Why Self-Help Doesn’t Work

Jessica Böhme, PhD
3 min readJan 16, 2024
Photo by Delano Ramdas on Unsplash
  1. Self-help offers easily understandable steps for transforming your life, but the implementation is far from effortless. Initially, the allure of change in just a few steps may motivate you, yet sustaining that motivation requires enduring hard work. It’s the epitome of “simple but hard”.
  2. Self-help is all about emotions. While you might get reasonable instructions to make a change, you haven’t changed that specific problem that you want to change because your rational mind is inadequate to solve the challenge.
  3. It’s easy to use self-help as a crutch to avoid facing your real struggles in life. Reading a self-help book can feel like progress, and while you sit in your favorite chair while drinking a soy latte, you seem to learn and improve your life. While what’s really happening is nothing. Therefore, it’s crucial that you actually go out and do the uncomfortable work of changing.
  4. Self-help paints a picture of the lone hero or heroine, but in reality, you’re not an isolated individual. Your body is a complex ecosystem dependent on millions of bacteria and microorganisms, without which you would cease to exist. Your sense of self is intertwined with the environment. Your body dependents on consuming others — plants, animals. If they suffer, you suffer. Poisoned fish, poison you.
  5. Self-help promises a better life: more…

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Jessica Böhme, PhD

👩🏻‍🎤 posthuman transformation philosopher 🌎 life a̵d̵v̵i̵c̵e̵ for the apocalypse 🔬 10+ years of research jessicaboehme.com