If you’re like me, when you get excited about something you love, you really get excited. And you want everyone to not only share that excitement but share the benefits. When I started to practice yoga, I practiced every day, sometimes twice. And I tried to drag all my friends with me.
Paradoxically, working on my self-development kind of cured me of that. Don’t get me wrong, I am all in for self-development (and yoga still), but I’ve also come to realize it may be possible to take self-development too far. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tune into self-development podcasts or try some online personal self-development courses.
The Purpose of Self-Development
To some, self-development seems like a dark art and to others a necessity for life. But what is it? Working on your self-development can give you some perspective about your life and keep you from turning problems into serious roadblocks and obstacles. Personal development often includes the following activities:
- Improving self-awareness and self-knowledge
- Building your self-esteem
- Developing your strengths and talents
- Identifying or improving potential
- Defining and executing personal development goals
- Increasing emotional intelligence
These things seem all-good, right. And they are. But can you take it too far? I’m not here to tell you whether you can or can’t take self-development too far, but if you think you might have, here’s a few ways to assess the situation.
Too Much Information Available
These days, there seems to be infinite information available at our fingertips. So much so that it can make us more anxious and dissatisfied. Keep in mind that the purpose of knowledge is to use it. Always use what you learn.
Creating Unrealistic Expectations
Forming healthy habits is great, but if you have unrealistic expectations, it may cause more stress. Don’t expect perfection. If you make mistakes, that’s okay. The most important thing is to celebrate and reward yourself for small victories and milestones. Recent research indicates that people who get frequent rewards upon completing a task will be motivated to continue to improve.
Feeling Like You Aren’t Good Enough
Many people begin the self-development journey because they don’t feel like they are “good enough,” whatever that means. It’s okay to want to be better, but that doesn’t mean you need to be fixed. It means you want to be your more authentic self. And your self-development is likely to look different, depending on where you are in your life.
Lack of Balance
Many people work on their self-development because they have a problem they want to fix. They focus on one specific area they want to improve. While this is great, they often sacrifice other areas of their life. One thing I learned from my yoga obsession is that balance is key. And that some days you have it and some days you don’t.
Keep in mind that perfection is a myth, even in self-development, but being mindful can help you get closer to where you want to be. And that is just fine.