Why self-help books don’t work (and what does)

I’m a fan of self-help books – as you might expect being an author of one. Self-help books have changed the way I view the world forever, they’ve inspired me to believe I can have what I want, and they’ve shown me how to create it. But we all know they don’t always work. We might discover from a book exactly what we need to do but not do it. Some people read countless self-help books and never seem to change.


Because there’s something else we need aside from information and inspiration. It’s human contact.

People need to connect with other people in order to really effect change in their lives. What I’ve discovered from both writing a self-help book and working with clients directly is that this connection provides 3 critical things that a book can’t give.

1. Support

When you start to make a change in your life, you need encouragement, a listening ear when you have doubts and setbacks, and a sense of shared experience with others going through a similar change – in other words, support.

2. Accountability

There’s a simple reason you get your work done in your job but your personal projects slip and slip: accountability. No one’s making you do the things in your spare time to improve your life. You need someone who gives you a deadline for your next task and calls you on it if you don’t do it.

3. Top Dog Taming

When you attempt something new and unfamiliar, your Top Dog (or internal critic) is triggered. It tells you it won’t work out, you’ll make a fool of yourself, it’s too huge, or you’re not good enough. And so you give up, or simply procrastinate for another month. You need someone smart enough to recognise that it’s your internal critic that’s stopped you and help you beat it so you can keep on going.

So if you’ve read a great self-help book, got excited, but still not got the results you wanted, you must find a way to get these 3 pillars of change.

Then you can really begin the process to change your life.

Is 2011 the year you change your work?

Is the change you want to make in 2011 to finally get paid for something you love? If so, we provide theseĀ 3 pillars of change for a select group of 10 people on the Screw Work Let’s Play Programme.

Applications are open now

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