self development

3 Traps of Personal Development and How to Get Out of Them

Personal development has been the rage lately.

It’s so easy to grow as a person and find solutions to your problems.

Not only that, dig deeper and go into the whole area of “Lifestyle design” and you see how it can be so “easy” to pursue your passion, follow your dreams and live a life on your own terms.

And with the internet, you can access it all practically anytime and anywhere. You just have to find the right blogs, forums and subscribe to a bunch of newsletters.

It’s all gold, for free.

There’s no doubt you will grow and become a better person.


Not exactly.

We get complacent and think it’s too easy

Has it ever crossed your mind that when something gets too easy, that’s when the actual problem arises?

And that’s a very dangerous issue as it creeps up on you unknowingly.

Thus, you fall into the traps. In this case, the traps of personal development, which turn into an ironic vicious cycle as your initial intent was to find solutions to your problems!

I personally think that it’s only human nature to what to seek the easy way out.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, who doesn’t want our problems, woes and suffering to be solved as quickly as possible.

But we must never forget our roots, that means to say, the actual facts of life you can’t escape from.

You may subconsciously fall in the traps of personal development and not progress at all.

Let’s check out the traps and how to get out of it.

Trap #1: The supposed ease of “tips” and “hacks”

How often have you read up articles with headlines that read like, “Follow these tips to immediately solve [problem]” or, “Hacking your way to a slimmer body in just 2 weeks”?

They’re very enticing, informative even. Tips and hacks can be easily implemented too.

The problem with it is that the reader thinks that these are all that they need. As with the headlines, these tips and hacks are going to cure them overnight.

Sadly, this isn’t the case most of the time.

Solution: You need to have a strong foundation towards the problem you have.

You absolutely cannot escape hard work and the obvious solution to your problems!

E.g. If you want to lose weight, diet and exercise. Just because you drink cold water in the morning to hack your metabolism doesn’t mean you’re going to become slim just like that.

If you want to make lots of money with your blog, do your research and keep working hard to build an audience. Applying some automated, passive income-generating system alone isn’t going to work without any form of basis.

They’re very obvious answers, but more often than not, we always seek the easy way out of everything.

If you try to solve a problem with some easy tips or hacks, they aren’t going to work without a strong foundation. Instead, it’s going to fall back on your face. That’s when people give up and think nothing seems to work for them all the time.

So never think that you can escape hard work. Apply a strong mindset to want to improve, put in the effort and work hard, and THEN you apply the tips and hacks on top of it all.

Trap #2: Inspiring stories and case studies

A lot of times people look up to others and get inspired from their rag-to-riches stories or how they went from zero to hero by overcoming the odds.

Being inspired is always good, but it isn’t when you try to take the story literally and think that you can do the same.

You can try, but it wouldn’t do you any good when you keep comparing yourself to others, and then start to get down when you can’t achieve the same.

Solution: Get out there for some real world experience and forge your own path

That’s right.

You absolutely need real world experience to truly know what’d work for you and where your real destination will be.

This means to say, you need to try things on your own to see and feel what is meant to be for you. You need to fail on your own, pick yourself up and then create your very own inspiring story.

That is how you know for sure what the universe has truly planned for you, rather than trying to guess you deserve what others have instead.

Who knows, your real destination may not have a lot of money and raving fans waiting for you, but maybe something meaningful awaits.

And you’ll know it when you feel it. No questions asked.


Trap #3: Abandoning action easily

There’re two main problems here.

First, you can read up a lot on the problem and the solution. It’s easily accessible.

This is the main problem with personal development, that we think we can be magically cured overnight just by feeding ourselves with information, or worse, buying some “guru” product that guarantees fake promises.

Secondly, even if some of us do take action, we’re quick to give up when we realize it’s not as easy as we were taught.

Solution: Take action and don’t give up

That’s it!

Whoever you are, whatever problem you have, however you want to approach it, be sure to simply TRY.

No amount of reading or feeling inspired are going to help you at all if you don’t take action today.

Take action to build a strong foundation in whatever you do. Put in the effort and work hard.

Take action so you can create your own path.

And with that, there will come a certain point where you’ll definitely feel defeated and overwhelmed, but that’s just part of life.

You absolutely can continue on if you put your mind to it.

Don’t give up when it feels tough, that’s when you’re going to grow the most.

So long as you take action, only good will happen.

Life isn’t a trap

It isn’t.

Sure, it sucks sometimes, but that’s just how it is for everybody.

Don’t think that you’re the only one.

Life is good. You just have to realize that by taking responsibility for yourself, that you’ve complete power and capability to improve.

And it isn’t that hard.

Besides, you have all the resources easily available, right?

Just for Pick The Brain readers

Feeling trapped in life? Good news, there’s a way out.

Guess what? I got an entire free report just for you. The Revival Kit is new and not many have seen it before. Head over to Alden Tan, drop in your email address, and I’ll send over this special kit.

-Wake up and get instant self-confidence

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-Learn the essentials to stop caring about what others think!

The Revival Kit is only available through this link to Alden Tan. Thanks for checking it out!



27 Responses to 3 Traps of Personal Development and How to Get Out of Them

  1. I realized this a while ago, back when I was crazy about Reddit. For those unfamiliar with what Reddit is, it’s a site similar to Digg (voting system) with several sub-categories on seemingly ever topic on earth! Fashion, self-improvement, etc.

    It was a great place for information overload and an easy place to fall into these traps. They made it seem easy to implement life-changing material with their success stories. They made it seem easy to talk to strangers.

    I realized it wasn’t easy at all! Reading and reading this material didn’t help. What I had to do was instead of reading about these things, I should get out and do them! Now I don’t really go on Reddit except for the occasional laugh because I find that information overload is a trap.

