However, most of us still expect the personal development journey to be smooth and somewhat respectable. You'll sit on your designer sofa and read a book, or a personal development blog or listen to a great pod cast in the comfort of your car. Quite civilised! You'll even attend Anthony Robbins seminar and go to the Festival Of Doers in January. That's the sort of thing smart people do, isn't it!
There's an expectation that personal development is linear.
If you just put in the work, read the right books and do your affirmations, you'll keep moving forward and develop into a better you. You think you can control your development, it is well planned and there will be no hazards. Sounds good because it will keep you safe.
I don't believe in personal development.
But I do believe in personal growth!
If your aim is to become the woman you want to be, the woman you already are.. If your aim is to align with your soul's deepest purpose and find your core... How can you possibly get there in such a 'clean' and civilised way? How do you even think you can arrive without falling on your face and hurting yourself along the way? How can you suggest you can simply 'develop' into the 'new you' from the comfort of your sofa?
I believe many people engage in personal development merely to protect their ego. This is of course totally unconscious. You feel you are doing all the right things: reading all the right books, attending all the right seminars and listening to all the right pod casts, but you don't really have to touch your core.
Bear with me.
I'm not suggesting you shouldn't do all of those brilliant things that broaden the thinking and expand your awareness.
If you are aiming for true growth you must give up an illusion of being in control.
Think about a tree that grows next to an old house. At some point it will break through the walls because it is its natural path. It's its purpose, its true direction. But of course the owner of the house and the tree doesn't want to let go of the old structure it has so carefully built, so she rather cuts the tree than let's it destroy the house. What would the neighbours say!
But growth is not neat.
Growth seems often random. It goes in bursts.
Growth happens unexpectedly. It takes you to unimaginable directions.
Growth will break through walls, if you let it.
Growth will break through barriers and may damage the structures around you.
Growth will change things permanently. It'll take you to embarrassing situations. It'll expose you to failure.
Growth is wild. Growth is scary.
It's the growth's seemingly uncontrollable nature and perceived permanent damage that stops most of us embracing real personal growth. So they retreat back to personal development.
I had my first marriage destroyed by growth. It broke everything into small pieces that seemed permanent at the time. But if I kept up the structures I would have suffocated my growth. Growth has also meant abandoning great sounding jobs or business projects and letting seemingly good contracts to fall through that didn't serve my path any longer.
Letting myself grow uncontrollably has meant many embarrassing conversations where I've made a complete fool of myself only to learn afterwards why I had put myself into those situations. These have resulted in unbelievable learning and destruction of the ego structures.
Growth has always felt messy to me and sometimes painful.
Often when I'm in a deep personal growth period in my life I don't necessarily have an idea what is going on. It's only afterwards when I understand why I had to make those decisions and how much I've grown.
Growth is about walking through the unknown. It's about letting change awaken your unlived parts, and that can feel scary.
As my awareness expands the lead time between my unconscious mind and conscious mind gets shorter. And this is a good thing. I'm learning how my ego is still holding onto things and trying to keep the old patterns and structures together distracting me from my truth.
So I've accepted that I can't live in truth and find deep spiritual and emotional wellbeing if I don't let go of control sometimes. Growth simply isn't linear and neat.
I'm growing wild.
Are you ready to explore where growth will take you? Let a group of like-minded women support you. Join one of our Introduction evenings in London Soho, Shoreditch, South Hampstead, Wimbledon, Guildford or in Helsinki, Zurich and Singapore.