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Personal growth and the potential of attitudinal change March 3, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal development.
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Why are we so interested in creating an individualized or self-directed program of personal development, and why do many of us spend significant time doing a lot of internal work on this pursuit?

A significant part of the attraction of a personal growth program is the importance we attach to the possibility or potential of changing our internal attitudes and by extension the actions we may take in life as a result of these attitudes.

The famous psychiatrist and philosopher, Carl Jung, succinctly describes attitude as “The readiness of the psyche to act or react in a certain way.”

From our own experience and observation we realize that an “attitude” or set of attitudes and their resulting behaviours can often be the outcome of a two basic of factors:

(1) Our essential personality type such as: introverted vs outgoing, easy-going vs being anxious, accepting vs suspicious

(2) Conditioning from life experiences producing intellectual and emotional propensities

Additionally, of course, attitudes or emotional and intellectual propensities can be the result of a combination of both of the above factors – we may be basically accepting, but become suspicious of people’s motives if our trust has been significantly betrayed in the past, for example. Or enough significantly bad things have happened to us or to those we love to result in our acquiring a state of anxiety typified by wondering “what next?”

Either way, inborn or acquired, attitudes often become entrenched.   And if we want to change our negative or limiting attitudes, we soon discover that it’s not easy. No formulas or quick fixes – making attitudinal changes within our personality takes patience, dedication, and a lot of effort.

And by extension – and to answer my opening question – a great deal of time.

Overall, be glad that you are identifying your negative and harmful attitudes (including attitudes about yourself) and are willing to do the difficult work of changing those attitudes and thereby helping you to realize your personal potential.

Many people go through life with deeply negative and harmful attitudes and don’t even realize it.