I’ve been through 2 self-help programs. These programs told me I was going to “find my inner beauty in 3 months” and “find the career of my dreams (or something along those lines) in 8 weeks.”
These programs claimed that they would “fix” my life, in a sense.
Have I embraced my inner beauty or gotten my dream career?
Nope. Not yet. I’m in the process of doing those things.
Sure, these programs have helped me somewhat, but they are not a quick fix. They are advertised to make you THINK they are.
This is why I have a problem with them:
You can’t develop confidence in 8 weeks or whatever else these programs advertise. Building confidence takes years. Your career is a constantly evolving journey. Your “purpose” is going to change as you change. You have to put effort into instigating the changes you want to see.
These programs in the self-help industry don’t fix your problems. You do.
I’m going to say that again. We fix our problems.
In response to the New York Times article that discussed young girls and the fact that they use YouTube to validate whether or not they’re physically attractive, one reader left the comment:
“Sounds more like our culture is the issue-again. It says a lot when the standard for approval and acceptance for young girls is physical appearance-but not so much for young boys.”
Guys go through the ringer too, you know.
I don’t think our culture is entirely to blame here; our society is made up of individuals who have the opportunity to help shape our rules. So yes, that twisted society that we always say has to change?
You help make it too.
I’m not trying to make you angry and say that everything that happens in society is your fault. I’m just asking you to consider the fact that you might be engaging in little things that are helping to create a society you don’t want to see.
Gandhi was right. In order to change the world, you have to BE that change.
What sorts of changes do YOU want to see in today’s society?
3 thoughts on “Why I’m On The Fence About The Self – Help Industry & The Key To Making The Changes You Want To See”
YES. I hate the “marketing” language that has infected all levels of society. I’ve even read articles saying blogs should be written from a marketing standpoint (which, ok, makes sense format and content-wise at times, though “useful content” is subjective) and I hate when that means titles that are just click-bait ploys. “X things you need to be doing” or “Why doing X is completely wrong.” Same with those self-help things you mentioned – utter bullshit. Haha, it really reminds me of The Music Man, how Harold Hill comes to a town, creates a problem, builds a lot of hype, and markets his stuff as the solution. This stuff markets a lot of empty promises as solutions. Guides like that are such scams.
Ah, I clicked “post” before I was ready. . .I also wanted to mention that that “be the change you want to see” is one of the reasons why I stick with blogging (though to be fair, there are a multitude). I have a lot of problems with culture and society today and I’m hopeful that it will change, but cultural change is measured across generations. I try to live my life the best way I can, but if I really want to see change, I have to put myself out there. If my little blog makes even one person think harder about feminism, racism, gender. . .it’s a win.
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I agree, Marielle! I understand the power of advertising language, but it makes me angry. Sure, it works, but I expect when I pay that much money for a program that you’re going to deliver. With language like that, you run the danger of disappointing people with high expectations. Sure, if it brings you money, cool, but there’s a balance that has to be there. Kiersten and I were talking about this on Twitter last week. Turns out we both majored in communications. 🙂
As for the “be the change you wish to see in the world,” that’s another reason why I love blogging. It’s mildly terrifying to put myself out there, but writing this blog is the only way I know how to put myself out there. There are other ways, sure, but I’m not ready for them yet.
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