Personal Growth: Seeing Progress Every Time You Change Your Underpants

Personal Growth Progress“Personal growth: seeing progress every time you change your underpants”–Did your mind go “there?”  He! He! He!

Personal Development + Underpants

I do want you to click through and read my post; so don’t blame me for getting creative with my headlines–it’s for your own good, I totally promise!

Today’s post is good clean fun with a great lesson on personal growth and making progress.  I know you can’t wait to see how I tie changing your underpants into a post on personal development.  So, I won’t keep you waiting.

We’re in potty training boot camp in our house!  My son is 3 1/2 and as a mom who has done this twice before (with girls who were both potty trained by now) I’m struggling with frustration and feelings of failure because he is not in the slightest bit interested!

We’ve purchased every type of pull-up’s out there, including the ones that turn cold when he pees. We’ve tried the cheerios in the potty to aim at. We’ve rewarded him with M&M’s, and even toys, trying to get him excited about wanting to go on the potty.

We’re making progress, little by little…I’m SO proud of him because he’s actually going poop on the potty now!  (Did I just really talk about poop on my blog?)

There are four main stages of personal growth that we all progress through.

1. The first stage of personal development is unconscious and incompetent.

  • To put in in perspective of potty training, this is when a child doesn’t know that they’re supposed to be going on the potty and they don’t understand the feeling of having to go. (Diaper Stage)
  • For the marketer it may be that you don’t know you should be building a list online and you wouldn’t have a clue how to do that.
  • Personal Growth Phase: You don’t know what you don’t know.

2. The second stage of personal development progress is conscious and incompetent.

  • That’s when a kid becomes aware that mommy, daddy, and older siblings are using the potty but they are trying themselves and having frequent accidents. (Pull-Up Stage)
  • For the marketer, it may be that they become clued into the world of internet marketing for lead generation or funded proposals, but they don’t know where to begin.
  • This is the stage where a lot of people give up because it feels difficult and overwhelming.
  • Personal Growth Phase: You know what you don’t know.

3. The third stage of personal development progress is conscious and competent.

  • This is when the kid knows to go on the potty but has to work hard to remember it. (Training Pants Stage)
  • For the marketer it may be when you’ve got your blog set up and you’re starting to build an audience but you’re working hard to get traffic, generate leads, create content, and you’ve got to have your head in the game at all times.  You’re learning the skills you need to be successful online.
  • This the stage where people may fall victim to the comparison trap, comparing themselves to other marketers who may or may not be better than they are.  As a leader it’s important to keep your humility and not forget what it was like to be in the previous stage, and also not to let yourself get discouraged if others are moving forward faster than you are.
  • Personal Growth Phase: You know what you know.

4. The fourth stage of personal development progress is unconscious and competent.

  • This is when the kid goes on the potty without being reminded, and no longer has accidents. (Big Boy or Big Girl Undies!)
  • This is when the marketer feels like their business is running on autopilot.  They’ve got the skills they needed, they’ve experienced success, and they don’t have to think about every little thing they’re doing because it comes naturally to them.
  • They are confident in themselves but not arrogant.  The better leaders at this stage are humble and want to give back to help others.
  • Personal Growth Phase: You don’t think about what you know.

So that’s all fine and dandy, but what is really important is how to achieve the personal growth, right?

Actions done daily, become habits, which create change.

My mission has been to weave my personal development into my daily activities so that it’s as habitual and natural as changing my underpants.  I’d feel weird and it would bother me if I didn’t do it.

Plus when you’re taking daily actions toward your personal development and goals the slight edge works in your favor and the activities compound!  You will start to see progress every day.  For me that looks like more traffic and leads and sales that increase pretty steadily every day.

Because I’m the queen of procrastination and distraction, I’ve learned there are several secrets to really helping me push myself and my personal growth forward.

  1. Make it easy for me to do.
  2. Surround myself with the right friends who make me want to do it.
  3. Put myself in the right environment.

Finding the right style of learning that fits your life:

I’m actually a book learner and visual learner combined, but that wasn’t working for me because I’m a mom of 3 and finding time to sit and read a book or attend seminars and events is difficult.  So, I’ve adapted and chosen audio as my preferred way of learning.

Finding the right environment for learning & personal development:

The coolest thing about working for ourselves is that we can design our own work environments.  If you like to work at the coffee shop, do it!  If you like to blast 80’s rock ballads while you’re working, go for it!  I frequently work in the family room or at the kitchen table when I want to keep an eye on my son and I move to my office when I’m needing extra focus.

