Our latest podcast, On Personal Development, the last in our second series, got me reflecting upon my own personal journey thus far—the importance of gaining self-confidence and self-awareness early on in life, as well as finding role models.
And though I can’t pinpoint a place in time when suddenly I knew the importance of developing personally, I do remember how much I wanted to be a journalist as a teenager and what I did to get the show on the road, at least from a personal perspective. From reading the announcements at church as if reading the news on NBC to behaving like an investigative reporter when I truly had nothing to investigate, I took a rather naïve yet enthusiastic approach to pursuing my goals.
My family might recall that I always had a question for you no matter what the situation. How could they forget?
In my mind’s eye, all I had to do was hone my natural skills and for sure I would get whatever job I pursued. Peter Jennings, who dropped out of high school but still served as anchor of ABC World News Tonight from 1983 until his death in 2005, was doing so after all.
You see, though I was born in a different era, a different gender, a different race to Jennings, it never occurred to me that I might not have the same breaks, same opportunities that he had. And as it turned out I didn’t, but I did have the desire to pursue my dreams and the confidence to act. And while I didn’t end up on ABC, I have enjoyed some wonderful success as a journalist, a writer and now a podcaster but not without a challenge or two.
To this end, On Personal Development special guest Robyn Spens, a coach and rapid transformational therapist, points out that confidence is key, particularly when in an unfamiliar situation or facing challenges. Here, here to that.
I will never forget feeling as though I was going to drown during a re-branding project, which I was leading, as a major organisation’s interim communications director. And suddenly in a particularly confident moment, it hit me that I knew more than anyone else, even if I didn’t know everything. Thus, it was confidence that saw me through.
It really matters in developing one’s full potential, but it is not the only thing that matters. Robyn talks about the importance of nutrition and sleep, for example, something I am still getting my head around.
One thing that I have learned along the way is that personal development is for life, even if there are stages in life when some bits are more relevant than others. For example, when I first moved to New York, I knew very little about table etiquette. Sure, I knew the basics and had pretty good manners, but when I found myself at a posh event at Tavern On The Green, acting as publicist to the CEO of my organisation, things got really personal.