The PD Pill


We've trudged along texts of self-help books. Religiously read Robin Sharma, Mark Manson, Tony Robbins, on the bus, on the train, in bed, while eating. Listened to podcasts on loop, watched motivational videos every morning. Practised everything like faithful devotees.

We put ourselves through torturous trials in the name of 'personal development'. Develop bitter self-hatred when we don't see results. Have the audacity to spew harsh comments about ourselves. Push ourselves beyond limits to attain perfection.

We all want to be better versions of ourselves, but can we pause and ask;

'What bad has come out of self-help literature?'

'What have I fed myself?'

'What have my self-help gurus served on this palate that looks promising?'

These are the five common side-effects of obsessive or improper application of self–help literature:

Low Self-confidence

The most obvious side-effect of obsessive personal development practice. By nature, we humans are attracted to negative aspects of 'everything'. Therefore, we have a natural inclination towards pointing out our mistakes and reprimanding ourselves for it. Remembering all that we did wrong and promising we would right all the wrongs.


I've struggled with self-hatred on my journey of self-improvement. It's ironic to call it self-improvement if all you do is put yourself down in the loving name of 'Tough Love'. Your thoughts about who you are is an embodiment of who you become.

Mission Impossible

Setting unrealistic goals and exerting unnecessary pressure to accomplish them and eventually leading to lack of sleep, improper diet, deteriorating health, irritability, and the forever feeling of 'DOOM'.

Blissfully Ignorant

'Be positive'. You've heard this a thousand times. Going overboard with this idea leads to nothing more of a Greek tragedy (this flaw will lead to your downfall). While it is advisable in some situations to look on the positive side, it is a fool's risk to avoid acknowledging the obvious dangers. So let's slow down.

Tag Along

Everything will seem fascinating when you start your self-improvement journey. Some exhibit top shelf enthusiasm. In other words, turn into 'Enthu-Cutlets'. Their enthusiasm can be seen blazing from miles away. And their goal? Get everyone to practice their personal development rituals. Period. Don't become that person.

Your journey is yours to travel. Different self-help techniques are suited to different people.

Of course, there are remedies to all mishaps. Here are some:

The Magic of Gratitude

Everywhere you go there's this one act every personal development guru talks about, gratitude. Enough and more has been lectured and written about the art of practising gratitude EVERYDAY. There are various ways one can stay grateful.

Singing in the Shower

Of course, you can blandly think of all the things you are grateful for while you scrub scrub scrub. But if your quirk level is 1000, then I suggest you pick up a melody and weave a song.

Lilliput Gratitude Books

If you are one of those lucky ones who possess an incredible amount of leisure time, write down three to five things that you are grateful for in a small book. You receive the benefit of cementing them in your brain as you write them down.


Usually in the state of extreme motivation and focus of striving towards our highest self, we latch on to the idea of constantly working without enjoying the growth process. If there's one truth that has been preached, it is to enjoy the journey more than you enjoy the result. Mindful workouts. Mindful healthy meals. Mindful alone time. Mindfulness of your finger on this phone screen. Mindfulness is a necessity.

Prioritising The Basics

You may very well be a cut throat person with a rage within to better yourself. You may be a badass who can pull all-nighters. You may be a savage who will never rest until your kingdom has been built. But you will grow weak without a proper diet and a sleep schedule. Who's going to guard your kingdom then? Therefore prioritise the basics.

Take A Break

Take a break from all the PD pills you've been consuming. Simply be yourself. Address the fact that you hold numerous good habits and qualities that no one can steal. Address the fact that you have principles and appreciate them. Don't let them die or fade into the background. Personal development is important but not to the point you ignore your good side.

The world is filled with madness. And you're only human. You are bound to have flaws.

Hell! Even the Greek Gods were flawed.

You can chase the 'perfect you' all your life and yet you would never catch it.

You will always find fault with who you are.

You will constantly be on a wild goose chase.

It's a proud moment when you take a step forward to enhance yourself.

You should totally do it. But don't get carried away.

Keep it simple. It's a 'glow-up' process not plastic surgery.

About the author;

Pavithra is commerce student with a passion for creative writing.

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