To me, self-help is really important because there are things in this world that are much easier to obtain with the help of another person. Things like this make self-help so valuable because being able to get these sorts of things on your own can save a lot of trouble, time and it may be way more convenient. The way most people go about gaining that self-help information they need to become the independent person they wish to become is by looking into self-help books, videos, resources etc. The only issue with this is how effective these self-help tips are.
Srini Pillay MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, discusses his thoughts on self-help and he explains what he believes makes a self-help resource effective opposed to material that would just be wasting your time. His first point is that a good self-help program would have an approach that has a good success rate. There are many self-help methods that have a high rate of success and finding a program that has one probably means it’s a good program. A way to find this is to look for the program to reference people who have used the program and expressed how well it worked. Another way Pillay says is a good way to tell is to check the credentials of the creator of the program. He says this about seeking self-help in serious areas such as depression or anxiety, “But providing such help is a responsibility that is quite complex, and training gives professionals perspectives that untrained people do not have.”
Arlin Cuncic is an author of self-help material herself and she gives her input on what makes self-help most effective. She emphasizes the idea that to make a self-help program work is that it’s mostly on you and how you approach it. One of her first points is gradual pace which means not jumping into a big change and start with things more manageable and then work your way up to bigger ways to change yourself for the better. She also brings up something I agree with alot and that’s to motivate yourself by setting a goal in mind. The word motivate is important because I feel like motivation is insanely important and getting things done require motivation. Another tip she gives that I like alot is to expect obstacles. I just expressed the importance of motivation and when you expect obstacles your motivation doesn’t drop because you expected it. Cunic says “Staying on track requires identifying the obstacles that you are likely to face and having a plan to deal with them”.
Finally, Elle Kaplan, a self made entrepreneur, discusses the self-help area I feel is very important and that is self motivation. In my opinion it is very easy to do a task when someone gives you reason to do it or even just tells you to do it, but to do it unprovoked is something I feel is harder than it seems. One of Kaplan’s main points is to avoid using a goal as motivation which she says is a common mistake. I didn’t understand this at first because I myself feel as though looking at your future goals is a good way to motivate yourself but Kaplan says all this does is give an excuse to burn yourself out. Kaplan says “they blindly tie it to huge goals that are unattainable and use all of their energy to attempt to power through it all and get it done. In reality, a lot of this leads to burnout and waning willpower”. Another tip Kaplan gives for self motivation is to start small with their goals, achievable goals. This way, they can feel the satisfaction of completing their goals much faster opposed to striving for a long term goal.