The Personal Development Paradox

My intention is to keep this post short and to convey a simple message.

One I had some resistance to when I first heard it.

But which subsequently had the most profound impact on my life.

It was the idea that personal development is complete BS.


I spent decades and a boat load of money ‘doing’ personal development.

But the kind of shifts I most wanted only happened when I stopped.

A few years ago, the first thing a new coach I’d hired said was:

“Rob, where we start is in dropping the notion that you need to develop or improve anything.”

Because it’s complete BS.

The belief itself creates resistance to your heart’s desires.

It keeps you striving and wanting.

It slows progress.

It denies who you really are.

And it pins your happiness on something or some event in the future.

When all you ever have, have had or will ever have is now.

So the game in town Rob is personal un-development.

Because then you get to see and experience the truth.

The truth behind all your BS limiting beliefs and stories.

The truth behind all the conditioning.

Then you get to see your so-called problems for what they really are.

You get to see that your outside world is a mirror of your inner world.

And although the reflection can be a little distorted.

You get to see the mirror never lies.

And when you drop all the BS that you’re not already enough.

You get to experience in your outer world what your mind won’t currently allow you to experience.

So there’s nothing to develop Rob. Least of all you.

Personal development is a paradox.

Then she gave me my ‘actions’ for the week ahead.

Accept what is.

Play with not wanting anything and with not wanting anything to change.

And start loving yourself.

I had an immediate resistance to this.

I had plenty of things in my life I didn’t want to accept.

I had plenty of things I wanted and plenty that I really wanted to change.

And I didn’t really understand what she meant by ‘start loving yourself.’

But I accepted the mission.

And my life began to flow and change in ways I could never have orchestrated.

In the weeks ahead I learned it’s only ever our resistance to our true nature that gets in our way.

I learned why we have the desires we do.

And that all of our heart’s desires are seeking to be expressed through us.

If we’ll only let them.

I learned that the game isn’t one of development or improvement or effort or struggle.

I learned it’s not a game of relentless doing.

That it’s a game of being.

One of surrender and trust and fully loving and accepting oneself.

If we’ll only learn how to surrender, everything else falls into place.

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