As a matter of fact my struggles are what brought me into the world of self-development. I was so stressed and burnt out by my early twenties that I turned my experiences into a joke and would say “well, at least my life is never boring.”
Yep, a "wrong lane" excuse. I was leading an undeveloped life and I had no clue there was another option. I lived in fear and therefore everything was always coming at me in one form or another. Not enough money to make ends meet, feeling anxious all day and major weight gain from stress eating.
In the Enneagram, Riso-Hudson tradition, they introduced Levels of Development. These levels are brilliant at measuring personal growth. They teach that the more disintegrated (think undeveloped) one is, the more predictable a person’s behavior and reactivity levels are.
Once we develop out of our patterned ways of beings, like defense mechanisms for example, we can live a whole-hearted life by responding to life in resourced ways and our ego has less of a hold on us. The result, our potential is accessible and the Essence of True Self can then emerge.
After plopping myself into coaching and doing the inner-work, my outer world began to reflect what was happening within. Being resourced, ready and revived about life I began to dispel the fear, the stress eating and financial stressors. A whole new world was available to me, yet was ironically here all along.
Once we choose to step into our human potential and develop our responsiveness, inner resourcefulness and abilities, then life becomes more like a flowing river to raft down with rocks to navigate, versus attempting to swim in a rapid upstream and getting all banged up.
There is a huge cost to not developing. The cost is our inner-peace. The cost is our ability for responsiveness. The cost is struggle, strife and stress. All of which can impede on our health, wealth and wisdom; body, mind and spirit.
It would seem then that anyone undeveloped could not succeed in life then. Quite the contrary. Defense mechanisms can get anyone quite far up the corporate latter for example. One way this shows up in corporate is known as the “bully boss”. The overall cost though, is true personal fulfillment for the boss and happiness for the employee. Yes, success is still possible, but will include a cost.
The distinction here is that:
There are big costs to success achieved
while operating through defenses.
There are also some costs to developing. We have to be willing to face our ego, to self-reflect and to be willing to try new ways of being. This can feel very uncomfortable, at least in the beginning. Yet, it leads to our ability to hold long-term success with ease, whole-hearted joy and personal fulfillment.
I call the beginning stages of self-development work the weed pulling stage. In the beginning it feels like hard work to self-examine and with honesty. The good news is that the cost here is mostly only a few blows to the ego. Our True Self is thanking us!
Our potential is reached after the weeds have been pulled, we’ve cleared the grounds to plant the seeds we desire to have in our lives and the fruits of our own labor are truly the most beautiful.
In essence, the “costs” of self-development only feel like costs in the beginning, the weed pulling stage. Once the weeds are pulled and the freedom of living weed free is experienced, the freedom we experience takes on a momentum of its own and the possibilities become miraculous.
"Miracles are natural.
When they do not occur
Something has gone wrong.”
A Course In Miracles, 1:1:9
In coaching we have a partner to help us unfold, to help us develop latent strengths and unearth the essence of our True Self. When our True Self is finally running the show, this is a game changer without a cost attached.
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty