What To Do When Self-Help Doesn’t Work

by | Dec 15, 2018

The self-help market is huge. Self-help books and resources generate billions each year, and it’s growing. It’s obvious: a lot of people want to change something about themselves.

But for some, it doesn’t seem to work. They read book after book but get nowhere. So they get discouraged and eventually give up.

I know from experience what that’s like. I understand what it’s like to fall on my face repeatedly and feel like giving up. In those days, I must’ve read a ton of self-help books at how to become [fill in the blank here]. Yet none of them seemed to get me where I wanted to be.

In the end, I threw my hands up and I started wondering if there was something wrong with me. I began to think that maybe I was just not meant to be the person I wanted to be.

Well, I was wrong. Because one day I had an awakening that resulted in massive progress. Today, I have become exactly who I want to be, and I’m living the life I always wanted.

But before that became happened, there were a few things I had to understand. And that is why I’m writing this.

But Wait – Isn’t this a Self-Help Article?

Well, yes and no. I’m writing this to help you, and I hope it helps you help yourself. But I don’t have a formula or some three-point method to sell you. Besides, I have no idea what your specific goals might be.

What I do know is that when what you’re doing isn’t working, you need to rethink your approach. I know this from experience and from working with others like myself. And here is what I learned…

Self-Help Works Only If You’re Ready to Work

For self-help to work, you must be ready to act. You must take the specific steps your guru prescribes. Not for a week or two, but for the entire duration. To do that, you must be prepared to push through whatever it takes to get the results you want.

To sum it up, you must be ready to work.

But the fact is, not everyone is ready. And it doesn’t mean they are lazy. The truth is, a lot of people want to be ready. Even though they keep failing, they keep on trying. But in the end, they get exhausted and depressed. And instead of getting self-help, they get more self-doubt and self-judgement.

I’m here to tell you that if you keep falling and getting back up because of the same mistakes, there’s something you’re not learning – and it’s blocking you. The tough news is that until you identify it and crush it, you will keep falling.

I’ll be completely honest – I don’t know what is blocking you. But what I can tell you about is one of the biggest blockers there is – and what to do about it.

The Biggest Self-Help Blocker is Low Self-Worth

Does that make you cringe? Low self-worth. You may not think you have it, and maybe you don’t. But if you continue to not follow through when it comes to things you know are good for you, you owe it to yourself to take a look at it.

Here’s another way to look at it: Do you really deserve to be happy? Do you have the absolute right to have the life that you envision for yourself? Are you certain about that? Deep inside, do you know it without a doubt?

If you answered yes and you answered truthfully, that’s great. If so, when you decide to do good things for yourself, your love and concern for yourself will outweigh whatever it is that pulls you in the opposite direction. You may make mistakes, but you learn from them and get back up. Self-help books or not, you will figure it out because you care enough about yourself to do so.

But if you keep breaking your word to yourself, or you keep failing to follow through and do what is good for you, then you may have issues with self-worth.

I’m telling you from experience, the number one blocker to positive change is low self-worth.

Think about it. Do people with high self-worth continually settle for less? Do they sabotage their own efforts to improve their lives? Do have invite suffering into their lives because they make the same mistakes over and over?

No, they don’t. They may have issues, but they get it figured out and they move on. Why? Because they accept and love themselves. They have high self-worth. They don’t settle for that crap. They love themselves.

Grow Your Self-Worth and Remove That Blocker!

If what I am telling you rings true for you, then I have news for you. There is hope. The solution is to learn to accept and love yourself. You must develop enough love and respect for yourself that you become willing to push through whatever it takes to achieve what you know is good for you.

You must believe deep within that you are worth fighting for.

I know this from experience. I was caught in the grip of addiction. Street-level crack addiction. Mental health issues. Low self-worth and social phobias. I was emotionally isolated and was full of self-doubt. I was afraid of facing who I was. I kept falling flat on my face and in the end, I became depressed and suicidal. I began to think I was doomed.

But one day, I caught a glimpse of who I truly am. I saw that I was a good person. I realized on a deep level that I was perfect just as I am. I saw that I had greatness within me.

I saw that I deserved to experience love and connection, and to achieve my dreams. I saw that I was worthy of every good thing that could possibly come my way.

That insight had a domino effect. My decisions, willpower and resolve began to strengthen. I began seeing the results I always had wanted to see.

Did I stop reading self-help books? Nope. Eventually I picked them back up again. But this time, they started working for me. But really, it wasn’t the self-help books that had changed. It was me – it was my perspective. I finally understood that I was worth fighting for. And so I began fighting. And that deep realization paved the way for growth in all other areas of my life.


The turning point for me was finally coming to grips with the fact that I was awesome. That I was perfect and that I was great. I know and believe that if you hang in there, you will see the same for yourself. You can start now and improve your self-worth. You have greatness within you!

The biggest thing you can do right now is to not give up. Don’t lose hope – you can and will get where you need to be. Keep reading positive things if that’s what gives you hope. In fact, sign up for the newsletter below! If you pray or meditate – keep doing it. If listening to motivational speakers helps, keep doing that. Do whatever you can to keep your hope alive, and at the perfect time the answer will come to you. It came for me – and it will come for you!

Don’t give up – I believe in you!

Don Cummins is an author, speaker and coach, spreading the idea that regardless of where anyone has been, absolutely anyone can recover their lives – and build one beyond their wildest dreams.