6 Common Traps To Avoid When Doing Personal Development


6 Common Traps to Avoid when doing personal development

How much have you changed since you began your personal development journey?

If you haven’t seen any tangible changes in your life, it may be because you fell into some of the most common traps that will kill your personal development journey.

This article will alert you to these potential traps that you might encounter as you pursue personal growth. It will also encourage you to go deeper into your own personal development journey. I have to admit that I’ve experienced most of these traps myself in the past and still run into some of them today.

Now for the 6 worst traps to avoid when pursuing personal development.

1) Being a personal development junkie

Personal development is wonderful but, as with anything else that’s pleasurable or rewarding (be it drugs, food, sex, work, or games), it can become very addictive. This should come as no surprise when we consider the fact that most personal development websites are designed to entice and encourage you to read more and more articles. Now there’s nothing wrong with this, people need to build traffic and make money from their websites. However, that doesn’t change the addictive aspect of the sites.

Articles will give you a shot of dopamine in the form of a sense of hope or a boost in motivation. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it ultimately wears off. If you want long-term change, you have to dig deeper and understand the fundamentals of personal development.

Do you find that in spite of all the books you’ve read and the workshops you’ve been to, you haven’t seen real changes in your life? If so, it’s probably because you’re trying to escape from your fears rather than face them. Personal development has become little more than a hobby, something you’re using to distract yourself.

2) Not understanding the fundamentals

You can read as many articles as you want, but you won’t experience genuine change until you understand some important fundamentals. The following 4 fundamentals are among the most important:

Most of our problems stem from lack of psychological awareness. Thus, self-observation is one of the most important skills we can develop during our personal development journey.
It’s important to ask yourself “How well do I understand the fundamentals?”

If you don’t have them down you can get my free eBook, The 5 Commandments of Personal Development here. This book takes an in-depth look at the fundamentals of personal development.

3) Getting overwhelmed by the sea of information

Have you ever found yourself getting lost online while looking for personal development resources?

There are thousands upon thousands of personal development websites, which makes it very hard to find the right information in an organized way. Most personal development websites are poorly structured, They’ll provide some degree of information, but they probably won’t provide you with the crucial information you need to create a lasting impact on your life.

I can’t say that my website is phenomenally well-organized, either, but I can say that I provide structure with my free e-book and the series of emails I send to my new subscribers to help them get started. I strive to keep improving my website so that it is the best it can be. And, of course, your feedback is more than welcome!

I have to admit that I don’t read many personal development articles online. I think that books are far more structured, which makes it easy to review information that is particularly important to you. They are also more effective for creating lasting changes, if you’re willing to take action on them. In my article “Everything Starts with Your Mindset” , I share some resources you can use to get yourself going. I especially recommend Jim Rohn’s audiobook The Art of Exceptional Living as a starting point.

Having said that, there are some personal development blogs that are fantastic. I highly recommend these two:

  1. Leo Gura’s blog: actualized.org
    Leo Gura considers himself as guinea pig for personal development. He is one of the few people who delves deeply into personal development and human psychology. His videos are quite long, but I encourage you to check some of them out. They are more than worth the time. Looking at his website and videos helped me discover exactly what I wanted to do with my life, and that’s a huge part of why this blog exists.
  2. Steve Pavlina’s blog: stevepavlina.com
    Steve Pavlina’s blog is one of the most popular personal development websites around and it contains over 2,000 articles. Steve Pavlina’s articles are insightful and cover a lot of ground so I encourage you to read some of them. Like Leo, he also inspired me to start my website. You can get Steve Pavlina Top 10 Articles in a pdf file for free here (my personal selection)

I browse online occasionally to find other interesting resources and articles to share or to find inspiration for my blog. If I didn’t have a blog on personal development, however, I wouldn’t do that. I would encourage you to spend less time reading online articles and more time focusing on a good book. Do all the exercises and get everything you can from it before moving on to something else, be it a book, seminar, or course. You will value the content and be more motivated to use it if you invest some money in it, so books are a great way to get amazing results.

4) Not taking enough action

It’s crucial to act on what you read and learn. Even if you read hundreds of books about personal development you won’t see any changes unless you take action. Here are few things you can do to ensure that you take consistent action.

