Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the concept of Self Help. Afterall, technically, I am in the Self Help industry.
Self Help books have dominated best seller lists for years. Self Help podcasts are continuously listed in top 10 lists.
Clearly, this is a need. We are struggling and yearning for ways to be better, feel happier, and be more fulfilled.
Yet, to be honest, I have been doubting the value of Self Help. In a time when the world is reeling with uncertainty (our physical health, our emotional well-being, our finances, our feelings of safety, etc. etc. etc.) is it selfish to focus on ourselves?
Should we be focusing on others?
I did a deep dive into some research, as I do, and found that the answer is Yes. To both questions.
According to a recent Harvard study (and many other such studies), we cannot take care of others if we do not first take care of ourselves.
This concept is easily illustrated by the flight rule (when flying was a thing we did) that you have to put on your air mask before helping others.
A 2019 study published in the American Psychological Institute found that not taking care of ourselves leads to exhaustion.
This makes intuitive sense, but is really hard to put into practice.
When so much of our community is hurting, our instinct is often to help.
I want to encourage you that taking care of yourself will allow you to better take care of others.
Self Help is not selfish. It is what will enable you to better help others.
How are you taking care of yourself today?