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When you need to turn your back on self development

To have a mind that’s constantly open can be an amazing gift, but it can also be both difficult and dangerous. Growth is a natural way of life (we’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting), but sometimes we need to adjust the amount of input in order for our heart and mind to catch up. 

As someone who works in the coaching and mindset space, I’ve got a decent sized bookshelf of resources and a laptop full of tools and tips I want to read, understand and put to good use. I also come from a space where I want to use my learnings in a resourceful way and walk my talk as often as possible. Every now and then though, the ‘want to‘ feels a lot more like a ‘should do‘ and that’s what I wanted to raise today. 

  1. Most of us are not in a space (energetically, physically or emotionally) to learn and process lots of things every day. Some days we’ll feel super-inspired and would happily read, learn and utilize new and previous learnings in a powerful and effortless flow. Those days are amazing! But there are also the other days. I had a moment recently when I was far too tired and emotional to a) take in anything new or b) listen to my own clever advise around a specific thing. In the midst of this low energy state I looked over at my bookshelf of amazing resources and thought ‘How sad is it that you know exactly what you need to do here Emmy? Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” In moments like that it’s OK to park the ‘should’ and leave personal development skills for another day. So I put everything down, turned my back on the bookshelf and went for a long walk. Which leads me to the next point…
  2. Know yourself. Life is full of challenges, and I’m not saying you should give yourself a cop out every time just because you don’t feel like doing what needs to be done. But if the personal work I have done over many years is anything to go by, you get to know yourself pretty well over time. This also means you can train yourself to listen to your intuition (not your transition fearing ego) in most situations. I often ask both myself and my clients to check in “Is doing this/thinking this healthy and helpful right now?” If the answer is no, then follow your intuition on the most appropriate response.
  3. The more you know about anything, the more choice you have. Sometimes this is a great thing and some days we kind of wish we hadn’t “known better”. One saying that really resonated with me is “a mind that’s been stretched can never go back to it’s old dimensions“. Much like a child that’s grown up will never fit into its baby clothes again. The types of challenges that come with that will also increase in complexity, much like how the problems a small child compared to a teenager are very different. 

I like to think that most often we’d probably rather have the choice and higher quality problem than living in ignorance. We just have to trust our own instinct around when to welcome the choice and when to exercise our right to press the ‘pause button’. 

PS: I blog every week about a range of topics around career, relocation and transitions – check out the full blog archive here if you’re interested to read more.