It is about self-improvement. It is about making your life better. It is not seeking the help of others to improve.
The most important thing is that it shows a person is willing to seek help. Self-help is really not just the individual themself; it is seeking advice from a website, book, or other medium. If a person is willing to take that step then eventually, if needed, they could get help from other professionals in a one-on-one scenario where they would be able to ask questions and get feedback, rather than just from a book.
I asked readers, researchers, and curious folks like yourself what they felt was most important about this topic. What follows is a combination of some of the better answers in a long series of interview-format articles. The answers are raw, personal, and hopefully add some insight to your life.
Today’s Focus: Self Help
R: What are some of the biggest reasons you would ever look into this subject?
I: Self-help is very helpful to people trying to improve themselves. Self Help can be beneficial to anyone who wants to learn a new life skill. People pursuing answers to personal questions would also benefit greatly.
R: Assume the change from this subject is super-important, how could it help someone change their life?
I: Self-help is all about taking matters into your own hands. There are many self-help resources out there, whether books, programs or communities, that are geared towards helping you be educated in the ways that you can make changes in your own life. While there are many other ways to break a bad habit or develop skills to cope with things like sadness and depression, self-help resources put the power into your own hands.
R: Describe what’s so special about this topic in how it helps folks live life better.
I: Knowing about self-help for yourself can help you relate to other people who need help. You will be a mirror for other people to become more aware of their situation. You will be a sound board for counseling.
R: At the end of the day, who would you pick to be the best at doing what matters most regarding this topic?
I: I believe psychologists and teachers are good at understanding this topic. Part of their job is teach people how to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome them to function well. They understand how people can learn more about themselves to recognize what move to make next.
R: Provide us with an example of what kind of person is better of never talking about this subject ever again.
I: People who are emotionally unstable would not be good at self-help. Reality is you need a rock to build a platform on. People who cannot make realistic decisions could not perform self-help.
R: Can you tell us what it’s like to have this subject in your life?
I: The best resource is the library. Librarians have tons of knowledge about all different subjects and they wait all day for excellent questions from people looking to learn. They can point you to the section that has self-help books in it and help you do a search on the computer system to find different self-help books for specific subjects. You can also narrow the search down to a more specific topic (such as I want to have better time management) and do an internet search on the subject. There are usually a lot of message boards out there that can help.
R: When is a good time to bring this topic into your life?
I: When a person has just graduated high school or college is a good time to talk about this subject. When a person is over the loss of a relationship is a time to talk about helping one’s self. When a person is embarking on something new and different is a time when one should analyze the need for this kind of help.
R: When’s just a really bad time to be working on this subject?
I: A person who is rock bottom in their personal/career growth does not want to hear about self-help. They are most likely aware that they need self-help. It is their decision to do something.
R: Where in people’s daily lives do you think this topic would fit in nicely?
I: The type of situation that is best for self-help outcomes is being honest with oneself regarding problems. A person first admits whatever problem they have and realize the steps necessary to fix said problems. A person may consult friends and professionals if self-help regarding issues is not effective.
R: Describe the worst place to bring this subject into your life.
I: Someone who uses self-help will probably find themselves investing a lot of time with very little return on investment. Someone that is in a place in their life where they feel they might need self-help resources could be misled and end up doing worse. Someone that has poor social skills might read suggestions on how they could make more friends or meet people of the opposite sex, and those suggestions might not be executed well by that person. They might try too hard and act inappropriate, or even come off as creepy. Many people will judge a person on their appearance, and no amount of good intentions or methods garnered from self-help would make a difference in how that person would interact with this set of people.
R: Describe the type of person who will get the most out of this?
I: A person with low self-esteem can start to believe in themselves if they give themselves a chance to succeed. It is one of humanity’s oldest ideas–to be self-sufficient and confident in your own abilities. It is intrinsic to the success of each person to be able to rely on one’s own faculties.
R: Got any advice for us on this topic? The readers are hungry!
I: There are many self-help books available at your local book store and online. They range over a wide variety of topics from cooking to weight loss to depression. If you wanted to get a starting grasp on the task you are interested in these books would be a great way to do that, but they will never replace the experience of having an actual teacher, mentor, etc. however.
R: What’s something people should avoid if they’re looking into this subject?
I: People should avoid using ask question type website. You should avoid asking random people. You should avoid buying products that claim to help you
R: What would you recommend folks do today to work on this topic at hand?
I: To get more information on Self Help start doing internet research for topics that relate to this subject. Always better yourself by reading more and understanding the areas of life you are ready to improve upon. It has also been a huge help for me to search for free kindle books on online resources. Cheap and a way for me to save gas money on running to the library, but don’t leave that option out. The library can be a great resource as well.
I trust you enjoyed this trip through learning more about this topic. Often, I find some of the most useful (and colorful!) pearls of wisdom come out of the quick little answers we give each day. I hope you do too and that some of these nuggets of awesomeness were here for you.
Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, or personal life-changing wisdom below.