There’s an African saying that goes, “when you pray, move your feet”. This simply means that while there are various ways to get help from people who are willing to offer you the steps to achieve a better life, you also need to play a part in all of it.
And if you guessed right, the same case applies to the use of self-improvement books. As the name suggests, these are books that provide you with insights to lead a better life. You don’t need a counselor, a shrink, or a confession booth. The initial investment is enough to take you through a month or so of self-illumination.
But the question is, are self help books worth reading? You may already know the answer from this sentence, hence below are the reasons why you need a self-help book.
Self-Help Books: Are They Worth Reading?
You Have the Work Cut Out For You
Come to think of it, we all need help at some point in our lives. Unlike visiting a shrink, who’ll want you to keep talking for hours, self-help books are self-explanatory, but effective for many. All you’ll need is follow the directions and you’re good to go. Isn't this convenience at its best? Let’s face it, sometimes all you want is to find real help when you need it the most without having to blabber about it.
With a self-help book, no one needs to know that you’re on your way trying to fix your relationships or kick bad lifestyles from your life. You can read a self-help book from the comfort of your own home and in privacy. The best part is that in this digital age, you don't have to go from one library or bookstore to the next in search of the best book for self-development.
You have a walking library - the internet - with you!
These days, all the information you need is just a search away and you can do it from the comfort of your home or office desk… even on the go. You just need to identify self-help books from renowned authors and make sure you’re getting them from credible sources when searching online.
Today, most of these books are available in portable document format (PDF) and kindle versions, that you can easily download online and read at your own time even without internet access. Blog posts, articles, and research articles are also quite helpful, especially if you’re looking for something specific related to self-development.
You Set the Rules
Most people prefer self-improvement books because they don’t dictate the reader on what to do. Rather, they provide you with insights you can use to achieve your goals or solve your personal problems. These are insights that tie into your everyday life and amplify your need to grow, become more productive and realize your hidden capabilities. According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., a good self-improvement book can act as your therapist, especially when it comes to mental health. And, you may find it tough during the initial days, but as with everything else in life, and once you get the hang of it, it gets easier with time!
Breaking the Limitation Barrier
Did you know that most people are living unfulfilled lives because of self-set limitations? The belief that you cannot achieve much and so your only option is to settle for less is a sickening disease that has made many hardworking men and women start leading pitiful lives.
A good self-help book provides you with insights into how you can work on yourself first before you can work for others.
This will allow you to realize your potential and to discover that which is meaningful to you. And this way, you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate your life, your job, and your family, among other things that are dear to you or have an impact on your life. Moreover, you’ll learn to appreciate others more than you did before.
Because let’s face it, it’s hard enough to control people and its either you accept their flaws or you continue battling your way through life by not accepting them for who they really are. The former is much better!
A Support System That Never Leaves You
Nothing beats the feeling of having a reliable source of help when you need it the most. As earlier mentioned, we are frail beings and we are doomed to break at some point in life. Having that reliable source of support with unlimited access is the first and most important step to self-development.
You can always turn into knowledge-filled, inspiring, and reminder self-help book pages for guidance and wisdom. And if you ask folks who are deep in religion, they’ll tell you it works like (or more than) magic!
As well as books, look at online media too such as blogs and even Twitter accounts of those who inspire you. From transgender twitter accounts for those wanting to explore their gender identity, to spiritual and religious bloggers for those seeking greater meaning, consider the different forms of self- help advice out there.
True Happiness and Fulfillment
While money, fame, dream houses, and niceties are important in life, they are not the source of true happiness. For some people, this can take weeks, months, or years of counseling to understand. But studying a self-help book first-hand and introspecting your life will help you to grasp that true happiness comes from within.
You’ll also learn that true happiness is a byproduct of your relationships, creativity, altruism, and finding the true meaning of life. Once your ‘happy’ well starts to overflow, it becomes easier to achieve these other things.
Once you get hooked into a self-help book, chances are you’ll want a designated shelf for more. But truth be told, you’ll learn a lot from each series you’ll invest in. You’ll be more loving, forgiving, caring, and most importantly, you’ll love you for who you are. And who knows, achieving the simplest to the most complex of goals in your life could easily be the next book people read, authored by you!
Dr. Shainna Ali is a mental health counselor, educator, advocate, podcast host, and the bestselling author of five books focused on self-love. The audiences for her books range from young kids and teens/young adults to adult men and women, married or single.
Luna Finds Love Everywhere: A Self-Love Book for Kids (Ulysses Press; $16.95)
Meet Luna, a little girl who loves playing outside, helping her family, and learning new things. As Luna goes through her regular daily routine, she realizes how much love there is to appreciate around her and within herself too.
She learns kindness, sharing, and even what to do when things don’t go her way. With simple prompts and activities scattered throughout the story, children will be able to explore the principles of self-love into their own lives.
Discover how to change your attitude, build confidence in who you are, and genuinely love yourself through the guided activities and real-world advice in this easy-to-use, friendly workbook for teens and young adults.
It’s easy to look in the mirror and say you love yourself, but infinitely harder to truly believe it deep in your soul. This helpful, step-by-step workbook guides you along a path to that place of true acceptance and self-love. And when you reach it, the contentment, happiness and outward joy will transform who you are, your relationships and the way you see the world.
Take control of your happiness with this all-in-one guide to identifying, setting, and—most of all—maintaining healthy boundaries with your family, coworkers, friends, partner, and self.
Through interactive activities, reflection prompts, and case examples, this workbook will help you explore what boundaries look like in your life and create more meaningful, rewarding connections through the art of boundaries.
This customizable planner is your guide to embracing a healthy mindset and finding self-love in each and every day. Packed with interactive prompts and exercises, this year-long companion walks you through the self-love process, including key elements like purposefulness, wellness, and boundaries.
This keepsake hardcover planner will lay the foundations of self-love over the course of a year and give you the tools you need to maintain your self-love journey for many more to come.
Dr. Shainna Ali is a mental health counselor, educator, and advocate who is passionate about destigmatizing mental health counseling and helping individuals worldwide recognize the importance of fostering mental wellness. Dr. Shainna is the owner and operator of Integrated Counseling Solutions, LLC, a strengths-based clinical mental health and consulting practice located in Central Florida.