Self-Help Books On Their Own Don’t Work — You Need These 3 Things.
In 2011 I was told that I could just read self-help books to get out of my own head and escape a very dark period of my life.
I read self-help books for two years straight. I read books like:
- Think And Grow Rich
- Unlimited Power
- The 4-Hour Work Week
- How To Win Friends And Influence People
While I felt a bit more positive, my life didn’t change from reading these self-help books. That’s the delusion that many people fall for. Books on their own are not enough.
You need these three things:
The change for me happened in 2013. I began hanging around different people. I dumped my loser friends — including my best friend who was addicted to drugs and would pretend he wasn’t.
I tried to save these friends but they wouldn’t change and I realized I needed to save myself first.
I started hanging around people like Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success) and I got myself some older mentors who’ve done cool stuff I hoped to achieve.
“The self-help books I read helped plant the idea of having the right people around me, but that idea alone was not enough”
Making the difficult change of getting rid of toxic people and finding the right people was not easy. It took every ounce of my willpower to not give in to mediocrity.
Without the right people, books will only help your strategy.
2. Full immersion
Self-help books only exist in your head. What I realized in 2013 is that I need a fully immersive experience.
To change your life, you need emotion. Emotion comes from being fully immersed in an experience with your sight, touch and sense of smell.
You have to physically feel the change not just read it.
By watching a few videos on YouTube during a day off from my call center job, I somehow discovered Tony Robbins. He wasn’t like anyone else I’d ever heard speak. I made the decision to go to one of his events.
At this point in my life, I didn’t understand the idea of being fully immersed. It was more of a sense of curiosity that led me to attend his event.
At this event, I got to listen to many of the ideas I’d learned in many of the self-help books I’d consumed in the two years prior. The difference this time was that I had four days of not stop immersion.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner all I ate for four days was self-help lessons and it really helped me. Suddenly, I felt the dark clouds of mental health issues starting to lift.
The first day I was required to physically move past my limiting beliefs by walking on fire.
Being burned as a child made me very afraid of this experience. Self-help books taught me that I could do anything if I believed I could.
That all sounds nice snuggled up in bed with your pink socks on, but that advice doesn’t mean shit when you’re standing in front of burning hot coals and about to walk on them with your bare feet.
The quickest way to experience a major change in your life is to cram the process into four straight days where that’s all you do and you’re fully immersed, utilizing every emotion and sense you have.
The self-help books gave me ideas, new thoughts and strategies: they didn’t help me take action though.
Many people read these miraculous self-help books and get all excited. That’s where it ends.
“Self-help books mean nothing without action”
I took action by not only reading self-help books but by signing up to write my thoughts down on a blog. I committed to this weekly habit and took action. I did so from 2014 until right now.
It was this action that shaped my entire life and caused the change I was looking for. The seed for this idea was learned through many books although that wasn’t enough.
Action is the hardest step because you have to move forward often with no experience what so ever. I’d never written publicly before.
I thought my spelling and grammar sucked.
I thought my ideas were mediocre.
I thought no one would listen.
Taking action was the only way I could move past these limiting beliefs. I didn’t get the courage to take action from self-help books. I got the courage to take action by realizing that taking action, learning, and then repeating would eventually take me to where I wanted to go (away from the darkness).
The habit of reading is nice. The habit of action is game-changing.
Self-help books can be addictive.
These books sell you a dream and make you believe anything is possible.
I’m all for inspiring people. That alone won’t help you though. Divide your time between the following:
- Reading self-help books to gain new ideas and strategies
- Finding the right people to be around
- Getting fully immersed in change
- And taking massive action without being obsessed with the outcome
Self-help books on their own don’t work.
These four steps do work based on my experience.
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