Nowadays, self-improvement is a big part of so many people’s lives, and perhaps the internet is the primary reason why this is so. The internet has made this type of information readily available, and this has made it easier for people to promote this type of lifestyle.
For example, people in the public eye can talk about what they do to improve themselves; thereby, having a big impact on how so many other people behave. These types of people are then going to be the ‘influencers’.
So while one could see how someone like this is living their life and believe that it would be a good idea for them to work on themselves, they could also just go along with this in order to fit in. Their need to be part of this group is then going to be more important than thinking for themselves.
Still, in this situation, going along with what other people are doing is unlikely to lead to anything too negative. If this ‘influencer’ was encouraging people to be violent and one just went along with it, this wouldn’t be the case.
While one person may end up being drawn to yoga and even mindfulness, another could gravitate to information that will allow them to feel better about themselves and to change their behaviour. Having said that, one could find that all this and more, appeals to them.
It would be easy to assume that there are now as many people who do yoga as there are who lift weights. And just as more and more women are becoming aware of the benefits of lifting weights, more and more men are realising how beneficial yoga is.
The Main Issue
Let’s say that someone is in a position where their feelings are out of control and their behaviour is not how they would like it to be, they could end up reading books that will show them how to control their emotions and how to change their behaviour. One might want to find some kind of technique that will allow them to control how they feel, which will then allow them to control how they behave.
What one could soon learn is that for them to control how they feel, they will need to learn how to control their thoughts. Their feelings are then going to be caused by the thoughts that randomly arise in their head.
The Power of Force
Once their thoughts are under control, the other two areas should fall into line. In addition to this, they may be told that changing their behaviour can also be a way for them to change the other two elements.
By using their willpower, they will gradually be able to transform their life. If they were to read more books or to watch a few videos, they may end up coming across advice that is similar.
One will have the need to transform their life, and what they read and/or watch will provide the information that may allow them to do just that. Thanks to the work that they put in, they will end up having a greater understanding of what is taking place in their mind.
Their understanding of how they behave in different environments and around different people will also improve. Even so, it is unlikely that this approach will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of themselves.
On The Surface
There is, of the course, the chance that they only want to improve themselves, not to truly understand why they experience life in a certain way. Thus, rearranging the furniture on the titanic, so to speak, is going to be enough.
What this can show is that while they are willing to experience a small amount of pain, they don’t want to experience too much. Likewise, the information they have read about how to improve themselves may also have been put together by people who were the same.
Going to a deeper level and getting in touch with what is taking place in their unconscious mind will be more painful, but it will give them the opportunity to truly understand what is going on and why their life is the way it is. However, due to what they have read about and watched, it could seem as there is not a part of their being where all their baggage resides.
The focus will be on doing what they can to deal with what is taking place in their conscious mind; the part of them that will shed light on what is taking place at a deeper level. Trying to resolve things by focusing purely on the conscious mind is a bit like trying to remove weeds by cutting them off at the top; it might work in the short term, but it won’t deal with the roots and they will most likely soon reappear.
A Strange Phenomenon
Taking all this into account, just because someone is into self-development, it doesn’t mean that they have penetrated their own being and gained self-knowledge by doing so. In the same way that an old door can be painted and not stripped and redone, someone can simply decorate who they are as opposed to getting in touch with what is taking place at a deeper level and working through it.
It could be said that it is not a surprise that so much of self-development focuses on symptoms, as the mind will do anything it can to avoid pain. If self-development in general was geared towards working through the pain that is in the unconscious mind (body), it might still be a niche area.
If someone does want to gain a deeper understand of themselves, and now longer wants to try to manage their symptoms, they may need to reach out for external support. This can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
The external support that someone like this provides will allow one to go where they wouldn’t necessarily go by themselves. And if they are carrying a lot of pain in their body, they will need this support to be able to work through it when it starts to come up.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.