The antidote to every personal development advice I have ever been given

23/04/12

The good

It might be true that you’re rich, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you’re rich. •• It might be true that you have powerful friends, but that doesn’t mean you’re good, it means that have powerful friends. •• It might be true that you have many followers, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you have many followers. •• It might be true that you are thin, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you are thin. •• It might be true that you are organized, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you’re organized. •• It might be true that you’re a morning person, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you are a morning person. •• It might be true that you’re taking care of yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you’re taking care of yourself. •• It might be true that you are fit, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you’re fit. •• It might be true that you eat healthy food, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you eat healthy food. •• It might be true that you work hard, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you work hard. •• It might be true that you are helpful, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you’re helpful. •• It might be true that you are lucky, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you’re lucky. •• It might be true that you make your dreams come true, but that doesn’t mean that you’re good, it means that you make your dreams come true.

The bad

It might be true that you eat emotionally, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you eat emotionally. •• It might be true that you waste time, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you waste time. •• It might be true that you have a boring day job, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you have a boring day job. •• It might be true that your business is unsuccessful, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that your business is unsuccessful. •• It might be true that you struggle with faith, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you struggle with faith. •• It might be true that you are unproductive, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you are unproductive. •• It might be true that you suck at time management, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you suck at time management. •• It might be true that you didn’t get the best grades in school, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you didn’t get the best grades in school. •• It might be true that bad things happen to you, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that bad things happen to you. •• It might be true that you say bad things, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you say bad things. •• It might be true that you are selfish, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you are selfish. •• It might be true that you are lonely, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you are lonely. •• It might be true that you have no ambitions, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad, it means that you have no ambitions.

The ugly truth

We assign meaning to our actions, other people’s actions, random actions and luck. We use this meaning to pull ourselves down and to idealize others. It’s self-hate in disguise. And personal development advice can support your self-hate because it builds on the assumption that you need to change. That you’re not good enough already. That there’s something wrong with you. And it isn’t.

There are a lot of newborn babies in my life right now. My cousin and several of my friends have been blessed with beautiful baby boys. And being around them has helped me realized that there is no such thing as good or bad people. Only human beings with needs, desires and dreams. Can you hate a newborn baby for crying when it’s scared, hungry or in pain? Can you hate a child for not being perfect? For making mistakes? For being unlucky? For not being a morning person?

Well, then why do you kick yourself so hard for these things? What makes you different from a child? From what point in time did you decide that you are bad if you’re not hard-working, popular or lucky? From what point in time did you decide that you are bad if bad things happen to you?

Personally, I know exactly when this happened. It’s a painful childhood memory. But here’s the thing. I’m grown up now. I can decide for myself. And I’m doing my best to believe that there is nothing wrong with me. I don’t need to be changed. I could change, yes. But I don’t need to. I’m already a valuable human being, just the way I am.

How do you feel about yourself? Do you struggle with these issues too?

The idea for this post came from a book called There’s nothing wrong with you by Cheri Huber. It’s a great book and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get to know themselves better. ♥

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Morgan April 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

agreed!
i needed this reality check and i’m sure others do as well!

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Angie April 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

It’s so easy to feel sub-par and compare yourself to other people. Realizing this helps a lot. Great post!

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Tasha April 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Beautifully written Marthe.
I tell people that I’ve finally grown in to my skin – finally accepted and come to love me, for me.
It really is a wonderful place to be, and although there are days when the old fears, emotions and mind games creep through, generally I deal.

I’m off to share this post. You’ve touched me this morning – thank you.
Tasha

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Kathleen April 24, 2012 at 1:11 am

Yes! I have been really into personal development lately and the funny thing is that sometimes it DOES make me feel worse about myself. As someone who was raised very religious I definitely struggle with good vs bad. Hopefully this post will sink in a little for me. I’m going to check out that book, thanks!

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Jessica April 25, 2012 at 5:30 am

Love this. Thank you for sharing.

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Rebecca April 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

“There is nothing wrong with me.”

Wow. Very powerful. And an interesting concept. My whole life over the past year or so has been about personal development. But does the whole concept of developing the self imply that our natural self may not be good enough..?

Actually, now that I’m pondering it, I guess my quest has really been about getting back to my true self. Blocking out the noise and dulling the distractions so I can listen to my inner self. Being vulnerable and staying true to who I am has been on my mind A LOT lately. I suppose the quote you shared backs that up after all.

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Dizzy Lizzie May 3, 2012 at 4:42 am

You are awesome, you know that Marthe. Your words are so soulful.

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