Why Self-Help Doesn't Work for Everyone
by Robert Scheinfeld
Our libraries, bookstores, mail order catalogs, the Internet,
and the speeches of our public speakers and trainers are filled
with suggestions, formulas and techniques you can use to change
your life, get more of what you want and become more successful.
Unfortunately, most of them fail to produce lasting results.
As a participant, trainer and designer of self-help programs for
more than two decades, I have uncovered two "myths" that explain
why so many self-help approaches fail to produce lasting results.
Myth #1: "You Have Unlimited Power And Can Create Anything You
Most self-help systems communicate a similar message: "You have
unlimited power and can create anything you want if you just use
Then you're told you can change or create anything you want by
using techniques like goal setting, visualization, affirmations,
NLP, meditation, prayer, etc.
If you look closely, those theories cannot be supported by your
actual day-to-day experiences—no matter how good it sounds, how
many people say it, or how much you want to believe it.
First of all, if you really created your own
reality—consciously—and your thoughts, beliefs and expectations
actually manifested (or even just the ones you focused on), you
would be miserable and your life would be total chaos -especially
when you consider how little we know about ourselves and the
people around us, how fast the world changes, and how often we
change our minds about things.
Secondly, if you look closely, track everything and measure it
scientifically (which I've done), it becomes clear that even the
most successful people achieve very few of the goals they set and
receive very few of the things they "ask for" using self-help
If the techniques are so foolproof, why is that the case?
From my experience, we don't usually know—consciously—what will
make us happy. We just think we do. Therefore, what you think you
want in any given moment (from the limited perspective of your
conscious mind) and what you really want (to fulfill your life
purpose) are often worlds apart.
You came into this life to experience something special—to
fulfill a unique life purpose. As a result, another part of you,
an unconscious part I compare to the Director of a movie, was
assigned the task of managing your daily experiences and
filtering the "requests" you make from behind the scenes. That
brings order to the chaos and ensures that you fulfill your life
It's important to understand that the Director part of you is
running the show, not your conscious mind. The key to success in
life is to uncover what your life purpose is, build a good
working relationship with your Director, and learn how to be as
clear as possible about what you really want in any given
Myth #2: "One Size Fits All"
Most self-help approaches offer what I call "cookie cutter
techniques and strategies" that are supposed to work for
everyone. More than two decades of experience has shown me that
there are no self-help techniques, approaches or systems that
work for everyone.
We're all too different. We all came here with different life
purposes to fulfill. And to get what we really want in life, we
must learn how to develop and apply approaches, techniques and
strategies that are customized to who we are as unique
The surest path to success is to consider other people's opinions
as possible routes to success only—no matter how smart or
"successful" someone is, how much "proof" you're given, how much
you trust or respect someone, or how logical something seems.
Make every self-help approach, technique or strategy you discover
your own. Shape it, mold it, tweak it, change it. Experiment with
an open mind, use what works for you, and discard the rest. Why?
Because ultimately, the path that leads to what you define as
success will be unique to you.
What To Do When Self-Help Fails To Produce The Results You Want:
Give yourself a break, be gentle with yourself and know that you
didn't do anything "wrong."
Remember that your conscious mind is not running the show, so
what you think you want and what you really want may be worlds
Rather than pushing yourself to follow someone else's path, find
comfort in the knowledge that you came here to carve out your own
unique path to success.
Realize that every self-help approach is just a possible pathway
to success. Experiment with an open mind, use what works for you,
and discard the rest.
Continue to ask for everything you think you want and flow with
what you feel strongly motivated to do in response.
Trust that your Director is taking care of you from behind the
scenes and you will either get what you asked for—or something
even better that is more in alignment with the "real you" and
your unique life purpose.
Robert Scheinfeld has dedicated more than two decades of his
adult life to personal growth. He is a pioneer in the field of
psychospirituality, which blends the best of psychology and
spirituality. Visit his "Invisible Path to Success" web site and
enroll in his free 5 lesson class to discover the "missing link"
in self-help: www.lifechangetips.com
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