Self Help – 5 Pitfalls to Avoid

If you’re like me, you’ve probably read 100 plus self-help articles, tips and books in the past year.

Personal development is an uber popular theme because life is about growth. Just try to find a person that doesn’t want to improve an area of their life.

Go ahead! Try!

You won’t be able to.

Whether you’re moving towards a goal, discovering your passion, trying to change a bad habit, working on your relationship or developing a spiritual practice, you are seeking growth.

In the history of the world, there has never been a time when access to information has been so readily available.  In the personal development field there are a rich array of ideas, suggestions, tips, studies and creative approaches to tackle and jumpstart any personal development theme you seek to improve.

The internet is a personal development haven. And this is a wonderfully empowering thing! As long as you apply what you read.

As a self help junkie, I would readily consume everything I could get my hands on.  I have a collection of self improvement information I could use to wall paper my entire house.

If the topic of increasing energy or decreasing clutter came up at a party, I could recite an endless list of ideas and systems. The only problem was, I was not seeing any improvement. How could this be?  I had all the tips and great ideas, I spent time and energy reading and researching personal development strategies.  I was motivated to grow and change.

Yet I was experiencing very little progress, which I found to be utterly frustrating. Until, I took one step back and looked at what was blocking me from benefiting from my personal development repertoire.

I realized there were 5 key mistakes blocking my effective use of tips, suggestions and ideas:

Application– effectively applying the tips.  This is fundamental and super important.  You must plan to implement and apply the advice.  It’s simple; it will not work if you don’t put it into action. Make a specific plan for application.

Change that is too complicated.  When we are changing habits, trying something new, or adopting a new way of thinking, it’s important to start with something that is easy to implement.  Chances are, if it is too complicated, you will quit by day 2.  I try too look for ideas that are easy to apply and do not require too much time to start.  This gets the process started; if this works, I can build on this success and go to the next step.

The goal of perfection.  If the goal is perfection, you will always fail. You will get frustrated and lose motivation because every action and result will not seem like a step forward.  It is much more effective to view change and growth as a process.  You will make strides along the way but perfection will never be achieved.  The expectation of perfection will undermine your progress and motivation for change.

Not accepting the struggle.  The growth process requires struggle.  You are shifting from one set of patterns of behavior to another.  And this is not what you’re used to.  This will be uncomfortable initially, even if it ultimately produces a positive effect in your life.

Being too passive.  I love to read.  When it comes to reading. I get comfortable in front of my computer, book or magazine and actively search and seek ideas and information.  However, shifting from that mode of activity to an action oriented activity requiring output activities like planning and implementing has become more of a challenge.  I now start my day with activities that require output, planning and implementing.  I also try to never go more than an hour without switching gears.

Avoiding these self-help mistakes will help you supercharge your growth and benefit from the the many brilliant and highly effective personal development ideas you.


Sheila McCann is the creator of the Rainbow Framework a universal framework for life, love, wealth, creativity.  One look and you’ll get life in a big way.  Pop on over and get your free rainbow framework e-book and visual.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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