Podcast – Episode 0258 – 3 Frameworks To Reflect On Personal Growth

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia use three frameworks (personal – relational – career) to reflect on the past year of personal growth.


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • What have you learned in the past year?
  • Success in personal development often means profound failure with extraordinary learning.
  • Very few lessons come from doing things right the first time.
  • Eradicate the word “Failure” from your vocabulary. Replace it with “Calibrate.”
  • “Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.” -Samuel Becket
  • Personal growth for the past year:
  • Personal-
    • Joel:
      • All ego work is not created equal
      • Replacing “sin” with “ego”
      • Master your ego
      • It’s not about ego death/transcendence, but the relationship you have with your ego.
      • Embrace the ego when necessary and let it go when it’s not.
      • Feedback from the outside world can be appropriate, but not always.
      • Dominance over yourself is the first step toward ego mastery
      • Handing power over to others is not dominance over self
    • Antonia:
      • Navigating through some significant wounds with her family in the past year.
      • Emotional, psychological orphan
      • Healing work can be addictive because you can do nothing and receive a pass for bad behavior.
      • If we stay stuck in healing work, it can become self-indulgent.
      • Making Peace with Your Parents Podcast 1
      • Making Peace with Your Parents Podcast 2
      • Personal growth work can be incredibly intimate and internal, and it may not make sense to others.
      • Don’t move on too quickly, and don’t spend too much time in the self-indulgent space.
      • You are the only one who knows what you need.
      • Surrender to the discomfort
      • Growth work often involves developing a good tension point between two opposites.
      • Instead of allowing the pendulum to keep swinging from extreme to extreme, figure out where the balance is.
      • Leadership is ultimately a servant’s role
      • How have you grown personally in the past year?
  • Relationally-
    • Joel:
      • “Everything rises and falls with leadership.”
      • Don’t overvalue your responsibility for other people’s experiences/actions
    • Antonia:
      • In regards to relationships in general, it is becoming more apparent how crucial energetic interchange is.
      • Everything works better when people are in each other’s presence.
      • In this world where everything is virtual, we cannot underestimate the power of personal/physical engagement.
      • We need to remember to humanize each other and stop projecting ill intent.
      • Human Design
      • When you are around other people, you help facilitate transformation in them. Good and bad.
      • We all impact one another energetically.
      • Be okay with people not liking you — not all energies vibe.
      • If everybody likes you, you probably aren’t standing for much.
      • You average out everything about you to avoid confrontation.
      • Allow yourself to step into a space that is less apologetic than you may be comfortable with.
      • The current cultural and political climate is very religious.
      • Well Trained Monkeys
  • Career-
    • Antonia:
      • Sublimating personal development in preference for social causes is an unsustainable system.
      • “Your Mess is Your Message”
      • Antonia’s mess was deprogramming from a patriarchal cult.
      • So, her message is individual empowerment in reprogramming your mind.
      • If we try to build social causes without having high-quality individuals showing up, it is a house of cards.
      • Do the individual work, then work on the social piece.
      • Pygmalion Project Podcast
      • “I love your message, but you need to change your stance on this one thing…”
      • What do you have more control of in your life? Yourself? Or society at large?
      • Societal change can’t make you feel good about yourself if you haven’t done the personal work
      • We don’t tell you what to do on this podcast, we say, “Here’s how to be a great version of yourself.”
      • The self should not be ignored on behalf of the collective.
      • The self feeds into the collective.
      • We know our intent.
    • Joel:
      • Surrender to the work
      • There is never going to be a time when you arrive at the pinnacle of growth and achievement where the work is no longer necessary.
      • Surrender = stop resisting
      • If you’re going to do something you think is important you need to surrender to the work.
      • Resistance lives in our ‘should’ statements.
  • What growth did you experience in the past year?


In this episode Joel and Antonia use three frameworks (personal - relational - career) to reflect on the past year of personal growth. #personalgrowth

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Showing 11 comments
  • Jess

    ENFP here. I don’t even write yelp reviews so this is out of my normal. When Joel speaks I constantly find myself nodding my head saying “exactly”. It cracks me up! I total agree that personal growth is more important. I think if more focused on personal growth than social change would come easier. Or maybe it’s not more important but the first step to social change.