  • Invest money in the best resources you can find. This will force you to take action and will keep you from wasting time trying to piece together free resources. Even if you can get similar content for free, I would still recommend investing in books or programs that are well-structured and tailored to your needs. It can take several hours to compile free resources regarding your topic of interest, so why not save your time and energy by buying a book or program geared towards the things you want to work on?
  • Have regular meetings with people who will hold you accountable. For instance, you could join a group of like-minded people you trust, have an accountability buddy, or hire a coach. In my own life, I feel the need for regular meetings to make sure I’m moving forward with my goals and boost my motivation. I’m still working on building up that support group, but the benefits are invaluable.
  • Set clear goals. Setting goals is extremely important. It’s a great way to achieve more in life and to clarify what you want to accomplish in the coming weeks, months, or years. You can check my article on goal setting here, or click here to learn more about my goal-setting book.

5) Not being open-minded enough

If you consider yourself a rational person, you will inevitably come across a lot of woo-woo stuff that you’ll immediately discard as nonsense. I used to feel that way about some things that I now believe in, and there are many other things that I currently feel that way about. Even so, I must encourage you to stay as open-minded as possible while retaining some skepticism (For more information, see Why Your Level of Awareness Sucks). You shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon of something that makes no sense to you or believe anything you hear, but you should also consider the fact that things may not be what they seem. Everyone has a certain view of the world and of the people and things around them. And strangely enough, most of us tend to believe that our perception is the only valid one! Do you think the way you see your world is accurate? I won’t say it isn’t, but be open to the possibility that there are several inaccuracies.

6) Not going deep enough

How deep do you go into your personal development? How much do you understand yourself? Do you really know who you are? What beliefs hold you back in life? If you aren’t sure about one or more of these questions, you’re not alone.

It’s easier to keep things superficial and barely scratch the surface than it is to dig deep. It’s easier to cling to your current point of view and insist it’s right than to challenge your beliefs. After all, change can be scary. If you really want to make a profound change in your life, however, you’ll have to spend more time carefully observing yourself and analyzing your beliefs.

In fact, lack of self-awareness is one of the biggest problems most people encounter in their personal development journeys. It’s impossible to know or understand a higher state of consciousness or comprehend certain concepts if you aren’t even aware of the possibility that they exist.

It’s similar to the way we as a society tend to believe we’ve invented everything we possibly can…only to stumble upon a new scientific discovery or innovation. Things that we take for granted, such as X-rays, television, and the internet were once beyond the consciousness of everyone on the planet, except for the people that eventually helped create them. There was a time we were sure the earth was flat and that leeches cured fevers. We have a tendency to think we’ve discovered almost everything there is to discover when, in reality, we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg.

Personally, I feel like there’s a lot I still don’t know. There are many things at the subconscious level that I haven’t figured out yet. I have a lot of inaccurate and limiting beliefs that I need to overcome. (See 6 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know Your Mind Could Do to see some of the cool things you can do with your mind, including erasing limiting beliefs!)

Remember: Open-minded skepticism is a good place to start.

In Conclusion:

When you begin to work on personal development, it’s easy to fall into traps. I hope that this article will help you avoid the worst of them and live the life you were born to live. Now for a summary of the 6 worst traps and how to avoid them:

1) Being a personal development junkie

  • Ask yourself if you’re truly facing your fears.

2) Not understanding the fundamentals

3) Getting lost in the mass of information

  • Focus only on just 1 or 2 blogs you like.
  • Buy books or programs that cater to your needs.

4) Not taking enough action

  • Take consistent action on every book or article you read.
  • Find someone who holds you accountable.
  • Set goals.

5) Not being open-minded enough

  • Accept that your current beliefs may be wrong.
  • Stay open-minded while skeptical.

6) Not going deep enough

  • Challenge your beliefs and keep an open mind.

What about you? What trap is stopping you from growing? Was it listed here? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Wait! Before you leave don’t forget to SIGN UP to get your FREE copy of my ebook. It has been downloaded more than 2,000 times now 😉

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Comments 4

  • This is quite a helpful article. I can completely relate to the traps that you mention, but that’s not to say that I’ve fallen into them, thankfully. Even if that would happen, it would be a chance for me to learn and grow 😉 What I like the most is keeping an open mind; a quality I really respect and love seeing in other people.

  • You’re on an entirely different level than your peers in the personal dev arena, Thibaut… This piece was fantastic and I just finished Mastering Your Emotions, which I found uniquely valuable as well. Looking forward to reading more of your work! All the best, RS

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