Three Personal Development Mistakes and How To Fix Them


personal development

I have spent the better part of the last 20 years in and around the personal development niche. It’s so weird to call it a niche when the self help/personal development market was worth a whopping 9.6 billion dollars (just in the United States) back in 2005.

Whatever we call it, personal development is something that most of us have encountered at one point or another.

I have loved the lessons learned from reading, listening to and viewing all forms of personal development resources from various organizations, masterminds and individuals. Some of my best days have been spent teaching, training and coaching others to live life at it’s best.

From this experience, here are some mistakes I have seen over and over again. Yep – got some solutions as well.

Three Personal Development Mistakes and How To Fix Them

1. I can go it alone.

I have seen way too many people jump into personal development and think they are an island. Somehow they buy into the notion that personal development is, well personal.

Here I’m not talking about the person who simply wants to amlify and already decent life. That person that needs a tweak here or there to enhance the good road they are already traveling.

The person I am targeting here is the one who dives into PD with a host of issues both past and present. Deep seated issues that are tearing at their very being and causing them great distress.

For this person to think that they can pick up a self help book, CD or DVD and lead themself out of the abyss, is scary at best, harmful at worst.

Do I think you need to check yourself into the closest Psyc Unit, maybe not (remember, I’m no doctor). What needs to be stressed here is that if you are truly suffering, you are not alone. There are a host of choices out there for you to get a guide, a helper, a coach or a counselor to walk through your development with you.

Personal development does not have to be a “personal” journey.

2. Look, there is a new shiny button, I want it!

Just like in the tech market that puts out a new shiny thing every other second, the PD market spills out a steady stream of the “next best thing.” It is so easy to be awestruck by the newest book, seminar, conference or company.

If you were new to the area in which you live and you came down with a bad cold, would you ask yourself: Hey, I wonder who is the newest doctor in the area who is straight out of med school?

Or would you ask around to trusted family and friends? Would you seek out advice about the best doctor or urgent care?

Would you test it or just jump into it?

Yeah, the same with personal development “gurus”.

Have they been around the block a few times? Have you heard their name before? Can you get a recommendation from a trust agent?

I’m not saying that you need to spend a load of cash on a Tony Robbins experience just because you have heard of him – what I am saying is don’t jump at the loudest beep or the prettiest face.

Got me?

3. I need to read just ONE MORE BOOK and then I’ll get started living a better life.

I call this the “action of inaction”. Yep – sitting around and reading and re reading and reading again is an action – it isn’t a good one, but it’s an action.

Just like “wannabe” Internet Marketers think they need just one more shiny program or ebook before they get off their ass and do something, so is true of personal developers.

You can read (and listen and watch) until you are all kinds of blue in the face, but if you never get up, get out and act on what you have learned – you will never experience the change you have worked so hard to achieve.

Personal development is all about living out the change. It’s about experiencing life AS you are seeking to make it better for yourself and others.

Get to it!

Thoughts? What other mistakes have you seen yourself or others make in regards to Personal Development? What has been your best plan of action?

Let’s hear it below!

image: mazzali

frank dickinsonFrank Dickinson wants to be intimately involved in creating conversations about the subjects that interest him the most; Internet and Affiliate Marketing, Social Media and Personal Development. On his blog, Creating Conversations, you will find tutorials, screencasts, reviews, blog posts, videos and whatever else he can get his hands on to teach, enlighten and inspire. Connect with him on Twitter at @FrankDickinson.

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Category : Blog &Inspiration

  • Frank Dickinson

    Thank you Mark for the kind invitation to guest post for you. You have an amazing blog and community here and I am proud to be a part of it.

    All the best to you my friend!

    • Mark Harai

      Hey Frank! I appreciate you sharing your expertise and insights here with the community today, you rock : )

      Love, Peace and Bicycle Grease,

  • patricia rossi

    Greetings Frank,
    This was a great article… so true. Thanks for sharing it…
    My best,
    Patricia Rossi

    • Frank Dickinson

      Greeting Patricia!

      great to meet you and thank you for the kind words – glad you enjoyed!

    • Mark Harai

      Hi Patricia – thanks for stopping by and giving a shout out : )

      Have a great day!