    Personal change for me has been learning the importance of a pure apology. I met a friend who demonstrated it and I found it tremendously powerful. Saying I’m sorry and leaving it at two words. “Not I’m sorry but…” or “I did it because….” No. A simple, pure, genuine apology. It’s difficult to put your ego aside- but when giving an apology and accepting fault when I need to, it allows me to stand up for myself with more confidence when I need to.

    • Jess

      Wish I could edit to fix the typos ?

  • Rhonda

    As an INFJ that works in social/culture change through educational work and organizing, I find that until we’ve done the personal work, we can’t make good agreements — especially agreements or changes that foster a healthier society/culture. I usually work from self/household/neighborhood (or village)/city or region….

  • Brooke

    OMG I am so encouraged to hear the Robin story. As an INFJ and having studied sociology, it feels so frustrating to see injustice, and profits coming before people’s real well being, such as with big Pharma and the “food” product GMO industry … lol I sound like a conspiracy theorist. But I am just one person with no platform and who does not feel tempted to run around squeaking about the sky falling. Money is usually behind many of our pain points as a society and money, not indignation, will have to be a big part of what drives solutions. And, of course, the people holding the money, with access to resources. it won’t be violent overthrow or even televised revolution. Change will happen when the 1% become our allies. Excitng.

  • Phillip Jacobs

    Sorry to see Mary leave the great British baking show but she’s back on Britain’s best home cook show for you fans. For my relationship i want to merge my energy between Ted Nugent wan go tango and cristina aguliras candy man. For work I believe in servant leadership. What can I do to help you thrive in your job? Be creative or do I need to help with your management skills. Or do I build upon relationship communication in the work place. Or do I sit down and write out my thoughts to create ideas. The mind is a beautiful thing.

  • Michael

    I’m a little confused when you say “it’s not all about ego death” – doesn’t that depends on your goal?
    If you seek truth, ego is the enemy, and the enemy of the ego is meaninglessness.
    I read a book called “spiritual wafefare” by Jed McKenna, it put language around all this ego death stuff. In there he emphasizes: what do you want?
    So Joel , what do you want ?

  • Johno

    Love your commitment to personal development. I love that i don’t have to hear “Joel and Antonia’s take on this week’s horrifying headline” every time I tune in. You’re doing it right by honing in on your strategy Antonia! And as a person who is probably in the top 10% of annoyed at Joel listeners, just because I always think Antonia puts it more clearly and more astutely and Joel kinda smears it around (I’m unfairly hard on enfp in general sorry joel), I really respect how you give Joel space to work his own enfp way through ideas; you’re doing great as cohosts who manage, frankly, IMO, a Lot of tension between two powerful personalities. As an entp I’ve learned to appreciate others more by watching how patient Antonia is with Joel! This Is probably the worst comment ever but it’s well intentioned: you guys are great and I know Joel’s increasingly healthy Fi-Te doesn’t care what I think anyway.

    This year I’ve learned

    Relationally: to be alone and lonely, and to pursue some jungian type inner work, and avoiding projecting another romantic quest out onto the next woman (thank you Robert Johnson, “We: the psychology of romantic love”) while moving slowly but surely through brutal divorce with Isfp.

    Personally: to lean into Ti truths and away from tertiary Fe outsourcing my ethics to others (see entp looping strategy 3)

    Professionally: to not quit when I’m annoyed at what I call stupidity in colleagues but is really just my own discomfort; to recognize my tendency to find structural weaknesses doesn’t mean I have to tell everyone—I have the right to use this to my personal advantage and plan my own professional route based on seeing how and when people or teams will fail rather than overstepping lines of corporate authority to make an incredibly accurate argument about everything everyone is doing wrong which will be (duh) helpful to no one — in summary to live in the messy reality of the corporate world And remember I have the right to remain silent.

    Next year: aiming to contain problems by keeping consequences close to their antecedents. Like if I’m out of money, ask for a raise rather than borrowing money, etc.

  • Marina

    Hello! For me, 2018 was an interesting year. And it honestly felt like two separate years for me personally. I would categorize the first period as January-July and the second as August-December. I think I have significantly more takeaways from the second half as it was significantly

    In May, I got to travel abroad for two weeks and see places I’ve always wanted to see. I was traveling with a group, but during the trip I successfully navigated the London Underground by myself. As someone who is admittedly bad at directions, this is a huge accomplishment. Thankfully, there are a lot of maps and an automated voice identifies stops and announces the next ones. And, as someone who grew up in the countryside, I had never spent so much time in a big city.

