Personal development: What can you learn from lockdown?
You may have noticed on many of the social media platforms that contributors have been urging us to consider our personal development and learn a new hobby or skill whilst we are in lockdown. If this urge resonates with you, go for it! And at the same time how about stopping. Yes, stopping. These are unusual times, and our usual ways may not provide us with the best outcomes.
Our minds are working with lots of new and unfamiliar information. We are considering our own mortality in ways we perhaps never have. Our basic foundations have experienced a seismic tremor which has reverberated through every facet and field of our extended lives. We can no longer simply walk out of the house whenever we want, as often as we want. Pasta and flour have become like gold-dust in some areas, as everyone stockpiles and bakes like their lives depended on it – perhaps they do?
So, what is this 'personal development' we are looking for? The Cambridge online dictionary defines it as ‘the process of improving your skills and increasing the amount of experience that you have in your job’; yet it’s broader and deep than this isn’t it. By simply taking each word individually, 'personal' – relating to a single or particular person; 'development' – the process in which someone grows or changes. The process of growth or change, of course, can be applied to our careers but it's more than our job role, it can apply to any area of our life that we choose.
The lockdown tremors which have shaken our old ‘normal’ have created fissures for us to explore and reassess what we want to remain and what we want to change and develop for our new ‘normal’. These unusual times may well have presented you with a little more time on your hands; and before you throw those hands in the air and cry, ‘but the kids are off school!!’, ‘I’m still working!’, ‘the dog ate my homework’… Stop. Consider for a moment how your daily schedule has changed; there are moments of time which have appeared that have gone unnoticed. These small pockets of time can be used to begin your personal development journey. You have found a moment to read this, haven’t you?
The dictionary mentioned 'job' as being one area in your life, what are the others presently? This is looking at what is in your life now, not what you want in your life. By identifying each area in your life now, you can look to ensure that your job is just one of the areas you evaluate and make sure that everything your life encompasses is given consideration. Perhaps you could start to note down the areas in your life now?
When do you think you might find your next 'moment'?
The moments in our day/week/month are valuable space for us to consider and create important changes for ourselves. They can be used to: imagine the change we want and see how it feels for us, make brief notes in our phone or notebook of ideas we have, research the idea online, text a friend for their thoughts, tell our nearest and dearest, or simply enjoy day-dreaming of all the ways you could possibly make the change a reality.
Now that you have a list of your present 'life areas', here are a few questions you can consider for each area in turn:
- How do I feel when I think about this area?
- How would I like to feel about this area?
- What is important to me in this area?
- How happy am I with the amount of time I spend on what’s important to me?
- How has lockdown made me think differently about this area of my life?
- When you look at all the areas in your life you have noted, what is there that is missing which is important for you? Note down anything that’s missing and consider the previous questions for each of the missing things you noted.
Each of these questions can take just a moment to consider; they can begin your personal development journey for your Job, and for the whole of your life. One moment at a time.
Moments - notice them. Create them. Use them.
For more details on personal development, why not read the Life Coach Directory - Personal Development page – and decide how this could be part of your life now and going forwards, and how choosing your own personal coach could help you.
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