We have been sharing everything that we can so far about all things Personal Development: The physical, emotional and spiritual side of it. Throughout this we always try to share our experience and our take on things, so we hope that you find that useful. One of the things we thought we absolutely need to share with you though, was our journey to parenthood, and what this meant for our personal development on all levels. We know some of you reading this will be going through the same experience as us, and wondering how you will ever find the time to focus on “me” again, and how you can continue to develop yourself around looking after a newborn, toddler or child of any age. We have also found that our personal development journey changed and evolved in ways we had never considered before, so we hope that in sharing our experience it will be of help to you too.
Our Personal Development Journey (Pre-Parenthood)
Personal Development has always been a huge part of our lives, it is integrated in to everyday and will continue to be for the rest of our lives. Let us share our journey with you, from how we got started to the world of parenthood that we find ourselves in now.
I started my journey over 10 years again when I was in the fitness industry. I used personal development not only as a way to develop the business, but also to aid the progression of my clients in reaching their goals too. When first starting out I used it as a way to achieve my own fitness goals, to improve confidence and to establish and build a successful business. This evolved to me being able to pass this on to my own clients, where a lot the work I did was around setting and achieving goals and looking at their mindset. Over the years I have used a variety of methods including reading books, listening to audio books and attending courses. Journalling has become a huge part of my journey, as well as developing a support network around me of like-minded people who I can share my experiences with. More recently I started to delve in to the spiritual side of things which really felt like I was finding the missing piece to the puzzle. By incorporating this element in to my life I have progressed my attitude towards my own life and happiness in ways that I never thought imaginable. Some of my favourite resources include:
The Miracle Morning
Eat That Frog
How To Transform Your Life
The Chimp Paradox
My recent step into motherhood has then added a whole new element. I wanted to say that since finding the energy, but then I thought, “Who am I kidding? I never have the energy now as a Mummy!” so a better way to communicate it may be, since finding the head space to do some work on me again, I have found that I have wanted to incorporate different things in to each element of my personal development:
Physical: I now feel less focused on being in the best shape I can and looking as good as I can, and instead want to do physical exercise to feel good, have some time out, and to be a role model for our children. This makes me approach my workouts in a completely different way and means I am trying out things I wouldn’t have before.
Emotional: As many new parents feel, that transition from being a care free individual to being a parent who now needs to keep a little human alive who is solely reliant on them can definitely be one that takes some getting used to. I have experienced a small degree of anxiety that I have never experienced before, and the mum-guilt can be unbelievable. This is something I honestly didn’t think I would experience that much of, but it has certainly been an over-riding feeling. Being a parent can be an extremely judgmental environment to be part of: Everybody has their opinion, and that can and has for me at times, played havoc with my emotions and my thoughts. So whereas before, my work on my mental development may have been confidence, or how I can further build my business, it has more recently been about accepting that I am doing a good job and doing the very best that I can. I am finding that I want to spend more time on understanding child development and psychology (something that truly fascinates me), and more recently since my baby turned in to a toddler, (how does time go so quickly?) the different ways to parent.
Spiritual: This has probably been the one that has stayed the most consistent from pre-parenthood to now, as my studies in to this really helped with my outlook on life. I would like to continue with this as I 100% feel that this makes a huge difference to my happiness, and my ability to deal with the things that life throws at us. Our children however, are now the motivation behind continuing to take this approach.
It could be argued that my journey started when I signed up to the Royal Air Force upon leaving school, although signing up was a conscious decision, I am not sure at the tender age of 16 I really understood about Personal Development and exactly what it was all about. This did though, set me up really well for the journey that life has taken me on since then.
My first real step in to making the conscious decision to do some work on my Personal Development was when I chose to start working with a sports performance coach for my Golf. The work I did was around working on my mindset, especially when entering a tournament situation. I started to look at the thoughts I was having, and how I could manage my expectations and my focus. I also had a training programme that I followed that meant I had to be structured and focus in my sessions.
Since this I have also continued to do some work on mindset around building a business, and have evolved my physical development in to being more in the shape I want. I have found throughout all of this work I use audio books a lot, and am particularly enjoying listening to auto-biographies of entrepreneurs and successful people as well as books based on mindset. Since finding out we were expecting our first child and stepping in to a whole new world as a parent I also started to incorporate some work on parenting and the different models/approaches that we could take.
My focus on all elements of my personal development journey is now about being the best version of myself so that I can try and teach our children a healthy and positive outlook to life in such a negative world that I feel they will be growing up in. (One that is certainly very different to the world that I grew up in) I would like to be a role model for them and someone they are proud to call Dad, so that they feel they want to follow in my footsteps like I have been fortunate enough to feel about my Father and Grandfather.
Welcome to the next part
We truely hope that through our honest account of our journey in to parenthood and sharing the changes that we experience in our personal development as a result of it, it may well be of use to you, who may also be going through a similar thing. So we look forward to sharing much more as we go.
We would love to hear your experiences and journey, perhaps you are new parents or have been a parent for a while and have just started to look in to the personal development side yourself. Please feel free to share anything below.