How Your Personal Life Can Help you Grow Professionally

Have you ever had one of those days where you’ve had something going on at home or in your personal life that, no matter how hard you tried to it out of your mind, it wound up bleeding into your working life… so much so that it adversely affected your performance (or how you felt about it) at work?

If you answered yes, then rest assured – You are not alone!

No matter what we have going on in the background of our day-to-day jobs, we all run into uneasy days like the one I’ve described above. And while it may not happen all of the time by any stretch, it’s important to note that no matter how ambitious we may be when it comes to our working life: It’s hard to grow professionally when we’re personally conflicted.

Ken Coleman, renowned author of The Proximity Principle and host of The Ken Coleman Show mentions this idea in depth this week during our conversation on Episode 125 of the podcast… and to me it certainly bears further exploration here as we navigate just how our personal lives can help us grow as professionals.

Far too often, we think that we can keep our personal and professional worlds separate – and while I have touched on the idea of compartmentalizing before, it’s important to note that no matter how many different hats we wear each and every day, we are bound to run into some trouble when we’re conflicted personally.

In order to continue to grow in a professional arena, we need to be in a place that challenges us and where we’re surrounded by people who push us to be our best! And let’s face it, that’s hard to do when you’re drowning in negativity brought on by people that exist solely in your personal life… or when you’re not getting the support you need (in the background) to pursue your dreams.

So, for the sake of keeping that conversation moving just a bit more, today I want to focus on ways that we can ensure that our personal and professional lives are not at odds with each other… And if you had a chance to tune in to Episode 125 this week, then you may remember that Ken mentions there are really only three things that we need to have in place in order to grow.

Ready to dive into what those three things are? Let’s get started!


The 3 Must-Haves That You Need

in Order to Grow Professionally


1. An Alignment of Values

One of the important aspects that will help you grow as a professional (and even on a personal level) is to first understand exactly who you are

What are the things that you value most in life (what are your priorities)? What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning? What is your North Star?

Ken notes on Episode 125 this week that the person who doesn’t know who they are is going to be constantly confused. They’ll go through what Ken calls “seasons of great clarity” only to experience episodes of immense fogginess on the other side of the coin when they are out of touch with their core self and what they truly value most.

In other words, when you don’t truly understand who you are on a personal level, it’s difficult to grow professionally… The key lies in ensuring that what you personally value is in alignment with what you choose to do professionally.

After all, how can you possibly enjoy yourself at work when what you do at the office is in conflict with who you are at your core?

(For some help with fine-tuning your priorities and determining your own North Star, tune into  Episodes 006 and 004!)


2. A Healthy Challenge

Let’s face it… Change is necessary for growth, both on a personal and a professional level. And one way that we can ensure we are developing a healthy relationship with the concept of change is by seeking ways that we can challenge ourselves.

On the episode this week, Ken and I discuss the importance of having people in your corner who not only support you and your dreams, but that also encourage and challenge you to be the best version of yourself that you can be. And this certainly rings true in a personal and professional arena!

In order to continue to grow on a professional level, it’s not only important that you are surrounded with positive influences, role models, and mentors at the office, but it’s equally important that you surround yourself in your personal life with people who will provide you with some of the positive reinforcement that you need to keep pursuing your goals, and who will challenge you to keep moving when the going gets a bit rough.


3. A Clear Path Forward

In addition to ensuring that our personal values are in alignment with our professional endeavors, it’s imperative that we have a clear path forward in both arenas as well.

Ken mentions that one way to be sure that we are staying the course toward our ideal selves is to consider the path we are on and tap into our strengths to ensure that we are doing what we can to keep moving forward…

How do your own strengths relate to what you are most passionate about?

If you’re unsure of what you’re most passionate about – if you’re just starting out on your journey toward your ideal life and your ideal self, then a great way to develop a clear path forward is to tap into what your core talents are.

What are the things you’ve always done well, the subjects that have come easiest to you, or the tasks and functions that you’re able to tackle with ease? Pay attention to them, because these are your personal talents and they can help you carve out the shape of your professional path that will help keep you moving forward.

The more you fine-tune your personal talents, the easier it is to turn those talents into concrete skills that you can use on a professional level.


What are some of the ways that you work to overcome personal conflict so that you can continue to grow professionally when you’re faced with trying days? Share your experiences in the comments below… and tune in to Episode 125 this week to hear even more about what Ken Coleman had to say about ways that we can work toward the dream life we want!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton