Today, I’m going to talk about a dangerous pitfall that you should avoid as you work toward beating retroactive jealousy.

If you’re interested in beating retroactive jealousy, I’d like to remind you that I just released my brand new audio series for overcoming retroactive jealousy.

It’s called Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy: The Guided Meditations, a series of step by step guided meditations hosted by yours truly confronting each of the different challenges posted by retroactive jealousy one by one.

They’re fully downloadable to your smartphone, your laptop, your tablet, whatever.

They’re available right now. I’ve been getting some great feedback so far, which I’m so grateful for. If you’d like to download the series right now, click here to learn more about Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy: The Guided Meditations.

Transcript below

Zachary Stockill: Today, I’m going to talk about something that took me years to understand. And in hindsight, I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t really understand this earlier.

And the phenomenon I want to talk about today is something I like to call personal development burnout.

So this might sound strange coming from a guy who is pretty fixated, pretty focused on personal development. This represents the majority of my day having coaching calls, inspiring people to change and reading books and creating videos and creating online courses and audio series and writing books.

And obviously, personal development is a pretty big deal to me. It’s something I feel extremely passionate about, both personally and professionally.

Personal development is a big deal to me and personal development has been enormously good to me. I shudder to think of the man I would be today if I hadn’t started seriously investing in personal development when I was around, I don’t know, 17, 18 or so. I’d be a very, very different man. I wouldn’t be talking to you today. My life would have turned out very differently.

That said, there is something to be said for balance when you are working toward beating retroactive jealousy.

When you are attempting any kind of personal development project, whether it’s overcoming retroactive jealousy, whether it’s overcoming more “standard jealousy,” obsessive jealousy, and anything along those lines, whether it’s working to improve your marriage or your relationship, whichever personal development project you’re currently engaged in, beware of burnout.

What do I mean by this?

So sometimes I’ll get emails from people from retroactive jealousy sufferers who sign up for my online course Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast. Now, this course has grown over the years. It’s, I don’t know how long now, 12 hours or maybe longer than that. I keep adding content to it every year. It’s a very long course. There’s a lot of material in there. There’s a lot to digest.

There’s a lot to go through, and sometimes I’ll get emails from new students in the course. And they’ll write, “I want to get this handled immediately. I’m going to watch all of the course tomorrow. I’m going to spend 12 hours watching your course tomorrow. What do you think?”

And I often respond to them, “Please, don’t do that. Please, don’t listen to me speak for 12 hours in one sitting.”

Obviously, you can approach the course however you want, but space it out over a few days at the very least or maybe a week, because a lot of this stuff you need to give it time to really sink in.

You need to give yourself time to perform the various exercises and activities, which I encourage if you’re taking the course. More importantly, you don’t want to burn yourself out.

So if you’re approaching any kind of personal development project, whether it’s beating retroactive jealousy or anything else, give yourself time to do things that have nothing to do with personal development.

If you are struggling with beating retroactive jealousy, believe me, I understand.

You might be going through hell right now.

You might have this sick feeling in your gut most of the day. You might be stressed out. You might be looking for answers on YouTube constantly until 4:00 AM. Whatever it is, I’ve been there. I get it. But you will drive yourself crazy if it becomes your overriding focus for your life 24/7.

So, I have done this, I think I was in my early 20s. It wasn’t related to retroactive jealousy, but I got even more passionate about personal development.

So, I would literally be reading books all day, taking courses, taking online courses, taking audio courses, listening to podcasts, having conversations with friends about personal development and all this stuff.

And looking back, I realize, number one, I was becoming insufferable. I’m not sure I would have wanted to hang out with me in this period. Because although it can be great to talk to people about personal development and get feedback and share ideas, if that’s all you’re talking about, you might be kind of insufferable.

And secondly, it wasn’t really serving me because I’m a guy with multiple interests.

Some of you might know I’m a musician and I write songs and I like reading books and I’m a documentary film nerd.

And there are many things that make me, me. My life has multiple components.

And if you’re spending all of your time on personal development, whatever that entails, number one, you’re going to burn yourself out. You’re going to lose some of your enthusiasm for this project.

And number two, it doesn’t actually serve you, because you’re neglecting other areas of your life, which are also important, and which you should also be devoting some time to.

So beware of personal development burnout. Even if you’re in the thick of retroactive jealousy and you’re actively taking steps to confront it, working through it, whether it’s working through my book or course, whether it’s working through someone else’s book or course, whether it’s scheduling an appointment with a therapist or a coach, whatever it is, be sure to schedule some time for some fun, too.

The more I do this work, the more I’m convinced of the utter importance, the utter necessity of maintaining your sense of humor and having fun at the same time as you work to confront and overcome retroactive jealousy.

So be sure to schedule a time for things that have nothing to do with personal development, whether it’s sports or hanging out with your friends or having fun with your partner or whatever it is, beware of personal development burnout.

And also remember that maintaining a bit more balance in your life will actually help you achieve your personal development goals more effectively as opposed to spending all of your time focused in one specific direction.

There you go. Just a few thoughts on avoiding a common pitfall of retroactive jealousy sufferers.

Before I let you go, I’d like to remind you that my brand new audio series Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy: The Guided Meditations is available right now. You can join us right now.

You can download the series to your phone, smartphone, tablet, whatever you need.

Click here to get all the details about Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy: The Guided Meditations.


Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.