Personal growth or self-development, call it whatever you like. It’s a funny one because we grow and develop every day. We learn and see things today that we didn’t know or hadn’t seen yesterday but it’s a little more nuanced than that.

It’s also a little more involved than buying one of a trillion available books promising you’ll be able to stop smoking, find your soulmate or get promoted and leaving it on the shelf to gather dust. It’s certainly more nuanced than going to one seminar and then sitting back claiming you’ve learned something.

‘There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.’

Ernest Hemingway

In the disposable world we live in, everyone is looking for instant results but where personal growth is concerned, it can’t – and won’t – happen overnight. However, if you’re prepared to put the work in, the transformations can change your life.

How Do I Get Started?

This is the easy bit. All you need to get started on a path of personal growth is the desire to want to grow and develop. At first it can seem overwhelming but all you need to do at first is to decide you want it. That’s it.

If you try for huge, paradigm shifts you will feel like you’re drowning but if you understand that personal growth comes in very, very small increments, it will make it much easier for you to digest.

I’ve Decided, So Now What Do I Do?

It’s at this point where you have options. You can start with something simple, like replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts or you can set specific targets and create a plan to achieve them.

Here are our five steps to help you on your journey to a better you.

  1. Understand Yourself

This is a fundamental step on the journey but also one that’s utterly fascinating and the most worthwhile. You’ll discover things about yourself that have been laying dormant in your unconscious so it’s time to ask yourself some questions (and be honest with the answers):

  • What are you good at?
  • What aspects of your life need improvement?
  • What elements of your life are holding you back from being the very best person you can be?

If you can answer these questions, you’re all set to start your journey.

  1. Set Goals

This is where we see quite a lot of people metaphorically fall down. Promising yourself that you’re going to lose three stone by the end of the month is lovely in theory but hardly realistic, as is finding the perfect guy or girl and getting engaged by next week.

So you need to set small, achievable targets that you can hit rather than big, unattainable ones you can’t.

Don’t say you’re going to lose three stone in three weeks, say you’re going to lose five pounds. Don’t say you’re going to storm into your boss’s office and demand a 100% pay rise, say you’re going to have a chat with him or her about taking on more responsibility in return for a small increase and see how it goes from there. Don’t say you’re going to find your life partner, say you’ll go on a few dates and see what happens.

  1. Create A Plan

There’s no use having goals if you’ve not got a plan on how you’re going to achieve them. As we’ve said, your personal growth journey is a long one and you can’t wing it.

Given the fact that you’ve set achievable goals for yourself, are you the type of person who has the wherewithal to hit them?

As a practical example, setting the goal of losing weight doesn’t just mean cutting out the weekly Sunday night Chinese takeaway. It means learning about diet and nutrition and changing habits you’ve had for years.

If you want to earn more at work by taking on additional responsibility, you may need to learn a new skill or how to use a new piece of software but whatever plan you create for yourself, design it so that it helps you to strengthen the areas of your life that will make achieving your goal come naturally.

  1. Improve, Every Day

Eventually, the everyday habits we fall into start to define our lives, they are that powerful. So if you do find yourself with habits that are hindering your personal growth, it’s time to ditch them in favour of new habits that will help you to develop in the way you’d like to.

Again, it’s not going to happen overnight but as a practical example, if you save a small amount of money each month, over time you will build up a nice nest egg for your future. Month one won’t make much of a difference but by month 24, it will and you will be able to look back each year and know that you are becoming a better version of your previous self.

Improving your strengths and shoring up your weaknesses will allow you to achieve successes that you never thought possible when you started the journey.

  1. Get Out Your Comfort Zone

This is the hard bit. It takes a desire to succeed and will power but there is a lot of help available to you if you’re prepared to push your own boundaries.

Being able to pack in more during the day by working smarter and not harder is a real skill and although it’s a cliché, ‘self-help’ – i.e. switching up the way you take in and retain new information and applying it to create a new and improved version of you – is something that you will wonder why you didn’t do years ago!

Listening to podcasts on your commute or even going to talks and seminars will allow you to a) surround yourself with like-minded people and b) expose you to new ways of doing things, grow your confidence in being able to do them and make you more productive with a more positive outlook across all aspects of your life.

To Conclude…

A journey of self-improvement or personal growth will be one of the most important you ever take. Deciding to embark is the easy bit but you also need to commit to a daily regimen of putting the theory into practice.

It’s not easy – it’s not supposed to be – but the results are profoundly life-changing

For more information about how to reach for the stars, please contact Vital Minds Business training today.

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