What is the thing that is most holding you back from being the Best Version of Yourself?
You might be tempted to say something along the lines of ‘time’, ‘energy’, ‘money’ or ‘opportunity’.
Perhaps you feel limited by other people?
I have a hunch, which is that a big part of what’s holding you back is your own sense of self.
In other words: you might well be limited by your attachment to the ‘old you’ and by your eagerness to be seen as consistent and reliable.
Why Consistency is Over-Rated
We all have an attachment to who we think we are.
We all have a notion of ourselves and of who others think we are as well.
For example: you may see yourself as someone lighthearted who is never serious.
Or perhaps you see yourself as being a local at heart, who supports the local sports team and who would never leave home.
We like the sense of continuity that this brings and other people like the fact that they know where they stand with us.
We don’t want to do something that is ‘out of character’ and we don’t want to go back on things we’ve said.
But is this really something you should cling to? Maybe your concept of ‘you’ is outdated?
Adaptability is Key
If the dinosaurs taught us one thing, it is that adaptability is the most important trait when it comes to surviving and thriving.
If you can’t adapt, then the world will change around you and you will become an anachronism.
With that in mind, what benefit is there for you to actively refuse to adapt and grow?
Have you ever told someone the way you felt and then changed your mind… only to then feel that you can’t go back on what you said?
Have you ever wanted to dress differently, or take a sudden serious tone, but felt enormous pressure from people’s expectations of you?
This is a prison.
And the irony is that it is a lie: the truest version of ‘you’ is simply the ‘you’ that you naturally want to be.
The best way to be ‘you’ is to drop all expectations and simply act in the moment based on your emotions and your feelings.
And remember: biologically, there is no continuity.
The person you are now is biologically completely different from the person you were even 10 years ago.
Accept it and move on.
When Self-Help Becomes a Negative Thing
The right self-help book or course can be a tremendously powerful tool.
I have personally seen it transform people’s lives: I’ve seen people go from being nervous, shy and unconfident and become far more naturally attractive, confident and interesting.
But I would also argue that things have been taken a little too far.
There is so much self-help literature out there now and so much advice on how we can become better versions of who we are.
But is it all constructive?
Why Self-Help Can be Damaging
While I’ve seen people who have been positively influenced by self-help texts, I’ve also seen people who have been damaged by them.
One of the most common ways this can happen, is when self-help becomes a delay tactic.
What I mean by this, is that people can use self-help as a means to delay the work they actually should be doing to improve themselves.
In other words: people will buy a self-help book and then will instantly feel as though they are making good progress toward being a better version of themselves.
They’ve made the effort by buying the book after all: so they can pat themselves on the back and keep on reading.
And then they buy the next book.
And the next book.
And they feel great about themselves except they haven’t actually changed anything.
Self-help is destructive when it ends up being a delay tactic.
If you are only using it in theory and never in practice, then it is hindering rather than helping your progress.
Knowing Who to Trust
El otro problema es que la autoayuda puede ser muy variada dependiendo de dónde la obtenga.
The problem with the internet is that anyone can contribute and there is lots of incentive to do so as a way to get views and thereby earn some cash.
The problem then is that you can end up following advice that is based on zero evidence and that has been written by someone in no position to be giving said advice.
It’s common knowledge for example that visualizing your goals can help you to get what you want from life.
But did you know that this only works if you visualize them in the correct way? Some studies suggest that having a goal is much less important that having a plan.
So question what you read, act on it and then decide what works for you personally.