There are a lot of things I love about personal development.
In fact, I consider myself personal-development obsessed.
So much so, I decided to stake my career and life purpose in it.
The success I’ve achieved in my life has not come by accident. It has come from intentional and deliberate actions.
My success has come from consciously working to become a better person, a better version of myself.
It has come from a desire to learn, and constantly improve.
But like anything, there are dangers in this too.
There is a trap in modern day personal development, and I want to make sure you don’t get caught in it.
Here’s the trap: the idea that you need to listen to all the experts out there, myself included.
What I really struggle with in the personal development world is this whole idea of “experts”.
It’s dangerous to always think you don’t know the answer yourself.
Here’s the problem I see:
More and more people are turning outwards and not looking to themselves. Ever.
And in turn, we are losing our ability to tap into our intuition and overriding the truths we know for ourselves.
The other problem?
I see experts coming out with the “one way”, or the “five secrets you’re missing”.
There’s a lot of talk that “success leaves clues”, which is true.
But it can also make you think there’s only one way.
And when that one way doesn’t work for everyone (which it NEVER will), it leaves amazing people like you and me thinking there’s something wrong with us.
There are two truths that the personal development industry and all the “experts” are ignoring and I want you to know them.
1) YOU are your own best expert.
2) There is no one way. Each of us is unique in our definition of success, and our path to achieving all we desire.
You, my friend, are your own best expert.
Are you always looking for someone to tell you what to do next in your career?
Are you always Googling top tips for teaching your baby to sleep or “is this normal”?
Do you listen to all the latest podcasts and read the newest book, and buy the course looking for the silver bullet that will change everything?
Here’s my question: how often do you ask someone else for advice or Google an answer that you ALREADY know in your heart?
And then, override what your intuition or past experience is telling you.
It’s not just you.
Have you been taught to believe there’s only one way, only one right answer?
Well, that’s just bullsh*t.
There is no one way.
Not when it comes to building a meaningful career.
Not when it comes to raising a child.
Not when it comes to starting a business, or training for a marathon, or eating healthy.
And when you start to believe any expert that tells you there’s only one way, it’s dangerous.
It makes you think that there’s something wrong with you if what worked for Suzie’s health or Bobby’s baby or Sally’s career doesn’t work for you.
This hits your confidence, and when your confidence is hit, it’s a downhill spiral.
When the next challenge comes up, you feel like you’re not good enough for that either.
What I see happening is confidence being killed in the very industry that’s designed to uplift you – to the same people who truly want is to grow and develop to become more fulfilled and successful.
It’s time to change.
We need to shift as a culture, to evolve, and change as an entire coaching and self-improvement industry.
If you love personal development, that’s amazing.
Keep loving it.
Before you reach out to one more mentor, listen to another podcast, read another book, or sign up for another course, here’s what you need to do:
1) Stop asking other people, all the time, what you should do. Start asking yourself for the next step, first.
Trust yourself. Trust what you know. Trust what you need.
It’s time to shift away from always Googling the answer, or asking a friend for advice.
Question for you:
Have you ever asked someone for advice, and wanted to ignore it because you didn’t hear what you wanted to hear?
Have you ever typed in a search, and before you hit the “enter” button, already know exactly what article or advice you’re hoping to find?
Of course you have.
We all do this.
So often, you know exactly what answer you’re looking.
Don’t tell me I’m the first one to Google “is wine healthy?” and skim all the articles until I find the one that tells me the secret to a long life is three glasses of wine a day.
I see you, right there with me, going to page 6 of the search (the only time you EVER go past the first page) to find the article that says “Yes, eat the French fries and drink all the wine”.
Meanwhile, we’ve both skipped over five pages that say “wine shortens your life” or “wine associated with reduced brain capacity.”
(Side note: I’m not actually sure that’s what the headlines say because I literally ignore them. Take that, “experts”).
It’s time to start asking yourself “what is right for me?”
“What feels good for me?”
“What do I want?”
It’s time to get over the need of asking other people what to do, all the time.
It’s time to start asking “what am I going to do next?” And then following your own answers.
2) Stop believing that there’s only one way. Don’t believe that if the success that happened for someone else doesn’t happen for you the same way, there’s something wrong with you.
Stop expecting the same outcomes as someone else and believing there’s something wrong with you if you don’t get the same results.
Or thinking that you’re not as good as them. That you’re not good enough.
Or it’s impossible because you tried doing it the same way. And then giving the f*ck up.
This is what we need to change.
What worked for me, may – or may not – work for you.
And even what worked for you last week or last year may not work for you this year or today.
You are an ever-changing, evolving human being.
The world is changing so fast.
The way you start a business 15 years ago to today is completely different. Even in two years, so much has changed.
Things are evolving and just one way to do it isn’t the answer.
Just because you didn’t succeed the same way as someone else or because you didn’t succeed period, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.
Let me tell you, it’s just about figuring out what is going to work for you.
It’s about having the confidence, that very confidence this industry sometimes kills.
It’s about harnessing that confidence, and taking it, and knowing no matter what happens to you, how hard it gets, how you fail and no matter what anyone else is doing, that you CAN do it.
We all need to listen to advice at times in our life.
The right podcasts and books can truly be life-changing.
Working with an incredible coach can build our confidence immensely and attending an amazing conference can catapult our success.
There are amazing online courses out there that help us achieve things we never would have been able to on our own.
I’m not saying to never get anyone else’s opinion or advice, or learn from others.
Instead, look to coaches, “experts”, programs, and podcast hosts that encourage you to know yourself first.
Learn from people who understand that your way is ok, even if it’s different.
Invest in courses and programs that will build your ability to become your own best expert and build your confidence.
You are the foundation, and all the information is simply there to guide you.
You will find a way.
You’ll get back up.
You will try everything.
You will make it work for you and your life.
So my friend, before you devour one more podcast, or order the latest book, hire a coach or ask a friend to help you make a decision, have a really good chat with yourself first.
Listen to yourself. Become your own best expert.
And get over the idea that there’s just one way.
There are many ways.
Be so hungry for your dreams that you are willing to try all the ways to get what you want.
Because being your own expert, and creating success on your terms, your own way, will fundamentally shift who you are as a human.
You will become the best version of yourself.
No outside experts can ever match the expert you become when you are your best self.
Success Coach & Expert of only myself
PS. I'm going live tonight to answer your questions and go in depth on this topic on Facebook HERE.
See you tonight!