Personal Growth Simplified

When I share with people that I own a Leadership Development organization, they always pause in anticipation of more explanation. So then I add, “You know, personal and professional growth and development – training, coaching, consulting.”  This usually gets a knowing nod followed by a comparison to a training they once did, or to Tony Robbins.  I understand this; we relate what we hear with what we know. Sometimes it fits and sometimes, not so much.

What I encounter most often, however, are people who never really have ventured into the world of personal growth and development. Now, that doesn’t mean these people aren’t growing. Human beings are literally designed to grow.  It just means they haven’t looked into how to possibly do it on purpose. Most of us are aware, if only slightly, of how we could grow. Very often, one of my programs or 1:1 coaching sessions is someone’s very first experience.

In my field, there is a lot of nonsense out there that won’t make a damn bit of difference.  I did some of those courses and read some of those books, and  I am sorry if this was your first experience. Don’t give up! There are a lot of great opportunities for you, if you look deeper. This article is for those of you who are struggling to understand what personal growth and development actually is.

Being human, it is likely that you want something more/better/different. It’s paradoxical, isn’t it? We want more, even when we now have what we wanted so badly in the past.

Be careful not to make this desire bad or wrong. You have desires, this is human.

Instead of judging this desire wrong, consider instead how you relate to your desire(s).  Can you desire and still be satisfied, or do you wallow in dissatisfaction? Can you desire and still be patient, or do you become over active and frantic? Can you desire and enjoy the desire, without ever having it, or do you indulge when it doesn’t serve you?  Do you make others responsible for filling your desires, or can you fill your own needs? Do you complain, or do you make requests?

I firmly believe that for everything we desire, there is something that this desire can teach us about ourselves. We don’t want what we want because we want it (i.e. the car, the relationship, the raise, the education, lose 10 pounds).  We want what we want because of the experience we believe it will give us. Did you know we are the only animal that can imagine something, and decide if we want it based on the experience we imagine we will have? Did you know that research shows that most of the time what we imagined is wrong?

So, if all you ever really want is an experience, what if you learned to go straight to the source? YES, YOU!

This is what personal growth and development is all about – your endeavor to become the master of yourself, your world, your values, your vision, your desires, your mood, your physical body, and so on. This doesn’t mean you can’t have goals, intentions, objectives, plans and such. Not at all, please do! These are your game guidelines. How you relate to these guidelines tell you a lot about how you will need to grow to achieve them. Your personal growth game needs the definition that goals and intentions provide; some ways for you to know that you are in fact growing.

For example, let’s say you want to lose weight.  You imagine that you will experience high regard for yourself, power and freedom when you lose weight.  Cool, I get that.   Now you could write a goal and really clarify this desire. Whether you write that goal or not says a lot about how you are relating to the desire. If you are like a lot of people, you will never get very clear in writing, or even in your mind about what you want.

Guess what?  Knowing what you want is the beginning of the personal growth game. So let’s say you did write a goal – now you could come up with a plan. You know some strategies and clear first steps. Then you could share that plan with people who might support you. Is this where you stop? That tells you a lot about your growth opportunity in life, you know, the planning and garnering support part?  Do you try and do life alone?

Now that you are clear about what you want, have a plan, garner support and take actions, and then you fail. Oh yes, you will fail, and probably a lot.  Do you declare yourself incompetent?  Do you quit? Do you mindlessly work hard doing the same thing, even though you keep failing?  How you relate to failure may be your growth opportunity. I could, of course, continue with this example, but you get the point.

Personal growth and development is a continuous game you play to ultimately develop mastery of how you experience yourself, and the world around you.  Want to play?

Give us a call for a complimentary coaching session!


About the Author:

Alicia Marie has become a national leader in the field of Leadership Development. For over 18 years, she has coached and trained managers, leaders and sales profes­sionals on how to build lives and businesses truly worth having.

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