Are you the person you want to be? My guess is that you are not. And, I love that you want to be more than who you are.
How is your personal development efforts going? Are you active in those efforts, or are you largely inactive (knowing that you will develop just by navigating life)?
Let me be honest with you. I love personal development, but in the past, when I have tried to actively pursue my personal development, I found it to be rather frustrating and not very long-lasting. Thus, for much of my adult life, I have taken an inactive approach to personal development.
Can you relate?
If you can, I want to explain the likely reason why your efforts have been frustrating, and I want to help you develop a different perspective toward personal development that will help ensure that your personal development efforts are both natural (i.e., easier) and long-lasting.
Why Do Our Personal Development Efforts Commonly Fail?
When you try to develop yourself, what do you focus on? My guess is that it is one of two things: (1) an outcome that you want to create (e.g., success, happiness), or (2) your thinking, learning, or behaviors that drive the outcomes you want to create. Thus, we try to pull along these things from a present state to a future improved state, as indicated in the figure below.
For example, since moving to California (a rather expensive place to live), I have been trying to improve my financial well-being. To improve my financial well-being, I have tried to change or improve a wide variety of things. For example, I have focused on cost-cutting, I tried a new job for a year, and I started a new initiative though a Center I worked for to develop some consulting engagements. But, none of these resulted in improved financial well-being, and each has been rather frustrating in a variety of ways.
If I were my old self, I might be inclined to just give up, and perhaps think: “Becoming financially well off just isn’t in the cards.”
But, since learning about mindsets, I have come to realize that I have been missing a huge piece of the personal development puzzle, even the foundation: my mindsets. While the figure above is what I have seen in my attempts to develop, I have overlooked the role and importance of mindsets as part of the equation. In fact, the figure below is actually a more accurate representation of what has been going on.
What has really been happening is that because I have overlooked my mindsets, they have stayed stable. So, when I have attempted to pull the top two levels of the pyramid along, my mindsets have resisted that development. The result of this is that the development was difficult, and it wasn’t long-lasting because eventually my mindsets won out, and the top two levels of the pyramid shifted back to where my mindsets were.
How Do We Succeed in Our Personal Development Efforts?
If we want our personal development efforts to be easier and more long-lasting, we have got to include our mindsets as part of our development process. In fact, we need to lead with our mindsets.
While it is something we may not be accustomed to, if we want to be successful in our personal development efforts, we need to improve, or push, our mindsets forward. When we do this, our thinking, learning, and behavior will naturally follow. And, correspondingly, the outcomes that we are trying to generate will follow. This is depicted below.
When we seek to develop ourselves in this way, we are not met with resistance, which makes this more natural (i.e., easy) and long-lasting.
Since realizing this, what I have done to improve my financial well-being is to push my mindsets forward. By doing so, I have radically changed my thinking, learning, and behaviors (which includes writing a book and creating an online course), which should translate, either directly or indirectly, to enhanced financial well-being.
As you can see, there is a bit of uncertainty about this process. But, I can tell you, my efforts have already been easier than my prior efforts, and I am much more confident in the long-lasting effects my development will have.
In all, if your personal development efforts have been met with frustration, it is likely because, like me, you have been overlooking the foundational role of mindsets in the personal development process.
If you can relate, please comment below so others can learn from your experiences as well.
If you want to take a mindset self-assessment to help you in knowing what mindsets you need to push forward to enhance your personal development, click on the button below.
In the coming blog posts, we will be identifying and discussing the specific mindsets that you need to push forward to create the life outcomes you desire.