I want to talk a little bit about development culture. Now I do see quite a lot on social media, especially within the younger generations, they are always trying to better themselves and always having to be on this personal development journey. I think it’s absolutely fantastic and cannot give enough credit to self-development and all that comes with it BUT only if that journey is used correctly. What I mean by this is sometimes we get so focused on reading the right books, listening to the right podcasts or watching the right videos on YouTube that we take the fun and enjoyment out of it, making the whole process seem more like a chore, like a ‘need’ rather than
a ‘want’. I love to read however during in my education I lost this love as reading became more of a chore and a ‘have to' decision as I had books I had to read for courses/lessons. I wasn’t reading the books I wanted to read, because of this I eventually stopped reading. This is the whole point of the blog, to get people asking themselves if they are on this self-development journey because they want to be or because they feel they ‘must’ be? There is such a big difference between the two. Now I understand this may all sound strange and hypocritical coming from a counsellor, as my whole livelihood is built around people wanting to work on themselves in many ways. I strongly stand behind my profession and what counsellors set out to do BUT we already have so many pressures in life from so many different avenues. Why are we putting yet another pressure on ourselves to read books we think we should read, or listen to podcasts we think we should listen to? What about the books we want to read? What about the shows we want to listen to? Speaking of being hypocritical I noticed I was forcing myself down this ‘personal development’ path when I forced myself to read ‘The Secret’. Now before I go any further with this story this is not a reflection of the book itself just my mindset whilst reading it. I bought and read this book whilst being in the mindset of ‘I have to better myself constantly, this book is going to help’. Due to this I could not tell you what I read in that book as my mind wasn’t in the right space for what that book had on offer.
I do feel this gif is a very apt presentation of me in that moment in time
Now if I had realised this and not forced
myself to read it and actually waited until I felt the urge of wanting to read it, I know for a fact I would have got so much more out of it. You know which book I wanted to read instead? The Harry Potter books as this is something I have wanted to do since I was a young girl (nearly finished the last book by the way!)
If you are wanting to develop yourself in some way, shape or form please consider the following questions: Who am I developing for? - Changing for anyone other than yourself can come with it’s own pressures and constraints because the real point still remains, do you actually want to change/develop? What areas of my life do I want to develop? - Having a clear specific goal can help with the focus as you know exactly what you want rather than having a clouded vision.
How would you like to develop it? - Is there a certain format you benefit most from? Are you a reader? A listener? An action taker? There is nothing worse than if you don’t like to read forcing yourself to do exactly that. How do you envision this impacting your life? - What are you wanting from this journey? Do you want to learn more about yourself? Improve a skill? Learn something new? There can be times in life where things happen that we feel we do HAVE to change as our behaviours/patterns are hurting ourselves or others, but I do stand behind the idea that real change can only happen if said person wants to change themselves, not just changing for others. As mentioned earlier, I do understand and applaud how 'self development' has become a ‘thing’ but I think people can run too far with this and lose sense of what this is really all about. This whole journey is to work on places in your life that you are not 100% happy with, as this is the ultimate end goal, to be happier in life. So explain to me why we should be making ourselves unhappy in the process?