  • Benny Hsu

    Hey Frank! All very good points. I’ve been guilty of number three. Not that I have a huge library but just reading the books and not taking action. Somehow just thinking that if I read it, my situation would be better! Nope! Now I know better than that. :)

    • Frank Dickinson

      Hey Benny!

      You know, some folks never even do the reading. I feel bad for them. Personal Development has been so meaningful in my life and others, I can’t imagine being without it.

      • Benny Hsu

        That’s true too. They’d rather read gossip magazines!

        • Frank Dickinson

          Or the National Inquirer – “inquiring minds want to know” :)

      • Mark Harai

        There is such great information to extract from lives and experiences of others… The key is incorporate the things that inspire us and create our own experience from them…

        • Frank Dickinson

          So true Mark – and this is one of the reasons I love being a blogger – I meet people smarter than me all the time, learn from them and then make a new way for myself.

          • Mark Harai

            Our mutual friends are incredible folks Frank… Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something valuable about business, blogging, marketing, et al…

            Problem is I’m finding is you can only have so many online friends that you can provide value and support to. I wish I could duplicate myself so I could effectively connect with more peolpe : )

    • Mark Harai

      I think all of the seeds that are planted in our minds from reading these books is information we subconsciously utilize in our lives… Inspiration is impactful.

      Good to see you Benny : )

      • Benny Hsu

        Thanks Mark. I like to think of my brain as an empty glass and I fill it with clean water (inspirational books) instead of dirty water (gossip magazines). 

  • Bill Dorman

    Hey Frank, good to see you at Mark’s place; he is the most gracious host.

    I’ve seen this said SO many times in work, the blogosphere, life, etc. All these books, gadgets, etc are just tools to be used. None are the panacea one size fits all. If any of these ‘things’ just give you one thing to work with to make your life better then it was worth it.

    It’s the aggregate of all this ‘stuff’ and how you choose to use it, live it, etc as to it’s effectiveness. Ultimately however, it has to come from within and if any of these tools help you get to that place then it was money well spent.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Hey Bill – great to see you!

      Yep – “tools” – they are tools to be used. They are not the answer. They are not the solution. They simply point us within and help us to bring out the best we can be – which, in my book, is pretty frickin’ amazing!

      Speaking of pretty frickin’ amazing – how about that Mark Harai? Top-Notch eh?

  • Nancy Davis

    My biggest mistake has always been thinking something outside myself will make me happy. I had this mistaken notion that if I just think positive thoughts all the time I would get everything I want – and I would be happy.

    That is pure snake oil. Happiness and contentment must come from within. Then and only then could I find love, and fulfillment. I had to stop looking for the answer in a man, a new pair of shoes or a different job. So many people fall into this trap.

    This is an excellent post – thanks very much.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Thank you Nancy for being here and for your great comment. As the old saying goes -”Happiness is an inside job!”

      I’ve been tempted before to find happiness in the newest shiny gadget. While I love them and find them useful – a gadget cannot love, it cannot show compassion, it cannot render kindness – all those things are found within and then given without.

      Great stuff Nancy!

    • Mark Harai

      You are a very wise woman Nancy — the price for wisdom is great, but it’s the only thing that gives us the proper perspective to see and harness the significance and  value our most difficult experiences in life provide us…


      • Bill Dorman

        I said something pretty wise and didn’t see you chiming in on mine. What, I’m not as pretty as Nancy?

        • Mark Harai

          Oh, I didn’t see you down there – you’re invisible!

          As are as looks goes, @twitter-117500958:disqus you can’t touch this!

          I re-read your comment and I would give it a “B.”

          You’re way too serious – then came the comment above… Brilliant : )

  • Mari-lyn

    It’s called being a PD addict, one program after another, without digesting what you may has experienced in a program already. I have learned that once you start a program or work with a mentor stay with them, until you have success before moving on to something or someone else.

    • Frank Dickinson

      VERY good insight Mari-lyn! What programs, authors have you enjoyed before?

    • Mark Harai

      Hi Mari-lyn – it’s so good to see you here, thank you for visiting!

    • Mark Harai

      Hi Mari-lyn – it’s so good to see you here, thank you for visiting!

  • Kaarina Dillabough

    Frank, such a great post and Mark, what a great host!

