Before I had read my first book on self-development, towards the end of 2003, I didn’t really read books. The books that I had read were the ones that I had to read whilst I was at school, and this meant that I didn’t have a choice.

Up until this point, I didn’t enjoy reading; which was partly due to the fact that it took a while for me to learn how to read. I wasn’t diagnosed as having dyslexia when I was younger, but I did have learning difficulties, to say the least.

A Mystery

During this time, it was unclear as to why I found it so difficult to learn. One of things that came up was that my grandfather had also found it difficult to learn, it was then as if this was the result of a gene that had been passed on (or a cluster of genes).

At the time, I had no idea what was going on, and this had a big effect on how I saw myself. It was then not just that I couldn’t do things that most of the other people could, it was that there was something wrong with me – I was defective.

The Defining Factor

Through seeing myself as someone who was not very capable, intellectually speaking, I came to believe that I wasn’t very intelligent. As a result of this, if I came into contact with someone who was at university, I used to put them on a pedestal.

However, even though it was a mystery as to why I found it so hard at school, I believe that it was due to what had happened to me as a baby and what I was going through at home. Being neglected as a baby wouldn’t have done by brain any good, and the amount of stress I was under through being hit and neglected as a child wouldn’t have helped, either.

This Was Overlooked

The trouble was that there was what my parents said to people, such as the educational psychologist who I was referred to, and then there was what was going on behind the scenes. For example, on the report that was sent from the educational psychology service, it said that “Oliver is the younger of two children coming from a secure home”.

Yeah, a home that was about as secure as a war zone. To me, this emphasises how important it is for people who work in this area to look beyond what they are told by parents; if they don’t, it could mean that a child will continue to be harmed.

This Was Different

So, when I started reading my first book on self-development, I couldn’t get enough. I had an incredibly desire to understand myself, and it was as if I had found something that I had been looking for my whole life.

I would often come across words that I didn’t understand, and this made me buy a dictionary. Ultimately, this was a time when I began to educate myself, and this was when I started to see that I could actually do something.

Completely Committed

I wanted to know why my life was the way it was and why I felt the way I did, and I wasn’t going to stop until I found the answers. I was gradually able to develop a fairly good understanding, but I also knew that there was still more to learn.

Yet even though this was my outlook, I was told that I should no longer read books on childhood trauma and abuse. The therapist, who I was working with in 2013, told me that this would stop me from being able to move on.

I Was Confused

After I was told this, I felt ashamed and as though I was doing something wrong; fortunately, I soon came to my senses. On one hand, what I was told made sense, but on the other, I thought this would do me more harm than good.

If I had done what this person recommended, I might still be doing the same thing and not making progress. It was only through continuing to learn that I was able to see that I needed to do something else.

A Natural Process

I knew that I was responsible for my own healing journey; if I had relied on them, I would have given my power away. This meant that I wasn’t prepared to do what was recommended and to put my ability to think critically to one side.

As time passed, my desire to read these kinds of books started to subside, but that was only due to the progress that I had made. What this makes me think about is how important it is for us to trust ourselves, to question what we are told, and to be our own authority.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, author, and coach, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand five hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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