Just this week, I connected with my prior boss for the first time since we lost our jobs a year ago. Of course we caught up and filled each other in on what this past year was like for both of us. As I shared what I was doing these days, I finished my list of noteworthy details sharing that I was working on personal development in the midst of my career. He praised me for doing so, saying all around us, he sees so much negativity and self-victimization. He and I agreed that the best way to succeed in this economy is to commit to personal development.
What will personal development do for you?
Here are four reasons I feel personal development is important.
Growing Yourself – as the world around you evolves,you need to evolve as well or you might find yourself in a very vulnerable position. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you have to develop yourself. You have to invest in yourself because few others will.
Developing a Positive Mindset & Mental Health – none of us are immune to moments of disappointment, plateaus of growth, rejection, loss, hurt, and change. We cannot control everything that happens to us, but we can choose how to react to it. Personal development will help you learn how to overcome and move forward. While negativity and misery feed off of each other, so does positivity. You can learn how to place yourself in positive environments. You can learn how to find the people who live a daily life of positivity and who will provide for you a positive reinforcement. And a side note – if you can’t find those positive people, be one of them. You will draw other positive people to you in the process and you will thrive because of it.
Connecting with your Core Being – oftentimes during personal development, we connect to the core of who we are and how we were raised. If you grew up in a religious household, you might reconnect to this portion of who you are or take it to another level. If you didn’t, you might find your way during your personal development. I feel I am a great example. While I grew up a person of faith, I was not raised with religion or spirituality (we were non-practicing Catholics). Personal development is allowing me to explore and connect with my faith and define what it means to me. After all, faith is more than a hope, it is action.
Working Toward Dreams – when you are in a positive mindset, you start dreaming again. And in some cases, you start dreaming big! Personal development allows you to be wildly realistic about your present but wildly unrealistic about your future (a phrase I adopted from John Acuff). It also allows you to bridge the gap so you can turn those dreams into goals, and those goals into realities.
Personal development is learning to understand yourself and filling your mind with knowledge and wisdom so you can achieve your full potential. We become so busy – we get so caught up in taking care of everyone else (work, kids, errands, problems, etc.) that we forget to pause and take care of ourselves. Sometimes we feel empty or disingenuous.
Without personal development, you might find yourself believing that you are a victim or circumstances or stuck in a situation you cannot get out of. With it, you will learn to choose how to react to situations. You will work on the most vulnerable parts of yourself and make them less vulnerable. You will become more effective in all of your relationships – family, friends, and team. You will gain a more positive outlook on life. And most importantly, you will gain a more positive inward look of yourself.
So if you are looking to grow and develop yourself, find a quiet spot. Ideally, plant yourself in a spot of inspiration. Sit down with a pad and pen to write descriptive words and phrases that you would like to say about yourself five years from now. Remain positive in what you write, no negative words. For me, instead of saying, “I am no longer afraid,” instead I would use phrases like, “I am fearless” and “I am confident.” Once you have determined who you want to be, you can determine what you need to do to develop yourself.
Between books, podcasts, seminars and classes, you can set your mind to work through your insecurities and your weak spots. You can also find a mentor (or many mentors) and accountability partners to help push you to your personal best.
At the advice of one of my leaders, I officially start and end each day feeding my brain with positive words. I no longer check my email and my Facebook from my bed or even first thing in the morning. Instead, I set up time in my day to check them. I also take advantage of the training my corporate team provides as it is absolutely phenomenal; it is educational but also inspirational. But the rest of the areas I need to work on, I’ve made my list and am tackling each fear and weak spot one by one. It won’t happen overnight, but with desire to overcome them and committing to teach myself in how to do it, I will come out a different, better, stronger person on the other side of it.
You will too.
“The way you talk about yourself and your life — your story — has a great deal to do with what shows up in your day-to-day experience. Your thoughts create filters through with you view your life. If you think of yourself as a victim, you filter all that happens to you through the lens of DDT (Dreaded Drama Triangle), and you find plenty of evidence to support that viewpoint. That’s why the orientation you adopt is so important; it exerts a powerful influence on your life direction.” ~David Emerald