The Untold Truth
About Personal Development.

By Seth Lusk

The Untold Truth About Personal Development.


Hey my friends. It’s Coach Seth here, and I have something BIG to share with you today about your personal development journey.


I have been a life coach many years now. Some of those years were me coaching people before I even knew that what I was doing WAS actually coaching. I just knew that I had a knack for being able to help people see blindspots, or areas in their life where a story they were holding onto was actually keeping them from showing up in their life the way that they said they wanted to.


So, I am working right in the middle of the field that we are talking about here. I mean the field of personal development. I have to say that the view from the middle sometimes feels very frustrating for me.


I just want to be honest with you here. I look around at the number of people calling themselves coaches, and healers, or thought leaders, and I see some trends that for some reason have become entirely normalized in the personal development realm. But, what feels frustrating about these norms for me, is that they produce long term results that are the exact opposite of what they promise to achieve.


You may be thinking by now, “come on Seth, get to the point. What are these trends you are talking about, and how are they creating the opposite result than promised?”

So, here is the biggest one that I want to talk about today, and it cuts to the very core of personal development. It is an illusion so big, that if we as an industry do not address it, and learn to communicate this to those we aspire to help in their journeys of personal development, then we might as well hang up our hats now. We are not helping anyone otherwise.


The illusion is that personal development is about people changing. (a bit more reading on personal development.)


Personal Development does not mean that YOU change.


As I write this I know tires are screeching, planes are falling from the sky, screams can be heard from the streets, laptop screens are being closed, this article is being dismissed. That is ok. For those of you who will stick with me here, I promise, I will explain and make this worth your read. Your personal development is very important to me, so stick with me here.


You see, we have been socially programmed for so long to identify ourselves under a false illusion. That illusion is that who we are is defined by our behavior, and therefore who we are changes when we change our behavior. This one belief has been the cause of so much suffering in the world. It is also the reason why so many go into personal development with the greatest of intentions and then walk away feeling broken, lost, frustrated, confused, resentful, or even hopeless. We have forgotten some key elements here when it comes to behavior.


What we observe as behavior in a person, can be so easily interpreted as the type of person that someone is. However, this is not how behavior actually works. It is not how behavior is developed. It is not that a type of person is born, and therefore as they grow up they will exhibit the kind of behavior that lets the world know what kind of person they were born as. No, not at all… Behavior is SOOOO much more complex than this. I want to try and offer a simple explanation though.


Behavior and Personal Development


Behavior is simply a set of actions that a person (you) exhibits based on what they have interpreted from the world around them since the moment they were born. You come into this world without a manual. You have physical needs, emotional needs, a brain with biological drives, and an environment that is always changing to try and figure out how to survive in.


In order to survive, danger needs to be assessed, anticipated, avoided, and learned from. Safety needs to be sought. Certainty and comfort are appealing. Uncertainty feels a lot like danger and possibility of death to the brain, and to an unaware mind that is learning how to put all of this information together to create a coherent story of what this life is about, what their place in it is, and how to survive.


As you get a little older, these stories begin to layer on top of each other and create piles of evidence to support beliefs and thoughts about the world around you. These beliefs are usually based in you trying things like screaming, crying, kicking, making movements and noises to imitate the other bigger beings around you that look kinda like you, all in the attempt to get those needs met, and feel like you are going to survive.


You find certain behaviors get you certain things that you feel like will help you survive, and your brains get to work making associations and beliefs about those behaviors and the results you see. It then assessed the increased or decreased perception of the possibility to survive, based in those results. At an early age, your brain is doing the personal development for you, without your permission (basically).


These stories layer and layer and you learn more and more complex behaviors to add in to your repertoire. You do this to always be increasing your chances of love, safety, connection, food, shelter, etc…


Most of us are doing this in life completely unaware of the fact that this is going on. Some of us have been to see a therapist, counselor, life coach, and have been taught this about our behavior. That it is a result of stories we have running in the background about ourselves, life, survival, safety, love, etc…


So, you might be wondering by now what this has to do with the identity of a person, and personal development.


