In the past 2 years, I've noticed a few things about personal development and self-help about which I'm going to talk about in this article.
All these things which are said in this article are completely based upon my own experiences and I don't mean to defame anyone through this. I'm into personal development too and just want to share my experiences about it, how it has helped me, and how it hasn't. Different people may have experienced different things from self-help and personal development.
With that being said, let us dive into the article and find more about the reality of self-help and personal development.
The Beginning of The Trap
Almost two years ago, on one fine day, I was surfing on Youtube and watching lifehack videos like any other day, and all of a sudden I thought that is there any way to become successful? or is there any "hack" to become successful? Well, the definition of success is different for different people but at that time, success for me was becoming rich and famous. So, I simply searched on Youtube that how to become successful? And I was bombarded with videos claiming to make me successful. I binge-watched a lot of videos about achieving success that day.
After watching all those videos, I felt more confident and motivated than ever before. I started reading more and more books about personal development, I started taking cold showers, affirmations, meditation, visualizing my goals, working out, and whatnot. I was feeling very productive after doing all these things. I felt positivity inside myself. Soon after that, I started following many Instagram pages and Youtube channels of self-help gurus to get more knowledge about personal development.
By doing this, I felt more mature as compared to my friends because when they all were having fun and wasting their time, I was being productive. I thought that this is it! This is what was missing in my life. I started to watch more and more self-improvement content and always wanted to know more about self-improvement. Because back then, I thought by doing this, I'll become very successful.
But little did I know that I was caught in a trap of self-development. I was delusional and I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of people who are doing the same mistake as me.
I thought that I was progressing every day by consuming more and more content about personal development and self-help. But the truth was that I was stuck in the same place as I started personal development and THIS IS THE TRAP!
This is the trap that I wasn't aware of. Logically speaking, if you want to become good at something, you have to just do that thing religiously and you'll make way more progress rather than just consuming content and doing the actual stuff. By consuming the self-help content more and more, you give an illusion to yourself. An illusion of progress. You think that you are getting closer to your goal every day by watching videos and reading quotes.
But in reality, YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF! You lie to yourself by not doing the actual thing which you should do and convince yourself that you are making progress. If you want to become an entrepreneur, implement your idea, and solve problems. If you want to become a professional dancer then practice more, do more dancing, rather than just wasting time watching motivational videos. The same goes for any other profession. As simple as that.
But I didn't know that. I was addicted to personal development content. The main problem with the self-help content is that it triggers the dopamine in your brain and you feel more accomplished. You feel that you have achieved something but it's not the truth. Whenever I wanted to feel more accomplished, I watched more personal development content or read a self-help book.
In reality, I was doing a thing called Action Faking. Instead of doing the actual thing which I was supposed to do, I was consuming content about self-help. It wasted my time very badly and It can waste your time too.
Whats the Solution?
We need to understand that like any other business, the self-help industry is also a business. A business of selling hope and motivation. This is an industry worth multi-billion dollars and this industry is dependent upon people who are searching for quick methods of becoming successful and are in need of motivation. The self-help content is addictive because it gives hope to the people and the fake gurus take the benefit of people's this trait. They motivate people to buy their course to become successful. They do so by making them think that the current situation of them is not very good and to become like them you have to buy their course. They give them a sense of hope of becoming like them. And when nothing happens after attending their seminars or doing their courses, they repeat the process and again make the people think that they need to buy another course to achieve success and have a lifestyle like them.
What can really Help You?
- If you want to get out of this trap, the first thing you need to do is, stop getting influenced by the fake gurus on social media. This helps them to fool you more.
- The second thing which you want to do is JUST KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING. You need to do the actual things which will make you progress in your career instead of doing a hundred different things and ignoring the main thing. You can be working really hard on the wrong things and don't see the results and you can work a little bit on the right things and see more results.
- You need to enjoy life and feel good about yourself. No matter how poor you are or how less skillful you are, the truth is that you can achieve your goals without watching any self-help content. Just realize that you are amazing and any fake guru cannot measure your success.
- Taking Breaks is okay. In the world of toxic positivity, they say to work like hell and don't sleep. But in reality, it's not about waking more, it's about what you do when you are awake. Also, you'll start hating your passion if the process is not sustainable. So, don't get crippled by the hustle culture.
If you really want to know the REAL SECRET FOR SUCCESS, then let me tell you that. I'll be brutally honest here, there is no actual secret to success. People who do meditation are also successful and people who don't are also successful. People who workout are also successful and people who don't are also successful. And the list will go on and on. Because logically, if there was a secret to achieving success then the self-help industry would be shut down long ago.
But I do want to mention that, not everything in the world of self-help and personal development is toxic and trap. Working out and meditation were the two things that I found useful and I do it for my own physical and mental fitness not for becoming "successful". Also, reading actually good books and watching genuine content which gives you practical solutions rather than hooking you with their courses.
THANK YOU FOR READING. Make sure to follow me if liked this article to get more such articles in the future.
© 2020 Harsh Giri