Note: this post was originally written as an Atomic Essay as part of Ship 30 for 30 and posted on Twitter. I’ve copied the essay content here so it isn’t just lost in the endlessness of the Twitter feed. Enjoy!
In a society that reveres the quick fix, I know it’s tempting to outsource your personal growth, slap someone else’s framework on your life and hope for the best. But, unfortunately, for most people that doesn’t lead to lasting transformation.
I’ve spent over a decade now immersed in the personal development space. It feels like I’ve read all the books and tried all the advice. But as I continued to look outside myself for guidance, the personal transformation I was seeking continued to feel elusive.
It can be a bit of an addiction really, like you’re always waiting for the magic approach that will finally change everything and it’s just up on the horizon. So you keep trying things and then feeling disappointed when they don’t work. And then cycle repeats itself.
The bottom line is that one-size-fits-all approaches don’t work
It’s ok for people to share what worked for them, but we need more people teaching others how to find their own path. We need encouragement to be open to experimenting and detaching from the outcome.
Using someone else’s framework is a shortcut that lets us avoid doing the real work of transformation.
But if this approach doesn’t work then why do we keep doing it?
Vulnerability makes us uncomfortable
Many of us are scared to look too closely because it requires us to be vulnerable and shine a light on our flaws. If we can just take an existing set of steps and apply it to our life then we can avoid the deeper dive into our psyche – our thoughts, emotions, habits, core beliefs, self-talk, etc.
We’re too wrapped up in shame and fear and want to avoid feeling worse about ourselves.
But what if being vulnerable and willing to examine our so-called “flaws” is actually the thing that will unlock more acceptance of ourselves?
What if it would give us more confidence, more understanding and the ability to work within our specific nature so that we feel less shame and guilt? Wouldn’t that be worth it? Personally, I think it would.