The Internet is full of advice on how you can get to x or do y, how you can become who you want to become.
You just have to google the magic words and there you have it: carefully crafted compendiums of how-tos for every dream you’ve ever had, just one click away.
Sure, it’s great to have this abundance of information at your fingertips, and most of it comes from valuable sources. It’s thoughtful and provides great help.
But it’s also true that it can be overwhelming and, most importantly, does not solve your problem, because what self-help does is offering solutions and inspiration, but it does not deal with the problem at its root.
Self-help Is An Aid, Not A Cure
Most self-help out there tells you exactly how to get where you want to get. It gives you actionable steps and easy to digest quotes. Because that’s what you want: a quick cure.
But that’s not a real cure, it’s just a way to cover up the real issue, which is that you are not okay with who you are or where you are or what you have right now.
You can follow all the advice you find in that clickbait titled book you purchased on Amazon after careful research. You can even find out that all that advice actually works, and maybe you begin to see improvements. You feel inspired and invigorated.
But guess what? After a while, it doesn’t work anymore. You are left in the same headspace you were before, and growth doesn’t happen so effortlessly anymore.
This is because you haven’t addressed the real problem. You didn’t focus on the real cause of your discomfort. When things don’t work out around you, it is often because things don’t work out inside you.
Just as sleep pills are an aid to insomnia and not a cure, self-help is an aid to a problem but not a cure. Just as you have to treat your anxiety or depression to cure your insomnia, you have to deal with the place you are in right now to get where you want to be.
You can’t stand on your feet without a strong foundation.
You Need To Accept Yourself
Maybe you feel stuck. Or maybe you are unhappy in your relationship. Maybe you are pissed off because you didn’t get that promotion or you failed that exam.
Whatever your situation, the cause of your wanting more is always the same: You are not comfortable with who you are, where you are, or what you have right now.
If there’s one cause to human unhappiness, it has to be this: not accepting ourselves just the way we are.
We are social beings and measure our worth by comparison with others. So if our apartment is smaller than Jim’s, the guy next door, if our grades are not as good as theirs, we immediately start to brainwash possible reasons why it is so and try to come up with solutions to fix the problem.
But hear me out on this: There is no problem at all. There’s nothing to fix. If your apartment is smaller than Jim’s, if you are not in the top 1% of your industry, if you are not as pretty as that friend of yours, it’s okay.
You don’t have to be the best to be good enough. You get to decide your own worth. Decide for yourself what you want to stand up for and make an effort to do so every day. Do what you can: it’s enough.
The thing with our brain is that it only works with familiar thoughts and rejects anything unfamiliar. So if you keep telling yourself that you are not enough and you should be more, you’ll start to believe it.
In order to change your life, you have to change your mind.
The Only Cure
Only after we come at peace with ourselves the way we are now can we grow into the person we want to become.
“Though you may cross vast spaces of sea, and though, as our Vergil remarks, Lands and cities are left astern, your faults will follow you whithersoever you travel.” — Seneca
You can’t let go of what you don’t hold first.
Instead of trying so hard to change your current reality, instead of trying to escape yourself, feel the pain. Let it cuddle you. Allow yourself to be vulnerable for a moment.
It’s okay not to have the solution ready at all times. It’s okay to be uncomfortable with your surroundings. Let yourself feel terrible. If you don’t know what to do, do nothing.
Accept it. Learn to let go of all the negativity attached to those thoughts and simply be an observer of yourself.
Think of all the adversities you faced and how you got through them. Remind yourself of your inner strength and find gratitude for the things and people in your life.
Once you have done that, you are already halfway through to where you want to get. Because you are healed from the belief that you should be someone or somewhere else.
What You Need To Know
The more you learn to accept yourself the way you are right now, the more you understand that there’s no place to go.
What you have now is enough. Where you are is the best place to start. Everything you need is already within you, in your way of thinking, learning, and adapting.
So, for your own peace of mind, whenever you feel stuck in life, take a moment to sit down with yourself and let yourself feel it all.
It takes practice and time, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes to embrace who you are. And the more you embrace yourself as you are today, right now, the closer you get to who you want to be.
Being stuck is okay, feeling stuck for a lifetime is not. You can change that. What it takes is a hard look at yourself and some time of self-reflection.