Avoiding the self-help/personal development trap…
As I sat next to a lady on the 259 bus to Euston, I noticed that she was reading a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to stop worrying and start living”. I felt an instant bond with her as this could be a woman after my own heart, interested in personal development and empowered growth. And so I asked her if she was enjoying the book. She seemed a bit startled that a complete stranger was trying to talk to her about something other than the weather or a complaint and our conversation progressed it turned out that, let’s call her Ms L, had very recently ended her career as she no longer felt fulfilled by it in the way she had hoped and was ready to find her new calling in life.
So I asked her what new changes she was making, particularly in relation to this book she reading, what her main insights were so far and how was she using them.
“Oh there’s been loads of useful stuff in here but I’m waiting until I finish the book to give it a try,” she said.
How true is that of life?
Everyday life provides us with endless opportunities to try something new, create, transform and become so much more but we choose to wait. We wait for some ‘perfect moment’ to reveal itself to us so we can be sure that it’s the best time for us to start changing our lives.
I’ve heard it time and again, from my own mouth and out of those I know and get to work with: “I’ve just got a bit more work to do and then I’ll be ready to start”.
It can be a vicious trap of the self-help and personal development world that is so easy to get stuck in with the sheer wealth of information available to us. We begin to feel that with just one more book, one more course, one more retreat, that one more something will provide us with all we need to know and the confidence we require to give something a try and make a true success of it.
But nothing breeds confidence and competence like sheer experience created through giving something a go for yourself.
Being willing to try, fail, reflect and learn, try again, fail again, reflect and learn ad infinitum, is a much more satisfying and creative way to live and in my opinion, is a sign of a life well lived.
The thing is those “failures” are never in vain, they are always providing us evidence of what works what doesn’t and how we’re growing, signposting us towards what to do next. They are invaluable.
And so as I shared with Ms L something that has worked for me and for my clients too:
1. Read a book, a page, a chapter, or even less perhaps, maybe just get as far as the first task
2. Take this task and take action, give it try. Collect the evidence you need to measure your progress, identify your strengths and weaknesses and *then* go back to the book and pick up the next task – rinse and repeat
This is how your life becomes a constant source of fulfilling creation, not one where you’re always waiting for some unending goal set by someone or something else.
As soon as you do this, you will have instant feedback as to what work works, what doesn’t and what to do next. You begin forging your own path, creating and living your life in that very moment.
No more waiting in the shadows, putting your life on hold. Don’t be a passive participant in your own life – let’s get to work!
What are you going to close to book on and try today?
- Are you ready to take a step away from all of the personal development books and begin transforming your life through taking powerful and consistent action?
If yes, then I am offering 80-minute no-fee coaching sessions to help you develop the ability to take consistent action, creating tangible results in the areas of your life that you’d most love to transform, be it relationships, body confidence and more.
If you feel you would benefit from this then please click this link so we can begin.