Book Summary: Help Me! by Marianne Power

Quick Summary: Help Me! is a book about Marianne Power who was dissatisfied with her life. She had a career and a life that most people would envy, but she was constantly unhappy and anxious. These feelings prompted her to embark on a 16-month quest for personal growth. With self-help books in hand, she set out to improve herself one step at a time, hoping that something would change.

Marianne took criticism in stride, made strict 10-day plans, and considered the possibility of heavenly protectors. She was so committed that she even went to her own funeral.

In this way, she challenged herself, risked her relationships with others, and learned important lessons about who she really is. What she learned and how it impacted her is explained in these brief descriptions.

You don’t have to read the whole book if you don’t have time. This summary will provide you with an overview of everything you can learn from this book.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Lesson 1: Facing your fears can be a learning experience, but not all fears must be confronted

When Marianne first set out in search of happiness, the book that would change her life was Feel the Fear by Susan Jeffers.

According to Jeffers, Marianne must face her fears in order to be happy and successful. When we’re forced to do something we’re not used to, we experience fear. And when we overcome our fears, we can succeed in life.

On the other hand, as Marianne has found, it’s best to ignore some phobias.

What better way to ring in the New Year than by launching into a pond full of ice?

You’re probably thinking of several warmer options. However, on one of the “coldest days of the year,” Marianne overcame her fear of the water and plunged in. To put it simply, she jumped in.

At first, Marianne was sure she’d sink. But as her skin became accustomed to the temperature of the water, a calmness overcame her. The calm finally gave way to anticipation. Despite her fears, she did it after all. After that, she felt unstoppable in her abilities.

She spent the next month facing various phobias. For her driver’s license test, Marianne tried parallel parking for the first time, and on the subway she struck up conversations with complete strangers. She tried public speaking and even won an award for her efforts. Yes, she even tried her hand at stand-up.

Marianne felt empowered and reinvigorated by these events. She realized that she’d underestimated her abilities. And she wondered what would happen if she faced her fears instead of trying to avoid them.

She overcame some of her fears with a sense of pride and satisfaction, but not all.

To illustrate, she jumped out of an airplane and went into free fall at a speed of 150 miles per hour. Marianne then realized that it was normal to be afraid of heights and similar things. She was protected by these phobias, so they didn’t slow her down. It would have been pointless to fight them.

Instead, she should have worked on her weaknesses, such as her spending habits. That’s exactly what she then did.

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Lesson 2: Money problems can be traced back to insecurity and extreme childhood experiences

Some people just have no financial sense at all. They blow it as soon as they get it and mysteriously disappear without a trace. They pile up bills and end up having to borrow money from loved ones.

Most likely, you have a friend or acquaintance who fits this description. Like Marianne, you probably feel ashamed at the thought of meeting each criterion. She was “throwing money away,” as she says. If her card was not declined, she had no idea how low her balance was.

Marianne decided to help herself achieve financial security by reading Kate Northrup’s Money, a Love Story. It turned out there was much more to consider than just her bank account.

When Marianne finished the book, she felt compelled to record her thoughts and feelings about money. In two hours of work, it turned out that her upbringing had an impact on her current financial difficulties.

When she was growing up, her father threw money around and the family drove swanky cars. By the time she was in her twenties, however, the money had run out. Marianne felt bad because she was better off than others, but there was not enough money. For this reason, she usually paid for trips with her friends.

When she saw her family’s fortune dwindling, she came to the conclusion that money could be lost as easily as it could be gained. Therefore, she did not allow herself to commit to it, make long-term plans with it, or even pay particular attention to how she spent it.

Her early years, however, were not the only interesting part of her life. When she checked her bank statements, she found she owed about $19,000. She burst into tears when she realized how much money she had blown on expensive lattes and spa visits. She also wondered why only she was affected by these problems and not her sisters.

At that moment, Marianne realized that she was spending so much money because she was not satisfied with her feelings. In an effort to win people over, she was throwing money around. She had money problems because she lacked self-confidence.

