Personal Development

What is Personal Development?

When people talk about personal development, they can mean many different things.

In a business context people may mean developing new or existing skills, or developing existing strengths to increase our employability and usefulness in economic terms.  Human resources departments may embark on personal development programs to help develop the required competencies for the job. So courses are provided for people to build their interpersonal skills or develop stress management techniques for example. Corporations may also use personal development programs as a means to manage change and develop a corporate culture.

When looking for increased productivity people also speak of self improvement. This can be about becoming the person that you aspire to be – to be confident or to lose weight for example. We all have dreams and aspirations and the self-improvement approach aims to improve yourself so that you can succeed in society, to be good enough. Self-improvement is more about improving knowledge, skills and behaviour, to make you competent at something.

For others though personal development is a deeper concept – much more about who we ARE rather than just what we can DO. To develop who we are, increasing our self-awareness and self-knowledge is a vital part of our personal development.

Personal development is also more than just self-help. Self-help has traditionally been about fixing something that is ‘wrong’ and using self-help books to do it. 

Personal development is much wider than this though as it is not necessarily a solitary process. We can also help other people to develop and so the relatively new profession of life coaching has emerged. 

Personal development, unlike self-help, does not need something to ‘fix’, there does not have to be something wrong. In this sense everyone can benefit from some personal development. Whilst there are stories of people growing and developing after dramatic periods in their life which they sorted out with some self-help, it is not necessary to have a named neurosis or problem in order to develop!

At Being More we believe that we are all really into personal development and not self improvement. We do not believe that any of us really need to be improved, because there is nothing fundamentally wrong with our Self.

Yet we are in a constant state of developing in order to fulfil our potential. We believe that personal development is the unfolding of ourselves – just as a bud opens and the rose unfurls. Our essence and our potential are already there and we develop and unfurl through being more ourselves – through being more our Self.

So even if we are not into personal development, self-improvement or self-help, we are constantly in a state of change and development. The influences from outside constantly challenge and require a response. We do change whether we like it or not. However many of us will do so unconsciously. Personal development, as an undertaking, encourages us to do so consciously.

This unfolding of ourselves lasts a lifetime, so there is always more to learn, explore and discover about ourselves – if only we choose to look.