In this technological age, information is at our fingertips—quite literally it’s just a keystroke away. The question is, how good is the information you receive? Can you count on its validity and reliability? Are you lost in the sea of information?
Lost in the sea of information
Let’s just talk about information regarding the subject of self-improvement and its main topics like self-esteem, stress management, anger management, happiness, health, body image, etc. If you read three different articles, for example about improving self-esteem you will get three different approaches. If you read articles about nutrition you will get as many opinions as the number of articles you read— everything from eating more apples to taking zinc supplements. (A to Z. Get it?) If you read on happiness you can get every opinion imaginable. And so it goes.
The topics you read in self-improvement literature and on blogs such as this one are nebulous at best and involve a lot of personal opinions, results of trial and error, and untested wisdom. So how do you know what information to trust?
We all have a guidance system within us, but many people are not aware of it. We used to call it conscience —that inner voice that lets us know the difference between right or wrong or gives us signals that danger is ahead. If you think about it, you already know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s that “knowing” or “feeling” that lets you know you need to pay attention or that the decision you’re about to make needs careful scrutiny and consideration. It’s the voice that sometimes screams, “No! This is not right for you.”
Pay attention to it. Trust it. It’s real and it is just for you.
Information and how-to steps regarding self-improvement can not be “one size fits all.” Each of us is a unique, special being—and what works for me may not work for you. You can pick what works for you and leave the rest alone. If you read or listen to the information carefully and reflect on it thoughtfully you will know whether it is right for you or not.
If I told you, for example, that if you ate five high-calorie candy bars each day and washed them down with a soda you would lose weight, you would say, “She’s a nut case. I’m not going to do that.” If I said that meditating for five hours daily would give you wisdom, you’d shrug it off as bad advice. If I told you the ONLY way to improve your self-esteem is to look in the mirror while you recite positive affirmations, something would tell you there was more to it than that and perhaps you should reject the idea.
There is no ONLY way. There are many ways to accomplish your self-improvement goals and there are many places to find help. Your job is to sift through them and find what works best for you.
One place that has information that has been tested is in the realm of Positive Psychology. If you haven’t checked out their website you might want to do so and if you haven’t done any of their tests to discover your strengths I highly recommend doing that as well. Trust your inner guidance on this as well.
You won’t get lost in the sea of information if you trust your own guidance.
You are the expert on you.