I was deep into the self improvement/personal growth coaching movement in the 1990’s. It was also the height of my entrepreneurial endeavors.
Those two stars aligned, and positive affirmations, goal setting, go-go-go, achieve-achieve-achieve, and make everything better pumped through my veins.
Seminars, CDs, and books on self improvement and personal growth dominated my free time.
While it was all with good intentions, I look back at what that mindset was missing.
It was incredibly focused on the material objects of life.
It had a hint of “nothing is ever good enough”. (Translate that into, “you’re never enough.”)
It became exhausting, but taking a break felt like failure.
“You can sleep when your dead.”
Yes, I heard and said, “you can sleep when you’re dead.”
I’ve stepped away from that. I’m into a more gentle form of personal growth now.
One that begins with the premise that we’re already good enough.
One that focuses not only on material accomplishments, but also on spiritual growth and progression, and nurturing a happy balanced life.
One that encourages with love and compassion rather than a driving sense of needing things to get better.
One that allows rather than forces.
Richer relationships, giving, non-judgment, and detachment from the pull of the ego are important components.
I don’t think I’m unique in this shift.
I see a lot more gentleness in the self improvement movement these days. There’s also a welcome willingness to admit faults and vulnerabilities, where in the past, a front of excellence and perfection were expected.
Thought leaders are speaking out loud about the importance of being in tune with your higher wisdom, and having the courage to follow it.
With the rise of the millennials and gen Z, we’re seeing a shift away from material possessions and toward personal fulfillment.
I’m grateful for this shift.
I’m grateful for it, I’m following it, and at the same time it’s been hard.
There’s still a voice in me prodding me to do more, think bigger, and measure my outcomes.
There’s still a part of me that feels unworthy if my accomplishments seem meager in a day.
There’s a rift between the part of me that’s happiest when I take care of the simple things in my life, and the part of me that thinks that’s not enough.
My lesson now is to unlearn the lessons I’ve outgrown.
I affirmed those old messages right into my DNA. Now I’m unlearning them.
I do that by getting quiet and listening to my inner wisdom. What’s the force driving those old beliefs? What am I afraid will happen if I let them go? Can I give myself permission to do less?
I firmly believe it’s more powerful to allow rather than to dictate. It sounds counterintuitive, but the more I step back, the more things move forward.
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Visit me at www.christinebradstreet.com
all images open source from Pixabay.com