Posted 27 Aug

Is It Time to Switch Personal Development Courses?


We have to be honest – there’s a lot of personal development courses out there to choose from. And there’s no perfect, one-size-fits-all course that we can recommend to everyone.

Personal development is a highly individual journey. A course that’s right for you is unlikely to be right for the person next to you. Spending too much time on a course that isn’t right for you can slow down your journey.

But how do you know when it’s time to switch personal development courses? More importantly, how do you know what to look for when a course may be hurting you?

Here’s a guide to determining when to stay and when to leave your current course and set your sights on a new one.


It Uses a System of Guilt

Using a system that punishes or rewards involves using a system of unnecessary guilt. If you don’t measure up, you’re punished. And that makes anyone feel bad. All that happens if you begin pushing yourself into otherwise healthy practices not to feel good but to avoid feeling bad.

Guilt creates unhealthy balances between you and the things you should love. You shouldn’t have to exercise every day to ‘earn’ a bite of chocolate.

Although it is easily masked as self-improvement, it has no trace of self-care. Because as soon as you take a day off because you’re tired or you’re busy, you’ll not only miss out on something you love, but you’ll feel bad about the whole journey.

Self-improvement happens when there’s no one keeping score. If your system does, it may be time to move on.

It Forces You Into Habits That Don’t Apply to You

A structured personal development system will include many traits and characteristics to adapt to seek a healthier, balanced you.

But it’s important that there are many paths to personal development. While every path works for someone, not all paths work for you.

Finding a practice that works for you means taking on the changes that mean the most to you. Forcing you to apply habits that are meaningless to you doesn’t work.

These practices discourage you from thinking for yourself. Not thinking independently is a problem not because the methods your practice applies aren’t good or don’t work for you. Instead, it prevents you from putting them to the test.

Is morning meditation right for you? It’s hard to tell unless you try it. But it’s also hard to tell if you don’t try it and then take a break on your own initiative.

It Destroys Important Boundaries

Personal development courses encourage personal growth, which often means being more accepting not only of yourself but of those around you.

There are some personal development courses that insist on acceptance. Placing so much emphasis on acceptance can lead to you accepting behaviors you shouldn’t.

You might end up accepting those who don’t accept you. Some people end up in relationships devoid of mutual respect or even love.

Acceptance of bad behaviors rarely leads to healthy relationships. In fact, it can ultimately impact your own relationship with yourself by forcing you to wonder whether you deserve the bad behaviors you experience from others.

These boundaries between yourself and others are important. But there’s a second boundary to look out for: the boundary between you and the course or the course leader.

Some courses or spiritual leaders will attempt to grab too much power over your life. They might use manipulative techniques to force you to sign over your own agency and live life by their rules.

Anytime a course or teacher insists you accept bad behavior, especially behaviors that sound alarm bells, it is typically a good time to leave.

Because honestly, you can have an open heart and open mind while protecting yourself from those who do you harm.

It Promises You Something Unachievable

Many personal development courses make promises. Whether it’s a specific outcome or a general feeling, these promises are the goals you’re working towards.

But the problem with these promises lies in how practical and attainable they are.

One of the reasons people cringe when they hear the words ‘self-help’ and ‘personal development’ is because they’re aware of the claims some courses make.

You’re probably not going to have your best body in 30 days. It’s also difficult to make meaningful, lifelong changes by changing only one thing about your life. 

The problem with these courses is that they overpromise and under-deliver.

While having lofty goals isn’t a bad thing, you also want goals you can achieve. It’s hard to see how you’re helping yourself if you’re using problematic means to reach unachievable ends.

Moreover, these types of self-help course can put you off of meaningful change entirely. Once you’ve failed to reach a stratospheric goal, it’s hard to get back on the bandwagon. You may even choose to disregard further personal development entirely because it didn’t work the first time.

It Promotes a False Sense of Achievement

Some courses are more interested in helping you achieve a brief high than helping you make meaningful change.

If your course provides fluffy affirmations without challenging you to do real work, it might be promoting a false sense of achievement.

Now, no one is saying that you shouldn’t feel good about enjoying personal development courses. Feeling relief at taking the first step towards growth is normal and even beneficial. 

However, the course needs to go further. It needs to challenge and change you.

Because if you finish the course and find nothing has changed, you’ll experience the crash that accompanies that false sense of achievement. You could find yourself in a never-ending cycle of highs and lows that prevent you from making progress.

Choose the Right Program for Progress

There are no universals in self-help or growth. But it’s essential that your personal development course is helping you grow as an individual. Any of the issues discussed above could inhibit growth and keep you stuck.

If you need to change your personal development course, consider the Avatar® Course. Avatar is a way to rediscover who you are and align it with what you want to achieve.

To learn more, have an Avatar Master contact you.