A friend recently posted something on Facebook
“I struggle with anything “self help” because I go into it with a list of stuff I’d like to change / fix with myself then end up with a way longer list when I’m done with the self help. So I’m a little leery. It’s me, not her. Ya feel?”
It got me thinking … she has a point.
With the explosion of social media, self help gurus seem to be everywhere and are excellent at promoting themselves as the expert – from nutrition to fitness to business to mothering to organizing. There is an expert out there who is going to tell you how succeed at anything you dream of and they will have the solution you need to get there.
And as a registered dietitian who works to help break an unhealthy relationship with food and promoting a positive body image, I can fall into the category of being a self-help guru.
As a mom who works to balance all things that come along with life, I find listening and reading some self help gurus, helps me be a better person. I also find some are filled with horsesh** (excuse my French), as they are totally trying to sell me and every other woman out there something that is just not reality.
So the question comes back to:
What’s up with all these self help gurus? Do they help or harm?
Here is my take … we cannot take what the “experts” say as the Gospel – they are just humans sharing their story, their lessons, their years of study, their art or craft with us – but if that person makes you open your mind or heart a little bit to either a new idea or break through something you have had resistance on … then I think it’s worth it.
Also, there are times and places in our lives when I believe we need different messages from different people.
If Rachel or Brene or any other message is not speaking to you right now, maybe the message is not intended for you, maybe it’s not what you need to learn right now. But maybe that message is exactly what your neighbor, friend or even spouse needs to make it through another day. Maybe the message being shared is planting the seed to new things or opening their heart or mind to new ideas.
If the message and idea does not resonate with you, don’t sweat it. It’s probably a message not designed for you, and therefore, you won’t benefit from it.
But if the message makes you pause and do a little self reflection, maybe it’s something worth exploring.
By exploring the message, you don’t have to dive all in and agree 100% with what is being shared. This is your life. Your path. Your journey. Your story.
The expert is sharing lessons from their life. Their journey. Their story.
We are not designed to live and walk the same paths. But we will all hit roadblocks and barriers and have bridges we need to cross – that maybe the “expert” had to cross before you and might have some valuable wisdom to share that can make your journey a tad bit easier.
When we break down, make fun of, and joke about the message someone is sharing – you might be causing more harm in someone you love than you think. That message may be exactly what they need to hear, but when you laugh or make jokes about the self help approach, it hurts your friend’s progress. It builds self doubt, shame and embarrassment to their journey. It adds another roadblock on their path. And that is not cool.
So while I don’t keep up with self help gurus on a regular basis, when a topic captures my attention and I have the time to listen, I am grateful for the message. Maybe I had a big takeaway, maybe not. I believe it is important to keep our minds open and understand that everyone will have different lessons to learn along the way and we are surrounded by teachers everywhere we go. These teachers can be our friends, mentors, co-workers, spouse, or children and they can also be the speakers, authors, writers who are promoting their self help platform. If that speaker | author | self help guru is helping you and you enjoy their message – continue to listen and follow – but never forget that this is your journey, your path, your story – so you don’t have to follow their exact recipe.
If the message is not resonating with you or is making you pick yourself apart – then it is not healthy for you and therefore walk away and trust, the message was never intended for you in the first place.