People want to change
Nothing in this world is permanent, even change. This is a phrase constantly thrown around to give justice to people who have changed or will change for the better. I say this is in a very non-offensive way because experience dictates that people will eventually change for the better whether they are aware of it or not.
5 years ago, I worked as a coach and counsellor for a local school here in Sydney and most of the projects that were asked of me were self-help or personal development seminars. Of course, this was college so you can really get a good crowd here to attend one of the seminars. The task of looking up different groups and organizations to hold seminars in our school was huge and sometimes, we outsourced our students to these groups in their weekly meetings outside the school.
The big problem
Change can be difficult to deal with, whether it’s a gradual process or not. Parents of college students who’re interested in self-help and personal development seminars will always come running to me and ask why it’s worth investing money into. Questions like “why do you think my son needs to join this seminar?” or “what do you think my daughter can get out of this seminar?” were thrown quite a lot in my office back then, and I told every parent that came bursting into my door about why it’s important to invest in self-help seminars.
- Self-help seminars help college students deal with identity and personality problems – Even before I became a counsellor, I already was aware of the different people that hard identity and personality problems and I am not referring to both personality and identity disorders. College can be a big transition for teenagers, especially if they’ve grown accustomed to a set of norms or tradition. As they continue to develop as a person in college, they will encounter several problems that will hinder them from achieving who they want to be. If they cannot achieve the kind of change they want out of themselves, it becomes confusing for them and they will lose all degrees of self-esteem and self-worth. Self-help seminars can help college students get back on track to their ideal selves or point those who’re lost to the right direction. Numerous self-help gurus like the late Stephen Covey and Anthony Robbins are big advocates of personal development and self-help in a corporate and professional setting, but their philosophies can be carried out in all aspects of life. Imagine a business telephone system that works well in the beginning but can’t be as effective in the future because there are no upgrades. Self-help seminars are upgrades to your totality as a person.
- Self-help seminars remind you of the goals that you want to achieve – When you attend self-help or personal development seminars, most of them would have you write about the goals that you want to achieve, be it short-term or long-term. These seminars would then help people achieve their goals by helping them get started. Are you having self-esteem crisis? Self-help seminars will break you out of your comfort zone and have you interact with other members of the seminar. Are you having a hard time speaking in front of the public? Seminars can break you from that fear by letting you speak on stage in front of the participants. Now, most people would complain that they can do this without help from anybody. That’s good, but there are people who just can’t get over problems like agoraphobia or introvertism. If participants have a clear vision of what they want to achieve, they can easily pick out the seminars they want to join.
- Self-help seminars help you succeed – Most self-help seminars are geared towards different facets of life. There are self-help seminars for teachers, businessmen, and for young adults. These seminars are designed by professionals to help people belonging to this group succeed. For example, businessmen always looked forward to seminars from Robert Kiyosaki or the late Zig Ziglar. For those who’re really looking for personality development, there’s always Nick Vujicic and Anthony Robbins. There’s also Stephen Covey too. Business telephone systems with consistent upgrade will not lose their efficiency, so can you as a person.
- Self-help seminars get rid of your baggage – Now, most people who join these self-help seminars will want to undergo change by removing some of their negative baggage. This can be in the form of anxiety problems, phobias, and even trauma. When seminars are done right and carried out properly, people who have heavy mental baggage are able to overcome their problems and it helps them become better people. They are able to become part of society and function properly.
What people should be careful of
Self-help seminars are just terrible when it comes to baiting in the wrong people. It’s often used as one of the modus operandi for those get-rich-quick schemes. These kinds of seminars promise improvement and development, when in reality, you’re stuck with placebo-like treatments. There are also self-help books that are categorized as self-help, but they end up being too focused on materialism. It doesn’t really help people improve, but it’s just there because the author found the self-help industry to be a lucrative one and decided to try it out for himself.
Good seminars and groups in Sydney
Because I am a proponent of self-help, I’ve made it a point to join the following groups in one of their weekly and monthly meetings from time to time. I’ve recommended these groups to my students and colleagues, and they too have found these groups to be a delight.
- Australian General Semantics – This group meets every month in Sydney’s South and lets you enjoy informal discussions on just about anything. It’s for people who are curious about self-improvement in all aspects too.
- Manly Improvisation and Self Expression Club – It is a perfect group for those who are having trouble dealing with expressing themselves. It allows people to be creative on the spot and it helps them think on their feet. As the name implies, we don’t have a teacher. We’re just there to express. Personally, one of my favourite self-help groups that I’ve had the pleasure of joining.
Self-help is, in a way, a journey to change and how to deal with change around you. The results may not come instantaneously, but there will be results.