I’ve Heard It All Before! Why Is There Always Similar Advice In Self-Help Books?

Maybe it’s just me, though for some of you who also enjoy reading self-help books, as you’re reading you may be thinking: I think I’ve heard this all before. The last self-help book I read was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho which I reviewed a few weeks back. I am not sure if it is classified as a self-help book per say but it sure does lure into that same direction.

While you’re flipping through page after page of that book designed to encourage you to stop procrastinating or motivate you to wake up earlier, have you ever realized that most authors include these five main ideas/points in their self-help works?


1. Dare to take risks

Like many motivational speakers, self-help books preach the same message about taking chances. Live out of your comfort zone, then only will you be able to achieve the things you never thought you could.


Source: Forbes

2. You are in charge of your own life

At the end of the day, everything points down to you. Whether you are happy or feeling blue, it all depends on how you react to what life throws at you and how you tackle your own emotions. Remember, you’re the boss.

3. Stop complaining and deal with it

This is a classic. Parents tell this to us, peers, our bosses, and even our inner voices! Complaining is a natural reflex for humans, especially when something does not coincide with our beliefs, values or everyday routines. While we all do need to vent every now and then, constant complaining only adds a negative vibe to everything

4. The Law of Attraction

If you want something so bad and you focus all your energy towards achieving it, you will achieve it. Hard work always pays off in one way or another.


Source: Etsy

5. Fake it till you make it

This is my favorite piece of advice because it is actually really easy to do. Whatever it is you want in life, be it a talented writer, musician, painter, anything at all, keep ‘pretending’ and focus your efforts to making those visions a reality. Eventually you won’t have to pretend anymore.

I’m sure there are plenty more pieces of advice out there, but they all basically direct you on the same path. A path of positivity, motivation, and inspiration.

I read an article recently on why self-help books seem to talk about the same thing, and its due to our brains.  All of our brains don’t work the same, even when we are on the same page!

The reason why authors write similar things, is due to the quirks of our brain. These quirks require a lot of attention in order for us to succeed in today’s world. The reason why these quirks need our attention is because they are not something you can learn instantaneously, like breathing, however they require in depth practice, like learning a new language. Each individual brain responds to different ideas and understandings differently.

There might be many self-help books out there that talk about similar issues, however, each book has its own way of shaping a specific idea, to reach its audience. It’s all about perspective, friends.

Here are my top 3 picks on self-help books:

What’s your take on self-help books? Which would you recommend?

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Featured image via NYU Preservation

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