Life is filled with challenges. But it’s how you react to those challenges that make all the difference. Whether it’s at college, work or home, you will find yourself in situations where you need to adapt.
While it might not be easy, there is a way you can ensure that you are equipped to handle these situations and grow from them - through personal development.
If you’re new to personal development, here’s a quick recap on what personal development is and how it can benefit you. If not, feel free to skip ahead to our top 5 strategies for enhancing your personal development.
Put simply; personal development is a process of self-improvement. Throughout life, we develop skills just by interacting with stimuli like the people and things around us. These are learned and used in our everyday lives, but by actively seeking ways to enhance these skills, you’re able to realise your full potential and set goals that will help you achieve things in your life no matter what comes your way.
The skills that come from personal development include:
Whether you want to develop these skills for your business or to help your personal life, these are all essential life skills to master that will help you grow and become the best version of yourself.
Personal development allows you to develop self-awareness that you can use to understand your actions and maximise your potential. It gets you thinking about what makes you unique, what your strengths and weaknesses are and helps you identify what your goals and aspirations are.
Once you understand these things about yourself, you’ll feel a sense of direction in your life, and you can eliminate anything that leads you further away from your goals and put your energy into the things that will lead you closer.
So, how can you learn to maximise your potential and achieve personal growth?
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. ”The best way to ensure you achieve everything you want is to create a self-development plan. Sitting down to map out your personal development journey helps to make it more real and gives you something to look back on if you ever feel unsure of the path you’re taking.
When creating a personal development plan, there are a few things you should include:
Having clarity around the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ is essential to beginning your journey to self-improvement and once you’ve finished this step, it will be a lot easier to narrow your focus and achieve your goals.
No good strategy is complete without goals; just ask any of the top athletes, performers and business people. Goals provide us with long-term direction and short-term motivation, giving us a target to work towards, rather than waiting for things to happen.
Whatever your goals may be - wealth, career, happiness, relationships - you need to identify them in order to understand the steps you need to take to achieve them.
Some examples of the most common personal development goals include:
If you’ve never set goals before, I recommend the well-known SMART criteria for goal setting. You should be making each goal specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timed. Using these criteria, you should be able to focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving the goals you’ve defined.
One of the best ways to enhance your personal development is to surround yourself with like-minded people. You can do this through networking events, conferences and events on topics that interest you. Not only are you developing your interpersonal and communication skills, but you can also learn a lot from interacting with different personality types. You might even establish relationships that can be beneficial for you or others in your network in the future.
If large crowds aren’t your idea of a good time, I challenge you to think of ways you can expand your circle. Maybe it’s having coffee with someone from another department at work, inviting a neighbour over for dinner or reaching out to someone in a similar profession on LinkedIn. However you do it, you’re sure to gain something.
If you need a breakthrough or accelerated growth or understanding in a particular area of your life, utilising a personal development mentor might be a good idea. Not only do mentors help guide you on your self-improvement journey, but they will usually have helped many others with similar journeys, so they understand what you’re going through and what you’re trying to achieve. And often, those mentors will have a mentor guiding them as well!
I like to say that mentoring helps us to understand ourselves, which is vital in leading other people. We all have blind spots, and it often takes an objective outsider to help us see them and manage them better.
I touched on this when talking about setting goals; it’s important to do regular check-ins with your personal development to ensure you are on the right track, but also celebrating your achievements. Acknowledging and reflecting on how much you’ve grown is a personal development skill in itself.
Regular check-ins are important, but you should also evaluate yourself once you have achieved a certain goal, gained another skill or improved a certain area of your life. The more self-evaluation you can do, the closer you’ll be to self-empowerment.
When deciding to start or enhance your personal development journey; just remember the skills you learn are always a worthy investment and you can never go wrong when you are investing in yourself!