"Focus on personal development!" How does it work?

Written on 08/23/2021
MentesMe Organisation

Who has never heard it: Take some time for yourself?!

In complete despair you start 'to work with yourself' because you have no clue how to deal with this. And by the way, why shoud I work on myself? I'm fine just the way I am. And all of a sudden you feel very powerful and determined for a moment. I just have to be myself, then I'll be in my power. My passion is my guideline, right?! By the way, what is my passion? And why did he/she think that I should work on myself? Before you know it you find yourself in an internal dialogue again, which ends in - again - solid despair.

Whats going on here?

Usually colleagues, family, friends, and partners want the best for you. Yet most people resist when they are hinted to "Work on themselves." It is seen as a criticism of how you are as a person and how you act as a professional. As you can read in my previous blog (Misunderstood emotions super clumsy) that runaway emotions completely block our ratio. What many people don't realize is that if they see a hint or a comment from someone as criticism. This makes the game between the old. and new brain fully activated.

Criticism - and even constructive feedback - immediately activates our emotional brain! Resistance is the direct result!

At this time of the year, the vast majority of people enjoy their well-deserved vacation. But I also regularly receive requests in July and August to talk about the future. Likewise this year. The introduction of the person who came to visit me went like this:

“Gerard, I was thinking about a comment from a friend of mine while on vacation. And actually, that comment came after I asked him how he was doing. He told with great enthusiasm that he had found his passion and was really living it, both in his private life and his business life. He had made clear choices about what to pay attention to and whatnot. And also had some good conversations with his partner. I've started, he said, by learning to recognize whether what I'm doing touches my passion. I didn't understand much of it but didn't want to say this right away. So I asked a question: "How did you discover your passion?" Everything he said after that was very woolly and incoherent to me, but I could tell he felt good about it. Then the tip came: "You should also do a search for your real passion!" And now I'm here: Can you help me?'

We started talking and after about 20 minutes we got to the point where my visitor confessed to not knowing what an overarching goal in life is or what goals to pursue at all. We had to conclude that the emotional brain had taken over for a while. My client preferred to stop talking and just get back to work. You could almost hear the thought: 'I'm actually pretty good, why should I change anything?' My client stayed put and that was the first win. So don't run away, not mentally and certainly not physically.

A little bit of extra information about the human organism: We are pain avoiders! We don't want pain, but we don't always realize that pain is a signal that requires a response. In the case of physical pain, it is very concrete: 'There is a splinter in your finger. That hurts. If I take it out, the pain will go away!' Easy. With mental signals, it is much more complicated because our brain prefers not to feel pain. And even more annoying: our brain comes up with all kinds of ways not to be confronted with pain. For example, You want to lose weight, then you should eat less unhealthy food and exercise more. You start and after a few days you THINK: It's actually going pretty well, today I'm not going to work out and that piece of cake is now possible again. Being pain avoiders, we are easily tempted not to go and grab a piece of the pie. In fact, we are not only pain avoiders, but also crave immediate rewards. The direct reward ensures the production of endorphins and we feel very good about that for a while. The pain arises again when you notice that you have not persevered, and you blame yourself for this. However, we are pain avoiders and don't want to feel blamed. So...and so the spiral continues.

Back to my visitor. I had known this person for a while and knew it was a Promoting Social Style. The basic psychological need of this style is 'Recognition of oneself'. Our conversation continued by recognizing that this is a fact and fully accepting this fact. We then devoted intensive attention to the 4 other aspects of this style. We had also done an MBTI scan in the past, and I asked the question: 'Do you accept yourself as you are?' Together we have paid a lot of attention to finding out your natural personal preferences and teaching you to accept them. Now it's time to find out whether you are really activating your talents and thus giving meaning to your passion - literally. I saw the face soften and a cautious smile arises.

You can only feel true passion if you really accept who you are by nature!


VertaalresultatenA few tips if you are activated to 'get started with yourself'.

A few tips if you are activated to work on yourself:

  1. Realize that pain - and certainly mental pain - is a signal to get started. The pain is not a criticism of who you are, or how you act, but simply a signal asking for a response.

  2. We, humans, are pain avoiders! We do everything we can to avoid pain and consume immediate rewards. Don't blame yourself if this ever happens. Discover the reason for your desire to avoid pain by connecting to your basic psychological need and the other aspects of your social communication style.

  3. And third, self-blame is one of the biggest blockers of personal growth. We know from the previous blog that emotions block our ratio and self-blame is extremely powerful!

    Finally, I would like to tell you that being able to ignite your passion starts with thorough knowledge of yourself. Do not hesitate to use 1 of the many personality scans for this. We are fans of Social Communication Styles and MBTI but make a choice that suits you best. And does this together with a professional because they know the above processes well and the associated pitfalls. Enjoy life, and grow!