The self-help industry is big business. And big business means big money. So it’s no wonder that so many people try to take advantage of people just to make a buck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of personal development, and I’ve done a lot of studying on the subject, but you could say that over half of self-help products aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. And that’s being generous.
So let’s jump right into what self-help gurus should be telling you:
1. Don’t Overestimate the Power of Positive Thinking
I’m all for being positive but if you’re unhealthy, overweight, in a job you hate, or a bad relationship then be honest with yourself about it. Using a positive spin on a negative situation is not positive thinking – it’s delusional thinking. Be honest with yourself!
2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Negative Thinking
Most of the big decisions I made to change a situation for the better is because I was fed up. I hit bottom and couldn’t take it anymore. I HAD to do something. Sometimes that anger, indignation, negativity, whatever you want to call it is exactly the impetus you need to make a change in your life. It’s not a good idea to wallow in negativity but if you can embrace your negative feelings and use it to propel you into positive actions, then you’re turning a negative into a positive.
3. The Way You Feel Is Chemistry
It’s amazing how many people complain of depression, anxiety, fatigue but don’t exercise or eat well and have poor quality sleep. Of course you don’t feel good! And no amount of reading self-help books, positive thinking or group hugs is going to change that. Inner work is important but don’t neglect your vessel – the human body.
For every emotion you feel (happiness, sadness, excitement, depression, etc), there is a physiological process that occurs in your brain and body. Optimizing your physiology through exercise, nutrition, supplementation, etc can ensure that you have good emotions more frequently and will make you more resistant to bad emotions. Have you ever been super hungry and you were irritable with people as a result? That’s what I’m talking about. Your body is a machine. Keep it moving well and properly fueled and your own your way to feeling great all the time.
4. It’s All About Taking Action
I remember when the movie The Secret came out. It was all about the Law of Attraction and basically just said that if you think about things hard enough, then you will manifest it in your life. What a bunch of baboon defecation. I can guarantee that sitting on your couch willing things into existence won’t get you far. Otherwise I would’ve been surrounded by nude super models when I was in high school.
The unsexy truth about getting what you want in life is that it’s all about taking action. Not just taking action, but taking the right action. It also takes perseverance. If you quit then you definitely can’t expect much. However, taking consistent action and trying new things when the old things don’t work out will get you as far as you’ll ever want to go.
5. Be Open To Trying New Things
Sometimes a strategy will work for one person but not another. Even more frustrating is the people who do the same thing over and over and still don’t get the result that they’re looking for. They think something is wrong with them or that they need to try even harder with the strategy that hasn’t been working. What you need is to learn a new skill or strategy and give up on the old one. I see this all the time in relationships and in the gym.
People use flawed approaches to dating and wonder why they’re still single. Or they workout year after year with a workout that they can really “feel” but they still don’t look the way they should for all their effort.
NEWS FLASH: It’s not you…it’s your approach!
Be open to trying different things even if it seems weird or uncomfortable. The key is to keep trying different things until you find something that works for you. So keep an open mind and keep trying!