Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause. - Cecilia Tran
Personal development is intricately linked to self-development and learning life skills that help you become a better version of yourself every single day. So, to understand what is personal development, you also need to understand what personal development skills are and how to set life goals.
Importance of Personal Development in Self-Improvement
No one can deny the importance of self-development in today's world. It seems like everything and everyone is consumed by a lot of negativity, and why not? The year 2020, especially, has given us very little to cheer about. But despite these hard times, there is still hope. Your little step towards personal development can not only turn out to be life-changing for you but also work wonders for the whole world. Imagine the global population benefitting from the magnificent practices of self-learning and self-development!
The concepts of time management, self-confidence, and self-awareness are pretty common now and often used loosely. But what do they really mean? And how are they relevant to your life? Are there ways to improve particular skills and get ahead in life? What is a good place to start?
The idea of personal development is as old as human history itself. It was man's undaunting zeal to achieve a higher quality of life that led to the discovery of fire. In the current context, self-improvement encompasses a wide array of skills such as organization skills, effective communication, interpersonal relations, or emotional intelligence. Some may think that you need to develop personally so your professional portfolio looks good, but that's not entirely true. The whole process of personal development is designed to help you grow as a person, both personally and professionally.
Personal Development Tips for A Healthier and Happier Life
The most underrated piece of advice that anyone can give you is to invest in yourself. The importance of personal development cannot be emphasized enough. The whole concept might appear to be convoluted and confusing at first, but development opportunities present themselves in the most peculiar and unassuming ways. It might be a good idea to go over some of the psychological theories that delve into understanding how the human mind works in prioritizing what's important and what's not.
A good place to start would be to understand Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It lays the foundation for assessing and identifying your personal needs and relating it to skill development. The needs hierarchy helps you differentiate between basic, physiological needs and higher, self-actualization needs. You can use the framework to work on skills such as emotional intelligence, organization skills, management, etc.
Originally published in a 1943 paper entitled “A Theory of Human Motivation,” the needs hierarchy posits that self-development happens in a series of stages. Maslow used a pyramid to represent five levels of human needs in order of their importance, with the most basic needs of shelter, security, and love making up the bottom three levels and the upper-level needs constituting esteem and self-actualization needs.
Tips on Managing Personal Development
Managing the whole process of personal development, let alone planning for it, can be challenging. It might seem daunting to some and one that cannot be scaled. But all is not lost.
Yes, there will come many obstacles in your way but if you have a robust personal development management plan, then you have a direction to go toward. It can help you work on skills like emotional intelligence, effective communication, empathy, time management, interpersonal relations, etc. Your job doesn't end at just creating the plan. You also need to ensure that you are managing the implementation well.
Without a plan, you may encounter delays, even procrastinate and keep putting things off unnecessarily. These form the perfect recipe for disaster and stop you from achieving your goals and realizing your life's aspirations. Your university will probably not teach you to cope with that heaviness of failing. But a good personal development plan can help you overcome failures and strive for success again. The first step is pretty simple- get in touch with your innermost needs. Your needs are the underlying core of your developmental goals and plans. That, in turn, will help you identify the kind of resources, materials, and of course, skills that you need to access and develop.
Personal Development Resources Designed to Help in Self-Growth
The arena of personal development and self-growth has seen a wave of change over the past decade. The paradigm has shifted and evolved into a whole different level where it is not just enough to develop a few skills and get better at your job. And to help you on this journey, there are many development resources available- some online, some for free, and some for a fee. Using these, anyone can embark on a life-changing journey by themselves, provided they have the right motivation to see things through.
There has been a significant increase in the number of people pursuing careers as life coaches and meditation gurus thanks to more and more people waking up to the idea of self-improvement as the driver for success. And this change may be attributed to how the whole notion of self-help and self-care has redefined itself.
Let's face it- investment in self-improvement has spillover effects. It can affect your personality, employability, communication, relations, conflicts, and everything else. So what kind of resources do you look for? Which skills do you prioritize and for which needs? It might be a little scary at first- the questions, the self-doubt, the whole process of seeking help. But just like the process of education takes us from one level to another in terms of increasing difficulty levels, self-help resources also facilitate learning from what we know to what we don't know.
Resources on self-development are easy to access under three broad categories- professional skills, interpersonal skills, and knowledge building. This makes your job a lot easier when you look for resources archived and categorized under these heads.
A great resource on personal development is self-help and motivational books. They are a repository of knowledge, new information, and filled with anecdotes that would leave you inspired. Other resources include podcasts, articles, blogs, apps, etc.
What Are Personal Development Skills?
Just like you have a passion to evolve to the best version of yourself, the domain of personal development has also seen many generations of research, that is still evolving. It is very important to understand these stages of evolution in order to work on your own self-improvement journey. Personal development cannot be defined within a single framework. The name itself makes things personal. It is a journey that every individual must undertake on their own, of course with the required help along the way.
There is though one underlying factor that defines all self-improvement journeys- goal-setting. It is an indispensable part of any learning journey and needs to be accompanied by a thorough need assessment and plan to reach the goal. Since the plan is unique to you, so will be the skills that you identify to work on. There are very common skills that feature in any development plan, but they may vary in their nature and degree. These include, but are not restricted to:
- Effective communication.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Conflict resolution.
- Time management.
- Organization skills.
In addition to these, self-awareness and mindfulness are a great way to get in touch with your deepest self that you are otherwise unaware of. In order to do that, you can try to set aside some time every day to just spend with yourself. This could be as little as 5 minutes in the morning while you sip on some hot coffee.
Remember that the skills you put down in the personal development plan are not restricted to any particular part of your life. They are helpful in improving all aspects of your life as long as you have been able to lay down clear goals and align them with small milestones along the way. You can make a plan that only you can execute or you can find partners along the way who can act as a mirror and support you in that journey. You can even sign up for training courses on self-improvement or get in touch with mentors and experts on platforms like Superprof. No matter what you do, remember to keep the attention on yourself because your final go remains to be the best version of yourself. Remember,
Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. - Eleanor Brown.