4 Taboo Myths Of Self Development
The following is a guest post from Tara Schiller
We’re all familiar with the wise and simple phrase Know Thyself, but if you’ve ever tried to accomplish this feat, you understand it’s easier said than done.
In fact, it might feel like it would be easier to chisel the phrase out of stone with your bare hands and a toothpick.
Despite the challenge, there are definitely tools that can be used to help this process along.
One of these tools is becoming aware of beliefs and ideals you’ve grown blind to over time.
We all have understandings we’ve formed throughout our lives that are so familiar to us, we stop seeing them. And until someone or something points them out, we don’t realize they’re there.
These ideals can be different for everyone, especially as you go deeper and deeper into your self discovery, but here are 4 popular ones that are worth exploring right now.
Self Development Myth #1 – Just Be Happy
Being happy doesn’t seem like an ideal at first, because we all want to be happy, right?
But take a step back a minute. Is happy always a good thing?
We’ve been told that our feelings can be controlled if we just think the “right” way, so if we are angry, hurt, bitter, or depressed, we are led to believe we’ve failed at overcoming our negative emotions.
We weren’t able to forgive or work it out, so we are now “negative people”, which brings shame.
But negative emotions are part of being human.
We all have them, and their very existence is what brings interest and excitement to the positive emotions inside of us. In fact, some negative emotions can even be enjoyable to experience if we allow it.
If we think of emotions each carrying a unique color, we can then see that only carrying one end of the spectrum (positive) would be a much less interesting picture than experiencing all of the colors.
Taking away the stigma that we should “just be happy”, will allow us to acknowledge when we really feel negative about something, further exposing our hearts to our minds.
Self Development Myth #2 – Easy is Better
So often we are told to find the easiest path. To look forward to retirement, or the day we’re all rich.
After all, wouldn’t it be great if no one had to work and we could all just lounge around on a beach all day?
Let me tell you, just as negative emotions bring excitement to positive emotions, hard work brings contrast to relaxation. So seeking out the easiest path isn’t always best, and can steal our ability to see what’s going on RIGHT NOW.
There have been times when I’ve caught myself anxiously striving towards the day when I’m financially free and can just have fun all day, and then I realize I love how hard I’m working right now.
It actually doesn’t bother me at all, because there’s a deep satisfaction I get from overcoming a challenge.
But because I’m told again and again to strive for the beach, I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to do, so I become unhappy with where I am.
It’s okay to want to work hard, and it’s okay to want to lounge on a beach.
But be aware that this is a stigma, so that when you’re trying to find out what you really want in the moment, you know to find your own answer.
Self Development Myth #3 – Divorce is a Failure
This is a hard one. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve coached who feel like they have failed in life because they have yet to live “happily ever after” with another person.
But when I dig a little deeper, most people are happy they left their spouses. In fact, many times it was the very thing that pushed them to implement great changes in their lives.
I’ve also found that while the relationship could have been wonderful for many years, the fact that it ended badly discredits the relationship as a whole.
It’s okay to say, “I had an amazing and great relationship, and then when we changed as people, our relationship didn’t work anymore, so we ended it.”
Not that divorce isn’t hurtful and ugly and hard, but being divorced is not a failure, it’s just the end of one thing and the beginning of another.
Allow yourself to view divorce as a growing experience that taught you more about who you are and what you don’t like, so you could be healthier and stronger now.
This doesn’t mean you have to start pretending it doesn’t hurt, or that you aren’t screwed up from it, but letting go of the idea that you can only have a successful life if you have a successful marriage, will allow you to acknowledge your life as valid right now.
Self Development Myth #4 – Blood is Thicker Than Water
Family bonds are deep and they carry great meaning and strength in our lives, but more often than not, family members aren’t the people you would have willingly chosen for yourself.
The differences between you could be something as little as liking different music, to as large as practicing different religions.
Here’s the thing: Who we surround ourselves with matters. Even family.
Because we desire to be loved and accepted by our family more than anyone else, what they think about us is going to affect us more than a non family member would
The problem with this is that many times family has a hard time adjusting to who we become as an adult, especially if it’s something very different than the way we were raised.
So sticking with family to the end, might not be the best option. If you want to grow and become more fully your true self, you may have to seek out friends who support your true person, and set boundaries against family that doesn’t.
These four stigmas are just a few of the issues keeping us from knowing who we really are, but there are countless cultural and environmental ideals that we’ve stored away in our minds that are blocking our way.
The best way to start sifting through and finding these barriers, is to start asking yourself the question, “How do I feel about x in this very moment?”
Not how you should feel or are supposed to feel, but how you really feel when something happens. Your truth only exists in the moment.
When theory is stripped away and you are forced to stare a lion in the face, only then will you know if you’ll run away screaming, or fight to the death.
So go ahead, start knowing thyself a little better, and get rid of those ideas that don’t really belong to you.
Tara Schiller spent the last 10 years of her life dedicated to the sole purpose of coming fully alive.
Now she uses her knowledge and experience to help others in the process by authoring the blog, Absolutely Tara, and writing E-Courses dedicated to the discovery of a person’s true self, and the process of taking that discovery and making it real.