Tanya Younce, M.Ed., LPCC


Stopping the Self-Help Madness

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 10.54.45 AMWith all of the advice from self-help books, podcasts, social media, magazines, and workshops, it’s no wonder that we’ve become a culture of women who feel unfulfilled, overwhelmed, and highly self-critical.

Are you bewildered by how anyone could keep up with all of the hacks that tell you how you’re supposed to look, love, and live? Me too.

Other people know me better

If you seek answers outside of you all the time, you’re basically believing that someone else is more of any expert on who you should BE and what you should DO. But here’s the truth, my dear: Only YOU know yourself the way that you do. You know more about yourself than ANYONE on the planet. It’s just EASIER to make someone else give you the answers.

But hey — it’s also easier to let other people clean our house, or do our shopping, or be our designated drivers (thank you, Uber!).

When you cut back on reading and listening to all the advice out there (better yet — go on a self-help FAST for a while) you’ll learn that you have to rely more on your own inner compass. Using your own heart and brain will strengthen trust that you’re actually the perfect problem-solver for your life.

How Do I Tune In?

The answer is simple, but not necessarily easy. Silence is the key. If you can figure out a way to shut up the cacophony of thoughts in your head, and the advice that you’re given, the answers will eventually come to you. I promise.

It may not happen right away, but keep at it. Meditate, journal, brainstorm, do something trance-like (walking, cleaning, weeding, driving) and see what comes up organically to questions like:

  • Am I doing enough with my life?
  • Should I stay in my marriage?
  • How do I juggle it all?
  • Why don’t I have more friends?
  • What do I really want?

Relax, my dear. Take comfort in knowing that you already know the solutions to the problems that require your attention. You don’t need anyone else to tell you.

As a therapist, I’m trained to help you come up with your own solutions, not just hand out advice. People are pretty shocked when they talk through something with me and then — bam! — something dawns on them for the first time.

I’ll wrap up by just saying this: You’re already doing a LOT of things that are pretty fabulous. Don’t let all the advice fool you into thinking that you’re completely flawed and still don’t have your shit together.

Give yourself the credit you deserve for the shit that you HAVE done well. Love your marvelously messy life, be quiet enough to listen to yourself, and crawl out of the addictive wasteland of outside advice.

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