3 Hidden Traps of Self-Development

The adventure of self development a lot of traps that are easy to fall into if we’re not careful, now, having gone relatively far in my own adventure, I like to think that you guys can consider me one of those helpful NPCs that appear randomly during your adventure to warn you of the dangers ahead.

When we make the conscious decision to walk this path, it doesn’t mean that we’re suddenly free of the system’s influence, in fact, to think that all but assures the exact opposite. 

It is precisely at the beginning of this journey, where, as the system only just beginning to fall away. That it will throw up it’s whip in it’s final attempts to lasso us back in, it traps us through the illusion of progress, the illusion of growth, we think we’re running down the path, when we’re actually just running in place. 

Social media feeds filled with advice that we ourselves don’t even follow, endless consumption of self-help content that we’re not really applying, business gurus who have never even run successful businesses, 21 year old life coaches.

These are all symptoms of someone who has fallen into one of the traps and never freed themself. 

In this video, we’ll be looking 3 of the most dangerous traps that appear at the beginning of the journey of self-development, where we are still most weak and easily susceptible to them, traps that could potentially end the journey before it’s even begun. Let ‘s begin. 

Trap #1: Wanting to be perceived as a hero instead of being a hero

So this was the first major external “trap” that I fell into when I was starting my self-development journey. The first book I read was “Think and grow rich” by Napoleon Hill, and I remember feeling as if every single word was a mind-blowing revelation. This continued to happen with every quality piece of self-help content that I consumed.

I was waking up with seemingly infinite energy, motivation, and purpose, and so naturally, as someone who had spent their entire life living in an external world, I felt this “overwhelming” urge to teach everything I had learned to others. My Facebook feed quickly devolved into a seemingly endless stream of inspirational quotes. If a friend complained even slightly, about anything, I’d lecture them on how they shouldn’t complain about things they couldn’t control. 

Heck, almost every conversation I had with others, turned into me giving them advice about something, even though they weren’t interested in advice from me. I mean why should they have been, what the fuck had I done up until that point? What did I actually know about the things I was talking about? Beyond having just read these things in books. 

And here’s the trap, when we start on the journey of self-improvement, we so desperately want to believe that we are the person that’s capable of doing all of the amazing stuff that we’re learning about, that we fill our feeds with motivational quotes as we consume them in real-time, and tell others how to succeed in life when we ourselves haven’t actually succeeded at anything.

Because we’re trying to use the external validation of others, to validate this “idea” that we have of ourselves as this brilliant, disciplined, successful person that we desperately desire to be. Our self-development journey becomes less about actually changing ourselves, and more about changing how others perceive us.

We’re more concerned with appearing brilliant, disciplined, and successful instead of actually being those things. Why? 

Well I think more than anything, it’s because we’re impatient, because we don’t know what it is to truly go on a journey and having never experienced what it is to go on a journey, we think it’s all about getting to the finish line. 

We want to be the hero we know ourselves to be, without doing any of the actual work required to get there, and because we exist within this false reality where everything is external, we think that, if we can get others to believe that we are that hero, that it’s somehow equivalent to being that hero. It’s not and as much as you think you want to jump ahead to the finish line, true me, you don’t. 

A good way to avoid this trap, is to set a difficult challenge for ourselves, and to not stop until we’ve accomplished it. When you actually run the full marathon, and then you get to the finish line, you’ll realize that it was never about just getting to the finish line in the first place. 

Trap #2: Accepting “convenient truths”

So this is one that I was frequently guilty of earlier on my journey as well, as we come to truly “know” things for the first time in our lives, it’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of believing something not because it’s true, but instead because it’s convenient. 

I’ll give you an example, let’s look at the YouTube self-improvement industry, many of the “self-help” and “business” guru’s are always using the words “You have to do this”…

“If you want to be successful you have to do this. “

“If you want to lose weight you have to do this.” 

“If you want to attract women you have to do this.”

Listen, you don’t have to fucking do any of those things to achieve the result you want, there are an infinite number of ways to get whatever it is you think you want in life. Heck, if you look at my journey, it’s the exact opposite of what most of these guys say that you “have” to do.

The reason they’re saying “You have to things this way if you want this result” is more often than not, because they have something that they’re trying to sell you, they want you to believe that they “own” the path to a certain result, that depends on you believing that their way is not only the “best” way, they want you to believe that it’s the “only” way. 

This is the main reason I’ll never sell any sort of course or ebook on this channel, because when you tie profit into something that is meant to be “selfless”, it corrupts and there’s no way around it, I’ve seen it a million times. And guys, these are mostly well-meaning people and my intention is not to critique them, my intention here is to simply point out that, sometimes, knowledge and what we believe becomes more about “what’s convenient” than “what’s true”. 

In this case, when it comes to making more money, it’s very easy to believe things that are convenient towards that goal. And I’ve found that observing this in others, is a useful starting point in being able to observe these things in ourselves, which is what we should really concern ourselves with. 

