Are You Committed To Your Personal Development?



personal development

Why would someone have a perception that improving their awareness of what is out there or their awareness of themselves is a sign of weakness? Depending on what you call it, you trigger a defensive response in people, often followed by a reasonable excuse. If you mention the words “self-help”, some people shut down as they associate people that use self-help material with people whose lives are in a total mess. However, if you use the words Teacher, Mentor or Coach this might change the number of people that open up and yet these are all related to your personal development!


Mention “Skills Development” and people are very quick to put their hands up. In South Africa, companies are even incentivised to pay for their workforce on approved Skills Development Training through tax rebate structures. Where do you draw the line in terms of what contributes to your personal development? Is it solely based on knowledge transfer from an approved institution or else stipulated by legislation? Is it only if your company pays for it? Is it only if it is something you attend to during work hours?


I bought copies of the book Linchpin, by Seth Godin, for myself and the rest of the team at Find Inspired Talent to read in our own time. Shameez started reading the book before me and she brought something to my attention that I did not observe when I bought the books. On the cover, unnoticed to me were the words, “How to drive your career and create a remarkable future”. Shameez mentioned to me that she was enjoying the read, but had a thought that those words on the cover would discourage some people to pick the book up. In her mind, the book is not only for people looking to drive their career and create a remarkable future, as anyone could get a lot out of the content covered.


So what is it about personal development that strikes enough fear into people to not want to participate or even read a book or article? Is it the looking in the mirror and being honest about who you really are? Is it the fact that once you have acknowledged what your truth is you can’t live in denial, you have to change something be it how you behave or what you are doing? “What will people say or what will they think of me if I change?” you may ask. There is a lot of pressure from the community you are in when you look to work on your personal development as there is a risk that you might not fit in anymore in that community! That community could be your family, friends, work, etc.


Why can’t you look within and find your own compass as to how to navigate through this life you have? A lot of formal training we get is related to matters of the head. We attend institutions that are supposed to teach us how to think, like school and tertiary institutions. The events in your life, be you at home or at work, are more matters of the heart (not in the medical sense but ironically how you deal with those events does have an impact on your physical heart). Where do you learn the tools to deal with matters relating to how you feel?


Personal Development is not about being weak. In fact, it takes a great deal of strength and courage to be able to acknowledge where you might need help. The map to get to your vision is not going to come from anywhere else. The map and vision comes from you! “Telling people leadership is important is one thing. Showing them step by step precisely how to be a leader is impossible" ~ Seth Godin.


Reflection is a good thing. It is not about beating yourself up for what you have not achieved, it is about making sure that where you are going is still valid and the map is still the best route to get there. Learning the tools to draw your map is what you look for when you read a book, or go on a course, or work with a Coach or a Mentor. Shouldn’t personal development be a lifetime commitment?



To find out more about our Coaching offering, contact Chomba Hermanus direct on +27 21 794 5126, or call the Find Inspired Office on 0861 99 99 38 (+27 21 433 1824 for international diallers). Chomba is an ICF Accredited Coach, having also achieved Certified Master Coach status through Martha Beck Training. She specialises in Career Coaching for both individuals and corporates.


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