6 Steps Toward Personal Growth
Developing yourself can be uncomfortable. It forces you to push the limits of your comfort zones, do things you aren’t good at and accept feedback that might wound your pride. However, through all that discomfort, you’re slowly building new skills that can help you either personally or professionally (depending on your goals).
It’s hard to know where to start or how to continue your journey to personal growth. That’s why this blog put together six things you can do to ensure your development stays on track.
1.) Extinguish Negative Thoughts
You don’t have to be in the midst of an identity crisis to experience negative thoughts. In fact, most people have them every day. It’s the little voice in your head that says, “Jim’s presentation was better” or “You look ridiculous in that dress.”
The very first step to personal growth is ignoring and challenging these voices. You likely won’t be able to stop them in their tracks, but the more you challenge them with positive thoughts, the quieter and quieter that voice will be. For example, instead of listening when negative thoughts criticize your outfit, tell yourself, “This dress makes me feel happy and I always look good with a smile.”
2.) Set Small Goals
It’s tempting to set a huge milestone when you want to change something in your life. You might set a goal to earn double your salary next year or move to another country. The only problem with dreaming this big is that it’s not always realistic. If you don’t reach those big goals, even if it’s not your fault, you’re often left feeling deflated.
Instead, choose small goals that are realistic and achievable. You could have weekly, monthly or even quarterly goals. Choose things that require you to develop a new skill or hone an existing one; you need a goal that will require work. As you reach these goals, you’ll be able to celebrate your personal growth and track your progress.
3.) Don’t Compete with Others
Many people think that making their personal growth journey a competition will fuel them to accomplish more. In reality, it just creates a toxic environment where you’re more focused on winning than you are on growing. This makes for a greater chance that you’ll feel negative if you “lose” than positively when you make great personal strides.
Instead, only compete with yourself. Set goals you know can achieve and try to surpass your previous performance. You can use benchmarks from previous attempts to measure your progress or simply celebrate when you reach a goal. Just remember, it’s about progress, not perfection.
4.) Set Your Own Pace
Just like you shouldn’t compete with others, you shouldn’t follow their timeline either. It’s important to set your own pace when working on personal growth to allow yourself the time you need to practice and adjust to a new skill or lifestyle.
Don’t get caught up in what your friend or family is doing or how long it took them to reach their goal. Focus on taking things in stride and really making positive skills a habit before moving on to the next goal.
5.) Start Journaling
The better you can track your actions and feelings, the better you can see your own progress. That’s why starting a journal is a great tool when working toward personal growth goals. Ideally, you can record thoughts, feelings and progress every day, but you can also opt for once a week. Just remember, the more you write, the more value you’ll get from your journal.
If you’re not used to writing in a journal, consider these topics for each entry:
- What steps did you take toward your goal today?
- How did you feel about those steps?
- Do you think you’re doing well or poorly?
- Are you still energized and dedicated to your goal?
6.) Always Keep Learning
Personal growth is a continuous journey. Any time you reach a milestone or goal, set a new one! Always strive to continue learning new things and practicing new skills. Never stop striving to be a little better than yesterday!
Personal growth can be intimidating, but with these steps, you’ll be on a clear path to long-term success.