Get leverage on yourself:

Find the best way to motivate yourself get leverage on yourself.  Does writing down your goals and having your vision board displayed while you work, motivate you to take action?   Do you need a coach to help hold you accountable to reaching your goals? Do you work great in a group, or do you need solitude to stay focused?

I work with a coach, but that’s not always enough for me, so I like to put my goals out there to others so that I am publicly held accountable.  I’m slippery with myself when it comes to my personal goals, which is why I’ve created teams like the prove it blog challenge and my blog commenting tribe that help me to stay focused with a group of others.  (I’ll always work harder for others than I will myself.)

Surround yourself with the right friends to enhance your personal  growth!I also will find a few strategic  friends who are willing to roll up their sleeves and help me stay accountable to my goals.  They’re my go-t0 people when I’m stuck or I need some extra encouragement.

I also find that it’s important for me to avoid certain people who hold me back from my goals.  The friends who encourage me to blow off my work and go do something unproductive instead.

I hope these suggestions help you to focus on your personal development goals.  Taking daily personal growth actions will compound and before you know it you’ll be at the unconscious competent stage where you don’t think about what you know and success comes easily!

If you’re needing some accountability and coaching to help you build your business, please let me know. I’ve got a couple of openings for coaching students this month. Please share this post in social media and let me know your secrets to personal growth in the comments below!

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  1. Awesome post, Heather, about the stages of personal development. It was easy to figure out where I am (training pants).

    And boy, do I remember those potty training days (and my son took even longer than yours did! He’s strong-willed, that one).

    • Hi Jeanine!

      I bet my son is more strong willed that your son! 🙂 LOL

      I think we’re in various stages for various segments of our businesses. Don’t you? I’m in training pants shifting to big girl panties in the blogging arena, but I’m still in pull-ups when it comes to video marketing.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi Heather, what a great title, I was just on Twitter and noticed my Tweet. I thought..What? Did I tweet that? Then I realized! LOL

    Oh talk about similarities. boys are tough when it comes to potty training. Actually with that said, Joe wasn’t bad when he was awake… but we still have battles at least once every three we eks in BED. Like TODAY… I’m washing quilts. I keep night times on hand too. He’ll be in one tonight… and yes it goes cold!

    Sorry I digress.

    I’m in the Depends I think. I know what I know, I know what to do with some of it, I have so much of what I know to put into practice, and I know I don’t have time to do it all in one day, but I want to… and I feel like I could pee myself.

    did I say that with my outside voice?

    Right now, I am in the middle of a blog post, a book, writing follow up for my list, working on a mom blog… of course I have each task slotted… but I want it done NOW that my nickers are in a twist.

    Any suggestions for me? Maybe I could come and lie on your couch and you could councel me instead1 Get yer clipboard and white coat. I’m on my way.


    • Jayne, come on over. Skip the couch, let’s have wine and commiserate with each other! I’m in the same boat. I am going to unplug this weekend enjoy the kids and take some time to clear my head and prioritize my projects. That’s the only way I can think of moving forward.

      I Love your Depends Category! I should have included that one too! It’s right where many of us are! 🙂

      Thanks for your funny comment!


  3. Heather, CONGRATULATIONS on another great title. What a grabber!

    You did a terrific job walking us through the progression of unconscious/incompetent to unconscious/competent. Your extremely clever analogy was so entertaining and that you made learning “painless.” Well done, my friend.

    Quite honestly I have been in the unconscious/competent stage re personal growth for so long that I cannot even remember when it was otherwise. All of my friends are similar in nature so we constantly lift each other up and reinforce good habits by being aware of our speech patterns.

    On my desk I have a calendar with affirmations so each morning I start my day off by reading and then thinking about the affirmation. Oftentimes, I will post the affirmation on fb or, if it is short enough, will tweet it so that more people can be inspired. My affirmation for today is:

    “My mind is a tool I can choose to use in any way I wish.”

    WOW! Talk about a powerful thought to start your day.

    Thx again, Heather. This post will be shared with many both for the info in the content and the smiles it will bring. Until next time, aloha. Janet

  4. Hi Heather,

    I remember the potty training part of raising kids a little bit. I do remember that it takes boys a while longer (or maybe a lot longer) than girls. I hope the same isn’t true with going through the process of learning how to be successful with a blog. I remember the first stage, and I was lucky enough to run into some people who were experts on traffic generation. What stage I’m in now, I don’t know, but I feel fairly focused, except where Twitter is concerned. That still feels to me like being one bird in a field full of twenty thousand other birds, with everybody tweeting at the same time.

