Podcast – Episode 0220 – Pseudo Personal Growth vs Real Personal Growth

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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the difference between pseudo personal growth vs real personal growth in your life.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • How do you know you are the real deal when it comes to personal growth?
  • How do you know we are the real deal when it comes to personal growth?
  • It is hard to know when someone else is authentically on a personal growth path vs. a pseudo growth path.
  • The only way to know is by determining what rings true.
  • Pseudo-development
  • How do you know you are doing the work?
  • “True learning = behavior change.”
  • Has your behavior changed?
  • A lot of us do work in one area of our life, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to other areas of our life.
  • It feels great to get good feedback from the world.
  • It can be an ego hit when negative feedback reaches us.
  • It would be easy for us to say the right things and show up as personal growth gurus without actually doing the work.
  • We have struggles, but we endeavor to show up as authentically as possible.
  • There is a tension point between overvaluing all feedback and ignoring all feedback.
  • The world is experiencing you in a specific way.
  • What is happening for this person?
  • What is the emotional interchange?
  • Every human being has a moment of self-reflection.  
  • In that moment, do you choose to become a better version of yourself?
  • At the end of the day, we may have the best intent, but our actions may still bring harm.
  • Let go of the endgame.
  • If you legitimately want to be the best version of yourself, all you can do is show up in your best way.
  • The results you want may not be possible in the outside world.
  • Are you contributing to your happiness and those around you?
  • Feedback is our ‘You Are Here’ dot.
  • It gives you some metrics to calibrate by, but it isn’t the entire story.
  • You can’t use your inner fire as your total calibration because it is going to be off.
  • We are good at both overvaluing and undervaluing ourselves.
  • Public platforms bring you a lot of feedback and calibration.
  • Happiness is a general situation of being able to find joy, if temporary.
  • The calibration may be that you aren’t as far along as you thought, or that you are further than you expected.
  • Personal development can be work, but it brings rewards.
  • It is not always possible to show up as the best version of ourselves.
  • Sometimes we say the right thing in a pseudo-growth kind of way when we aren’t in the best place.
  • Only the individual can diagnose if they are growing legitimately.
  • Intuitive Awakening Facebook group
  • Sometimes world feedback can’t be an accurate calibrator because we can get good at shining it on.
  • What does your inner wisdom say?
  • Are you shining it on?
  • Or are being authentic?
  • Create the map that shows you where you are at in your personal growth.
  • Not all growth looks the same.
  • Personal growth isn’t always holistic, but it can bleed out into other areas of your life over time.
  • There is an expectation that someone who is into personal growth should show up consistently across the board.
  • Rarely is that the case.
  • We have access points of where we started our growth journey, and we may be pretty adept at that area, but it doesn’t mean we are adept at every area of growth and development.
  • We tend to follow people who are just a little ahead of us.
  • If you are interested in growth and development and you have good intent you are qualified to talk about it.
  • Your audience will find you.
  • Some people talk about their personal growth because it keeps them honest and committed.
  • If you are listening to people who have good things to tell you and you benefit from what they say, then continue to listen.
  • If someone doesn’t vibrate with you, then find someone who does.
  • Not everyone is going to be a good fit for you.
  • Just because you don’t vibe well with someone doesn’t mean someone else won’t find their voice compatible.
  • Some people are dialed into different access points.
  • Be honest with yourself.
  • Imposter Syndrome Podcast
  • When you get to the inner voice of quiet truth, there isn’t a lot of fanfare or even emotion.
  • Just a sense of peace.
  • “That’s where I’m at.”
  • That inner voice tells you exactly where you are.
  • That inner voice is the one who draws your personal growth map.
  • The inner voice is outside the cacophony of ego and inner critic.
  • At the end of the day, we want our lives to have mattered.
  • We need to prove to ourselves that we matter.
  • “You have to try. Even if it explodes in your face.”
  • The meaning becomes the trying.
  • If it is just about results, then you may bow out when it becomes apparent that the ROI isn’t going to be there.
  • But if you are doing it because you can’t imagine not doing it, then that becomes the guiding star.
  • Better to try even when the results aren’t ideal.
  • You are the only one who knows if you are doing the work.
  • All the work you do may look like it has been for nothing, but has it?
  • You are still learning valuable lessons by sticking with something until the end. No matter what that end may be.
  • The more you are on the right track, the more vulnerable you are to getting off on the wrong track.
  • The more you try to calibrate yourself the easier it is to become uncalibrated.
  • The more you grow, the harder it gets to stay on the growth path because it is all generated by you.

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the difference between pseudo personal growth vs real personal growth in your life. #podcast #personalgrowth

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Showing 16 comments
  • Bobby Young

    The paradox for me is… while my growth is always aimed to be actual, the development will always be pseudo, but I will never “have arrived” to that destination.

    The more developed I become, the more I realize how much more there is to do.

    The true pseudo-developed seem to preach as if they are already there. This draws the fine line between confidence and arrogance. While I am confident in what little I have learned, I am not arrogant enough to think there is MUCH more to learn.

