Personal Development mistakes

There are some personal development mistakes plaguing my students and clients, stopping them from getting the results they want most.

In this episode, I give specific examples of the top 10 personal development mistakes.

If you’re a lover of a good personal development book, you must must must listen to this episode.

You’ll learn exactly what not to do (and what to stop doing if you’re doing these things!).

Here are more of my favorite resources for productivity:

Full Personal Development Mistakes Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.

Hi friend, how are you? There is nothing like spring breaking in the Midwest, born and raised in Ohio. I now live in Illinois, in Chicago, and it is finally starting to feel like spring and I say that but it’s ups and downs, right? We might get snow by the end of April, even a day in may. You never know, but it’s still such a magical time because the trees and the flowers will kind of start to bloom and you get glimpses and you know signs that spring is coming and it’s just this wonderful time. I love the springtime.

What we are going to be talking about today, which is the top 10 personal development mistakes. These are mistakes that I am seeing a lot and that I think will help you deepen your personal development work so that you are making sure you’re applying it to your life and that you are not just quote unquote focusing on personal development or being interested in personal development. I did that for years. I liked personal development in general. I have a philosophy minor, so I’ve always been really interested in life questions and truths and all of that, but what I wasn’t doing was applying it to my life. It was probably five years after really loving personal development that I even learned how to apply it to my life. So I’m going to share with you the 10 mistakes that I see the most with personal development and I think they’re really going to help you.

Let’s start with mistake number one. Mistake number one that I see so much is lacking awareness. I’m talking about lacking awareness for how you think and for how you feel. So it might sound like this, I’m so stressed about my job and money and I just want to stay home with the kids, right? That seems like such a harmless thought. It seems like it’s true, but if you think that stress is coming from your job, your money, and your kids, you are going to be sadly mistaken when you go about changing all of your circumstances to feel better because your thoughts cause your feelings. So if you think that stress is coming from your job and money, you might try to get a different job. You might try to make more money, but I promise you the stress will come back. It might be in a different area, it might be in a different way. It likely will in a different way, but it will come back because the stress is a feeling that you’re feeling in your body and it’s caused by your thinking and your brain is just in the habit of creating the vibration, the emotion of stress.

So if you don’t understand that your thoughts cause your feelings and you’re not aware of what’s going on in your mind and how to coach yourself, you have a lack of awareness and you’re constantly going to be trying to change your circumstances to feel better and it won’t work. And people go about doing this for their entire lives. And I really think like with life coaching, where we’re at right now is just the beginning of increasing our consciousness as humans. I think most people in general, most adults lack awareness. And it’s not just a one and done.

I give the analogy of self coaching and I compare it to cleaning your home. So you don’t just clean your home once and have a clean home. You have to clean your home maybe once a week or every two weeks, right? My cleaning ladies come every two weeks so I don’t just self coach once and it’s done. I self coach often, a few times a week, because my mind is constantly getting messy and you got to go in there and you got to clean it out.

Another analogy would be going to the gym. You don’t just go to the gym once and work out once and get in shape. You do it five days a week, forever. Awareness is a practice and it’s a practice of asking yourself, what am I thinking? What am I feeling? And you can increase this awareness by actually being a part of a program like Grow You where you can get coaching. It’s so much easier for a trained life coach, for me, to see what’s going on in your brain and tell you and then you can see it yourself and then you can continue and deepen your self coaching. That’s mistake number one.

Mistake number two is comparing yourself to other people. It is so normal to do this, but it’s not serving you and you can pull it back and bring it back to you and let go of it. If you notice it, it sounds like she has so much more money than me. Her life is so easy. I want to wake up every day and be happy and do whatever I want. I actually had someone email me recently and say something to this effect. And yes, I get to set my own schedule and yes, I focus on taking responsibility for my own emotions and creating those on purpose. But it’s not like over here is what’s creating my emotion. And it’s not like I am just sitting on the beach seeking like external pleasure all day in a state of bliss.

