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From Skeptic to Believer: My Personal Growth & Development Journey

Personal Growth & Development

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“I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!” I can still see the infamous Saturday night live self-help guru, Stuart Smalley turning around, looking at himself in the mirror, and satirically/mockingly reciting these words on his “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley” show. This was my original ignorant and immature view of what personal growth and development looked like almost 14 years ago when I joined forces with Providence Systems, now known as Buffini & Company (I sure am glad that I didn’t mention that during the interviewing process). Who would have known that years later I would completely buy into the Lou Tice phrase which Brian Buffini often quotes that “all permanent and meaningful change starts on the inside and works its way out” and The Miracle Morning’s “grow yourself first to grow your business fast”?!?

Personal growth and development truly is a transformational process that can and will affect every area of your life if you allow it to—just ask skeptical me! Mr. Buffini’s mantra of intake, associations, and affirmations has molded and shaped my life as well as countless other lives. Many times it is mysteriously inspired by certain life events that shake you up into discovering how much untapped potential you still have and it empowers you to go after it. The end game is a more satisfying, meaningful/purposeful life that shows up everywhere you go including your own self-confidence and better relationships.

So, what does it take to become a personal growth and development expert? Two words-DESIRE and ACTION! You must lead with your feet, not just with your mouth if you want others to follow you. Desire will get you started; good habits will keep you going. Be patient with the process and allow those good habits to form one at a time. When you feel like giving up, always remember that you don’t FEEL your way to better actions; you ACT your way to better feelings! Stop justifying everything and start becoming a person of action. This is the formula and the key for your success.

That’s great Coach, but where do I start? It all starts with you closing your eyes and dreaming, imagining, and visualizing the life that you want. Allow yourself to dream a little bit. Do whatever it takes to get away from the distractions of life, get out into nature, and really think/meditate on what matters most in and through your life and write it down. If you don’t have a dream and go after it then you are just drifting. Don’t wait for perfect conditions and always be getting ready to get ready; the time and the place is right here and right now. To win the prize you must intend to win; it’s not by accident. Don’t look for happiness; create it!

Once you’ve done this, here are the next steps to formulate a successful and practical personal growth and development strategy:

  • Rediscover yourself. What is it that you really enjoy/have fun doing? When was the last time you did something for the first time? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Lean into and maximize your strengths and get help to shore up your weaknesses. What is holding you back from living the life of your dreams? What are your current values and your desires values? Is your lifestyle congruent with your values?
  • Clean up your goals and get reattached to them. What is it that you really have the want and will to make happen? These are the game changers that will renew your confidence and passion.
  • Develop a road map. What are the stepping stones that will enable you to reach your ultimate destination? What do I need to learn to become the kind of person I want to be? What/where are the resources that I need to find to do it?
  • Remember it’s all about your attitude. Do I have or am I creating a serving attitude of gratitude in my life? Am I self-focused or others focused? The more I focus on me, the more unhappy I will be. Am I all about constant and never ending growth, learning, and improvement in and through my life?
  • Nothing great ever happens in your comfort zone. If you do what’s hard, life is easy; if you do what’s easy, life is hard-choose wisely!

True joy is based on your choices and internal character. You can’t be joyful and fearful at the same time. A joyless life is a miserable life. What is the compass of your life? What’s in your treasure box when it comes to personal growth and development?

Yes, Mr. Stuart Smalley you were right after all these years when you would say things like “You need a checkup from the neck up”, “You’re only as sick as your secrets”, “You’re ‘should-ing’ all over yourself”, “I am a worthy human being”, and “That’s just stinkin’ thinking.” I just had no idea that I would be telling my very own children to “be a thinker, not a stinker” decades later…

“To grow and have a great life I must give myself to a purpose greater than myself, join with great people committed to that purpose, and make the most of great opportunities.”

Be intentional,

Darrin

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