Book review: Help me! By Marianne Power

Subtitle: One woman’s quest to find out if self-help really can change her life

A friend recommended this book because I’m interested in personal development and I’m glad that she did. A certain part of me felt smug reading this, compared to Marianne I had my life together. But like Marianne I had to work to get there.  Perhaps I don’t push myself out of my comfort zone often enough but sometimes every day things will scare me and I keep going.

Marianne planned to read one self-help book a month, for a year. But life got in the way, momentum was hard to maintain, and it stretched out to 16 months. She did read those 12 books with varying degrees of success. She would seem to find what she was looking for in one book then lose it when she turned to the next. I think to make these really successful you need to stick to the philosophy of one book or idea instead of trying several potentially conflicting ones.

She narrowly misses reading a book I read and loved; Get Rich, Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield Thomas. – I’ve even done the online course that’s attached to it. Come to think of it, I’ve done an online course on dating too, perhaps online courses are my self-hep books.  – I think she could have really got into Denise’s work which is all about having earning good money while living a good life rooted in self love.

Some of Marianne’s experiences are universal, like that crazy voice in your head and trying so hard to make things better that you just make them worse. She had some great epiphanies as her year(ish) progressed including that “we think we want to change but we don’t really…it’s too scary” alongside worries she was a “spoilt brat” and the whole thing was “self-indulgent nonsense.” Perhaps the most relatable moment was when she ran into someone more enlightened and she “couldn’t tell if (she) wanted to punch her or be her.” Marianne also discovered therapy, something I think everyone should do, and her therapist pointed out that all the self-help books in the world won’t help as you’re still reading them from the same brain.

At the core of this book is a real person. Brenè Brown talks about the importance of vulnerability and writing this book was an act of vulnerability. I’m so invested in her life now, I want to know how she is, is she doing ok? (You can find out on her website)

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