So just notice that when we compare ourselves to others, we’re often lying to ourselves thinking that they have it better in some way. Now they might have it better in one way, but they probably haven’t worse than another way. So when my brain goes to comparing myself to someone else, I always remind myself, yeah, but they have a human brain just like me, which means they have negative emotion, which means they have problems, which means they do struggle no matter what their Instagram or Facebook feed looks like. The truth is if you have a human brain, you have that primitive part of your brain that kind of acts like a toddler and throws tantrums and indulges in self pity and goes to scarcity. So bring yourself back to your life, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, and your results when you are comparing yourself to other people.

Mistake number three, and this is a big one, maybe one of my favorites, is not dreaming big enough. It might sound like, okay, well this year I want to lose 10 pounds and pay off my car and maybe you really do want to do these things, but I don’t think we do the big dreaming enough. I think a lot of people do think about small goals and I think those can be useful and valuable, but we’re not dreaming big enough. Like if anything were possible for you, what do you deeply want? What do you deeply desire? Give yourself permission to dream and believe. If anything were possible, what would I want? Right? Would you want, you know, an apartment on the West coast? Would you want to travel internationally every couple of months? Would you want millions of dollars in the bank and to be debt free? Would you want to, you know, be in commercial real estate? Like what are your big dreams that you haven’t given yourself permission to think about?

I think that people tend to think that if they think about it, there’s going to be this disappointment that follows and the disappointment that follows is because of your thinking. You’re thinking something like, oh, but that would never happen for me. And that’s where you have to bring awareness to all of your thoughts. All of those thoughts are optional. You get to decide what you think 100% of the time. Why not just dream, right? I just decided I was going to be a life coach. I just decided I was going to make seven figures. I decided I was going to get out of debt and I took responsibility for making those happen.

That kind of leads really well into letting your past define your future. It sounds like. Well, I’ve never lost the weight before or, well, I’ve always struggled with men because my dad was an alcoholic and my parents were divorced. It’s a lie. So whatever has happened in the past is over. What happens in the future is because of what you’re currently thinking, and you don’t have to repeat your past, but your brain defaults to that thinking because it’s familiar. Your brain already knows how to think these thoughts, so it’s so easy to just continue to think them, but by continuing to think them, you will recreate the past and most people live like this. Their lives stay the same because they’re repeating the past or they get worse.

What I want to offer to you is that you can dream big and create from your future, but it takes practice and creating those new neural pathways and having great self-awareness, but it’s so worth it. And I will say that it’s hard. You have to really be willing to give up your identity for the one you want. I went through this not that long ago within the last year. So I really identified as being single and I would identify with other single people and we had single people problems and we talked about how hard dating was and we, you know, joked about our problem dates and all of that, right? Followed the social media accounts with parodies. And what I realized was that if I wanted to get married and have kids and create this totally new identity, I had to completely slaughter that old identity.

It’s so much harder than it sounds, right? It’s like the person who has the result you want isn’t complaining about the problems that you’re complaining about. So the person who was in a committed relationship isn’t, you know, connecting with other single people about the dating problems or you know, the struggles of online dating. They’re just not, it’s just not something on their radar. They’re maybe connecting with people about problems in their relation, their relationship problems, something like that. So notice what identity that you kind of have on and that you’ve created for yourself that you would have to give up to put on a different identity.

It’s a lot harder than it sounds because you want the thing so bad. You’re like, yeah, but I don’t want to be single anymore. Or yeah, I do want to lose the weight. But you’ve created this whole identity about being overweight and struggling with food. The person who’s not overweight and doesn’t struggle with food, doesn’t even have snacking and sweets and alcohol on her mind. Right. Her workouts, just part of her routine, she maintains her weight, food just isn’t really a big thing. So I’ve done this over and over. I did it with my business. I did it in my careers. I’ve done it with love. It’s hard. But the first time you do it is the hardest and it does get easier over time because you’re like, oh yeah, this is just the part where I have to end this entire chapter of my life and it’s totally fine. So ask yourself if you’re really willing to let go of who you are now to become who you want to be. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.

