One dark-side of personal development
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
A common trap when we are focusing on self-improvement and how to manage it
Hello fellow Protagonists,
For many of us who have decided to take personal development a bit more seriously we will eventually start to realise that self-improvement is not all sunshine and roses.
Wanting to become a better version of ourselves is an honourable goal. A quick scroll down some of the groups I follow will highlight that this goal is shared by many.
Depending on how we interpret what becoming a better version of ourselves means, this can be a journey of both scaling highs and uncomfortable lows.
When the lows hit they can hit hard.
One particular trap might not be obvious to us until we hear about it and realise that we have been going through this process ourselves.
I have been there adventurers and maybe after reading this post you will find you have too.
This trap begins when our desire to continually improve warps into thoughts that we need to improve because we are not content with what we currently have, or how we are as a person.
A need to improve because we feel we are flawed in some way.
Continuous improvement means that we will forever be flawed as there is always something to work on, always something in need of fixing.
If something needs fixing, that must mean it is broken and as soon as we do fix something this is quickly replaced by another broken factor.
Like a car that is ready for the scrap heap.
This basically means we will always be broken, no matter what we achieve. That development is required to pull ourselves out of a negative space rather than develop on an already positive space.
We start completing goals to stop feeling so shit rather than to feel better.
I have been reading the autobiography of Nikki Sixx called The Heroin Diaries and it sounds strangely similar to how Nikki words his battle with addiction. Two completely different situations but partially relatable perhaps. I wouldn't know but I will take his word for it.
So how to climb out of this trap.
First of all, we are not broken. What we are trying to do is not fix ourselves but to develop ourselves. The clue is in the wording “personal development”.
As for being flawed... Yes we are, all of us are. You are flawed, I am flawed, your butcher, baker and candlestick maker are all flawed.
Flaws show us that something is real. Finding flaws (inclusions) are also how we tend to check if a diamond is real.
As Twenty One Pilots say in their song Lane Boy "Don't trust a perfect person and don't trust a song that's flawless".
A live musical performance is never flawless and that is what makes it so great! We get to hear it exactly how it is meant to be, how it was designed to sound.
A flawless picture on social media has most probably had the shit edited out of it.
Each day we start wherever we are and aim to be just a slightly better version of whatever we gave yesterday.
Be content with where we are at the start of the day because nothing will change that position right there and then. We can aim to develop our position as the day unfolds.
By starting from a place of content we are already in the middle of the happiness pendulum, so any progress will be an improvement rather than trying to climb out of a negative space.
Contentment can be found in ways such as showing gratitude, living in the moment, showing self-compassion and a compassion for others.
The positive view that you are at least working towards growing as a person.
Growing as a person is not defined by what you have achieved but more the day to day habits we have and the values we hold them against.
I am sure this quote has been used thousands of times over other blogs and I will more than likely use it again but there is a reason for this, it's Buff.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
You can be content with something and still improve on it.
I hope that knowledge of this trap means that as soon as we start to notice a negative shift towards our thoughts on personal development, we can manage these and continue to work towards being that 1% better than we were yesterday.
Warrick the Flawed
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