When Personal Growth Tips & Hacks Fail You

What to do when a "proven" technique doesn’t work for you

When live gets too hardWhy do you read Wise Insights? What’re you hoping to get from this content?

My guess is you want to learn about research-backed techniques and time-tested insights that can help you…

  • Overcome obstacles and keep you moving forward
  • Understand human mental quirks so you can make better decisions and avoid regrets
  • Become the best version of yourself that you can be (leading to a better life).

To this end, Wise Insights reveals techniques to… 

  • Increase your motivation, joy and influence
  • Reduce your stress & handle irrational fears
  • Grow in your emotional intelligence and intellectual humility
  • Better connect with people
  • and so much more.

But here’s the question for today: What do you do when the techniques don’t seem to be enough to improve your situation?

Read on to learn what I do when the tips, tricks and techniques aren’t doing the trick.

What To Do When the Techniques & Insights Aren’t Enough

There is no doubt that the techniques revealed on these pages and in my subscriber emails can be a difference maker in many situations.

Think of these techniques like a lever that can help you as you attempt to move a giant rock. You still have to apply yourself, but the lever assists your efforts and can make a real difference.

But, the techniques are not a magic wand or a genie. They have limited power, especially in certain situations. There ARE times when the size of the lever is no match for the size of the rock.

What do you do when the rock is just TOO big? Here are 3 recommendations that have worked for me.

1. Look Out

Sometimes there are natural forces at work that are beyond a technique. You need to look outward to trained professionals who can truly help.

For example, let’s say you want greater joy in your life so you faithfully follow the technique to reshape the neuro pathways in your brain… yet you still find yourself discouraged, depressed, anxious, etc. most of the time.

Why isn’t the technique working? Are you doing the technique wrong? Perhaps. Or not long enough to see real results? Possibly.

But, it is also possible you have a chemical imbalance or a deficiency in your serotonin levels (either temporarily or because of your genetics). If that is the case, you need to address that issue at the chemical level with your doctor.

In some situations, all the techniques in the world can’t touch the core problem.

Or maybe there are deeper, more entrenched thought patterns rooted in your past that need a trained counselor to help you untangle and diffuse.

I have personally benefited from doctors, counselors and other professionals who have helped me address deeper issues… and move forward.

If a technique isn’t working, be open to exploring deeper possibilities with trained professionals.

2. Lean On

There are many situations you face where you need to draw from inner resources you didn’t know you had… to face a fear, to try again, to persist at something important.

There are times those inner resources ARE difference makers.

But, here’s the truth you must recognize: There are many, many things in life that are just too big to handle on your own. There are times your inner resources (mindset, attitude, focus, etc.) are just inadequate.

Since your inner strength has limits, it is important to also lean out (and on) others. That is where you find support, insights, encouragement and accountability from others.

“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
—African Proverb

You need to lean on friends, family, mentors and coaches who can provide valuable input no other source in your life can.

  • They can be strong for you when you are weak
  • They can believe in you when you struggle to believe in yourself
  • They can see your blind spots and gently help you face reality… and get back on track.

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” — Henry Ford
“[Lean on] the people who pull the magic out of you… and not the madness.” -Unknown

I think all of us know this truth deep down… but sometimes it is hard to do. We want to be independent and ‘handle’ things. But, the truth is we will go further in life if we live an interdependent life.

Leaning on others while applying proven techniques can often double the power of the technique compared to applying it in your own strength.

Look Up

Here’s another reality: there are times and situations when ALL the resources here on earth (inner, outer) just aren’t enough.

The very first truths in the time-tested wisdom found in a 12-step program are that there are things in life beyond your control and that you need to look to and rely on a power greater than yourself and your situation to experience a break-through.

No, it’s not just in the “big” areas of life like an addiction. There are times when life is just too much, too hard, beyond our ability to control it.

I have personally found that the longer I live, the more I discover many more of these situations than I ever thought.

Especially in those situations, you need to look to the spiritual power available through God.

God invites us to let him carry the things that are too heavy for us to carry… because God really does cares about you and me. (1 Peter 5:7)

Every day, you and I face things that are just too heavy for us, beyond our abilities to fix. Every day, I turn to God and give him these things and ask him to give me the strength to face them and the wisdom to know how.

Here’s where it gets counter-intuitive. When you acknowledge you are “weak” and unable to carry the load and you look to God (and yield to God), you find yourself being given new strength (2 Cor 12:10).

In other words, when I agree with God that I have limitations, I can’t control a situation, and I need power from beyond myself, then God has room to work in and through me.

Are there things you are facing that are beyond this technique or that method? I invite you to:

  • Look out to others with special abilities and training who can help you.
  • Lean on others who can offer you the support, insights and accountability you need.
  • Look up to God and cast your burdens to the one who can handle the mighty boulders that are crushing you or holding you back.

Your Turn!

What have you done when certain personal growth techniques have not worked for you?

5 Scientifically Proven Steps To Making Better, More Successful Decisions.

It includes a step-by-step guide designed to maximize your decision-making results.
Go ahead and download it now, it’s free!

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2 thoughts on “When Personal Growth Tips & Hacks Fail You

  1. Hi Pat,
    Another inspiring article.
    I have been catching up on a number of your articles and am full of things I’ve learnt, re-learnt or refreshed. Quite often the context in your examples has been different to my experience and I have therefore learnt wider implications of your topic. Then intellectual humility came along and I felt I moved forward in thinking if not yet in action.

    From thus article’s perspective my experience is that it is important to choose people wisely, yet God will also choose them for you at a time and place you don’t expect, so leaning to lean on Him is important.

    Thank you for your gift of writing in such a way that helps, inspires and delivers real results, both large and small. Please keep it coming!

  2. Thank you Tony for your very kind words. I also appreciate your perspective on learning and applying knowledge. There is so much truth that only begins to (or more fully) make sense when you have additional experiences (or as you say ‘context’) in your life. I guess that is the plus to getting older. Keep doing what you are doing Tony… growing wiser by being a perpetual student and being exposed to more knowledge.