3 Reasons Why Obsessing Over Personal Development Is Harmful To You?

Isn’t it ironic that we write so much about personal development, yet we are calling it can be harmful to you? 

Not only personal development but obsessing over anything would be bad for you. For this article, let’s stick to just personal development, shall we?

Topics we’ll be covering:

obsession over personal development
Obsession over personal development

Sacrifice other priorities 

When you obsess over personal development, you lose yourself in it. You spend countless hours, which requires a lot of sacrifices along the way. You won’t be able to do anything else during that time such as meeting your family and friends or following your hobbies.

While all these sacrifices might make you a top achiever in personal development, later, you might question yourself whether it was even worth it. 

Was it worth it that I spent my time reading a self-help book instead of attending my family dinner? Was it worth it that I worked so hard to only lose contact with all my friends?

We all have heard about how entrepreneurs obsess so much about their businesses that they forget about their other priorities. Many of them regret later in their life for not giving enough time for themselves. They then suffer from depression and loneliness. I hope you will never have to face those circumstances. 

“All your progress means nothing if others don’t get to benefit as well.”

No break = No life

Developing yourself nonstop? Ten hours a day? Twelve hours a day? Or every waking hour?

This point correlates to the earlier point. 

We need breaks to give ourselves rest. Without adequate rest, we cannot give our best. We might not realize, but over time, our performance, as well as our health, starts degrading.

I know what you are thinking. When we obsess over personal development, we will be exercising and meditating. These contribute to our positive health, right?

Yeah, sure. While those activities would be doing their jobs, there are many other factors that come into play. When you don’t take consistent breaks, you start facing fatigue. All the hours that you spent alone might affect your mental health. Your stress level will rise. You will start worrying a lot. 

In the best-selling book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson argues how modern people are so obsessed with personal development that we forget that we have a life outside it as well. 

“Let’s loosen up some time and take a break to re-calibrate our life. We need no endless over-thinking, though. Let’s just connect the dots, set the scene, and steam ahead.”

Erik Pevernagie

Spending so much money on personal development?

Did you know that personal development is over $15 billion industry? Flashback two decades, the number was less than $1 billion. Did the world population increase so much all of a sudden? The population grew by less than 20% over that period.

So what happened that increased the personal development industry by more than 1500%?

In simple words, people have become obsessed with personal development. In this fast-paced world, we too want to move fast, don’t we? One of the ways to keep up our pace is through personal development. 

The people behind earning millions of dollars from personal development encourage us to learn every day like Warren Buffett, hustle like Gary V, and work like hell like Elon Musk. They make us feel that we aren’t good enough. We have to change now and do it quickly. 

In the beginning, they provide everything for free. But slowly, they give us an offer that we simply can’t refuse. It might be a special course, a book, or a ticket to their VIP seminar. With all the excitement of thinking about us changing going in our minds, we buy into it. 

While starting, we might spend a hundred dollars, believing that’s the only tool you will require. But before realizing, you would have spent thousands of dollars, and still, feel unfulfilled. You want more about personal development. You are ready to spend as much as required to access the quick-growth strategies. 

This burning obsession is not because you want to develop yourself. Rather, it is because of the great marketing done by these companies. It’s no wonder that the personal development industry is currently exploding. 

So, are you willing to spend that much money on something that you could have got for only a few dollars?

“A poor man knows the true value of money and will not dare waste it, but a rich man is extravagant and always looking for an opportunity to empty his pockets.”

― Michael Bassey Johnson

The bottom line

Engaging yourself in personal development is great until it becomes an addiction. 

You won’t get your time back that you could have spent with your family and friends. You might not get your health to where it was before this obsession. And finally, you won’t get the money spent on personal development. 

So while personal development may help you motivate yourself during the worst of times, but an obsession will lead to terrible consequences. 

We have written a similar article about the proper way to start your personal development journey. Check it out – 4 Steps To Start Your Personal Development Journey.

