Help Me! Book Summary By Marianne Power

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Help Me!

is an inspiring memoir that chronicles one woman’s mission of self-improvement.

It all starts when she reaches her breaking point and decides to drastic action or “help me” – prompting her to turn to books for the knowledge she needs.

As she perseveres on her journey of personal growth, she reveals the money, life and relationship lessons she uncovered, as well as how they impact her on a daily basis.

This empowering story is sure to move any reader with its highs and lows as our protagonist discovers (and applies) life tools that help her improve.

Help Me

Book Name: Help Me! (One Woman's Quest to Find Out If Self-Help Really Can Change Her Life)

Author(s): Marianne Power

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 28 Minutes

Categories: Motivation & Inspiration

Author Bio

Marianne Power is a highly respected journalist, author and speaker based in London, England.

With her deep knowledge and research writing, she has been published in prestigious newspapers like the Daily Telegraph and the Irish Independent.

She also has written for many popular magazines such as Grazia, Bazaar, and Good Housekeeping.

Power is an acclaimed author who does extensive research on the topics she writes about in order to bring her readers the best information out there about different issues that are affecting our society today.

Known for her wit and insight into difficult topics, Power's work has received great reviews from critics.

How A Hangover Changed Marianne’s Life, What Walking Across Hot Coals Can Teach You, And The Unexpected Wisdom Of A Bald Cabbie

Marianne's Life

In her book Help Me!, Marianne Power sets out to answer a difficult question: Is there such a thing as too much self-help? As she embarks on her 16-month journey of self improvement, Marianne tackles her flaws one by one, from embracing rejection and committing to 10-day plans to attending her own funeral and contemplating guardian angels.

Through it all, she wonders if pushing herself too hard will do more harm than good.

Should she really be asking the universe for the things she wants? Does turning within sometimes mean tuning out those around you? And what happens when the things you do to improve yourself make your relationships suffer?

Marianne discovers that while self-improvement can help us grow and become better versions of ourselves, it can also have unexpected results.

Be it through 10-minute meditations or participating in an odd ritual like walking across hot coals, find out what Marianne goes through during her journey and whether too much self-help is ever too much.

A Hangover Led Marianne To A Life-Changing Quest For Perfection

Marianne was one of those people that was never completely satisfied with how their life turned out.

She was stuck in a rut and had been feeling this way since her twenties.

Although she had a good job as a freelance writer in London, there were still some things missing from her life – like having a partner, a house to call her own, or a plan for the future.

It wasn’t until Marianne found herself hungover on a Sunday morning where everything changed.

In that moment, she realized that all she ever did was read self-help books without really implementing any of the advice given – this is why her life hadn’t changed.

So, Marianne made the decision to start actually doing self-help instead of just reading about it in order to reach perfection.

This meant reading one book every month for an entire year and taking action on what she learned from each one.

A nasty hangover kicked off Marianne’s quest for perfection and it would end up changing her outlook on life forever!

Marianne Learned That Facing Your Fears Isn’T Always Necessary For Progress

Marianne’s journey of self-improvement started with the advice of Susan Jeffers: face your fears.

This led Marianne to bravely jump into an icy pond on one of the coldest days of the year.

As her body adjusted, she experienced a sense of calm as well as joy afterwards.

However, not every fear needs to be confronted.

Marianne learned that when she went skydiving and realized her fear of heights was completely normal and instinctual.

It was keeping her safe and there was nothing to gain from trying to push herself beyond it.

Instead, Marianne had to take a look at what truly held her back—her money habits for example—and focus on those areas in order to make real progress in life.

It’s important to remember that you can learn lessons from facing your fears but also recognize when your gut is telling you otherwise and some things are better left alone.

The Real Root Cause Of Money Problems Can Go Much Deeper Than We Think: Marianne’s Story

Money Problems

Marianne had a problem with money – one she couldn’t explain and it was getting her into debt.

However, Marianne didn’t know the root cause of her financial issues until she read Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup.

In this book, Marianne was prompted to examine more than just her bank balance but rather to examine what life experiences might have influenced her relationship with money.

What she uncovered was that her childhood had a lot do with it.

Growing up in a family of great financial means only to see it disappear by the time she reached her twenties undoubtedly left Marianne with feelings of guilt and sorrow.

This led to feelings of not being good enough and inferiority, resulting in her throwing money around at people in an attempt to be liked.

Marianne’s insecurity and childhood memories were integral factors behind why she struggled so much with managing her finances as an adult.

