So – you’ve decided now is the time to take the reigns of your life and start guiding it towards your goals rather than just going with the flow. That’s great! The question is – where exactly do you start? With so much personal development literature available to us it has never been easier to jump online and start tumbling down a black hole of googling, book ordering and webinar watching mayhem; all the while becoming more and more confuddled as some of the worlds authorities on self-improvement and development contradict each other.

How exactly do you cut through all the noise and make sure you’re spending your time on techniques that will actually work for you? In a backwards twist, we’re going to take a deeper look at some of the common mistakes made by people when they start on the path towards self-improvement so you’ll know exactly what to avoid. If you’re already guilty of some of the topics we raise don’t worry too much as we’re also going to include ways to correct yourself and turn those past mistakes into opportunities.

So let’s take a look, shall we?

1. You focus on removing your weaknesses. Self-mastery is a very important point of personal development and improving in all aspects of your life will inevitably lead to bigger improvements in quality of life overall. That said, rather than try and obliterate your weaknesses altogether, it would be more wise to first take stock of your strengths. We all have weaknesses – it would be foolish and arrogant to think otherwise – but it is our strengths that make us unique and what give us the tools to stand out and succeed. Weaknesses can be dampened and in some cases removed, but strengths can be shaped and developed to give you quick results and a clearer path.

What you should actualize: Start by learning what your strengths are and then do everything to hone these abilities. When you look at a successful team mostmembers have their own unique strengths that they bring, and in doing so cover each others weaknesses. Focus on your strengths first as this allows you to get results much quicker, and ONLY THEN should you look to your weaknesses as a way to start optimizing your progress.

2. You avoid risk to avoid failure. It might seem unusual to focus on failure when discussing the road to success but the two go hand-in-hand. Failure is a natural part of many success stories as failure gives us the opportunity learn. Trust us when we say there is no better teacher than failure. It can be sobering and drastic, and force us to think outside the normal ‘safe’ parameters in which we usually operate. Try and think of one successful person who has never failed and we promise you’ll come up blank.

What you should actualize: A fear of failure is most likely holding you back. By avoiding risk you are also avoiding your exposure to opportunity. Take courage and remember that even you fail, you will have received a valuable lesson and a huge opportunity to grow. If you internalize this fact your personal development journey will be unstoppable. As the old saying goes – “fortune favors the brave!”.

3. You read everything you can. This is a pretty standard natural first step when you start making a true effort to work on yourself. After all, you need to start somewhere and books written by your heroes seem like the most logical place to start, right? This is true to a degree. As we will discuss further in in the next point, it is important to try and streamline the information you’rereading otherwise you’re only going to confuse yourself. It’ll also be harder to quantify your results if you’re drawing from numerous sources.

What you should actualize: If you only have a finite amount of time each day to dedicate to your personal development we recommend spending 25% of it reading, and the other 75% taking action. You need to start trying out the methods and techniques you’re reading about otherwise its a complete waste of time. The theory is only helpful if it is supporting the practice so try out the techniques and see what works for you.

4. You focus on broad goals such as “Personal Development”.  You wake up every day, look in the mirror and say ‘Yes. Today I am going to improve.” But then you stop. Because how, exactly? If you don’t set clear, focused goals, it’s very likely you won’t do very much at all. It’s easy for us to make a huge statement of wanting to improve, bit unless you direct your energy down a particular path, you risk spreading yourself too thin, or as they say, throwing mud and seeing what sticks!

What you should actualize: We specifically designed triumph to help those who need direction (which, spoiler alert, is every oneof us 😀 ) and we do this by setting specific ‘tracks’ for the user to follow. We understand the importance of narrowing the focus while broadening the mind and honing in on particular areas of improvement. Rather than tackle ‘Personal Development’ as your goal, why not look at more streamlined goals such as ‘Become healthier’, ‘learn a new skill’ or ‘become more confident’. Narrowing your focus will expand your progress!

5. You don’t understand yourself yet. Do you know what it is you seek in life, what your goals are, and what it is that makes you happy? Do you understand what is important to you and in the others you surround yourself with? Do you see your core beliefs reflected in the authoritative figures whose books you read, and how do you even check?

What you should actualize: We say that personal development starts with you, and more specifically, your Values. Understanding your Values shapes every other decision you make in your life, as your values are at the epicenter of everything you do. Our self-intelligence framework was created to help you discover your true, authentic self and start living in accordance with it. Only the can you truly target the correct areas in your life and first your focus to the correct areas for adjustment.

It’s a journey, not a sprint

There will always be some trial and error when walking down the path of personal development, but all of us at Triumph believe in minimizing the margin of error by helping you (and ourselves) better target the areas of our lives that need improvement. We have saved countless hours by first assessing our Values, energy levels and emotional state and then using this data to pursue the right personal development journey for us.

There is so much information out there on what your goals should be in your life, but we argue the biggest mistake of all would be to start building yourself when really, you don’t fully understand yourself. We put together a quick assessment you can use to delve deeper into all of the above (which you can find here). It’s time to stop guessing, It’s time to find your true, authentic self and start living in accordance with it.