Aside from a few books studied in sociology classes, I have never read a self-help book in my life*.
However, I love the podcast By the Book, in which hosts Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer read and live by different self-help books for two weeks, then talk about their experiences with them. Generally, the women bring a healthy dose of scepticism and humor to the endeavor, making it right up my alley. My curiosity about this book was piqued when both Jolenta and Kristen spoke of finding it worthwhile and helpful.
I don’t think most people, especially most women, manage to live in our society without adopting a LOT of negative self-talk. What this book asks is…what if we didn’t? Or rather, what if we replaced our negative self-talk with positive self-talk? Helmstetter believes if we did that, we would create a more positive reality for ourselves, through training our brain into positivity.
After reading the book, which takes a looooooong time to get to actually useable suggestions, I’m not sold on self-help books. I also find the idea that thinking positively leads to positive things way too “The Secret”, problematic connotations and all. But I think the central suggestion of working to weed out our negative self-talk is a good one. Like the hosts of By the Book, after reading this I find myself invested in reminding myself that my negative self-talk isn’t true and isn’t useful. If you deal with this issue, the book might serve as a good reminder to be kinder to yourself…but I found cognitive behavioral therapy much more useful for that.
And yes, I partly wrote this review just to suggest By the Book to everyone!
*Well, I’m an alcoholic in recovery, so I’ve read Alcoholics Anonymous, which might technically count.