  • Nicole Milani

    Okay, not to ruin the deep,introspective “telling gritty personal stories” atmosphere or anything… but seriously, I am kind of amazed that the “this is how long it will be until the sun explodes” person Joel talked about hasn’t shown up in the comments yet. 😆

    Maybe they started typing out their comment, and then lost the urge to do it when they heard the rest of the podcast. ☺️ Who knows.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    But then again, I just went and googled the actual number, and it turns out that our sun isn’t big enough of a star to explode at all😂, so the whole thing is kind of a moot point to begin with.😝 Apparently it’ll just expand into a red dwarf and swallow our planet whole in about 5-7 billion years time…😜.

    ( In all seriousness though, this was a great episode of the podcast. Personally, I found it very inspiring. Keep up the good work. 🙂)

  • Mitzi

    I have been listening in & this has been the first time I commented. As an INTJ who went through a huge life-changing event, I had been stuck in a rut for awhile. I found you guys when I was early 20s (2014) & have been listening since then. It feels inspirational for me. When I listened to the podcast about being in the loop, it really resonated with me. I realized that I had been running away & being avoidant about what happened at that life-changing event. It had spilled over in my own life too. Now that I’m acting to actually heal than putting it under the rug, excersing my Te by doing what I so needed has given me so much impowerment.

    For a long time, I didn’t really know I was moving forward. I felt like I was growing, but I thought that I wasn’t really. I had “grown”, but I felt like I had been lying to myself. This podcast was very enlightening. I think that it is easy to rest into the idea that you’ve grown and having others believe it too. Growth is something that you know intuitively. If not, then you’d know that yourself too. This was another wake up call for me too. A lot of the past podcasts had been a very eye-opening experience for me. It has helped me understand myself. Keep on keeping on!

    -Mitzi (INTJ)

  • Ellie

    Ive been interested to self development for around 15 years but only just listening to podcasts.
    I’ve become numb to the recycled contant that most bring.
    However you along with the minimalists have been a breath of fresh air.
    As a enfp/infp I’ve always craved your style of information, it’s so rare.
    I’ve been lost for a long time but you have given me hope and a way to understand life in a logical way.
    I’m certain your podcast has causes enormous waves I hope any insecurity you feel about any negative reviews disappears because I’m sure you’ve saved at least one life.

  • Jess Visher

    Joel and Antonia I _love_ seeing your heart in all of this. I’m sure I don’t agree with you on some of life’s bigger questions but your zeal to become the best version of yourselves and to try- to really try and not just BS it- is inspiring and makes me want to cut out all the BS in my own life and be real. So thank you!

    I’ve only listened to about 20 podcasts so far but this one showed a more vulnerable and rawer side of you both and I appreciated that. You were openly navigating these new instances of harsher, maybe even unwarranted, criticism and used it as a platform to help people self-question their own authenticity as well. That being said I don’t know how worth it it is to defend yourselves. You are leaders and a part of the burden of being a leader is that you don’t get to make a public defense to almost all of the public criticism (which is hard because making a defense feels so good). Not because it’s wrong but because it’s just not worth your time. Joel is right- your life is short, so spend that time focusing on what you want to focus on- changing the world. All that negative chaff gets blown away in time. Not responding might make you look weak but it takes a lot more strength to suffer silently with the intention of giving attention to something greater.

    And as a fun aside- in reference to Antonia’s “you should just try it,” I use that classic picture that Christopher Walken reiterates over and over again in Catch Me If You Can. “Two mice were in a bucket of cream…” This analogy is very powerful for me in my struggle with depression because I KNOW what’s going to happen if I don’t try. I’ve experienced it a hundred times before. But if I do try- I could fail too but I don’t KNOW- I may not. So it’s worth the try. I already know where the other alternative leads.

    Thanks for being real!

    • Antonia Dodge

      Thanks for the comment. I think the conversation was a way for us to mull over reaching a broader demographic and its implications. We’re leveling up in a lot of ways, and being able to talk about it on a public platform gives some catharsis. And our goal is to encourage others to reach out for something bigger, so in some ways we’d like to give newcomers resources for what’s coming up / we don’t want to candy-coat the experience.

      That said – I fully agree. Once we’ve navigated through this space, spending time attempting to defend ourselves from criticism has terrible ROI. There are much better things to focus on. 🙂


  • Yohan

    Absolute gold… but now that I said it, I hope it doesn’t twist back and sting me (laughs)

  • Beckham

    Very interesting Podcast. In general I really appreciate the PH content. Thanks for keeping me on my toes. You all have definitely helped to add fuel to my own personal growth, especially around the work of ego transcendence. That being said, something did pop out at me during this podcast and my Ti accuracy is having a hard time letting it go. Antonia, you mentioned receiving a negative review about one of your Graves Model podcasts. More specifically the person giving you feedback didn’t like you discussing what level you believed you were in. I don’t agree with them and have nothing invested here but you mentioned that you have never stated your Graves Model level during a podcast because you made a conscience decision not to. I believe you when you say that you made that conscience decision not to share and yet I too remembered a podcast in which you discussed this. Please refer to episode 0022 around the 57 minute mark. Please don’t interpret this as a criticism. Just a little fact checking 😉

    • Antonia Dodge

      You’re right! That was many years ago and I no longer identify myself as a 6. The level I currently identify myself at I’ve not shared, and I’ve made a decision not to share it, so I was surprised when the review said the person “could not bear to keep listening after the Graves Model podcast…and how high up they think they are on it.” I was trying to figure out when we made a big deal out of our ascended level. But a quick “I would place myself here…” wasn’t what I thought that would be. 😛

      This is clearly what they must have been referencing. Thank you!


