What is personal growth and development ?
If you’re asking yourself “what is personal growth and development?” then I’m pleased to tell you that you have come to the right place.
I hope to give you a lot of advice on this website now and in the future.
If you think you’ll find it interesting, I respectfully suggest you bookmark the page and keep returning to the site as I add more information and advice.
There are many different terms for what I like to call Personal Growth – you may have heard of terms such as Self Improvement, Personal development, Self Help and also phrases like Lifelong Learning and Personal Betterment. These terms are very popular but I prefer Personal Growth and I’ll explain why I like that term above the others.
Self Improvement is my next best favourite term for it, but I like it less than Personal Growth because it suggests you are somehow not right but you can get better! This isn’t the case. You are how you are – not right or wrong, just you. I think Self Improvement is Personal Growth in a worse name.
Personal Development to my mind refers to a more formal training. It’s perhaps training you do for your career. It could be academic training such as Leadership training or personal training such as Time Management.
Self Help refers to any reading or training that will help you manage yourself. Again, many Personal Growth subjects could come under Self Help but many people don’t like to think they need help. They think they are just fine and shy away from it.
Lifelong Learning is a way of saying that it is good for you to be always learning new things. It is a way not to be closed, but open to new ideas that develop you as a person. The principle behind the term fits in great with Personal Growth but the problem with the term is that many people have negative associations with learning as they didn’t have a great time in school. They don’t want to go back there again so it’s not for them. Their mind will resist and they won’t do it.
Personal Growth and Development
So the best term is Personal Growth.
What is personal growth and development? My definition.
I try to keep my definition of Personal Growth simple.
I think Personal Growth is when you take any action that adds to your knowledge or skills in taking you in a direction you want to go in.
Simple but practical.
By my definition, any time you read an article on goal setting – if setting and achieving goals is your wish – you can give yourself a pat on the back.
Equally, if you have just finished your degree and it will allow you to become a marine biologist which has been your life’s dream, you have taken part in personal growth.
My definition of personal growth allows you to feel good about your efforts no matter whether they are big or small. So long as they take you nearer your desires they have been worthwhile for you.
Other definitions may focus more on huge goals such as gaining vast amounts of money or starting and growing a big business. Now, that may be okay for some people but it’s not for everyone!
It’s okay for you to have less demanding goals so long as they mean something to you. If you are a smoker, for instance, and you know it’s damaging your health and you want to stop, you may decide to research ways to give up. You read that cutting down is a first step in giving up and decide to limit yourself to one cigarette per hour.
Any actions you now take to cut down on your cigarettes means you are exercising your personal power and taking part in personal growth.
Personal Growth doesn’t need to be earth shattering. It just has to add something to YOUR life. You do personal growth on subjects that mean something to you, on your terms and at your speed.
Of course it doesn’t have to stay like that. You often find that success in small areas will give you confidence to expand, and for your goals to grow beyond whatever you originally thought possible.
So who needs Personal Growth and development?
My simple answer to you is that EVERYONE needs to be participating in personal growth.
Well, actually, I’ve told you an untruth. If your idea of a perfect life is getting up each day, going to work and after that spending the evening in front of the tv, or in a bar, then you don’t need to consider personal growth.
And let me say, if that’s what you want to do, it’s perfectly okay. It’s your life and absolutely your choice to live how you want to.
But many people wake up one day and ask themselves “is this all there is?” and “surely there must be more to life?”
If you have asked one of those questions, or a similar one, you have experienced dissatisfaction in some way or other. Left alone this dissatisfaction will lead to frustration and negativity. The way to avoid this path is to start thinking about personal growth for yourself.
Why is Personal Growth important?
If you have experienced this niggle of dissatisfaction, you may have gone on to wish things were different. Perhaps you would like to have more money, be less overweight or have met a significant other, to list three popular causes for unhappiness today.
Many people then start to look outside of themselves – out there! – for answers. They may say that they haven’t had any lucky breaks in their careers, for instance. They ignore the fact that they haven’t done anything themselves to promote their career.
They blame after work meals and drinks with workmates for their growing waistlines, ignoring the fact that could say no and go home to a healthier meal.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of your life, the place to look is not outside. The place to start personal change is ALWAYS from within.
Whatever it is that you want to change, whatever you might want to achieve during your life, it all starts with your mind.
How you use your mind, and the mindset you adopt in tacking the challenges in your life are responsible for how successful you will be.
Any change you want to make in your life starts with the decision itself to make that change. That decision must come from within as you are the only person that can make it!
Having made that decision you then need to develop a conviction that it is something you want, something that must happen, and something that you will commit to making happen. You must commit that you will make a plan to accomplish it and follow through on that plan until the change is made.
Look around at any successful person and you will see that to get where they are, they have had to adopt an unwavering commitment and determination to get what they want.
You need to change your mindset to mirror that of, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger who was so determined to be a bodybuilder that he put himself through immensely hard and time consuming workouts to get there.
Your goal may be a lot smaller – initially – but if you apply your mind in the same way he did, you will get there and it will lead to ever bigger goals and achievements.
And it’s never too late to make the decision to embrace personal growth and start making it work for you.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve tried before, how many “failures” you have had. There is no failure, only results and feedback. Making the decision to grow as a person literally cuts off the past and lets you start again.
Success breeds success and you will benefit greatly from efforts to manage your mind and turn it towards the things you want to achieve.
What are the barriers to Personal Growth and Development?
Put bluntly, you are the biggest barrier to your own personal growth.
It’s not always easy to make positive changes in your life. There are often stages to go through in order to achieve a goal and it’s possible to get de-railed from your plan along the way.
- Firstly, you need to decide what it is you want to achieve, big or small.
- Secondly you need to make a plan to get to your goal
- Thirdly you need to follow the plan and experience what happens and any results.
- Finally you need to modify the plan where it is not working.
And if you achieve your goal but are still not satisfied you need to set and develop a plan for a bigger one.
There is the possibility to be thrown from your path along these stages.
For instance, if you have decided you need to lose weight, you may go out with someone and eat a massive meal. This would obviously not be in your personal growth plan and your actions may cause you distress.
At this stage your mindset will determine how you respond to the event:
You could get annoyed with yourself and decide that weight loss just isn’t for you and you will stay overweight or;
You can accept it was a blip on your journey and you are going to learn from it and not do it again. You come up with strategies you will employ if you are faced with going out to a restaurant.
If the goal is right for you, you need to develop the mindset to make the goal a must, and not just a wish.
How will this site help with your Personal Growth and development?
I will post a selection of thought provoking articles that will aim to help you grow as a person.
Each subject will give you information to help you start to think if it is something you need to consider to help you define and achieve the things you want.
By reading on this website you will learn:
How to be courageous and gain confidence
The benefits of thinking positively
Why being in the moment – Mindfulness – reduces stress
How to master time management and get more organised
Ways to overcome procrastination and be more productive
How to use meditation to reduce stress and focus more
Tips on beating stress and overcoming fear
How to increase energy levels
Why gratitude is really important
How to be happy
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