Self-Help Practitioners usually encourage consumers to take RISKS

Just recently, I spoke with a Dr. Glenn Doyle who writes a blog called: Use Your Damn Skills.  I was intrigued and we spent quite a bit of time getting to know one another.  His insights are “spot on”.  He has done considerable research on self-esteem and its connection to one’s decision making.   Like myself, Dr. Doyle sees the importance of people seeking to grow and recognizes that some self-help programs and materials can be enormously helpful on one’s personal journey.  However, there is concern about those self-help practitioners who give advice that they are not trained to provide or suggest a course of action that has not been proven to be effective.   SEEK has always been anxious about those thought leaders who encourage potentially dangerous risk-taking, especially if there is no risk management plan to protect consumers.  Dr. Doyle’s  following remarks are particularly pertinent in helping people to intelligently evaluate risk.

He writes:

“We’re often told to focus on the reward, rather than the risk.

We’re told that if we focus exclusively on the risk involved in projects, we’ll be disinclined to take the risks needed to really reach our potential. We’re told that risk is necessary in order to evolve, and that to decline to take risks is to stay in our comfort zone and limit ourselves indefinitely.”

Sounds a lot like the admonition given by many self-help providers.  The critical question becomes, “how to evaluate that risk?”   Dr. Doyle goes on to explain:

“There’s an element of truth to this, to be sure. If nothing else, it’s an impractical life strategy to only bet on “sure things.” If we only bet on sure things, we’re choosing stability (or maybe even the illusion of stability) over the potential for growth.

In order to grow, there is an extent to which we often need to embrace unfamiliarity, discomfort, and, yes: risk.

That said: not all risks are created equal.

Just because something is scary or outside of your comfort zone doesn’t mean it’s a risk worth taking…

…whether a risk is intelligent or not depends on three things:  whether we understand a reasonable amount about the nature of the risk; the connection between the risk and the reward (i.e., our goals, our very reason for taking that risk); and our ability to be flexible in responding to a risk that turns out to be different than we imagined.”

You can read Dr. Doyle’s entire blog here:

SEEK will always encourage consumers to seek SAFELY.  Use your own intuition, your own skills, your own intelligence to evaluate the teacher, the philosophy, the program, the risk!  Thank you, Dr. Doyle, for encouraging thoughtful decisionmaking!


  1. Sabelle Fields on

    I trust Dr Doyle’s proficiency as he makes more sense & is closer to the way we, mentally damaged people are, than any other professional I’ve dealt with. I value his daily dose of totally clued up confidence building advice. Ty.


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