Updated: Mar 20
It’s not anyone’s fault - the authors rock. I totally believe in the power of these kinds of messages and I love sharing lessons that I learn myself. But, I still suck at getting through self-help books.
I started my first self-help book three summers ago. It was called “What Happy People Know” by Dan Baker and I picked it up off of the shelf in our basement to occupy my thoughts at the cottage.
Well, let me tell ya, I DOVE into this book. I loved it. I still do. It has a great balance of scientific explanations of the brain’s functioning and psychological studies. Okay, I feel like I made it sound boring, but it’s super easy to understand.
This first book taught me about how the imagination is connected to the rest of the brain. How it works with anxiety and how I’m getting in my own way. Needless to say, I ended a relationship and friendships shortly after I finished the novel. It simply moved me to make different choices.
I have picked up so many personal development books since that summer. Amazing authors like Rachel Hollis, Lori Harder, Brene Brown, Jenny Lawson and so many more. They are start great, and I love the content, but I can’t bloody finish them!! I don’t know if this is normal but it’s the truth.
I realized lately that I take each book straight to the heart. I held a high standard after my first self-help book that it’s hard for me to take anything else in. I want one book to be right and have all the others say the same thing so I don’t have to go through the struggle of challenging it.
Sound familiar? Maybe it’s in the likes of something else. Maybe you’re like this with podcasts, movie messages, song lyrics or poetry. It’s a lot of work to change your mind about something you were once passionate about. What is easy is reinforcing those ideas.
I take each simple thought and I shove it down my own throat. I tell myself that this is important and I need to start enforcing it now. This goes for simple beliefs like “money doesn’t determine your success” to big ones like “you need to understand yourself and find someone who does the same in order to be truly secure in love.”
UM. Liv. How are you supposed to give yourself a break and celebrate your wins if you don’t give yourself some credit?
Self-help books are there for you to learn but not blame. It is expected that you wont be able to implement everything and that some lessons are just going to take time.
I’m changing my perspective on these books. I think that, now, I want to read these books so that I can learn one or two MAIN suggestions or messages. A book is structured to leave you with a theme, not a million little pieces. If I can focus on these themes, I think I can finally not suck at reading these amazing books.
Hopefully this helps you, fellow deep-thinker! I’ve compiled a list below of some awesome self-help books for you to try out. Take it one step at a time.
Rachel Hollis - Girl, Stop Apologizing!
Jenny Lawson - Furiously Happy
Lori Harder - A Tribe Called Bliss
Brene Brown - The Gifts of Imperfection
Dan Baker - What Happy People Know
Matt Haig - Notes on a Nervous Planet
Jen Sincero - You Are A Badass
Louisa Jewell - Wire Your Brain for Confidence