When 'Self-Help' Burns You Out

by Aly Moon 11 months ago in advice

Sometimes helpful advice can backfire, maybe even make you miss some important details.

When 'Self-Help' Burns You Out

Self-help books from The Secret to The Five Second Rule offer a range from abstract and specific ideas about how to improve your life. But what if these books are adding to your burnout?

Over the past several years I have read tons of books. Among these books were several self-help genre books. Each book I completed did give me a sense of motivation, or a few pieces of generally good advice. However, there were some concerning sentiments that I would like to bring to your attention.

Here are some examples...

Just keep pushing yourself through it.

Sometimes a line like this is just what you need to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and soldier on. However, as I discussed in my other posts about burnout, some people have issues with self-care, and healthy boundaries around pacing yourself. For some people affirmations like this might encourage them to compromise their mental or physical health to achieve a goal. If this becomes a habit it will lead to burnout.

You can’t 'think positive' your way out of burnout.

Life has elements of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health, which make up our overall wellness. When we are out of balance, and need a break, time to heal, or respite we will start to feel discomfort in one of these areas. For example, when I work too hard for too long I get a migraine, which then forces me to take care of my body. When I sense a migraine coming I know this is a red flag and I need to change my behavior.

Speaking of Red Flags...

Red flags exist to help you avoid catastrophe. Ignoring these signs means you are in denial about your current state of wellness (or situation). Positive thinking and affirmations are generally helpful, but don't allow yourself to use them to justify pushing yourself too hard too fast, or making a bad decision.

Remember that success requires hard work, but it also requires a balance. Never compromise your mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual health in pursuit of a goal for neglecting them is a symptom of a flawed plan.

Set yourself up to win.

Aly Moon
Aly Moon
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Aly Moon

With a background in social work and life coaching, this Conservative lesbian is offering a new perspective away from the left and towards a sensible middle free of identity politics. Helping you consider the center. Jordan Peterson fan.

See all posts by Aly Moon