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It really doesn’t take much to get started with personal development. There are few required fundamentals for personal growth. You don’t need to have your life together (that’s kind of the point). Neither do you need to be super smart or outgoing. You don’t need to be motivated (which you shouldn’t rely on anyway). Heck, you don’t even have to believe in yourself or any of it to get started although you’ll probably have to eventually.
There are however three main fundamentals for personal growth to occur. Without these three things, personal growth is nearly impossible unless, of course, it involves realizing, accepting, and implementing these things into our lives.
If you are involved in personal growth, these things should naturally occur. The sooner you can use these fundamentals, the sooner and better you can start seeing personal growth in yourself and your life.
1. Living consciously and self-awareness
It starts with awareness. It’s the very first step. Without awareness, growth is limited, and even if there is growth, it’s sadly unrecognized and unappreciated. Awareness is having consciousness. Awareness is being awake. It means being present with reality. It’s the root of living mindfully and intentionally. Awareness means facing the facts rather than evading, ignoring, resisting, and rejecting reality and truth. Knowing is not enough. For example: “I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m going to keep doing it anyway.”
Living consciously and having self-awareness means to seek to be aware of everything that includes our actions, thoughts, purposes, values, and goals and to act in accordance with what we see and know.
Having a lack of self-awareness does not necessarily and not only mean not knowing. It can mean turning a blind eye to our problems, our success and achievements, the things we probably need to work on, our bad habits, our own desires and goals, and everything that affects us and makes us us.
When we don’t live with awareness, we betray ourselves and rob ourselves from personal growth. Facing the facts and reality can be scary, but it’s scarier to live in ignorance of the facts and do nothing about them. Wishes, fears, denial do not alter the facts. Having self-awareness is far more rewarding than being “blissfully ignorant” as there is no change or growth from that state. In fact, things can get worse from the state of blissful ignorance.
There is no true happiness or fulfillment that comes from ignorance and resistance. There’s a quote that says that indifference is worse than hatred. The same holds true for ourselves. It’s better to see and hate or dislike that aspect of ourselves or our lives than be completely oblivious to it or turn a blind eye to it because once we do have awareness and acceptance of the facts, then we can go ahead and take control to make any necessary changes we want to make.
Some may say that desire, the will, or motivation is required to get started with personal growth. The thing is that awareness comes before all those things. How can you have a goal you have little awareness of? How can you want something you don’t know you want?
You have to be honest with yourself, first and foremost. You have to know first through awareness before you can get started on personal growth and reaching goals. Truth is essential and foundational in successful personal development.
Awareness is not only essential to see the negative things about ourselves and our lives, but the positive and goodness in ourselves. When it comes to reality and the facts, we have to be aware of the good things to realize and appreciate them.
Seeing only the negative things about yourself and everything you don’t like is not realistic either. We are more likely to appreciate and feel fulfilled with our achievements and success when we don’t dismiss them. Self-love, self-respect, and self-acceptance are fundamentals that lead to happier, more fulfilling, and successful lives.
It all starts with self-awareness and consciousness.
Learning is a key component in all of personal growth. Many people have a limited view of learning though. Learning is thought of as gaining knowledge. Those people may think that achieving a goal doesn’t involve learning or working hard. Success and achievement is always a learning process. There are only two things that can hold you back from achieving anything in the world. Those two things are 1)physics – is it physically possible? And 2) knowledge.
Everything requires knowledge and learning that knowledge. Action requires learning. You can learn how to be more disciplined. You can learn how to take action. Knowledge is needed to take action. Building habits requires knowledge. Being disciplined requires knowledge. Working hard requires knowledge. Following through on difficult habits and goals requires knowledge. Overcoming fears requires knowledge.
Knowledge is more foundational than beliefs because beliefs are learned. Not only is our knowledge and the information we have learned, but so is our beliefs, our values, and our actions and behaviors. You don’t need to believe in yourself to get started with personal growth because you can learn to believe in yourself. You don’t need to be super-motivated or be super disciplined or great at creating habits or taking action because you can learn to do those things.
Taking action is important, no doubt, but learning and knowledge are required for action to occur. You can’t walk without learning to walk first. You can’t talk or write or read without learning how to first. Even things that you can naturally do, you can learn how to do better, such as breathing.
The moment that I learned that concept (see what I did there?), my life changed. It’s such a simple concept, but it’s powerful once you grasp it and use it to your full advantage.
So many of us are mostly or only focused on the “grind” or the “hustle” and make little time for intentional learning.
Learning is more than taking in information, and it’s more than just going through life’s experiences. Learning is a powerful tool that should be implemented more actively rather than passively.
It shouldn’t be something that ends at school nor should it be something that happens to you, like when you make mistakes and learn from them. Most of our lives we are told what to learn. Few of us take learning into our own hands.
I believe learning has much more power than hard work. It’s working smart. Working hard will only get you so far. In fact, it could even get you and keep you behind. Learning will not only keep you up to date, but can help you advance in any given field. With the tools and technology we have today, everything is growing at a faster rate than ever before.
Even things we normally wouldn’t think can be learned can be learned like charisma, empathy, making decisions, confidence, relationships, how to talk to people, and more. Some people mistakenly believe that you either have it, or you don’t, and that’s not true. While it’s true that some abilities can come to some naturally, everything that is physically possible can be learned. This is called having a growth mindset.
Learning is not just an essential but naturally occurring part of personal growth. It should be made into a conscious, deliberate, and intentional choice as a part of personal growth.
Put more time into deliberate learning for your personal growth. Education, knowledge, and learning are key.
Change IS what personal growth is. Personal growth = change. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean sudden or drastic change. Change can and should be gradual and small. Many of us resist and reject change because of misconceptions about change such as believing we’re already happy therefore we don’t need change. Some of us avoid and dislike change because change can be scary and difficult. The thing is that change is a natural part of life, especially in such a fast-paced world we live in today. Change just means you’re alive. What is stagnant begins to die.
Change is what brings you new experiences, people, environments, and more. Change goes hand in hand with both education and personal growth. There is no one without the other. Therefore, it’s important to learn to accept, embrace, and seek change.
Change does not necessarily wait for you though. It can sometimes force you into personal growth. However, the more you resist and reject change, the more stressful it will be and harder to deal with any changes that life throws at you.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
There are many of that do want change, but we refuse to take any action that results in change ourselves. We will often just wait and hope and wish for change instead of taking matters in our own hands and creating change ourselves.
The moment you realize that self-awareness, education, and change are fundamental for personal growth, the sooner you can invite personal growth into your life. These three things will not only naturally occur with personal growth, but you can use them to accelerate and supercharge your personal growth and make it last.