You are not struggling because you’re stupid. 

You are not struggling because you’re fundamentally weak or flawed. 

You are not struggling because you’re stubborn. 

You’d hope some of that would be self-evident…but when you look around the self help landscape, you see PLENTY of teachers and gurus essentially communicating to their followers that the reason they are struggling is because they are somehow incomplete; or broken; or stubborn; or maybe just stupid. 

You see practitioners taking what they try to sell as a “tough love” approach…but which really seems to boil down to mocking, insulting, and berating. 

There’s a reason they do this. 

And it’s not because their followers “deserve” it. 

The main reason this happens is because these practitioners are looking to “reel in” a certain type of follower. 

Specifically, they’re looking for the type of follower who already believes that they are damaged. 

(Or stupid, or stubborn, or…you get the idea.)

As you can imagine, there are plenty of people out there who DO feel damaged— and, as you might be able to imagine, a disproportionate number of them can be found seeking out self-help resources. 

When someone who already feels damaged, flawed, or stupid, encounters a “guru” who confirms their negative self-belief, it often pushes a particular button in the potential follower— “this guru KNOWS how terrible I am…therefore they MUST know how to fix me!” 

From the outside, it sounds odd…but I have a feeling more than a few people know what I’m talking about with this phenomenon. 

This is the reason why “gurus” who mock, insult, and berate their potential followers— often in the name of “tough love”— still find customers willing to buy what they’re selling: they’ve aligned with their potential followers’ negative self-perceptions and self-beliefs. 

Here’s the problem, though: the vast majority of the time, our negative self-perceptions and self-beliefs stem from distorted thoughts and traumatic pasts. 

Those negative self-feelings and self-beliefs do not represent reality. They represent ideas that have been programmed into us by people and institutions that did not have our best interests in mind. 

The job of a true guru, mentor, or guide is not to reinforce those negative self-beliefs. 

The job of a true guru, mentor, or guide is to help us shatter those negative self-beliefs by reminding us who we really are and what we’re really all about…and that does not include making us feel worse so we’ll “buy in” to the guru’s approach to begin with. 

I do not think you’re stupid. 

I do not think you’re broken. 

I do not think you’re fundamentally any weaker or more flawed than any other normal human being. 

And I don’t think you should buy any products or services from anyone who tries to reinforce negative beliefs you may have about yourself. 

I think you are valuable. 

I think you are worthy. 

I think you have potential— no matter how old you are, no matter what’s happened to you, no matter what regrets you have, and no matter how long you’ve been struggling. 

All that might be harder to believe than the message, “Yeah, you’re probably as broken as you feel.” 

But it’s the truth. 

I believe in you. 


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