What is self-help? Let’s define it as anything you’re doing for yourself with the intention of bringing you closer to becoming the person you want to be. This can be related to your body weight, fitness, eliminating phobias, building social skills, finding happiness, finances, and several other facets of life. There’s never been more information available to facilitate change, yet we rarely seem to make meaningful progress toward becoming the wonderful beings we aspire to become. Why is that? There are many obstacles to implementing self-help advice, such as: 1. You’re not applying the information. Losing weight is a form of self-help. There are tons of information out there on how to lose weight. In fact, it would be challenging to find someone over the age of 10 that couldn’t give you a reasonable plan for losing weight. ◦ The issue is likely to be one of compliance. Once you have a viable plan, it’s important to stick with it and do what is required by that plan. ◦ Information you don’t apply is of little value. 2. You believe that learning is the same as doing. Some people believe that understanding is the same as doing. They mistake intellectual understanding as sufficient to solve their challenges. But, that’s like saying understanding how to do a push-up is the same as doing 100 push-ups each day. ◦ It’s necessary to put your understanding of a strategy into practice. 3. Procrastination. Self-help books can be addicting. It’s an inexpensive way to feel like you’re addressing your challenges. We also get a good feeling from reading self-help articles and books. It’s like we have access to powerful information that the average person doesn’t have. ◦ However, at some point, it’s necessary to put the books down and get busy. Reading self-help book after self-help book is just a form of procrastination. 4. You’re impatient. It takes time to lose weight. It also takes time to save money, improve your writing skills, or rid yourself of social anxiety. ◦ In general, the longer you’ve been suffering with a particular issue, the longer it will take to move beyond it. ◦ Just keep at it and you will succeed. 5. You’re failing to appreciate how resistant you are to change. Change is much more challenging than most people realize. We have many built-in survival mechanisms that make us resistant to change. ◦ You might be miserable, but you’re alive. That’s enough to keep the primitive part of your brain satisfied. Your brain views change as risky. ◦ Changing slowly - making small changes, one at a time - may be frustrating, but it has a much better chance of success. Your subconscious is less resistant to small changes. Plus, they’re easier to add into your regular routines. ◦ It’s not enough to just intellectually decide a change is necessary. The inertia of sticking with your old patterns is easier than changing. 6. You’re not willing to transform yourself. If you want to be wealthy, it’s not enough to adopt a few habits around saving and investing. It’s necessary to become a person that values and appreciates the building of wealth. You must believe that becoming wealthy is an endeavor worthy of your time and attention. ◦ It’s necessary to change your perspective and beliefs to accommodate the idea of the person you want to be. Self-help materials provide the opportunity to make important changes in your life. They can provide information and inspiration, but the burden is still on you to apply the information to your life and to perform the transformative work on yourself. Self-help is some of the hardest work you’ll ever do. Be prepared for a bumpy ride. However, if you make small changes, one at a time, your efforts will add up to help make your dreams come true.
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