Self-help is a huge industry right now, so it’s no wonder I ended up buying into the hype. I devoured everything from The Law of Attraction to Getting Rich Quick, but instead of improving my life, it actually made it way worse.
I became so lazy.
Instead of doing something with my life, I spent the majority of my time analyzing what I was doing, thinking, and saying. I was also reading about how to be happy and successful instead of actually going out and being happy and successful. It was almost like I was working hard on working hard and it got me nowhere.
I became obsessed with myself.
I was hyper-aware of how I came off to people and constantly trying to determine what type of person I was. I was always thinking about myself in every interaction to the point that I would barely listen to people. I was too busy thinking about how I was acting, how I looked, and whether or not I was being the best “me” I could be. It was exhausting.
I turned into a narcissist with a superiority complex.
If you’re into self-help, chances are you’ve heard the commonly repeated advice of the importance of loving yourself. It’s a simple concept that’s nearly impossible to master. It’s the idea of putting yourself first no matter what. I tried it for a while and maybe I was doing it wrong because it totally went to my head. I actually started to believe that I was more evolved than everyone else and it put the idea in my head that I was in some way superior. It was really messed up.
I was a control freak when it came to how people saw me.
I was learning all this stuff like how my energy affects how other people would see me. This small but mighty fact had me second guessing all of my interactions. Am I being my best self? Am I sending out the right kind of energy? I would force myself to act confident even if I was feeling down. I was basically just being inauthentic.
I felt pressure to be happy all the time and when I wasn’t, I thought there was something wrong with me.
In these self-help books, you learn that being happy is the most important thing ever. It’s the only way to attract what you want. I’d think to myself, what about all those people who are always in a bad mood yet seem to have all the money in the world? That’s when I realized acting like a girl scout high on sugar is not the answer to a good life.
I was tricking myself into thinking I was being productive.
I was making vision boards, journaling, and taking personality quizzes, all in an attempt to change my life. I was always busy doing something related to self-help but at the end of my stint, I discovered that I hadn’t actually accomplished anything. I was just running around in circles, planning out all the stuff I wanted to do and there I was, back to where I started. It just felt like a huge waste of time. I was so busy trying to build myself up that I completely forgot that I had to actually work hard in order to make things happen.
I was in a constant pursuit of happiness.
I felt like I was chasing all these elusive things and because of it, became incredibly stressed. The truth is that no one can be happy all the time. That’s just a fact. Why was I so full of myself to think that I deserved permanent, ever-lasting happiness? It’s just unrealistic.
I was going through life ignorant to reality.
If someone else challenged my ideas about happiness or my approach to life, I would instantly write them off as if I knew the secret to being happy and everyone around me had no idea what they were doing.
It all started because I didn’t think I was good enough.
Why did I get into self-help in the first place? Why did I feel like I needed to change myself? I always thought I wasn’t good enough, that I was different from everyone else and needed fixing. It’s narcissism whether you think you’re the best or the worst and it took me a long time to realize that.
I became unrelatable
. I would read about all these people out there who are trudging through life, being miserable and not bothering to better themselves. I started to feel separate from the rest of the population. Basically, I felt sorry for them for not being as “woke” as I was. I was trying to be a better person but honestly, self-help turned me into a bit of a monster.
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