A couple weeks ago I read an interesting article by Tim at A Daring Adventure about what the key to self development is and I felt a longer response was needed to explain my perspective here.

Kindness and Self Confidence

Tim wrote that he believes the key is being kind to yourself.  He mentioned how a number of actions you could do or learn or improve are then destroyed if you don’t be kind to yourself to prevent those.  Well I see the advantages when you are kind to yourself and there are certainly some truths in that but I’ve experienced the key to personal development is belief.

The Key is Belief

1148538_key Belief feeds change and it even feeds your self confidence and so therefore, belief also feeds how you treat yourself, or your kindness to yourself so kindness cannot possible be the key to personal development.  I think it is belief.  I’ve experienced it personally and seen many others advance in personal development because of belief.  It has nothing to do with actions until there are actions to put in place.

Belief Is the Power to Change

Not only does belief change your thinking and attitude towards things with personal development, it directly impacts your ability to accept change, including building self confidence and being kind to yourself.  Personal development is changing and improving oneself and that starts at a different point, unique to every individual depending on where they are at in their lives.  This could be at a point in their life where change is desirable and being sought after like I suspect anyone working with a life coach would already be doing, yet it might also be starting with a person who is at a point with no desire, no self love and certainly not showing kindness to themselves.  That kindness won’t appear on its own and that kind of person requires a significant change in beliefs to step up and even hope for some kind of personal improvement.  The other thing I have seen is that a person can easily improve themselves without being kind in the process.  Some people can make drastic changes by hating the things they do and capturing pain to motivate themselves.  This clearly is not driven by kindness, it is driven by what they believe will change or what pleasures and pains impact their future.  So, this is all based on belief.

Belief Builds on Itself

As well, the more small improvements and accomplishments that a person experiences in developing themselves, the more and more they will believe future change is possible.  This allows beliefs to develop further and be strengthened for even more personal improvements.  Beliefs really have a simple, yet strong foundation that is based on expected pain and pleasure.  That impression and belief guides our decisions for action which includes any personal development actions.

Your Own Personal Development

All of this may be something you believe or not but I absolutely think it is worthwhile exploring and considering for your own improvements.  What beliefs do you have or lack to motivate you enough for the changes you want?  What are the pains and pleasures you associate with the things you’ve considered changing.  What people, experiences and influences are impacting and changing your beliefs?  Perhaps it’s those beliefs you need to analyze and change in order to progress with your own areas of personal development.  If you are interesting in exploring your pains, pleasures and beliefs further, please have a look at my Goal Setting Step – Setting and Identifying .



Prev: Book Review: The Brain That Changes Itself
Next: Resources – April 2009