If you learned something and enjoyed reading this article, then please consider sharing this with your wonderful friends as well. Thank you so much!


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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Avinash Khopade

    Hi Kiran,

    I hope you are doing well.
    You have highlighted a very important “fact” I was thinking about recently. I was so obsessed with self-development that I had forgotten to relax, slow down, and enjoy life!
    Your article just made me realize it again. Thanks for another wonderful article.

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Hello Avinash,

      Yeah, I am doing good. How about you?
      Obsessing over it isn’t always a good option. You got the point. You need to relax and look back whether you have missed something important or not. Besides, don’t forget to enjoy your moment!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  2. positivethinking20

    Hi Kiran, it’s The Happiness Blog. Nice website, and very nice article too. Sometimes in our search to better ourselves we obsess with results and methods that we end forgetting why we’re doing what we do. It’s called “lust for results”. Part of developing is relaxing and enjoying. If we forget to live there’s no point in personal development. Very good advice and info in this article!

    Stay positive, stay happy!

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Hello!
      Thank you very much for your words. Our obsession over it seems disturbing and won’t let us know our why. Your point here is good to understand. We shouldn’t forget about our living.
      I can’t thank you enough for your contribution here! 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting article. Yes, it’s true. Most times people consume a lot of Personal Development products but don’t actually get started on doing the action steps that help them develop their mindset or their souls. I agree that sometimes it’s okay to just take a break and go live your life without worrying too much about always getting better. Sometimes, just being what you are is enough. Thanks for this article.

    1. Kiran Kandel

      We sincerely appreciate your time in reading this post! Thanks a lot!
      Sometimes, simple way to living can offer a fruitful way instead of obsessing over personal development.

  4. Anonymous

    Rochelle from sayonaramoneymoron here.
    I thought you made some really excellent points in this article. I agree for the most part that people obsess too much on the reading, listening, watching, and attending of personal development materials and seminars. Unfortunately, it does take away from the overall goal of living a life true to ourselves. If you’re stuck trying to improve and become better all the time, the living part of life gets away from you. Well done.

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Thank you Rochelle for going through the article! I appreciate your time and effort!

      You are so true. I would like to add with you here. What can’t a person do for his development? It is okay sometime, but forgetting our true definition of life won’t make a clear path to living. So, we could embrace the situation and live a simpler way.

  5. Dawn

    I believe people really want to do their best and will consume a lot of personal development information. If there is too much consumption at one time the teachings are lost going in one thought and then escaping again. I believe to have true growth one needs to be ready for the teaching, but also needs to sit with what they are consuming. We need to look at our character and really know ourselves or true growth/change can’t happen. Taking action steps and creating habits where we wish to change will enable us to work through some things. Those things take time and without thinking about what we are consuming, we are just consuming. We also need to be contributing and sharing and living as the comments above have said.

    1. Kiran Kandel

      It is so wonderful to hear from you.
      Yes, people want to do their best and have a bunch of information. As you said, we have to focus at one thing at a time. We are too obsessed that we never achieve single of our personal development goal.
      Finding your own self in the development requires understanding of what and why you are doing. When we share our learning, we are planting a big impression within us.

      I am glad to hear from you and learned about importance of sharing ideas. Just consuming won’t be enough. Thank you so much for your words, Dawn!

  6. The Safety Psych Guy

    Great article. Thanks for drawing a focus on how some of the self-help schemes exploit our earnest efforts to improve ourselves.

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Thank you! We appreciate your time and effort for reading this. 🙂

  7. Hamish

    Obsession over anything is unhealthy. Television, cookies, staying up late, work, improving ourselves in isolation of our real life.

    You’ve hit on so many good things here. We humans are social creatures. The best way to improve the world, and ourselves along with it, is to collaborate and cooperate to make the magic happen.

    Peace to you, Kiran. 😊

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Yes, you are right! Obsessing over anything could be unhealthy. We need to go back and determine if we are being obsessed.

      Thank you so much for your words, Hamish! 😀
      Have a good day.

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