What is Self-Help?
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
By Mike Matarazzo, CTACC, CEC
Founder - Be Better Life & Leadership Coaching, LLC
The New Year is here and hopefully you're thinking about how you can make 2022 a better year for yourself. Many people will commit to physical fitness or a new diet plan. Some will try to let go of an addiction. It's great to set new goals for yourself and hit a reset button on certain aspects of your life. The sad truth, however, is that many people will not succeed in their New Year's resolution and will likely have a list of limiting beliefs that help them justify why they have failed.
Where do we go wrong when we develop goals for ourselves? Why can't we help ourselves the way that we help so many others through our profession? Where are we looking for the answers? Many people turn to outside influencers to find their inspiration or their plan. There are many people out there who have incredible stories of perseverance, recovery, and success. Many of them are out in the public eye, whether it be on a stage, on a social media platform, or in a published book or podcast. Every time we hear the stories, we feel a jolt of energy and often become inspired to start our own journey, using theirs as the fuel. We might buy their book and attempt to use it as a road map. At the very least, we happily tell our friends about the incredible story we read about or heard on a podcast, as if we are now coaching them on how to succeed before we have even taken action for ourselves.
The problem is, the story is not ours. These books, podcasts, etc. often carry the category title of "Self-Help." But we often lose sight of the fact that these stories do not involve our actual selves. They are about other people entirely. People with different pasts, presents, and future aspirations. People who have had different paths, unique environmental influences, and different advantages, as well as disadvantages. The plan that they came up with for themselves, was not taken from another influencers book. It was designed by them--for them. That is why they succeeded. But how did they develop the plan!
The bottom line is, that in order to help yourself, you need to get to know yourself. Focusing on the success stories of others will do nothing more than get you acquainted with a virtual stranger and wonder why you are not as strong as them or at least make a bunch of excuses as to why you can't do it "their way." Now you might be thinking, "how do I get to know myself?---I'm pretty sure I already do." The answer is questions. Self-reflection. True self-awareness is simply knowing yourself better than you know anyone else and better than anyone else knows you.
If you want to start a specific fitness or diet plan, but you don't have a life that is structured in a way that is conducive for the "75-Hard" challenge, it's ok. Not everyone is set up for that particular road map. Only a small percentage of people who start someone else's plan wind up with the same results. Why not develop your own 30, 60, or 75 day plan that incorporates the things that are important to you? What needs to happen in order for you to be able to commit to your new plan? What will be your measure for success in your new goal and how will you react if you fall short on the plan once in a while? How does that reaction help or hurt your ability to succeed moving forward?
You see, I'm not telling you the answers to these questions like some of the "Self-Help" gurus of today because, just like them, I have no idea what your answers are! I don't know when you go to work, or who and what you're responsible for. I don't know what kind of physical or dietary limitations you have. Only you know what you are capable of and without sitting down and introducing yourself to...well...yourself, it's going to be very difficult to succeed with any "self-help" plan.
I realize that this information doesn't necessarily make it easier for you to stick to your chosen path. But what I hope it does, is point you in the direction of your best answers and away from the direction of someone else's success story. If you want to pull that initial jolt of inspiration from someone else's story that is perfectly fine and understandable. I do it myself sometimes. But always remember, that just because it worked for someone else, does not mean it is the best course of action for you. There is only one person who knows that. And it's you.
To learn more about which questions to ask yourself when developing new goals, get in touch by clicking the link below!
Be Better Life & Leadership Coaching
About the Author
Mike Matarazzo is a Certified Life Coach and Founder of Be Better Life & Leadership Coaching, LLC. He has devoted his career to serving others as a professional chef who holds numerous National and International medals in culinary competitions including the 2008 Culinary Olympics where, as team captain, he and his team became the first US Regional team to win the world Championship against 62 teams from 32 Nations.
As someone who has and continues to work in a stressful and fast paced profession that demands so much more than just a 40 hour work week, Matarazzo understands what it is like to struggle with things like life balance, stress management, and self-care. After some time of reflecting on his own mental collapse, he realized that so many people in service related professions share the same challenges.
Some people have diagnosable mental illnesses and need the help of a licensed therapist, but there are just as many that simply need some assistance and guidance in lowering the volume of life, to make it easier to find the answers to their most challenging questions. As a Life and Leadership Coach, Matarazzo helps clients both on-on-one and in group settings by becoming a co-creative partner that provides support, endorsement, and accountability. Although his primary profession is in the hospitality industry, his clients come from all types of service related professions like law enforcement, medicine and nursing, firefighters, military members, etc. Our jobs may be different, but our challenges are more alike than most people realize.
Michael is also a well sought after motivational and keynote speaker and presents his perspectives all over the country both in person and virtually if desired.