“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow
This quote by Maslow reflects the importance of self-development and moving forward. It emphasises that personal growth is ongoing and must be actively pursued. This process of growing and progressing in different areas of our lives is called personal development.
What is personal development?
Personal development helps you become the best version of yourself and grow to your next phase of fulfilment. It’s practical and helps you gain a better understanding of yourself, discover your potential, overcome self-sabotaging behaviours and habits, cope better with life’s challenges, learn and grow from experiences, and become more empowered.
This process doesn’t focus on the pursuit of “things” but rather on pursuing a sense of fulfilment, a deeper understanding of self and a healthier way to engage with the world around you. It’s necessary for success, fulfilment, maturity and growth. When we grow, we’re naturally more motivated, we broaden our perspective, and we become aware of the opportunities around us.
Personal development is by no means a passive process. It requires active pursuit on your part and takes time because it aims to help you create lifelong changes through persistent effort. It involves a great deal of inner-research to discover who, what and where you want to be in life. Each area of your life impacts the other and the process helps you to examine each area and determine where you want to grow and improve. Figure 1 below reflects the 8 dimensions of wellness that typically make up the areas of our lives.
As an individual, your circumstances are unique. You could, therefore, work on your personal development in many different ways. If you’re new to the idea and unsure about where to start, the wellness wheel and the following questions can help you to think about areas that you may want to develop:
How do you cope with life’s challenges?
Do you find them as overwhelming and unnecessary?
Do you view them as opportunities for growth?
How balanced is your life?
Do you strive for a responsible balance between work and play?
When you rate yourself on each area of the wellness wheel, what’s the result?
What’s your attitude toward your current position in life?
Do you compare your life to the lives of others?
Will your current path lead to your personal development goals?
How do you feel about your current habits, patterns and relationships?
Do they support you in a positive way?
Do they contribute to your personal development?
How do you feel about your physical space? (e.g. home, office/desk)
Have you created spaces that will help you become the best version of yourself?
What do you choose to expose yourself to?
Does your social media feed, for example, support your personal development?
Do you actively seek out opportunities for growth?
How are you working on your personal development?
People need support when making decisions about their personal development.
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