  2. Matt Maresca says:

    Outstanding post here Alden. It’s amazing how often we get trapped into looking for shortcuts. It’s like as a society we have grown to admire those who can find the best hacks and shortcuts. We see successful people who seem to require little effort to get amazing results. But we never see the whole picture. And we never see beyond the hacks. Life cannot be cheated through. If you want the things you value most, you have to go out and earn them. Live them. Become the person who lives that life of value.

    P.S. Perhaps it’s my computer, but your icons to sign in appear to bit a little off. Just a heads up.

  3. Great message Alden! Personal development is NOT easy. Real and meaningful change takes hard work. It means facing sides of ourselves we’d rather keep blind to. It means accepting pain. Doing work. Struggling. Taking one step back for every two steps forward.

    Life altering personal growth takes a level of effort that most people simply don’t expect. There is no easy shortcut or lifehack that’s going to do the job for you. If you want true change, you’re going to have to go out and make it happen all on your own. You have to pay your dues.

    But when you see the changes taking place — when the world catches up and you start experiencing the rewards for your hard work — it’ll be so much more satisfying. Because you’ll know that you earned it.


  4. Rynessa Cutting says:

    Another very important thing about bettering yourself and your life is knowing what you’re worth. Sometimes even the people that we care about can be holding us back. The highest reward sometimes requires the most sacrifice.

  5. Natalie says:

    You are so very right, self improvement is hard work. And our advanced technological world makes this even harder to stay focused. So many things are now fast and easy to obtain: instant credit, fast food, feelings of success via video games, instant celebrity on YouTube or reality television, not to mention medication and illegal drugs.But it is so worth the effort.

    I say, never stop looking for tips. You never know which one is going to click with you. But don’t mistake research for action. You must still do the work.

  6. Hmmm..I agree with you entirely – personal growth takes time & real commitment. Amazing that after such an article you then offer ‘instant self confidence’ & 3 easy steps to ignite your passion…a bit of a conundrum there Alden :)

  7. Great thoughts! I am a recovering self-help addict. I spent many hours just reading about how to improve myself but then really did nothing about it. Until just recently, when I got off my rear end and actually did the work. It was hard…and it really never ends. I am and will be a work in progress. I like articles like this – a good dose of reality never hurt anyone!

  8. Sam Davies says:

    Hey Alden nice article. Here are a few points I picked up on. Everyone knows
    personal development is about consistent, daily ACTION.

    Action speaks louder than words and people who don’t take action simply don’t
    want what they think they want enough.

    Hacks still require a lot of hard work (e.g. Tim Ferriss’ Occam’s razor Protocol) it’s
    deluded belief in nonsense like the law of attraction which is a trap.

    Comparing yourself to others is bad, but if someone from a worse of place than you
    inspires you then surely that can’t be a bad thing?

  9. Arya says:

    Amazing, great, realistic article ! I have a business in fitness and i see everyday how applying knowledge into real life makes the difference between success and failure. Congrats !

  10. I was digging this article thinking about how there were only 3 tips but boy were they right on. I especially appreciated how we are sucked in with great headlines and the tips /tricks tricks. Then i read about your special reports and you used the same tactics that you warned us against: the quick solutions and the hacks to instant success. Big let down. The point i think that was missed, Alden, is that media is dependant on these headlines amd tips and hacks to grab readers attention. Actually i think the point was implied but it can be considered such a slippery slope to not state it implicitly. To say “hey, i am using these ‘deceptive tactics’ to get your attention but ultimately. There is no easy way out.” none the less, i appreciate the article, very much

  11. Rocio Orozco says:

    Hi guys, a really nice article, can i get a copy of the entire free report to learn a Little bit more of all those topics? mi e mail is
    Thank you and cheers!

  12. Alden Tan says:

    Hey man,

    Indeed. Reading can only get you so far. The rest of it is taking action!

    And yep, success stories from successful people are just that: Stories based on their lives, their own way.

    After that you gotta find out [insert your name]’s story.

  13. Alden Tan says:

    Hey man,

    I think it’s natural to always want the easy way out, but end of the day, life just takes it’s course and you absolutely have to create your own path.

    Never ignore the basics. Life is simple. If you want to lose weight, diet and exercise. Then apply those hacks and tips.

    People try to do it the other way around and then get disappointed when they don’t see results.

  14. Alden Tan says:

    Hey man,

    Yeah indeed. You just got to welcome the pain and fight through it, whether you like it or not.

    That’s where you just got to “get over it”. There’s no easy way out.

  15. Alden Tan says:

    I totally understand.

    I’ve been looking up to successful people, in the internet marketing field for so long that I forgot my own capabilities.

    Worse, I took it to heart when they started calling me “distracted” or even “lacking drive” just because I had trouble adjusting to their methods which they “swear by”.

    I bet everyone can empathize with this.

  16. Alden Tan says:

    Yeah man.

    So many distractions today.

    if it was like the old days, going out for real experience with real human interactions, you can probably learn a lot more.

  17. Alden Tan says:

    Yep I agree.

    Law of Attraction… lol.

    Sadly most people are too caught up in fast solutions and ideas that they keep feeding upon stuff like that.

    Action is needed!

    If someone is worse off then that’s totally ok.

  18. Alden Tan says:

    Thanks man.

    Haha how about those who want “instant abs”?

  19. Alden Tan says:

    Errr not very sure what you’re saying but okay thanks.

  20. Alden Tan says:

    Free report as in?

  21. Alden Tan says:

    Good on you man!

    There’re many out there who made a change for the better. If they can do it, so can you.

  22. Alden Tan says:

    Ha well, sell them what they want, give what they need. My content will blow their minds.

  23. I appreciate the irony of the kit for “instant self-confidence”.

  24. Pingback: 3 Traps of Personal Development and How to Get Out of Them | My Daily Services

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