Here are 3 possible reasons
How much have you read on becoming a better, more successful person in 2020 alone? How many hours of content on self-development have you consumed in your adult life?
Are you on the verge of information overload?
There is nothing wrong with reading and watching helpful Youtube videos and all that. Binge-listening to your favorite podcast episodes is cool, and by all means, keep at it.
But in it all, I have a simple question for you. It has been eating at me for some time now, and I feel now is the time to address it.
What is holding you back from doing what you know to do to become a better, more successful person?
I do not, for one second, believe you are some clueless millennial bouncing around life, trying to find their feet. I know you want genuine success in your endeavors, whatever they are. And you already know what to do to achieve that success.
So what is the hold-up?
Two things: The first is a feeling of inadequacy and lack of motivation. The second? Fear of not being quite ready.
If I were to add third, it would be the lack of discipline to follow through on my goals. More on them in a bit.
How do I know this? Because I have been there before. I was once and still am in that camp where I struggle to do my bit for myself feeling tied and held down by demons & insecurities.
You see, they are not two distinct factors per se. It’s just one big snake with two heads. I look at everybody but within myself for inspiration. I’ve read countless blogs on self-help and self-improvement, I’ve saved and posted countless posts about the same giving advice on what to do and where to go.
Information on mindfulness and meditation, the brain, and neuroscience. I’ve even read articles on how to structure my posts and make them visibly pleasing to you, the reader. Umpteen posts on all sorts of subjects with advice on self-help and self-awareness being a priority. For all of that time, I think I was talking to myself.
I always felt there was a missing piece when all I had to do was make a start. I even read about getting into the habit of finishing just so that I would have made a start in order to get there.
I became confused. Taking advice from a lot of experts has the one big drawback of leaving you confused. Everyone sees things through a different set of lenses. Every expert has their own best practices.
If you don’t take care, you will drown in an ocean of contradiction.
The other side of this particular coin is the feeling of being almost ready, but not quite. You get the feeling of being just one more how-to article away from being fully armed for a great start.
You will always feel like you need one more self-development podcast to complete the puzzle. Just another inspirational video on Youtube is all that is missing, you might say. Can you see the trap in front of you?
Good. Now here’s the escape route. In my case, I admitted my failings. I Learned something from an online counselor, something about myself and something that had been bugging me for years, but it also lifted a burden off my shoulders. Listening to some of the podcasts only showed me how far away I was from where I should be and how far I was from perfection. Yeah, we all know that perfection isn’t really obtainable but to me, it’s something I naturally aim for.
Worse yet, I felt I was overdosing on information I couldn’t use up in five years.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with listening to podcasts, reading umpteen blogs, and researching ideas or watching videos on Youtube or TED Talks to learn about this or that. It’s both intuitive and responsible and is also a sign of intelligence, but you need to draw a line somewhere among all of these interests so that you can finish using what you’ve already learned from them.
You don’t have to delete any apps from your phone or drastically change anything either. If you were taking notes while listening, what you have to do is start applying what you’ve been learning. Some of the pods are very rich in information and together with my whiteboard they’ve made many a vision.
The same rule holds for some Youtube channels and blogs.
If you only used half of what you know about living a better life, how much better would you be?
The feeling of inadequacy and lack of motivation
With a few exceptions, you have more information than you can ever need or process in a lifetime.
You don’t need a new course on how to achieve your goals, for example. Seriously. You’ve read enough blogs on that already. You’ve had one too many motivational messages. Some call it motivational junk food.
You don’t have to read another book on how to boost your self-motivation. I challenge you to rise and apply what you already know. Use the ammo you already have in your arsenal.
Can you not see that a lot of the new resources out there are just saying the same thing in different words? Just Do It.
The fear of not being quite ready
I don’t know what to say that you haven’t already heard. Do you agree the fear of perfection holds you back sometimes? Sometimes, I feel the same way too. Again, we all know to just start from where we are and grow.
But do we do it?
One simple way to conquer this fear is just getting up and do what you know to do. There is no secret formula. I don’t know of a magic potion other than just starting from where you are.
Lack of discipline to follow through on our goals
Research shows that Google searches for the word “diet” are the highest on New Year’s Day. Similarly, there are spikes in gym memberships at the start of the year.
Renewed commitments to crush the weight demons and get healthier, eat better, exercise more, etc.
We love making resolutions for the new year, but we can’t seem to find the discipline to follow through.
If we are lucky enough, we remember to continue later in the year. Or we use what researchers call a temporary landmark. If all that looks familiar, you don’t need another course on fitness or a stricter diet regime. No Sir.
All you need is (self) discipline. Even the devil knows that. Just look yourself in the mirror and ask why it has deserted you.
How is any of this relevant, I can see you wondering?
The information age and the overdose age. We are inundated with ideas and advice everywhere we look.
The relevance, in one sentence, it is to apply what you already know. The takeaway is to stop overdosing on self-help and to stop waiting for inspiration. You already have enough of both.