I met many people who still think that Personal Development is something that concerns only those who are stuck in their lives or in their careers, while it is a lifelong process. Personal development concerns ALL of us, particularly those seeking happier life and more fulfilling career. It is a great way to assess your potential, skills, and raise confidence. It is not destined to solely solve your problems, but it is also about an enhanced quality of life and personal empowerment.
“Personal development is a never ending chance to improve not only yourself, but also to attract opportunities and affect others.” – Jim Rohn
People may grow conscious about its importance, but very few will move into action, unless it represents a significance emotional experience. Let’s imagine a house without cleaning for a certain period of time; let’s say one year. What would this house look like? It is crucial for all of us to live in a clean and healthy environment. But, to make it happen, we can either engage for external help or take care of it ourselves.
What about your inner “cleaning?” How do you get rid of poisonous thoughts? What are your inner resources to handle the destructive, negative self-talk? How can you get over grudge and jealousy? How do you handle your own deceptions, failures, and frustrations? How do you react when others don’t share your values? How can you stay positive when your environment is all negative? How can you persevere when you don’t get the expected results? What are your strategies to improve your self-esteem? Do you still fear people’s perceptions and judgments? Are you happy where you are right now? If not, what are the skills and competencies you need to develop to tap into the career of your dreams?
“Whether you think you can or think you cannot, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
When I first started my journey in personal development, it was at the age of fourteen, but it was mainly about handling my own life curves and hurdles. It was of a vital importance to go through this journey as I had to overcome a panel of health challenges, and medical deceptions. I learned about the power of controlling our thoughts at an early age, as it was the only way to go over my inner confusions. I developed a strong sense of self-discipline as discipline saved me from doubt, and enabled me to keep moving forward. I became patient as I had to wait for days, months, and even years after many surgeries wishing for a healed physical state. I became wise as logic did not help me understand these medical deceptions, and all the inconveniences I inherited. I learned to be positive even when everything around me was negative. I learned to value simple things in life as health is the basic thing we all cherish, but still was a big challenge. I used to fear people’s reactions and judgments. Today, I start to fear myself, as I took off all boundaries and limits.
My journey was a continuous process of inner battles, but it reflected also great inner achievements. To keep moving forward, I had to take a lot of decisions, wise decisions, or simply decisions to let things go, forgive, and never give up for my dreams.
Personal development is a wonderful process to go through, but it remains after all a personal choice. To initiate your own Personal Development Plan, you will have to know exactly where you are right now to be able to go where you would like to be. You will have to identify your objectives, assess your potential and skills, and be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Personal development is an excellent way to maintain a professional efficiency, develop new talents, improve your relations, and control your emotions and thoughts.
Personal development involves both personal and professional sides, as they are strictly interrelated. I could not have handled my career if I had decided to give up on my personal challenges. To start your own JOURNEY, make a DECISION. We may all experience somehow situations where we feel stuck either at the personal or professional level. We may have all the inputs, the competencies, and the abilities for a good decision-making, but our confusion, stress, and lack of clarity will make it difficult to become unstuck.
To be guided in your decision-making, try the neurological levels of change by Robert Dilts, an organizational psychologist. The six levels described below provide a structured way to problem resolution, or simply to make sense of your present situation that can enable you to get unstuck. This model is relevant even in decision-making for organizations, and for team motivation. Each level has an impact on the level before, but when a change happens at the highest level, and then it may affect every other level below. For example, when the issue is at the level of identity or sense of purpose, then any improvement in this regard will definitely impact the capacities, behavior, and even the environment.
6 levels to consider:
Environment (Where, When, with Whom):
Check if you feel stuck because of your environment–work or family. In some cases, a change of the environment may solve your problems or conflicts. When you cannot change it, then you may need to go to the next level and change your behavior or improve it.
It has to do with what you do and how you interact with your environment. An enhancement in your behavior may impact positively your environment.
Skills and Competencies (How):
At this level, you may need to ask yourself if you have the skills and competencies to accomplish what you need to do. If not, then learning new skills and improving your competencies can affect positively your behavior and your environment too.
Values and Beliefs (Why):
Our values are the motivations and reasons behind our actions. Our beliefs are simply the things we keep telling to ourselves and it concerns only us. They can be empowering as they may hinder us from growth. People may feel stuck at this level not because of their capabilities or environment, but because of their limited beliefs or a low self-esteem. An improvement at this level will change all other levels.
Identity (My Role, Who Am I):
This has to do with the way you perceive yourself. What you think about yourself may impact directly how you behave and then will affect even your results.
Sense of Purpose (So What):
At this point, you may simply need to identify your sense of purpose. Why are you doing what you are doing right now? Finding about about your sense of purpose may impact your whole life and then all other levels too.
Identify where you feel stuck, or the level you need to improve to initiate your personal development plan. It is not about winning an award, as your inner award will be the most valuable.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson