Are You a Self-Help Junkie?

Self-Help Junkie

What do you do every time you read a self-help post?

  • Do you reflect it back onto your life and see how it’s relevant to you?
  • Do you note down your top lessons and see how you can apply them?
  • Do you write down key action steps and put them down into your organizer for immediate action?
  • Or do you just click the “x” button and surf away to another page, forgetting what you just read?

Self-help junkies are people who indulge in self-help without action. I’ve come across a number of self-help junkies in the course of my work, which can be classified them into 3 groups. The first group is called the “Observers“. Observers read, acknowledge the concepts, see the merits, are even able to analyze and critique in the theoretical sense, but that’s where it ends. They don’t take action after that. Rather than read self-help to improve their lives, they seem to read more for sport. For some, they refresh self-help blogs regularly, looking for new posts, new content, and wondering why there isn’t anything new, when all there’s already so much stuff for them to work with if they start putting things into action on their lives. Subsequently, when you look at their lives, there’s not much result to see.

The second group is called the “Addicts“. Addicts are fervent in engaging in self-help. They frequent self-help books and/or blogs.  They are very well-versed in self-help concepts. They attend one seminar after another, sometimes within a span of months or even weeks. Truth be told, they have probably attended more seminars than the average person will ever attend in his/her lifetime. During the seminars, they immerse themselves and get a motivational high, which leads to some positive life change. However, when the excitement tapers off, the change disappears too, and they are back to where they started. Lost, they then move to the next self-help resource, looking for that boost.

The third group is called the “Desperate Seekers“. They turn to self-help, often with a sense of anxiety and neediness, to look for help on something they’re facing. Yet when an answer is given and a direction is pointed, they reject it. They then seek out a different resource, anxiously clamoring for an answer. Again, the same thing happens – they reject what they’re given, continuing to look outside for that miracle answer or breakthrough solution to their problem.

Do you know anyone in any of the 3 groups? Or could you be one of them yourself?

Dangers of Being a Self-Help Junkie

1. Self-Imagined Growth When There’s None

What’s so bad about being a self-help junkie? For one, it results in self-imagined growth. Self-help junkies think they’re working on their growth because they are gaining all these mental shifts and what not, but they are just bluffing themselves.

An immediate way to tell if there has been real growth or not is to examine changes in your life. Are you still in the same job you dislike from 1, 3, 6 months, 1 year ago? Are you still weighed down by something from the past? Still in the same amount of debt, perhaps even more? Still searching for that next big thing in life? Still anguished by the same people, the same relationships from before?

If so, then perhaps it’s time to ask where all the self-help knowledge you’ve learned is going. Our internal world and external world mirror each other and if there was truly inner growth, you don’t even need to talk about it. Your outer world will naturally reflect it. Even if the absolute physical manifestation is not complete, it’ll still reflect a progression.

2. Deferring Your Life

I once met someone who attended a good number of seminars and courses. He mainly attended financial ones, surrounding real estate, wealth creation, investment, and the like, as he wanted to be financially abundant. The seminars weren’t cheap – they were in the range of thousands, and during the seminars they would up-sell coaching packages as well.

Eventually he spent five-digit sums on said courses and seminars, and in the end not only did he not earn anything, he was in debt because he had borrowed money to attend the courses. When I knew him, he was still in debt, and while he was a genuine guy and was proactive in seeking help for his situation, it seemed like he was expecting his turnaround to come from the outside. One, he was still looking to attend courses (of a different nature) and expecting to earn money after that. Two, he was somewhat self-victimizing about his situation rather than taking ownership over his predicament, something he attributed to as “lack of luck.” Three, it seemed he was looking for a guide to show him the path to financial abundance, as opposed to take action himself.

While I tried to tell him that he didn’t need anymore courses or financial know-how and the answers to his problems aren’t going to be found there, I wasn’t sure if he heard me. I’m not sure what happened to him afterward, but I do wish him all the best.

