My personal life experience has shown me that even the most organized women do not set aside adequate time for themselves. This especially includes making time for personal development. Just like food, water, and exercise pouring into yourself regularly with both spiritual and personal development is super important. Why don’t we just do it then? Well, it’s because we are busy. We are being girlfriends, wifes, moms, grandmoms, best friends, mentors, counselors, lovers, fighters and anything and everything we need to be whenever we need to be it. Good grief, it can often just be a little too EXHAUSTING. Am I right? Can I get an AMEN?
I sure would love nothing more than to tell you that I have nailed it, but the reality is that I HAVE NOT. I am a work in progress literally struggling with this daily despite even having it “scheduled” on my iphone calendar and even written into my perfectly organized day planner. Oh sure, I have the best of intentions but like many other women I get easily distracted with all the things! In fact, if I am being honest, I was actually called to write this article a while back and kept getting distracted with ALL THE THINGS. Just trying to keep it real!
What exactly is personal development and why is it important? It’s pretty much anything you can do to improve your own self-awareness, gain knowledge, hone your skills, develop your talent, and identify your potential. And it is a process that occurs throughout your entire life. It’s important to help you set and achieve goals in all aspects of life including relationships both in your household, workplace, and ministry.
I know what some of you might be thinking. “I know who I am in Christ.” “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” “ I have Jesus, and church and Bible study, and a great group of godly friends.” “I don’t think I need anything else.” That personal development stuff is for “other” people.’ I get it. THAT WAS ME. But what if your God-given purpose could only be equipped by you becoming the best version of you possible. And what if that version of you isn’t coming out yet because you are not self-aware, knowledgeable, or realizing that your talents have not fully developed yet to your full potential. Hmmmm? Are you tracking with me now?
I have over 30 years of leadership experience from different walks in life ranging from being the Pep Squad Captain in High School, Worship Music Director, Small Group Leader, Youth Leader, Regional Sales Coordinator in banking, and running two personally owned businesses. No matter how well my intentions are or how pure my heart is, I will always need personal development. Sometimes my type A, Enneagram 8 personality sponsors, fosters, and mentors others so well! But sometimes, I fail to see how others perceive me which just breaks my heart when I am made aware. So then I have to step back, pray and do more work in personal development to be more self-aware especially with those who don’t think, look, or act like me are involved. Can anyone relate?
The simple truth is that if we are to be a light for the Lord, we need Spiritual development. We must read and study God’s word to know who he says we are to be. ALSO, we need personal development so that how we interact with others who need to hear our story is well received in a way that resonates well with them. This is why we need both spiritual and personal development and they go hand in hand together when pursued simultaneously! Make sense?
We get up 30 minutes earlier each morning or go to bed later a couple of times a week. There are so many inspirational personal development books written and available on audio version that you can listen to on your lunch break. And speaking of audio, there are so many good podcasts that are 20 minutes or less that can be listened to during a car ride. The reality is that most of us know what to do, but we just don’t make the time to do it. As I mentioned in the beginning, I am a work in progress.
My best advice is to do some research and check out what kinds of personal development resources are available and of interest to you for where you are in your current walk with home, work and life. Be sure to include some Christian origins as well. There are a lot of resources out there that do a great job of giving us what we need in personal development and help us to be self-aware. But remember that we need God to be in the center of our decisions and that is why both Spiritual and personal development should go hand in hand. We can all do better. Decide TODAY how the next 30-90 days will look and commit to make the time. Also, consider getting an accountability partner or two to check in with you from time to time to help you stay on track.
We can do this!
Author, Nancy Davis Stewart
The Truth Republic Worship Leader