The self-help aisle at any bookstore is always a bit awkward. If you’re the person standing there, you feel judged immediately, and if you see someone standing next to you, it’s almost human nature to wonder what they’re trying to “fix.” And while online shopping has made the physical chore of visiting the store unnecessary, self-help has evolved from something to be embarrassed about to something to be proud of—at least for me. Here’s why:
Self-help is about improving yourself, becoming a better person—and I don’t see anything embarrassing about that.
It’s made me smarter.
As someone who has been out of college for nearly a decade, self-help has become my welcomed classroom of sorts. From learning about myself, to others, to facts about history, I love how it’s made me more intellectual. There’s nothing wrong with fiction or a nice beach read, but as an avid TV watcher, filling my mind with yet another storyline wasn’t beneficial. Books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** have taught me something with each turn of the page.
It’s connected me to myself and others.
Sure, there’s a whole world of people rolling their eyes at the idea of self-help, but there’s also a world waiting to embrace you because of it. Even with some of my best friends, being able to talk about ideas that it’s taught us—from the notion of self-love to which foods energize your body—is such a valued connection. Instead of talking about The Bachelor or something trivial (which also happens often), the chance to have deeper conversations is refreshing.
It’s created healthy habits
Without self-help, I wouldn’t have learned about living minimally, or meditating and clearing my mind after a long day. Two things that have truly bettered my life! Self-help has made me a healthier, happier person. As corny as it sounds, I think it’s helped me “find myself,” if there’s such thing.
It’s made me more confident
Above all, self-help has made me a much more secure person. I now know the science behind why certain emotions happen, including internal criticism, and it’s helped me manage my decisions. It’s also made me realize the importance of honest relationships, owning up to mistakes, and accepting flaws—all that lead to a more confident me.
At the end of the day, self-help is about improving yourself, becoming a better person—and I don’t see anything embarrassing about that.