Del Williams


My Beef With the Self-Help Industry

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I have a beef with the self-help industry, and it's a pretty big one. It is the lie that YOU are at the bottom of all that is going on around you. I know some would take issue with that, but here is my reasoning:

1. If your life isn't what you think it should be, it's your fault.
2. If your marriage isn't what you think it should be, it's your fault.
3. If your children are rebellious and making questionable choices, it's your fault.
4. If you are not perfect, yep, you guessed it, it's your fault.

I can't fault the self-help industry too badly for cashing in on your feelings of low self-worth, even if they are partly to blame for putting them in you. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that feeds off unhappiness and self-doubt.

What if we looked at the problems a different way though.
1. Are you doing everything you can to to make your life a good one? If so, if it's not, it's not your fault.
2. Are there two people in your marriage? If so, why are you the only one responsible for making it what you think it should be? and secondly, is your view of marriage realistic or based on what these gurus tell you it should be?
3. Did you teach your child right from wrong? If you did and they made a different choice, how is that your fault?
4. Is perfection REALLY realistic? Nope, but the idea of it sells really well.

My other issue with the self-help industry is the idea that you are not enough as you are. There is always something else you have to work through, process, or overcome. You can't just BE. Again, I can't fault them since they found what sells and keep hitting it til they get all your money.

That is my other issue. Do you  REALLY think some of the gurus have all the right things for you? I doubt it. Some of the top marriage gurus have been in multiple (3 or more) marriages. That is a deal breaker for me. Those same gurus have kids that don't see or speak to them, and they themselves are going back and forth looking for perfection.

I used to be into the whole self-help thing until I realized I am enough, flaws and all. I have friends who love me, flaws and all, and whom I love. I find myself smiling sometimes for no reason at all and I find it is a genuine happiness that is not dependent on always getting it right.

Life is a journey and there will be ups and downs. My last problem with the self-help industry i?s they want to take you from your journey with false promises of some kind of utopia to come where you will have no problems and everyone will be what YOU want them to be. See how that works? The fault finding doesn't end with you, but is cast over all those you encounter and judge as less than.

What do you think? Is the self-help industry a never ending cycle of "what's wrong with you?"

Whatever you are, be a good one. - Abraham Lincoln
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