    I talked extensively about the issues I was struggling with in the second half of the year in my comment on the second part of the Making Peace with Your Parents podcast. I won’t get too much into it as a result. But, the situation is starting to mostly fall into place.

    I still have a lot of anger towards one of my cousins, who has frankly revealed herself to be a truly rotten individual at the core. I don’t think she’s worth the anger though. But the emotion is still there. I’m trying to work through this.

    I have learned more about my grandma in the past months that has made me reconsider my image of her. I don’t think she was showing favoritism throughout my whole life. I see her now more as a woman who really has difficulty with establishing and maintaining interpersonal bonds who has been trying to keep her deceased husband’s final request that she always protect one of the cousins. She has also was repeatedly treated terribly by my uncle’s now ex-wife. I really do not have any more resentment towards her. I don’t think our relationship was healthy at all, but I’m not sure if it could’ve been any different.

    Through this, I realized that I had essentially become numb to my problems surrounding this side of the family. I had thought I’d dealt with them because I was, in a way, so desensitized to it. So, I really related to what Antonia said about a delay in emotional response. Before this year, I really wouldn’t have categorized myself this way. I currently wonder if there’s any other issues I’d dismissed as resolved when I really became numb to them. I mean I’ve always known that I have trouble reacting to genuine displays of affection and strong positive emotion towards me. I just freeze up. People close to me have on multiple occasions pointed out how odd my reactions are. For example, I have responded to “I love you” by “I know” because I didn’t want to convey the wrong type of love, which just really confused a friend once.

    So I knew I was slightly detached from emotions in the moment, but I guess I just never really recognized the extent. I’m a feeler, so maybe that has obscured my view of this part of my personality.

    I guess my list is something akin to:

    Personal/Relational (many of these overlap):

    -You need to accept that you cannot always control other people’s actions.

    -Sometimes it is necessary to cut toxic people out of your life for your own mental health and stability. This is not ruthless to do to your own family.

    -It’s better to be up front and honest with people instead of avoiding the truth. This is especially true when dealing with romantic feelings that are not mutually reciprocated. I need to be kind about the rejection, and going into my natural “flight” and “pretend I’m completely oblivious mode” just ends up causing more pain to the other person.

    Another takeaway (more career/educational, but it’s applicable elsewhere) for me is to present myself in a more confident light. I’m a 6, so it’s my natural tendency to default to self-doubt even when I really know what I am doing. I need to give myself more credit for my abilities and what I can do. There’s a way to do this without coming across as arrogant (which I generally try to avoid). The past few years have demonstrated that I’m more intelligent and capable than I was led to believe by some negative social programming. I am striving to embrace this truth more fully.

    On another note, I found the discussion of how religious programming impacts our beliefs about ourselves to be interesting. While I think religious paradigms generally have many positive attributes, I think they are widely misused in society at large, which leads to many problems.

    While I don’t think it was intentional on anyone’s part, my religious upbringing gave me the sense that I was more moral and, thus, better than others. This was very subconscious and very deeply buried inside my mind. I’m not really sure how it got there to begin with. I think it was part of being told that “People do bad things because they don’t know God.” As I entered late childhood and adolescence, I quickly realized how completely warped this interpretation was, but it will still broadly pop up in occasional bursts of self-righteous indignation where I assert myself as somehow morally superior.

    A lot of my problems with my own religious background were essentially that I felt the structure of the faith overall and how people were using it was often contradicting the doctrine’s true message as I saw it. I could no longer see the faith as it surrounded me as a means for spreading unconditional kindness and love throughout the world. This was simmering in the back of my mind for years. I am considerably more socially liberal than a lot of people of a similar religious persuasion, and my parents are very much moderates.

