Yes, There Is Such A Thing As Too Much Self-Help

Chris Marchie
Jan 1, 2018 · 4 min read

I had never been so confused.

As I looked at my inbox again, the email stuck out to me like an arrest warrant. It took my breath away, made me squirm a little and when I tried to think of something else, I realized it was pretty much useless.

The choice to take a job or not seems easy, right? It should be as simple as “take the job, it pays well” or some other garbage you’ve probably heard a million times from your parents.

But instead of parents, this time I had self-help gurus.

I honestly think they might’ve been hurting more than they were helping.

“Either it’s a hell yes or a hell no!”

Okay, yes, that’s exactly right.

But then another thought.

“You need something to help pay the bills before you can follow your passions!”

Ugh yeah, that’s true too I guess.

“Why would you work to make someone else’s dream come true?”

Yes. That’s true. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Well, I know one thing.

I was having self-help breakdown.

It makes you want to only continue getting better. Stronger. Faster. More inspired and in general, a whole lot happier. For the most part, I think a lot people feel this way when they make big changes in their lives.

I’ve made many.

In the past year alone, my diet, sleep schedule, outlook on life and daily habits are much different than they ever used to be. I wouldn’t say I’m the most consistent, but I generally think I’m on the right path.

The problem is, what happens when the advice you start learning begins to, well…contradict?

After listening to, reading and even producing content on a number of “self-help” issues, it became apparent that some of these ideas just don’t add up.

We all follow different paths in life. Some people’s road to success, while likely being similar to others will hardly be the same. Yet, often, we internalize other people’s advice as being directly applicable to our own.

Isn’t that kinda weird?

And I think this comes from having almost too many inspirational quotes and motivational speeches and TED talks from too many lifestyle entrepreneurs or gurus or life coaches or whatever.

At some point someone’s going to say something that seems to contradict someone else, which leaves you laying on your bed, staring up at the ceiling, mouth-agape, wondering how in the hell all of this stuff can be true at the same time.

It’s mentally taxing.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of useful content out there. Tons of people who are filled with great stories, lessons, guidance, habits or whatever. But I do wonder if we’re getting to what I’m referring to the “exhaustion point”

I recently got to my exhaustion point with TV, for example.

There are too many things to watch and I can’t keep up.

So what do I do now? I limit myself to about 2 or 3 different shows that I watch while I relax every week. There’s simply too much of this stuff to consume. And honestly, you are a hell of a person if you can keep up with everything on television nowadays.

Seriously, bless your heart.

I’m self-restricting self-help.


Some people want you to believe you can never have enough information. You can never stop learning or improving or whatever. And yeah, I totally get it.

But I think we have to realize our own limitations.

It’s okay to get inspired by a few people or quotes or whatever and just hold onto that. After all, isn’t going out and living your best life the important part?

Sometimes I want to watch the news. I want to eat a slice of pizza. I want to go hang out with friends who are more negative than I’d like them to be or skip my morning meditation because sometimes I sleep too damn late.

Give yourself enough leeway to take things one step at a time. Like any industry, self-help is always looking for more ways to grab your attention and feed you tips and quotes like you’re a rabbit in a cage.

You’re not a rabbit. You’re a person.

So maybe we should breathe.

Be a human.

And avoid a self-help fueled psychotic breakdown.

Got it?

Let’s go deeper.

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The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Chris Marchie

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Hopelessly sarcastic. Expert crier. Too gay to function.

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.