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The Problem with Personal Growth

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

When I refer to personal growth here, I’m talking about the seminars, coaching, vision boarding, manifesting, etc. Recently, I attended a retreat as a co-facilitator. I participated in the activities that were presented to the group and at one point I was handed a worksheet that was designed to show you which areas of your life you needed to work on such as physical, emotional and spiritual. Pretty standard stuff for a personal growth retreat or seminar. But, I didn’t see it as a way to grow. As I started filling it out as I was instructed, I realized I was sitting there judging myself. The problem with this exercise and most personal growth work, is that it is rooted in the questions: “Where am I not doing good enough?” I get that the intention is to be aware of your habits and stick to goals, but the energy underneath that is self-judgment. And when we are judging ourselves, we are not growing.

At the end of every personal growth seminar, there is always an exercise to try to fix the problem of leaving feeling charged up and ready to rock your life, but it only lasting a day or two until we fall back into our usual patterns. Another valiant effort on the coaches part, to have you explore why you might not be accomplishing what you truly want to. But still, it has happens most of the time that no lasting change really happens. Unless you remain relentless in your pursuit which then often leads to more stress and things to do on our plates.

So whats the answer?

As somebody who has hired coaches and been to seminars, none of which made lick of a difference at least for my goal (which is to awaken and live my passion and truth), I can honestly say that it does not work, and that I found what does work.

The answer is simple. We’ve all heard the statement “Everything you need is within you.” So why do we keep looking to others to tell us what to do? We are effectively saying “This person has the answer to my life questions.” There is also the misconception that says “This person has what I want, so if I do what they did, I will also get what I want.” Im sure you can see the problem here: inauthenticity, which also never lasts for feels fulfilling.

So, what finally helped me achieve my goals? I got support that is rooted in being not doing. You cannot do your way out of your struggles. Everything that is offered in a personal growth seminar is rooted in doing. Even when they are having you look inward. They may have you write down the “beliefs” that are apparently holding you back and then have you actively try to re-write them. All rooted in doing.

How do we grow through being? We go inward. We do the work that everyone is trying to avoid. When we are feeling unmotivated or stuck, we sit with ourselves and get in touch with exactly what we are feeling. Every time, there will be a ‘part’ of you that is wounded that needs your loving attention. It needs your presence. My teacher Anna-Lisa Adelberg, co-founder of the Luminous Awareness Institute, once said “We don’t just have an inner child, we have inner orphanage.” There are endless younger parts of ourselves that need love and attention to liberate themselves. Until we address them, they are running the show despite all efforts. As you sit with yourself, you may even find that what you were going after is not actually what your heart truly wants! No wonder you were unmotivated. When we lovingly meet all the wounded parts of ourselves (best done with some support), what was “standing in our way” finally gets liberated and integrated in a more healthy way into our being.

Growth should always be rooted in self-acceptance and love. You do not need fixing. You do not need to “push through” because you have motivation issues or to"re-wire" your brain. But, you do have wounded parts that are asking for you attention. When we are truly ready to move forward and all your parts are on board, it will be effortless. You no longer have to constantly force yourself to do things. When it starts getting hard or you are burning out, stop! Ask your body what you are feeling and needing. Get support. Process through and see what happens.

If you resonate with these words, please get in touch. I am here to support the inward journey of being.

Happy healing my friends.

Much Love,

Emily Drew

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