10 Compelling Reasons to Embrace Personal Growth and Development in Your Life: Learning to Live the Happy and Productive Life You Want and Deserve
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach |Certified Life Strategies Coach
Personal growth and development are ongoing, lifelong processes in which we all engage throughout our lives. When we assess our traits and skills and then set new goals, we are striving to maximize our full potential.
Personal development goals can be set for all aspects of our lives. At any given time, we can choose the areas in which we want to grow. Areas that people often seek to improve include those related to personal, professional, financial, health, relationships, and more.
When you establish and work toward your personal development goals, you automatically boost your confidence. You also increase your productivity and professional success. It's just a bonus that growth like this also enhances your relationships with others.
Here are ten top reasons everyone should embrace personal growth and development.
The benefits are just too many to ignore.
Reason #1. You will be happier in the short term and the long run.
When you can express who you are and live a life that is aligned with your values, you are happier. You are in a better position to achieve what you want to do in your life. You will enjoy greater overall happiness in your life experience. When you can speak about what it is you want, you are more likely to reach it. So setting personal development goals is key to achieving what you want in life.
Lewis Carroll said, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." Not having goals that you are pursuing in your life are the same as not knowing where you are going. When you wander from one thing to another in search of happiness, you often come up short. Isn't it better to set your sights on something you want and then go for it?
Lady Gaga may have said it best in her recent acceptance speech at the 2019 Oscars ceremony: "...it's not about winning. But what it's about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There's a discipline for passion. And it's not about how many times you get rejected, or you fall down, or you're beaten up. It's about how many times you stand up and are brave, and you keep on going."
What is your dream?
Reason #2. You will make better decisions also in the short term and the long run.
Knowing yourself allows you to make the best choices for you and your future. Personal development gives you the tools to make decisions of all kinds.
You should strive to make decisions that are in your best interest. Doing that will serve you well when dealing with life’s obstacles. When your focus is clear and aligned with your beliefs, your decisions will result in positive outcomes.
Reason#3. You learn how to say “no.”
Understanding your personal values and needs will help you stand up for yourself. In the face of outside pressure from your peers or family members, you can speak up for yourself with greater confience. You are also more likely to put your own needs first, which means you can focus on achieving your dreams.
Saying “no” to others does not make you "selfish." It means you understand what you need and how you need to approach your personal goals.
Setting boundaries and taking care of yourself means allowing yourself room to grow and flourish. If you are constantly responding to the needs and demands of other people, you won't have time for your own goals. Be wary of friends who are constantly asking for favors or are always in need of support but can't be found when you find yourself in need.
Choose your friends carefully. Doing that will mean you have to say "no" less often because they won't be making demands on you.
Reason #4. You can learn about your negative patterns and stop them in their tracks.
Introspection is necessary for personal development. Self-awareness allows you to notice the patterns in your life that are not helpful to you. Through reflection, you can see when you are working against your own best interests. This reflection gives you the power to make positive changes.
Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst wrote, "Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
If you need help in this area, I recommend that you find some books that may help to inspire the kind of self-awareness I mean. There are many of them.
Reason #5. You will experience less inner conflict.
Personal development requires you to be clear within yourself about your values and beliefs. Once you’ve articulated these to yourself, you can begin living a life that is more in alignment with them.
Getting clear about your values and beliefs can also help eliminate inner conflict. Inner peace comes from matching your actions to your beliefs and values.
I remember once either hearing or reading an example that Dr. Phil (aka Dr. Phil McGraw) offered as it relates to being clear about your values and beliefs. If you value honesty, you will never consider stealing. Stealing in any form would be out of alignment with your values. If you consider that stealing might be "okay" in some circumstances, then you don't value honesty. So don't kid yourself about that.
What do you value? Could you name your top three values if someone were to ask you to name them? If not, you may want to gain some clarity in this area. It will help to avoid trouble for you in the long run.
Reason #6. You will worry less and feel more hopeful.
Personal development allows you to recognize what you can and cannot control in your life. Once you have made that distinction, it becomes easier to let go of things that are outside your control.
Acceptance can be a powerful tool. And personal development can help you learn to accept in many ways.
In my workshops on stress management, I like to refer to the "Serenity Prayer." You may be familiar with it. There is a short version and a long version. The short version goes like this:
God grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
change the things I can;
and the Wisdom to
know the difference.
When faced with a challenge or hardship in my own life, I have found these words to be of great comfort. Perhaps you will, too.
Reason #7. You learn self-control.
When you are clear about your own goals and values, it helps you develop better habits. Personal development is an excellent path toward creating habits around health, for example.
But you can also learn how to control your finances better. And it can help you set better boundaries around dysfunctional relationships.
Studies indicate that people who have learned discipline and self-control tend to be more successful in life. It's just a fact. If you want greater success in any area of your life, maybe it is time to develop some discipline and self-control around the habits and practices that you need to achieve that success.
Reason #8. You gain a better perspective on life in general.
Working on yourself helps you keep life’s obstacles and setbacks in perspective. When you have a clear picture of your goals, you can see how today’s circumstance is just a stepping stone to your ultimate dream.
This awareness can help you have a more positive attitude about your current situation if it is less than what you wish it were. Remember the adage that life is a journey, not a destination? We all face circumstances in our lives that are less than ideal on occasion. But many times, they are temporary, and they pass eventually.
One of my favorite sayings is that "patience is not about having the ability to wait. It's about having the ability to wait with a good attitude." That's perspective.
Reason #9. You can develop greater tolerance.
Personal development work forces you to examine all aspects of yourself. This includes the parts of yourself of which you may not be so proud. Through this process, you come to understand that everyone has inner issues and struggles.
Understanding this can help you be more empathetic to others’ challenges, as well. I feel that I am a much better coach now because of the difficulties I ran into in my marriage, for example. I can relate to my clients who are dealing with similar challenges far more than if I had not had that personal experience myself. I certainly didn't enjoy the experience when I was going through it myself. But it softened me and made me more understanding of how things can go wrong in life.
Reason #10. Things will be different in the long run.
It has been said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a form of insanity. When you engage in personal development work, however, you are actively changing yourself. That work will ultimately result in different outcomes for you.
The self-awareness you gain can help you get past your old roadblocks and habits. You will not only achieve personal growth, but you will also be closer to achieving your dreams.
Some people have given up on their dreams.
I think some people have decided that dreams are for other people, and they have given up on our own out of frustration. Or perhaps they have given up because they think we don't deserve success and happiness.
Please hear me on this, though.
EVERYONE deserves to be happy, healthy, successful and achieving their life's dream. It may take some of us longer to get there than others, but it's a cinch we won't make it if we don't try or give up too quickly.
So, consider what it is you would like to achieve even if at the moment it feels impossible. What kind of changes do you need to make if you want to live the life you truly deserve? Identify those changes and then set up a plan for making them a reality. YOU are in charge of your life. If it isn't going the way you would like, the only person who can change it is the person you see in the mirror. It's on YOU.
Until next time.
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