    I wish I could remember who said this, because I’d definitely give attribution, but I don’t, so I’ll share it anyways:

    Somebody once said that a lot of the “self-help” stuff actually is “shelf-help”…it ends up on the shelf, unread and/or unused. (And my apologies to whomever said this…and if someone knows who did, please let me know:)

    Frank, personal development is indeed an inside-out job.  It’s important that we take a lifelong learning attitude and, like Mark says, “incorporate the things that inspire us and create our own experience from them.”

    Seeking help when we need it, learning but not chasing and external “solution” and ACTION are key to one’s own personal development.

    As you and Bill say: tools are tools, not the solution.  The solutions come from using the tools most appropriate to the job, according to one’s own decisions and action.  Cheers!  Kaarina

    • Frank Dickinson

      Can I add one thing to that quote – the “shelf-help” books not only get put on a shelf and never read, but the ones that do – get read only once. What’s up with that? Do you buy a hammer and only use it one time?

      Some of the best books I’ve read only hit home or made a difference in my life in the second or third reading.

      Yep – there is always new stuff out there and we need to take notice of it, but sometimes the very thing we need is sitting right in front of us on the second shelf.

      Thanks Kaarina for being one smart cookie!

      • Kaarina Dillabough

        Love the “do you buy a hammer and only use it one time?” So good.  I agree that reading something more than one time brings things out that might not have made an impact the first go-round.  And thanks for the nice compliment:)  Cheers!  Kaarina

    • Mark Harai

      Knowledge and action working together are a must if want to get results with anything in life… one provides insight and understanding, the other empowers it. If one of these is missing, you pretty much never get off the hamster wheel.  Thanks Kaarina : )

  • The JackB

    The two biggest issues I see are paralysis and lack of follow through. Paralysis is what you refer to as lack of action. We say that we are going to make a change but don’t do so because the time isn’t right or there is some other ‘excuse’ that prevents action.

    The second part is not giving proper time and energy to whatever program/change/diet/exercise you are involved in. It takes time to make things happen and if you don’t give the time it doesn’t matter if you try to make the change.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Personal Development is like a nice whiskey – ya gotta let it soak for a while!

      Great stuff Jack – thanks for adding to the conversation.

  • Julia

    Hi Frank,

    I am just not consciously starting on the road of personal development. I think there are a lot of people who are trying to better themselves but don’t actually have a plan for it (myself included) After being introduced to all of these blogs and listening to some really smart advice and ideas, I am starting to think about personal development in a whole different way. Great post of reminders on how to do it successfully.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Hi Julia – great to see you – any surf today?

      As you already know, having a plan for anything will make it better – the same is true for PD. Flexibility, the ability to go with the flow and roll with the punches (as I see you understand from reading your blog) is also a mainstay of good personal development.

      Lastly – surrounding yourself with good people – which you have obviously done since you know Srini Rao, provides you a sounding board.

      Let me know what you dive into (no pun intended)!!

  • John Falchetto

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks Mark for sharing your house with Frank.

    I met Frank through Triberr recently and all I can say is that he is one of the nicest and smartest person I know online.

    As a life coach I spend a lot of time in the PD sphere. All your points are spot on and they are all indicative of the same disease: giving others the power to change our life.

    The guru, the shiny button, the new book, they are all ‘shortcuts’, like a magic pill which will solve everything. PD is hard work, we need to do it if we want to amplify our lives.

    Your first point is one I also see a lot. Every successful person I know has a mentor, a coach, a consultant, actually they have a few. Tiger Woods has a putting coach, and a swing coach, most very successful businessmen have an army of consultants and mentors helping them through the complexity of life and work.

    Doing it alone can work, it just takes a lot more time, money and energy. 

    Great post Frank :)

    • Frank Dickinson

      Hey John!

      First, thank you for the kind words. They are very much appreciated.

      I was really hoping you would stop by because i knew that, because of your work, that you would have a perspective on this that we all needed to hear.

      “PD is hard work, we need to do it if we want to amplify our lives.” Good lord this is so true! Some of the hardest work I have ever done has been on myself – looking inward. It has also been some of the best work – no, it has been the best work because with it has come a life worth living.

      When i see this happen for others – there is no better feeling.

      I’m glad that you are there to help folks walk through this process.

      Thanks John!

    • Mark Harai

      Hi John, it certainly much more effective to have an experienced mentor, coach, consutlant to learn from… You can get from point A to point B in much faster fashion and time is money in business. Don’t waste it.

