Jan. 26, 2021

E53 The Power of Personal Development

In this episode, I talk about my journey to discovering personal development after judging its efficacy.
This episode is sponsored by Think Unbroken: Click here to get your copy of my #1 selling trauma healing book: https://www.linktr.ee/michaelunbroken..

In this episode, I talk about my journey to discovering personal development after judging its efficacy.

This episode is sponsored by Think Unbroken: Click here to get your copy of my #1 selling trauma healing book: https://www.linktr.ee/michaelunbroken.

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First, I just want to say as usual, thank you so much for being a part of this and listening and sharing. The podcast is growing exponentially, and it is because of you. And if you could do me a huge favor and just leave a review or share this with a friend it would mean the world to me. 

Recently in one of my online posts, I had someone ask me about the power of the personal growth journey and what it means to step into that. And the question was about, I don't know that personal growth, this thing, the Tony Robbins, the Mel Robins, the Michael Anthony's of the world. I don't know if that makes sense for me. And I was thinking about that and they asked me why it worked and in my experiences is what I want to share here with you, because I think it would be palatable for you to take this understanding of where I was before deciding to step into personal development and personal growth and where I am after. 

Now I’ve shared many times about my, my struggles with, with trauma, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideations, the whole list, right? When I started to get serious about this healing journey means working through trauma, going to therapy, ultimately stepping up into this place whereas you know, I always say become the hero of your own story. It was really about intention and clarity and having a choice to step outside of my comfort zone and move into understanding things about myself that I had not previously understood and not understanding very much so came within my personal growth and personal development. Because what I recognized is, I had never up until this point 26 years old, been in a position where I was willing to learn about myself. I was totally willing to learn about business, I’ve been identifying with entrepreneurs for a long time. I'd been learning business courses and all of those things, but I'd never taken the time to really understand who I am as a person, meaning my wants, needs, interests, personal boundaries, my values, my goals, my aspirations, and all of those things. 

And in this process, what I recognized was I needed someone other than me, who had a third-party perspective about life and understanding to guide me effectively. I had this notion of an idea that if I am the smartest person in a room, which I used to always think I was because that was me being dissociated and putting up this a big wall, then I thought to myself, if I'm always the smartest person in the room, then I must be in the wrong room. And so I took my life in a direction of always making sure that there's someone smarter than me when I'm trying to understand something about the world or life or myself. Because then I can grow. Then I can change. 

There's this weird misnomer I think that exists in the personal growth space that it's not only hokey, but it's bullshit. And I am the first one to tell you I was a proponent of that. I would constantly think to myself, personal growth is stupid. Why would I ever listen to a guy like Tony Robbins? Have you seen this guy? Why would I listen to, you know, Brendon Burchard? Who was this guy? Marie Forleo, Mel Robbins, Rachel Hollis. Now some of those people are newer in this industry, but you know, the list goes on and on. And I remember the first time I read Dale Carnegie, I was just thinking like, this doesn't apply to me. No one can possibly have a life like this. This is nonsense. I had, as I mentioned before, a fixed mindset, there was nothing. My stubbornness was so in line with everything that I identified in who I was, that there was no space for fluctuation. I was either right. Or I was wrong. There was no in between. There was no space, but typically I was thinking to myself, I'm always right. 

And so I was faced with this really interesting and perplexing choice to make. As an entrepreneur, I had really gotten close to the stylings and teachings of Gary Vaynerchuk. Now I recognize he's certainly not for everyone. And I had the opportunity to meet him and have a conversation with him. And the thing that I asked him was how do you ask for help? And in that moment, he taught me something really important. I don't think I’ve ever shared this before. And that was, that I was. And in that moment, I was actually asking for help by asking for help. And that changed the way that I was thinking about myself in the world, because I used to have this narrative, that there was nobody that was going to be able to assist me on this journey. And then I had that conversation and I recognized like, Oh, everything that I'm consuming is assisting me on this journey. 

I've just been closed minded to the idea that that was reality. I had shut off all of the walls and said, nothing's going to penetrate this to help me change, grow, heal, whatever that was. You know, I would see these, I would see these videos of these seminars and everybody's jumping up and down and throwing their hands in the air. And I'd be like, what is this? Who are these people? This is such a cult. This is such bullshit. Like who aligns themselves with this anarchy, or dare I say malarkey, right? And I had this moment in which I recognized, like those people know something that I don't, and that is that they don't know everything. And thus they're willing to seek, thus they're willing to become the learner. Thus, they're willing to step into this place of putting their hand up and say, I need some assistance. I need some guidance here. And I look at the personal growth journey in the same way now reading and writing a self-help book effectively, like reading all of the books, listening to all the podcasts. And there used to be much less a decade ago, right? And putting myself in a position of going to seminars and going and reading and consuming and growing was choice-based. Because I really had an understanding that personal growth is, it's a necessity, excuse me, I got caught up.

