Personal Development | The Practical Guide!
While diplomas and various experiences are assets to progress in your career, personal development can also make a difference in your life on a personal and professional level and offer you personal improvement. But what exactly is personal development?
In this article, discover a practical guide to personal development, its objectives, and how to implement it in your daily life to grow personally and professionally.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated.
This article was compiled from information available at the time of writing. As this information may change anytime, we do not guarantee its accuracy. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local resources for the most up-to-date information on this topic.
What is Personal Development?
Personal development is a set of practices to transform yourself and reach your full potential. It is a voluntary approach that aims to improve self-knowledge, enhance one’s talents, and achieve one’s aspirations.
Some people want to achieve personal or professional goals by working on their personal development, while others have more general approaches. Personal development can relate to different aspects of life, from health to spirituality, including working on relationships with the world around us.
Based on the pyramid of Maslow, an American psychologist who worked on the basic needs of individuals, personal development responds to the need for self-fulfillment.
Personal Improvement Through Self-Development:
Personal development is a personal approach because it is about working on yourself for personal improvement. It allows you to free yourself from negative emotions that prevent you from evolving, cultivate a certain detachment, and get to know yourself to master your talents.
In doing so, it builds self-esteem and self-confidence.
It allows you to find your way, to give meaning to your life by defining new objectives, and improve your quality of life by:
Achieving a higher level of job satisfaction;
Developing or reorienting our career;
Stimulating our daily personal growth;
completing accomplishments that make us proud.
Improve your skills for personal development at work
Self-confidence proves to be the key to success. Without it, we can miss out on our alter ego or a career that gives meaning to our lives. It represents one of the pillars of personal development, which aims to tame, cultivate, and anchor it in us.
Thus, by gaining confidence in yourself, you can then easily develop skills that will serve you in your personal and professional life, such as:
Whether it’s during your job search, once on the job, or with your family and friends, an excellent ability to communicate, both orally and in writing, will always be helpful to you in conveying your ideas, dialogue, and listening;
It is essential to find a balance between personal and professional life. It will allow you to plan things, increase productivity, and prioritize your tasks;
The ability to federate a team is highly sought in the professional world. But, it is also a quality that allows you to set goals and achieve them;
There are many twists and turns in life. It is, therefore, important to know how to adapt to all circumstances. By welcoming change calmly, flexible people are more willing to solve problems to unblock situations and keep moving forward;
It is not always easy to integrate well within a group of people. Suppose you want to build fruitful relationships with your colleagues or create new friendships in your areas of interest. In that case, personal development will help you live in harmony with others and flourish.
How to Do Personal Development?
Let’s start with the famous quote:
“The important thing is not the destination, it’s the journey”.Robert Louis Stevenson
Personal development is a gradual process to achieve self-realization, reconnect with oneself, and live a better life.
There is no shortcut or magic formula when it comes to personal development. It is an individual process that varies according to the motivations and intentions of each person.
However, there are techniques and tools that allow you to get started, define the practices that suit you best and maintain your motivation.
Develop A Personal Development Plan:
Whatever your primary motivation, it is strongly recommended that you write a plan to carry out your personal development. This development program will allow you to define a framework in order to stay on the right track, follow your evolution, and maintain your motivation.
Take Stock of Your Personal and Professional Situation:
Start by taking stock of your current situation from different aspects in order to get the most complete picture of your starting point. Where are you? What are your talents? For example, you can do a skills assessment by analyzing your professional development and your activities, such as volunteering. A SWOT analysis can also help you paint a picture of the situation by evaluating all the aspects, the good ones, as well as the points for improvement. Be flexible with yourself. The goal is to develop your mindfulness.
Once you have a complete picture of your situation, you can more easily determine your deepest aspirations. What are your motivations? What do you really want? By getting clarity on your true needs, goals, and desires, you can determine your level of commitment. As part of this awareness work, make a list of the reasons that motivate you for each goal and visualize what achieving them will bring you.
