3 self help ideas making us feel not good enough

3 Self Help Ideas Making Us Feel Not Good Enough

You are so dedicated to your healing, so willing to do the work to recover, and yet there might be a little voice that keeps asking “am I doing enough?”

Self help ideas sometimes shame us into thinking we’re not. Despite the transformative offerings in these fields, those of us with mental illnesses and disabilities are left behind. Where are the personal development leaders that live with our conditions? Where are those that understand us?

They’re quite hard to find and, as a result, inaccessible self help concepts are popularized.

Those of us with mental illness continue to be told we’re not good enough

The concept “choose happiness” is one of the worst. It says we can just decide what emotions we feel, regardless of depression or other illnesses.

Many leaders say we have to totally love ourselves before we can be loved by another, while completely ignoring that self love is a process.

Medication is stigmatized and we’re shamed for taking it, treated like we’re giving up on our recovery by “resigning” to medicinal treatment.

But if medication will help us to feel better within ourselves, then why shouldn’t we take it? I know a lot of people who have taken things that contained benzodiazepines to help with their anxiety. They only found this out by taking a drug test to find out what it was, but it worked. They took it in moderation like they were supposed to, and they felt better within days.

It has been known to work, so why is there such a stigma surrounding those of us who take medication to help aid with our recovery?

Frustrating, right?

These alienate those of us with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and basically any other mental illness by telling us that we’re not good enough at recovering.

Well, here’s the truth-if you’re working on recovery, you’re doing it just right. Living with a mental illness is a complex thing and you deserve to hear inclusive self help techniques.

So, here’s an episode that debunks these outdated concepts and changes them into more supportive and realistic ideas. Enjoy!

Is it refreshing to hear that you don’t have to choose happiness, you can pursue personal growth while on medication, and you are deserving of love right here and right now?

I really hope so. Of course, I know these are only three of the ways the self help field tells us we’re not good enough. There are (unfortunately) many many more.

That’s why I’d love to hear from you below in the comments.

What self help techniques have been off-putting for you?

Which ideas have made you feel like you’re not good enough?

Your unique version of healing and growth and recovery is important. It’s valid and it’s beautiful.

Together, we can start a change these outdated self help techniques and make the field more inclusive for those of us with mental illness. This blog will help us all change the self help world for the better, so please don’t hesitate to spread this video around!

Related video: 4 Things You Need to Hear When Living With Mental Illness

How close are you to living a life you love? Take the quiz here!


  • Alyson Swihart
    May 3, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    First of all, I love your video!!! I never realized how these terms are sooo harmful… I just kept feeling BAD when they are used. Thank you for explaining what I’ve always been feeling, but haven’t been able to put to words. And your solutions for each topic is very helpful. I’m so glad I found you and your website!

  • Rolande Sumner
    May 4, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Thank you for sharing your that you have mental health issues and that you are finding ways to cope. I’m in the same boat with post war mental health issue. It’s a long road to a “happy place”. It takes a lot of work and utilizing tools and resources that work best for you. In my journey I realized that being completely honest with myself about what I want, who I really am and what I’ve been though was extremely helpful. It provided a ground zero. It freed me to set new goals and to truly pursue a life that made me happy.

  • Jennifer Lizee
    May 4, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I think “choose happiness” is my least favourite out of the three because I feel like that’s the one that I used the most to beat myself up. Somehow “choosing happiness” was more like choosing guilt, shame, frustration, more sadness, and confusion as to why I couldn’t do this thing that was apparently supposed to be simple. It caused me to lie to myself too sometimes – just mentally saying telling myself “you’re happy, you’re happy, you’re happy” and deep down knowing it wasn’t true, which was just another way that kept me from allowing myself to get help. Same thing applied to the whole concept of self-love.

    Luckily, in the last few months my recovery has made huge strides, and I’m better able to understand what wellness looks and feels like to me. Now I just let the bad days happen and expect them, which I’m sure some people might say is something I shouldn’t do. However, somehow acknowledging them and knowing that they’re a part of my life has actually made it easy to get through those days and still get at least some things done.

    Thank you for the post. I’m certain many people need to hear this message because it’s easy to feel like a failure for not meeting these so-called “requirements” to have a good life. I hope the people that need to hear this find their way to your video.

  • Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS
    May 5, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Always love your inspirational posts. You find the good in everything. Mental illness is becoming more accepted because of voices like yours.

  • Starr
    May 6, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for shedding light on this issue. I’m guilty of advising ppl to “choose happiness.” I didn’t realize how narrow and isolating my view was, but glad for your perspective. My goal is always to write with sensitivity to my single over 30 readers. This helps. Thank you!

  • Lauren
    May 8, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    I absolutely agree with you on the choose happiness idea. It’s so annoying as if anyone would choose to be unhappy. When you’re really low it’s so hard to see anything joyful or happy so that self care advice isn’t helpful or constructive!

  • Charlene Anestis
    May 9, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Wonderful message Arien! Agree.Agree.Agree. I got help at 40 finally went on medication and delved into self help and my own spirtuallity to recover. I did get off medication after 1 year only by doing the work I needed to do as I had also stabilized enough. I do find though that many of the leaders in the industry have had our struggles in the past and just don’t publicize it as much once they are considered experts. Their earlier work, books, etc. usually share bits and pieces of their stories. The one thing that really helped break everything down for me in bite size pieces was choosing my thoughts one by one its a little different from choosing happiness. Have you ever read anything by Byron Katie? I found her really helpful.

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