When trying to grow it's easy to stumblemore than once and scratch your knees on your way to success, happiness, expansion of consciousness and all that good stuff.
There is certainly some pits to watch out for and here's nine mistakes – in no particular order – that I'd say are very common.
I have certainly made a lot of them. More than once.
If you can, try be observantof your own behaviour and to learn from my mistakes. While we perhaps learn best from our own mistakes there is no reason for you to at least waste a little less time that I and so many others before me have done.
Now, let's go.
1. Thinking you already know everything.
This one is a big problem and can halt growth for a very long time. It's the mindset that says: “I know how the world works. I don't need that snake-oil salesman stuff to improve my life. They have nothing new to offer. Only desperate people need those books to get their life together. It's just common sense.”
This attitude and close-mindedness will make it very difficult for you to grow. When you start reading about personal development from writers such as Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy or Wayne Dyer you quickly realise that their best advice is not that much common sense at all. In fact, it's often the opposite to the more commonly accepted “truths” that many of us have heard through school, media and other people throughout our lives.
2. Being confused by the marketing hype
The mindset in the first example isn't totally of the mark. There are snake-oil salesmen in every line of business. And since most successful personal development authors/speakers really knows how to communicate there is bound to be perhaps a more than average amount of the high-pressure sales stuff you can read about in books like Influence by Robert Cialdini. Stuff like offering a small free gift to the consumer, saying that there are only 500 copies of the product and that the offer will only be available for one week.
But even though some marketing techniques may seem overly optimistic or kinda aggressive doesn't mean that the products are without value. Don't confuse the sales techniques with the products.
I say, start with trusted names or products that have received great reviews. Do a bit of your own research via google and browse the reviews on amazon before you buy. See what other people think. If you'd like, take a look at this list of my favourite personal development products so far.
3. Not taking action
Thinking that reading a book or blog will automatically transform you and your life. But knowledge without action on your part is not that very transforming. And only you can change yourself. Others can only give a bit of advice, support and motivation. But in the end, you have to take the steps in real life.
Have a look at Don't get stuck in reading for more thoughts on the common affliction of getting stuck in reading a whole lot of personal development books without putting much of the advice into action.
If you have problems taking action, it's often due to fear. Try the first and the second suggestion in this article on overcoming fear. It helped me to get going.
4. Giving up
At the first or third failure thinking "It's no meaning. I am who I am and that can't change. I just have to get used to that thought." Don't give up. One or five or 20 failures ain't that big of a deal in the long run. You have to fail to get good at something and to grow.