Realizing this enabled Marianne to commit to refocusing on how she handled money going forward – organizing finances differently, tracking spending more carefully and being more grateful for what she had – but regrettably, this commitment did not last long for Marianne.

The Power Of Positive Thinking (And Other Strategies) – How The Secret Helped Marianne Reimagine Her Life And Improve Her Finances

Marianne had been struggling with money problems when she picked up The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

She had very strong opinions on the book’s message regarding positive thinking and the law of attraction but was surprised when people told her it changed their lives.

It was interesting enough that she decided to give it a go, though she remained skeptical about the actual results.

The book prompted Marianne to create a vision board – a poster with images representing her perfect life — which helped her reconsider her desired lifestyle.

Instead of expecting wealth to bring happiness, Marianne wanted health, contentment, friends and freedom to travel.

Although not fully believing in The Secret, Marianne followed the advice and visualized money coming into her life.

She wrote herself a check for the $120,000 she was hoping for and replaced figures in her bank statement with an amount of money she wanted.

Her editor asked if Marianne would write articles about kale and yoga four days after making this vision board– could The Secret be working?

Though it did encourage Marianne to strive for other goals in life than monetary gain, “The Secret” indirectly disrupted her newfound financial habits; instead of tracking finances consistently like she had planned, she fell behind on freelance work and fell back into the same financial hardship before reading the book.

How Facing Rejection Helped Marianne Find Unexpected Wins

Marianne was on a self-improvement mission – seeking out rejection every day to desensitize her and broaden her world.

But then a family tragedy occurred and she questioned if facing rejection alone would make any difference in her life.

She stopped looking for rejection, retreated into her old routine of sleep, work and TV.

She wasn’t expecting anything to change until she read the quote “Comfort is highly overrated for individuals who want to progress in life”.

This gave Marianne the motivation to take things up a notch and start pitching articles, doing more challenging tasks as well as approaching someone in a coffee shop which ultimately led to significant wins.

What Marianne experienced proved that although it can be difficult, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is liberating and rewarding.

Seeking out rejection taught her that despite bad news, there were still many possibilities ahead and these lessons brought new perspectives and opportunities – helping Marianne progress in life.

Marianne Learns To Take Time For Self-Care, But It Costs Her Valuable Relationships


When Marianne decided to read John Parkin’s F**k It!

self-help book and attend his week-long retreat in Italy, she never expected her life to be changed so drastically.

Through the various exercises and activities during the retreat, she was able to revive a level of insight and understanding into her own self that she hadn’t experienced before.

One such moment came during an exercise which involved breathing and letting go while a partner watched; it was then that Marianne recognized that she’d held onto her fears throughout her entire life, always believing something bad could happen if she let herself be at peace or allowed herself to be happy.

Building on this newfound awareness, another exercise asked each participant to trust someone else enough for them to float in a pool of water comfortably; here, Marianne learned how much trouble trusting people had been for her—expecting hurtful or disappointing behavior from them even when there was none.

The retreat ultimately left Marianne with a heightened appreciation for nature and emotions, but at a cost: as she implemented Parkin’s philosophy of “saying fuck it” to negative friends, an important relationship was severed between herself and one of her close friends who thought she’d gotten too caught up in her self-help mission.

In contrast, despite the losses maybe due to this decision, the overall experience provided Marianne with more meaningful connections in life – all thanks to Parkin’s F**k It!

The Hard Reality Of Self-Help: How Marianne Discovered True Empowerment Through Financial Responsibility

Marianne was enthralled with Tony Robbins’ message of positivity and possibility.

She stepped into a new world full of potential, energized by the 7,000 other people in attendance.

From walking barefoot across hot coals to a 10-day challenge she felt capable of anything – and her elation quickly had her signing up for his seminar.

Unfortunately, like many great highs, this one came crashing down fast as well.

After pouring $600 into the program and committing to it fully, Marianne found herself in an even worse financial dire straits than before; nearly $4,000 overdrawn!

Despite Tony’s message that she could have everything she wanted if she got her mind and body right, Life had different ideas.

Desperate to pay off her debt and not keen on filing for bankruptcy, Marianne took matters into her own hands instead.

She reached out to a debtors support group and a debt charity briefly then dove head-first back into continuing freelance work she’d been neglecting throughout Tony’s 10-day challenge – earning extra income wisely and diligently setting aside money for savings every month – until last month’s shortfall was erased.

