The self-improvement industry as you may well know, is still a booming industry. Some branches of it, like coaching and mentoring are billion dollar machines. Why? Well, because coaching and mentoring, with the right coaches and mentors, is getting people results.

But there is one aspect of it that irks me.

The quick-fix syndrome that seems to plague the industry

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some things that can be fixed instantly. For example, I am quite adept at giving my clients a fresh new perspective on situations or circumstances. In those instances I instantly help my clients.

I can instantly improve a client’s confidence, face to face, in about 20 seconds.

I can change a client’s belief system in a matter of minutes too.

But these three examples do not bring the client instant success. Sure they can bring sudden improvements, but they don’t fix the whole life of the client.

And that’s what some guru’s try and dish out. Not only do they pump out the message that all will be okay instantly, but they also hammer home the false notion that there is little or no effort (on behalf of the person who wants to change) in the process. It is harmful.

But with this quick-fix, McDonald’s society we live in, it sells very well. Too many want everything right now. Including self-improvement.

To really self-improve, it takes effort and time. Again, there are easier ways to learn. There are faster ways to manage and implement the change. I keep things very simple for this reason in my coaching, writing and workshops.

New Habits Take Time

To form new habits can take anything from about 30 days up to one year (Some psychologists say that old habits are never actually eliminated, but always lurking beneath the surface).

That’s right, I said one year.

People are becoming wrongly convinced that change and self-improvement is all easy and instant. It isn’t all plain sailing.

The timing will usually depend on how much you have already investedĀ in to learning and living the unwanted habit you wish to change.

But look at the time frame this way. Let’s say you are 35 now. In one year you are going to be 36 whatever happens. You will be 36 either with the new habit in place or with the old habit ingrained more deeply.

Either way you will be 36 with one or the other. So one year of working on developing new habits is well worth the effort. What do you think?

But some guru’s don’t like to tell you this. It can be bad for sales. Personally, I have lost a fair few clients because I haven’t promised them that I will change everything for them overnight.

So remember, give your self-improvement or personal growth, whatever you want to call it, time. Be persistent with what you want to achieve or who you want to become. And be prepared to put in some effort.

I see too many people who go on a quest to change and fall into this bear trap. They don’t see results as quickly as they would like or they soon find out it is going to take more effort than promised, and they jump ship. They leap to the next instant fix promise and try that.

Try not to get your foot caught in this painful trap. Give your growth time and like I have already said, be prepared to put in some effort.

My personal growth is a continual process. Some of my old habits really are there under the surface of my new ones. I must continually invest in myself to ensure they stay below.

Maybe you should too?