Personal development is a lifelong process of improving oneself through acquiring new skills, knowledge, and experiences. It is the key to achieving personal and professional goals and fulfilling one’s potential. However, personal development is not something that happens by chance; it requires intentional effort and dedication. In this essay, we will explore how a person can take control over their own personal development.
The most powerful life hack is to invest in yourself.
Here are 6 steps you can take to take control over your personal development:
- Identify your goals and aspirations. This involves reflecting on one’s values, strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Once the goals are identified, it is important to break them down into manageable steps and create a plan for achieving them. This plan should include specific actions, timelines, and metrics for measuring progress.
- Acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. This can be done through formal education, training programs, workshops, mentorship, or self-study. It is important to choose the learning methods that suit one’s learning style and schedule. Consistent and deliberate practice is also crucial in developing new skills and reinforcing existing ones.
- Seek feedback and guidance from others. Feedback helps to identify blind spots, strengths, and areas that need improvement. Seeking feedback from mentors, peers, or coaches can provide valuable insights and perspectives. It is also important to learn from the experiences of others who have achieved similar goals.
- Embrace challenges and take risks. Personal development requires stepping out of one’s comfort zone and embracing new challenges. It is important to have a growth mindset that sees failure as an opportunity to learn and improve. Taking calculated risks can also lead to new opportunities and experiences.
- Develop a network of support. Personal development can be a lonely journey, but it does not have to be. Building a network of supportive friends, colleagues, or mentors can provide encouragement, accountability, and motivation. This network can also provide access to new opportunities and resources.
- Practice self-care. Personal development requires a lot of energy and focus, so it is important to take care of one’s physical, emotional, and mental health. This can be done through regular exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, relaxation, and stress management.
Additionally, a contrarian take: work on sharpening your strenghts, but also work on turning your weaknesses into strengths.
How does this look in practice?
When I started my blog 15 years ago, I did so with the intent of developing myself. Specifically, my ability to communicate. It’s not that back then I couldn’t express myself clearly but I wanted to be great at it; I’m still a work in progress. I thought my communication skills were a big weakness of mine, so I started this blog with at a other objectives in mind.
So, how did I improve my ability to communicate? I wrote a lot. Learned from other writers, who I thought were clear thinkers, and applied what I learned. I also took feedback from them and revised my writing. I then decided to do others things related to communication, like starting a podcast, speaking in public, training people and facilitation.
Overall, this is how I developed and improved my ability to communicate.
Taking control over one’s personal development is a lifelong journey that requires intentional effort, dedication, and persistence. It involves identifying goals, acquiring new knowledge and skills, seeking feedback and guidance, embracing challenges and taking risks, developing a network of support, and practicing self-care. By taking ownership of one’s personal development, one can achieve their goals, fulfill their potential, and live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
Bottom line: You are responsible for your own development. While many companies pay to train their employees, you shouldn’t wait for your employer to develop you; that is your job.