Personal growth is in necessity. And the reason that it is a necessity is because it's going to force you to intrinsically look and create a new understanding of who you are based within understandings of other people and who they are. And as human beings, the number one thing that we do is we grow in community. When we have multiple data points of entry coming into our lives, we're able to better make assessments of situations, whether they be in business or life or relationships, or with self. When we put ourselves in a position of taking in those data points, measuring them and taking what we need from them, we grow. And that was the thing that I was missing in this. Every time I called it hokey, every time I call it bullshit, every time I made fun of the people in my life that were like, I'm going to the seminar, or I'm reading this book about personal development, I would scoff at them because I was A, ignorant and also like a child in a sense. And B, I was so afraid to have a reflection of who I was that I was unwilling to step into it. 

And one of the greatest things that I’ve discovered is that by being willing to step into knowing that I needed to create a reflection and a narrative of who I am, has been palatable. And I think about it every day, because it plays a role in my life every single day, every day I read, every day I consume, every day I create. Every day I'm in this pathway of personal development and personal growth with the understanding that it doesn't stop. I think just in the same way that I often talk about the trauma healing journey, not stopping, I don't think there's an end to that. I think you're always like on that carousel or that pathway or that mountain climb. I think the same about personal growth, because I'm constantly measuring myself against who I am now versus who I was and who I will be, not in a shame or guilt way, but in a am I making progress? Is there a part of my life that I can change? Is there a part of my life I can improve on? Is there part of my life I can live better? Can I better show up for myself, for my people, for my family, my friends, my partners, my everything, right? Can you be better every single day? And the question that I was failing to ask myself a decade ago was can I be better? Can I be better than the person that I used to be? Can I step into healing? Can I step into growth? Can I do it without judgment or shame? 

You know, the thing about personal growth for me that probably kept me from stepping into it sooner is that I wasn't shamed and embarrassed of the idea that I wasn't perfect and by no measure was I perfect. And I don't think anyone is, and it's nonsensical to even taken the measure or account that you could be. And it's often to our own defamation. And in that understanding, I now look at my life and I go, I will never be perfect, but I chase it. And I don't mean like physique or wealth or any of those things. I mean about the way that I think about myself, about the way I show up in the world, about the way that I exist. Can I be perfect knowing that it's not going to happen. Because on a long enough timeline, I'm going to die. And my definition of perfection or self, it changes every single day. Why? Because I'm bringing in more input from outside sources. Every time I read a book or do a journal entry or take a course, every time I'm in coaching or mentorship or therapy, I'm taking in more data points, I'm understanding something new, I'm creating and forming new relationships with myself. 

And so the thing that I want to tell you to take away from this conversation today is if you are on the fence about personal growth, because of fear or shame that you might get seen as your true self, then I want you to actually embrace that. Not the fear of shame, but the side of it that says I might actually get to discover who I really am, because there is no question without being in the room with some of the most incredible personal development people on planet earth, over the course of this last decade, there's no way I'd be having this conversation with you, because I think it plays a role. And I think that it goes hand in hand with therapy and with, you know, all of the pieces of the puzzle will that lead to growth and healing and change. 

And if you're in this place where you're willing to take the challenge, I think it's about baby step, right? When clients come to me for one-on-one coaching, the conversations that we're having is about how do we get to your goals? How do we create the person that you want to be? How do you take the understanding of yourself from the past to understand where you are to create a pathway to understand the, where you want to go. And that's what personal development is. It's like, can you subjectively and objectively at times, look at yourself to create a pathway to where you want to be. And so I’ve been there, I’ve thought, you know, personal growth is stupid. It's bullshit. But without a question, it's within the pages of those books and in the courses in those seminars and sitting in those freezing cold rooms, if you've ever been to one of these things, they are always freezing cold and sitting in these freezing cold rooms and meeting these incredible people. Many of whom have been on the podcast and building those relationships with them, with myself, within community, having data points, having creation, having all of these things. That's the difference, right? When I think about all the things in my life that have made a profound difference, it's human connection, and that's what personal growth is. 

So I hope that's helpful. I know I'm going to get more questions about this. So if you have more questions, please, do you want me to point you in some directions, reach out. I want to say thank you again as always for listening, please like, subscribe, comment, review, share with a friend. And until next time my friends be unbroken. I'll see you.

Until next time my friend…

Be Unbroken,


Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.