Why Self-Help Vultures are Frothing At the Mouth Right Now

…and the ONE HARD TRUTH that will save you.

I have officially entitled the week between Dec. 26th and January 1st, the “Danger Zone for Women Week”. Why? Because this is the time women are at their most vulnerable. Self Improvement Advertising is on a MISSION.

According to Women’s Agenda Magazine, women account for 70% of the self-help industry which implies that we are the most frequent consumers of personal growth books, courses, and conferences.

We LOVE the week leading up to The New Year because it speaks to our innate yearning for personal growth, new beginnings, a fresh slate.

I define a New Year’s resolution as a decision to break a counterproductive habit or start a new productive one.

One look at Instagram or Facebook and you will see dozens of Self-Help Gurus and Authors posting their latest book, course, or program that promises a brand new you.

The most obvious resolutions that we are most familiar with are to lose weight, drink less, work out more.

In the Executive Coaching space, New Year Resolutions are often career related; find a new job, earn more money, start a business; double your sales.

While well intentioned, the sad truth is that these hard fought for resolutions often don’t even last a month.

Problem is, a lot of the time people want the adrenalin rush of a quick insight, the high of a weight loss program, the one page PLAN for making it big. We are attracted to the promise, and flattened by the motivation to make it happen.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. There’s nothing wrong with feeling good, if that’s your aim. I read self-help and personal growth books ALL THE TIME. They educate me, further my understanding, and I simply love reading.

However, if you are more interested in the long-game — whether that be permanent weight loss or a career you are in love with — we need a new strategy.

One of the problems with the self-improvement obsession is that it often over-emphasizes self-reliance, 10 Tips, Do This One Thing, The Secret To Your Success, Don’t Hold Back, and in my executive coaching practise, this “self improvement” advice doesn’t get the job done. It is missing a crucial part of learning: our subconscious.

Enter Self Help Gurus, (who oddly enough are still mostly men). We read the latest books, subscribe to Manifestation podcasts, and follow carefully laid out online programs — often on our own, with the hope that THIS TIME the change will stick.

So often though, it doesn’t. Valerie Rein responds very intelligently to this question in her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder. Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD). is defined as a system of inequality and oppression where the power, economic, political and even moral power has belonged to men and excluded women for millennia.

Vein refers to PSD as the invisible prison. She goes on to say that:

“PSD may manifest as imposter syndrome (not feeling good enough for the accolades you’ve earned), hesitance to advocate for yourself at work or in relationships, an inability to trust your own instincts, difficulty unwinding or relaxing, even chronic pain, fatigue, depression and anxiety”.

As a NLP Coach trained to understand how our often-unconscious inherited beliefs affects our neurology, behaviour, motivation levels, and ultimately results, this rings true.

The One Hard Truth is that true change, Rein has found, as have I in my Group Coaching Program The Crucible works best in a group setting.

It’s the same reason why I run with a friend. She keeps me motivated to wake up and show up, on a consistent basis, week after week. If I knew that she wasn’t waiting for me, you can bet that I would be pressing the snooze button on my alarm.

The inconvenient truth is that creating new thought and behaviour patterns takes time, repetition, and accountability. When two or more people are working on the same thing, habits have a greater likelihood of sticking.

According to INC Magazine high performers and productive people don’t do it alone. They understand that they can achieve more and do it quicker with the help of a mentor, coach, or adviser.

If you wanted to get better at golf, you would probably hire an instructor who would help you improve your form or strategy.

Setting and meeting larger goals is no different. Having a network of others who care about your success and keep you motivated toward your goals works.

Studies have shown that when you share your goals with others you are twice as likely to achieve them than if you keep the goals to yourself.

For the same reason that I have a consistent run date with my friend, accountability when goal setting is one of the most crucial elements in your success.

So, go ahead and buy that self improvement book. They do keep me buzzing with good feelings. However, if you really want to see a lasting change in that stubborn part of your life or career, consider this hard truth:

You are twice as likely to succeed if you have an accountability partner or group. If you would like help, let’s get on the phone and have a chat.

Teresa Vozza is an Executive Coach and former C-Level Executive of one of the world’s largest global insurers. She helps super successful and ambitious women trade in high pressure leadership for a transcendent life. Sign up to receive a free copy of “8 Pro-Tips to Become the Voice In the Room Everyone Listens to” and subscribe to her weekly newsletter here.




Former C-Suite Executive; Current Peak Performance & Executive Coach; NLP Trainer; Speaker; HeartMath Trainer; Featured on Thought Catalog.

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Teresa Vozza

Teresa Vozza

Former C-Suite Executive; Current Peak Performance & Executive Coach; NLP Trainer; Speaker; HeartMath Trainer; Featured on Thought Catalog.

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