Although the road wasn’t easy or magical, Marianne now shows appreciation for what hard work really does do – prevent us from facing harsh realities such as needing to declare bankruptcy at our own feet due to negligence or foolishness.

Changing Focus Towards Other People Helps Bring Contentment To Life

Marianne had already consumed eight self-help books before considering angel therapy.

Yet, rather than finding any solace in her findings, she felt increasingly overwhelmed by it all and started to feel angry and sick – an all too familiar feeling as this was a symptom of burn out Marianne had experienced before.

This inspired her to turn her focus away from the self help books, propelling herse on a journey away from introspection and towards deeds that benefit others instead..

It was then when Marianne’s mum said something which inspired a sudden U-turn in her approach: by taking care of other people first, she could avoid obsessing over herself.

Although at first this annoyed Marianne, deep down inside she recognised some truth to it.

Evidence of the impact of lending a helping hand was visible when Marianne helped remove leaves off her 85 year old neighbour’s driveway recently; the warm feelings and comfort came not from focussing on herself but rather through helping another human being.

In those moments, Marianne thought maybe contentment would Come With always putting other people ahead of herself.

Finding Comfort And Freedom Through Unexpected Conversations

Unexpected Conversations

Imagining her own funeral was a step that Marianne took in her mission to become selfless, following the advice of Stephen Covey from his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

For most people it’s a simple exercise, but for Marianne it sent her over the edge.

Her imagination put into perspective how little time she had left and triggered a depressive episode that lasted for more than one month.

After seeking help from friends, Marianne challenged herself to further by opening up to strangers as well.

While she was in the back of a cab she started talking about her experiences and was surprised to find out that even a stranger could relate.

This gave her much needed comfort that built upon earlier conversations with friends aiding in her recovery journey.

Marianne realized that imagining her own funeral caused both a mental breakdown and eventual breakthrough in her search for selflessness.

She was able to face the fears and anxieties head on with the assistance of a supportive network, eventually finding freedom from all doubts along the way.

The Power Of Now: How A Therapy Session And A Spiritual Teacher’S Book Can Help Us Appreciate The Here And Now

Marianne was fed up with the cycle of setting high expectations for herself and not seeing any of them come to fruition.

She consulted a therapist to try and uncover why she continually struggled with perfectionism, and it changed her life.

The therapist introduced Marianne to a German spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, whose book The Power of Now spoke directly to her struggles.

By reading this book, Marianne discovered that she put immense pressure on herself to reach an ideal goal or destination when in reality it was all about the little steps of progress she was making throughout her journey.

Marianne learned that she had been attached to negative beliefs about herself by repeating them constantly, driving her toward situations that would only further prove these beliefs.

Most importantly, in striving for the perfect version of herself Marianne was ignoring the present moments – the small victories along her way – that were just as important.

Comprehending this invaluable lesson enabled Marianne to focus on everything good in each passing moment rather than worry about getting closer to some unattainable ideal.

Once she applied this new knowledge in practice, Marianne’s tumultuous inner battle had finally reached its end; months after her initial breakdown she felt more at peace than ever before.

How One Woman’s Journey To Self-Love Transformed Her Romantic Life

Romantic Life

When Marianne went on a date with a man she was genuinely interested in, something happened that made her realize why she had trouble connecting with others.

She panicked during a kiss and it led her to the realization that her single status wasn’t just about not meeting the right man.

Her problem stemmed from a deep-seated belief that no one could love her.

To overcome this issue, Marianne turned to Daring Greatly by Brené Brown for help.

She learned that when people are ashamed, they chase impossible perfection and turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking, overeating and isolating themselves, which only exacerbates their shame.

Brown’s advice to share feelings with an empathetic person struck a chord with Marianne as she slowly started rebuilding connections with friends and family, slowly chipping away at her shame.

In the end, what helped Marianne mend was cultivating self-love which is key to improving every other aspect of life according to Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life book.

With this newly found love for herself, Marianne knew she was strong enough to tackle anything life throws at her – crazy or brave things – and live another day happily.

Wrap Up

The ultimate takeaway of Help Me!

is that true happiness isn’t found in books or fake affirmations, but rather through real connections with the people around us.

Marianne sets out to find perfection, but eventually discovers it’s not hiding in the pages of a self-help book.

Instead, she learns to look past her perceived flaws and connect with those around her.

Only then is she able to achieve contentment and find joy in life.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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