Don’t Shout At The Shovel (And Other Thoughts On Personal Growth Tools)

I recently sent an email to all DrivenWoman members asking if they’d be willing to increase their commitment by showing up to monthly members meetings. Our suggestion was that a member would only be allowed to skip a meeting once in six months, or twice in a year. We wanted to tighten the rules so we’d only have members who are committed to their journey. Why? Tools only work when you put them to use.

Like any resource, DrivenWoman membership is a tool. It’s not a miracle cure or a magic pill. Our membership must be put to good use to get any benefits. It’s effective when used to its full capacity: showing up to every single meeting and making an effort. Most of our members understand this so we passed the change in membership rules almost unanimously.

The principle of ‘showing up’ applies to every tool and resource in life. A shovel is as good as its user.

We must keep digging for gold. It doesn’t matter how many shovels we buy, our luck won’t change until we start sweating and showing up to dig persistently, every day.

I’ve used a lot of different tools for personal development over the years. The kick start to my personal development was attending a leadership training course called ‘Train The Trainer’ in 2005.

I’ll list the ones I’ve found the most useful in next week’s post, but first a critical word about the whole ‘self-help’ industry.

What really gets me is the number of ‘easy salesman’ pitches for success littered around the internet. ’30-days to create a successful business’ – oh, really? Or ‘Get your free success tools and catapult your bank account into overdrive’ – yep, I’m sure this will do it! Everything out there is ‘life-changing’ and ‘fast’. And yes, many of these things that are supposed to change your life in an instant are, of course, free. I don’t believe in the concept of something-for-nothing. Sure, you can get helpful tips and ideas from free online courses and eBooks, and you can find some really good material from honest, quality sources. (like our first free DrivenWoman eBook, coming soon.)

But we can’t expect too much from the resources and tools we find, whether free or paid for. One single resource or tool is not going to change your life. Whatever you use it’s you who will still have to do the work. And it’s your attitude and commitment that will help you keep finding more good resources you can work with.

A mentor who has had perhaps the greatest influence on my development once said: “You can use tea leaves, dear, for all I care, as long as you do the work!”

To close the gap between where you are now in your life and what kind of person you want to become you simply need to work on yourself.

Here are some tips I’ve learnt:

1) Don’t rely on one tool or resource

Find a combination of methods that give you different perspectives and also allow you to learn through different media: personal interaction, networking, reading, listening and writing.

2) Commit to exploring

It’s your attitude and mindset that is going to make a difference. Everything you experience every day can lead to ideas and ‘aha’ moments. Keep your eyes open and your notebook handy.

3) Persistence

Don’t give up at the first obstacle (or success!). Not all methods suit everyone, but often it is a question of sticking with it and doing the work rather than switching between different resources.

4) Dedication

Having a gym membership is not going to make you fit. I’m paying for an online business training course and I was very happy when I joined, but I haven’t actually spent enough time listening to the courses, so I have only myself to blame.

5) Show up

You have to commit to using your resources: pick up the book, write down your thoughts, come to a meeting. Nothing is more powerful than you showing up to your own life!

It doesn’t matter what methods and tools you use, but make sure you always do the work.

Next week I’ll be revealing which tools – courses. blogs, podcasts, books and publications – have been the most useful in my own personal development. I’d love to hear which ones you recommend.

~ Miisa



DrivenWoman is an empowerment program for ambitious women who want to achieve their dreams and goals fast.

Join our free community the Doers Tribe.

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

You May Also Like…