Some people have said that self-help books are just a scam. In my opinion, they aren’t. The most important thing you need to know about self-help books is that they’re not for everyone. If you’re someone who wants to be told exactly what to do, to fix things, self-help books may work for you. However, if you struggle with knowing your own needs and desires, or even the contents of your mind, it’s unlikely that a self-help book will be your best bet. Self-help books are for those who are ready to recognize their problems and accept responsibility for resolving them. They’re not about looking outside of yourself, blaming others, or waiting around for someone else to fix you – they work by helping you take charge of your own life, and giving you the tools necessary to do so. When you’re in the right mindset, self-help books can be an incredible resource for making positive changes. They’ve helped me to make huge leaps forward in my own life, and I know that they can benefit others as well. So let’s talk about what it means to look at a situation with the right mindset, and how self-help books can be a valuable part of that. The Problem With Self-Help Books, and How To Fix ItWhen most people hear the term “self-help,” they think of seminars and workshops, like Tony Robbins’s Unleash The Power Within or Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy. These are valuable resources, but they’re not the same as self-help books. They teach you a model of success, yes, but it’s almost like taking an exam without ever learning the material. The test is there for you to take, but without first understanding the material, how are you going to do well? Self-help books work similarly: they’re there for you to pursue and read, if you have an interest in learning. It’s up to you whether or not that book will be of value, because it’s up to you to take the lessons within it and apply them to your life. When I say that self-help books are only as useful as you make them, what I mean is that they can be incredibly valuable, but only if you’re willing to do the work required to improve yourself with their help. I’m not here to tell you that self-help books are a waste of time, they’re only as good as your level of commitment. Whether or not the knowledge inside will be helpful is dependent on how much work you put into it. If you don’t try, or if you read a chapter and conclude that the book is useless, then you’re correct — it was a waste of your time. However, if you read the books with an eye toward improvement, or even simply to learn more about yourself, they can provide valuable insight into who you are and what you need. Why Self-Help Books Are Valuable?There is a time and place for self-help books. There’s also a way to use them properly so that you’re taking the best possible advantage of their value. My favorite thing about self-help books, as well as business development in general, is that it forces us to look inside ourselves. It encourages us to ask important questions, like “What do I want?” and “How can I get it?” When you’re looking inside yourself and challenging your current ideas about life, it forces you to admit what’s going on. Maybe you’ve been putting up with a toxic relationship because “you have to.” Spoiler alert: there is no such thing as “having to” in a healthy, loving relationship. You choose to be there. When you’re willing to look at your situation with an eye toward improvement, it helps you be honest about what’s going on. It forces us to face our feelings and emotions in a healthy way – something that so many of us have never had the opportunity to do. Self-help books encourage you to be honest with yourself, and that’s invaluable.If you’re lying to yourself about what you want or need, then there is no way for you to improve your life. You have to face the facts for self-improvement plans to work – and it all starts with admitting that something needs changing. It’s not enough to want change, though — you need a plan. Self-help books give you the tools for creating that plan and following through with it, as well as the motivation required to follow through in the first place. When I wanted to start writing more consistently this year, it was my “self-help” books that gave me motivation to to get off my butt and do what I needed to do. I can’t tell you the number of times self-help books have helped me see things in a new light, or even change my perspective when it comes to thinking about myself. That’s perhaps their most powerful use – the way that they can alter your mindset in a positive direction. There is no better feeling than being able to recognize where you’re going wrong, and then actually making changes to improve it. Conclusion: Self-Help Books Are Valuable, but Only When You’re Ready to apply stuff you learned from them. They can help you see things in a completely different way, and spur positive changes in your life if you allow them to do so. However, they won’t work unless you use them properly.If you’re reading a self-help book without applying the information to your own life, then it’s unlikely that you’ll get much value from it. Self-help books are great when they spur positive changes in your life. But if you’re unwilling to change, they’ll be worthless.