Personal growth: definition and methods

Even schoolchildren are now beginning to think about the need for personal growth. The fact that self-development is necessary is repeated from all sides by teachers, parents, friends. Someone understands this concept as the study and expansion of one’s own inner world, others call for the knowledge of higher powers, others insist that this is the only way to success. So what is personal growth and why is it still needed? Let’s try to figure it out.

What is it in psychology?

Initially, the concept of «personal growth» was used only in psychology. More precisely, in its separate direction — humanistic concept. Its founders are American specialists in the field of psychology. Abraham Maslow and Carl Ransome Rogers. It was they who first used the concept of personal growth in their theory. However, later other psychologists started talking about it and began to widely apply it in their practices.

The essence of the concept is that a person is initially capable of much, the main thing is to develop his positive qualities given by nature. Then the «basic components» of personal growth were expanded. The criteria for its assessment included such components as the ability to know and improve oneself, comprehension of the world around, constant striving for self-improvement not only of one’s human qualities, but also professional ones.

At the moment, not only psychologists talk about personal growth. The concept is often used by religious and near-religious figures. They often call it also the spiritual path — that is, the opportunity to improve oneself through the knowledge of higher powers, striving for perfection from the point of view of God. And, finally, the most common definition of personal growth now is given at various seminars and trainings, where people who aspire to make a career gather. Therefore, before you go for this or that guru of self-knowledge, it is worthwhile to figure out why you need this teaching.


It is possible that you can easily overcome this path on your own. It is also likely that you just need the help of a psychologist.


Why is it needed?


Personal growth is the process of an individual’s development throughout life.. Each of us at birth receives almost equal human capabilities: the ability to be kind, sympathetic, fair, and so on. Another question is how we use these gifts. Someone seeks to improve their personal characteristics, others “dig in” them deeply and over the years simply kill at least some sprouts of virtue in themselves.

The same applies to professional qualities. All successful people are constantly looking for new knowledge. They never stop at the achieved level of education. Even if they do not go for the next diploma, they definitely attend professional courses or at least engage in self-development, which has enveloped us The World Wide Web makes this possible anytime, anywhere.

Only by moving forward, a person will be able to improve the quality of his own life, come to his dream, achieve his goal. It doesn’t matter what exactly is your main idea. Whether you want to be successful in business, sports, or your personal life, self-development is essential. It helps to cope with difficult situations, improve relationships in the family and at work, and thus provides a person with a sense of self-satisfaction. However, it is never complete. After all, personal growth does not stop either with graduation from school, or after receiving a diploma of higher education, or when your business has become a real empire that brings in millions of dollars in income. This path begins from early childhood and lasts until the end of days.

And although it sounds a little threatening, but what could be better than investing time and energy in yourself, in your personal and professional happiness? After all, in the end, such investments will bring income not only to you, but also to the people around you.

Signs of stopping personal growth


Sometimes it seems to a person that he has already achieved everything: the house is a full bowl, a prestigious job, excellent relationships with family and friends. And this is where the real crisis can break out. The problem is the world does not stand still, which means that an individual striving for success needs to go with it at the same speed or even exceed it. This applies to both work and home.

Yesterday’s beauty with a high level of intelligence successfully marries, gives birth to children and «buries» herself. She has not changed her dressing gown for an evening dress for a long time, she has forgotten the way to the beauty salon, her hands do not reach books. As a result, the husband is already with another, the children are not interested in her, her friends have forgotten about her, they are also unlikely to take a good job, thus, it would seem that personal deformation becomes the cause of the complete decomposition of the individual, depression, alcoholism and other health problems, diagnose which can only be done by a specialist. But the fact that you stopped imperceptibly for yourself can be understood without resorting to their help.

Try to diagnose the following questions:

  • How long have you been reading the book?
  • How long have you been buying new things for yourself?
  • How long have you visited a beauty salon, massage parlor, dentist, and so on?
  • How long ago did you raise the level of your own education (attended seminars, trainings, studied literature)?
  • How long have you been in the gym, swimming pool, walking in the park, forest, and so on?

If at least one of these questions you answered “for a long time”, you need to urgently correct the situation. The only excuse is the post-traumatic period, when it is simply physically impossible to do something.

In all other cases, you need to start changing, if, of course, you are worried about your own future.

Where to begin?


First of all, you need to get rid of everything unnecessary, both physically and psychologically. In other words, you need to put things in order in your head. Over the years of life, we accumulate in ourselves a lot of unnecessary, and sometimes harmful: imposed thoughts and rules, wrong lifestyle, complexes. All this pulls back and does not allow to move forward. Perhaps what you are doing is not at all what you really need, and therefore it is not possible to achieve at least some significant results.

Talk to yourself in the most frank way. Answer the following questions.

