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Personal development is a word inciting both people’s fight and flight responses. It’s something everybody yearns to achieve, yet the depth of it makes it intimidating.
Although change is a frightening concept, nobody wants to stay static and fixed in a situation they’re currently in. For what is life than a pressing yearning for growth and progress, people seek to improve and change aspects within themselves successfully. But with how limitless life’s possibilities are and how endless people’s potential can be, considering personal development can seem intimidating. After all, where does one begin?
When people think of development and what they wish to improve in their lives, they rarely start enumerating specific and actionable processes. Instead, they commonly aim for bigger, more consequential ones. When asked what they want in life, people rarely answer with their next meals or what they want to buy next. Instead, they look into their lives’ bigger picture and pick out what they lack: happiness and success. These are the common answers – too general, too vague to be immediately provided.
Such is also the case when asked about personal development.
A Survival Guide for Personal Development
As soon as people deem an activity too intimidating and challenging, they don’t hesitate to step back. Regardless of how beneficial or consequential its prize may be, they would rather choose to delay or ignore the process. This commonly hinders growth opportunities – the mistaken impression of how challenging and stressful these processes may be.
But who can blame them?
When presented with these domineering and impressionable terminologies, it’s understandable why hesitation is people’s initial response. Life purpose, personal development, and growth – upon hearing these indefinitely eloquent words, it’s no wonder why people question whether their end goals are attainable and worth the trouble. When people are comfortable facing substantial challenges and changes, why should they dabble into more consequential things they aren’t quite sure about, which bear too heavy of a burden?
The answer is simple: this is a vital experience if they want to discover and unlock their potential. This means it’s a lifelong and persevering process. It’s the journey people take to build and improve themselves until they’ve achieved the best version of themselves.
Personal development means taking the right steps toward one’s purpose.
But how can one achieve this?
Bite-Sized Steps to Achieving This Development
Youth foundation leader and instructor Monique Johnson established The Purpose Journey for personal development to assist people in this extensive and confusing journey. Her program divides development into four bite-sized sub-categories, summarizing and making the whole endeavor easier to consume and practice. According to Monique, personal development is achieved when people follow through these categories:
Understanding the Why
Before people can do anything to improve themselves, they should’ve already answered the question of why. Why are they changing and improving their lives? What’s the end goal they want to achieve after everything has been done? Personal development helps people understand and realign their lives with their core. But to jumpstart their journey, they must identify what they want to fulfill.
People’s reason and motivation remain crucial elements to start, endure and finish every task given to them. This isn’t any different in their development process. Before they plan what skills they must improve and work on, it’s crucial to realize and uncover what they need to develop these skills. Only then will they have the strength to pursue and continue the journey.
Identification and Removal of Blockages
After people have set their eyes on end goals, it’s time to list the aspects and matters hindering them from achieving these. Before they charge forward, assessing their current situation is essential in ensuring the journey will be as smooth as possible.
What can go wrong? What can pull their progress back midway? What can hinder their success? Answering and understanding these points isn’t being pessimistic but rather an act of preparation for what might come. It’s coming to the battle prepared and with refined skills to tackle possible challenges. It’s natural that for progress and development to happen, people must also consider what can go wrong and if the skillsets they currently have are enough for success.
Setting and Acknowledging Milestones
As much as shortcomings must be recognized to be resolved, milestones must also be celebrated to keep the morale high. When in a personal development journey, people shouldn’t only focus on what they can improve and what needs to be changed. They must also acknowledge how far they’ve come and the successes they’ve already achieved. This way, they realize how much progress they’ve made and learn to find strength in the steps they’ve already taken.
In acknowledging their progress, people also gain a sense of direction. They can better map the process they must do in the future with the information they have now.
Personal development isn’t only a process of identifying what needs to be improved. It’s also the acknowledgment of what they’ve done successfully that helps veer people in the right direction. It’s what redirects and realigns them to their purpose. People will be committed to improving themselves as long as they focus on themselves, their shortcomings, and their successes.