Why do we chase personal development?

Self-development and mental well-being are very much hot topics in modern society. We want to be fit, we want to be healthy: we manage our diets, track our performances and now we strive to learn about our minds – our thoughts and feelings – more than ever before.  This modern interest in understanding who we are, how we work and how to maintain our personal and mental health is a truly brilliant thing.

Achieving good physical and mental health is important in every walk of life, not just in sports. This may seem like a painfully obvious statement to make, but the fact is that many people still hold misconceptions about the ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of personal development… What does personal development involve, why is it important and how do we pursue it? Is it just a selfish, modern pursuit? Some argue that it’s very much a

The fact is that most of us are capable of far greater things than we think. In training ourselves to think clearly, manage our emotions and really understand what drives us forward, we can achieve far greater things than we might have otherwise expected. In understanding our limits, we gain an understanding of how to surpass them or compensate for them.

This highlights the very problems that I look to tackle: namely our own mental limitations. Our ingrained attitudes, limiting beliefs, habits and patterns stop us from reaching our full potential. But you don’t need to drastically change who you are as a person to improve, rather you need to alter your thinking until you get results that fit for you. Personal development isn’t a case of ‘fixing’ yourself, as nobody is ever ‘broken’ to begin with. You evolve and enhance.

Making sure you have a firm grip on who you are and why you do the things you do isn’t just a means to improve your sporting performance; it’s something that can benefit every aspect of your life. Being in control of your emotions, managing your habits and attitudes, and setting the right goals for you are key in helping you achieve above and beyond: with mind, body, friends, family and the rest.

We always have more to learn about ourselves, and we’re still only scratching the surface of mental health. That’s why personal development is important: the more we learn, the better we get… and the better we get, the more we learn.

Is self-development just a clever way of saying 'look out for yourself and no-one else', or is it more than that? Here are my thoughts on why I feel it's something we should all take seriously...