In this post, I'll talk about the difference between Personal Development, and Personal Growth Next Level.
Personal Development appeals to your intellect, mind, and body. It is easy to wrap your mind around most tools, methods, and theories. They are rational, pragmatic, logical, and measurable. Your success will become physical when your goals materialize, and it makes sense to:
- Think positive
- Create a dream scenario
- Create an action plan and follow it
- Change your perception
- Focus on the good stuff
- Spend time with people that make you happy
- Get a personal fitness coach for motivation
- Turn off social media or mute people that make you feel bad
- Get out in nature
- Create healthy routines and stick to them
- Eat healthy food, focus obsessively on your diet
- Turn off the news, stop reading the paper
- Leave your bubble
- Meet new friends
- Make other people happy
The list can go on and on and on ...
You will raise your self-awareness since personal development addresses your behavior, habits, and overall appearance. A lot of the models are standard procedures these days and have lots of studies to back them up, and familiar "successful" front figures to market them.
Once we have understood the benefits of a different behavior we can change overnight, as well as breaking our habits (yes, it can be that easy). There are lots of worksheets and checklists for you to follow. Coaches, therapists, and psychologists are happy to tell you what to do, even if their guidance, is often, and mostly based on intellectual and theoretical knowledge, they can still help you change some behaviors and become more self-aware. Personal Development is mind-centric. It falls back on "an action and consequence, cause and effect approach", and has become a –one size fits all– up to a certain level, and that has created a trillion-dollar industry. Which is great. And when the benefits of these mind-centric habits really start to show positive results, you will, eventually, start to questions your values, and not only your own values, but the values represented in your cluster, within your family, friends, and coworkers, and so on ... It is inevitable, and you can be unaware of it, but it is what comes next and that's when personal development starts to get uncomfortable, and a lot of people quit.
The first iteration of changing your values is not that hard. Let's say you are in your 20's and just moved out of your parents' house. You will change some of your values, and some of your beliefs about the world, and your place in it. For some of you, you will be aware of this as you are coming home for a family gathering, noticing how tired you are getting, or irritated, or both, during the family dinner. You have changed your values and beliefs and it does no longer resonate with the rest of the family, or with the authority figure that most families create. Depending on the level of how deep your changes go, and the level of openness for change in your family, your family might take an interest in your newfound values and believes, or not.
As you journey through behavior, habits, values, and beliefs you also raise your self-awareness as you go along. That will also raise your overall awareness and hopefully evolve your consciousness. For example, maybe one of your disadvantages was to grow up in a family that promoted victim consciousness, which is based on the belief that "life happens to me". Then maybe, as you grow older, you will realize that it is a losing game that will get you nowhere and you raise your awareness and enter manifesting consciousness which is based on the belief "life happens by me". You have turned your disadvantage into an advantage since you learned from it, and applied those learnings in your life.
Or maybe your parents lived by the belief that "life happens by me" and become fairly successful only to fall back down in victim consciousness as they grow older and can't find the courage to change once more.
The threshold, to change one's values and believes, gets harder and harder for every iteration, and eventually, a lot of people get stuck, it is simply too uncomfortable, painful, and scary to question our fundamental believes that we have built the entire western modern society upon. It is our comfort zone and we start to work against change, even though that is impossible to do every time.
Personal Growth Next Level starts when you dare to question your value and believes going from the Newtonian world, where we believe in what we can objectively observe measure, and prove, into the quantum world where we can only yet prove the mystery itself where subatoms simply do not behave in a predictable way. It is a world that is constantly unpredictable and uncertain where your attention will produce the outcome.
Where your attention goes, energy flows ... literally. Today, this is NOT new age ... this is the forefront of science.
Personal Growth Next Level is a whole different dimension and does not make sense as much as it makes you feel good about yourself. It is a coherent state of being from within that you eventually will want to understand and control. It is no longer a conversation with your mind, it is a dance with your heart. It is intuition, inspiration, excitement, curiosity, interest, frustration, irritation, anger, stress, commitment, and perseverance without anything else to hold on to but your gut feeling and intuition. It is change, on a subatomic level, literally. There are role models, transformer, and influencers but they can't tell you what to do, they can only show you how they did it, a lot of them having no intellectual or theoretical knowledge about human psychology whatsoever. And hopefully, eventually, you will say:
"Enough with this bullshit, if she can, so can I"
But, "an action and consequence, cause and effect approach" will not work. The feedback loop is not instant in your outer environment, and the positive signs can be showed in any shape and form when you least expect it. Personal Growth Next Level, demands of you, despite years of experience, to choose a beginners approach. This is the level where you are not knowledgeable, regardless of how much you know. You have to accept your level of ignorance. Forgive yourself for it, and then transcend your rational, logical, and analytical mind to the next level. You have to become teachable and allow for anyone and/or anything to teach you. If what she/he or it, tells you, resonates with your heart, you have to go with it. Nothing is forced but there are only two options presented. Stay the same or take a leap of faith in your potential.
My strongest recommendation; Jump!
Personal Growth Next Level, a mind, body, soul, and spirit connection.
Eventually, you have to enter your 'dark valley of shadows'. It is personal and you have to enter on your own. This is Personal Growth Next Level (a mind, body, soul, and spirit connection). Even though you might experience this as the worst setback of all times, it is the exact opposite. It is time for you to level up. This is the threshold of your level of consciousness and that threshold hurts. This transition is brutal. There is no other better way to describe it than the entrance of a pitch-black forest with demons beyond your mind's comprehension. These demons are your past unhealed events waiting to be found by you, and you know that nothing will ever be the same once you choose to enter. Since everything in this realm is free will, a lot of people choose not to enter, they choose not to jump and get stuck. They get angry, bitter and sad, projecting that onto the world.