Your personal development journey starts with you seeing THIS…


Here it is. By looking at how the brain, and mind develop, we can actually clearly see, that a person IS NOT their behavior. There is not a type of person that exhibits behaviors. Behaviors are simply learned responses to stimuli that the brain and mind have put together based on interpretations of experience in life, in order to increase chances of survival, safety, love, connection, etc…


 Here is another crazy part about this equation though. It has to do with reality, and something that we do not often think about in our perception of it. But reminding ourselves of this regularly might be a good idea in our personal development journeys.


(if you want some ideas of habits, or behaviors to consider when developing goals for your personal development, here are some great ideas )


The REALITY of personal development


Reality is actually a VAST beast. At any one second in time, there are billions, upon billions, upon billions, upon billions…. (I can go on like this for a few minutes and not touch the huge number I am getting at here) of pieces of information/data that make what actually IS reality. The number is so staggering it is not really fathomable. But here, let’s make this easy. Let us take this staggering number and bring it down to just 1 billion pieces of information. Let’s just say that reality is 1 billion pieces of information.


So, we have a tiny version of reality at 1 billion pieces of information/data that are available per second to be received and then interpreted in order to understand reality. The body is able to take in somewhere around 11 million pieces of information in various forms of stimulus per second, and then send those to the brain for interpretation.


This means that out of the 1 billion pieces of information that make up reality (in our fake example here), we are down to only receiving 11 million pieces of that whole (this is only .o11 % of the total available data… LESS THAN 1%!) .


But, it gets even more interesting. The brain can only consciously process about 40–50 pieces of this information per second. AND, it selects which 40–50 pieces of information to process and how to process them in a very interesting way.


We have a part of our brain called the reticular activating system. This part of the brain tells the rest of the brain what is most important to focus on, and look for evidence for in the world around us. Guess what informs that part of the brain to inform the rest of the brain? It is our beliefs about what will most likely provide us safety, survival, connection, love, attention, acceptance, etc…


So, let me put this into perspective for you in order to get back to personal development here. Out of the VAST amount of data that makes up ACTUAL reality, we have condensed it down to a fake scenario where the totality of reality is actually already less than 1% of actual reality. And, even in this fake version of reality, what we consciously perceive, interpret, and create our stories about life from is about .000000004% of actual reality.


What this means is that behavior is the result of a VERY finite, very unguided attempt at understanding and surviving in a vast reality.


Now, I want to be clear here. What our brains do is INCREDIBLE. We process information at a rate that is astounding, and we create beliefs, thoughts, and actions from this interpretation that result in very high survival rates at this point in time. We are INCREDIBLE beings. BUT, what we can take from this information that I have provided is two things that are important to personal development.

  1. We are not our behavior. Behavior is the result of a lot of unguided interpretations and attempts at mimicking survival behaviors that we observe in those around us.
  2. This interpretation and mimicking is based in a VERY finite percentage of data from the ACTUAL amount of data that was the actual experience of reality. Our perceived experience of reality is our brains attempt at also making sure that the sheer amount of stimulus and data surrounding us does not send us into cardiac arrest or an immediate aneurysm from the shock of it.

So… How do we tie this back to the big illusion of personal development that I think we as an industry need to rip the bandaid off of?


What is the big take-away?


We have long acted as an industry under this model of behaviors defining types of people. We have used models of shame, guilt, conditional self-worth, etc… to motivate people to want to change themselves and their lives. We have used models to make people so disgusted and uncomfortable with “what” or “who” they are that they are just dying to hurry up and change and “be a better person”. We call this personal development.


Meanwhile the truth is so far from this. The truth is that who we are is something so far beyond the behaviors we exhibit. We come into this world as a being with desires, needs, and wants in this life all wrapped up in a tiny body that we are to perceive and interpret this world through, and figure out how to make all of those dreams, desires, and needs happen for us.


 Who we are does not change just because of the set of data we are exposed to, and how we see best to interpret that data without an owners manual. Often times we are being guided to interpret this data by beings who have been on this planet longer than us, and still are trying to figure out how to meet their own emotional and physical needs. This can feel SOOO confusing for a little being trying to figure out their place in this life and how to show up with the big unexplainable dreams living inside them.