  • Srinivas Rao

    Frank ,

    Like most I’ve been guilty of all three of these. The go it alone mindset is something that is fortunately changing because people are realizing that there are tons of people that you can exchange ideas with because of social media. As far as shiny new buttons go, I remember signing up for every damn newsletter or product that I could get my hands on. Finally I realized there’s got to be a point where you stop depending on external influences and finding things from within. As far as reading books I’ve finally started reading books that I will walk away with tangible advice from. But I think your finally point is really what it comes down to, taking action. Most people want to see their lives change with out doing a damn thing. It just doesn’t work that way.

    • SoloBizCoach

      It’s funny how natural having an athletics coach seems.  But, many wouldn’t consider using a coach for personal development.  It’s strange how we don’t make this association.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Well hello Srini – looks like we are long lost brothers because I too have fallen into all three (another indication that we write out of personal experience).

      The action part is (obviously) the most important part. Taking what we have learned and putting into practice and then I would add: turning around and helping someone else do the same.

      That’s the good stuff!

  • Jk Allen

    Hello there Frank!

    Great post. I’ve followed PD for a while and I’ve seen many of the same mistakes. I’ve seen them really close to home. Like…really really close to home. Like in the mirror!

    Where I’ve been fortunate is learning that all the theory in the world does absolute nothing if you don’t put it into practice. I actually did a post on this called: “Street Smarts Reigns Supreme and Experience is King”. In this post I really focused on the power behind experience, and the weakness of theorectical learning without doing anything with it. (enough on that…)

    Anyhow, we’re in an information error where we can learn whatever whenever we want. This leads people to spend all of their time learning but not doing anything with it. I think your name for this is perfect: Action of Inaction. I might have to use that as well (along with the “Peace and Bicycle Grease”).

    Hey Mark thanks for hosting this terrific post from Frank!

    • Frank Dickinson

      ummm – you stole my mirror :)

      Thanks JK and I’m going over to take a look at that post. I heard someone say one time that “wisdom is theory worked out in experience”.

      If that is true, i want to do it the right way and become wise.

      Love, Peace and Bicycle Grease my friend,

    • Mark Harai

      Cheers Jk, thank for poppin’ in and adding to the conversation bro, I appreciate it : )


    Good points Frank. As one who has purchased and read way too many self help books, I realized one day that I was looking for some  magical (and mythical) insight that would replace action and hard work and make success easy. It doesn’t exist. Now of course if you disagree please buy my next book. LOL

    • Frank Dickinson

      LOL – the check is in the mail Riley!

      You are spot on – there is no magical, mythical insight that will replace hard work and getting off your butt and doing the work.


  • SoloBizCoach

    Great post Frank.  It is hard not to get stuck by all three of these.  I think that having a coach can help with all of them.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Thanks Fred for stopping by! (love you site by the way)

      Yeah, as john was saying above, having a coach, trainer, mentor can really help with personal development.

      I’d say it is the best way to go about it.

      • SoloBizCoach

        I am glad that you like my site.  And, thanks for saying it.  Those types of comments really energize me!

        By the way, I just subscribed to your RSS feed.  Can’t wait to read more of your articles!

        • Frank Dickinson

          and I just subscribed to you by email!

  • Jens P. Berget

    Hi Frank and Mark,

    I’m definitively guilty of all three. 

    First, I always think (or used to think) that I could do everything on my own (and that I was always doing a better job if I did it alone). That’s not true at all. It’s all about the people I meet. Sometimes they suck, other times they rock. That’s life. 

    Second, I always want the brand new stuff. No matter if it’s a pizza or a brand new make money opportunity. New is better, because when it’s new, I have thought that they have done things in a better way than the old. But as you’re saying, when you compare it to something we understand (like doctors), we don’t really want new. 

    Third, it’s just like when it comes to a diet. I remember thinking, I’m just going to finish the bag of potato chips and then I’ll start on the diet :)

    I have also been looking for a kill switch when it comes to people (myself included). A switch I can push when it’s an emergency, and we need to reboot. I have worked with a lot of people I have wanted to reboot, and reset the hardware, and start completely from scratch. And the same goes when my mind plays tricks on me. I just want to stop whatever I’m doing, and start all over again. Without anyone knowing what I’ve just done. And Mark, I almost did a complete comment without mentioning pizza :)

    Brilliant post Frank. I have a lot to learn when it comes to personal development.


