3 Reasons Why Self-help Doesn’t Work for Some People

November 29th, 2010
1. Working on Mindset when action is required

You’re just too damn negative.  So what if you have no job and are depressed.  SNAP OUT OF IT!!!! You see, failures fail and winners win.

Here’s the truth: you have what you have.  I was not born to be a great basketball player.  I don’t have the skills.  To hear people tell it, positive thinking will get you wherever you want to go.

But it’s not true.  A lot of “successful” people are negative bastards. Look at some of the top athletes.

Jerry Rice, greatest NFL receiver of all time, was terribly hard on himself.

To hear a self-help guru talk, Jerry Rice is a big failure because he doesn’t think positive.

Well, let me tell you: success is not always determined by a positive mindset.  Oh, don’t take my word for it.  Let the aforementioned Mr. Rice in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech tell you the secret to his success:

I’m here to tell you that the fear of failure is the engine that has driven me throughout my entire life.  It flies in the faces of all these sports psychologists who say you have to let go of your fears to be successful and that negative thoughts will diminish performance.  But not wanting to disappoint my parents, and later my coaches, teammates and fans, is what pushed me to be successful.

Did I mention that this is the greatest receiver of ALL TIME saying this?

Of course there’s nothing wrong with being positive.  I’m positive.  I love positivity. I can’t bring myself to think like Jerry Rice.

But the truth is that there are many kinds of “mindsets” that can help a person achieve their goals.  There is no “magic mindset” that’ preventing you from doing what you want.

The key is using the mindset you have to your advantage. If you’re hard on yourself, there’s no reason why you can’t use that same mindset to achieve your goals.

Too many people are spending a lot of money trying to learn how to be something they’re not.  Use your strengths.  But speaking of spending money.

2. Spending too much money on  self-help programs instead of using that money for something that can actually help you

The problem with most people is that they think it’s unreasonable to spend $2,500 on a set of 7 CDs and a DVD.

And they’d pretty much be right.

I know people who spend a lot of money going from seminar to seminar to learn the next big secret.

And the problem is they end up hearing the same stuff over and over and while it FEELS really good, it doesn’t actually DO any good.

I say go to a rock concert. It’s cheaper.  And more fun.

3. Helping yourself instead of helping others

Shsss…now, this really is a secret.  Don’t tell everyone you heard this from Don’t Step in the Poop, OK?

You actually help yourself by helping others.

In fact, you can do more to help yourself when you help others.  It’s like author and friend of the blog, Steve Harper says in his book, The Ripple Effect (I’m paraphrasing here):

The most selfish thing a person can do is to be selfless

So maybe if you go out there and try to be, I don’t know, a decent human being who does nice things for others, then you might start feeling pretty darn good about yourself.  And that feeling is what most self-help gurus/seminars/whatnot are trying to get you to feel.  But the cool thing is that you won’t need to spend $5,000 in training yourself to be a better person. You WILL be a better person.  And you’ll save yourself a few bucks along the way.


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