I turned 50 this year. That milestone was the perfect opportunity for me to take a long, hard look at myself. I knew I wanted to work on improving some things, and so I became committed to personal growth, in both mind and body.
Personal growth is the result of efforts to improve oneself intellectually, morally and physically.
Those committed to personal growth often have better relationships with others, and are generally happier people. This is something that I wanted, so I set out on the path to achieve my fullest potential. Since personal growth is an ongoing process, it was important to understand myself so I could begin developing for the better.
Learning the areas where we need improvement is the first step. After that, it will be much easier to begin adapting for change. Here is the 3-step process I will be discussing:
STEP 1 – IDENTIFYING
You must first identify an area you need improvement in. For example, this could be becoming more confident, doing less procrastinating, or perhaps letting go of the past. If you want to make a change, you must be completely honest with yourself. For me, I wanted to make the time to be a better friend. Between family and work, I never seemed to have enough time for my friendships. The fault was all mine. Friends had reached out many times, but I always had excuses.
To start the process for personal growth, ask yourself the following questions:
What are my inner strengths?
What are my weaknesses?
What are my aspirations?
Let’s take a closer look at just what these questions mean.
Inner strengths – These include integrity of character, determination of will and resistance to doubt. In other words, these are the traits that make you you.
Weaknesses – These are qualities or features regarded as a fault, or the character traits that make you powerless, the things you want to improve upon.
Aspirations – These are your goals, and are associated with your ambitions or heavy desire to achieve something.
STEP 2 – ADMITTING
You will need to embrace your strengths and begin to acknowledge and accept your weaknesses. By writing them down, you have admitted your weaknesses to yourself and can now begin accepting them – and more importantly, start making an effort to do something about them.
Once you are aware of how you see yourself, it’s time to learn how others see you. Ask a few people close to you what they feel your strengths and weaknesses are.
If their feedback matches yours, it will make it easier to begin improving upon those faults. If the feedback is different from yours, then you should compare the qualities you wrote down with those qualities offered to you. Go through each one and see which are relevant and which are not.
Here’s a free worksheet to walk you through those questions.
STEP 3 – ADDRESSING
Addressing is all about taking actions. You may find this step tough because you’re weaknesses have been a part of who you are. You may be afraid to discard a certain trait for fear of losing a unique part of yourself. If that is the case, consider your aspirations and how badly you which to reach them. Keep in mind that reaching your goals is a work in progress and may never be realized if your weaknesses stand in your way.
If you want something, you have to work for it. This holds true with personal growth. Having the mentality of, “I will try my best,” doesn’t always work. When our efforts don’t pan out, we end up telling ourselves, “at least I tried.” But is trying good enough? Is trying going to help you reach your goals? Nope!
I prefer, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”
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