The Bottom Line in Personal Development

Grand Canale, Venice by Sandra Rojo
During a coaching session with one of my clients, she made a bold and determined statement, “I want to begin to design my life.”
My client has worked hard to understand the value of personal development and the efforts it takes when the desire for change is stronger than excuses or fear. How about you? Where on the scale between desire for change and fear are you?  Here are a just a few ingredients it takes to change and design your life:
1) Seriousness– Seriousness doesn’t mean we can’t be humorous or have fun. In fact we totally need humor.  It is essential to understand when seriousness is required in our lives and how to act upon it. For example, many people tell me that they are serious about achieving personal growth and development in their lives but their subsequent actions demonstrate the exact opposite.  Authentic living requires constant assessment of your own behaviors; words and actions that can move you forward and that can help you grow, no matter how unpleasant an experience may be to you. One forward movement is encountering so-called negative feelings or thoughts and seriousness means facing, not running away from them. A significant challenge to living a rewarding and fulfilling life is having the discipline to be serious when it is required.  Unfortunately, my experience has been that many people are either too serious or unwilling/unable to be serious when it is really essential.
Seriousness is more than just positive thinking or being well intentioned. I cannot stress enough that authentic living requires constant assessment of our own behaviors, words and actions that can move us forward in realizing a rewarding and fulfilling life. With respect to authentic living and personal development, true seriousness is demonstrated by deep contemplation, persistence, earnestness, and a dogged determination toward achieving or accomplishing things that are of real importance in our lives.
2) Focus– You need to focus on what you want to achieve (Behavioral change, attitude, lifestyle, etc.) We are inundated and overloaded with information on just about anything we can imagine, therefore you have to be deliberate about what’s important to you so that YOU can disengage from any person or thing that hinders your vision and keeps you distracted.  Additionally, if you want to “design your life” you cannot afford to be scattered everywhere. A key feature to personal development mastery is about staying focused, disciplined and committed. 
3) Coaching/ Mentorship– Do not take suggestions and random advice from everyone. If you think about it, everyone has something to say but not everyone may have meaningful things to contribute to your vision or goal. In fact, I see the negative effects of people that practice all kinds of advice from everyone, and it certainly creates scattered confusion.  Having simultaneous coaches or gurus can delay growth because you’re getting too much input.  Instead, when your focused, you cultivate a humble heart and you’re not bouncing around looking for a quick fix. Keep in mind that a good coach will recognize whether you’re ready to make the commitment needed for change. If you’re serious about your personal development and focused on your growth, you may very well consider a trusted coach/mentor. Additionally, your loyalty to that one coach is imperative because you’ll see where and how your results derive and because of this, you’ll experience success.
4) Commitment– You need to be committed to your growing process. Nobody can be committed for you, not even if you paid them! You are solely responsible for the behavioral or lifestyle change you want to achieve. Commitment means during the good, the bad, and the ugly. During those moments you feel like quitting, disengaging or escaping through some bad habit. Commitment begs: DON’T STOP. You can rest, pause, reflect, but you keep going. The negative feelings experienced through wanting to quit are more likely to be associated with an internal problem that looks like you hit a wall. But remember, that wall is meant to be torn down. If that internal wall is not torn down, how will you then get to your desired designed life?
Encouraging You to Live Authentically,
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