I have to admit that I, too, was a total self-help addict. As with most things in life, more is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to self-help. I share my story below in hopes that you see parts of yourself in it, know that you’re not alone and that it is all actually perfect.
The Self-Help Obsession/Addiction
I was sure I was broken and nothing and nobody could fix me. Yet, I sought out solutions from everyone and from everywhere. What? Oh boy. A sure recipe for remaining stuck.
It started in high school when I developed an eating disorder. It was my first foray into the self-help world. I knew something was off with me and I was determined to find the solution. I devoured self-help books the same way I did food, hoping to make some sense of my deep hatred for my body and myself. I went on antidepressants briefly, attended group and individual therapy, journaled, excavated old wounds.
The funny thing is that what eventually healed me was the exact thing I was avoiding and the exact thing I didn’t want to do. I was avoiding myself and being with myself and all my emotional states. The second part was acceptance. I was convinced I had to beat myself into submission in order to improve and that was the complete opposite of acceptance. Acceptance was counter to everything I believed about healing. Yet acceptance was and is the only way.
You have to break the obsession with the problem which means you don’t actually have a problem – that you are ok exactly as you are – and commit to loving, honoring, and accepting yourself completely. That is where healing begins – disrupting the lie that there is something wrong with you.
Given my proclivity to spiral into disordered thinking, I eventually replaced body issues with men/relationship issues and then with business/career issues.
I went off the deep end – consuming multiple self-help books at a time. I was once again proving to myself that something was fundamentally wrong with me, I needed fixing, and surely someone outside of me had the answer and surely I didn’t.
It screwed me up. I was always working on myself. It was exhausting.
It started to destroy my relationship with myself and with my boyfriend as I became as critical of him as I was of me.
This was a big wake-up call for me. I had to pull my head high enough above the monstrous stack of books to look around my life and see that despite all the exhaustive work I had been doing, I kept creating more problems that required solutions instead of seeing where my life and myself had improved. I never gave myself a break, a moment of acceptance and appreciation for who I was right then and acknowledgment of how much I had changed over the years. I couldn’t see it because I was so focused on the next thing – the next problem, issue, or challenge I needed to address.
No celebration of a milestone or growth – only onward, keep going, keep improving, don’t stop – and better make sure everyone around you is too.
I had to make it stop before it made me crazy with depression which is where this inevitably leads because all you can see is continuous work on yourself with no end in sight, which sends you into despair. And this is exactly what was creeping around – apathy, boredom, criticism, frustration. I had been down this road before and it didn’t go well.
I knew I had to do something different – I had to stop this cycle of addiction and insanity. I had to let go, release my hold, step back, and accept. Be in the moment. Let go of any outcome and do what I felt called to do in that moment without judgment or attack or second-guessing and instead, love, accept, and appreciate it. I had to return to the place of play, joy, and pleasure – not as a goal – but as a lifestyle, as a way of being, as the true me.
Once you realize and acknowledge that everything is perfect just as it is, no matter what it looks like, you allow it to shift and change. It doesn’t change when you hate it, abuse it, or criticize it. This is readily apparent in childhood yet we lose sight of this as we grow up.
Your energy system picks up on what you are putting into it – love or fear – and responds accordingly. When you are in problem mode, you are putting out the energy of doubt and distrust and thus you create more problems.
When you are in creative solution mode, you are putting out the energy of faith and thus you create endless possibilities.
The trick is you have to BELIEVE in the solution, you have to TRUST that everything is indeed working out for you BEFORE you will see the solution or the change you desire. This is critical. You cannot create something that you don’t believe. You must believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you desire is already yours and live from that place – the place of love, trust, faith, and unwavering belief.
And, when you are struggling to believe, this is where a powerful mentor comes in – you get to borrow their belief while you build yours. They believe in what you desire to create and know it is already yours and as you work in that container of belief, your own trust in yourself grows.
If you are struggling with self-doubt and are tired of being stuck wanting more but not getting it, I am currently accepting two people into my 90-day mentorship program. Borrow my belief in you while we work together to bring you into alignment with your heart’s calling, your soul genius, and your true, authentic self.
Believing in you,