    What really dug the wedge in was the political climate that emerged between 2015/2016 and extends to today. I can no longer believe that, as a block, people of this faith are truly standing for morals and are holding true to these values. I feel that it’s a complete corruption of the principles I was raised to believe in, which I actuality see as positive virtues in a holistic sense. I felt the contradiction between how people were acting versus how I always was told a member of my faith was supposed to act was too much to take anymore. I’d always been rather private about my religious beliefs, but I have reached the point where I do not publically practice the faith at all. I have considered becoming a Quaker though since I think their theology is more inline with my own. But I feel more self-assured making my own judgement calls about what to believe. And I’m happier for it.

    The core of my own spiritual beliefs has emerged to essentially be, “We cannot know the complete truth about the universe and whatever may be out there.”

    Anyway, thank you for this podcast. I hope you enjoy the holidays and have a happy new year. I have a feeling 2019 will be chaotic too, but chaos in the world doesn’t mean that it has to mess up our own happiness and sense of fulfillment.

  • Mark

    I have had a very difficult year.

    I left Profiler Training in the early stages of the last class because I think I was a bit overzealous and my expectations coming in were skewed. Then I became disillusioned and, in the process of trying to develop, I failed big and failed often.

    I decided I was going to lean into my co-pilot and explore. I won’t bore you with the details, but I hit the wall. I either hated what I tried or nothing worked out, my relationships were a mess, I felt like a failure and I was exhausted and deeply depressed.

    I had already been in therapy and my therapist sent me to a psychiatrist who first diagnosed me as bipolar then not bipolar, but PTSD with symptoms of childhood trauma.

    In the process of trying to deal with the trauma from the past, I was disowned by my mom for bringing up things from the past that she didn’t want to confront.

    In this process my learning from this has been:

    I finally have been able to start to let go of over functioning in relationships and in my career. I am coming to grips with the idea that I’m not always to blame if something goes wrong in a relationship. That someone’s opinion is not always true and I don’t have to take that into myself and assume I’m flawed and I’m the only one in the situation who needs to change.

    I have started to come to terms with the way things feel inside me. When I stand up for myself and set boundaries, it feels HUGE. I feel like I’m being a volcano of fury and I’m scorching everything in my path. In the past, that would leave me feeling like I had killed the relationship and I would do whatever I needed to do or say whatever I needed to in order to try to ‘fix’ something. Even if I wasn’t in the wrong.

    What I’m calibrating to is that I don’t come across like a volcano of fury at all. On the outside, from other people’s perspective, it was a normal interaction of someone sharing a difference of opinion. I’m not coming across mean or overpowering at all, but the way it FEELS inside me because I have been so programmed to assume I’m always wrong, sinful, flawed, etc. and it skews reality.

    Stepping out and exploring again by learning who I can trust, then learning to check in with those people to tell me how I’m showing up in the world and not hedge or be instantly self-deprecating to soften the potential rejection has been huge.

    I have always been good at being able to hold space for other people, but I’m learning to hold space for myself.

    In that process, I have started to re-evaluate my career. I am positioning myself and my family to be able to move, relocate and started the process of being open to new possibilities, career direction, etc.

    I really wanted to participate/apply for the latest class of Profiler Training, but the timing didn’t work out financially, so I guess I will wait for the next round and see where I am in life at that point.

    Apologies for the novel, but that’s a really jumbled version of my journey this year.

    Thank you both for your continued transparency, for what you have created in the PH community and for who you are as people.

  • Dana S.

    In listening to the Relational discussion, I couldn’t help but wonder if the polarity (do we agree that it could be characterized as a polarity?) of personal development vs. social change could certainly align with spiral dynamics. In moving through the levels, the alternating focus on the individual vs. the collective seems to parallel these two models for growth. It just got me thinking about how/why any one person, over time, might strongly identify with — or shift — his or her perspective regarding the value of personal development.

    Personal: My narrative does not define me.
    Relational: The power of humor to unite and enlighten never ceases to amaze.
    Career: Trust my own instincts; Present Me already knows how to help Future Me.

  • Jenna Zae INTJ

    I’m already a huge PH fan. But today’s podcast episode ended up giving me so much hope. You guys spoke about the social change “religion” and it was the first time I’ve heard anyone promote my own thinking about this on a public platform. It’s not the most popular and therefore never mentioned. Just reminds me that you truly are free thinkers and not easily forced into any religious mindsets. This makes me feel even more confident about following your teachings. Thanks for all the growth you’ve done to provide this resource. ?

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