Break Free Of The Personal Growth Trap

I’m sure you’re wondering what a Coach is doing writing about Personal Growth being a trap. Surely this is a key part of my business?

Yes, you’re right personal growth, self-development, self-determination is all part of my business. Whether I’m working with you on a private basis, or through a corporate relationship, I am committed to your personal development and your success.

What I am NOT committed to is “ fixing you”, and you shouldn’t be either. Self-help is a massive business sector, which just keeps growing. It’s not committed to your success!

$10.4 Billion Self-Improvement Market Survives Scandals & Recession (Marketdata)

In fact, it’s committed to your failure. The more you fail the more programs, books, courses you will buy

It only takes a quick survey of Social Media sites to see all of the resources offered to help you build your 7 figure business, to lose 20 lbs. in a month, to hustle your way to success, or, to” find yourself” at a far-flung retreat.

My question is: How can you focus on success when you are focused on fixing yourself? How can you take a risk when you don’t have the courage to go there if you’re not far enough in your self-development journey?

It’s that next book, that next retreat, that next podcast which will make the difference.

You’re waiting for the right moment, which never comes.

So I just want to say stop it.

I am totally in favour of learning, growing, challenging yourself, but, not because you feel inadequate. Do it for continuous learning, to expand your horizons, and so you can pay it forward. You can inspire others to become their best selves from a place of positivity.

If you’re stuck try these steps:

  1. Fail at something

The thought of failure is often more terrifying than failure itself. Once you’ve failed a few times you know it’s something you can get over, learn from and move on.

  1. Realize no one is watching your every move

We all think that people are watching us and evaluating our every move. Nope. Everyone is too busy thinking that people are watching them. So decide to “get over yourself”. Life is not Facebook highlight moments.

  1. Don’t try so hard

Have you ever noticed that when we try to force things, relationships, sales or other “shoulds” in our lives that it becomes harder instead of easier?

A good example is if you are meeting a dog for the first time….you have to wait for the dog to come to you….if you try to force it the dog will move away.

Don’t push people away.

Try these 3 things for a few weeks.

Take small steps forward, eliminate self-development “musts” from your thoughts, enjoy the day, make a difference is someone’s life through random acts of kindness, and laugh.

You can learn so much from the world around you when you focus externally instead of internally. At the same time, you can make someone’s journey better.

The self-development will take care of itself.


Alanea Kowalski
Alanea Kowalski
ALANEA Kowalski is an executive coach with over 25 years of international business experience who focuses on startup or high-change environments particularly with expatriates, women leaders and executives working toward developing global understanding and presence. Her areas of expertise include Financial Services, Pharma and High Tech. She coaches numerous C-suite clients and executives managing cross-cultural teams and working in multinational companies. Alanea has worked for Citibank, and as a consultant in Executive Search, Talent Management and Career Transition. She has worked with clients throughout North America, China, Hong Kong, Russia, the U.K and Europe. Alanea has lived in the UK, Canada and currently she resides in France. She holds multiple coaching certifications: The Coaches Training Institute, Lore International, The First 90 Days (Michael Watkins), The Team Intensive and Coaching Ourselves (Henry Mintzberg). Alanea is on the Advisory Board for ACEC, Association of Corporate and Executive Coaches. She is described by her clients as having the ability to interlace the strategic and creative with the practical. She pushes and challenges her clients to reach the next level using humour as well as her deep understanding of people and business. She takes her work seriously but, not herself. Often Alanea is described as a hybrid Coach and Consultant. One of her favourite phrases is “what if”.

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  1. I feel personal growth should fuel something greater, may it be a better job, financial standing, or health. For instance, I go to the gym, not because of ego, but because of my health, and because my body and my body language gives a stronger impression that I’m a leader.