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Making Room for Personal Growth

Your life, career, studies, and even relationships all involve progress or personal growth. Sometimes along the way, you may end up feeling stagnant in one or most of these aspects, which is a clear sign that you need to revisit your goals.

Read on to find out how you can better yourself and shake off that feeling of being lost in the humdrum of daily life:

KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE

Knowing yourself carries more weight than generic self-help books let on. It’s not just about what you like to do or what activities you dislike – it’s about what makes you happy, what leaves you seething with rage, what inspires you, who you look up to, and who you never want to turn into. Having this information allows you to focus on things you’d like to improve or change about yourself. Just be wary about falling into the pit that is self-deprecation, as it’s far too easy to compare your personal growth to the progress of others. Business strategist Tracy Repchuk emphasizes the importance of avoiding such comparisons by being proud of where you are. Remember that you should only compare your present situation to your own past so you can accurately gauge self-improvement.

GO BEYOND YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Humans love what they’re used to and what’s comfortable for them, so who can really blame you for enjoying being comfortable? No one wants to go through the fear of trying new things or exploring other options. However, personal growth isn’t possible without going out of your comfort zone, no matter how anxiety-inducing it may be. Huffpost notes how the anxiety that comes from pushing your limits can actually help you perform better than you normally would. For instance, if you’re an artist who has used the same style throughout your career, go ahead and experiment with that idea you’ve always wanted to toy with. The worse case scenario is it ends up being mediocre, which will only inform your process and pave the way for further growth.

BE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO

Passion doesn’t necessarily have to be confined to a part-time gig or a hobby you do in your spare time. Quite the opposite, passion should find its way into your day-to-day work or activities. For instance, freelancers are in a unique position to try their best at occasionally getting projects that they’re truly passionate about. Accomplishing these projects will be more satisfying and will benefit your career in the long run. Yoss points out that freelancers who feel empowered and capable of impacting project outcomes end up being more successful, as they are more confident with their skills and performance. While not everyone can afford the same flexibility, you can still be passionate about an 9-5 job by finding parts about it that you love, and doing your best with these tidbits.

DEFINE ACHIEVABLE MILESTONES

Undoubtedly, there are benefits that come with going where the wind takes you and living a carefree life. However, providing some semblance of structure by defining achievable milestones can help you drift with direction instead. An article on Medium highlights the difference between taking charge of your life through goal-setting versus simply going with the flow. The former can provide a better sense of satisfaction, knowing you played a key role to get where you wanted to be. They don’t have to be complex goals, either. For example, an achievable goal could be to learn a new skill next year, or to read more books. Specify them and then break them down to daily habits that you can easily commit to. Set milestones for your career as well. If you’re in sales, track your improvements and set goals to learn new techniques and hit new targets.

Although it may be scary to kickstart the process that’s involved with cultivating personal growth, it's important to keep in mind that only you can do it for yourself. By taking a step back and gaining crucial perspective about where you are and what you need, you'll be able to make room for things that matter in your life while eliminating those that don't.