Monday, August 23

9 crucial steps toward achieving self-development and growth.


Personal development is a lifelong process. It involves investing in one’s self by constantly being self-aware, noticing the areas of one’s life that can be improved on, and taking action to improve. These areas can include both soft and technical skills.

Asides from a heightened sense of self-awareness, being on the journey of personal development you will benefit from a sense of direction, improved focus and effectiveness, more motivation and more resilience. Even though we are taught most fundamentals from an early age, there is always space to learn and improve to become a better person.

Below is a list of ideas that can help you grow as a person:


  1. Overcome your fears. Fear can prevent you from growing and progressing. If you are afraid of public speaking, for instance, take a class or join a group that helps people become better public speakers. If you are afraid of taking risks, find a mentor who can help you make good decisions and build your confidence. Grow and learn by trying things you might not be comfortable doing. If you are shy, try starting a conversation or introducing yourself to new people at a reception or workshop.
  1. Read. Reading can expand your knowledge and vocabulary and keep you informed. It can also stimulate your mind and can improve your critical thinking skills. Try setting a goal to read at least one educational or motivational article a day, or one book a month.
  1. Learn something new. Learn a new skill or topic, whether you do it yourself or sign up for a class. You might, for instance, take courses to learn another language, a new software program or how to write creatively. Consider watching a webinar on professional development topics such as entrepreneurship or social media marketing.
  1. Ask for feedback. Approach a family member, friend, colleague, or manager, and ask them to give you feedback on a recent project or accomplishment. Use their positive comments as well as their constructive criticism to find ways to improve. Sometimes you need an outside, unbiased opinion to get a different perspective.
  1. Observe others. Watch and learn from the people who inspire you. This could be someone you know, such as a supervisor, family member or public figure. Identify the qualities you admire in them and try to replicate those in yourself.
  1. Network. By interacting with many types of people, you can learn new ideas and understand how to communicate and work with different personality types. You can also meet people and develop relationships that might help you in the future. Network through industry organizations and shared interest groups or attend conferences and events on topics that interest you.
  1. Keep a journal. Writing in a journal every day or week can help you gain self-awareness and reflect on recent events, decisions, and conversations. You might keep a hand-written, private journal, or you might choose to share your thoughts and experiences by blogging. Use it to set and assess goals and progress.
  1. Meditate. Many people meditate to gain clarity and awareness and to reduce stress and anxiety. Meditation can help you focus on your self-development and goals in a healthy, positive and calm way. Even scheduling a break from work or quiet time to yourself can help you relax and focus.
  2. Get a mentor. If you need help identifying ways to build your self-development skills, talk to a mentor. This individual could be a manager, professor, someone you admire or a professional personal growth mentor.

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Article written by Olumide Ekun; Head, Learning and Development, AXA Mansard