I love diet programs because at least they're honest...sorta. In fine print, the claim reads: "Results not typical". Now, if only self-help, self-improvement, business leadership, and personal growth books, guru's, and guides were that conscientious.
Instead, they sell us the 1%. They sell us the "Results not typical" cases as if they're a dime a dozen...or $26.99 (for the latest copy). They don't come with a warning label or disclaimer! They make it seem easy. Doable for any dummy!
It must be your fault if you don't achieve similar feats. And this makes you feel defeated until you read the next book. This mind-set won't accomplish even half of what you're capable of because you begin to believe in the book more than yourself.
The fundamental problem with self-help books and success stories is they make us question what we do and what we believe. That there's a right way and a wrong way.
Ain't nothing changed but the book!
Self help is merely a perception that you're doing something about your issues when you're really not.
Evaluate yourself realistically.
There are those who believe in themselves to the point of chronic narcissism- big ideas, small return, more big ideas pumped up under pompous ego.
On the other side of the spectrum are those who retreat. They live in fear and doubt, smothered by their insecurities. Great ideas never see the light of day.
Resist both of these. Be willing to learn and improve, and objectively evaluate your progress. Take some notes here...
Recognize the lies:
This notion is the result of too much focus on the 1%.Take American Idol for instance- how many of those people thought they were truly good enough and all of us sitting at home thinking 'Oh dear God'?!
Self-help never intends for you to follow the mishaps. They bank on the idea that you want the easy way (hence, reading the book). They basically focus on what you want to hear. If they mention the tough times- it's a very quick mention because that's not what sells the book. Self-help is a billion dollar industry for a reason.
99% of what each person did to reach a significant level of success in their life is only a blip in the book. Success is more mistakes and failure than fun, trendy tactics. Reports on successful people fail to mention these...and honestly, what person do you know is going to want to repeat all the failures of the uber successful or self-aware?
The issue is no matter what you're doing, it can look better through rose-colored glasses. Sounds fine, right?! Not always. If you can't see your life clearly, you're doing yourself a disservice. You might make something positive out of something that is meant to be a hassle in your life to teach you a lesson, take notice, or move on. You might also not take others' perspective into consideration when you're thinking of your own positive spin.
True story: I used to work with someone who was a positive person by nature. There were hints in our career together where I could see people were not responding to her as positively as she believed. Sure, they were nice to her. She was a nice person. But she was responding to her own positive perspective, ignoring real issues. She would face them with a positive spin, but nothing tangible was improving.
Realistically identifying the issues and resolving them would have been a better route. Ultimately, and I saw it coming, she was fired. She was absolutely shocked because she perceived everything as going great! And since then she has been fired often. A case where a positive spin can get in the way of seeing where improvement is needed.
The moral of the story is self-help books can screw you up more than your parents did.
Let's say you don't like flying blind though. I have a solution for you...
Inspire versus imitate.
Spend enough time in detox away from these manuals and their manic depressive insight. Don't live their life. Don't give money to someone telling you how to live someone else's life.
Clear goals and a clear inventory of what you have- what are your assets? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? BE HONEST! What is your passion?
Seekcritical feedback...or at least don't shy away from it. There's some American Idol contestants that really could've used just one naysayer!!!
Follow up with inspiration. Who inspires you? What inspires you? Don't imitate it, draw inspiration form it.
I do my own thing, but there are people and even companies that inspire me. I separate myself from their version of success and create my own story. Heck, I share with you the good, the bad, and the honest.
I am no singer- uh uh- no way! But I am inspired by various music. Love me some Eagles! I enjoy including little stories in my blog posts just as every Eagles song tells a story. I'm not copying what they do, I'm already who I am. They inspire me to be MORE of who I am.
I'm passionate about no-nonsense self-improvement. Too many of us are plagued by faulty thought patterns- I aim to change that!