The example above might be a more extreme case, but the same pattern can be found in many self-help junkies. They approach self-help with the mentality that it’ll solve their problems. Self-help is self-guided improvement. It’s a tool to help you tackle your situations, but until you take ownership over your life and take action to overcome your blockages/problems, they aren’t going to disappear. This brings me to my second point. If you’re seeking for answers in self-help, it ain’t here. You’ve seen what you’ve seen. Make an assessment and create your conclusion. Then move on from there, now based on a life of your creation. If need be, update and change it along the way. But don’t defer living to finding a certain answer.

3. Never Getting Results They Want

For self-help junkies, reading about self-help is a way to make them feel like they’re working on their lives. But they aren’t and they never will be until they take action. Self-help has become a convenient procrastination outlet. Don’t like how life is turning out? Let’s just borrow a bunch of self-help books on the art of positive thinking, read and feel good about ourselves instead of taking action. Unhappy with certain people? How about analyzing them and labeling them with the self-help concepts we learned instead of thinking how we can change our behaviors. Does it make you feel better? Temporarily. Does it change the situation? No, not at all.

What To Do Then?

#1) Use Self-Help Constructively

I truly believe that there is a lot of great knowledge out there in the self-help arena. I know of people whose lives were literally changed after attending seminars, especially experiential ones that last across a span of days. I’ve read very good personal development books (Think and Grow Rich, The Science of Getting Rich, The Dip, Tribes) which gave me important insights that have helped me in my growth. Steve Pavlina’s blog was also particularly useful and empowering in the early years of my growth. (His entries from early years have some gems worth checking out, though nowadays I’m disconnected from the topics he covers.)

Be clear of why you’re reading self-help. Is it because you want to enrich yourself? To be more informed? Because you’re curious? To get an answer to a question? Make sure it’s not the same motivations as the 3 groups mentioned at the start of the article. Don’t read self-help for the sake of it; it’ll be a self-defeating purpose.

#2) Engage Only If It Has Value

As I mentioned in How To Say No: The Ultimate Guide, your time is valuable. Engage in something only if it has value. For each self-help book or workshop you come across, as yourself these 4 questions: (1) Is this relevant to me? (2) Is it something I need to know now? (3) Is there something new I can learn? (4) Do the benefits potentially outweigh the costs? If your answer is a yes to all 4 questions, then you should go ahead with it.

Personally I’ve attended only one to two personal development workshops before, have never been to an actual self-help seminar  (save for Never Work Again which was more a sales pitch fest than a real seminar) and only read a handful of self-help books. From just these I’ve learned enough valuable concepts before to last for a long time. I do feel the other self-help stuff out there are full of great value, but it’s just that there’s no reason for me to check them out yet. I also I found many self-help stuff out there cover same (important) principles, and once you’ve seen 1-2 you’ve basically seen it all (unless it’s a completely different genre, of which it’s usually an incremental number of new ideas integrated with the same core principles).

What I do is a lot of personal reflection, experimentation and action, of which I sieve out the best lessons and apply them (of which I continuously share here at the blog with all of you). And the cycle continues. I only read-up when I need to, and when I do it’s a very fast process – I look for what’s needed, process it, work out how to apply it and then immediately take action afterward.

And interestingly, despite not being exposed to much of the mainstream self-help materials (i.e. by Tony Robbins, other popularized self-help gurus like Blair Singer, Byran Tracy, Robin Sharma and the like), I’ve learned that many things I practice and teach today are also recommended by the gurus themselves in their own teachings, packaged under a different form but in essence extolling on same principles. To be honest I’m not surprised, as I believe we’re all polarizing on the path toward the truth. It’s a very positive sign – if different people from different walks of life are coming to the similar/same conclusions, that means we’re getting somewhere close, and it’s a matter of time before we converge to the same place.

#3) Face Yourself

If you have been seeking for answers, ask yourself if it’s really answers you are seeking or if it’s because you’re trying to avoid something. If you keep engaging self-help to experience the “boost” you get from it, ask yourself if you’re trying to use this to cover up a lack (of real results and growth) in your life. If you’re a seminar junkie, going from one self-help seminar to another, perhaps the question is to ask yourself what exactly you’re looking for, because I doubt you’re going to get anything new there if you haven’t already gotten a resolution in the first few you’ve been to.

