Now what's all this nonsense about self-improvement mistakes?
How can this be right?
Everything in self-improvement is good.
Yes, to an extent.
But here is the thing, you can do the right things, like read books, work out, and whatever else you can do to focus on yourself. Yet, your progress can be hindered due to an unknown mistake.
I could give you the answer, but let me share an aphorism, and you can figure it out.
"A dash of boldness in everything is an important element of good sense. You should moderate your opinion of others so as not to think so highly of them that you fear them; never let your imagination conquer your heart. Some people appear great until you have dealings with them, such communication provoking disillusion rather than esteem. No one can exceed humanity's narrow confines; all have their shortcomings, some in intellect, others in temperament. Rank bestows apparent authority, but rarely does personal authority accompany this, for luck normally takes revenge on a superior position by placing there someone of inferior merit. Imagination always runs away with itself and paints things as more than they are. It imagines not only what is, but what might be. Let reason, which experience has left with few illusions, correct it. But stupidity should not be bold, nor virtue fearful. If confidence helps the simple, how much more the worthy and the wise!" - Baltasar Gracián
Can you figure out the answer?
Of course, you can, but let me give you a hint if you can't. Look at the first sentence and the last.
Okay, you got it? Good.
The mistake we make with our personal development is not being bold enough.
We do all the right things, but if we don't know when to be bold and put ourselves out there, we won't be noticed, or our plans won't succeed as often as we'd like.
I can tell you this because I made this mistake in my 20s.
I read hundreds of books, worked out, and worked on my personal projects. But when the times needed for me to be bold, I failed. Which had me miss out on many opportunities with career, dating, friends, etc. Keep in mind, I had the skills and drive. But I liked that dash of boldness, leaving me in my prison of fear.
Like Gracian said, if confidence can help the simple, imagine what it can do for a person like you who is determined to develop themselves.
It's so easy to get caught in the self-improvement cycle. And it feels like we're making progress. But if you're fearful, then that self-improvement will be in vain.
You can be skilled in your profession, but if you're afraid to network, then you can't make that career jump.
You can be social, but if you're afraid to ask a girl out, then your love life will be stagnant.
And as you notice, it's not a lack of skills that holds you back. Even Seneca mentions this in a quote I shared before.
'It's not because they're hard that we lose confidence; they're hard because we lack the confidence.'
Life will be hard without that dash of boldness or confidence.
If you want to go more in-depth in building your confidence, check out this longer video, I made a while ago.
But I digress.
So keep working on yourself, but don't forget to be bold.
Until next time,
The Charismatic Nerd