In my opinion “self-help” fails in one major way: it focuses on improving your shortcomings instead of directing you to simply be the person you want to be. I hope that makes sense, but just in case it doesn’t I’ll clarify.
Almost every self-improvement blogger I know espouses a basic premise that you can eventually be and achieve all the things that will make you fulfilled, but for now you need to improve yourself. In order to get what you want you must change something. I’ve even said it in the past.
Stop wasting time, stop procrastinating, stop eating junk food and on and on and on. The list never ends. We are all familiar with the language.
But doesn’t this approach put more emphasis on the negative instead of the positive? It seems like self-improvement focuses so much on what I lack; on my deficiencies. And aren’t we always going to have deficiencies? So it hit me that one could get caught in this ridiculous loop of constantly focusing on faults and this doesn’t feel right to me any longer.
What if you simply determined what it is that you know you do really well and focused on those aspects of your life? If you are a people person then find things to do that will allow you to highlight that ability. If you love being creative then be creative. If you love numbers then be content with playing the numbers game in some fashion.
What if your focus became to simply become the person you desire to be? Full of deficiencies, faults, mistakes, shortcomings, etc. The path of “I must fix this problem now, then I’ll fix this problem and after that I’ll be happy” will lead to frustration and misery. The journey promises to be full of adventure and insightful experiences, but creates an unreachable, ever-moving destination; a destination that never existed in the first place.
It seems to me that focusing on the positive is much more effective and enjoyable than constantly focusing on the negatives.