Most of us love the idea of self development, but knowing where to begin can be a problem. Firstly, self-knowledge is important. Then we look at setting goals for self improvement and making plans to focus your mind. The following ideas can help you as you set out on your individual development plan.
You may long for self improvement without really knowing why. However, if your individual development plan is to work, it has to come from the real you, from deep inside, and the only way to achieve that is by some self-exploration:
• Ask yourself where your standards have come from? Have they come from your parents, peer group or some other external source? If you have been overly-influenced by others in your ideas about personal growth then your efforts are unlikely to succeed completely. In fact you may be setting yourself up for failure.
• Self-esteem is an important part of self development. If you try to hard to achieve, in order to feel good about yourself, then you are putting yourself under unnecessary strain. Yes, it feels great to be successful. But it’s important that you love yourself for what you are, not just for what you do
• Make sure you get help in your self improvement. This means getting advice, training, counselling and encouragement
• Getting a clairvoyant Reading or similar can be a great first step, as it can increase your self-belief and open your eyes to ideas that hadn’t before occurred to you
• If there is any major problem in your life, such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression or similar, try to sort these before fully committing to personal development. Yes, the two can go hand in hand and personal growth can enable you to move beyond your fears. However, be gentle with yourself, for you may need therapy and/or understanding, more than a challenge
It’s always good to have a plan to follow because it concentrates your mind. Just remember that life can throw curve balls, and you need to be flexible.
• Sort out your priorities. What do you feel you need in order to grow as a person? More freedom? Opportunities to be creative? More confidence? More scope for your imagination? More relaxation?
• Although self-improvement is an inward matter, outward factors are a practical place to start. So which areas of your life need attention? Career? Home life? Relationships? Leisure time?
• Do you need to go on a course, or courses, for your self-development? Or for factors related to it? Education is always essential in personal growth
• Set yourself goals and have a time-frame in which to achieve them. It’s a good idea to have one large goal and three or four medium to small goals
• Review your progress regularly. Remember that your personal growth may involve changing direction. It’s about you learning about yourself and blossoming, not being fixated on a specific achievement
• Keep notes about how you feel, where you’re at and what’s changed. Self awareness is essential for self improvement
There is a saying recognised by psychologists which is ‘Growth hurts.’ As you start to change you may feel unsettled. Your outlook may alter, your priorities shift. What once gave you pleasure may now be boring, or even unpleasant. For a while you may not know who you are.
Sometimes you may look back on the person you were and feel unhappy because you don’t think much of that person! But take heart! You are now moving on. In personal growth forgiving yourself is essential. It’s also important to forgive others, not because you ‘should’ but because it liberates you and enables you to move on.
When you grow inwardly, relationships and friendships can be casualties. The person you thought you were comfortable with may no longer fit the bill. Friends may be unsatisfactory too. If this happens, go with it. Honour your feelings because they matter – after all, you wanted to change and this means that everything around you is bound to alter as well.
After a while things will settle down and you may get a new perspective on existing companions. If not, you’ll find new ones, never fear. The most important thing is to be true to yourself, otherwise what’s self development about?
Make sure that you spend time with people who help and encourage you and who understand something of what you’re doing. Being with people who are uneasy about the new ‘you’ or who have their own agenda that involves putting you down can be very destructive. The new you is like a tender plant and needs the right environment to flourish.
In this article we have looked at self-knowledge and how to organise your life, to embark on self development. We’ve also looked at some of the factors involved, and these can be difficult.
Don’t be afraid to ‘fail’ in your personal growth. There isn’t really any such thing as failure – just a new learning curve. However, if sometimes you feel you’ve messed up, remind yourself that every successful person on the planet has done that, many times. Self improvement means picking yourself up and carrying on.
Finally, always remember the spiritual perspective. Your individual development plan will be so much more fulfilling if it involves spreading love and light. Create happiness and you’ll be happy!
PUBLISHED: 4 January 2016