When we take a look at the definitions of personal development and business development, we are met with terms like “improving oneself”, “increasing our own consciousness”, and cultivating “ideas, initiatives, and activities” that boost our business success. While these terms are true in their nature, the issue with them is that we often approach them in reference to only ourselves and our journey, because after all, we are the ones trying to improve our own development and our own business acumen. This natural inference has us believe that our own development occurs, individually and very rarely, in conjunction with another. This is a flawed assumption and a main contributing factor to why many individuals fail at achieving their personal development goals. Let’s take a look at why we fail in achieving development goals as individuals and how the power of a community can positively impact your ability to achieve these developmental milestones.
Why Many Individuals Fail When They Focus Solely on Their Own Development
One of the main driving forces behind the motivation to improve ourselves and reach developmental milestones is our need to maintain a positive self-perception. We want to look good in both our eyes and in the eyes of others. We achieve this by protecting our integrity of self through self-affirmation, or through actions that reinforce the concept that we are good enough, moral enough, and act correctly in relation to accepted societal norms.
When self-affirmations work, we are vigilant in our goals and we make positive changes to achieve them. However, if we find ourselves in environments that are threatening to our goals, we focus on defending ourselves and our self-perception, leading us to minimize what we perceive to be our shortcomings. This impedes our ability to learn, cope, and utilize our mental resources towards our development. Why? We are unable to see what our reality is and therefore, unable to reach out to those who can help show us that our goals are reachable and not under threat.
To put it simply, it is a lot easier to sustain our own commitment to a goal if we have the active participation and support of others because we are less likely to doubt ourselves and perceive our shortcomings as larger than they actually are.
How a Community Can Open Up Development Growth
The power that a community has on an individual is massive and can be the difference between them achieving their goals and giving up on their goals. Here are a few ways that a community can positively impact one’s personal development.
- A community brings new perspectives that can impact academic learning,
- A community can push our problem-solving, critical thinking, and problem analysis to new cognitive heights,
- A community brings a greater sense of personal identity, moral development, and efficacy,
- A community drives us to have improved social responsibility to ourselves and others,
- A community brings new opportunities to us through networking,
- A community provides us with energy, enthusiasm, and connection,
But most of all, a community provides us with the motivation to strive for our best selves by pushing us to be accountable in our journey as we see others are in their own.
In Conclusion: Having a Community Behind You Increases Your Odds at Success
With this said, if you have ever made an attempt at improving your own personal development, whether it be in the sphere of business or self-improvement and failed at sticking with it, reflect and see how involved others were in your progress. Including others through a community who have a vested interest in seeing you achieve your goals will increase your odds of success and, in turn, their success because personal development cannot occur separately of social development.