So far in the self-development series, we did not talk about change for a very simple reason. You cannot change purposefully without understanding the current situation. This understanding comes from the 3 pillars defined in the earlier articles: developing self-awareness, understanding your past and learning to accept yourself.Self-development implies that you go through different phases to change. It is a slow process made of perplexity, aha moments and sometimes pain. It is working with yourself to transform from the current version of you to a new one that allows you to achieve something new.
Why should you change after all? What is it about self-development that is “so” important?
I want to share with you some of the reasons that push me to always develop myself.I hope it inspires you to do the same and gives you some reflecting points.
When you realize that you are mortal, you may simply want to lead a life that make sense to you. I was approximately 13 when I viceraly understood that one day I will die. It was during a boring math class that I measured the impact of my choices. If I am alive I want to do things that I like and have a positive impact. For that, I need to develop myself into a “new” person. I need to learn new things and grow.
Developing yourself in different areas of your life, not only spiritually, always leads to new opportunities that would have not presented themselves haven’t you developed yourself. This is probably why having an education is important in the western culture but it is not everything. Soft-skills, such as empathy, are also important to develop in order to open more doors.
Adapting to the ever changing world
I do not need to convince you that the world is changing at an ever growing pace. Nowadays, you must learn to learn new hard and soft skills. A majority of the future jobs do not exist yet and we have no clue how they will look like. One sure thing is that stagnating in your comfort zone will not provide you a place in the new world dynamic.
Developing new skills and accumulating new knowledge that are relevant with your life purpose is just amazing. For example, I can now speak 4 languages. It makes me happy and proud because it reflect my desire to discover the world and I am another person thanks to all the people I met and spoke with.
Fear is your best teacher
Looking at your fear in the eyes and saying “I am doing it anyway” then going through the process of overcoming the fear to arrive at a level of confidence and mastery you did not have before. This is just one of the greatest feeling ever.For example, I was scared of being far away from home alone. I did not find anything better than going to Spain for 2 weeks to improve my Spanish. Best decision ever. There I discovered that I loved languages and I could really survive alone 😉
Expand your comfort zone
The more you develop yourself the bigger your comfort zone becomes until the day uncomfort becomes part of your comfort zone. When I speak with people about the things I try in the pursuit of presenting my offer to the world they sometimes tell me : “hell, I would never do that” and I reply “I thought the same until I tried.The worst part about going out of your comfort zone is the negative thoughts that you have about all the terrible things awaiting for you in the dark. Deciding to jump is scarier than jumping itself. The reptilian brain is just trying to save you from trouble but it does not know that there are no more wild animals out there. Most of us, live lives with almost no imminent risks of death.
Trying is key
Self-development is about trying something new without any expectation of success which is so freeing. Allow yourself to try just to see if you can face your fear. Who cares if you fail? The most important is that you gave your best and maybe the result will surprise you positively.Furthermore, acknowledge that your reptilian brain will always invent crazy stories of failure to keep you in your lovely comfort zone. Trying with a small step first is sometimes the best way to calm your brain and say “See, it was not that terrible”.
Leading the way to change
Every time a person develops himself to a better version. He grows the collective intelligence. He is an example of what is possible. He is an inspiration. Obviously, this person can also be a woman. Women represent half of the world population and they too can change the world. Leading change start by empowering ourselves.
Being the change that you want to see in the world has more impact than complaining about it.
Counting on yourself
Investing on self-development is also a sign that you deeply care about yourself. You are there for yourself in good or bad situations. It is making yourself accountable for your life and all that relates to it. Counting on yourself will also give you a feeling of mastery because you will come to understand that the limit is the one that you fix yourself. Those limits can come from your mental models.
Body-mind connection and consciousness
Most of what our body does is unconscious (e.g. heart rate, blood pressure…) and only a fraction is available to our conscious mind. Furthermore, there is no separation between the body and the mind.The body communicates with our conscious mind through emotions and physical sensations and the mind can communicate with the body thanks to movement and breathing.Science is slowly proving that we can influence our body with conscious breathing. Good news, we can influence our emotions and body during a change.
Self-development is the driving force of the world improvement. It is by improving yourself and learning to become more peaceful, more loving, and more positive that we will change the world to make it a better place. It is together that we can create massive change but it needs to start with you.
What and where should you develop yourself to make the world a better place?