Personal Development | Helping You Achieve Your Goals
What is Personal Development?
According to Wikipedia, ‘Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations.’
I think you’ll agree that’s quite a list and not something that can happen overnight.
In fact, personal development is something that never really has to stop and can therefore continue throughout your entire life. If you Imagine any obstacles in your way are big walls, then personal development is a way to break down these walls and clear the path in front of you to make life easier. It’s your way to a better life and to becoming an improved version of yourself.
- Improving self-awareness
- Improving self-knowledge
- Building or renewing identity/self-esteem
- Developing strengths or talents
- Improving wealth
- Spiritual development
- Identifying or improving potential
- Building employability or human capital
- Enhancing lifestyle or the quality of life
- Improving health
- Fulfilling aspirations
- Initiating a life enterprise or personal autonomy
- Defining and executing personal development plans
- Improving social abilities
The key to understanding the true definition of Personal Development is to think of any areas of your life that you’d like to improve and change them for the better. This can include your working life, social activities as well as family life.
Just as a plant needs water to enable it to grow, people need personal development to grow as humans.
If you are new to the concept of personal growth take some time to understand the following;
- The more you learn about yourself, the better life you will be able to create.
- For everything that you are doing in your life, there is a reason why you are doing it.
- The key to overcoming your fears will also unlock a whole new world to you.
Some people may think If you need to work on yourself, does that mean that you are not good enough? – On the contrary, the best people in the world keep working on themselves all the time.
The 5 Areas of Personal Development
If you’re going to demand growth of yourself, then you need a reliable yet easy way to self-assess how you’re actually doing. The best way to track your progress is to breakdown your development into 5 areas;
By asking yourself questions within these topics, you can then determine which of these 5 areas you should prioritise in the first step of your personal skills development. Example questions could be;
- Am I exploring a wide variety of topics or experiences outside my niche areas?
- Do I ask questions regularly of others?
- Have I travelled in the last 3-6 months to expose myself to something new?
- Can I find information when I need it (without the Internet)?
- Am I able to come out of learning with more good questions or a greater appreciation?
- Do I regularly take time for self-care, meditation, prayer and/or mindfulness?
- Do I try to understand individuals who have different beliefs than me?
- Do I accept my imperfections?
- Do I have goals?
- Do I have a clear sense of purpose in my life?
- Am I meeting the standard recommendation for daily exercise?
- Do I spend time outdoors?
- Do I eat the recommended allowance of fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts/seeds and meats?
- Do I feel like I have good energy through the day?
- Do I get the recommended number of hours of sleep each night?
- Do I take regular breaks?
- Are my moods relatively consistent?
- Am I able to cope when I experience a challenging situation?
- Do I seek support from others?
- Do I have a good support network?
- Do I let go of what’s bad for me and move away from what’s toxic?
- Do I take action rather than simply complain?
- Do I respond to criticism well?
- Am I reaching out to current friends regularly?
- Do I actively seek out new relationships?
- Do I feel comfortable working with new people?
- Do I participate in social events?
- Do I accept invitations from others?
- Do I help others without being prompted to do so?
- Do I trust and feel connected to the people that I know?
The questions which you answered ‘no’ to are the areas that you need to look at more in depth. Ask yourself what the reasons are that you’re not able to do these things. Break the ‘no’s down further into 2 lists; The things that are simple to fix or you can address immediately and the things you’ll need to work at or get additional help to fix.
This will give your personal growth a plan to work against, and if you feel you can fix some things straight away, this will boost your confidence as well as getting things off to a flying start. The realisation alone that you have areas of your life that can be improved is a massive step in the right direction.
Don’t be disheartened if your list seems quite long in the beginning, and don’t be afraid to seek help to make the changes you need to. Read other people’s personal development blogs for inspiration, or even set about writing your own to document your progress.
Your Personal Development Plan
Hopefully you now have a clearer understanding of the areas in your life that would benefit from some personal development. To give you the best chance of success in changing your life for the better, why not ‘strike whilst the iron is hot’ and write a plan to accurately outline your personal goals, why they’re important to you, and how you aim to achieve them.
To quote George Bernard Shaw – “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
You owe it to yourself to be the best version of ‘you’ that you can be!