Most of us are going through tough times right now. But you may have more time to improve your skills.
The benefits of personal development are countless.
But you’ll see the 17 greatest benefits that can give you a competitive advantage.
So what is personal development and why do you need it?
Self betterment has a positive impact on your career, your health, your relationship with others, your confidence, and your personal life.
Let’s start with what personal development is
Personal development is a lifelong process. You never stop learning because like Albert Einstein said “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know”.
Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and improve employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.
Wikipedia Personal Development Definition
So if you are hesitating whether you should invest in yourself, this post is a great place to start!
Self-improvement can literally change your life.
And you don’t need an official personal development plan to give meaning to your strengths and weaknesses, and your life goals.
Although you can, of course, start by setting goals.
This is part 1 of the Ninja self-development mini-series since there are many great personal development topics!
This week, we’ll take a look at some clear benefits of personal development to grow as a person and improve our personal skills.
Next week, you’ll get 22 ideas for personal development activities, so you can take action, and live up to your full potential.
What are personal development areas you can improve?
If you still ask yourself “What is personal development” let’s start with the Big Five.
You can put these different personal development areas into five main categories. Mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual.
And personal development doesn’t always have to be about this big professional and personal growth with huge transformations.
If you just aim at getting 1% better every day, it will make you 37 times better within a year (1.01 365 = 37.78).
Don’t you think that would have a big impact on your success in life?
How amazing is that? If you think “I want to get better”, 1% per day is totally achievable!
But if you love personal and professional development you can, of course, do more than that. You can read motivational books, go to seminars, and set up a growth plan.
Whether it’s for you personally, at work, or for a business, a personal development plan has true value, can add meaning, and can help you immensely.
So let’s see the benefits of personal development and how they can make a huge difference in your life – whether you commit to your personal goals or make a career plan.
Aren’t you curious to find out what your highest potential may be and how to grow as a person?
What are the core benefits of personal development?
Internal benefits of self-improvement
Let’s start with the positive changes within yourself like improved focus, greater resilience, and a more positive attitude. Practice self-care, mindfulness, meditate, use affirmations, and practice positive thinking.
Your self-development benefits are limitless.
Also check out these 47 fantastic quotes about positive thinking!
1. Better self-awareness
Self-awareness means that you know yourself and can manage your thoughts and emotions.
Instead of beating yourself up over things you lack, you can let go. You’re able to identify what’s not working and why.
You understand yourself clearly and objectively. And that helps with your decision-making and how you choose to behave.
This, in turn, can improve all the areas of your life. You’re no longer reacting on autopilot.
You become aware of your triggers and issues… which means you can take responsibility and work on them, as well as your reaction to them.
Because our obstacles can also be our blind spots.
2. Higher Self-esteem
Self-awareness is not to be confused with self-esteem. Your self-esteem is basically your feeling of self-worth.
And sometimes, it can be pretty low.
Especially when you grew up in an environment that didn’t encourage or compliment you.
When you believe that you don’t have a lot of value as a person, it can lead to negative self-talk and bad choices in your life.
The worse you feel about yourself, the worse your courage and motivation will be.
Low self-esteem can make you believe that you don’t deserve what you really want and that you’re not worthy.
And so you settle more easily.
Fortunately, self-development can overcome self-doubt and improve your feeling of self-worth.
And when things get better thanks to a higher level skill you learned, a new perspective, or better self-awareness, you will feel better about yourself, too.
Improving yourself can then turn into a virtuous circle.
The better you feel about yourself, the better your life gets. And the better your life gets, the better you feel about yourself!
So, you want to be mindful to be happy.
3. Get a confidence boost
You will also get more confident. Now, confidence is often used as a synonym of self-esteem. And that can be confusing.
But confidence is not about your self-worth.
It’s about your trust in your abilities. If you want to be successful you can’t only have negative thoughts about your skills.
Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself as a whole.
Confidence is about how much you trust in your abilities to get a certain task done.
So, if you train a certain skill, you increase your confidence.
Everyone can get confident if you just practice enough.
So, one of the benefits of personal development is that you can train something like public speaking and get more confident about it.
And there are several ways to do this.
You can take a “technical” course to make you a better speaker. A course where you learn what to say and how to say it.
Or you can work on your mindset. Find out why speaking in public freaks you out and what you can do to get over it.
And then you can always just practice. The more you leave your comfort zone and do the thing that scares you, the less scary it becomes.
Ditch some of your bad habits and create good habits instead.
4. Lower stress levels
Say goodbye to stress. Meditating and patience are not the only ways to overcome stress.
The better you know yourself, the better you feel about yourself. And the more you trust in your abilities, the lower your stress levels.
We tend to freak out when we don’t know what’s going on and when we’re uncertain if we can get things done.
There are plenty of opportunities for personal growth in this area.
So, stress is mostly caused by uncertainty and a guilty conscience.
Physical exhaustion also plays an important role but all of this can be improved through a personal development plan.
When you improve your skills, you can do things faster and better.
You can objectively evaluate if you have what it takes and if your to-do-list is doable.
I almost never get stressed. I either know that I can do what I have to do, or that it’s impossible anyway. So there is no uncertainty.
It can be life changing to know when things simply can’t be done because it’s either too much or you don’t have all the input you need (from someone else).
5. More creativity
The more you learn, the more your brain creates connections to related ideas.
Partly because you store more examples in your mind, partly because you train your brain to think more.
Our brains are wired to look for past examples, proof and connections.
And so, even creativity can be trained.
This is true in general, and even more so if you specifically try to improve your creativity (with books and courses on creativity).
Just don’t hamper it with perfectionism.
Shut up your inner critic.
Goal achievement benefits of personal development
As you can see, there are many benefits of personal growth. And personal development can also help you achieve your goals easier and faster.
