The lies that personal growth experts tell you to sell their products.
"If you can't succeed on the first try ... skydiving is not for you."
I am a fan of personal growth for 11 years now. During this time I have had the opportunity to read dozens of self-help books, listen to hours upon hours of audio-books on self-improvement and read hundreds of articles on personal development.
'sti catsi Andre ... if you were bored you could also tell me huh ?! ;-)
But only by experimenting on my own skin the more or less reasonable advice of the so-called personal growth gurus, I was able to get a pretty clear idea of what it is effective and what is simple garbage instead. After all, the very idea of creating the Blog GetPersonalGrowth was born from the desire to have my say on this world made up of enthusiasts for improvement, but also of too many charlatans.
In today's article I want to share with you what I believe they are the 4 bales par excellence of the personal improvement industry, in the hope that the next time you buy a book, take a course or read a personal growth blog article, you will be able to do so with the right armor.
1. There is no secret
Eh ... yes (as Vasco Rossi would say): there is no secret.
Although personal growth experts may use English words, high-sounding names or even appeal to quantum physics or strange cosmic vibrations to prove their bizarre theses, the reality is that personal growth is nothing more than common sense applied to daily life.
Does this mean diminishing the value of improvement advice? Everything else: we often forget just common sense, and the more our lives get complicated and sophisticated, the more we forget simple rules of the game. For this reason I am the first fan of self-improvement, but at the same time I smile at those who try to transform simple and effective advice into esoteric secrets and which can only be understood by a select few.
The next time a guru promises to reveal yet another secret, do yourself and your wallet a favor: send him to hoe the garden.
2. Growth is not linear
Let's face it, the personal growth stories of some characters are often fictional: these little matchmakers try to convince you that after being born in poverty and misfortune, thanks to constant growth and continuous improvement, they managed to reach the heights of success. Bullshit!
Improvement is never a linear path and convince yourself otherwise is a great way to continually be disappointed and demotivated.
Nobody likes to talk about their failures, much less successful people: but the reality is that the road to your goals will inevitably be characterized by failures, deadlocks and bitter defeats.
More than a straight line, the road to success resembles a stock chart of ups and downs; remember that what matters is only the trend and not the single days. Don't allow momentary setbacks to determine the direction of your life and be wary of those who only talk about their successes.
3. You don't need a guru
There is a well-known koan (from Japanese: "paradoxical statement"), which says:
"If you meet the Buddha on the street, kill him."
Having guides in some moments of our life is important, but when we become addicted to these gurus, teachers, guides, our growth stops and we begin to back away.
The personal development industry is a master at creating this dependence: after all, gurus keep earning only if you ... don't grow up.
Remember: no one will be able to change your life outside of yourself. Masters are simple tools you need to use to find and retrieve your hidden resources. Once you find: kill the Buddha… well, maybe not literally, especially if GetPersonalGrowth is one of your favorite personal growth blogs! ;-)
4. A book will not change your life
As much as I've searched, I still haven't been able to find a personal growth book that doesn't promise to change my life!
The truth is that no book, not even the best, will change your life: only you can change it.
Before you start your next self-help book, take a look at this article on how you should read a personal growth book: there's no point wasting more time and money if you're not willing to put what you've learned into practice.