Is there something you’re fearing? Something you’re trying to avoid? Stop looking outside and start looking inside. The answers you seek are inside you. The more you try to avoid it, the more it’s right there before you.

#4) Last but not least… Apply What You Read

At PE, I spend a lot of time writing the articles. I want you to be the best that you can be. I want you to have your best career, to meet your dream life partner, to be financially abundant, to be at the top of your health and fitness, to be at the peak of your game, to live your most meaningful life ever. What I can do is to spend my days and nights to craft out quality articles and share my best lessons to you. And from there, it lies in you to take out the relevant lessons and apply them to achieve the results you want.

There are over 250 content rich articles at PE, with some of the best lessons you can ever get anywhere on how to live your best life. These articles include content that help you to discover your life’s purpose, create your action plan, learn how to be more productive and organized, cultivate positive habits, wake up early, become a more confident person, move on from relationships, overcome disappointment, among many others.

Almost every day, I get an email or two from readers who have created positive changes and are living the life they dreamed of, because they consciously reflected and applied what they had read this site or elsewhere. Reader Theodor from Norway finally quit his passionless job recently to pursue his true path in life. Kwamise from US is now working to bring to live his vision of a performing arts academy. Allison from Panama has become a more confident and optimistic lady. Thalissa from Tucson gained closure on a relationship that left her feeling sick and worthless. Huiting from Singapore is now pursuing her passion as a travel writer and is taking a travel writing course to equip herself with the right skills. Matt from Iowa is taking control of his health and fitness regime and living that healthy life he’s always wanted. Tatt from Thailand just left his corporate job 2 months ago to start his own training business to help teenagers and young adults discover their true selves.

That and many, many more. All of them are readers of the blog, some of them long-term readers, and some of whom recently found the blog. All of them may have started out as passive readers, but at some point they realized it was time to take action and started making changes with every article they read, little by little, to where they are today.

Just seriously reading and applying the lessons from a fraction of the posts is enough to create huge changes in your life. If you think checking back at the blog is a hassle, Personal Excellence Book is a handy asset, which is a classic collection with the best articles at the blog, including the above mentioned articles and with new bonus articles of  content. There has been over half a thousand copies sold to date (as of Sep ’11), with more people getting their copies each day and embarking their journey of conscious growth thereafter.

It doesn’t take a long time for positive results to manifest. I took action to live the life of my dreams 2 years ago and within a year my business was up and brought in steady income. Today, 2 years later, I’m running a business built on my passion, doing what I love, living true to my life’s purpose and feeling more rewarded and fulfilled than I ever have. The seeds I sowed 2 years ago are now little seedlings, strong and ready to grow into trees in the future. There’s so much in store for the future and it’s exciting to see what every day brings.

What you want can be yours too, but they can’t take place if you ever don’t take action. Identify the areas of improvement in your life. What is the biggest goal in your life now? How do you plan to achieve it?

On the micro-level, when you read, always reflect it to your life situation. Ask these questions:

  1. How can this piece of information apply to me?
  2. What have I learned from this?
  3. How can I apply to my life? What am I going to differently from here on?

Moving Forward

All that’s been said and done, how are you going to apply the above for yourself?

30DLBL is one of the best ways to apply the key self-help theories in your life and create concentrated personal growth in just 30 Days. The book will be launching sometime next week, so this is your perfect chance to get it! More in the announcement below.

Latest Updates

Pre-Sales Announcement for 30DLBL Program!!

As some of you already know, I’ve been intensively working 30DLBL Program (Live a Better Life in 30 Days) for the past few weeks since Oct and I’m excited to announce that it’s almost ready to be launched in a week’s time!

For newcomers who don’t know about 30DLBL, it stands for 30 Days to Live a Better Life, and it’s a 30-days intensive program to jump-start your personal growth. The power of this program has been attested by the hundreds who participated in it back in Sept, and that’s just the beta version of the program. If you are serious about growing and living your best life, you really cannot miss this. I can’t think of a better way to end off 2010 or kick of 2011 than to embark on 30DLBL in Dec ’10 / or Jan ’10.

