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When Self-Growth becomes Self-Sabotage

Many of us invest quality time and energy into our personal development. We buy inspiring books, sometimes with the workbooks or journals that complement them. We discuss psychology with our friends 'or we look for friends with whom we can have open discussions on the subject. There is activity in our mind 'at times a little bit of confusion. We encounter so many different lines of thoughts, so many tools, so many exploratory exercises we can do. It's as if we were in the middle of a dense, majestic forest...

Then, maybe it happened to you, you reach a point where you don't feel satiated anymore after reading the hot new self-improvement book... The workshop just feels like another workshop... Philosophical discussions feel more like empty calories... It's not that your head is full: it's more that you are hungry. You are hungry, because you have tasted 'sometimes chewed 'the wisdom you have read or heard, but you haven't digested and integrated it. Don't we benefit from relaxing and taking a break after a good meal?

I think none of us have ever seen, written in the back of a book, "You don't need to read me 'all the wisdom is within you'. No publisher would be so open-minded (or masochist)... Besides, we are the ones who have to figure out for ourselves how we can best use the resources available to us 'how we can use them to connect to our own inner wisdom, inspirations, intuitions. Other people's insights are guiding lights. We don't need a zillion guiding lights, in fact we get lost if we are surrounded by too many of them 'they point in too many different directions. Their role is simply to show us possibilities, which we can consider... and once we have chosen something to be our truth, we close the book, we turn the light off, and we get in touch with our own inner guidance.

One simple concept can drastically change our life. It can be, "Love yourself", it can be, "Be all that you can be", or "Fear is an illusion"... But none of these makes real sense, no concept will truly transform our life, if it's not integrated in every cell of our body, if it doesn't feel as tangible as if it came from us in the first place. We keep reading and listening to 'teachers', and "experts"; but who's the best expert, when it comes to you, or when it comes to me?

I believe nothing in self-growth has to be hard and complex. You can sit in silence, you can look inside yourself with wide open eyes, and you will "see", or feel, the precise wisdom you need at that exact moment. It's not always exactly what we want to hear 'in fact, often it's not, so we refuse to accept it 'but sometimes that's what self-growth is about, that's what we really need to bring ourselves to the next level. That being said, it's easier sometimes to face a book, or another person, than it is to truly face and accept ourselves. And let's acknowledge the fact that we often prefer complicated answers, and techniques.

"Self-sabotage" is a strong word... What I tried to convey with the provoking title is that, at some point, the energy we dedicate to self-growth resources may better serve us (in terms of self-growth) if we invest it elsewhere: in introspection... in basic down-to-earth actions... in meditations... or maybe in fun things...
Sometimes we have an endless to-do list that causes us major stress, and instead of simply doing what must be done, we will read a book on relaxation, do yoga, or else... Sometimes we are a little gloomy, we just need to loosen up, laugh, and have fun... but we will attend a workshop on a subject we think will provide us answers. Not that it won't! Obviously, none of this is "bad" 'sometimes it may even be the most constructive things to do... but what I'm highlight here is that sometimes, it may not. Finally, I guess my point is: "self-growth can be everything, you have access within yourself to all the wisdom there is, and you are magnificent beyond what you can imagine".

About the Author
Marie-Pier Charron, life coach, is founder of Implosions, and editor of a monthly newsletter filled with practical tips and powerful empowerment strategies. To get your own free subscription, visit her at


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