This is also extremely easy to observe in the areas of fitness and politics, there are many fitness influencers online who will proclaim that you have to eat a certain way or exercise a certain way to lose weight or to gain muscle. 

And so we often fall into the same trap, if we get results with eating a certain way or training a certain way, we like to believe that it’s the only way, because it’s more convenient to think that way. I’ve never been in better physical shape than when I ate only steak and butter for a year, but if you had talked to me about diet only a few years earlier, I would have argued with you about how important vegetables were. 

When it comes to politics, our age, race, economic status, friends & family, where we live, all influence our political positions and make it much more convenient to believe certain things even if we know nothing about them. This is why we’re so easily manipulated. 

To search for “truth” means carefully examining both sides, testing things out for ourselves, and risking potentially massive failure. And who wants to do all of that work when we can just believe what’s convenient from the comfort of our couch as we Netflix & Chill. 

But that is the journey for people like you and me, to develop our weapon of “truth” and use it to fight against a system that, at every corner, is meant to consume us. 

The best way to avoid this trap is to carefully and methodically, with every as many of the things that we believe that we can identify, try to prove ourselves wrong, instead of always trying to prove ourselves right. 

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Trap #3: Wanting to change the world

I’ll explain. So there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to change the world, but the problem is that we’ve got an entire generation of young people wanting to change the world, who don’t even have enough discipline to make their own beds or brush their teeth in the morning. So how does this happen, and what’s the trap? 

It’s this, the idea of “wanting to change the world” becomes a very convenient way of avoiding looking at ourselves in the mirror. A convenient way of avoiding the difficult work that’s required to improve ourselves. This is why you see a lot of young people falling into the trap of becoming motivational or life coaches before their balls have even dropped, In fact, look at most of the people selling b.s. courses that promise to show us how to make $2000 a day trading stocks, quit your job and earn 7 figures and worst of all, how to become a social media influencer? more on that in another video.

Anyway, ask any of these guys why they do what they do? and the most common response you’re going to get is “because I want to help others”, when the reality is that they’re only helping themselves, and these are not bad people! Most of them really do believe that they’re helping people.

They’re just so wrapped up in the false reality, they’ve fallen so deeply into the trap, that they exist in a state of complete blindness, they don’t even know which way is up anymore, and this could easily happen to any of us. 

Now, here’s the reality of changing the world, in fact, let’s look to one of the greatest “changers” of the world in the history of humanity, Mahatma Gandhi, and hear what he had to say:

 

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him”

Essentially what Gandhi’s saying here is that if we’re going to change the world, we need to change ourselves. It’s ok to want to change the world, but it is a trap to want that without understanding what that actually means. We can’t control the world, what we can control is ourselves, we can at best be the change we want to see, and that involves lots of work, lots of failure, lots of uncomfort, and everything else that we fear  will happen when we look closely into the mirror at ourselves. 

But, please believe me when I say this, So fucking worth it. 

Summary

So, to recap, Here are the three hidden traps of self-development that you have to watch out for:

Trap #1: Wanting to be perceived as a hero instead of being a hero

When we start on the journey to becoming a hero, it’s natural to want to “skip” the journey and jump straight to the hero part. We do this by trying to use the validation of others to “validate” the idea that we are already that person. 

A good way to avoid this trap, is to set a difficult task for ourselves, and accomplish it. When we get to the finish line of something, we’ll understand that the only thing that mattered was the journey that got us there.

Trap #2: Accepting “convenient truths”

Especially during the start of our journey, it’s easy to start believing what’s convenient instead of what’s true, because to find what’s true requires effort and comes with the “risk” of being wrong.

But we can truly come to know the truth, when we are willing to risk being wrong. A good way to avoid this trap is to try to prove ourselves wrong instead of right. 

Trap #3: Wanting to change the world

Wanting to “change the world” is in most cases just a lazy excuse to keep our gaze fixated towards the external, instead of looking at what we need to change within ourselves. A good way to avoid this trap, is to instead focus on being the change that we want to see in the world.

So, if you look closely at each of these three traps, you’ll notice that they all share a common them, all three of them represent an easy way out and what’s ironic is that, while we may “perceive” them as easy, they’ll actually make our lives much more difficult in the long run, what’s even more disturbing, is that even knowing that these traps exist, may not be enough for you to fall into them, so, much like the story of Odysseus and his men…

“No matter how strongly the Siren’s beckon us, we should instead put wax in our ears or tie ourselves to the mast of the ship until we’ve made it past them”.

We have to have faith that our beliefs are correct and I promise that once you’ve made it to the other side, you’ll understand. But again, I’m just an NPC and this is your journey. 

Alright guys, so regardless of where you are in the journey, I think we’d all love to hear stories of your own experiences with these traps, or maybe even other traps you’ve fallen into. 

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Ciao, cya in the next video.

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