Is it possible to OD on personal growth?

I just got an email from my brilliant assistant (a word which does not do justice to the value this woman brings to my life – alternative title options welcomed) asking my opinion on the question:

Is it possible to OD on personal growth?

I answered with a resounding: YES! TOTALLY!

Here’s the thing: We all have everything we need within us right this second.

You don’t need another course…
You don’t need a coach…
You don’t need to read another book…
You don’t need more information…
Or more insight…
Or another practice…
Or philosophy..

…to tap into the brilliance of who you are.

You have that in you already. It’s just a matter of remembering.

Here’s the truth:

I spent 6 months this year being coached by the brilliant Chela Davison. I’ve read at least 10 “grow yourself” books, as my friend Josh calls them, since January. I just spent 5 weeks with Dyana Valentine shining my manuscript and my psyche before sending it off to my editor. I attended 4 personal development oriented events just in July and August alone. Many of my closest friends are actually professionals in the personal growth industry so I barely go a day without chewing on the possibility of optimizing the human experience.

But the other morning I awoke really early and a strong voice within me said: ENOUGH.

I had signed up for another series of coaching and my body was giving me a clear signal in the form of a knot in my stomach that I’m currently full up on personal growth.

Sometimes we just need to chill and integrate. Sometimes the biggest life lessons will come over ice cream with your 3 year old instead of at a weekend retreat with the guru of the hour. And sometimes you don’t need a lesson. You just have to be.

There’s infinite information, insight, and wisdom on the planet. We were all given God’s direct line. Some of us have simply forgotten where we wrote it down.

I write this post with a sense of irony given the fact that I happen to work in the personal growth industry. So I’m not telling you not to buy any more personal growth books or take any more workshops. (I would be SUCH a hypocrite if I did.)

Do I believe in the work that I do in the world? Hell yeah. Will I keep attending seminars, searching my soul, going on retreats, and listening to others for wisdom and insight? You bet your bippy.

But today I wanted to remind you that sometimes you get full. Sometimes you’ve had enough. Sometimes you need a little time and space to digest what you already have learned from without and from within.

If I honestly put into action even 5% of the material I’ve learned from books and seminars that I’ve not yet implemented, my life would be revolutionized. And if I went within and asked my soul more questions instead of looking for answers outside I would probably spontaneously combust from unleashing the spark of divinity cooking away in there at all times.

And I know you would to.

Take a break from time to time. Be un-coached for a while. Let the fields of self-actualization lie fallow for a season. Ask yourself what you think instead of your girlfriend or guru. Read a novel for a change.

And then the next time you walk into a seminar, take a course, or open a personal growth book, you’ll be coming from a place of fullness instead of emptiness. You’ll not be looking for the missing piece of information to complete you. Instead you’ll be browsing for the cherry on top of your already incredibly dense, deep, sweet, wise cake of self-assurance and personal knowing.

I promise you: you’ll get a heck of a lot more out of another person’s wisdom when you first see yourself as full, instead of empty. (Click to tweet.)

So my reminder to you today is this:

It is possible to over dose on personal growth.
Take a break from growing every now and then, at least from growing in any sort of focused, purposeful way.
You already have everything within you that you need.
You are full already. You came in that way. You are lacking in nothing.


  • Alison

    Great post! I totally agree. I’ve gone fairly extreme and really put down personal growth “stuff” for over a year. I practice prayer, meditation and write and create…just privately. A lot has happened in that year…but I have to say I do miss the people and the camaraderie that comes with attending events and doing coaching or whatever other new agey gathering might come up. I guess Ive learned that it’s not as much about the content as it is to gather with souls who are willing to put themselves out there. Ask for help. Publicly. I love those people. I’m going to be coming out of my hiatus soon and can’t wait to cocreate with the people who make up this community.

  • caroline

    RIGHT ON!!!Love well written!!

  • Kate! I love this.

    “If I honestly put into action even 5% of the material I’ve learned from books and seminars that I’ve not yet implemented, my life would be revolutionized. And if I went within and asked my soul more questions instead of looking for answers outside I would probably spontaneously combust from unleashing the spark of divinity cooking away in there at all times.”

    I hear you. It is addictive hearing about other peoples’ lives and how they navigate challenges and what they could potentially teach me. Sometimes, a lot of times, it is a distraction from the gnawing challenge of putting myself out there and going for it. Dealing with the resistance that arises with new levels of emerging greatness.

  • cindy@YogaInMyPocket

    Great blog. It’s easy to get caught up in looking for more, a faster path, or the right answer. Always good to remember that the answers ARE within – and finding some stillness to let it bubble up.

