Getting through the challenges of personal development

February 11, 2012 by Joshua
in Leadership, Tips

I gave this advice to someone I coach going through a difficult period and got feedback it was “golden.” So if you’re someone endeavoring to develop personally or professionally and making progress but feeling despair, impatience, frustration, or something similar, I hope this advice helps you.

I’ve come to believe all meaningful personal development has periods of self-doubt, wondering if it’s worth it, and such.

Anyone can sit on a couch and watch tv all day without feeling that way. They don’t have to think for themselves. The media occupies their minds so they are pacified. These periods are what differentiate an easy meaningless life from a challenging one of purpose. They are part of what keep most people from realizing their potential. They are why so few people have deeply rewarding relationships, become great leaders, and so on.

Trying means taking risks, sometimes failing, and relying on your own motivation. Six months into something you wonder if this was worth it at all. I’ve hit such periods over and over in many areas of personal development — academics, business leadership, relationships,…

At first those periods sucked. Experience has taught me to appreciate them, even value them, as signs my current challenge is meaningful.

What I wrote may not make the periods easier to get through (though experience and success do), but I hope it helps give perspective.

Your description shows plenty of signs of success, meaning you won’t likely feel this way much longer.

If you stick with it, one day you’ll notice you did something beyond your wildest dreams and it will feel all the more valuable for the challenges that you had to overcome to realize it.

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