The book itself will be quite dramatically different from the beta version of 30DLBL run in Sep. While the core structure of the program along with the key tasks is intact, the contents have been rewritten, edited and vastly tightened, with a number of tasks getting complete rewrites. 6 days from the old 30DLBL have been switched out with all-new, powerful tasks that range from working on your diet, working out an exercise regime, understanding your relationships with others, and more! The book also comes with an exclusive 30DLBL Workbook so you can get the best out of the exercises. If you’re thinking of doing 30DLBL, don’t do the one online – I highly recommend you to wait for the book launch, get it and do the program from the book.

This is definitely better than 30DLBL beta and I highly recommend all of you to get the book – this is a critical personal development tool for all of us. For those who were not able to complete 30DLBL beta earlier, you will definitely want to get this and start on a fresh page with program. Even for 30DLBL beta graduates, there is every reason to get it as 30DLBL is a program to be done over, and over, and over again, each time with important lessons to take away. I recommend doing this once every 6 months to a year to evaluate your progress and jump-start your personal growth.

The books (30DLBL Guidebook and 30DLBL Workbook) will be in ebook form, pdf format. There isn’t a hard copy version for this launch, which I’ve announced earlier in the forums.

Update: 1 Dec ’10 - The 30DLBL Program is up for order! Over 200 copies have been sold in less than 2 weeks of launch! Get yours today!

Other News

On other happy notes:

  • I’ve been recently named as one of the World’s Top 30 Coaching Gurus by Coaching Gurus International (2010), along the likes of Anthony Robbins! This is a huge honor, and I thank everyone for your support!
  • One of my articles on Dealing with Critical People was selected and featured on Straits Times Recruit last Thursday.
  • Check out January 2011′s issues for Simply Her and Singapore Woman’s Weekly (in stores Dec ’10), which will include personal development advice from me. My feature on SH will be How to create realistic new year’s resolutions, and for SWW it’s on Effective tips to create a happy work environment. (Check all my media features to date)

Thanks everyone for all your ongoing support, blogroll links and love: I really appreciate it! :D

Image ©

  • Farnoosh

    Ok it wasn’t as bad as I thought – much as I thought I may be a self-help junkie, Celes, I think I APPLY what I learn and change my life constantly for the better! I set new goals, pick up new hobbies, stick to my passions more, finish tasks, make me aware of bad habits and then destroy them, pick up new habits all the time and I hardly attend any seminars because I am too busy keeping the blog and the rest of my life and habits on track ;)!
    Seriously well written and THOROUGH article, as the rest of your brilliant work here at Personal Excellence – and I am so happy that you set out to achieve exactly what you love to do, especially at such a young age! Keep it up – you are an inspiration to many, including me! :mrgreen:

    • Celes

      Thanks so much Farnoosh for your support! You’re a sweetie pie and a darling! :D

  • Dandy

    I think there is alot of junk and useless advice out there in the world of self-help. How many times have you read that hot baths, and chamomile tea are the solutions to anxiety disorder? Or that vision is all it takes to change your life? True self-development is complex and people recvieve alot of mixed messages from self-help gurus. I think it’s wonderful that people seek out improvement for themselves and their lives and should not be shamed for it. We all have our own paths and what works for one will not necissarily work for another. We have to be in a place where we are ready to apply the wisdom we have recieved. There is so much pressure out there coming from all directions. When we finally do start to apply true change in our lives that doesn’t mean things will be great for the rest of our lives. There are still bad days. There are still financial worries. There is still profound, gut wrenching loss. It’s how you react to what is thrown at you. We must embrace people with compassion if we see they are stuggling to improve themselves and lead by positive example.

