Personal Development – Importance of Self Development & Self Improvement

You’ve probably heard of Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest in 1984. Even after this monumental achievement, Pal continued to lead expeditions in the mountain ranges. She carried out relief and rescue operations for flood victims in northeast India in 2013. She’s also written a book titled, Everest: My Journey To The Top.

If we look at Pal’s life, she kept her passion alive throughout her life. Similarly, many successful people continue to learn and challenge themselves. They don’t stop after one achievement. This continuous journey of exploring new horizons is known as personal development.

What Is Personal Development?

Personal development is a lifelong process that helps you assess your life goals and upskill to fulfill your potential. It allows you to be proactive and take charge of your actions. You may not always reach your objective but you lead a more fulfilling life because your purpose is defined. Personal development contributes to both satisfaction and success in life.

You can work on your personal development by embracing certain self-improvement skills. These are traits and qualities that you already have or gain through education and training. Some common personal development skills are:

  • Good communication allows you to convey your thoughts with clarity and confidence

  • Interpersonal skills that help you build relationships and make an impression on others in social situations

  • Problem-solving skills that enable you to find the best solutions when you encounter obstacles

  • Adaptability skills that let you adjust to new things quickly and easily in addition to staying calm during unanticipated situations

  • Leadership skills  that help you guide others; boost morale and builds confidence

Importance Of Personal Development

There’s a common misconception that personal development is reserved for those who need to work harder to achieve their goals. In reality, even the most successful people constantly strive for improvement. Your brain needs new information so that you can continue to flourish. Learning is a continuous process and doesn’t stop unless you want to. Personal development may be time-consuming but there are many advantages to this process.

  1. Provides Clarity To Personal Vision

Personal development helps you define your personal vision and life goals more clearly. When you establish targets for yourself, it becomes easier to create a plan and work towards those objectives.

  1. Improves Existing Skills

Learning and personal growth are the hallmarks of personal development. You learn from your past mistakes and overcome challenges through education, training and guidance.

  1. Helps Identify True Potential

The more you work on your skills and abilities, the more you discover your hidden potential. You learn to push your boundaries and explore new things because you know how to best utilize your knowledge.

  1. Drives Motivation And Satisfaction

Personal development is empowering as it lets you take control of things. Since there is constant improvement, you feel more confident and motivated. Your productivity increases and your performance gives you satisfaction.

  1. Helps Focus On The Bigger Picture

When you acknowledge your shortcomings, you hold yourself accountable for your mistakes. This level of self-awareness helps you look at the bigger picture and not beat yourself up about things that are beyond your control.

What Is Self-Development?

‘Personal development’ is often used interchangeably with ‘self-development’, but they’re two different approaches to life. The former focuses on developing new capabilities and adding a new direction to life. The latter focuses on ways to improve things that are already a part of one’s life. Both processes deal with personal development and complement each other but shouldn’t be confused with each other.

Self-development is a conscious process of improving oneself in various aspects of life. It’s a constant pursuit of growth by developing skills, competencies and knowledge. The ultimate goal for self-development is to be a self-fulfilled person. The process includes three key components:

There are two skill enhancement processes, personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Interpersonal skills focus on how you interact with others and develop relationships. Personal effectiveness skills like goal-setting, time management, decision-making and stress management benefit you personally.

The process of building and strengthening our minds is known as mental conditioning. We’re able to focus on our objectives by visualizing what we want to achieve. This helps maintain a positive focus, improving self-image and self-confidence. Some mental conditioning techniques like meditation, breathing exercises and relaxation activities have proved useful in boosting concentration and bettering performance.

A habit often refers to routine behaviors or tendencies that are automatic and without intention. It’s difficult to break out of habits but it’s not impossible. To make our lives more enriching we can also create new habits and bring about positive changes.

What Is Personal Growth?

Personal or self-growth is the result of both personal and self-development. It’s a process of becoming the person that motivated you to work towards self-improvement in the first place. In layman’s terms, personal growth is a transformational step made towards improving your physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual and financial state in life.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what your abilities and skillsets are. Your attitude towards pushing yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone makes all the difference. Here are some questions you can ask yourself before you start to invest in self-improvement:

  • What am I grateful for today?

  • What do I want to achieve in life?

  • What are the things I’m afraid of?

  • How do I face my fears?

  • What is that one thing I can’t live without?

Why Work On Personal Growth?

When you work on individual growth, you can efficiently address and avoid setbacks. Here are some advantages enjoyed by those who actively pursue self-growth:

  1.  Relationships with your friends, family, coworkers and even yourself are the foundation of life. Good social and networking skills will help you build healthier relationships. For example, if you face conflicts in the workplace, you address them instead of avoiding them.

  2. You learn to regulate your emotions, thoughts and behaviors, therefore strengthening self-control. You start to differentiate facts and opinions. You build new habits and don’t get easily distracted by temptations and impulses.

  3. Life throws us curve balls when we least expect them. Consistent efforts towards addressing and challenging difficulties make you more resilient. You’re able to move past your mistakes and look at every problem objectively. There’s enhanced self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

  4. Activities like meditation and yoga can generate peace of mind. When you have a better understanding of yourself, there’s clarity about your hopes and dreams. Practicing mindfulness enables you to improve tolerance, concentration and flexibility.

  5. Healthy relationships, better self-control and associated improvements in health create befitting environments for success. You learn to establish milestones and define success for yourself. After all, success is measured by finding meaning in your work and life.

Personal Development For Professional Growth

You can set personal development goals to advance your career. Here are some ways that’ll let you align your personal goals and work goals.

  1. Communicate Frequently

Communication is essential to break the ice and build a rapport with colleagues. Show your coworkers that you’re open to conversation and healthy arguments. Listen attentively and disagree respectfully, whenever someone challenges your existing beliefs and opinions.

  1. Work In Teams

Be proactive when it comes to teamwork and collaboration with other departments. Different perspectives give way to new learning experiences. Moreover, you’re encouraged to be more productive when you share and discuss common objectives and timelines.

  1. Be Open To Feedback

Receiving honest and constructive feedback is one of the best ways to grow in your career. Whether you’re a team leader or a team member, make sure you provide as well as receive feedback from your peers. You’ll get clarity on your performance and progress.

  1. Attend Training Sessions

If you feel that your performance is affected because of gaps in your competencies, be open to training programs. You can always upskill to catch up with emerging business demands. Moreover, your employer will appreciate the added efforts you make towards driving organizational goals.

It’s important to have a direction in life but it’s even more important to follow the right path. Harappa Education’s Building Presence course will help you find the right balance between personal development and professional growth. You’ll learn how to confidently express your future ideas and aspirations. The TEA (Trust, Authenticity and Emotional Intelligence) Skills framework will teach you how to understand others and communicate effectively. It’s time to trust your instincts and impress everybody with your confidence!

Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about topics & skills related to the Communicate habit such as Interpersonal Skills, Personality Development & Social Skills.