Work?

Did you ever read a self help book?
Did you have a question or were you just curious?
Have any of those books made you change your thinking or improved your life? Or was it just an “Aha” moment that caused you to reflect and then just as quickly forget?

What problems did you experience with their solutions?
Were you excited to find that you had found an answer at last and it was going to set you free? But a few weeks later the excitement faded and you started searching for answers again?

I think we are looking for a solution to our problems so that we can live an easier life.
But … what is the point of buying a solution and not being able to use it?

I found that I was able to take small portions from the books I read but the application didn’t last long. I first read the classic The Power of Positive Thinking many years ago. I listened to Earl Nightingales motivational talks on the radio and learnt much from them. But it was like looking at myself in the mirror and forgetting what I saw when I turned away.

I remained a chronic pessimist and got even worse.

I think it’s similar to making New Year’s resolutions. You decide to make positive changes in your life and make decisions for the better.  But when the discipline of the resolution kicks in, your body and mind rebel.

Perhaps it is because you are trying to resolve a problem on cracked foundations?

Like to going to the gym.
You are not pleased by what you see in the mirror and you think that you really need to do something about it. You think of all the benefits. You’ll look attractive, healthy, alluring and so you decide to go to the gym and work out. You are raring to go the first few days but when the pains in your body start shouting loud and clear then you back off.
You justify your actions with all sorts of very valid excuses and before you know it you are back to square one feeling guilty. The old procrastination syndrome pops in and you put it off till tomorrow.

I think self help books use the same principles except they are mentally and not physically based. The emotional pain, your old habits and the lack of mental discipline make you give up and fail.

Is your mind resisting change or is it that it is trying to protect you from failure?
That’s a paradox in that you do not want to fail but because your mind says you will fail, it says “don’t get hurt so stop before you get hurt” by failing. So it’s ok to fail mentally before you fail in actuality.

Basically you are doomed to fail if your mindset and belief system is comfortable in your way of life.
It’s similar to an aircraft that has been set on auto pilot to go West.
You may manually change direction to go North but as soon as you let go of the controls, you will go West again.

To be able to pull your own strings in life, you’ll have to sort out your auto pilot.
To do that you’ll have to take a look at all your experiences, thoughts and belief systems that you have created and embedded in your mind.
I will endeavour to cover this subject in future posts.

If you think you can or you think you can’t either way you are right. Henry Ford

No Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL


Leave a Reply