Change, Freedom, Values


Last week we looked at developing your plan of action. This week we are going to look at how you will manage yourself to implement the plan you developed last week.

When we hear the word ‘management’ we do not normally think of it as being about ourselves, or managing ourselves. We think of it more as a business term. But we need to learn to manage ourselves, if we want to fulfil the plans we want for our lives. And if we don’t manage ourselves and our lives well, we will be in chaos, and confusion. And we will not meet our goals. Or fulfil our purpose.

You’ve already done some work on discovering your values, so you know what is important to you. Your values must align with everything you do in life, including how you work your self development plan.

For instance, if you value integrity, your words will match your deeds. You will honour your commitments, even those you make to yourself. You will follow through. Even when no-one else is looking.

Stephen Covey talks about this,

“People with integrity are those whose words match their deeds and whose behaviours mirror their values. Their honesty and ethics can be trusted unconditionally. They honour commitment. They are dependable. They are known for doing the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times. While numerous tales of integrity take place in the public settings where others can see them, often the most powerful examples occur in the stillness of a private moment – when no one else is looking.”

—Stephen Covey, Inspiration for a Meaningful Life, 2006

A part of self management is being able to acknowledge yourself for your achievements. It is so easy for us beat ourselves up for not achieving all we plan to, but that is actually counter productive. It is much better to acknowledge the progress we have made, even if it is not as much as we would have hoped.

To manage yourself well, is to know yourself well. Know your values, know your strengths, know your weaknesses. Only when you know yourself, can you know how to manage yourself.  You will need to work your plan with all of these things in mind, using tools and practices that support you, who you are, your unique personality with all its different parts.

Another part of self managing, is knowing what you believe and what you feel about the plan you’ve made for your life and your growth. Do you believe in setting goals? Do you believe that you can achieve what you want to achieve? Do you believe in yourself? Are you doing it for you, or for someone else? Do you feel positive or do you lean more toward negativity? How do you think about yourself?

Henry Ford said,

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”.

James Allen wrote a book, “As a Man Thinketh”, and in it he reveals how our thoughts determine reality. Whether or not we are conscious of it, our underlying beliefs shape our character, our health and appearance, our circumstances, and our destinies.

Proverbs 23:7 from the Bible says the same thing,

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

What about choice? You make decisions all day, some you are aware of, some you are not. You are always making choices, and every choice or decision shapes the course of your day or even your life. Are the choices, decisions, you are making supporting your life plan? Or are they hindering it, or taking it off track?

“Every decision you make is the life that you live.”

What about fear? Fear of success? Fear of failure?

Bill Turpin, Trainer with International Coach Academy, says this about fear,

“One of the single greatest obstacles of moving forward in life is the sensation of fear. Fear reveals itself in many ways: the fear of failure, the fear of the unknown, the fear of pain. And, at the heart of fear is inactivity. It is paralysing physically, emotionally, and mentally. It prevents one from moving forward in life and thus entraps one in a cycle of stagnation.”


Think about the self development plan you made last week. And think about the points I’ve raised in this lesson.

  • What could hold you back from implementing and following through on your plan?
  • What can you put in place to move through those things to achieve the goals you have set for yourself?
  • Do you need to think differently about yourself and your ability to achieve what you desire?
  • Do you need to make different choices?
  • Does the plan you made for yourself align with your values that you identified in an earlier lesson?
  • What about fear? Can you identify any areas where fear may stop you?

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