  • Yvonne

    Hey Celes!
    You’re hitting right at the target, again!
    Unfortunately, I’ve found myself to be an ´observer´. And I am that…I’m always making plans, researching, collecting information but never really start making the change, or start and stop in a few days… I do actually feel that my mindset is changing, but at a very slow rate and it’s not ripe to really change yet…. I think it all has to do with a lack of self confidence and self appreciation…

    And one more thing, I hope that releasing the 30DLBL book won’t mean the deleting of those articles of the blog…. I live in a third-world country and am in no position to buy the e-book (considering PayPal doesn’t support us) :(
    Anyways, best of luck with the book, I believe it will be awesome! :)

    • Celes

      Thanks Yvonne! :D The articles will still be there (so not to worry), though I highly encourage everyone to get the book if possible. It’s quite a revamp from the previous 30DLBL, and though the structure is similar, it’s pretty much a rewritten program from start to end, and definitely a whole lot better.

      Pre-order announcement has just been posted in the latest post:

      Both Paypal and credit cards are accepted too, so it’s okay for those without Paypal :D Let me know if you’ve any other questions!

  • Cattleya

    I was a Self-Help Junkie, and you describe me perfectlyan an, “Observer”. I sought help from a variety of sources, took in the information, but did nothing to capitalize on the information! However, I was still in denial that I could control everything about my life. Until I woke-up last year, hated the decisions I made to get to this point in my life, and decided to do something about it! Finally all the Self-Help Resources I read over the years finally sunk in – and change was a snap. It took a year of deep processing, but I’m here. I have not picked up a Self-Help book in months. I have instead picked up fitness/wellness, & cooking magazines instead!

    Great Post!

  • Ryan Critchett

    Great stuff!! Here’s the challenge: There are thousands, literally millions of amazing ideas in what you call ‘self help’ books, the real challenge is getting yourself to use what you know.

    Knowledge is not power anymore, it could be. The ability to use what you know, be deliberate in your outcomes, have targeted strategies and INFLUENCE CONSCIOUSNESS to work for you, is the real foundation for power. Not power over other people, not power over anything, but power over the ability to influence yourself to TAKE ACTION and NEVER RELENT.

    The strategies are great, but if you haven’t learned how to induce peak states, and activate your neurology, you may find it hard to summon the internal drive to do anything. My work combines what we know in neuroscience, with principles and philosophies of success and personal achievement, as well as learning yourself and being aware of your internal states. Great article, thanks for contributing to the world of human potential! :wink:

  • The Vizier

    Hi Celes,

    This is a frank but necessary article. Many people turn to self-help hoping to find a miracle to turn their lives around. Whether it is a quick and easy fix or having someone to tell them what to do. But self-help is called self-help for a reason. If you don’t help yourself, there is little anyone else can do to help you.

    I recall attending motivating talks when I was doing insurance sales years ago. Some speakers were good, others were less so. The point is I was pumped up the first time I attended it, but the feeling soon faded away. After a few more of these talks I realized it was pointless unless we took action and applied the knowledge to our lives.

    Everyone is different. So I feel that the things you learn in self-help has to be adapted to suit your needs. This is why I like how you mention that we should only engage in something if it has value. For those who have watched Red Cliff, I think that there is much we could learn from the young warlord Sun Quan who listened carefully to opinions before he made up his own mind. In this day and age we can be easily overwhelmed by too much information. So we have to make an effort to think for ourselves and take responsibility for our lives to avoid the pitfalls of self-help junkies.

    As you rightly point out, the self-help gurus more or less package the same principles in different forms. It is up to us to find a form we like and take massive action.

    Thank you for sharing this post!

  • Niki

    wow,..I admit that I’m guilty of this….very much :(
    thanks for this article, Celes, once again, you reminded me non-stop as if ‘slapping’ me right on my face telling “what the heck have you been doing??”
    thanks for this “tough-love” article,..I need it very much.

  • Vincent

    Hi Celes,

    I totally agree with this. In fact some times people get disillusion by reading personal growth materials. One way to counter the “self help junkie” syndrome is to track results. If results aren’t showing it, most probably you are not making much progress.


  • Angie

    I love this article! I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I love selp-help stuff, not sure why. Perhaps it’s because I really love to learn more about helping people and myself. I do find it tough to apply some of the stuff that I learn though. Maybe because many of the books don’t always provide solid info on actions to take. That is why I loved your 30-day routine. I was able to do something everyday to help myself. I need something like that to keep me going. Thanks!

    Is there a class for self-help junkies? LOL!

