Personal development – the cornerstone of personal performance
There can be little talk of personal performance, without considering personal development. Personal development is the medium upon which one may begin to build and develop not only potential, but also an organized manner of using and eventually turning it into high performance. In this sense, personal development becomes the premises that facilitate performance, in every context one chooses to assert oneself.
Performance, in itself, implies completing a task with flying colors. However, it is not a floating concept, something that hovers or acts individually. Performance is deeply rooted into the performer’s structure, in the abilities, capabilities and potential the person presents. In this sense, performance becomes a product, elaborated within a system that spans from one’s biological build to the outputs one produces.
Regarding performance as a concerted effort, the result of a number of factors, coalescing within the same direction implies acknowledging the essence of personal development in the process.
Personal development implies investing time & effort into maximizing one’s chances of adapting to any and all tasks that may arise. Whether it is career or personal life-related, any task that needs to unravel implies optimal use of personal resources, such as attention, motivation, planned action, emotional management, and so on.
Personal development, unlike training sessions, enables a person to develop core attributes, manage conflicting issues, and increase personal performance in a way in which it becomes pervasive. It is a way of taking performance to the next level, making it a personal characteristic, rather than a circumstantial outcome.
The primordial benefit of embarking on a personal development process is that, once you take performance to a very personal level, starting to work on key issues brings sustainable, lasting improvement, enabling you to be the architect of your own performance.
Becoming more and more aware of one’s unique constellation provides full awareness of one’s pluses and limits, resources and needs, which translates into the ability to optimally design both a personal and a professional strategy, in a way that best employs one’s potential and suits one’s needs. Perhaps utopic at first glance, this process makes sense, if you consider the fact that it essentially entitles a person to be the architect of their own performance.
How does personal development work? The mechanism behind is the fact that once you have produced a major change in the way a person regards oneself, in a fully aware framework that comprises everything from personal experience, to potential and limits, that person will be able to assume control over the way they tackle every and all issues.
This is possible given the fact that you essentially deconstruct and rebuild an updated version of who you are. Updated, in this case, does not imply a judgment of value (that you are now worse and you’ll end up being better), but a full acknowledgement of one’s current state, what one wants and may achieve, along with the ways in which these goals could be attained.
The neurobiology behind this process implies the fact that once you’ve taken change and awareness, processed and elaborated them, you literally create new networks and connections. These translate into new models for processing both internal and external information (for example emotions related to a task, such as anxiety and the deadline that triggers it) which, once activated and reinforced, will consistently provide new, highly adaptive and successful responses. This implies choice, dedication, reinforcement, effort and most of all willingness and openness to change.
What does all of this mean for performance?
Remember Darwin’s much disputed assumption that he who is most adaptable will rule the food chain? Whether it is his or not, the affirmation holds a universal truth. And this is exactly the way in which personal development and performance are related. The main product you would obtain from a personal development process is awareness, adaptability and readiness to perform.
This all means that you will gain clarity in assessing yourself and others, along with the ability to recognize your qualities and limits. This, in return, gives the person free access to personal resources, along with the ability to employ them at will. This ability, along with increased awareness, enables personal resources management, which means that one may perform well systematically and consistently.
Also, increased awareness enables consistency in personal performance, through the fact that it gives the person a clear understanding of what his limits are, along with the means in which one may compensate for them. Easily put, one knows what to bank on, what to back out of and what their best bet for success is. This means the person is now adaptable and efficient, equipped to perform optimally, irrespective of the task’s configuration.
Regarding performance as placed on a continuum, from the basic biological constitution onward, to excellence in various fields, one will invariably find awareness, growth, complexity and adaptability to be prerequisites. Personal development gives the opportunity to assume better control over what one person is and the outputs it produces. Thus, literally taking performance personally, regarding it as an attribute not a circumstance, would prompt for attention given to how one can develop harmoniously and fully.