So today is the first of January 2014. The rain is pouring, the wind is blowing and I’ve just taken a dip in Hampstead lady’s pond. It was a stupid, terrifying and exhilarating thing to do.
I hope that it will be the first of many, many stupid, terrifying and exhilarating things I’ll do this year. For this is going to be the year of my great self-help experiment.
I came up with the idea for this blog a couple of months ago. I was reading a book called ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’ by Dale Carnegie when it struck me that if I actually did half of what the book told me to do I’d be the perfect person. Or at least less broke, single, anxious and insecure.
I’ve always been a sucker for self-help books but that doesn’t mean I ever follow any of the advice offered within them – I don’t. Instead I read them, nod in eager agreement then promptly go back to life as normal.
And it’s not that my life as normal is particularly bad – it really isn’t. I have work that I enjoy, friends that I love and a family who is always there for me. But, like many people, I know that I don’t live life to half of its potential. I spend a good portion of it worrying, analysing and battling with myself. I’m chronically overdrawn and terminally single.
It gets boring. But no more.
I’ve decided that for 2014 I was going to live by the rules of a different self help book each month. And I mean really live by them. If they told me to practice radical honesty, then fine, I’d tell my best friend she’s fat (she’s not but you know what I mean). Or if I had to write wish lists to the universe (as I think it says in The Secret) then great – I’ll write the shopping list to end all shopping lists.
I’m starting with Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, in January. The classic was published 25 years ago by Susan Jeffers and was the first self-help book I ever read.
I’m going to re-read it tonight to refresh the memory but I know that one of the things she says is to do something that scares you every day, something out of your comfort zone. Cold water scares me… which is why I dove straight into it. Well, teetered in, one shaking foot at a time. And it felt good. Really good.
So can self-help change your life? Join me to find out….