The Painful Side of Personal Development

It’s not just meditation and journaling sessions under a warm blanket.

Leigh Victoria Fisher, MS
6 min readDec 11, 2021


Photo Courtesy of Henrik Rusi/EyeEm on Adobe Stock

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

There are a lot of things you could call ugly in the realm of personal development. There are a lot of pointless words written about it that only scratch the surface. There are dozens of life coaches out there who will be happy to take your money even if what you really need is a licensed therapist. There are probably thousands of courses you could buy to kickstart your personal development journey.

There are a lot of scams out there, unfortunately. I don’t say these things to hate on anyone who puts true effort and knowledge into coaching or course development. It’s just there in addition to good sources of information and help, but there are a lot of glittering boxes with nothing inside. When you’re looking for help or to better yourself, there’s a good chance that you’re doing this feeling a little vulnerable.

But those aren’t the ugly sides of personal development that I want to talk about today.

Really growing means exploring a lot of horrible things about yourself.

Photo Courtesy of Pormezz on Adobe Stock

And that is quite possibly the most painful part of personal development. It’s more than just acknowledging your worst traits. It’s about examining them, figuring out where they come from, and what triggers them. For example, if you feel like you’re frustrated all the time, there may be underlying triggers causing it that you haven’t identified yet. Some triggers are obvious and very apparent, like if you get stuck in gridlock traffic, but others as more subtle and might have to do with how you interpret events or how you were raised.

For me, there are quite a lot of things I’m trying to work on through small steps and changes. I’m working primarily on my temper, my proclivity for overreaction, and my strong desire to have some sense of control over whatever is happening around me. These are three pretty big…



Leigh Victoria Fisher, MS

Brooklyn-based writer and poet. Designer in NYC. Drinks books and loves coffee. Has an MS from NYU in Integrated Design & Media. Working on an MFA in Fiction.