    • Mark Harai

      You crack me up Jens… All I could think as I was reading your reply is “He didn’t mention pizza!” Then… bam – pizza! Haha!

      Always great to hear from you Jens : )

      • Jens P. Berget

        That’s brilliant Mark.. exactly what I was hoping for :)

    • Frank Dickinson

      Nice – now I want pizza and it’s only 11:00 in the morning!

      Ahh Jens – wouldn’t it be great if life had that reboot – reset button – good lord I would wear that sucker out!

      PD is all about finding something, someone that works for you and riding that train until you have benefited and are led to another source.

      It’s not bad to move to another source of inspiration and mentoring – it’s just being able to ask yourself – did I give the first thing a try long enough to receive any benefit. 

      Most people frog hop too soon.

      make any sense?

      • Jens P. Berget

        It makes a lot of sense. I haven’t read that much about PD, but I have read somewhere that it takes 30 days to make something become a habit. If that’s right, I am thinking about testing if I can do something I’m really passionate about for an hour every single day for 30 days and see if it becomes a habit :)

        • Frank Dickinson

          I’ve always heard that same thing, but with different amounts of days – 15, 18, 30

          Test it out for me!

          Thanks Jens for being here!

          • Jens P. Berget

            I will, I just know that it’s going to be really hard.. because it seems that I can’t do anything for 30 days straight. But I’m going to do my best. I have started writing my second novel, and I am going to try to write for 1 hour every single day, no matter what happens during the days (usually, I write a lot for 2 days, and I do all sorts of other work the rest of the days of the week, or I spend time plotting the novel).

  • Tim Brownson

    I work with a lot of other Life Coaches and #3 comes up again and again and again. Although to be fair, with coaches it’s often one more course of qualification. You learn when you do, not when you think about doing.

    The other thing with that is the people that usually need to read one more book are the people that often haven’t done the exercises and work that the books they have already read suggested.

    Nice post!

    • Frank Dickinson

      Hello Tim – nice to meet you.  (following you on Twitter now)

      I love this ->”You learn when you do, not when you think about doing.”

      So true in so many areas of life. I do some teaching and, even there, I really learn when I’m actually teaching more than I do in the preparation. 

      Thanks Tim – much appreciated!

      btw – have you met @johnfalchetto:disqus ? He’s a Life Coach and is in the comments above.

      • Tim Brownson

        I know the name, but to be honest that’s all. I shall get on the case!

  • Jim Connolly

    How cool is that – I go to one great blog and get to read both Mark and Frank!

    Thanks for the insights, Frank.  Always good to read a person’s unique perspective on the personal development industry / niche.

    • Mark Harai

      Hi Jim, it’s nice to see you in these parts, thanks for stopping by : )

    • Frank Dickinson

      Top of the morning, evening, day – heck, I never know what time it is in ol’ England! – to you Mr. Connolly. Glad you stopped by!

  • Anonymous

    Dear Frank & Mark

    On the DIY PD, it is easy to get trapped into this one if you are driven, type A etc.  We wouldn’t have gotten this far if we couldn’t trouble shoot a certain amount on our own!  But, it is so true, having a “trusted” source guide you gets you further. 

    I have been cautious about overbuying the internet e-books, courses etc b/c I am on a limited budget.  And am grateful that some of the early internet business podcasts emphasized take action, take action.  I tend to ask when buying a book/course etc: is it recommended by a trusted source, can I afford it, do I have time to actually read/do it now and lastly and most importantly: Will it help get me toward my goal? 

    I note you have Disqus for your comments.  Any thoughts on disqus vs other like Lifefyre?  I am in the process of changing mine so the readers can receive email notification of comments.

    Have a great weekend!

    • Frank Dickinson

      Hey Rajka – always good to see you!

      “Will it get me toward my goal?” – a great measuring stick for resources in the personal development niche. If it doesn’t move the ball farther down the field for you – why invest in it.?

      Great stuff!

      I just moved back to DISQUS on my blog from Intense Debate. DISQUS is solid, works well and provides a good interface and features for your readers.

      I like it!

      Thanks again my friend for stopping by and adding to the conversation.

    • Mark Harai

      I’m with Frank Rajka, I really like DISQUS very much. I just wish Commentluv worked with it — then it would be the perfect comment plugin : )

      • Frank Dickinson

        I’m with ya on the CommentLuv thing Mark – it would be a perfect combo.

  • Lloyd christie

    Nice post you razed some vary valid points One thing that stands out for me is this point … “I need to read just ONE MORE BOOK and then I’ll get started living a better life” Statement was true for me at one time. 
    I think this passive action helped to condition in a new way of thinking, so sometimes, this can be good, its really about timing

    • Frank Dickinson

      Thanks Lloyd for stopping by!

      Isn’t just about everything all about timing?

  • Anonymous

    Lol, I thought Mark was diving into his inner core when I was reading this post, and then I saw Frank’s cheery mug at the end ;-)

    Awesome read Frank, especially after the recent times you’ve had; it’s great to see you back in the game. And three awesome points which I can relate to quite easily:

    - I was too stubborn to ask for help when starting my blog
    - I blindly followed advice
    - I have a big self-help library

    But that’s part of the ‘personal development’ game, to personally develop. If we had all the answers to begin with, it wouldn’t be any fun.

    Hey Mark! :-)

    • Frank Dickinson

      Ha! – My “cheery mug” – lucky that didn’t scare ya off!

      That’s really part of the whole BIG game – the game of life – to personally develop!

      At least if we are doing it right.

      Love it – thanks for dropping in!

    • Mark Harai

      I agree Stu, Frank does have on “cheery” mug : )

  • Billy Delaney

    I started out with the Amway tapes, books and monthly stuff too! Learned a lot about both PD and Amway…
    I was a go-it-aloner for too long. Starting my blog, meeting and commenting on sites, just wouldn’t do that a few years ago.
    Troubles come…
    PD shows up when the fur hits the fan, you use it or run from the development.
    I choose to use it.
    Been at your site again having a peek.
    Best to you and good post here today.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Thanks Billy!

      Good choice to use it – there have been some times when trouble hit that i don’t know what I would have done without PD.

      I have some very fond memories of those Amway tapes and convention speakers. have carried them for quite a few years.

      Always good to see you around Billy – good times!

  • Craig McBreen

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    Thanks, I must check out your blog. Great points. I need a post like this  every so often to shake me from my stupor.

    I was an absolute self-help junkie. Every time I needed a fix I purchased another book. From Tony Robbins to Eckhard Tolle. The problem was the fact that I was devouring these books, but not taking action. Like Jk said, “… all the theory in the world does absolutely nothing if you don’t put it into practice.” 

    The problem is, I am a bit of an introvert. The lone-wolf. But joining a local Toastmasters group and simply making an effort to just get out and meet people has been a huge help. I need to keep at it, on- and off-line!

    Now, to avoid becoming a blog addict!

    • Frank Dickinson

      OMG Craig – joining Toastmasters is a huge step for a known introvert. Congrats! How is it? – I’ve always wondered about joining.

      • Craig McBreen

        Great! Once each meeting is over that is! Then a huge sigh of relief. No seriously, it is a great group and really helps someone like me – alone in an office all day. Also, looks like I messed up and added some tag-along code to my post above. I did email Mark about this newbie mistake ;)

        • Fmdickinson

          LOL Checking to see if there is a group in my area now!

          • Craig McBreen

            Love to hear how it goes.

  • Ashvini Saxena

    Action is really more important that inaction. In fact inaction is an action too which leads to different ( not so pleasent ) consequences. Due to inaction, people let go of the opportunties that could have made life better for them .

    Also listening to yourself before you listen to others is important( point no 2).
    These are some excellent points that you have put up here.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Thank you Ashvini – much appreciated!

  • Ricardo Bueno

    Heyo, number one used to be a problem for me. I was definitely one of those “go it alone types.” I never wanted outside help and always wanted to figure things out  on my own. This applied to both my personal life and my business life.

    Then a few years ago, going into business for myself taught me a few things. There’s no way (and no reason to) try and do it all yourself. You can really make some big leaps and bounds by asking for just a little bit of help. From a friend, a mentor, whomever. It helps you see things in a different light and you grow to appreciate varying perspectives. And really, that’s how you grow.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Great stuff Ricardo! I would hate to think og what my business would be like without the reaching out for help that I have done.

