Personal Development and Leadership Pain

Leadership author and speaker Craig Groschelle, has said that “If you are not hurting, you probably aren’t leading”. When I first heard that quote, it seemed to answer a LOT of questions that I had about leadership and personal development. As I continue my lifelong personal development journey, I find that statement to be more and more true.

I believe that this pain doesn’t come so much from people just flat out not doing what we want them to do, as some may think. Leadership is more than just telling people what to do. I believe this pain occurs most often when we want the best for those we lead, or the group we’re part of, and it seems that they don’t want what’s best for themselves; or worse yet, they misunderstand your desire to help.

In this post, I will discuss some forms of personal development and leadership pain that will be experienced by anyone who decides to grow in their personal development and lead with conviction.

Rejection-Based Pain

Some people will reject you, your ideas, and your goals, even if they are meant to be a help to those very same people. This could be for any number of reasons, some of which could be:

1. You are not like someone else. This can be one of the most difficult forms of rejection-based pain because, no matter how hard you try, you will never be like someone else, nor should you try. As a matter of fact, you can never be like anyone else. It is a complete impossibility! Sometimes, what you’ll find is that they are comparing you to their “favorite” person, leader, etc. and there is really no way to win that comparison game anyway. Sometimes, they are just stuck!

I believe a good solution is not to be so enveloped in worrying about how “someone else” (whoever that is) would do something, but rather it is to be developed and learn how to operate at a higher level as the person you already are. Remember, you can be no one else!

2. That’s not how they would do it. As long as someone is comparing themselves to you in this way, they will always find something you and I are doing that is different from how they would do it. People attempt to escape this form of rejection-based pain by attempting to make sure everyone approves of how they are doing things. However, you and I will never escape this form of rejection-based pain and therefore we really shouldn’t even try to escape it.

Rather than simply making our decisions based on what we think others would do, or what they would like us to do, I believe a good solution is to make decisions with confidence based on our convictions while at the same time developing our thinking and viewpoints on the matter. Only then should we make the changes we believe to be necessary based on those new developments in our thinking.

Fall Away Pain

Some people will just fall away from your life as you develop personally or lead with conviction because they would rather things stay the same way they’ve always been, and they want you to stay the same way you’ve always been. Many times these people are stuck in the past and do not want to develop or progress in their thinking, living, or leading nor do they want you to develop or progress. Often you will hear them talk about “Things weren’t always this way” or “That’s not how things used to be done”.

Eventually, after being left so far behind, they feel like they’ve been abandoned and rather than catching up through personal development, they just fall away; first emotionally and then physically.

This can cause great pain because, as I said earlier, you often want what’s best for them and the entire group, but they don’t always want what’s best for themselves, or they think that what was in the past is what was best.

I’m sure there are some other personal development and leadership pains we can discuss, but that’s all I want to discuss in this post.

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Published by Jason Fulmer

Jason Fulmer is a Pastor, Human Resources Professional, and Development Teacher. He currently operates two blogs:, where he posts Bible-based development articles, and, where he posts personal and professional development articles. His life's goal is to encourage men and women to go to THEIR next level of living and leading. He believes the best way to accomplish this goal is through Education and Example!

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