Personal Development – Old or New?

Every animal is “programmed” so it is always at its best.

Every animal is “programmed” so it is always at its best. You will never see for example, a lion running in its spare time, to become a better hunter while another lion measuring its performance to check its progress.

Animals are always 100%, and if this 100% is not enough they become a meal for other animal. Many times we can observe in the animal kingdom that allegedly a smaller animal seemingly without any chance to fight off a predator does that to our amazement. The smaller animal just does not have an idea of being a pray.

On the other hand, Personal Development is as old as humanity. It started with an idea that practice makes perfect. As humans we can underperform our natural abilities because of, for example dysfunctional believes we hold about what we can. We can as well over-perform our natural ability by self-perfection or self-improvement.

The antiquity is saturated with personal development – the idea of perfecting body and mind.

Each time we practice to become better than we were yesterday at something, we “do” the personal development.

In fact this is the only existing criteria. We may believe that when athletes compete they compete between each other. That can be true only if they compete below they natural ability. When we approach boundaries of our abilities we start to compete only with ourselves. Achievements of others are just signposts helping to find our own boundaries that can be challanged.

Now the interesting thing is  an observation made by sport psychologists that we will not outperform our believes more than 10%. Above the 10% there is a zone of self sabotage. What it means is that if we subconsciously notice that we can do better than we believe we will choose to prove our believe to be true, not our potential.

That is why it is so important to push boundaries of our believes and accept failure as a process of learning.

How to do that – first let’s consider what a belief is.

Belief structure is:

X because of Y and it means Z

As in:

I can achieve only a medal in an amateur tennis/ chess / kung fu etc. championship, because I am too old/ weak / not enough… and it means that is maximum of my potential, cannot do more etc.

We can put different words and ideas under this structure but the most important thing is: this is the structure we accepted as true and stopped questioning its validity.

So we could risk to say that: belief is a thought that has a specific structure and we do not question any more its content.

Can we change a belief?

We haven’t been born with any believes. During the course of our lives we accepted them as true. Then we started the process repeating them day after day. The structure of belief itself is self sustainable but we added more reasons to support its validity.

We can undo this process the same way.

  • We can start to question our believes.
  • We can check what was the original reason for adopting this way of thinking.
  • We can find counter-examples. The story of Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards portrayed so beautifully in the film could be one of those stories that prove everything can be achieved if one plays 100%.
  • We can find situations that unwanted belief is not true already.
  • We can create lists of proves that opposite to our belief is true.
  • We can repeat a new believe (saying as often as possible “I can be, have or do….”) instead of the old one (I can’t)  and do things that support that new believe.

Over a period of some time we will start to gather evidence supporting that this new believe is true.

Even if we don’t fully actualise this new believe, lets imagine that we came 5th instead of 1st – is that a failure? Some of us may say YES. But if our original believe was that our maximum achievement can be only 10th place it is a huge improvement.

The most important thing however is not that we came 5th, 3rd or 1st. The most important thing is that by adopting a new believe and playing 100% (like animals do) we learned new things that changed us forever. Changed us for better.

And this is something I wish for all of us

Truly yours



This text is Copyrighted. © Tom Jagiello, Mind Transformation Solutions 2017