7 most common problems with self-development


Creative self-development is a priority for many people, including SAE students. It is one of the most important aspects of human’s life, but how to keep on the right track? Ego often shows us the wrong way and we end up loosing a lot of vital energy. Making failures is okay, but what if you could avoid many of them just by realizing what is truly good for yourself?

Text and picture by Joanna Wróblewska

You are perfect and complete right now, at the moment. You have all the necessary potential and energy to realize your dreams, all the answers are in you. How does it all sound to you? Most likely a bit weird. Many people feel pretty uncomfortable while reading such statements. They probably consider them as very spiritual or just unrealistic and insane. The truth is that the real growth happens naturally when you listen to your inner self, so there is no need to search for answers elsewhere. Today, I would like to invite you to take a look at a bunch of mistakes that we all make and realize how harmful they are for our true self-development.

Is it you or your ego?
How often do you make ego-based decisions? Is it important for you to feel better, wiser or more skilled than others? Are you constantly comparing yourself to friends, colleagues and co-workers? Feeding ego is a dangerous motivation for personal growth and it can really put you on a wrong truck. Every time you make an important decision, stop for a moment, be present and look at yourself from a perspective. Becoming more aware of your true desires and intentions might be a real eye-opener.

Unrealistic expectations
Setting goals is a common thing, also when it comes to self-development. But are you expectations realistic? People tend to be too optimistic about what they can achieve in a certain period of time. On the other hand, many of us experience problems with self-esteem and see future in extremely dark shades. Both approaches are misleading and harmful. Real personal growth happens “in between rises and falls”. Sometimes it happens unexpectedly and all of a sudden you realize how much you have achieved. Keep making tip-top steps towards your dream and set small goals. Accomplishing them should be always rewarded with an awesome something, like a cup of favorite hot chocolate, a relaxing walk or a calming massage.

Never good enough
Some people think that they are never good enough. They have an overwhelming feeling of unfulfillment at all times. They are never satisfied. Many of them are perfectionists with a very low level of self-confidence. If you have a passion like writing, drawing or designing games, just start to do it now! Knowledge and experience will come with time. After all, this is the reason why you are at SAE, right? Show your work and ask for feedback. Allow yourself to connect with people similar to you and make sense out of what you do in the present moment.

“Musts” and “shoulds”
Many times I caught myself using those awful words: “I MUST finish the assignment today”, “I SHOULD read more about photography”, “I SHOULDN’T take a nap, but work”. Living in the world of “musts” and “shoulds” doesn’t make our life any better. We do not need those words in our dictionaries. How would it be to replace them with something more powerful, gentle and friendly? Sentences like “I WANT to create a good website” or “I DECIDED to accomplish this exciting project” sound much better, aren’t they? Notice, that using this kind of words allows us to regain the control over things and become calmer. Being an adult is all about making conscious decisions: nobody can force you to anything in terms of your preferences, passions, career, dreams and personal growth.

Only work, no play
As you probably remember, creativity is all about playing and having fun. What happens if you forget about this important truth and focus just on working hard everyday? Well, at some point you will (most likely) experience not only lower energy level, but also generate less ideas and become very, very tired. Do not forget about playing and find a pleasure in doing something else than just serious, hard work. I am pretty sure that your creativity will reward you for giving it some fun time!

Money, money, money
Focusing on generating profit is one of the biggest mistakes in growing and defining yourself. Yes, it is an important part of life, but a very weak motivation at the same time. If you do things only for money, you probably won’t find happiness and fulfillment. You will constantly seek for more and feel both frustrated and burned out in the same time. Being passionate about something means to do it just because it gives you a tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. Find the way to your dream and the money will come. It is one of the hardest truths to believe, but this is how it works!

No trust at all
Turning towards dreams, supporting passions and enjoying life on daily basis demands trust. Do you trust yourself? Do you trust life? We often tend to believe that the world is bad (or unfriendly, or weird) and we must try to control it. Trying to control life means generating a huge stress, because life is really unpredictable. It is a gift and it is good, so maybe you could consider trusting it a little bit more everyday? Stay open for everything that life brings and take the opportunity to enjoy the presence.

Self-development is a positive process that should lead us to a happier and more fulfilling life, but it might be also tricky. Look at your motivations and actions from a distance and try to evaluate them. Do you believe in yourself? Are you giving yourself enough support and understanding? How is your ego dealing with jealousy and competition? Be honest to yourself and grow. The change will come soon enough!

Learn more:
The Number One Self Development Mistake, And The Fake Growth Addict
Top 5 Personal Development Mistakes
9 Mistakes That Can Stop Your Self Development



  1. Just wanting to succeed is not enough. You need to believe in what you are doing and infect others with your dreams. If you aren’t confident in what you believe, how can you expect others to embrace what you believe? Back in college, one of my professors complained that I spoke too confidently about what I believed and promoted. But if I didn’t believe in what I said, why should I expect others to believe in what I said? Some of my ideas might not become reality in my lifetime if at all. But if in a century what I wrote about is proven true, I might not enjoy the honors that are accorded to successful people. But I will be successful. If half of what I write about becomes reality, that is far more than what others afraid to express themselves can claim as successes.

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