Self-Development Or Shelf Development?

Find Your WHY foundation Cheryl Chapman Marion Bevington #FindyourWHY!

You may know someone who has ‘been on a course’. I previously a boss who attended courses and would come back full of great ideas, but somehow nothing ever really changed. Which was a shame, because I am sure there were great ideas shared at all the seminars he attended, and it wouldn’t have come cheap.

There’s a name for people who attend a lot of self-development seminars and bounce from one to the other, without ever implementing a thing. They are known as “seminar junkies”. These are people who know they need to change something in their life, and perhaps by accident they come across a seminar which seems to promise an answer. They attend the seminar, and then they maybe hear about another seminar, so they go to that one. And then the next one. And they feel that because they are going to the seminars, they are DOING something.

The problem is, they aren’t really doing anything (except spending their time and money). All the learning in the world won’t do you any good if there is no subsequent action. It is the action on the new knowledge that creates the momentum and change.

So, why is it that people will spend tens, hundreds or even thousands of pounds on training and self-development? Whether it’s on seminars, books, DVD’s webinars or courses and yet NOT implement anything they have learned? What is the common denominator? Well, it is the same reason that people start things and don’t finish them.

It is all down to the stories that people tell themselves.

You see, if you tell yourself you have a slow metabolism and can’t lose weight then it doesn’t really matter how many diets you go on, it won’t work. And if you tell yourself that you are not worthy of love, it doesn’t matter how many relationships you start, you won’t find lasting love. And if you tell yourself you are not clever enough to run a business, you can go to all the seminars you want but you will never really get going with your great business idea.

These ‘stories’ are not really the conscious ones you tell yourself either. They are way more powerful than that. It is bad enough to consciously tell yourself you can’t lose weight because you have a slow metabolism, but that may not be the subconscious story. THAT story might be that you had an experience as a child which made you feel abandoned and the way that the significant adult in your life at the time tried to make you feel better was with food. So as a grown up you are now ‘self-loving’ by feeding yourself.

In this situation, you cannot possibly stop eating because not having enough to eat, or enough food in your cupboards makes you panic, maybe the people you love will go away if there isn’t enough food.

The child’s mind inside you can make some pretty weird connections. When you are a child and you don’t understand things your subconscious mind will draw its own conclusions for things which are unexplained. The human brain and especially the developing brain of a child, cannot cope with uncertainty and would rather have an explanation (even if it’s a negative one) than none. For example, if your mother ‘left’ you as a child (because she was ill and went to say hospital, or because she and your father fell out of love and she went away) then it is very likely that you will attach a meaning to that which is not factually correct. Emotionally, you may feel it is your fault, you did something wrong (even if there is no evidence of that!)

Often people who are seminar junkies have a sense that they need personal development, they need to make a change, but the stories they tell themselves are preventing them actually making that change. On the outside, they blame the course (it wasn’t what they thought), the subject (they needed to learn something else first), or the teacher (they weren’t very inspiring). But INSIDE it’s their inner voice that is stopping them making the change because they don’t believe they deserve a better life, or are clever enough to learn new things, or are brave enough to start their own business.

Whatever bullshit story they have going on internally can go on for years, stopping any personal growth. Often it can take many courses or seminars, lots of money spent before they realise that they need a different approach. Often what is needed is someone to help, as it is quite difficult to change years of programming on your own.

I was listening to the British Cycling Coach, Justin Grace, speak recently, and he was explaining how he has consistently produced winners, by spotting and training minute changes in performance. He will study high-speed recordings played back in slow motion and adjust a cyclists knee position by 1 millimetre, something that would be almost impossible for the cyclist themselves to be aware of.

That is the point of having a coach, they will see what you cannot see (my great friend, Shannon Eastman calls this “The Ketchup Effect”. If you are eating a burger and you get sauce on your face, you need someone else to tell you!). A coach not only points out what isn’t so obvious to you, they will also encourage, push and support you to make the changes that will make the difference. If you are ready to make a change in your life but you are not sure how to do it, then I encourage you to come along to our retreat in November in Marrakesh. It is called a retreat because it is an opportunity to take a step back from everyday life and find a safe space to begin to make changes. It is not about running away from ‘real life’ but creating a space where you can find the courage to step forward and face those bullshit stories you might have been telling yourself, and with the help and support of the group and coaches, to change your story, share your story and inspire others.

Have a look here for more details

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