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Personal growth, personal development or self-development is an essential part of a person’s success and happiness. Personal development is a very vast topic and subject area that consists of a multitude of subjects and topics. There’s a lot to it. Some of it can be conflicting too. And then some of it can seem like common sense.
Personal development consists of techniques and ideas to improve your life as well as inspirational positivity and quotes.
This article is designed to give you an introduction to personal development. Personal growth and personal development will be used interchangeably.
The World of Personal Development
The world of personal development is changing. Millennials are now the biggest population group. It shifted from Baby Boomers. Women also are more involved in the personal development industry much more than men are.
I remember when I first got involved in personal development in my early teens. I would notice that when I would watch videos and read books, most of the people were middle-aged and older. A lot older than me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it didn’t seem like there was anyone I could relate to and it wasn’t popular for people like me. I took a class on stock trading once, and I realized I was the only single woman there. Everyone else was either a single male or a couple together. I also remember when much of it was called “New Age.”
Now, personal development is becoming increasingly backed by science and research. And it’s growing in popularity more than ever. With the advancement of technology, it’s also becoming easier to access with blogs like this one.
If you’re wondering if personal growth is for you, it probably is, especially if you’re reading this. It’s not for everyone though (although I believe it should be.) If you are willing to improve yourself and your life in any way, personal development is for you. Personal development can be for anyone and can be applied to all areas of your life. It can also be applied to company and work culture.
Rules for Personal Development
- It’s never too late for personal growth
- You don’t have to “need” personal growth or be unhappy to enjoy the benefits of personal growth
- There is no one way
- Personal development looks different for everyone
- What works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone
- Not all information out there is created equal (some of it can be misleading, exaggerated, or false)
- Just because one thing didn’t work out as planned or you failed doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or personal development doesn’t work for you in general
- There’s no magic pill
- Personal development takes time
- It also takes some work, effort, and discomfort
- Personal growth doesn’t mean drastic changes or becoming a totally different person
- Consistency is key
- You don’t have to get it right the first time (in fact, it’s likely you won’t, and that’s okay)
- Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist
Fundamentals of Personal Development: Important Steps to Take in Your Personal Growth Journey
Studies show that in some areas, other people know us better than we know ourselves.
You might have noticed this yourself. I have as well. It’s really eye-opening how blind people can be to themselves, as smart, popular, and successful (achievement-wise and wealth-wise) they may be or seem. And this happens to all of us. It happens to the best of us. We all have our blind spots.
Open your mind, be curious, start learning
You don’t have to change your whole lifestyle, you just have to change your approach to life. Just because your reality is one way doesn’t mean that’s the be-all-end-all reality. There is so much hidden potential in all of us and endless possibilities in what we can become and make of our lives.
Start being more curious. Your brain is like a sponge. It seeks to constantly take in information. Feed it. All it takes is one little idea to have a breakthrough or a life-changing moment. Also, one of the ways to take care of your brain is to develop a habit of learning.
Accept everything that is
Acceptance builds the bridge between what is and what can be. There is no change and growth without acceptance first.
Acceptance is similar to forgiveness in that you stop resisting, rejecting, and holding on to negative emotions that no longer serve you. And it frees you to allow you to move forward.
Change is essential to personal growth. Personal growth is just positive change. There are myths and misconceptions about change that we can sometimes believe and hold onto which I write about in the article Why We Need to Change the Way We Look at Change.
Change is a natural part of life, but it can be positive change if we take control of it with personal development.
You shouldn’t be positive in a delusional way, and neither should you begin picking yourself apart, magnifying everything that’s wrong with you, and everything that you want to change.
I’ve mentioned in my last article, what is personal growth that a huge part of personal development is changing the relationship with yourself. You have to get to know yourself well. With that, you have to be realistic with yourself about both your strengths and weaknesses as well as both the opportunities and obstacles or threats in your life.
Learn to let go
Personal growth is not just about bringing in new things into your life, it’s about eliminating things as well. Just as much as you have to learn, you will have to unlearn as well.
Letting go of things that no longer serve you can be freeing and relieving. It opens up space in your life and mind for better and more essential things that serve you better.
