What Keeps us from Personal Development?!

It is such an inherent part of our human nature to grow and transform, yet we resist it in so many ways. For many of us, hair color changes in infancy and in adulthood. We get wrinkles, lose and gain muscle and fat, get flat feet, and even shrink due to spinal compression in old age! Yet we buy hair dye, have expensive plastic surgeries, tummy tucks, stapled stomachs, implants, and more. I see this resistance to physical change as very similar to the way many of us resist our own internal change. I thought it might be helpful to shine a light on three common self-imposed blocks to personal development, and some simple solutions to get going:

Personal Development Block #1: Fear of the Unknown

Uncertainty holds such a power over us as a culture. It is often what keeps unhealthy marriages going, what keeps people from quitting the jobs they hate, and also what keeps people from personal development. Say what you want about misery, at least it is a know commodity! I believe many of us have been conditioned by society (at least western society) to face life with a sense of doubt and scarcity. What I mean is that we tend to fear what we might lose a lot more than we tend to trust what we might gain. In many regards, this is a valid fear. Life is demanding and challenging, and often times brutally unforgiving, and it takes more and more courage to overcome all this in the modern world and to face our own potential.

Personal Development Solution #1: Dream Big, Start Small

Create intentions based on your highest potential (“I want to be happy and make ample money”), then get action-oriented with small steps towards it (1-Make a list of daily occurrences that bring happiness, 2-Identify needs these occurrences fulfill, and so forth). Over time, your intentions and actions may grow and change, and through it all, you will be discovering a truer existence.


Personal Development Block #2: Fear of Failure

What if we really put ourselves out there, really try, and we fail. All the time, money, and vulnerability will seem like waste, right? This is our fear holding our personal development hostage!


Personal Development Solution #2: Focus on Process

If we look at the concepts of “success” and”failure” as an outcome-which, of course, we are taught to in most cases-then, yes, this is a very limiting and scary proposition. However, if we measure our success in personal development as a way of being, rather than a condition of doing, then we might find some spaciousness here. To use the above example, how many times have you or someone close to you said, ‘If I can just make a little more money, then I’ll be happy’? I know I battle this perspective most days and it holds my present state of being hostage in some far off fantasy. The fact is I can choose to practice things like happiness and abundance in many ways that don’t depend on external reward.


Personal Development Block #3: Fear of Success

Yes, that’s right. Many of us have it buried deep, and it’s in there. Often times, what our deepest fear is that we may not actualize our full potential. Anyone relate? Most of us have this on lockdown somewhere in between the “Life is supposed to be a struggle” and “I don’t really deserve to have needs” beliefs. I believe in all of us lies an enormous wellspring for personal potential, and in this depth it may be often connected to our spiritual selves, our soul’s humble calling. Notice how you are relating to this paragraph, for instance. Are you dismissing it? Are you judging it? Are you taking it in?


Personal Development Solution #3: Admit that you are capable of awesome power, and accept the notion that you may not know how to access it

Just living this affirmation can lead us to bigger paths. Feel into this statement. Change it to make it more true for you, and really own it. See what happens. If you’re interested in continuing with your own personal development, click here for more info!