Based in New York, the Rich Hipster blog is written by Chrisette Michele. Her essays, poetry and lyrics think thru the modern ideas of black entrepreneurship, responsible creativity, and what it means to mindfully serve black and brown female community from a full cup. 

“Self Development” The Neglected Catch Phrase

I think very often, we muddle business and entrepreneurial success with personal development.


It is a wonderful thing to excel in the business arena and climb the corporate ladder. These achievements deserve applause. But when these achievements come at the price of your personal, inner growth, you aren’t whole. God wants us to be whole people. As a matter of fact, the word “whole” is used in place of “healed” in many versions of the Bible. Whole people live full lives.


I see many articles and speeches written about self confidence. This confidence is then attached to success at the work place. What about the confidence you need to ask for two scoops of ice cream at Coldstone Creamery? What about the confidence you need to tell your mom you don’t want her to come dress shopping with you for your big day? How are we tending to the confidence we need to live full PERSONAL lives? Are you confident in speaking to your friends? You family? Your dog? This is "behind-the-scenes-confidence". You can be a public success and a personal ... well, you fill in the blank. 


We take development tools and apply them to everything outside of us. Business, work, volunteering at church or organizations. We apply them to making bank and financial freedom. This is good, but it isn’t a “whole” life. It's important for us to remember our selves outside of the ideas of money and success.


Personal development is learning who YOU are. Yes, you will give the world many things. Your talent, your skills, and even your very identity will be utilized to validate another mans cause, business or corporation but, remember your identity. If you’ve forgotten it, or if your “self” has changed with out you noticing it because you’ve been so busy, stop and recognize it. Let yourself know you're paying attention. Speak to yourself, acknowledge and validate yourself. Nurture and correct yourself.  I love how Shameless Maya shares her perspective as she goes between epic red carpets and the process of self introspection thru "Chit Chats" on her YouTube page. 


The reason why “authenticity” is such a catch phrase right now, is because people are remembering themselves. They’re starting to see what they want and who they are. The difficult part is, we as a community are developing at lightening speed in the areas of entrepreneurship and we are forgetting who we are as individuals in our own personal space and time. Authenticity is catchy because it means that you can bring “you” to the table and win. The question is, “how much of you do you have at the table and how much do you have for yourself?”. Are you starving "you" for the sake of "success"?


I’m only speaking from my own life experience. I know what it means to give parts of yourself that you are just getting to know. I know what it means to sell something you just created and still can’t explain. I know what it means to do an act of self care and then exploit that very act as a new trend. For many of us it’s things like “Big chops” or “Weight loss”. Maybe it’s “giving birth” or “engagement”. Before we even experience our own self, we give it away and are left un-whole. Ouch... that stung a little.


That’s why you have beautiful Instagram feeds from people with a messy apartment. You’ve got gorgeous weave photos from belles who neglect their edges. You have fitness guru’s with drug addictions. We’re out of balance. I love the example that Tia Mowry shares as she brings her beautiful post-baby body back into balance.  She understands "glam" and business, but she also seeks self-love and wholeness.


Self Development is an identification process that each of us have to go thru in order to fully SERVE ourselves, that we might serve who we’re called to. Take some time to stop and be still. Remember or discover what you like, what you need as it pertains to you and you alone. What fills up the “wholes” you’ve given away? What part of you do you miss? Is there something new yearning to be heard by you, deep inside of your body? What needs to be fed, nurtured, protected?


Remember this. You’ll want to evaluate yourself periodically. As we grow we change. Our digestive system changes. Our physical body has new needs. New vitamins, new exercises, new foods, new bathing ingredients. We may even need new fabrics, new hair treatments and different makeup choices. We give birth, we have cycles, our love lives effect us. Our relationships change us. Take the time to get to know you. Be mature in business, but be mature in self development as well.


With Love,


Chrisette Michele


Comment Down Below: I'd love to hear from you. Any questions? What are some measures you’d like to take to further develop yourself? 

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