Battling your demons

Not all demons exist inside yourself. Two of my worst: self-doubt and risk minimization, exist, personified, in my life. I have to have conversations with these demons, and I work hard to forget what they say.

I recently started engaging more with the self-help genre. This is not a genre that I put a lot of stock in. It’s not one I grew up consuming. But I do find, as a creative person, as someone for whom generating ideas is easy but execution is difficult, that self-help can be, well, very helpful. Here’s why.

Self-help is often a watered-down, re-digested version of a profound spiritual insight or tidbit of hard research. Nevertheless, when your demons, whether within or without, are hounding you, it helps to have a voice in your ear that functions as your better angel.

“You can’t.”

“Yes, you can.”

“You won’t.”

“Yes, you will.”

“What you should really do is ____.”

“Listen to your intuition.”

It’s difficult, in a vacuum, to do this effectively for yourself, unless you are practiced in meditation or have a practice of reciting mantras already. And for those of us who can’t just walk away from the haters in our lives, we need forces that neutralize the balloon-popping effect of interacting with them. We need an ally to come over and file down their needles before all our bubbles get popped.

And that is the beauty of self-help. It’s your psyche’s protective older sister, coming to your aid on the playground. Making the space for your mind to adventure and play that wouldn’t otherwise exist.