"Epiphany Addiction" is an informal little term I came up with to describe a process that I've observed happen to people who try to work on their personal issues. How it works is that someone will be trying to solve a problem they have, say a lack of confidence around other people. They'll come across a piece of advice or a motivational snippet that will lead them have an epiphany or a profound realization. This often happens when someone is reading self-help books or articles. Someone may also come up with epiphanies on their own if they're doing a lot of writing and reflecting in an attempt to try and analyze their situation.
The content of these epiphanies are often pretty trite when you look back on them, but they feel very profound and life changing at the time. They make you feel very pumped up and excited for discovering something so simple, yet so powerful. An example is, "Instead of worrying about whether you're a good match for other people, think about whether they're a good fit for you." Nothing too special about that idea, but it may hit someone the right way and they'll feel psyched up and think, "Yes! Yes! That's it! Of course! I always worry about what other people think of me. I need to start caring about what I think of them!!!"
The problem with these epiphanies is that they can make you feel really charged up, and like something has clicked into place in your mind, and that your life will be different from now on. They usually don't lead to any tangible results though. You walk around for a day or two feeling ready to take on the world, but you don't act any differently, and the 'high' soon wears off.
People can fall into a cycle where they keep coming up with epiphany after epiphany. They may fuel their addiction by journaling their way through half a dozen notebooks or by devouring mounds of self-help books or websites. Each time they feel like they've stumbled on some life changing discovery, feel energized for a bit without going on to achieve any real world changes, and then return to their default of feeling lonely and unsatisfied with their life. They always end up back at the drawing board of trying to think their way out of their problem, and it's not long before they come up with the latest pseudo earth shattering insight.
As the cycle goes on the effect of each new epiphany becomes shorter and shorter. The first time someone has a supposedly profound realization they may feel like they're floating on a cloud for a few days. As the pattern progresses they may come up with an epiphany and then totally forget about it five minutes later. It's often at this point that they catch on to the fact that profound insights are cheap, and they won't solve their troubles by having some magical thought that will radically realign their minds all in one go.
I touch on this in other articles as well, but the flaw with this whole approach is that actual improvement usually comes over time, and often through doing some sort of work in the real world like practicing your social skills or facing your fears. If you want to be more self-assured or socially savvy you have to build up to it. It's not that there's this super confident person already inside you, and they just need the right piece of information or way of looking at things to burst forth fully formed.
This approach also assumes that doing well in social situations is all about feeling powerful or confident enough. The idea is that if you feel like that all the time then you'll automatically know how to be good with people. That's not true though. Things like conversation skills have to be acquired gradually. It's not just a matter of feeling sufficiently capable and self-assured. Sure that can help a bit, by making you feel less inhibited, but it's not the only factor.