    • Celes

      LOL! I think focusing on getting immediate take-aways from what we read and committing them to goals/changes (even in small actions) is a huge start. Asking ourselves – “What have I learned from this? What am I going to do differently now?” will get us to think and start doing things differently.

      I realize that self-help can be quite abstract sometimes, and it’s hard for the reader / information seeker to know what exactly to do after reading if it’s too theoretical. That’s partly why I started 30DLBL too, which is very action-focused and gets us moving via specific tasks every day (that embody the concepts). I’m glad you find the 30DLBL helpful Angie! Be sure to check out the 30DLBL book announcement in the latest post too!

  • Qin Tang


    Great article. Love your deep thoughts and insight.

    I feel like I am a self help junkie, because I love to read self help books. I love to learn and to grow, but I am not growing as much as I would like to see.

    What does the Bible say? The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).

    I still think a self-help junkie is better than someone who doesn’t do self-help stuff because he think he is good enough and doesn’t need it. We all need help one way or the other. A self help junkie is at least consciously in search for help and growth. It’s a good first step in living a better life. We have different abilities and grow at a different pace. Some learn and change fast, while others learn and change slowly. As long as we have the desire for self-help, or God-help, and for improvement, we are on the right track. There will be some results and changes, big or small. It’s hard to judge the change that happens inside someone’s head and heart.

    The really sad thing would be to think we don’t need any help and change.

    Love and hugs to you, my friend.

    • Celes

      Hi Qin Tang! I totally agree with you – if someone is going to procrastinate on work, I rather the person be reading self-help than not do anything, since in the former at least he’ll be gaining information. There is always an information gathering phase before we take action, and the key is to ensure that we absorb the information, process it and translate it into action afterward. I know of people who have literally just read and not taken action on their dreams for nearly 20 years, and in the process they’ve become perpetual observers, which sort of pains me when I see that. If we keep reconnecting with our biggest visions and goals for ourselves and keep moving forward while using self-help as our tool to do so, we’ll all get there.

  • Marjolein

    Hi Celes,
    Really good article, makes you reflect ;)
    I came to some of your conclusions too.
    Thanks for your great blog.

  • Mattj

    Everyone who gets into self help is a junkie until they find their path. There is too much BS to wade through to get to the real guts of it.

    What i’m finding is that self help has helped me to analyse what I have done naturally when I have been actually motivated to do something.

    With our work becoming more difficult and the pressure levels rising; with the combination of all the great media and “escapes” out there for us to indulge; it really makes it difficult for us to be able to do things we really don’t want to do.

    I’m finding more merit in what my parents and grand parents have been telling me recently; than what self help has ever taught me.. Funny, cause I always avoided what they had to say thinking it didn’t apply to me.

    The reality is, that you have to find your calling and what really makes you passionate and happy, then you need to commit yourself to the task completely and follow through even when the things get tough.

    That’s what you have done Celes and what all the other self help people have done and everyone else who is out there living their dreams..

    Self help people may provide some interesting tips of techniques along the way; but until you reach the point when you know what you want and you know that you cannot sit by idly any more and watch your dreams pass you by; then self help will do little for you.

    So my feeling is that all of these “junkies” are still lost.

    I know, because I was a mega junkie; but I found my calling recently and I realise that spending time reading books is only delaying my actions.

    So, thanks Celes, some of your stuff was really good; but I guess I don’t need it anymore. Good luck with everything. 8)

  • Ish

    Hi Celes, it’s a great article. I can really identify with being a self-help junkie; I realised this last year, and since then have been slowing down. I had been in a sort of information overload – not only reading and collecting books, but blog posts and emails as well.

    I still read a lot, but I am more selective. I scan through the material, discard what is not applicable and file away those I think might be useful eventually. I’ve been reading my old books again, giving away those I won’t read again and making notes and mindmaps – easier to refer to when required. The information has not been lost; it’s there at the back of my mind and I refer to it as and when required. Prior to last year, I was as Mattj said, trying to find my path, but since then I’ve have been making small but meaningful changes in my life and habits.