Okay. Number five, the personal development mistake that I’m seeing is that people are blaming their circumstances for how they feel. So it would sound like this. He ruined my life by cheating on me. I’m getting a divorced and I’m devastated. So the feeling of devastation is caused by the thought he ruined my life by cheating on me. He is not actually causing the feeling in your body. It’s impossible. Feelings don’t jump from one person to the next person. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to feel devastated. It means that you take 100% responsibility for how you feel. Even when you feel negative emotion, when you take full responsibility for how you feel, you win the lottery because the worst that can ever happen to you is a feeling.

Okay, if that sounds crazy to you, come join me in Grow You and I will help you more. But I promise you it’s the truth. It’s the best news ever, right? You might want to be mad and frustrated, but when you learn to allow the emotion, there’s so much less suffering in your life and that is number six. The mistake I see is resisting that negative emotion. So it sounds like this pain is unbearable, this divorce is destroying me. It shouldn’t be happening, right? Those thoughts sound so true, but it’s actually just showing the person’s thinking and it’s adding so much suffering. What I suggest is that you tell yourself, I can feel any emotion. The pain is, and then you name it, like the pain is devastation. The pain is heartbreak, and then you allow yourself to feel the devastation or the heartbreak. You open up to it and enjoy the negative emotion.

This is very high level stuff, but it’s life changing. Whenever you say this shouldn’t be happening, you are arguing with reality and it’s causing so much unnecessary suffering in your life. I was able to do this really, really well with my dad’s alcoholism and with his death and it allowed me to love him and grieve him from a very clean place without added suffering. So I believe that it is true. Pain is inevitable. We will all experience emotional pain, but suffering is optional. The suffering is when we add on top of our pain, all the thoughts that aren’t true. This shouldn’t be happening. This was never supposed to happen. I like to remind myself, oh yeah, it was supposed to happen. How do we know? Because they did happen was always going to happen that way. I just didn’t know it. Such good thoughts.

Mistake number seven is not taking responsibility for your results. I coached someone in Grow You who said that her business coach wasn’t good so she didn’t make any money, and I actually hear this all the time, particularly with business, we tend to think other people are responsible for our results. This is why high level coaching and really expensive coaching is so amazing because by the time you’re willing to spend $10,000 on a coach, you’ve been around the coaching industry enough to know that you’re the one responsible. What happens is when you first start to create a new life for yourself, you might think that your next teacher or next coach is the one responsible for your results, but your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings create your actions and your actions create your results. Whatever you think and believe is what you will create in your life.

If you believe you don’t know how to make money or how to do business, you will continue to create that in your life. I constantly check myself and bring awareness to what I’m believing in my business because I know those beliefs are what are creating my results. It doesn’t matter if I have hired the best coach in the world, that coach is going to show me my own thinking. They’re going to bring an even greater awareness to maybe an area that I’m missing. They are going to be my guide.

The students and clients of mine who are the most successful are the ones who look to me as a guide and know that they’re the ones who still have to take the action. I actually had someone email me who was a student in online business for her, and she said that the first time she went through the course, she really wanted me to just do it for her and the second time she went through the course, she was so much more energized because it really hit home for her that she wasn’t taking responsibility for her results and she wasn’t trusting herself and that awareness helped her to change her thoughts and take responsibility and now she’s taking massive action from a place of being inspired. So good. So, so, so good when you get this, because then you’re unstoppable. Right? So powerful.

