Last Updated on August 4, 2022
It’s probably a fair statement that if you’re taking the time to read this article, you’re interested in the steps involved in personal development. Sometimes also referred to as self improvement as well as personal growth, the bottom line is this: we can all become better, stronger, more capable versions of ourselves.
Self-development refers to the process in which we continuously strives to develop ourselves both personally and professionally. It is an active process of self-assessment, reflection, goal setting, and instituting the action.
In this article, we’ll discuss the value of personal growth and explore some self development strategies to help you achieve your highest potential.
What is Self Development, Anyway?
As mentioned above, self-development is an ongoing process that encourages a person to reflect and assess what they want to do and how they can improve. Our own development is important to us, or it should be if we want to keep moving forward in our personal life as well as our professional life.
As human beings, we are constantly changing. We are fluid beings with desires, needs, goals, and perspectives that shift over time as we continue to evolve. With a growth mindset, we can capitalize on these changes and embrace the steps needed to keep moving forward.
So as we grow, we need to take time to pause and reflect on the process. If we are honest in our assessments, there is always an opportunity to learn and improve.
The journey of personal development requires ongoing effort, commitment, and intentionality. It is the process of finding ways to continuously improve in all aspects of our lives from relationships to self-esteem, discipline, confidence, and more. Yes, my friend, it’s a lifelong process.
The end goal of self-development is to achieve your highest potential – whatever this might look like. While everyone’s journey and experience are going to look a bit different, there are some personal development strategies we will share to help you move in the right direction.
A Foundation of Positive Thinking
Positive thinking builds a strong foundation for personal growth and is a critical part of the process. If we constantly think the worst about ourselves, our actions, and our abilities, we will sabotage any hope for improvement.
The journey through life is not an easy one, as we all know, but a positive mindset can help. With a positive attitude, we can quickly bounce back from disappointment and defeat and move forward in the direction of our goals and dreams.
Self Awareness is Key
Self-awareness is another important aspect of self-development. It is a psychological state in which we grow more aware of ourselves. We become the focus of our attention.
Being self-aware means we can accurately assess our strengths, weaknesses, achievements, and pitfalls. Knowing these character traits, personality aspects, and skills can help us more quickly identify areas of growth and opportunity.
Self-awareness helps us to identify what we want to learn, change, and let go of. As we grow in this space, we may recognize things in our lives that are no longer serving us. We may pinpoint specifics that we would like to learn or change so we can take the necessary steps to facilitate this process.
Remember this my friend; self-awareness is a skill that must be practiced. The more you practice internal reflection and questioning, the more skilled you are going to become and the more effective your self-development plan and journey will be.
Eight Self Development Strategies
If you are not sure where to start or need some help kickstarting the process, here are eight strategies you may find useful as you work toward creating your self development plan.
1 | Understand Your Starting Point
Let’s say you are taking a road trip. You have a destination in mind, but you’re not sure where you’ll initiate your trip. How can you navigate the way to your destination if you don’t know your starting point?
Understanding your starting point is an important part of the self-development process. It provides a benchmark for growth.
There are several online assessments and resources that can help you better understand your starting point in reference to skills, personality traits, and more. Once you know where you are starting, you can map out the steps needed to get to your destination.
2 | Set Goals
Goals provide a road map for your trip. They help you get from point “a” to point “b” more efficiently and are a helpful self-development strategy.
It is best to set goals that are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. This is a helpful acronym to remember that will help you avoid setting vague or unachievable goals.
When a goal is specific, you’re more likely to follow it. The more detailed you can be in setting your goals, the easier it will be to measure your progress. Sometimes, setting small goals to start can be beneficial. If a goal is too lofty and unattainable, it may feel discouraging.
When this happens, it’s wise to revisit your goals to determine if they need to be re-worked. Writing them down on a piece of paper and posting them in a highly visible area can help you stay on track and remain motivated.
