Personal growth is challenging but rewarding. Still, despite knowing the good that lies in wait, it can be difficult to get into the swing of things when it comes to self-improvement if you work on yourself. With all the hurdles, sure to be thrown your way, it can be tough to adapt and power through while still maintaining the momentum of growth.
Those who don’t pay much attention to their personal growth often have trouble finding success. They don’t learn from mistakes, become better people, or move towards goals consistently. It’s a bad situation all around, and one that you should try your best to avoid.
If you’ve felt like your personal growth has come to a halt lately, then you may need to rethink your methods for self-improvement. How are you ensuring that what you do bears fruit in your betterment as a person? Here’s how experts reveal 6 simple strategies that contribute to personal growth.
1. DEVELOP ENDURANCE SKILLS
Personal growth can, often, feel like a bit of an uphill battle. To fight that battle, you need to have mental endurance. Wellbeing technology expert, consultant, and writer Tchiki Davis, Ph.D., has some statements about what skills to develop. Here are ones you can focus on:
Resilience refers to the skill that allows you to bounce back from difficult situations and circumstances. If you don’t have resilience, it’s nearly impossible ever to reach success. You’ll encounter many failures along the way. So skills like mindfulness, emotional regulation, and positive thinking play into resilience.
Stress is common when you’re chasing goals and trying to work on yourself. If you don’t know how to calm that stress down, you’re going to wind up hurting yourself in the long run and even becoming discouraged as you lose all positive thinking. That’s where self-soothing comes in. The right self-soothing methods can help calm you down from moments of anxiety while balancing out all the stress, so you’re prepared for whatever comes next.
It can be difficult to keep going when you don’t think you’re getting anywhere. That’s why tracking your progress can work wonders for you. You can clearly see your improvements, how far you’ve come, and areas that need your attention. Of course, progress-monitoring is equally crucial for a more practical reason: it ensures that you’re going on the right track and allows you to make changes if you veer off course.
2. PERFORM POSITIVE SELF-TALK
The world can weigh a little heavily on your shoulders sometimes. It’s okay to have periods where you feel down or discouraged – as long as you get back up again later! That’s where positive self-talk comes into play.
As its name suggests, positive self-talk is the act of speaking motivationally, inspiringly, or effectively instructional to yourself to boost your emotional state. It sounds a little silly to think that this can have a significant effect, but the results are more tangible than you may think. Research has long linked positive self-talk to enhanced performance in things like sports and endurance tasks!
What if you don’t feel like you believe your positive self-talk right away? That’s okay – fake it till you make it. Eventually, with enough words of encouragement, you’ll begin to believe yourself. You might even start seeing results sooner than expected!
This isn’t just good for your growth because it motivates you and keeps you on task. It’s also a sign of personal growth in itself. The improvement of your self-esteem, positive thinking, and coping mechanisms is a success all on its own, and it’s one worth striving for.
3. MAKE A MAP
Want to understand how far you’ve come and where you need to go from here? Sometimes it can be tough because you have no way to rewind your memories and easily review the changes you may have made. The solution, then, is to map it all out, says Doctor of Psychology, Professional Clinical Counselor, life coach, and speaker Ilene Berns-Zare.
When you have some time to spare, think about your life and its progression. How did you get here? Can you follow the trail you’ve walked along? Here are some questions to help you out with this process:
- What are some of my most significant experiences?
- What are some of the mistakes I have made, and how did I overcome them?
- Can I teach anyone a valuable lesson based on my mistakes?
- What are some big lessons I’ve learned over the years? Did I learn them in time, or the hard way?
- What are some things I wish I’d done?
- What are my goals? Where do I want to go?
- What are my biggest values, dreams, and hopes?
- What can I do next to get closer to my goals and dreams?
It’s a lot to think about at once! If you dislike this process, you can make it easier by committing to writing a daily or weekly journal consistently. That will give you something physical to flip through as time goes by!
4. DEVELOP THINKING STYLES FOCUSED ON PROGRESSION
You can’t grow if you don’t know how to progress properly in life. You’ll wind up stagnant and stunted, and no one wants that! Here are some thinking styles Davis recommends developing in this vein.
A growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset, which is defined as the act of shying away from risks and challenges in favor of staying in a safe space. The growth mindset, on the other hand, involves not letting fear control you. It means seeking good opportunities and being brave enough to seize them, even if you’re anxious about them. It’s about being smart enough to know when taking a leap of faith or jumping at a challenge is a good idea. Without this mindset, your growth will get stuck.
· ENTREPRENEURIAL THINKING
Entrepreneurial thinking is what it says on the tin: thinking like an entrepreneur, or an individual in business. You see, entrepreneurs are excellent planners (and if they aren’t, they seldom find success). They’re also innovative, convincing, and adaptable – all traits you’ll need to grow as a person and reach all your goals and dreams.
· THE SEARCH FOR THE NEW
The beauty of life is that you never have to stop learning. You can continue developing new skills and seeking new opportunities for the rest of your life. So keep doing that! That way, you’re always become a better, more positive you every day.
5. BE KIND
A little kindness goes a long way. Although you might be an objectively decent or even good person, the chances are that, with your busy schedule, you don’t have much time to put into acts of kindness. You can work on changing that by making kindness a genuine habit.
According to Madeleine Mason Roantree, a psychologist, when you are compassionate to others, you gain multiple personal benefits. Though kindness shouldn’t be about what you can personally gain, it’s still interesting to note these factors, such as:
- Feel less isolated
- Have a sense of purpose
- Improve your positive thinking and mood
- Foster better relationships
- Are becoming a better person
You don’t need to do anything overly fancy to reap the rewards of kindness. All you really need to do is be genuine in your compassionate gestures, and you’re good to go! Here are some ideas for random acts of kindness:
- Send a loved one a nice text message.
- Compliment a stranger respectfully.
- Buy drinks or lunch for a colleague or friend.
- Donate to charity or volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about
- Do someone a favor
But there’s another way you can be kind for personal growth: being kind to yourself—licensed clinical psychologist and neurotherapist. Catherine Jackson says that you should try to look at yourself as you would look at a best friend. You wouldn’t, for example, be overly hard on your friend for making a mistake, nor would you refuse to be empathic of their emotions.
6. LEARN GRATITUDE
Being grateful is a huge step towards growing well as a person. Without gratitude, you never truly appreciate the things in life that have gotten you to where you are and can help you go even further. Taking these things for granted can, then, cause you to lose them.
Gratitude is a bit of a skill, and it’s one that needs to be practiced to be honed. A good idea is keeping a gratitude journal that must be filled every day with at least three things you’re grateful for that day. It’s a good way to shift your mindset, so you notice more good things in everyday life.
Is it a fair bit of effort? Yes, but it’s certainly worth it! Studies indicate multiple positive effects of practiced gratitude, including:
- Better sleep
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Better social relationships
- A more positive outlook on life
According to sport psychology mental performance coach Anna Hennings, MA, there’s an acronym you can use to help you think of what you’re grateful for. It’s a surprisingly fitting one, too: GIFTS. Here’s how to use it!
· G FOR GROWTH
This refers to your own areas of personal growth, such as new skills you’ve learned.
· I FOR INSPIRATION
This is self-explanatory – what has inspired you recently?
· F FOR FRIENDS AND/OR FAMILY
The people closest to you and who you love are always worth being grateful for.
· T FOR TRANQUILITY
What moments of peace and happiness do you enjoy? Think of your time spent listening to music, sipping tea, reading, or doing something similar.
· S FOR SURPRISE
Again, this is self-explanatory – what pleasant surprises popped up for you?
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SOME SIMPLE STRATEGIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO PERSONAL GROWTH
For many people, purpose can be found in the fight for self-improvement and personal growth. It can be fulfilling to see yourself become better, whether in your values, your work, your relationships, or your life as a whole.
That’s why always working on yourself is so important. It propels you closer to all your hopes and dreams, all while making you someone to look up to. You deserve to watch yourself blossom into the very best that you can be, so work hard on yourself. You’ll be amazed how far you can go in terms of growth in just a few months!