Written by Anna Buchmann, Programme Manager (India).

We do have feelings in north-east Germany, and every now and then we also express them. Most of the time, however, we just deal with it, in silence, and move on. We don’t necessarily talk about our passions and values, we don’t necessarily ask how we could change as an individual to reach our dreams, and often we don’t necessarily dream big. We expect the system and society to get us where we want to be.

When I started working for _SocialStarters, Personal Development was new to me, and I half-heartedly believed in it. Passions and Values – I guess so… But when I found out that a professional coach would join us on our last programme, I thought “Oh Dear” and prepared for the worst. To me, coaching was Hokus Pokus – people should just figure things out themselves – you don’t need a coach! What a judgement to make. What a misjudgement to make!

I told myself to keep an open mind, and when it was time for the coach to arrive, my judgement had been replaced by curiosity, especially because I saw some Personal Development techniques successfully having an impact on individuals in the first programme I lead as programme manager. So when Cristina stepped out of the car I held my breath and gave her a big, welcoming hug, silently hoping that she wouldn’t start analyzing me straight away. Little did I know what the next 4 weeks would teach me.

Cristina – a ball of positive energy, a force of nature, the voice in your head that asks the right questions. She has touched each and every girl of this _SocialSisters group – made them think, made them laugh, made them do. We learned a great deal about ourselves, even had a couple of revelations. But importantly, to me she showed the worth of coaching and personal development. I didn’t just see it, I experienced it.

We are all here to make a change. A change in society, a change in our lives, a change in ourselves. That is the essence of social entrepreneurship, the essence of _SocialStarters. Making an impact. But then I wondered: Can you make an impact if you yourself aren’t in the right space? If you are seeking answers in your personal life, if you only look for solutions on the outside, if you are not balanced – can you be the most effective change maker? You can be, but understanding that change starts within you, how to ask the right questions and constantly reflecting and acting upon the answers – that is what makes us powerful. That’s what makes you a change maker. And Cristina has brought us closer to that.

To me, Cristina is a change maker. She has found that balance within herself that makes her effective at helping others. And now she has planted the seed in all of us to find that balance, too. Let’s see what change we will grow into.

Original published: https://developmement.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/the-hokus-pokus-of-personal-development/

#JoinUs on a programme and volunteer with grassroots social entrepreneurs.

India – 30th January (6 weeks) & 2nd April (6 weeks) || Sri Lanka – 13th February (6 Weeks) & 16th April (6 weeks) || Brazil – 19th March (6 weeks) & 4th June (6 weeks) || Rio Inspiration Programme – July 2016 (3 weeks) .

To apply, send your email with a cover note to info@socialstarters.org and clearly state in the subject heading which programme and what date you are applying for. If successful, you will invited to a Skype interview with one of the team!