Naturally, everyone wants to feel good. When our lives are not working we tend to turn to personal development in search for answers. Nothing wrong with this concept, however very few realise what is involved of you are serious about accelerating your personal growth.

Working on your personal growth will sooner or later lead you into unknown territory as you transit from one developmental level to the next.

To get from where you are now to the profound understanding that you will always be searching and that there will never be an end point or an end to life’s challenges and to let that be okay takes time, but it can be done. The ultimate goal of any personal development journey is knowing that you can let things be as they are and not feel too bad even about the things you do not like. This insight will give you an edge and inner strength as yet unknown to you.

So why is personal development so challenging?

After all personal growth is natural. Everyone does it all the time. Your development starts from the moment you are conceived and continues until you die. (We are just concerned with the human life span here.) Most of us will remain at the developmental stages where most of our growth is largely subconscious and this gives us the illusion that we have no influence over the process. Most people believe and will continue to believe that they are the victims of outside circumstances.

Yet a small number of people decide to work on their personal growth seriously. For me it started when I encountered big problems trading derivatives and realised that I had to do something about the massive losses I was incurring. My my world as I had known it was falling apart.

My personal growth journey led me to insights and countless challenges along the way which I could not have dreamt of and which have completely changed my view of life. This was a long process during which I travelled mostly in the dark, unable to find someone who really understood what I was going through and who could guide me.

I learnt by trial and error until I found something that worked for me and clarity gradually replaced the mental fog.

When you pursue your personal development properly beyond the pop culture of personal growth you will find yourself often in uncharted territory as you move from one level to the next and you should know what that feels like. It will help you immensely on your journey particularly since this process can take some time.

The further you climb up on the rungs of personal growth the fewer people can assist you and that can be a little daunting to say the least. On the plus side as you get beyond a certain point your ability to manifest the outcomes you desire will start to accelerate. Often at a surprising rate of knots. This is your reward for all the work you put in.

A good starting point will be your value system.

Maybe, you never examined your beliefs and values deeply. Most of us have not. When you do, you may be in for a big surprise. You may discover that the many thoughts, beliefs and behaviours you cherished as yours belong to someone else.

This realisation often represents your first step on the journey of self actualisation as you are getting ready to move from one developmental level to the next.

When you first expand your view of yourself and your world you may dislike what you see. You may be surprised what you find out about yourself as many thoughts which were until now subconscious start coming to your conscious awareness. There will be many innuendos and open questions, all awaiting their turn to be address and there is no template to work with as you often do not recognise yourself any more.

Nobody told you that you would be experiencing these sentiments and you don't know how to handle the situation, let alone where to go for sound advice. You are probably feeling highly stressed as your mind is coping with the new influx of energy and has to build new neuro pathways.

Finding someone who could explain to me what was going on as I was moving from one developmental level to the next and found myself stuck in between levels was one was one of my biggest challenges until I learnt that I could actually cope very well on my own by practicing acceptance.

Transition periods are a large part of your personal growth journey

Moving from level to level involves transition. The transition takes up a fair time of your journey hence you need to understand the process. As you transit through the different stages of personal growth it may feel at times as if you are temporarily losing your identity. This is natural, yet quite a weird sensation when you encounter it for the first time. When you are moving from one developmental level to the next you have to give up something that was previously of value to you. This causes value conflicts and confusion you experience as loss of identity.

Think about it like this: As a toddler you had to give up crawling eventually in order to walk. Of course in the early developmental stages you allowed the process to evolve unconsciously and you also had the guidance and help of your parents who knew how to encourage you and make you feel safe.

As you are evolving into the higher levels of consciousness, and that is basically what personal growth is all about, your increased level of awareness as an adult is a handicap as you are more aware of the strangeness of the new territory you are entering. Old conditioning creates further conflicts. You will be fighting the new insights with old coping mechanisms. The idea of having to relinquish those things that worked so well in the past in order to move forward is not part of your life principles because you probably were never told about this important step that makes progress possible.

Coming back to the example of the toddler, this is what is happening to the toddler: During the learning period, or transition the toddler is effectively crawling and walking intermittently. Since he has found out that walking is much faster than crawling he will want to walk more, but is not yet able to maintain the walking stance for very long. He gives himself a break and reverts to crawling as necessary. Going back to crawling now feels cumbersome and not as good or natural as it used to.

Since the toddler develops largely subconsciously he does not judge his progress, but you do. Your learned need to be critical of yourself makes personal development work challenging.

You, the adult going through the transition to the next level will often experience relationship or business worries. It feels as if your life is completely disintegrating and you will be resisting this instead of allowing this disintegration as part of the process. Every time you put up a fight or resist the changes you are making matters more difficult for yourself. Yet you have learnt to fight, set goals and expect to see certain order.

Gradually you will learn that there is order, a very clear one in fact, but it is very different from your old reality.

Transition from one level to the next takes time. Often years. You did not wake up one morning walking having crawled all your life. The modern pop culture of personal development will tell you that you can change instantly. This is nonsense. Change is gradual. Yes, it can appear to happen over night, but only because so much work has been going on before.

As your self awareness expands you have more control over your emotions and thoughts and thus more choice. It is precisely the increased choice which makes your life more worthwhile. Increased choice will bring you peace and happiness. Both are the foundations for success.

True change comes only from within and you do not need to change what you are doing on the outside, even though many people do as they grow. There is a lovely Buddhist saying: Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water, after enlightenment chop wood and carry water.

Transition and growth enables you to see for yourself that the universe always evolves in an orderly fashion, and this is immensely reassuring.

Author's Bio: 

Mercedes Oestermann van Essen is a human development coach and author specialising in trading psychology and manifestation techniques.

Get your FREE COURSE 5 Little Know Secrets To Happiness at