6. Sens of direction
One of the benefits of a personal development plan is that it adds meaning and gives you a sense of direction. This will allow you to prioritize your career goals and achieve personal growth.
You know what you’re doing, you know why you’re doing it and you see the bigger picture.
This can be very motivating and fulfilling. And if you don’t know what your bigger vision is, you can figure it out with this FREE vision workbook.
7. Clarity on your goals
Not only will you get a sense of direction and see the bigger picture, but you’ll also get clear on your personal development goals (and goals in general).
Clarity is an essential part of any success. Without clarity, you’re just muddling through.
You want your goals to be crystal clear so you can improve your life.
A personal development plan can help you define your goals directly. Or help you figure out what you are interested in or not.
And an activity like journaling can help you understand what’s helpful and what isn’t.
8. Improved focus and effectiveness
When you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re interested in or why you’re doing it, your mind gets scattered all over the place.
So you need to find yourself and decide what you want to achieve.
When your goals are clearly defined, it gets much easier to stay focused.
Something like your productivity can simply improve as a side-effect of knowing what you want.
But you can also improve it specifically, as part of your personal development efforts.
For example, with these 30+ Time Management Tips to achieve more in less time.
9. More motivation
It also gets easier to overcome procrastination. All these benefits of personal development have meaning and are closely related.
You see the bigger picture, you’ve clearly identified your goals and you get more productive.
This in turn also leads to more motivation to get the life you want. When your brain regularly releases good-feeling dopamine, you stay motivated to tackle your next task.
And the next, and the next. All of a sudden, it becomes a new habit.
And you can use proven motivation techniques to make sure you set yourself (and your environment) up for success.
10. Greater resilience
Resilience is our ability to bounce back when things don’t go as planned.
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
– Thomas Edison
Challenge, commitment, and control build your resilience.
Challenges are opportunities for growth. If something doesn’t challenge you, it also means you won’t really grow from it.
Commitment: When you are committed to your goals, it gives you a sense of purpose.
Control: When you focus your efforts on things you actually have control over, it makes you feel empowered and more confident.
And so, working on yourself can develop your resilience because you learn to be more objective and to trust yourself!
Social benefits of personal development
11. You can get more likeable
This one is a mix of internal and external benefits.
When you’re focused, motivated, confident, and less stressed, it puts you in a better mood.
It makes you a happier person because you feel better in your own skin.
And this positive attitude will improve your relationships in general.
Who doesn’t like and appreciate positive people?
12. More fulfilling relationships
We humans are social beings. This TED Talk by Robert Waldinger about the longterm Harvard Study of Adult Development shows that your personal relationships are what matters most in the end.
Good relationships are what keep us happier and healthier.
You could describe fulfilling relationships as a “win-win” for everyone involved.
You can meet people you truly connect with, who lift you up, inspire you, and who just feel right. People you can share experiences with.
And the better you know yourself, the better your confidence and self-esteem levels, the easier it gets to meet and recognize the right people for you.
But even if you don’t necessarily want to meet new people…
This all can also improve your existing relationships.
Because it’s easier to communicate clearly when you work on yourself. It’s easier to be open to other perspectives as well.
And to put yourself into the other person’s shoes.
If at first, you found it annoying that they didn’t do things “your way” or didn’t understand you, you may now understand how they might be thinking.
You may see why there could be a misunderstanding because their logic is just different…
13. You can inspire others
This is the icing on the cake. If you are growing as a person, it can even inspire others to do the same.
Lead by example.
Stay true to yourself and let your actions speak for themselves.
It’s amazing how motivating it can be if you share your vision and enthusiasm.
It’s important to show people possibilities.
Successful people can be a great role model!
Career benefits of a personal development plan
14. Improved skills
Obviously, if you broaden your horizon and you learn new things, you improve your skills.
This improves your employability.
And it doesn’t matter if you specialize and hone your management skills, or if you learn something completely new and seemingly unrelated.
There are many different disciplines to conquer and you never know when that’s going to be helpful down the road.
So, take any necessary action now, to be ready when your time comes.
15. Better work-life balance
If you have a vision, career goals, and a plan, it’s much easier to create a career plan. And that can improve your work-life balance.
Create a roadmap of where you want your career to go. Make a choice and then focus on that choice.
Assess your current options, set your goals (with deadlines), identify what you need to do, and create an action plan.
When you know where you’re going, it’s easier to say “no” to stuff that won’t help you get there.
This leaves more time for other things and your wellbeing.
16. Improved career prospects
Improved skills and greater confidence naturally lead to better career prospects because you grow personally and professionally.
These are a few skills you could work on and that can help you with your career:
When you feel more confident, when you believe in yourself and see your worth, it gets easier not to settle.
You recognize your strengths and don’t focus so much on your weaknesses.
When you know yourself better, you’re also clearer on your non-negotiables.
This can be things like your tasks, the company culture, growth opportunities, your benefits, or the commute to work.
A clear vision is crucial to focus on your aspirations, even at work.
It’s easier to say no when you know that something is not helping you in the long run.
Okay, so these were some of the core benefits of personal development for different areas.
Which were your favorite personal and professional growth benefits?
I hope you got you motivated to work on yourself, grow as a person, and accomplish your personal goals.
Developing yourself should feel empowering and be good for your well-being but it requires self-discipline.
Maybe self-help books, a mentor, or life coach can help you with your personal growth and development.
Especially when you have a lot of long term goals. Then personal development plans can be a great tool to keep track and add meaning.
Start by reading part 2 in this series. It gives you a list of self-development activities for different personal development areas to help your personal growth.
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PS: If you like motivational content like this, check out more helpful Ninja Top Posts to improve yourself.
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