    Lou Barba

  5. Heather, my friend! You have excelled here!! What a killer and attention-grabbing title! It left me in stitches, LMAO! 😀

    I loved the analogy. And oh, that’s a reminder that I’ll be doing potty-training again with my baby daughter :). It went well with my first daughter – I think girls are easier.

    Thanks for a great laugh and for walking us through the progression of personal development – great job!

    You’re amazing, Heather – damn creative!! 🙂

    All the best,

    P.S. I can’t stop laughing – help! 😀

  6. Well Heather, I was wondering how on Earth you were going to tie in Personal Growth with changing your underpants, but you did it masterfully. Well done.

    Your 4 stages of personal development make perfect sense to me. I remember myself in Stages 1 and 2 and seem now to be stuck somewhere between Stages 3 and 4. I see a little of myself in both stages. Keep workin’, keep workin’!!

    (this is what I keep telling myself).

    Thanks very much for setting the stage for your readers development. It’s much easier going through this when you see that others are going through the same struggles.

    One more thing — I am really enjoying the community you’ve set up over at Clever Marketer. The people are fun, supportive and amazing marketers. They are quickly becoming my support network and accountability partners.

  7. what a fantastic article, heather. Love how you’ve added the audio!

    I, too am a visual learner, so I love books, but finding the time to read is a chore. I use audio books too. In fact, when I wrote my first book, I insisted on doing an audio version. There’s something about listening to an audio program or book over and over that helps me jump to unconscious competence much quicker than I might have otherwise.

    Thanks for this…I’m off to retweet and share.

  8. Wow Heather, great post. Loved the title and the examples you gave. You know, for someone like me who needs things explained to them, you did that perfectly! I applaud you, I can see you will, or probably already are, a great leader yourself.

    So glad I connected with you here in your community because I continue to learn from each and every one of you.

    Thank you again for sharing this wonderful example. I’m definitely going to have to bookmark this one so I can come back and read again. Perfect way to explain the different stages to others.

    Have a blessed day!


  9. Heather, Great title! Your stages look like you took Landmark Forum. I have a friend who uses phrases like that. The one I resonate with too often if You don’t know what you don’t know. I’m so glad I’m not there any more.

    Based on your discriptions, I must still be in Stage 3. Still have lots of skills to learn to feel fully confident in how to incorporate network marketing with social media.

    Love the way you compared it to potty training. Can’t wait to get into my big-girl panties.


  10. I love the way you attach potty training to marketing! As I read I could envision where I have been and where I’m going.

    Thank you,

  11. Hi Heather!

    I love the title, too. =) I knew you’d do beautifully tying underpants in with blogging!

    Y’know, putting it in such simple terms just might be helpful in other ways, too. I can much more easily relate to being a blogger in potty-training than an aspiring pro-blogger dealing with SEO and conversion rates and subscriptions and keyword research. Oi!

    Just lemme learn the basics first! Let me learn where to “go” and I’ll be fine. =)


  12. Hi Heather,

    The title, as well as the podcast version are just too cute!

    Everyone else has said it, Heather! Your post is 100% cleverness =)
    I would like to believe that I’m so over the ‘comparison’ stage. Woah, how I dread that stage! I can tend to over-analyze, and discovering so many wonderful blogs, was not helping me at all, previously. Yes, that was before. I am now gladly connecting with great marketers, and I don’t see them as experts to compare myself with, but as leaders who I can learn from tremendously.

    You provided very helpful tips, Heather. The best thing which happened after joining your community is I now get to have my very own ‘social’ accountability. Thank you SO MUCH!

    – Rowena

  13. Heather,

    Witty way to deliver great points! I enjoyed this read, thank you.

    Also, I have to say right now that I’m with you 100% on working harder for others than myself. You may let yourself slip here or there but when you have your accountability partners watching, you put on your game face. It’s a great thing to know the environment in which you operate the best.

    Let’s all pull together to reach step 4 of our personal development phases quickly. Thanks, Heather!


  14. Awesome post, Heather! I hadn’t seen this progression of personal development before, but I like it. You explained it clearly, and then gave specific tips on how to move through it. Perfect!


  15. I was really impressed by this piece! Particularly the title. It is so catchy! You made an awesome way in explaining the different stages to other individuals.

    2 thumbs up for you!