      You are spot on about the growth thing!

  • Marcus Sheridan

    I know I’m way late to this Frank, but you did an awesome job here. It’s amazing how misguided much of the personal development field is, and so many people ‘embrace’ it only to remain the same person.

    Along with what you said, I think the biggest problem out there is that we all read lots of great stuff, but apply very little of it. We’re consumers, not doers, and that’s  not what makes personal development a success. It requires action, and lots of it, and action,in this case, doesn’t mean more self help books! (as you stated)

    Great job my friend.


    • Frank Dickinson

      Thanks so much Marcus for stopping by – it’s never too late for you my friend!

      The “consumer – doer” thing is absolutely correct and it is probably seen more in the PD space than most other places.

      Consuming is fun, interesting and insightful – but action is what leads us forward and cements the growth.

      Thanks again bud!

  • Annie Andre

    this is scary it’s like you were in my head.  I have been guilty of all three. The last point is the one i’m most guilty of though. I end up with analysis paralysis. I’ve consumed so much information that i’m frozen.

    Lately i’ve adopted a new motto that’s really helped me forge ahead. If i want to do something, i just do it. No excuses, no reading about it, no researching until i kill the horse. I’ve been really productive as a result and it helps me conquer my feers and build confidence too.

    • Frank Dickinson

      LOVE IT! – thanks for being over here too Annie!

      What a great motto – action is always the best way to beat through the analysis paralysis – getting up, getting out and just doing it. You don’t have to hit a home run with each and everything you do – but you do have to swing the bat.

      Great stuff Annie!

  • Developing Intuition

    This is such an informative post. Better I could start to fix my personal development mistakes.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Glad it was helpful – all the best!

  • Kim Davies

    Hi, Frank. 

    Wonderful to see you here in Mark’s house. I love the points you shared here on personal development, especially numbers one and three. Indeed, we could never go at anything alone. We were created to be social anyway. If we were meant to do things alone, there would have been no use for family and friends, right?

    And, always reading up on stuff and never acting on it is definitely not the way towards personal development. We need to act on our convictions, even if it is by taking one step at a time. :)

    • Frank Dickinson

      I’d hate to think of a life without relationships, family and friends Kim.
      Not my kind of life.

      I’d also hate to think of a life without acting on our convictions. As you
      mentioned, even if we take one baby step at a time – that’s progress and
      that’s good!

      Thanks Kim – always a pleasure to see you!

      • Kim Davies

        The pleasure goes both ways, Frank. :)

  • Ken Wert

    Loved #2, especially! I am of the belief that most self help or personal development can be boiled down to a handful of basic principles. And most “new shiny buttons” largely rework those fundamentals, because, well, they are fundamental. Shiny new ribbon can make the package more or less attractive, but if we keep working on the basics, we will likely be just fine!

    It’s wonderful learning from those who have walked so much of the path already! 

    • Frank Dickinson

      The fundamentals are often the best place we can put our concentration ken – great insight!

      Thanks for stopping by – much appreciated.

  • Farouk

    great post and to the point Marc
    you pointed out some very important and common mistakes
     keep it up :)

    • Frank Dickinson

      Thanks Farouk and thank you for stopping by!

    • Mark Harai

      I would love to take the credit for this post Farouk, but Frank Dickinson wrote it and it’s been a big hit in the community… I’m glad you enjoyed it  : )

      • Frank Dickinson

        I have LOVED the interaction with your community on this one Mark. You have great people here!

        • Mark Harai

          You’ve been a great host and introduced an interesting topic folks wanted/needed to hear about Frank… Thank you for the value you delivered here Frank and anytime you’d like, consider my blog your house too : )

          Cheers my friend!

          • Frank Dickinson

            Perfect! Thank you my friend.

  • Warren Wooden

    Sadly I can relate to all three of these.

    • Frank Dickinson

      The writer is never far from what he writes – so I completely understand Warren.

      It’s whether we stay or move ahead that matters.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  • J.D. Meier

    I like the action of inaction phrase.

    I think it goes hand-in-hand with the “if this … then … that” trap, where happiness or something else is always out there, and never right under your feet (which is the best place to grow it.)

    • Frank Dickinson

      So true J.D.

      Neither one of the phrases is profitable.

