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You might think that the first thing you have to do to get started with personal growth is to set goals. That’s not true. There’s a lot of deeper foundational work that’s important to do as well.
I’m sure you’ve witnessed or heard about high overachievers and people who are successful and seem to have everything going for them, but they’re still unfulfilled. They’re not happy. It’s never enough. They have all these accomplishments and yet, they’re miserable. Or maybe that’s you.
Not only that, but it seems that achievements and richness are valued more than personal happiness and fulfillment. You see memes that say, “I’d rather cry in a Ferrari than cry on a bus.” And the first question many people ask to get to know you is, “What do you do?”
Personal growth is a lot more than setting and reaching goals and success. It’s also a lot more than “just do it.”
This article lists some ways you set yourself up for growth and continue to stimulate deep and lasting personal growth.
Forget about what you want, your purpose. Forget about setting goals for now. You just want to be honest with yourself about what is going on right now and where you are at.
Just be a casual and objective observer of yourself and your life. You’re not trying to judge or criticize. You’re just observing and learning from the outside.
You want awareness because it will open your eyes to reality, the facts, and the truth of what is at this moment.
Doing this will help give you a strong platform for where you want to go.
2. Work on your emotional and mental health
Your emotional and mental health are essential and a top priority to your overall success, happiness, fulfillment, and wellbeing.
Your emotional and mental health is what guides your thoughts and emotions which guides your actions and behaviors which guides the results you have in your life, your success, and most importantly, your happiness and personal fulfillment.
It’s not your results in your life, your achievements and success that determine your happiness nor wellbeing. It’s your emotional and mental health.
3. Accept & welcome change
Know that change is necessary for growth. Many of us can have misconceptions and limited beliefs about change. Change is scary. It’s uncertain. It’s uncomfortable. The thing is that change is not only necessary for personal growth, it’s a natural part of life.
The more that we can welcome and accept change, the more we can deal with the challenges life throws at us and seek out more for ourselves in our lives.
4. Develop curiosity & seek knowledge
Knowledge is the solution to every problem, the way to any goal, and the way to awareness.
Feeding your curiosity, education and knowledge is investing in yourself and your mind.
Everything is learnable. Everything is figure-out-able. Even everything that you have learned can be unlearned. Your habits, behaviors, thought, emotions are learned. Anything that is physically possible is made possible through education and knowledge.
That is amazing and there is so much power in that.
You can learn how to do anything and be who you want to be and have the life you want, within the realm of physics, with the right knowledge.
Commit to learning.
5. Start reading books
Reading books not only increases our empathy, it gives us a deeper understanding of ourselves and life around us. When we read blogs like this one and scroll through social media, we are mostly skimming for one and not really delving deep into education and understanding.
When we read books, we are deeply engaged in the material. We are better able to grasp and learn the material we read. We’re also more likely to be emotionally invested which makes us more likely to take action on what we read if we’re reading a self-help or any kind of educational non-fiction book.
Here’s a list of the top 25 most recommended books by the world’s most successful people for further reading.
6. Listen to podcasts
It’s amazing what you can learn from podcasts and who you can learn from. And it’s even more amazing because it’s all free! You can listen to it during your commute, running errands, when cooking or cleaning, or when working or just hanging out.
What this means is that there is extremely low investment (time, money, and energy) to have education and personal growth is your ear. Podcasts have huge ROI. It’s quality information and knowledge from the best minds in the world from their respective fields.
And it’s interesting and entertaining! Not only that, but if you’re like me, after listening to someone for so long, you feel like they become your friend. 🙂 This is great for reducing loneliness also.
7. Watch educational videos
It’s amazing what’s out there on YouTube and other video platforms for you to learn. It’s possible to learn nearly anything from anywhere in the world with a Wi-Fi connection and a working device which if you’re reading this, you most likely do.
You can learn how to practically do any skill from the best teachers. For example, you can learn how to put on makeup from famous professional makeup artists. You can also learn how to dance from the best dancers out there.
If you wanted to learn how to dance through online videos, you no longer have to:
- be able to afford to take dance classes from someone
- Live in their vicinity
- Or be able to travel to train with them, have a form of transportation
- Have the time to get ready for the class, travel to and from dance class, take the dance class
- Be limited to availability (classes are only available once a week, classes fill up, etc.)
With online videos, you aren’t limited to these restrictions. You can learn on your own time. You can watch and rewatch as many times as you want and need. And you can learn in the comfort of your own home from all the way on the other side of the world. You also save time because you don’t have to do any traveling or waiting.
Skillshare is an online video learning platform I love to use to learn new skills. It’s made for people who want to learn actual skills. I love it because the videos are in-depth and comprehensive. Each class is broken up into bite-sized lessons and you can go at your own pace.
Check out Skillshare and get a free 30 day trial here!
8. Get clarity
Clarity is when you know exactly what you want, where you want to go, and who you want to be. With clarity, you gain a sense of control because you now have the power to go after what you want. You have freedom. You’re no longer stuck.
The more clarity you have, the easier it is to achieve your goals and personal growth. You’re less likely to waste time in indecision, you’re more likely to be committed, and it’s easier to track your progress and know if you’re on the right track.
When working on getting clarity, make sure you’re specific on what you want in your life and in all areas of your life.
9. Address fear, failures, and problems
In your journey in life, whether you go for your goals and dreams or not, you’re going to face these three beasts. Instead of trying to fight and defeat the beasts, you’re going to befriend them and use them to your power. You’re going to make them work for you, not against you.
Fear, failures, and problems are never going to go away. You’re never going to get to a point in your life when there are never going to be fear, failures, and problems. They’re just a part of life. You just have to face them, deal with them, and solve them as they come up.
Fear serves you in protecting you from actual physical danger, but unfortunately it will also try to protect you from going after your goals because you often have to do what your brain is not used to. Failures should be sought out in pursuit of your goals because it means that you’re trying. Failures are just do-overs. Problems are going to happen. You can prepare for them and prevent them as much as you can, which you should, but they will come up. And it’s normal. It’s okay.
Problems are meant to solved. Failures mean you’re trying. They’re lessons that mean you can try again. Fear means you’re doing something new and pushing yourself. Use them for you in your favor. Fear, failure, and problems do not control you and you should not let them.
10. Stop searching for happiness
Many people will think they’ll be happy when they achieve something or when they get somewhere in life. The irony is that they should already be happy in their pursuit. You shouldn’t try to be happy from your accomplishments or success because it will never be enough. That’s why people feel unfulfilled or empty or like a fraud even when they accomplish great things.
Then there are people who try to gain happiness through pleasure. They go on vacations, they spend money to look good, they go drinking and partying. And none of this is bad at all. It’s normal to want this. It feels good. But it’s not good to use this and confuse this with happiness because it doesn’t last so it can get exhausting.
And then others will search for happiness in their friends or significant other. Happiness comes from having genuine love for yourself and others not waiting for others to love you and complete you and fill the void. They wait for someone that will solve all their problems and make them feel good and happy and the end. ,
The truth, as cliché as it may be, is that happiness comes from within. It is available to you right now. The thing, though, is that you shouldn’t expect to be happy all the time. Because if you felt happiness all the time, would you even be really happy? Probably not.
The range of emotions we experience is what makes us human and just means that we’re alive and living life. Happiness is just an emotion. It shouldn’t be confused with success nor pleasure nor wellbeing.