No, I am not selfish!
Personal development is a term we’ve all been hearing more and more in recent years, along with doing ‘inner work’. What is it all about exactly? Well, personal development is about improving yourself to become better, which may include becoming more organised, focused, or efficient, developing positive habits, or becoming a better person, signing up to coaching or accelerator programmes etc. Years ago, ‘self-help’ seemed to be the more commonly used term, if the section on the bookshelves where I found the books I loved to read and educate my mind was anything to go by. These days though, self-help is more aligned with overcoming problems, especially personal, mental, or emotional problems, without getting professional help.
Fortunately, the last few years have galloped along to a place where there’s a greater understanding of the importance of personal development, with the likes of Tony Robbins taking centre stage and making it so much more accessible. Put simply, it refers to any activity you undertake to improve yourself, namely affecting mind, body, and spirit / brain, mind, and heart. Think reading, podcasts, journaling, yoga, coaching – anything that brings about a greater level of awareness, mindfulness, alignment with source energy, understanding of quantum physics, even just being present.
It’s about getting inspired, not just learning a subject to regurgitate and gain a qualification. It’s understanding natural laws that help put you in control of your life, how you experience the world, how you can live a happier life rather than spending all your money on material possessions that you believe will make you happy.
Committing yourself to a journey of personal development enriches your life, it changes everything for the better.
And that is why, ongoing personal development is an absolute must for me, and whilst it obviously comes with a price tag, it an investment that increases in value with time, unlike the latest handbag or so many material possessions that those clever marketeers tell us will make our lives better / happier / richer once we’ve parted with our hard-earned cash!
However, giving yourself permission to invest in yourself is, to me, a no-brainer these days and it has been now for 17 years, ever since I left my ex-husband at the end of a 20-year relationship when I was 39 years old.
I guess you could call it my midlife crisis, albeit one where the light went on – I smelt the coffee and realised that the life I was leading was by no means ‘normal’, or that I was really living either!
Up until then, my life had in the latter years revolved around work, existing, standing my ground with my ex, attempting to parent my son (not easy when my ex used to override most decisions to create and stick to boundaries), entering competitions, and occasionally socialising with my mother at line dancing classes.
Yes, that was about the sum of my life.
I was living in not so blissful ignorance, but once I left, that changed.
I felt like a sponge and my personal, and professional, development started with a vengeance. Everything from reading books which reactivated and connected with what was already within me, recognising and seizing opportunities, leaving the world of employment aged 43 whilst a single mum, and entering self-employment, entrepreneurship, life as a businesswoman. Which has always entailed huge amounts of self-motivation and drive.
It didn’t help much that I then met and had a long-term relationship with another challenging man, this time one who was very jealous. This relationship lasted 5.5 years and whilst it was difficult (I couldn’t talk to a male client without being accused of having a relationship and in order to keep the relationship, I also severed ties with the male friends that I had built up too – crazy, I know!), we did do loads together and I ultimately saw him as a teacher and showed gratitude for his presence in my life.
It was whilst I was with him that I trained and qualified as a coach, although since then I have also undertaken many more related courses. I’ve embraced a wide range of holistic therapies including reiki (qualified to Level 2), EFT, hypnotherapy, shamanic retreats, all to further develop my mind and to propel myself forwards. I’ve continued to read; I’ve invested in accelerator courses, social media marketing, passive income marketing, huge amounts of spiritual development and so much more.
Once started it’s an ongoing investment and one that sees me moving my life forward and expanding into the next version of myself. I am literally creating my own reality. All this learning, experience, wisdom, call it what you will, is what I share with my clients.
This photo for example, taken by the fab Suzanne Fells a few weeks ago in Brighton is also part of my development. The aim being to keep my image and online presence fresh and vibrant. Yes, it cost me money and could be seen by some as a vanity project, but let me assure you, that is not the case.
I am on a mission to help midlife businesswomen smash midlife and get them back on track with loving themselves, their life and believing that every beautiful wrinkle brings with it experience and wisdom. I want them to know that age is their superpower! And, at the age of 57, I need to show clients that age is my superpower which I can do with additional visual aids i.e., a great professional photo that depicts me as I am today!
I’m still learning and investing in myself; it is an ongoing process. For every layer you peel back, there is another level bursting to break through to the surface.
This last weekend I bought a book that has given me a proper kick up the backside. To be honest, I was mooching around Home Sense with my partner, Gareth, and whilst we were looking at the books, he picked one up and passed it over to me to look at.
I did what I’ve developed a habit of doing, read the back cover, and thought to myself, ‘I know this stuff’, and was going to put it back on the shelf. But on this occasion, my subconscious mind took over and I made the decision to buy it, read it and give myself the kick that I’ve just mentioned.
You see, I do know this stuff, quantum physics, the law of attraction, mindset, positive psychology, meditation, journaling, and so much more. And, as a rule of thumb, I practise most of it. Only the last couple of years have been somewhat challenging (do I need to mention a pandemic?!) Whilst I’ve risen to the challenges / grasped the opportunities that have been presented by creating, investing and working damned hard, this year has had further challenges, both personal and global, stuff out of my control, but all within my control to experience. However, even a strong mind can get caught up from time to time when things pile up. And that has happened to me. Thankfully, I do know what I can do to change things, which is what I share when I coach, however, to hear what I know and teach from a fresh source has given me focus and motivation.
The book in question, that I have devoured, is called ‘Quantum Vibes’ by Suzanne Adams.
I am now committed to mediation and journaling daily. I know it helps – the inner work ALWAYS does!
What inner work are you doing to move yourself forward right now?
Have you ever worked with a coach who is able to help facilitate those dreams and make them your reality using a wide range of tools?
When you trust in that step to invest in yourself and work with a professional to help facilitate change, the magic starts to happen. Just think about those professional athletes – they get to where they are because they’ve worked with coaches, trainers, and have consistently put in the effort to achieve their goals.
Want to know more?
Get in touch today and let’s have a chat about how you can live your best life without having to change a thing. Unless you want to!
Such a long post, so let me end with a short reflection:
What have I learned?
- Investing in your own personal development is worth more than piles of gold, although that’s not to speak ill of piles of gold as you can always invest them in yourself again!
- You get wiser with age and each wrinkle – they equate to your superpower!
- Ongoing personal development is a must – it keeps you sane!
- Investing in yourself is NOT selfish. In fact, it is quite the opposite as the knowledge you gain helps you navigate life, experience it differently and by default makes life easier for all those around you too, as their lives will undoubtedly improve as you radiate a great happiness and ease within yourself.
- Personal development comes in many forms, from self-help books and seminars to online courses, in-person talks and workshops which all help you move forward. The real progress is made when you work on a one-to-one basis with someone though, a coach or mentor, who has your back, can give you the support you desire to help you bring about change and create the life that you want to live rather than the one you have found yourself inhabiting!
(Oops, a slightly longer reflection than intended!)
Where are you at in life right now?
- Have you ever invested in a coach?
- Would you consider doing so?
- Or do you need to know more first?
Please do hit reply or use this link to book in a chat with me today! https://calendly.com/sarahjnaylorcoaching/hour
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Lots of love
P.S. Look out for notifications of my FREE masterclass and my Making Midlife Magical 12-week group programme that I will start fully promoting next week!