This work will allow you to set SMART objectives. It should be specific, realistic, measurable, achievable, and time-bound goals that constitute steps in your process. They form your personal development plan, or in other words, the framework of your journey towards your fulfillment.
Implement Your Personal Development Plan:
Once you have set your goals, you need to take action. Do you not know where to start? Of course, you have to make a decision, but you can rely on the preliminary work you have done. You have defined your level of commitment for each goal, so start with the one that motivates you the most.
The secret is to start with small concrete actions that will stimulate you. For example, if you want to integrate physical activities into your daily life, schedule 15 minutes a day to go for a walk. Establish discipline in this practice. Plan and book time slots. It is important that this practice be regular. Then, you can gradually increase this rate to 30 minutes, sessions of a sport you like three times a week or more. It’s all about getting started!
Follow Up On Your Development:
Once you’ve gotten into a rhythm, feel free to use planning tools to keep the pace and motivation going. Plus, they’ll help you measure your progress by keeping track of your actions. It is sometimes demotivating not to see the concrete results of your work. So, keep track of your own progress, which will help you to adjust your goals as you progress.
And reward yourself with a treat each time you reach a goal. Set your own rules, but set up rewards that will motivate you.
Examples of Personal Development Techniques and Tools:
There are many techniques and tools to help you do this job.
Here is a non-exhaustive list to help you.
Personal Development Books:
There is something for everyone. Reading allows you to acquire notions of personal development that can help you. The important thing is to integrate it into your daily life.
Personal Development Websites:
Here, too, you will be spoiled for choice. You can find exercises to structure your process or give you new ideas.
Coaches or Guides in Personal Development:
Sometimes, we can’t move forward on our own. Professionals are there to support you with their experience. These people will be able to guide you on your personal improvement and accompany you in your progress.
Personal Development Programs:
Some people get more results in a structured, individual, or group setting. They can be useful for getting started or achieving a particular goal.
Personal Development Seminars and Workshops:
These one-off activities are usually focused on a particular subject and can provide you with the elements you are missing and the support of a group at a given point in your journey.
This practice allows you to develop mindfulness, learn to control your emotions, and reduce stress. You can download a guided meditation app, Headspace, Calm, or Petit Bambou.
Yoga and Sophrology:
These two different activities combine exercises to help you develop breathing, relaxation, and meditation techniques.
Neuro Linguistic Programming:
NLP relies on language to understand and modify automatisms or mental representations that possibly prevent you from flourishing.
Keeping a journal can help you get to know yourself and track your progress. You can follow guided formulas or simply let your unconscious do the talking.
The technique of positive affirmations, and positive psychology in general, allows you to direct your perception in a positive way and to face the hazards with more confidence in yourself.
personal development is a voluntary process of knowing oneself and others to develop one’s potential and to blossom fully. It requires a personal commitment that will allow you to succeed professionally and personally.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the pillars of personal development?
Ans: Depending on the approaches and currents of thought, the pillars of personal development can be defined from a different angle. But they all coincide around these five aspects: self-confidence, well-being, the discovery of one’s path and one’s aspirations (knowledge of oneself and the meaning of one’s life), fulfillment at the emotional level and relationship, and finally, professional success.
What are the benefits of personal development?
Ans: The benefits of personal development are endless. They depend on your situation and your ambitions at the time you undertake this journey. Nevertheless, we can define some of them: to know you better, to live better, to put an end to the situations that limit you, to be in agreement with yourself to accomplish yourself and to improve your personal and professional life.
What is the difference between personal and professional development?
Ans: Professional development focuses on short and long-term career goals, their definition, the acquisition of knowledge and skills to achieve them, and the overall trajectory desired for one’s professional life.
Personal development encompasses all aspects of life. Techniques can be employed to achieve specific goals, but their repercussions will positively impact your life in general.
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