You might think that this threshold demands courage, and it does, but even more so, it demands self-love. Self-love (aka self-esteem) is the fundamental belief that it is your birthright to be happy and fulfilled. Self-care (aka self-confidence) is your belief that you have the ability to get there, and that you can handle whatever comes your way. Self-love and self-care come from hardship in life. Ironically, your experiences of hardship in life will help you to find the courage you need to enter personal growth next level.
The dark valley of shadows are your painful, and maybe traumatizing, events in your life that need to be healed for you to grow further. Most of us have to revisit our childhood drama, and trauma, even if it seems to us as if everything was fine, we all have experiences of rejection, abandonment, neglect, exclusion, conflicts, humiliation, discrimination, being ignored, and loss of sense of control and different levels of fear. It is a scale and we are all on it. Dealing with this drama and trauma will give you the greatest lesson about your unique life journey on the most, for-you-important-unique-subject, YOU.
You can not dance if you can't feel the rhythm.
The heart owns your rhythm. If your heart is closed off, you can not dance with your soul that lives in your heart (aka your inner child/ your true identity). Personal Growth Next Level is all about that dance, that rhythm of your own heartbeats, and you have to make it your number one priority.
If you were exposed to a dysfunctional upbringing, with abuse and/or addictions, etc, your senses and your interpretations of your emotions had to do something, to survive. Your senses either got closed off, which shuts down your heart and your natural ability to feel empathy, compassion, and love. This will most likely make you disconnected and repeat those unhealthy behaviors and habits that you were exposed to. Or, you get super sensitive hearing beyond words, seeing beyond what's visible, your body communicates through smell and taste and you sense energy which makes everything really hard to interpret correctly. Growing up, you will probably be perceived as different, probably weird by your friend, if you had any.
In western modern societies, we have freed ourself from the limiting believes of religion. We left the mythical and magical state and turned to democratic procedures, freedom of speech, free choices, aiming for equality, and science to back it all up creating a modern, liberal and science-based society, Thank God. But, as we are faced with this threshold going from personal development into personal growth next level a lot of people can't change their hindering beliefs and so they turn to science as their new religion. Wanting science to prove it all. Facts, studies, and science over personal experiences and testimonials from real trauma survivors that bear witness of deep healing and transformation through lifestyle changes, and through deep meditation.
Why are scientists, doctors, and politicians standing in the way of groundbreaking research, scientifically proved studies about the body's abilities to heal itself? They have been around since the first demonstration of the placebo effect in 1799. Since then, ordinary people, changing their beliefs, and choose a more holistic approach to wellbeing and cure themselves. But still, more than 200 years after the first placebo demonstration, we still discard these experiences as abnormalities, lucky circumstances, coincidences. Why?
You say money, egoism, and greed. I say:
Fear of change, disruption, and destruction
Fear of realizing one's own level of ignorance and head into the unknown
Hindering collective beliefs about human potential and what humans really are, in their true nature which is NOT egoistic, hedonistic-instant-pleasure-driven, greedy, nor evil creatures.
It is all about good intentions based on ignorance that becomes bad solutions, bringing forth the worst behaviors in man creating; money-materialistic driven, egoistic, greedy, and evil actions. All of that, that we all fear.
If what we fear is what we see, it becomes what we get. Remeber; where attention goes, enegy flows.
Humans, in their true nature, are loving creatures with the unique, yet natural, ability to feel, empathy, compassion, love, and solidarity towards each other and every living thing on this planet.
Personal Growth Next Level requires totally different tools, models, and methods and, if you are anything like me, a total shift in, not only your habits, behavior, and values, but your fundamental beliefs about the world and your place in it. Personal Growth Next Level means a mind, body, soul, and spirit connection. You have to believe that you have a soul and that it has a purpose for you.
This is why so many of us get stuck. We can't find our way forward. Without the right tools for Personal Growth Next Level, some of us will eventually break under the pressure from that energy pulling and pushing us from within. Without the right tools, some will end up, not only in a work-life depression but a lifelong work-life depression with a potentially deep existential depression and deep anxiety, depending on how strong that push or pull will become.
Self-realization is important. And since we have shaped the past 100 years around our mind. It is the realization of the mind's work and the imagination of the mind that most of us pursue. And no matter how extravagant that dream is, if you have created it only with the power of your mind, it will still be limited to your true potential. As we become safer in our inner and outer environment our purpose (aka soul) starts to call.
Personal Growth Next Level is what happens post-Maslow.
See, this is what I mean by changing your fundamental believes system. It is time to take the soul and its purpose seriously. But we are not going back into a mythical, magical, religious, traditional, conservative society where love is being manifested through you sacrificing your authentic expression and suppress yourself. We have to move from pre-rational, to rational to a trans-rational approach taking science with us as we explore what science can not yet prove.
You have a soul, and it has a purpose, and before you step towards that, there will be no true satisfaction. You have to figure out your soul's purpose, which is your passion, and aim for soul realization for the rest of your days. The good thing though is that if you choose to do so, there will be an instant sense of soul satisfaction. Meaning you could potentially experience satisfaction and happiness, gratitude, and joy every day on your journey knowing that you are true to your passion, purpose, vision, and mission. You will experience happiness and satisfaction every day on your journey towards the realization of your soul and when your days are over, you will die happy, with soul fulfillment and peace of mind knowing that you gave it your best, and made most of your days count, and made yourself (your soul) proud.
And that is what it is all about; To heal your past, open up your heart, and constantly colaboration with your conscience, and consciousness. At the very moment that your body is about to leave this planet, your soul will be proud and bless you with a peace of state. The ultimate state of bliss.