    It’s also great to be inspired by others and to be reminded to step up and keep trying.

  • I think most of us have experienced something similar, but people never tell you that. It’s always “you need this to be successful”, “you must do it this way”. Thans for telliing us :)

  • Estoy totalmente de acuerdo. Llegué a la misma idea hace apenas dos días!

  • This sings to me. Beautiful!

  • Kate,

    Whew…thank you so much for posting this! I am chuck full, overwhelmed, and just tapped out. But my love for “grow yourself” books, seminars, the hole nine yards will not falter. It’s my passion, my life work, but it’s a three day weekend and I’m headed to the woods. No cell, no computer, not taking books, just pictures. Time to chill and like you said know that I have it all already!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  • EXACTLY. That is WHY my business is now called REAL RAW & ROWDY because “enough IS enough” and with that we have exactly what we need in our back pocket. UNVEIL your GIFT and be AUTHENTIC with it. Once revealed, BE YOU, LOVE LIFE and CHANGE THE WORLD.

    I guess being older, and having some experience being a special education teacher and a mother of three where witnessing and assisiting evolution is at an all time high. When we keep selling doubt…it has no integrity for me. Give a person who wants to be revealed to themselves, they ARE enough That’s beautiful to me. To highlight and shine a light on THAT and rock that…that is EM-POWER-ment!

    Love that you brought this up. Yet another chapter of life. AWESOME YOU!

  • Hell yeah! Great post.

  • Kimberley

    OMG & G yes Kate! so totally agree. Personally yes I’ve invested in courses but luckily for me I can download as they are online courses,thensave them for later when I want to take them, which I’m doing.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with personal growth but even my minister Michael Bernard Beckwith (Agape International Spiritual Center) and others from Hay House as well say sometimes you just gotta stop and let it all sink in. Then when you’ve done that you can grow some more.

    I get signals like you do too, for me I get flu like symptoms when I’ve done too much then I know just to stop and step back and let it all download into my brain and soul.

  • YES, YES, YES….You are ahead of the game figuring this out at your young age. My sister used to go into my office, look at all of my “grow yourself” books, CDs, etc….shake her head and say, “You would think you’d be helped by now!”
    Then we would laugh soooo hard…..So, have fun and just Be!
    Linda B

  • I have found some of my best insights come with ease when I stop striving and just be.

  • Debra Swihart

    Thank you! I have been feeling over extended in this area. You have stated it perfectly.

  • brooke

    This is true service Kate. I just love you. One of my mentors Fran says there is no where to get to. The spiritual journey perhaps be rebranded as spiritual arrival. The tools are there and perfect at times but the willingness to remember. Cheering you on and applauding you. Yahooo. We so need to catch up. My little girls have been my teachers these last few years. A totally different kind of seminar. Your authenticity is appreciated and hopefully contagious. Xoxoxo

  • So, I was driving along thinking about a date that I am about to go on in a couple of days. I am looking forward to having a good time with this guy, he’s funny and entertaining, but I have to admit my ego jumped in and started picking him apart before he has even stepped up to the plate! I started thinking about how different we are and how we have so little in common and how personal growth is soooooOO! important to me! It is definitely a passion of mine and I started assuming that it was not important to him. After a good 10-15 minutes of tearing this guy apart for his not wanting to read self help books (which i totally made up in my head!?) I literally began to write him off because I had convinced myself that in order to be happy, I need someone as passionate about personal growth as I am. Then I parked. I did a quick email check before getting out of the car and there you were Kate! You may have just saved a potential relationship or at least a good first date with this blog post. Big thank you!!

  • My first thought when reading this post was “I haven’t heard the term – bet your sweet bippy – in a long time!” Go Kate! Then I started thinking about how so many of us personal growth folks looking for deep spiritual connection may be unwittingly becoming personal growth junkies instead. Then it’s not just a question of OD but rather OCD…And if working on personal growth is such a driving force that takes up so much of our daily time that we need a “break from” is it really a spiritual practice led by the soul, or an personal growth practice led by the ego? Love the idea of taking time off, but if we even talk about a “break” then is this personal growth really a spiritual experience? If we’re bathed in a spiritual place then there’s really no need or desire for a break…

  • Yes yes! Read more novels :)

  • Ann

    Love this ,and your assistant is brilliant……..just what I needed to hear today.
    I will think about a better job title for her.


  • Thank you for this one Kate – so timely and totally brilliant! I’m off to ponder my own brilliance now…….