But we do show up, and we try, and it gets messy, and confused, and convoluted. We interpret, we adapt, we try, we get results, we don’t like them, we adapt and try again. This is life, and this is how we end up with the set of learned behaviors that make us these unique expressions of the being that we ACTUALLY are on the inside trying to figure this all out and trying to show the world who we ACTUALLY are, and HAVE BEEN this entire time.


MY GOD it is amazing how we do this, and how unique these expressions can become.

So, back to the personal development myth. I am going to just lay it on the line for you here… Are you ready?


Personal development does not increase your worth


Personal development is NOT AT ALL about changing who or what you are to BE better. Who you are is already perfect. It cannot be changed. No matter how many ways you learn how to interpret the data of this reality of life, and try to express that beautiful being that you are to the world around you; you do not change.


No matter HOW you choose to do this process of personal development; who you ARE, and always have been, is still the same. You identity and worth has never actually been touched. This life and the behaviors you exhibit in it are that being TRYING its best to show up through all of this and show the world who you ARE. The worth of that being is not touchable. It is not negotiable.


You cannot decrease its worth by expressing it in a way that you thought was best only to realize later that maybe another way is desired. You cannot increase its worth by choosing just the right expressions. My friend the being that YOU ARE is perfect by design not decision.


You have been in this life trying to figure out, and fight to show that perfect being. It is messy, confusing, convoluted. It is what being a human is all about.


So, how do we use this to change the industry of personal development? It is the most simple, and complex solution ever.


(Here are some great books to get your hands on when it comes to your personal development journey )


The layers of personal development


Personal Development is not about developing who we are or what we are at all. In fact it is about shedding away layers and layers of learned behaviors that are NOT us. Layers of beliefs and behaviors that we took on to try and prove our worth, and our right to be loved and accepted. Personal development is about releasing those layers to see that we have and always will be worthy of that love and acceptance, no matter how many people can or cannot see it.


Personal development is about YOU learning to see that for yourself so that you are able to shed away the layers that are not authentically you. It is about learning to show up in this life as a clearer more authentic expression of the beautiful, lovable, acceptable, 1000% worthy being that you are EXCITED to get to know as you shed away the layers of the inauthentic. It is about learning new ways to express who you are as you learn your TRUE self.


Forget this journey of hurrying up through suffering in guilt or shame to finally become someone worthy of being seen and known. Personal development is about seeing that you already ARE that person who is SOOO beyond worthy of loving and knowing. Once you see that, you choose the path of peeling back those layers at a pace that is authentic for you.


It is not a rush to “get there” where you will finally feel good about yourself and your life. The journey is the best parts, because each step is another layer lighter, another mask removed, another weight of inauthenticity set down, as you rise higher and higher into the expression of the magnificent person you forgot you were.


Personal development is actually not developing you at all. It is a journey of remembering who you forgot that you were in this messy, beautiful journey of life as a human being.


A call to ACTION


This is me reaching out, and calling on ANYONE out there who is beginning a journey in personal development to wake up to the truth of who you are. Stop believing you need to be better. You just need to remember who you are, and start showing up as that being.


This is me reaching out to my healers, teachers, coaches, counselors, spiritual mediums of the personal development industry. I am asking that if this message resonates with you, the door is wide open now. We live in a time of ushering in a new era in personal development. One where we shed away the false journey of guilt, shame, and conditional self-worth.


We live in a time where humanity is RIPE and READY to be awakened to a new journey. They are crying and begging for it. I am asking you all to step up, and speak out. I get that the industry still sits on a heavy foundation of guilt, shame, and conditional worth.


I am ready to shake that foundation of the personal development industry, with anyone who recognizes the truth to this message and is ready to be a voice, a beacon of light, and an energetic pathway of ushering in the era of TRUE personal development. I am talking about personal development in which we wake up to REMEMBER who we are, and our unconditional worth, and drop the stories of the ego that have kept us tied to identifying with the behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs of the brain.


We are beings with a powerful tool (the brain). It is time we teach people to remember who they are and how to USE that brain, instead of being used by it. That is what personal development is about. That is true empowerment.


I write this as inspiration. I write this as a call to action. I write this with hope of something EXCITING happening in the direction we take with personal development. It is time to RISE & THRIVE my friends.



For more on the topic of personal development, check out my free podcast- 



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