By Nadene van der Linden of Unshakeable Calm
“Every day I choose to be happy,” “Never give up on your dreams and don’t let anyone rain on your parade” and “The love you need is within” is stuff that abounds in popular self-help books and social media sentiment. They are the kind of messages that we love to believe, and they sell, but the truth is they’re kind of empty and often only partly true at best.
There are many sentiments we indulge in because they feel nice and we love the idea of a quick and simple solution to our problems and difficulties. Messages like “Love Yourself Happy,” “You only regret the things you don’t do,” “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” “The only thing getting in the way of your happiness is you” and “You are not responsible for other people’s reactions to you” sound nice in theory, but they don’t reflect the complexity of human beings, our social relationships and our broader interactions with our communities. Often these quick fix suggestions leave people feeling like there’s something wrong with them for struggling and that they are mentally weak for not being able to get through their struggle.
Here are ten self-help book titles that will probably never be published that I think would likely be more helpful than the positive mind positive life stuff I see on the shelves:
1. Sometimes Feeling the Fear Means You Shouldn’t Do It
2. Don’t Read This Book on Motherhood to Feel Better (Take a Holiday Without Kids or Get Some Paid Help or Childcare Instead)
3. Yes, You Will Regret Decisions That Don’t Work Out or Leave You Broke
4. If Many People Respond to You in the Same Way, It’s Definitely You
5. You’ll Never Get Back to Your Old Self After a Major Life Event (Embrace This Version of Yourself Instead)
6. Successful People Have Been Helped by Other People and Luck (It’s Not All Hard Work)
7. More Happy Moments Come from Valuing Yourself and Other Humans
8. Being Human Means Living Through The Good and Bad Stuff and Feeling Both
9. When to Give up on your Dreams (Because Nothing is Worth Losing Everything For)
10. There are No Shortcuts to Feel Better When Someone You Love Dies (It Hurts for a Long Time)
There are no New York Times best seller sounding titles on my list, but these kind of books probably help people more. Feel free to leave any more realistic books that you’d like to see written.
This post was originally published on Nadene’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/unshakeablecalm.
About the Author
Nadene van der Linden is a writer and clinical psychologist in private practice. Nadene is the author of the much-loved “Tales of the Parenting Trenches. A Clinical Psychologist vs Motherhood” available on Amazon. Join the Unshakeable Calm facebook group for science-based tips for calm and confident living. Follow along on her website, Instagram, and Facebook.
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