Every day we encounter situations that offer us the chance to make decisions, create solutions, and find new ways of doing things. Every new challenge gives us the opportunity to learn and grow.
Learning techniques that lead to personal growth can put you on the fast track to where you want to be. But just what is personal growth? And where do you start? Well, personal growth is a process of developing yourself, and the skills, behaviors, and characteristics that help you to become the best version of yourself.
Self improvement is an ongoing process that, for most people, will last a lifetime. There’s always something new to learn and opportunities to advance yourself to the next level. One thing in life that is always constant is change. And change is the catalyst that propels you down the road of personal growth. The question is, how fast do you want to go?
Where Do You Start
If you’re thinking about self improvement and personal growth then you’re already on your way. But there are a few pointers that may help you accelerate at a faster pace. Reflecting on your behaviors and habits can show you the areas where you can begin to move forward and make progress.
For starters, make a list of all the things you want to focus on. Learning new things, traveling, meeting new people, and reading books on self improvement topics are all great ways to begin.
Read or say your list three times per day at morning, noon, and night. And think about them as much as possible. You don’t need to discuss it with anyone, so as to not risk negative comments from other people’s opinions. Just keep focusing on your list.
Next, take action! For example, if reading a book on self improvement is on your list, find one that interests you and start reading. If you need suggestions on classic personal growth books, you can find them online or ask someone you respect for suggestions. YouTube is also a great place to find self improvement videos.
If meeting new people is on your list, join a social group or volunteer for a local organization. By doing something you haven’t done before, you open your mind to new ideas and experiences. Whatever is on your list, continue to focus on what it is you want to do, and look for ways to make it happen.
Author John C. Maxwell wrote,
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
Make a habit of doing something new every day.
Choose Your Mindset
Success is not always linear. But the process of continuing to move forward is the goal. Develop a growth mindset rather than a fixed one. Having a growth mindset enables you to accept challenges and look for solutions, rather than giving up. It’s about believing you can obtain new abilities and understanding through effort and determination.
Open your mind to all the possibilities and resources that are available to you. If you aren’t as far along on your personal growth scale as you’d like to be, just tell yourself, “I’m not there YET.” Then keep going!
Alternately, having a fixed mindset doesn’t allow you to develop and evolve. Try new things, learn from your mistakes, and value constructive criticism. If you believe that you can’t be wrong, it will be hard to accept new ideas and improve on your current circumstances and characteristics. Be willing to ask questions and admit when you don’t know something.
“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.”Richard Branson
Train Your Brain
Your brain will be taking on a lot of new information and stimulation once you decide to really work on your self development. Creating some useful routines and habits can make it easier to stay on track and give yourself some structure to help organize your thinking.
Exercise may sound like an old record, but the benefits are so helpful that it can never be played too many times! About 20 minutes of exercise to get your heart pumping has been proven to help with cognitive performance. If your brain is in top shape, you’re in a good position to improve on just about everything.
Another way to train your brain toward growth and positivity is to acknowledge all of your successes, no matter how small. Celebrating your achievements makes you feel good. The better you feel the more energy you have. The more energy you have the more productive you can be!
Keep learning new things. Use parts of your brain that don’t get visited as often. Learn a new language or dance. Choose something off your list that gives you an opportunity to do something different. Even taking an alternative route to the store or to work can kick start your brain to pay attention to new things.
If you haven’t already developed a regular routine of restful sleep, this would be a great time to do so. The advantages of deep sleep are so beneficial for your brain that it would be hard to stay on track with all of your new challenges and growth opportunities without it. A quiet room free of lights and technology can help give you the restful nights sleep you need.
Believe it or not, when your parents used to tell you to stand up straight there was a good reason for that! Slouching and rolling your shoulders forward tells your brain you’re in a submissive or rejected state. Your posture really does play a part in how you think. Smiling can also convey information to your brain about your disposition and environment. Our bodies communicate all kinds of information to our brains without us even realizing it. So by taking care of ourselves we are creating a better opportunity for our brains to work at an optimal level.
Growth requires persistence. While breaks to refresh can be helpful, continuing to move in a forward direction without fail will get you on the accelerated track. Gaining momentum from continually working on your goals can help things move faster. When you commit to the routines and habits you have established you may find you are where you want to be sooner than you thought.
Novelist Tobias Wolff said,
“We are made to persist…that’s how we find out who we are.”
Change and Discomfort
One of the biggest catalysts of personal growth is change because we always grow and learn new things when we expose ourselves to something different. Greek Philosopher, Socrates, told us,
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
If we hang on too tightly to what is familiar and avoid something new and different, the possibility for self improvement and personal growth will have little forward momentum. Change is the key to moving forward, expanding your level of awareness that there might be more than what you previously perceived.
Another quick way to personal growth is often some level of discomfort. Nobody wants to find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, however that is often one of the fastest ways to open a new door to self improvement. Author, Roy T. Bennett said,
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.“
Learn to be comfortable with uncertainty and the unfamiliar, and see what you might find.
Once you decide to move forward with self improvement techniques you may find that the road to personal growth and development accelerates on its own. With all of the books, workshops, retreats, and videos that are available, it’s not a matter of finding information-it’s a matter of how fast you want to soak it all in. Some people find that once they open the door to broader thinking and self improvement, the desire and drive to learn more becomes a never ending journey throughout their lives. Since nothing ever stays the same, there’s always something new to learn and the motivation to find out more becomes effortless.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow stated,
“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.”
And the fastest way to accelerate personal growth may just be to keep stepping forward.