She realized that it would take time to change Marianne’s attitude toward money. Nevertheless, she promised to follow through. She implemented the recommendations from the book, including keeping better track of her money, watching her spending, and creating a budget.

Unfortunately, her commitment did not last long.

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Lesson 3: “The Secret” helped Marianne rethink her ideal life, but it also upset her new financial habits

Marianne picked up a book that offered her a new perspective after she faced the hard facts of her financial situation.

With the help of positive thinking and the law of attraction, the protagonist of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret can achieve all of his desires. Marianne was firmly convinced that everyone involved was delusional. She had heard from many people that the book had a profound impact on their lives. Also, there was a part of her that longed for a miracle cure for all her ailments.

But she was still struggling. Marianne found some meaning in the book’s message. In other ways, not so much.

A waitress who had read “The Secret” suggested Marianne make a “vision board.” Marianne put her skepticism aside and tried it out.

When asked where she wanted to live, she surprised her roommate by naming a mansion in Los Angeles. This was quite out of character for her. Marianne began to wonder why she had ever believed that material possessions could bring her happiness.

A new perspective that better suited her preferences was needed. For her, the ideal life consisted of maintaining a healthy body and mind through regular meditation and yoga practice. She longed for a partner, a close circle of friends, and the independence to see the world.

This was the picture of the ideal life she had always wanted. Marianne’s doubts about The Secret remained, however.

She doubted that she would succeed in achieving her goals if she thought positively. Suddenly, she was assigned by her editor to cover topics such as kale and yoga. Marianne’s vision board with green juice and yoga postures had only been up for four days at that point. After a while, she began to wonder if there could be any point to it all.

If The Secret was real, Marianne’s bank account was one place she desperately needed help. And so she took the advice, imagining a steady stream of money flowing into her life. The $120,000 she needed was covered by a check she made out to herself. Then she changed her bank statement to include the amount she wanted.

A week after deciding to improve her financial habits, Marianne stopped keeping track of her expenses and promptly fell behind on her freelance work.

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Lesson 4: You can seek rejection to achieve significant success

If you are looking for rejection, when was the last time you actively sought it? It is highly unlikely that it has ever happened to you. In fact, I bet you are scratching your head as to why on earth anyone would bother.

But as Marianne found out when reading about rejection therapy, if you experience rejection often enough, you become desensitised to it. You then no longer see it as a threat. Since then, one has become more open to new experiences.

This was the reason for Marianne’s daily rejection goal. While she was preparing for the frightening prospect of rejection, her plan was abruptly interrupted.

Marianne learned that her uncle had died just as she was preparing to participate in a television talent show. Marianne unceremoniously cancelled her trip to the audition and flew to Ireland for the funeral instead.

Marianne’s efforts to better herself seemed futile as she mourned her uncle and heard from everyone who had benefited from his kindness. She began to wonder if, instead of striving for perfection, she should just focus on being a good person and be grateful for what she had. Since Marianne’s father had passed away, she had no interest in being rejected. Sleeping, working and watching TV became her new normal.

Comfort is completely overrated for people who want to get ahead in life, she read a few weeks later. And with that, she was back where she started: being rejected.

But in addition to the rejections, she experienced other negative consequences. A few acceptances came out of the blue. She was accepted into a group of women who talked to her, and she was allowed to play the musician’s instrument.

These conversations made her feel that anything was possible in life. However, Marianne’s sister made the observation that she made no attempt to make meaningful changes in her life.

Marianne knew this was true, even if she was reluctant to admit it. So she stepped it up another notch or two. She approached a man she had noticed in a café and suggested articles for publications she hoped to write for.

Such an outcome was totally unexpected. She had some success with a pitch that became a regular column. What about the man in the coffee shop? He immediately asked her out. These successful rejection attempts showed Marianne that she had been too cautious in many areas of her life.

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