How I self sabotage my personal development goals?

It took me at least 10 years of my life and incurring about $40K in total (or even more) of costs over the years, from courses, personal development programs, trying out products to seizing multiple personal growth opportunities for me to realise these hard lessons. And I have seen many people falling into these traps.

self illusion that impacts personal growth & development goals

Most people want more out of life. They want to be successful, have a great relationship, and be happy. They seek, strive and yearn for the boldest version of life they could ever imagine. However, along the way, they lose the things they gain.

Why? It is an illusion they are pursuing even though they strive so hard for their personal development goals in life.

We live in a time where mass media tempt us to pursue the greatest ambition imaginable because we are entitled to it. Isn't it our right? Or, is that more of a society's expectation of us?

Although you may get the life you want one day, it will elude you the next day. You will constantly be in pursuit of something you can never quite catch, no matter how badly you want them or how hard you tried.

The reason for this is that you have yet to develop a higher level of yourself that enables you to keep up to the quality of lifestyle & success you desire most. It demands a greater capacity of development of your multiple intelligences.

I spent nearly ten years in this trap, constantly seeking and investigating my path and future direction. I've tried a variety of self-improvement courses, workshops, and other personal growth opportunities to pursue the life I want. And I ended up in circles.

I deceived myself into thinking that the bigger and better life is what I need and deserve. I think that having all these things will finally fill the emptiness inside me.

In reality, what I was really chasing is the compensation for what I felt was missing in life or had been taken away from me.

It is an unconscious way of self-sabotage. There are many ways that we self-sabotage. We might do it through our relationships, our career, or even our health. It can be anything that we feel is important to us.

How to get out of the deceptions of what we want and start creating real personal development strategies that work?

The first stage for real self-improvement that works is to recognize your core self. Who are you when you're stripped of everything? You'll no longer be chasing a mirage if you work to align your values, beliefs, sense of self, vision and purpose to how you feel, think, communicate, and act daily.

Focus on doing the real work of investing in your personal development journey than to jump on the bandwagon of shiny objects out there. They are just noises and distractions.

limiting beliefs and self sabotage patterns in life

As I re-program myself, I realise the key to advancing in any areas of life is to approach self-improvement in stages of development. There aren't really short cuts to the whole process.

You're no longer chasing the shadows or fighting yourself towards what you want once you become a greater version of yourself. You'll then embrace the aspiration, reality and the ideal life you have been looking for.

4 keys for a sustainable and highly effective personal development plan.

Personal development is a powerful journey that can make all the difference in the world. It can help you increase confidence, raise the value you bring to the table, improve your work performance, strengthen your relationships and so much more. As a metaphor, it is like a rising tide that lifts all the boats!

Below are 4 keys for a sustainable and highly effective personal development plan:

1) Deep realisation of problems to achieve sustainable development goals.

personal development self improvement skills

While some of you might see problem-thinking as negative, there is a tremendous value for having a deep understanding of problems.

Having a deep understanding of problems is already 80% of the solution.

By that, I mean going deep to understand the problems of ourselves. A lot of times, we based our actions, problem-solving and decisions on a superficial level and we wonder why things aren't working out. Even if they do, we usually find ourselves on a burnout, frustration and disappointment later on as we couldn't sustain what we have attain.

First is to recognize where we are in the spectrum of 'striving to thriving.' You'll then know what resources, support or help you need to get going.

Next is to utilise a comprehensive diagnostic tool that enables you to diagnose your challenges, areas of resistance, habitual patterns and deep intrinsic factors that are driving your life right now. Only then, you can identify the key reasons why you may feel stuck, the positive intentions you are preserving behind the problems or facades you are putting on and what it is that can be done differently, so that progress can continue by leaps and bounds.

2) Change your inner experiences to improve your outer reality.

Do you know that your lifestyle choices and expectations in life are ‘coded’ with the sights, sounds, imagery, smell, taste, feelings and sensations that you associate yourself with, usually at a subconscious level?

