These days you’re told that ‘personal development’ is the only path to moving your life in a different direction.

Most people find themselves enveloped in the speed of life. The constant demands of getting more done, in what seems like less time and with fewer people to help, leaves you with your head spinning and your exhaustion levels rising.

You’re so flat out that something as small as a delay in traffic or public transportation could create significant overwhelm and make a massive impact.

In desperation, you decide that you need to do something differently so that you can live your life in a different way. After all, everyone around you seems to have everything under control, so why can’t you get it together?

So you make a decision to step into some personal development work, because surely that’s where your answers lie. Or so you’ve been told.

You might be left to your own devices – that is, to find and pay for your own development work. Or, if you’re very lucky, your organisation organises personal development training for you.

But are you lucky? Sure, it’s nice that your workplace is paying for you to do some development work, but how do you know if someone else is choosing the right options for YOU?

In this world of information overload you’re bombarded with information every time you turn around. You end up being drawn to the person whose marketing finds a voice through all the noise … but, just because someone has been able to get their message in front of more people doesn’t mean that what they’re offering is right for you.

So how do you know what to choose?

Chances are, if you’ve started to notice any (or all!) of these signs then you’re probably doing the wrong personal development work for YOU:

  1. You sign up for courses or workshops that you lose interest in really quickly.

It seemed like a good idea when you signed up, but now you’re actually attending the course it doesn’t give you what you need. You end up skipping classes or leaving early because it just doesn’t hold your attention.

  1. You sign up for multiple courses or workshops that cover the same topic but are delivered by different people.

You want your life to change, and you’ve done courses before, but you haven’t quite found the one that gets you to your goal. So, you keep signing up with different instructors in the hope that one of them will have the key for you or that they will give you something that finally resonates.

  1. You only sign up for things that are within a range of options.

You only look for courses that your friends, family and colleagues would see as appropriate. Anything outside this range doesn’t even get a look-in.

  1. You find it hard to get yourself to attend once you’ve signed up.

You signed up quickly to make sure you didn’t ‘miss out’ on a spot in the course, but then it comes time to attend the course and it feels like you have to drag yourself to attend.

  1. You feel drained and tired when leaving the course or workshop.

There’s nothing inspiring or motivating about what you’re learning in the course – in fact, you leave the session feeling more tired and drained than when you started it.

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Here’s the thing. It’s called personal development for a reason, yet it’s the #1 factor that’s overlooked when you decide what it is you need to do to move your life in a different direction.

When you were young, you were socially conditioned by the people around you – family, friends, school, community, sporting groups and the list goes on. Each of these people, groups, communities and environments taught you what was good, bad, acceptable, unacceptable, right and wrong about yourself … and your behaviour adjusted accordingly.

Like it or not, you’ve brought all of that with you to where you are today. So it’s not unreasonable to see that this conditioning may also be shaping your thoughts around what is appropriate (or not) for you to be doing for your self-development.

If you truly want to do some things differently, then you have to start from a different place.

A great place to start is by creating a new definition of personal development for yourself. You can do this by changing the focus of any development work away from becoming a ‘better person’ and instead turn your focus onto becoming a whole person.

Use your personal development journey to find the pieces of yourself that you’ve hidden away during your conditioning, and choose what you want to do so that you can let all of you shine!

So where do you start?

Your first step in any self-development process should always be in reconnecting with who you truly are. Who are you? What do you love doing? What inspires you? What makes you feel alive? Once you know these things, it will be easier to see what you might need to help make you whole.

Next, it’s important to allow every option to take its place on the table. Bringing everything back to the table makes it easier for you to find the option that is perfect for you. Give yourself permission to move towards the work YOU need and then find the option that helps YOU become more whole as a person.

Finally, never forget that your answers are always within you. Every time you look to someone else to make a choice for you, you decrease the likelihood that you will end up with an option that is right for you.

It’s time to take get your personal development back on track. Taking the first step is always the hardest, mainly because you’ve been taught that doing things differently is hard. Once you trust that you know the best answers for yourself, you usually find the right option is straight in front of you.

You can find more great ideas on thinking and living differently in my free email series that is full of articles and videos to help you to begin your journey – simply click here to start you on your way. There are also loads of practical and simple tips and exercises in my books ‘Keep It Super Simple’ & ‘The Economy of Enough’  – you can buy your copy from Amazon.

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Want to chat? Email me on or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!

Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker and the internationally renowned author of ‘Keep It Super Simple’  & ‘The Economy of Enough’You can follow her at her website; Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.




This article was first published on Thrive Global on 15th February 2019. You can see the article by clicking here.