There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Freeing Myself From Self-Help

I am pushing through my procrastination tendencies today to finally tackle the overwhelming project of weeding through the books on my bookshelves.  The hundreds of books that I have collected and read over the years and that have become something I have, until now, been unwilling to let go of.

I am amazed at the number of self help books that I have purchased and read over the years.  Books that I thought would help me define and conquer all of my faults.  My anxiety, my ADD, my drinking, my obsessive compulsive tendencies, my parenting skills...

For years I have been under the assumption that if I am doing something different than the next person, I must be doing it wrong and therefore must change or fix the way I’m doing it.  I don’t exactly know when or where I drew that conclusion, but it has been part of my driving force for years.

But am I doing it wrong?  I may worry too much but that drives me to pre-plan, investigate, consider all my options, and proceed with caution.  I may pursue my goals with a drive that’s borderline obsessive, but it allows me to achieve those goals, which gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment.  And I mean no offense to the people this applies to, but perhaps my lack of ability to focus during conversations has less to do with an attention deficit of mine,  and more to do with the boring content of the discussion.

My point is, I do have idiosyncrasies and natural inclinations towards certain behaviors, but does that make them wrong? Do I really need a bookcase full of self help books because some psychologist with more schooling than me decides that I shouldn’t check my burners three times before I leave the house? 

No, the only thing I have been doing wrong, is focusing on my differences as if they were weaknesses and not focusing enough on my strengths.  And today I am especially grateful for my upper body strength that will allow me to toss this neatly packed up box of self help books out of my house for good.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I love this and think you are making a wise decision Deborah! What an incredibly freeing thing. It's so true that we sometimes look for explanations of our selves or ways to "fix" ourselves in all the wrong places. This is an area I am examining a bit in my own life too...

    Happy tossing!:)