Before I dig into the topic, just a note: this is the first post, which is dedicated to answer your questions! I mean those questions that were raised explicitly. 🙂
Today’s question “How to involve others (as support) in my personal development?” came through a short survey that I send out to my subscribers, where I ask about topics that you would like to have covered on this blog. After all, the blog is about you, not about me!
And in case you are wondering, the answers of this questionnaire are being saved anonymously, so give it a go (we will get into the details at the end of the post)!
Now, let’s get into it!
If I understand it right, this question is about having support. It is the kind of support that:
- Keeps you motivated,
- Helps you to follow through,
- Makes you forget those thoughts of wanting to give up,
- Helps you to look beyond &
- Is there always there when you need it.
So, while it might be obvious that we can only benefit from such a support around us, it is difficult “ensure” this kind of support.
Here is a short step-by-step guide of how I go about getting support for my personal development initiatives:
1. Get rid of the negative talk around you.
You might have heard that apparently you are the average of the five people that you spent the most time with? Well, I find that this is reasonably true. If those people are only complaining about how tough live is and how unfair it is, the chances are that you will talk like them is pretty high. So, try and surround yourself with more optimistic people. (I am not asking you here to abandon friendships!)
2. Identify the personal development goals for which you need support.
If I look at the list of my objectives, I have clearly identified those for which I needed and need support still, and those, which I can do without. Try to do the same when you look at your goals. Or when you develop a new one, ask yourself the question, can I handle this on my own or will it be more likely that I achieve it, if I have some kind of support? If you answered that you need support, identify what kind of support you would need it to be.
3. Someone following similar goals?
Ones you have identified those goals, look for people in your environment who are pursuing a similar goal or who are interested to pursue this goal together with you (easiest connection hurdle as this friend will hopefully be as involved as you). For example, you want to learn Spanish to collaborate better with your colleagues in Spain. Look for a friend who wants to go on vacation to Spain, likely this person is interested to take a course together with you. You have a buddy to check your homework and practice Spanish in a café!
4. Look for outside support.
If you do not find someone, but you are certain that you need someone who does more than give you a tap on the back every once in a while, consider joining like-minded people in a club, society or on platforms like Meetup.
5.Accept professional support.
In case you are really, really eager and you have an ambitious objective, which involves, for example, your physical and psychological well being, you should certainly consider getting some help from professionals. They are there to help (even if you would have to pay them), they should know what they are doing.
6. Benefit from the givers.
For those personal goals for which you would love to have “only” mental support, talk with your partner or a close friend of yours, tell her/him what your plans are and ask them for support, for regular encouragement. If it is for real, they will support you, unless you expect them to track your scores for you – but that goes beyond mental support. (So far, I have not heard one example where a friend denied this kind of support!). Envision to give them regular “updates” on how you are doing.
Finally, I would like to recommend an interview with Leo Babauta from Zenhabits to “How to Overcome Bad Habits”. Do you think he changed his life on on his own? Take a look!
I hope I have answered your question right. If I have missed something, shoot me a short email to jantje (at) smartselfdevelopmentplan.com and let me know!
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