Professional Development vs. Personal Development

My write outs will often have a lot of my own journey and experiences. I am writing in hope that you may identify with some of these and know that you are not alone. No two journeys are alike as we each have our own lessons in life.  Should you ever need someone to hear you out, make sense of what is going on, or just walk with you a mile or two or more, we at Grace Counselling Centre, are here for you and we care.

Professional development is focused on academics, and credentials in the aim of improving your career. Personal development is focused much on your Self and can be divided into a few categories – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It means developing these areas for a better you and the ability to keep moving ahead. It also means being aware of your needs and challenging yourself out of your comfort zones or a stuck situation. You will find that each of these categories are intertwined with each other; at least each of these aspects will impact the other as well.

Of these categories, physical development was on my mind (and body as well) in 2018; it has and still is an uphill and downhill task for me as I learn the limitation of my physical body. It has not been easy getting back on track especially when I had been down and out due to work stress. I had been falling sick more often in 2018 than I had even been before. When I got sick (no pun intended) of lying in bed trying to recover from coughs, flu, and shortness of breath, I decided I had to start moving and get back on track. So, I picked up something I have never tried before, Muay Thai! I thought:  excitement + new learning = strength. I was right and wrong at the same time. The learning was exciting, but I was not quite growing in strength. I forgot to slow down and wait for my body to recover after each day. You see, my mind was way ahead of my body as I was determined to get stronger, but I forgot to take my rests. I ended up falling sick a little bit more as my immune system was down due to the physical tiredness.

So, last year, with this exciting physical development and training, I learnt quite a bit of my Self. Firstly, compassion. I learnt to be gentle, kind and forgiving with myself for being slow and impatient. Secondly and most importantly, patience. I learnt to slow down and say it is ok to take a break, it is ok to say no, it is ok to recover, it is ok to be slow.  Not only have I improved my physical strength, my emotional and mental strength have improved due to the challenges. I learnt to be more focused when I was training and to push myself when I started feeling demotivated / lazy. I have somewhat recovered from my burn out state and so this year my challenge was to go back to the main reason on why I took this sport up; it is all about resetting, re-focusing and re-starting.

We need to stop and reflect occasionally if what we had set out to do has been achieved and if we need to re-adjust our needs and goals. It is always about improving, and only we can do it for ourselves. I read this quote somewhere and thought it beautiful: “People can quit on us, but we must never quit on ourselves”.