All right. Personal development. Mistake number eight that I see, and this is one that I see from almost everyone, most people I coach is that you believe your damaged and or unworthy in some way. It’s thinking that you can’t have whatever you want because it’s not worth it or your damaged or you’re not worth it. So you are not damaged, right? You are a human being with a brain. We are all human beings with brains we are not damaged. Yeah, and you can have whatever you want. You are 100% worthy, so good to remember that self worth is a mental construct that we just made up and you can’t change your worthiness. Now you can change your opinion of yourself, which would be your self confidence. So if you say, I don’t think I’m capable of making money online, that is your opinion of yourself. You are still 100% worthy and you will likely not create money because you don’t believe that you are capable, but you’re still 100% worthy and no one can change that.

Mistake number nine is beating yourself up. This happens really subtly, right? It’s super obvious when you’re just being ruthless against yourself, but I want to talk to you about when it’s subtle. It’s saying, ugh that was such a bad decision. I was being ridiculous. I shouldn’t have gotten in that credit card debt five years ago. I would never do that. Now, like that seems so harmless to say, but notice how harsh that is being on yourself. What I say is have your own back and still decide to do things differently so it would sound like, yeah, five years ago I had different priorities. I made the best decision for me at that time and that was to get in credit card debt and now I’m making a new decision to get out of the debt. So it’s never necessary for you to beat yourself up. You can love yourself and have your own back.

I teach a concept called you 2.0 and being your own best friend, and this is work that we do in Grow You where you imagine your self as being your best friend and you just, you have your own back. You like have her back, you’re supportive, you love her. You don’t call her ridiculous or silly, right? You always have a good reason for doing whatever you’re doing. Now, you might not want to continue doing it, so that’s, you know, the awareness part that’s getting a good coach to show you why it is you’re doing what you’re doing so you can change it, but you don’t have to hate yourself to get there. In fact, the best way to get there and make results last is to love yourself. So I take full responsibility for my results and I’m taking massive action from a place of being really inspired. I’m not forcing it. I’m not coming from scarcity. I’m not hustling. I am energized and love my business. I love taking action and I love creating my results.

The final mistake that I see, mistake number 10 in personal development, is staying in passive action. This is the reason why what I mentioned in the beginning about me not seeing any results after focusing on personal development for five years comes into play. So I was reading books, I was listening to podcasts, so I was really getting inspired mentally, but I was consuming so much. I wasn’t applying it to my life and it wasn’t until I found life coaching that I was able to do that and this is what I help my clients do in Grow You. It’s the applying personal development to your life.

I was cooking last night and I was just thinking about how I could tell someone how to create the soup I created and all the vegetables and all the spices and I could write it down in so much detail and they could get an idea of, you know what it takes to make some soup, but until you get in the kitchen and actually make this soup, you don’t have a meal. So you can read books and you can learn things and all of that information will be in your head and that’s cool, right? It’s like cool to learn the recipe and see what’s going on and learn new things. I am a huge proponent of being a student, but I don’t see a lot of people making the mistake of not being a student. What I see is that people are staying students and they are not applying it. They are not taking the work deeper and getting in the kitchen and making mistakes and having the recipe turn out bad because it’s harder and that’s the truth, right? You’re signing up for something when you join Grow You that’s harder for you to do than just sit back and listen to a podcast or book. But, you don’t change your life from reading a book. You change your life from taking action.

Right? Life coaching, becoming a life coach has changed my life. I always have a life coach or a couple life coaches because I know that someone outside of me can see my own brain and be my guide and then I can take that and take my life to the next level. So you should join me in Grow You if you’re not in there yet. There’s hundreds of women in there. I’m so excited every day. It’s a highlight of my day being in there. That is what I have for you today. Work on these personal development mistakes so that they are not showing up in your life. All right, I love you and I’ll talk with you next week. Bye bye.

Hey, if you liked this podcast you really should check out, Grow You, my life coaching program. I coach you on everything I teach on the podcast so that you can uplevel your life. We 10x it so you get the results you want most. Just like a monthly gym membership to get your body in shape, this is a monthly personal development membership to get your mind in shape. It is an investment your future self will thank you for. Check it out at That’s I will see you there.