    On another note, your blog and book have been very helpful. The information is concise and can be easily applied to specific areas where and when changes are required. The 30DLBL has been a great experience, although I’m lagging a bit in my plans as the momentum is somewhat lost. Looking forward to the workbook!!

    Thanks a lot for your help and support :mrgreen:

    • Celes

      Ish, thank you so much for your kind words and support always. To be honest I actually don’t think you as a junkie at all, because you have been taking action each time, and processing the materials you read. I’d say it’s more of a information processing phase, vs. being a junkie (junkie is someone who just reads for leisure (vs. learning), and totally doesn’t do anything, nor plan to do anything about that afterward). Don’t worry about the momentum being lost – it’s normal and happens to everyone! The key is to focus on getting started again after that. It’s also why 30DLBL is very helpful program to do once every 6 months/1 year.

  • alexis

    Well I think the most thrilling part is applying the knowledge you get that’s what gives it valor(because it’s humanly impossible to learn all the knowledge available, so knowledge in itself doesn’t have that much valor), I know I was a self help junky before but I don’t read it that much anymore but “try” to apply what I learn even though it includes failing but I’ll succeed one day :)…

  • Linda Formichelli

    Great article — and too funny, because a few years ago I wrote an article called “I Was a Self-Help Junkie” for Women’s Health magazine. ( I still love reading self-help books and blogs, but I sift through them and apply those tips that resonate with me.

    • Celes

      That’s fantastic! Thanks a lot for sharing Linda :D

  • John Sherry

    Excellent questioning Celestine! I’ve wrote about this myself as too many love the ‘help’ part but forget putting the self into it. Moving from one philosophy to the next, attending workshops and seminars, purchasing the new ‘in thing’ best seller book but never taking action is couch potato positivity. It’s like love – you can wait for ever thinking the next one that comes along will be what you’ve waited for or realise that what you’ve waited for is what you see right now. Have faith, forget perfection, invest yourself and you will be amazed at what happens. So, read, take in, attend and understand, then get helping the self.Love this post, it’s a beaut!

  • jonathanfigaro

    Self help junkies are those who just listen to tapes, watch videos, and think about change. They never take the action steps to do it, but purchase another book and use a syringe to inject themselves with pages of more motivation and inspirational thoughts of non action.

  • Create My Mind Movie

    Wow this article is really straight to the point.

    Seminar junkies, let just touch up on that one. I would consider myself a self help addict after reading your post, I have been to quite a lot of different self help seminars and it always baffled me, getting so pumped up and then falling flat in my face after it all.

    The one distinction that I made which has been able to change this and thus change my life, is applying even one or two core principles that I learned there and practicing that in my daily life.

    I’ve learned that success is a series of compounded good habits. Maybe its going just that little extra mile per day, reading that one more page, finishing off that project 30 minutes earlier, being a little more productive than the day before. All of these add up and re-enforce your successful habits.

    It is truly an inspiration to see all the things that you have accomplished and it paves the way for many of us to follow in your footsteps or make our own path =)

    Thank you!

  • Nser

    Great article. And equally great and enlightening comments from from very intelligent people.

    To be honest I believe everybody is likely to be a ‘self help junkie’ one way or the other at a certain point in his life. But those who really know what they want out of life and are determined to change their life positively will not remain a junkie for long. They will discover, after reading many self help and motivational books and attending many seminars, that there is nothing new to learn; all the so called gurus are actually saying the same thing in a different way. What is needed now is not
    more information but ACTION that will bring positive, tangible result.

    The responsibility to change our life rest on our shoulder. No book, seminar, or guru can do it for us. They can only educate us and broaden our perception. We must wake up and take action to achieve our dream

  • AM


    Your techniques are quite powerful and can help people but your writing style is too pompous. Nobody likes being talked down to this way. A little bit of humanness and compassion goes a long way. You might be happy with the way your life is going right now, but there will come a time when the clarity and connection with yourself will fade, however momentarily (believe me!). Perhaps if you were to read your posts at that time you would realize how pontificating you can be. We’re all human, we’re all different and we’re all fragile. Your job as a life coach is to bring us to our place of power, not make us feel even worse about the way we are right now.