      • Beckham Bright

        No problem! Like I said, I don’t agree with this person’s assessment. They clearly aren’t assuming best intention. I thought you and Joel were very fair to all the levels in that Podcast and I detected no illusion to superiority.

        ~ Beckham

      • Micah Long

        Hey! INTJ here, near as I can tell. Long time listener and have received a lot of value off you guys.
        I do not recall the episode in which this occurred but you (Antonia) did strongly imply that you and Joel were at level 7 or above. You spoke of how people transitioning from 6 to 7 will revisit an earlier stage where some wounding happened or which was not completely explored. You said that it was fascinating to watch Joel make that transition. I am not certain of this memory but you may have described what it was like for you to make that step yourself. Describing this experience in the past tense implies that you and he are level 7 or higher.

        • Antonia Dodge

          Another community member let me know that in the first Graves Model podcast I mentioned being a 6 and he’s right! I totally did (but forgot since it’s been a few years).

          That said, I’ve never claimed to be a 7, and neither has Joel. After the first podcast I don’t believe I’ve mentioned the level I suspect that I’m at (though clearly I have a spotty memory for the earlier episodes). Implications and inferences may be happening between myself and you as the audience, but even in “real life” I don’t really talk about it.

          I totally did say I was a 6 in that first podcast, tho. Totally.

          Thanks for the comment!


          • Micah Long

            [no response required!]
            Hmm, okay. We may have stumbled upon an example of the Mandela effect, where many people erroneously “remember” the same thing. Also, it may just be me fabricating the memory. I will try to find that sound byte and get back to you with an episode number and time.

  • Kate

    You shouldn’t place on yourselves the impossible burden of being all things to all listeners, especially to first-time listeners who are sorting through their first impressions. Automatic first impressions are so often tied to unconsciously-biased expectations that need challenging. For example, when I first began listening, it initially bothered me that Antonia did most of the talking, but that was only because I wondered if Joel wanted to talk more and wasn’t being given the opportunity. When it emerged after listening to multiple podcasts that that clearly wasn’t what was going on, it immediately stopped bothering me. Your dynamic (and substantive content) is amazing and should be what you two need it to be, not what anyone else needs it to be. I think that you two successfully communicate good intent, and I never pick up on a sense of sneaky internalized pretense (and you tell me that as an INFP I’m good at picking up on intent 🙂 ).

    The idea of briefly using a “pseudo” growth appearance to get through a time of being tired/busy makes me think of the second loop strategy you covered in the last two podcasts. I wonder if there is ever a time when using the second loop strategy could be helpful to the “healing” stage in the HAT model. I definitely identified with the INFP “comfort-seeking” loop as a temptation that’s unhealthy to get stuck in, but can also remember periods when retreating/comfort-indulging served to create space in which to get perspective on and heal from trauma. Maybe the progress came more from using the retreat to get right with my Fi, but the space in which that happened feels similar to the loop.

  • Marie Garrido Zoeller

    Antonia, I usually nod my head as I listen to you and Joel speak. I look forward to each podcast. Today I was shocked to hear you say that you sometimes think that your decision making is superior to others. It actually struck me deep inside, so much so, that I stopped the podcast to write to you. Let me explain why.

    People have called me “Sister Mary Marie” or “Marie Poppins” to tease me about always being the “good girl” when I was growing up. After listening to your podcast, I now understand that my Fi has made me practically invulnerable to peer pressure and has kept me focused on my goals and who I want to become. I have many close friends and family members who always seem to make the “wrong” choices. Growing up, I always asked WHY people chose to do things, WHY some of the guys I hung out with joined gangs, WHY my sister was permiscuous, WHY my cousin did drugs even when it meant he lost custody of his son. A book that I am reading now probably has the closest that I have come to an answer. It is called, The Body Knows the Score. A book about how trauma imprints on the body and mind. For many people, their decisions are made based on past experiences, addiction, or trauma.

    So you see, I am not superior to my friends from high school, my sister, or my cousin simply because of my Fi, I am just lucky that I do not have the negative experiences they had that lead them down the path that they are on. Instead of superiority, I feel empathy.

    Our difference in looking at this may be due to personality type (you may have already guessed that I am an INFP), but I just do not think that looking down on others because of the choices they make helps anybody. We can never truly know what is causing a person to act the way that they do even when it appears they are not acting logically– trauma has it’s own “logic”.

    I look forward to your reply. Turning the podcast back on now…

    • Antonia Dodge

      I understand that something struck you and you felt the urge to immediately respond, but recommending you listen to the rest of the podcast is my reply.

      A single soundbite is never the entire story.


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