  • Lynne Quintana

    Amen to this post! No. 3 is great! The danger with reading personal development books is that you can forget to put your own personal spin on it. By that I mean adapting the information to suit your own personal circumstances, rather than following the information to the letter. Personal development is a deeply personal thing so you must remember to take on-board the advice that works for you and ignore that which has no relevance to you.Thanks for sharing this.. 

    • Frank Dickinson

      Glad you enjoyed Lynne and you are correct about making what you read fit to your circumstance. That is what gives it power.

      Glad to see you and thanks!

    • life coach

      I am in full agreement with you with how easy it is to not get “personal” when reading about others experiences.  And also in agreement with Frank and the habit that most emotionally injured people fall into – trying to go it alone.
      For me, the biggest step I took was when I finally took responsibility for my own actions, words and attitude.  Having done that, it has made it that much easier to achieve growth in other areas.

  • Mauricio

    thanks for sharing this..i was really inspired from you.

    • Frank Dickinson

      a pleasure Mauricio – all the best to you!

  • Jonathan Figaro

    Haha, number three is super funny and true. The ones who do this are the ones who will never achieve much. And will be stuck in the cycle of depression and non-achievement for eternity. The point of self help is to get anyone to take ACTION. Whether they are changing there weight, thought patterns or spiritual connection. The point of it all is the bring insight and cause the reader to take action. Take action then move on. 

    • Frank Dickinson

      “The point of self help is to get anyone to take ACTION.”
      I fully agree with this Jonathan when the self help includes specific “how to’s”. Without this, the self help can just become a theoretical discussion leading to no specific action plan.

      Give me some “where the meat hits the steel” and I good to take ACTION!

      Thanks for the insight!

  • Marya | Writing Happiness

    Hi Frank – can’t believe it took me that long to get to this blog. :) Better late than never eh?

    I have had the pleasure of working as a college counsellor a while ago. I also act as a unofficial therapy provider to my friends and family at large. One thing that always strikes me is the fact that you matter what you say to someone when it comes to improving their life – it is not going to make an iota of a difference to them UNTIL they decided it to be the case. 99% of the time, the counselling /advice only brings short term relief.

    You go to so many PD blogs and they always produce interesting, insightful posts on a variety of topics. One new topic after the other – at warp speed. How many times a person reading these topics get up and start implementing those changes in their lives straightaway? Lack of confidence, lack of life purpose, lack of happiness, lack of social successes, lack of …blah blah blah. It goes on and on. I read these articles and I feel so inspired to do what the author suggests – for just about 2 seconds. Then I forget all about it. There is no way I could start improving my life reading 49 odd PD blogs. They are inspiring – temporarily, but that’s all they are. And thats why people are hooked to them. We read them one after the other, because they make us feel better, for that moment.

    If I really need to improve my life, I need to accept the fact that I need help, and start my own education process and get any help I might eventually require. I doubt it general PD blogs can do this. Or my problems might be bigger than them. :) Thanks for the opportunity to let out some steam – it was builidng up for a long time. Cheers.

    • Frank Dickinson

      Thank you Marya for sharing this. I think the biggest thing you hit upon was the fact that PD takes work by the person seeking change. It’s not as easy as some Personal Development books, blogs etc want to make it – like anything that lasts – it takes work.

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  • Warren

    Haha, I had to smile as I read all three and knew I was guilty of each. It’s funny how something that seems obvious AFTER you read it isn’t while you are in fact LIVING it! :)

    • Frank Dickinson

      LOL – I get that completely Warren!

      Thank you for stopping by – much appreciated!

      • Warren

        Thanks Frank, it’s good to meet you!

        • Frank Dickinson

          and you!

  • JasonFonceca

    Incredible overview of the personal development industry, Mark (Err… Frank!). Fantastic, I’d love to see more talk about the personal development industry.

    I’m a huge proponent of it, and am re-launching the evolution of my brand of success-coaching on New Years.

    I’d like to add one ‘mistake’ I made personally, which I’ve found to show up… everywhere, which is this:

    “I want my friends to all come on my journey with me.”Most people have somewhere between 100-200 active connections at any given time, and there is no logical reason, nor historical precedent for having that happen.Part of growing is letting go of certain connections who are going in different directions.Thanks for the insightful post :)

    • Frank Dickinson

      Thanks for the insight Jason – much appreciated!

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