Live with purpose and intention (deliberate practice)
Instead of hoping and wishing for something, intend for it to happen. This is something that is more so prevalent for relationships rather than business and career.
For example, someone who’s been divorced a few times reconnects with an old flame may say something like, “I like him. I really hope it works out this time around.” Albeit it can happen in work-related scenarios like saying “I hope I get promoted.” instead of “I’m going to ask for a raise.”
Instead of leaving it up to external factors, circumstances, “fate” or other people, learn to live purposefully and intentionally. Take control of your life and how you want it to go.
You are the leading actor, playwriter, and director of the movie that is your life.
Actionable Ways to Get Started with Personal Growth Today
- Rate areas of your life:
- Intimate relationships
- Family & friends
- Money & Finances
- Health & Fitness
- Mental Health
- Lifestyle (Hobbies, Habits, Personal Goals & achievements, Fun)
- Write down your goals & then set forth a plan
- Pick up a book – If you’d like to read more books for free, you can sign up for a free trial of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited here. You can also check out the top 25 most recommended books by the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and leaders. Although they are mostly business books, there are some great highly recommended personal growth books in there too.
“Ramit’s Book-Buying Rule: If you’re “thinking about” buying a book, just buy it. Don’t waste 5 secs debating. Even 1 idea makes it worth it.”
- Start researching and reading a blog
Recommended reading: 15 Small Lifestyle Changes that Will Dramatically Improve Your Life
- Start journaling
- Get a routine or change up your routine
- Watch videos – A great way to learn pretty much anything is through YouTube. Skillshare is also a great video class platform solely dedicated to learning and skill development. You can get a free 30-day trial here!
- Start treating yourself better
- Start treating others better and cultivate your relationships
- Organize and clear up your space
- Try out therapy
- Invest in a personal development course
- Hire a life coach
- Track and monitor yourself whether it be your thoughts, your actions, your spending, what you eat, your activity, your habits, etc.
- Attend a live event or in-person class/course – I share my experience at a Tony Robbins event with Gary Vaynerchuk here.
Topics in Personal Development
*This section will be updated with increasing articles.
Keep in mind many topics within personal growth can overlap with each other.
- Lifestyle Design
- Time Management
- Mental Health
- Mind Power
- Goal-setting, goal achievement & success
- Self-discipline & willpower
- Inspiration, quotes, and positivity
- Skill Acquisition & Improvement
- Self-Esteem & Self-Love
- Confidence & Social Skills
- (Social and Family Relationships)
- (Love and Romantic Relationships)
- Persuasion & Influence
- Social Intelligence
- Public speaking
- Body Language (and Non-Verbal Communication)
- Personal Finance & Wealth Creation/Building
- Career & Business success
- Creative visualization
- Stress Management
- Emotional Intelligence
- Mind-Body Connection (Sports & Fitness Training, Physical healing (placebo effect))
- Healing & Overcoming adversity (Addiction, grief, breakups)
- Overcoming fear(s)
- Law of Attraction
- Dreams & sleep
- Lucid dreaming & remote viewing
- Affirmations, subliminals, hypnosis
- Personality & character building
- Critical thinking
- Community, Contribution, Charity
- Passion & Purpose
As you can see, there’s so much that involves personal development. Some of these things we may have never tried or even heard of.
What’s great about personal development is that even just working on one area or working on personal growth in general bleeds into other areas of your life.
The same goes for the opposite too. If you feel like an area of your life is going downhill and you’re regressing instead of progressing, it’s going to affect other areas of your life too.
Everything is connected.
You don’t have to do everything or learn and master everything to reap the benefits of a better you and a better life. Just remember to start somewhere.
You don’t have to be perfectly balanced, just as long as you can know yourself, assess your progress, and be able to make adjustments. In the beginning, though, it’s important to prioritize and be consistent. And if you struggle and failure, just as long as you keep trying, doing your best or better than before, and keep moving forward.
Stagnancy is a killer to personal growth. Even trying and failing is better because at least you tried and you can learn from your failures.