The whole association is where we created ‘memes’ that govern our lives. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a meme as an example — look at how it governs people’s buying behaviour!

personal development plans to change your life

Let’s do a self-exploration about your inner experiences.

What makes an ideal life partner who appeals to you?

Imagine this person in front of you.

How would this person look like? What are his or her behaviours, gestures and physical attributes? How would he or she sound like when interacting with you? What does this person make you feel?

Whether it is a real person or an imaginary one, you probably have your own VERSION of this ideal partner’s image, sounds and feelings you associate with. Another person probably has a DIFFERENT experience and impression of this same person.

Usually, our association is subconscious. We embed them in our inner subtle experiences of what we desire for. When you go after those things you want in life, you are often driven by these embedded associations you have nurtured and accumulated. Most of the time, they aren’t necessarily real — they are often self-constructed.

A practice you can develop is to take an observer position (dissociation) to observe your own associations — the imagery, sounds, thought process, smell, taste, feelings and sensations you condition yourself with!

Try shifting some of these associations with a slight change in the finer distinctions of your inner experiences such as adjusting the brightness, distance, size, weight, movements, colour, volume, clarity, temperature and so on. Notice the change in the quality of your inner experiences as you change these associations?

Now, recognise the associations and memes that are influencing you. No matter how strong, real and pervasive they are, you can change the meaning and effect of your inner experiences. 

Hence, you can improve the quality of your life, no matter what happens, so that you are in charge of the results you want to bring to your outer reality.

This ability requires practice. If you are interested to understand the memes and worldviews shaping our world today and how you can thrive in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) landscape, check out this online development resource.

3) Overcome polarised thinking and develop a balanced approach to life.

Under stressful times such as the global crisis of pandemic, we adopt certain forms of cognitive distortions to help us cope and maintain sanity. We see this happens a lot in social media from racism to politics.

One of them is the ‘Black-or-White Thinking,’ also known as polarised thinking. You see things in terms of extremes and unwilling or not resourceful enough to appreciate other subtle perspectives or shades of grey in between.

growth mindset is about embracing diverse perspectives

More and more so, we find ourselves working with people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, abilities and personalities. Which means, we need to be versatile, agile and flexible in our approach with others.

You can retrain yourself to be more inclusive. Whenever you notice the language of "either this OR that" showing up, try changing your approach to "this AND that" and accommodate the possibilities, even if the multiple perspectives might contradict one another.

From a personality development standpoint, there are nine dimensions of personality structure you can tap to create a healthy and balanced development of yourself. It'll then raise your level of influence, performance, communication, leadership and collaboration in this world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA).

4) Focus on developing qualities in you & healthy routines rather than chasing after the HOWs.

We are living in a heavily spoon-fed landscape — just give me the direct answers. You can attend any virtual courses and be fed with a thorough breakdown of the “how to” steps and strategies.

We do not lack of such templates that offer us convenience and getting what we want fast. Though it helps us save time, energy and money, it also put many of us in a zombie state where we live life becoming smaller and more limited than we realise.

Soon enough, we lose our ability to create, lead and thrive on our higher purpose, meaning and greater potential as a human being.

To actualise your life’s potential and live life fully, start developing the human qualities in you by living a value-centric life.

What values and qualities as a person do you want to develop?

When you exercise those values, you engage the rich possibilities of life beyond your limited concept. It activates your senses fully to participate in meaning and purpose that are bigger than what you think.

Instead of getting yourself boxed by the step-by-step HOWs, focus on creating nurturing life routines, practices and new habits to help you progress.

Your rituals and routines are key building blocks to attain mastery in whichever field you pursue.

Routines are about how you wake up, how you engage your senses, how you think, feel, move, communicate, your lifestyle habits and behaviours. It is about how you are showing up, wherever you go. More on creating life-supportive routines to enhance your outcomes.

Grow Professionally and Personally with Customised Development Consulting

So, if you’re looking to make some real changes in your life, whether professionally or personally, we can help. Our team of experienced consultants can work with you to develop a customised plan for growth that suits your unique needs and helps you achieve the personal mastery you need to attain the success you desire. Get started today!