Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Revolutionary Man - The Big Paradox in Personal Development

This is a cool article from Jayson at the Revolutionary Man that he posted a couple of days ago. Give it a read and answer the question, either privately for yourself or in the comments at his site.

Here is the crux of the post:

Many people like me (growth junkies) will turn to religion, self help, therapy, coaching and personal development to improve their lives. Why? Because more often than not these fields promise to alleviate your pain and fix your problem. Sometimes it actually works and if it’s good, it might be very beneficial. Sometimes these approaches just feel good in the face of not being able to feel much at all.

But mostly these approaches play into your false belief that there is something wrong with you. For example, if you and your coach or therapist believe your story that you are broken, both of you will try to fix you and eventually you’ll both end up frustrated at the lack of progress at the impossible task of “fixing” you.

The Revolutionary Way: You are okay as you are (i.e. there is nothing fundamentally wrong with you)

This is the big paradox in personal development: SELF ACCEPTANCE.

If you start out with the view as in Buddhism (which is a very ancient way) that you are fundamentally good and worthy of love and respect at your core right now, then the work with a healer, coach or teacher can be radically different.

Now personal development begins to mean growth toward self-acceptance. Or said another way, self-knowledge becomes self-love. And, as Krishnamurti reminds us “Self-knowledge is the cornerstone of freedom.”

We naturally begin to grow and evolve the more we are able to tolerate and embrace ourselves.

The more we practice self love, the more we are willing to let go of the mask and grow in order to become who we really are.

If you can turn your compass away from the view that you are bad or wrong and instead point it toward your own inherent goodness, you might be surprised at what is possible.

So this week's question for those of us in the Revolutionary Men group at Facebook is this:
where do you stand on your level of self acceptance?

Good question.

I'd say that these days it is better than it ever has been. I am more self aware, more self directed, and more self accepting than ever before - AND I know it can be better.

I've been working with perfectionist and pusher parts for years now, trying to create a more balanced relationship, and it has worked. I make more time to relax, and I don't feel guilty about it. I make mistakes and learn from them rather than beat myself up over them. I take risks have never taken in the past.

All that is good, and there is still a ways to go. I'm not as strong as I want to be, or as smart, or as educated, or as [fill in the blank]. So I have work to do in this realm, which may take me back into therapy. I firmly believe that counseling students should be doing private therapy during school, and after for that matter. So that may be my next step, finding someone new to work with who push me deeper and more fully into my own self acceptance.

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