  • Who do I want to be in the end? Perhaps you have dreamed of being a clown all your life, and your parents and public opinion sent you to study as a lawyer, as a result, the circus lost a great artist, and a large army of mediocre law experts was replenished with another unclaimed specialist.
  • Where do I want to live? Maybe you just need to change your registration. Change an apartment in a metropolis for a house in the village or a villa on the sea, or go to conquer the capital or new countries.
  • What do I want from life? Perhaps you stick around at work all day, and when you return home, you fall off your feet, while you don’t understand why you are so unlucky in your personal life. And where will it come from if you simply don’t have the time and energy for it? Unload yourself as much as possible. Then make a list of your goals and desires. Write a clear plan that will allow you to achieve them. Your task is to cross off at least one goal per day based on the results of its achievement. However, in order to strive towards the goal by leaps and bounds, this is not enough! Things will go uphill faster if you use several techniques at the same time.

Plan for the spiritual development of the individual


To succeed, you need to work on yourself every day. Personal development is a whole system that consists of many steps. Create your own self-development program using the tasks below.

  • Towards the unknown. Think of everything you’ve ever dreamed of doing but never got around to. Perhaps you wanted to learn Japanese, or at least English, but you still didn’t have enough time and energy. Or maybe there was a desire to master the recipes of gourmet cuisine, but you never went to any culinary course. It is possible that for several years in a row you are going to do yoga or at least start running in the morning, but you put everything off until the next Monday. It’s time to get down to business right here and now. And don’t put off any class to a later date. Live every day like it’s your last. This is the main strategy for the formation of a successful personality.
  • Victory over the mind. When our brain starts to work hard, it can start giving false signals. The mind is trying to lead us astray. He shouts: «Don’t rush to do it today, you’ll still have time, you’re too tired!» Nonsense, he is just trying to deceive you and make you lazy with him. Don’t give in. Silence the voice of laziness in your head once and for all. And in order to have enough time and energy for everything, always leave minutes in your schedule for a break — this stage is no less important than the work itself. Do not overdo it in your desire to move forward, but do not mark time.
  • More positive. The key to successful personal growth is a positive attitude and thoughts. Don’t let yourself think bad. Put a barrier to all gloomy thoughts. Together with them, all fears will leave you, insecurity will recede, and the understanding will come that you are capable of anything. Not only you, but also the world around you will begin to change for the better.
  • Closing the circle. Change your social circle. Throw out of your life everyone who pulls you down: gossips, whiners, losers should be left in the past. Communicate only with those who, like you, are tuned in to a positive wave. Share positive energy with each other.

Even if there are no such bright people among your friends and acquaintances, they will definitely appear soon. You will attract them like a magnet.

Practical recommendations


The main thing in the technology of increasing one’s own development is daily practice. The technique for completing each step is simple — none of them can be postponed until later. To overcome the psychological barrier, first try to develop your own set of exercises and perform them according to your own technique.

Effective Exercises

The development of the spirit is impossible without the development of the body. Even if while your appearance is far from perfect and going to the gym is torture for you, start putting yourself in order at home. The first week, do 20 tilts and 10 squats, then increase the number of sets. Do not worry if at first the movements will be difficult, and the whole process will not look very presentable. Very soon the body will become more toned, and a trained spirit will finally allow you to cope with all the complexes and buy a subscription to a fitness center.

Do not forget Proper nutrition and walks in the fresh air. Both help the brain work more efficiently. As for other ways to conquer yourself, one of the most effective and easiest methods to quickly get what you want is to visualize what you want. Often mentally imagine what you are striving for: a large office with mahogany furniture, a huge bank account, a red business class car or a prince on a white horse. The clearer your ideas about the dream are, the sooner it will come true.

It would be nice if wishful thinking is already valid on paper. Draw what you want or create a collage using stock images cut from magazines, for example.

affirmations


First, let’s figure out what it is and what affirmations are for. The word comes from the Latin affirmatio, which translates as «confirmation». An affirmation is a short phrase that must be repeated many times in order to believe and feel every word.

For people brought up on Soviet films, perhaps the most famous affirmation is the phrase of the heroine Irina Muravyova, which she had to repeat regularly. She sounded like this: «I am the most charming and attractive.» For you, appearance is not an object of dreams, so start suggesting to yourself, and at the same time to the Universe, that you are the smartest and richest, lucky and resourceful. It’s up to you to decide what to be.

Useful books and films

One of the most popular and entertaining books for those who have decided to embark on the path of personal development is American author Adam Kurtz. A successful artist and graphic designer from New York offers readers a diary for creative people — 1 page per day. On each — a task that is not like another, pushing to new actions, observations, developing certain skills. On Monday, you will be asked to tell about one of your childhood birthdays, on Tuesday — to draw an elephant, on Wednesday — to write an essay on a free topic. Such a self-development guide for beginners can be a great help.

The book Be Your Best: How Ordinary People Become Great is written by renowned business coach and strategist Dan Waldschmidt. After analyzing his life path, Dan identified 4 qualities that successful people always have. If you want to know which ones, go to the bookstore, where you will surely find a lot of interesting literature that will help your self-development. Remember that any book can help you become better, smarter, kinder.

The same goes for good films. To get started, watch the American tape «The Pursuit of Happyness.» Despite the fact that the movie was released back in 2006, it does not cease to be one of the most popular among viewers, especially those who want to believe in themselves. The main idea is that anyone can realize even the most daring dream.


You will definitely succeed too. Take the first step on the path to self-improvement and don’t turn off this direction anymore, and then, quite possibly, a film about you will also be made very soon.


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