Is your self-help plan doing more harm than good?

Image by Thought Catalog from Pixabay

Trying to find help in self-help books, coaching, online courses etc can lead to overconsumption and result in no benefit at all.  We can be paralysed by information overload.

The idea is that self-help needs to create something.  If all we do is consume content but don’t change anything, we’ll be no better off for it.  In fact, probably worse of having spent money on some of it.

My current podcast fave, Tonya Leigh suggested that when you apply your learning to your life, self-help can be amazing but just reading about it will only lead to disappointment if you don’t create anything from it. Consuming information is easy, but the real work is hard and can be so rewarding.  Taking what you’ve learned and applying it to your life.

We can grow and evolve beyond who we are today if we want to, but its not about trying to fix what you might consider broken.  We get to decide who we want to be and create it.  However, we don’t know what we don’t know and may need help in identifying it.

Personal development books, mentors and courses can open our minds to what is possible.  It’s doing the work, not reading about it, that gets results.

Our success is our job to create and no amount of investment will make it happen.  It can be uncomfortable and push you into hard decisions to evolve from the person you are today.  You’ll have to say “no more” to some things, risk failure and rejection, overcome your own doubts, let go of habits that no longer serve you, and do the work to create it, not just consume.

If you are someone consuming a lot of self-help content but feel you aren’t getting anywhere with it, TL suggested three rules to turn personal development into personal freedom:

  1. Commit to following through every programme you invest in.  That doesn’t just mean listening to the modules.  It means scheduling it, showing up for the sessions and taking action based on what you’re learning.
  2. Only allow a small selective group into your head at any given time.  Carefully consider who you’re personal development crew are based on your next evolution of yourself. This helps create momentum rather than only touching the surface.
  3. Diversity your consumption.  What is it you want to focus on?  Health, style, finances, etc.  Then select the people and programmes that support that.

Reading a book, watching a video, listening to a podcast is not doing the work.   The work is being willing to accept the discomfort that is going to come, showing up, scheduling the activity and the time to do it, being honest with yourself and committing to addressing the real issues.

Take what you have learned from the personal devolvement world and apply it to your life.  Do the uncomfortable, messy, hard work.

As you know, I’m on a journey (hate that phrase) of self-discovery and improvement and I have read a few books, followed a few people on social media and listened to the odd podcast.  I am quite selective about the content I consume and as soon as I recognise that it doesn’t serve my purpose, I stop, unfollow, delete or whatever.  Even with those I do follow, I sometimes skip posts or episodes if I don’t feel they speak to me in that moment.


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