Giving Up the Hustle of Self-Help

The self-help or self-improvement industry is a worth an estimated $11 billion. While it started with books, apps, calendars, morning routines, and numerous other outlets have stretched the industry to include and comment on every minute that you are awake so that you can have “your best life now.” The irony of course is that in order to help ourselves, we are paying others for that help. Is that really self-help?

I’m giving up the hustle of self-help.

This runs contrary to the American ideal of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. When you look more closely at the stories of people who claim to have this ideal and who believe that you too can find success if you just work hard enough and long enough and dream big enough, you begin to see cracks in the story. There’s always someone who has believed in the idea, who had a connection to land or space or investors…there’s always someone who helped.

The idea that we don’t need each other and that our actions don’t impact each other disconnects us ourselves as social beings. We need to belong. We need community. We need help.

I’m giving up the hustle of self-help.

Instead, I am building community and connections. After a year of isolation and quarantines. I am asking for help and receiving cries for help. This doesn’t make weaker, this reminds me that I am not alone and that we are all in this together.