The Self in Development

A few days ago, we talked about the possible selfishness of personal growth. Today, let’s add another angle to the discussion about whether pursuing personal growth is, indeed, selfish.

In Lou Tice’s mind, there was no question about it. Lou believed that we must have a caring relationship with ourselves before we can expect others to do so. However, being interested in personal growth doesn’t mean that you are selfish. In fact, it is quite the contrary.

In his book, “The Psychology of Romantic Love,” Nathaniel Brandon wrote that, “The first affair we must consummate successfully is the love affair with ourselves. Only then are we ready for other love relationships.”

You see, no matter how concerned we are about others, we are ultimately responsible only for ourselves. If we feel inadequate and victimized, then we have no power to offer another person security and strength. In this instance, less is definitely not more.

Self-development means being the best you can be and giving the best you can give. It means asking yourself, “If I were living with me, would I want to stay around?” Then, depending upon the answer, you change what you need to change without making a big deal about it.

You see, although there are tremendous personal benefits to self-development, it is perhaps in your relationships that a commitment to personal growth will bring you the most gratifying changes. The more of you there is, the greater you are within yourself, then the more there is to give to others.