Lucas Brenner » Articles » Self-Help Seminars Are Pointless

People change through learning, habits and stories. Change must be self-initiated and it can only come from within. However, the promise of numerous “coaches” is that you would change just by attending their seminars. A majority of these courses are a waste of money because change doesn't work this way.

Change needs much more than just passive listening. Only you can change yourself and your life. Self-help seminars can at most provide a short-term boost of motivation. Even the best courses don't do the work for you.

If you want to improve something in your life, you must first accept three things.

  1. People change through learning, habits and stories.
  2. Change requires work.
  3. Only you are in control of your life.

Let's say Joe wants to limit his consumption of social media.

First, he needs to learn something: When does he use social media? How can he limit this time? Stories from other people who have overcome their addiction can help and inspire him. He can read books about the topic, too. However, he should be careful to read self-help books correctly.

Finally, he needs to turn this knowledge into habits. For example, he might limit his social media consumption to a certain time of day.

The most important step is to put in the work. Habits don't develop on their own, and Joe's behavior doesn't magically change. He has to work hard to stick with the habit.

Throughout his development, Max has had to do most of the work himself because only he can influence his life. No one can develop his new habit for him. Of course, others can help Joe, but ultimately, it's up to him.

This means that seminars and workshops can, at most, help you gain knowledge and learn other people's stories. Good courses also offer the opportunity to develop habits together as a group. Still, each participant must put in the work themselves.

This article is not meant to be a rant against self-help seminars. There are some very good courses on the Internet that have actually helped many people. It is not my right to judge all workshops in general.

Nevertheless, there are black sheep whose courses are only aimed at making the highest possible profit. However, they will never deliver on the promises they make in the process.

Good courses give you the tools and the knowledge change yourself through work. Bad courses make you feel like you have already arrived at your destination by attending the course.

Without perseverance, diligence and effort, change cannot be achieved.