Could there be such a thing as too much personal development? In my experience – yes!
At the start of the year, I took a break from personal development, and I feel happier and healthier as a result. That may seem counter intuitive, but if you’re curious, I invite you to read on 😉
I started with conscious personal and spiritual development at the end of my teens. At first, it was just really useful to learn about myself and other people, in order to build relationships (both personal and professional). It took a couple of years before I realised that I could literally change myself and that personal development was part of health and wellbeing for me. It became a vehicle to understand and resolve chronic pains and digestive issues I’d had since birth.
So far, sounds really positive, right?
Yes, it has been really positive. It’s been an amazing journey. But, there’s also been a shadow side to it, which I only started to realise the last couple of years.
For a start, personal development can be addictive. There’s no shortage of programmes and new things that promise this, that and the other. Dare I say, it’s become quite the industry over the years, but that’s not the shadow side I want to delve into here!
I’ve gotten a lot out of everything I’ve done over the past 2 decades. However, I was constantly doing something. Working on myself. Trying to figure out and address “problems”. A lot of the work boiled down to things like self-love, self-worth, and that you’re enough just as you are.
But, think about the message we’re sending to ourselves when we constantly work on ourselves. To me, the message was pretty clear – “there’s still something wrong with you”…
After all, if I’m supposed to be OK, lovable, etc., just as I am, why can’t I just be? If I’m not broken, why do you continuously try to fix me?
So, as I was starting to really feel the weight of that, the right person came along at the right time and talks about how he often recommends people in the personal development world to take a months break from it. Dr Scott Mills, I thank you dearly for that 🙏
In the past, I’d taken steps to block out time to do nothing for a bit. To add some white space to my life. A few hours the odd day, but never had I actually taken a proper break. And, in the midst of winter, a great time for slowing down, it felt like the most obvious thing to do.
I hit the pause button. I stepped down as an Ambassador for Mindvalley. I hit the pause button on Ephemeral Energy too, except for running a new monthly initiative to help people shift their underlying reasons for stress.
So, for months, my life entailed no meditations, no studying, and no trying to understand and fix myself. My spiritual practice changed to just allowing myself to be, and processing things that would bubble up now and then.
I didn’t expect feeling happier and healthier as a result. That was a bonus, but what’s literally moving me to tears as I’m writing this is that I now actually feel content with being me. Who I am. How I am. From, well, not working on that 😁
I expect I will continue with personal and spiritual development my entire existence, but it feels like it’s now coming from a different place and for different reasons ❤️
So, if you resonate with any of this, perhaps you can try giving yourself a little break too!