  • Yes, yes, yes. Couldn’t agree more! Love the idea of taking a break from personal development and allowing my field to be fallow.

  • Marianne Dressler

    ~ sigh~ relief~ love the message…..

  • Great post, Kate! I often feel this way, too. One day a few months ago, I set down the personal growth book I was reading and immediately started a great fictional novel. It felt so great because like you said I was overdosing on all things holistic health and metaphysical. Balance is the name of the game, and it is good to have a back-and-forth routine with this kind of thing. You can’t go all out in one direction forever or you’ll burn out. Taking a detour every now and then is healthy and necessary if you want to stay happy and fulfilled.



  • Kate, such amazing insight and timing regarding a touchy subject (what me? slow down?)! Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to read your book as I am sure it will also be full of wonderful messages which can be put into play immediately!!

  • I love this! I was just thinking about the last time I read a good juicy book that wasn’t business related and it’s been TOO long. Off to the bookshop to wander and get lost in another world for a while. Thanks for the little push!

    Vari x

  • betty

    Oscar Wilde said it perfectly….. Most people would rather go to a seminar and listen to someone talk about God than to look inside and discover her there.Maybe it has to do with the extreme pleasure and stimulation of being entertained, as we have been trained to look outside ourselves for just about everything we think we need or want.

    Much Love to all, Betty

  • Dorothy

    Such a timely post Kate. I have had this conversation with at least 5 people in the past week. We are on the same page with this topic! Well done!
    Thank you,

  • Mandy

    THANK YOU Kate – this could not have come at a better time for me today. I had to make some really tough choices today, and chose to stay home with the family and “be”. It was so nice to hear some reassurance that is was totally OK and I had made a “good” choice.

  • C

    I had to chuckle I woke up this morning and realized that I didn’t need a coach I just needed to finish cleaning my room and removing the clutter and dust in my house so that I could feel better about me. Thanks for the confirmation.

  • Donna Naylor

    Your post really hit home. I have been reading self help books for more than 30 years, and diet books for even longer. I have been trying to focus on what is “wrong” with me rather than celebrating what is “right”. Thank you for the reminder to just “be” with myself.
    You are truly a gift to the people in your circle…and I feel very blessed to have you in my life!
    <3 Donna

  • I think we need to fill ourselves up when we’re depleted, and take a chill pill when we’re maxed out. Being aware is the most important thing, and I applaud you Kate, for being so self-aware.

  • I love it! Thanks Kate for putting a big smile on my face this morning! I think it’s important to “give time to the time”, because otherwise another paths of behaviour (or blueprints, or samskaras) may be developped in the subconsiousness, based on the other people’s beleives, not yours. But when you take your time and sit and meditate, you can really see what’s best for you in this very moment.

  • Lynne

    So true…and pretty close to what I was thinking today as I cleaned out old papers from past workshops, classes, etc. – I HAVE done the work. Now time to LIVE it.

  • Patti

    Yes, yes, yes! I remember waking up thinking this exact thing about 3 months ago. I had taken so many seminars and workshops that I hadn’t assimilate what I just learned before I was on to the next teaching. I was exhausted. It was time to listen to me!

  • Amen and Blessed be.
    And, for me with the time of Integration comes the Laughter and time for Playing with my Mini-Doxie (her 13-yr old middle name is PLAY!) and the GRATITUDE!

  • TJ

    Thanks Kate! To quote a very wise and familiar teacher, “life experience is the true teacher”… Once one realizes that life is reflecting back to you what you are putting out there, every experience, every person, everything becomes your personal growth “book”, “workshop”, etc… I had OD’d as well and then I realized I just needed to live it. Thank you for your wise words and always so timely!

  • Dawn

    Terrific and thank you for you being you!
    I find your post quite timely as Mastin in his The Daily Love said pretty much the same thing!
    Happy Sunday and sweet-sparkly dreams…Dawn

  • Woot Woo! Thank Goodness Danielle LaPorte led me here today! I love this sentiment. After a soul (and business crushing 2008), My friend Erin suggested I follow organic self growth. It was the most peace inducing period of my life! I too am a personal growth aficionado – so I am back on it again. But, cleansing my palate was one of the best things I have done for myself and my business(es). Plus, I now have a 3 year old son, and a 2 year old daughter to thank for it! There was no time for babies before I stopped to breathe!

  • Great post – me toooooo!

    I was trying to decide between two coaching programs and then I was like – that’s it. Enough!

    I’m just going to have a lie down after work every day for the next little while and see how that works out.

    Still love being coached and being in groups but sometimes we need a little time for intergation.

    A little coaching shavasana


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