3 | Create a Plan and Put It in Writing
Another helpful self-development strategy is creating a plan and writing it down. The process of writing down your ideas removes them from your mind and puts them on paper. It takes something seemingly more abstract and makes it concrete.
Documenting your ideas in a journal can be a great way to not only map out your plan in greater detail, but also hold yourself accountable. Once it is in writing, it becomes more real to you, and can help you take that step outside of your comfort zone. After all, it’s in writing so you want to see it through, don’t you?
4 | Set Your Own Pace
Everyone’s self-development journey will look and feel a bit different. While it seems that society pushes us along and dictates our timeline, in truth, we are the only ones who can determine the pace at which we move.
In striving towards your self-development goals, you should set your own pace. It is not a race or a competition with others to the finish line. Working at a pace that feels most comfortable to you is going to help perpetuate success.
5 | Improve Skills/Nurture Strengths
All of us have innate skills or strengths that make us who we are. Some of us are gifted writers or athletes, while others are good conversationalists or diplomats.
We must recognize and nurture our strengths as we continue to self-improve. How can we use our unique strengths and skill sets to our advantage?
On the other hand, how do we improve our skills? We could all benefit from additional training and development in certain areas. There is always an opportunity for growth.
6 | Learn from Failure
At some point, we are all going to try, and we are all going to fail. That is just the name of the game.
The most important thing is that we reflect on those moments and learn from them. Every failure provides us with an opportunity to reflect, reassess, and reapproach.
In fact, it is those disappointments that can create a stronger version of ourselves if we can keep a positive mindset and forward movement.
7 | Small Steps – Your Plan, Your Pace
When it comes to your own development, you must move at your own pace. Nobody can dictate what this will look or feel like for you. Only you have the power to decide how quickly or slowly you can move.
Sometimes, smaller steps lead to larger gains in the long run.
8 | Develop the Soft Skills
Soft skills are skills that relate to how you work. These are skills that determine how well you operate and interact with others.
Time management, good oral and written communication, and a mindset for learning are all excellent skills to develop that will help support your self-development pathway.
While we shared eight ways to support your personal growth journey, here are some additional tips you may find useful when creating your personal development plan. Let’s get right to it!
Start with Regular Self Care
Self-care is an important part of your development practice. Just as the adage goes, you must secure your oxygen mask, first, before assisting others. If you are depleted, you will not be able to achieve the highest version of yourself possible and show up as your best self.
Regular self-care may include eating well, exercising, connecting with friends, and spending time with family, to name a few examples.
Here are some helpful articles that can help you create healthy self care habits and routines.
Learn more about the benefits of self-care:
- 6 Types of Self Care and Why We Need Them in Our Life
- 5 Minute Self Care Ideas When You Need a Quick Boost
- Self Care vs Self Love: What’s the Difference?
- 6 Tips for Creating a Healthy Morning Self Care Routine
- 10 Winter Self Care Ideas to Keep You Feeling Your Best
- Summer Self Care Ideas: 10 Ways to Relax and Refresh
- Self Care Sunday: 15 Ideas to Soothe Your Body, Mind, and Spirit
Expand Your Awareness
Self-development is all about personal and professional growth. A key aspect of growth is continued learning.
How to you hone this desire? Reading, listening to podcasts, and watching videos that help expand your knowledge in your areas of interest are all great examples of ways you can learn, develop new skills, and expand your global perspective.
Consider a Coach or Mentor
If you need some additional support getting started on your self-development journey, a coach or a mentor can help. Not only can they provide you with guidance and support, but they can also help to hold you accountable as you work towards your goals.
Final Thoughts: Personal Growth through Self Development
Self-development refers to the process of achieving your highest potential. It is an ongoing journey that requires great thought, heart, motivation, and intentionality. It contributes to our satisfaction in both work and life.
While there are many roads you can take, starting with a few key strategies – like the ones we shared – can help you achieve your goals and put you on the path to success.