Where would we be without self development?
The first image that comes to my mind when asking this question is human beings wearing blinkers, heads down going through life like it’s just a succession of things to do, without stopping to think, reflect, analyse. Without any awareness.
Pretty sad isn’t it?
According to Maslow all individuals have an in-built need for self development. Some way more than others, might I add.
I have memories of myself at around 11 years old thinking I wanted to be better. I didn’t realise at the time, but thinking back now, that was the dawn of my self discovery and journey into self development.
In the following years, any way that I could find to expand my knowledge and open my mind was exploited: books and courses, travels, moving to other continents, learning new languages, changing jobs, taking up new hobbies, unlearning old habits and creating new ones, etc. I always believed we need to invest in ourselves, we have to accept and love ourselves or we will never be able to love and accept anyone else.
People who do the above are sometimes seen as selfish but I can testify that from the very moment I started accepting and loving myself, I was able to really start helping others.
Of course self development is a lifelong process, it never ends as long as you live, specially if you are a genuinely curious individual and see anything as a means for self growth.
Looking back I can honestly say I am not the same person I was a year ago, or even 6 months ago (this is one of my ways of measuring and checking my personal progress). I want to focus in particular on the past 18 months when my self development received a much needed boost. I was feeling rather down as due to circumstances related to my job, my personal growth felt as though it had slowed down a lot.
Being stuck working for a company whose values differ greatly from your own, and feeling that a sense of meaning is missing, can become rather depressing, especially if you value meaning, purpose and progression and feel a need to improve and evolve but can’t in the environment in which you find yourself.
A temporary solution to my ‘meaningful work’ need was volunteering for many years for different charities, something that brought me great enjoyment, as I love to help others and give back (I see it as a sort of thank you to the universe!), but I eventually got to a point where it wasn’t enough. I needed to help myself as well. But how?
After many signs from the Universe, and a chat with a stranger who suggested I should be a life coach, I started looking into it in an effort to learn more about it. I have to admit, before this point, I saw life coaches as the people sharing inspirational quotes on Instagram or Facebook, and other than this perception, I knew very little about it.
I finally decided to attend one of Animas’ introductory days and I booked my course straight after, without a single doubt in my mind. It just felt right. Instantly, I knew that’s what I wanted to do, I was so excited I had finally found my vocation. Since then I have learnt so much, from courses, my colleagues, my clients. I’ve met amazing people, and some of them I can now call friends.
Something else happened that was astonishing to me: I was finally able to identify myself with what I do.
Let me explain.
I observed many people introducing themselves that would announce their names, followed by what they do, something that I was never able to do as I never identified myself with my job.
For me my job was just something I did, but it was never my passion or something that I loved, so it never defined me.
The first time that I introduced myself by saying: “Hi I am Serenella and I am a Life Coach” a profound sense of joy and pride invaded me (something which still happens every time), it was just great!
My life had changed once more, I had moved forward and upward, something that I really needed and wanted, almost craved to an extent. I have always loved changes.
Coaching clients means you coach them and yourself at the same time, you learn so much about yourself and when clients thank me for all the help I really would like to say: “no, thank you!”
Becoming a Life Coach for me was only the beginning of this journey, since then, I have been taking CPD courses to add more and more skills to my coaching, that I am able to apply to my different sessions, and I’m really enjoy being a student again.
My theory is that you can’t stay where you are all your life (figuratively and literally), blame the fact that I get bored easily or that I am as curious as a cat, I see the world as an ocean of possibilities and I feel we have to follow our sixth sense, go with the flow and open our minds in the process, absorbing all of the experiences, both good and bad.
The only constant in life is change, embrace it.
I am really looking forward to see who I will become as yet more time passes, watch this space!