Did you know that the American self-help industry is now worth more than $10 billion, with life coaches alone generating more than $2.5 billion in revenue annually? Rapid technological advancements have automated everyday tasks, so now human beings have plenty of time to focus inwards. Simply put, we now have the luxury of introspection.
Given the number of videos, books, and motivational quotes about self-help, one might think that the world would be brimming with confidence and self-esteem. In reality, we are now unhappier than ever1. Our obsession with being the best version of ourselves, for example, is only creating more problems for us.
It’s also likely that we’re placing too much importance on certain emotional skills—these skills have garnered a lot more hype than they deserve. We’ve listed some of these skills below. We’re not saying that these skills are unnecessary or bad; we’re saying that they’re not as necessary as people have made them out to be for a long time.
Have you, like me, ever chosen to binge on TV dramas even while knowing an assignment’s deadline is hanging over your head? Self-discipline is quite often synonymous with success and confidence, and we like to be in control of ourselves at all times. Stephen Covey claims that self-discipline is one of the four important traits that all great leaders possess. Those who lack self-discipline are slaves to moods, passions, and appetites, he claims.
And yet, researchers are finding self-discipline to be overrated; it has been drilled into our conscience so much that we now fear being without control. Impulsivity and spontaneity aren’t necessarily bad. People who are too focused on self-discipline often neglect developing other important human characteristics. Sometimes people who’re too self-disciplined their whole lives “snap” and go on excessive binges without any rhyme or reason. It’s also true that those who keep their emotions pinned down run the risk of letting out their emotions all at once.
A lot of behavioral and social problems have been attributed to a lack of self-esteem. To many, self-esteem is the key that unlocks the gates to happiness and success, and some believe that self-esteem makes us better human beings. We’re told that if you aren’t feeling good about yourself, then something is probably wrong within. In the academic realm specifically there is a lot of emphasis on individuality—students are taught to feel special for being themselves.
Self-esteem is a good trait, but it’s true that even this can be overdone. A 2005 article published in Scientific American and an article published in Psychological Science and the Public Interest both found that focusing too much on self-esteem correlated with bad behavior2. In some cases, criminals even began viewing their behaviors as favorable because of misplaced self-esteem. The common self-esteem theories also ignore the possibility that successful people may have high self-esteem because they are successful, and not the other way around.
Happiness and positive thinking can help you live a healthy life, and it’s true that happy people are more productive and peaceful. But we have become so obsessed with positivity that we now fail to realize that sadness is an appropriate response to bad situations. The pressure to put negative or sad emotions on the back burner and look for the proverbial light at the end of the dark tunnel is only making us more unhappy.
Genuine positivity is good, but it’s different than the pressure of staying positive. Too much positivity can push us away from reality, for it’s impossible to be perpetually happy; sometimes we do need a dose of self-doubt to push ourselves harder.
Throughout our blogs, we have been pushing positivity and self-discipline, but we also acknowledge that we’re all human—we all possess the same capacity for fallibility. It’s alright if you do not want to do your homework today, for you can call our online class takers and get help! Paying someone to take online classes doesn’t make you a bad person. Call us and hire class help online if you’re tired. You can sleep while we complete your assignments.