Self-Help Is Necessary If You Want to Help Others Effectively

Do you want to help others from a position of weakness or strength?

Brian Tubbs


Image by Viktoria Sapata via

Periodically, we are subjected to an unhealthy dose of sky-is-falling writers who bemoan all the self-help and personal development stories here on Medium.

Shouldn’t we care more about injustice or inequity or the planet than about helping ourselves? Or so these anti-self-helpers bewail.

Just the other day, one of Medium’s most popular writers declared that the only self-help book you ever need (or should want to read) is about how to save the planet. In other words, don’t waste your time helping yourself when you need to help save the planet.

Well, she’s wrong.

And so are all other writers who lament self-help or personal growth stories (or articles) here on Medium — or elsewhere.

It’s not an either-or dilemma. It’s a both-and. We can better help others (and our planet) when we also help ourselves.

People who pay little attention to their own mental and emotional health, as well as their personal growth, are the last people I want to help me or the planet.

Those who don’t help themselves are rarely in a position to effectively help others.

There’s a reason why airlines tell people to put on their own oxygen masks before helping children or others who need assistance.

If you want to help the planet and/or other people, you need to do so from a position of strength and wisdom.

This isn’t to say that you should only help yourself. I’m not advocating selfishness or narcissism. What I’m saying is simply this…

Help yourself so that you can help others wisely and effectively.

So… keep the self-help articles coming, my fellow Medium writers.

We need them.

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