I’m a life coach, so this might sound obvious – but I love all things personal development.
At any given time, I’ve got 25 books stacked up waiting to be read about productivity, mindset and meditation. I have a morning routine (some days, not all!) that brings me into alignment. I try to do yoga several times a week, journal, and limit my screen time. I could browse Pinterest for hours, just reading about life hacks and how to make myself a better, happier, more efficient person.
I love personal development because it challenges me to reject complacency. It shakes me up and forces me to look critically at the way I’m doing things – am I living my fullest version of life? Or am I just used to doing things this way? Are there small tweaks I could make to live more mindfully and improve my quality of life?
Just like every hobby, though, it’s possible to take personal development too far.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the number of books and courses I’ve purchased but haven’t finished. It’s easy to feel guilty if my morning routine doesn’t happen, or if I skip yoga twice in one week. There are days when even keeping up my bullet journal (a tool that seriously helps my anxiety and makes my day to day more manageable) feels like a chore.
I’m here to say that if you relate to this, you’re not alone. There’s a fine line between personal development and self improvement burnout.
If you’ve ever felt guilty or overwhelmed at the idea of starting new routines, fostering new habits or changing career paths, that’s totally normal. If you buy self help books and don’t read them, nobody cares. If you only meditate for two minutes before turning on your favorite podcast, I don’t give a fuck. If something isn’t working for you right now, it shouldn’t cause you shame – just let it go. Don’t forget that your life is yours to LIVE.
While personal development can provide valuable resources to get you through some challenging times, I hope you never feel guilt about being where you are.
Even if you don’t know where you’re headed, what your purpose is, or who your people are – you’re still perfect. Today. Right where you are.
Allow the tools of this industry to support you in living a life you love, not creating an over regulated and shame generating prison, because that will only make you miserable.
My challenge to you today might seem unconventional from a coach who focuses on clarity and planning – but I want you to use today as a chance to quit. Quit a book, a course, a routine or an obligation that makes you feel shitty, even if you think it’s for your “higher good.” Accept the lack of clarity or lack of drive or sense of confusion and refuse to judge yourself for it. And rest assured, when you’re ready to pick up some tools again, I’ll be here to help you out.
Are you suffering from personal development burnout? Let me know in the comments what your experience has been like, and how you’re quitting the things that don’t serve you.