Unpopular opinion alert!! ?

Read this if you’re doing a TON of personal development and still feel like your life isn’t where you want it to be!

Recently I read a post that claimed pursuing personal development is basically the fastest path to burnout. And this isn’t the only time I’ve heard that claim. 

Now, let me be clear. Pursuing to be the best version of yourself does NOT automatically lead to burnout!

Burnout is not the result of developing yourself and working on your life, it’s the symptom of a deeper issue. 

Burnout while seeking and working to improve yourself is a symptom of destructive (mis)beliefs that drive your thoughts, feelings, actions and thus, results. 

You see, if you work on yourself in order to gain any kind of outside validation, such as

  • being loved 
  • being valued 
  • proving your worth 
  • getting approval 

or you 

  • do it as a defense mechanism against feeling hurt 
  • are in denial of yourself or parts of yourself and think you should be different 
  • are trying to be what you think other people and/or society expects you to be and force yourself forward based on a false self image

in the end it naturally leads to burnout, because you’re living out of alignment! 

When we’re seeking outside validation, we oftenfall intothe people-pleasing mode and any attempt to grow from this place is doomed. It will take you further away from yourself and your true life path. 

Nothing sustainable is ever built on a false basis

That’s when many of the signs and symptoms of burnout show up ranging from physical to emotional exhaustion to motivational to behavioral issues. 

That’s when it gets tough and feels like you have nothing more to give.

Side note! If you’re at this stage, be gentle with yourself. 

But it’s not due to pursuing being the best version of yourself. It’s due to your motivations for self-improvement and how aligned you are with your own truth and values. 

In its core essence, this journey is beautiful and transformational. WHEN you do it for the right and valid reasons.

Here are some guidelines to help you get started: 

  1. Understand that this is a journey, not a destination – You will never arrive at a destination called ’The best self’ and then live happily ever after. This is a life-long inner journey of learning to be true to yourself and thus living life to its fullest, both in ups and downs.

  2. Identify your reasons why and remind yourself often about them – Be aware of not using this as a way of gaining outside validation or as a defense mechanism. If that’s the case, then becoming your best version is not the sustainable answer you’re looking for.

  3. Approach the journey with curiosity – Everything happens FOR you, not to you. How is this situation or circumstance teaching you to be true to yourself? What is it that feels uncomfortable and provides the opportunity for practice?

  4. Identify and stay aligned with your true values – True values are the feelings you’re committed to feel consistently in your life. Do your thoughts, words and actions align with your values?

  5. Ensure sustainability –  Is what you’re thinking, saying and doing supporting you sustainably? Aka not only now, but also in the future if you keep saying and doing the same things?

  6. Practice self-compassion – Don’t despise the days of small achievements. Life is a rite of passage and some days we have less to give of ourselves than others. It’s ok. All is good and you’re safe.

  7. Embrace failure – Just like with learning anything new, failing is part of the journey. At times it’s harder to be true to yourself, but hey – that’s how we learn! Keep choosing the path of least resistance.

  8. Practice gratitude – Focus regularly on what already works. There are so many things that actually work in your life, notice them and give credit to yourself for those.

  9. Stay out of the comparison trap – Don’t compare yourself or your life to others. That’s an unfair set up right from the beginning. You do not know how it feels for someone else, you only see how it looks for someone else. Comparing feelings to looks is unfair. If you need to compare, compare only to that of your own past.

  10. Finally, stay in the game – We’re here for the long haul and for the full experience of life, including the bad and ugly. Keep breathing and stay in the game. You’ve got this. 

We shouldn’t be afraid of pursuing the best versions of ourselves. It’s a miraculous and powerful way of living that brings a sense of meaning and purpose and builds up our long term satisfaction with life as well as sustainable resilience.

When you truly commit to do the work within in order to be true to yourself, it transforms your life and helps you cultivate the inner serenity and excitement about life, regardless of outside forces. 

My unpopular opinion today is that I LOVE the journey of becoming the best version of myself and so should you!

And that is why I invite you to come and practice being true to yourself in very simple yet profound ways on a weekly basis with me. Reply “details” through the contact form if you want to know more.

Much love,
Paula
xx