Self-Help Junkies

3 kinds of self-help junkies and 3 ideas for kicking the habit.

Have you ever known someone who reads a lot of self-help or motivational stuff but doesn’t really ever do anything differently? They’re just walking around spouting jargon and positive affirmations?

Three Types of Addicts


Some are information addicts who see learning as a form of entertainment. They know a lot of great stuff, but nothing changes in their lives. Nothing wrong with this, by the way, as long as the addict isn’t expecting much to change.

If you’re an information addict, perhaps learning like this is getting in the way of your success. Try switching the way you get information for 6 months. Stop reading to learn and try learning from life’s events.

Thrill Seeker

Many people get a sort of ‘high’ on the notion of potential and possibilities. There’s a boost of energy comes along with the notion of one’s potential or expanded/limitless possibilities. Buying the next book by Seth Goden or Brene’ Brown is a ‘puff’ of an energy fix.

If you’re getting high on potential, perhaps there’s a problem staring at you that you’re not looking back at directly. It may take some self-help detox for you to find out.


Affirmations and self-help jargon are often used by people as a way to keep a positive outlook while they’re waiting for reality to become positive. It’s not a bad way to go as long as you have a plan to make tangible changes. With too much focus upward, you may find yourself slowly sinking in the muck of your life.

If you’re using affirmations and jargon as a lifeline, perhaps it’s time to get professional help to work through the issues that may be holding  you back.


Breaking the self-help habit can be very challenging. The first step is to objectively assess the dynamic driving your addiction.


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Listen to the Morning Motivational Moment about just this idea.

We broadcast live on Jolana’s Morning Radio Show, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:30 on WFAS 103.9 FM, New York.

Measure of Your Success

Once the benchmarks of success are defined you’ll naturally position yourself better so that progress speeds up with less effort.

Proper Steering

We can’t talk about becoming successful unless we take time to define how we measure success. How else will you know that you’re moving in the right direction?

People are influenced to prioritize the events of their lives by many factors:

  • Personal Goals
  • Personal Needs
  • What’s Expected of Us
  • Advertising

Without something to guide us, we may veer off course.

Finish this sentence

Start thinking about how you measure success by finding examples of success.

I know I’m being successful by _Fill in the blank____.

Fill in the blank with the feeling you’ll have when you’re doing what you’ve set out to do.

For example:

I know I’m being successful by the pleasure I feel as I transition between my roles.

For me, one way I know I’m being successful is by how well I show up in the various roles I play in life: as a mother, a coach, a wife, a business owner, a friend, etc.  When I feel good, I know I’ve met my responsibilities.    SCORE!

Once the benchmarks of success are defined you’ll probably start to naturally position yourself better so that progress speeds up with less effort. A nifty bonus.


Listen to the Morning Motivational Moment about just this idea.

We broadcast live on Jolana’s Morning Radio Show, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:30 on WFAS 103.9 FM, New York.


Amazing 3D

Nothing changes the fact that a bus ran a red light nearly killing me and my son, but I CAN change the meaning of the facts.

Thank You Slow Driver!

Thank goodness for little irritating delays; without them I’d probably be dead.

Morning Routine

The usual morning routine:  out the door by 7:30, first a high school drop off, and then one at the middle school. Last Thursday didn’t seem any different, except that it was.

4ish Seconds

After the high school drop off my middle schooler, Jack, and I approached a fairly big and familiar intersection. Since we had the green light I didn’t really slow much as I approached the intersection – I mean the light is green for me, right?

Just 2 car lengths away from entering the intersection, a school bus runs its red light at about 45 mph. Because I was 4ish seconds from the middle of the intersection, the bus whizzed by in front of us.

What Just Happened?

Stunned, confused, and frozen in shock, Jack and I looked around to see the same look of stunned shock on the faces of the other people stopped at the intersection. 

Yes, a school bus just ran a red light and, but for about 4 seconds, Jack and I may have been killed. Wow!

Fear and outrage were first for Jack. He was mad at the bus driver. How dare that driver threaten our lives? How selfish of that person to flaunt the rules without concern for us!  The driver should be chased down, yelled at, and fired!

Yes, the driver needs a wake-up call—and perhaps a new career—however, the driver’s actions are only one piece of the story. For this story to be as amazing as it truly is, Jack will need to find and connect the other pieces.

One Dimensional

The bus driver is one piece of a story. Unless we connect the others all we have are less than amazing stories to tell; life becomes one dimensional, frustrating, and boring. I think that’s why people embellish stories or live vicariously through the stories of others—they’re hungry for the amazing.

Fortunately for us, we know to look for and connect the other pieces. We looked for the piece of this story that explained our 4ish second delay. Low and behold we found another frustrating driver. At an earlier stop light we were behind a driver texting at a red light who took about 4ish seconds to move when the light turned green. Wow!

At the time, I was a bit irritated by the texting driver—not so much that I honked my horn, but irritated nonetheless. Now, I want to kiss that driver.

Looking in 3D glasses

Thursday morning Jack and I could have experienced two, one dimensional stories about two different frustrating drivers; a less than amazing start to the day. But, by connecting the pieces into one powerful multi-dimensional story, we have an amazing experience of the interconnected nature of all things past, present, and future.

We are able to replace harsh judgment of others with appreciation and wonderment. We are now curious about other connections and encouraged that they do, in fact, exist even if we aren’t able to see them.

Facts Are Only One Piece

The facts of the morning are that Jack and I may have lost our lives as a school bus ran a red light. Nothing can change the facts, but the meaning of the facts is greatly changed by connecting the other pieces of the story. I was able to help Jack change the meaning of the facts so that as he walked into school that morning he felt special and grateful, he was curious about the day and he felt loved –loved by unseen, yet oh so powerful forces. Wow! That’s anything but frustrating or boring.

Finding Rare Gifts

Rarely are we given witness to such proof of the amazing. So, the next time you’re outraged by something or someone, stop to consider the gift you’ve been given. Look for the other pieces that connect. While you may not be as fortunate as Jack and I were this morning to witness the gift, perhaps now you can assume that a gift was given and just accept it with thanks.

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