Many of us have areas we’d like to improve on. Whether it’s learning a new skill, progressing in a certain area of our life or simply finding a way to accept ourselves as we are. Wanting to grow, develop and learn is what makes us human, and thankfully there are lots of ways we can do that.
Here we want to talk about self-help specifically, where we take control of our own learning and development, and some of the resources available.
How self-help supports us
If you’ve identified that there’s something holding you back in life, self-help can be a great way to support yourself. You may find that through self-help alone you’re able to overcome your challenges and move forward with what you want to achieve.
For some, more support and guidance is needed. This is where professionals such as coaches can help. Even then, using self-help alongside this is a wonderful way to continue your development, and often, your coach will suggest certain self-help tools as part of your sessions and progress.
Self-help routes to explore
The self-help industry is booming right now and it can feel a little overwhelming to know where to start. It’s important for you to find a self-help technique that works for you and your circumstances, so you may need to experiment to see what feels good.
Speaking to others with similar interests to you can help too, so don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.
Reading, listening to podcasts and watching videos
Self-help books, podcasts and videos are all fantastic ways to learn more about a particular topic. Here are some quick recommendations to get you started:
- Try a book from the Reading Well list.
- Explore the self-help section on your podcasts app (may we recommend Happiful’s podcast, I am. I have?).
- Browse some TED Talks that look interesting to you.
I am. I have - with Angela Cox
I am. I have - with Ben Bidwell
Taking courses and attending workshops
Learning in any form is great for self-development. Once you know what you would like to learn more about, search online for a relevant course or workshop that may help you. This may take place face-to-face or online.
As you’ll see, there will no doubt be lots available. Try asking your friends, family, and perhaps your online community for any recommendations.
Search our events section to find a personal development workshop near you.
Self-awareness is so often the first step to change. It can help us recognise and acknowledge when something feels difficult and what helps us feel better. Tools such as journaling, meditation and even taking personality tests can help us recognise thoughts and even identify any limiting beliefs we have that may be holding us back.
Once we know what we want to change, we can look to some other tools (such as reading books or taking courses) to help us do so. Here are some ideas...
Certain apps can be a great asset for self-development. There are apps to help keep you organised, apps to help reduce stress and even apps to help you sleep. Easy to use wherever you are, apps that help you track your mood or set goals can feel like you have a miniature coach in your pocket.
If you’re looking for content and access to professional support from coaches, counsellors, nutritionists, hypnotherapists and complementary therapists, try our Happiful app.
In our efforts to overcome challenges and improve ourselves, it can be easy to forget the role of self-care. This is all about looking after ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally. When we’re trying to grow, develop and learn, our enthusiasm and desire to ‘achieve’ can lead to burnout and affect our mental health.
Self-care reminds us to take breaks, to ensure we’re meeting our basic needs. Self-care allows us to refill our tanks so that we have the energy needed to keep going.
Be sure to check in with yourself regularly and acknowledge how you’re feeling. Create a list of self-care activities that can help you feel rested and recharged, and treat this as your 'self-care first aid kit'. This will only enhance any self-help work you’re doing.
Creating a vision board
Vision boards are a fantastic way to connect with what you really want for your future. Being able to see your vision board regularly and visualise your future helps you stay connected and continuously reaffirms to your subconscious that this is the goal. The key to this is to not only focus on what you’d like in your future, but how you’ll be able to get there.
Take a look at our guide to creating a vision board.
Find the right business or life coach for you
All therapists are verified professionals.