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MAKING PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PERSONAL: A step toward intentional growth

I have always been keen on identifying development opportunities for myself, friends, and colleagues, but it was only after recently failing to help someone make an attitude adjustment where I was reminded that a seed cannot develop into a sequoia tree overnight; and that for self-development to be realized, we must make personal investments. Sometimes, in our capacities as coaches and mentors, we give beautiful mind-blowing speeches aimed at depositing hope and aspiration in our charges, but fail to realize that while we can show anyone the pathway to success, he/she must want to find it.

Personal development has been formally described as a continuous lifelong process of nurturing, shaping, and improving skills and knowledge to ensure maximum effectiveness, but it is simply taking steps to become a more effective individual. This often contributes to the realization of dreams and aspirations and in the process, we improve self-awareness and personal image, enhance quality of life, develop talents, build human capital, and become more attractive to employers.

Generally, our adult lives are shaped by the templates we store from experiences with family, friends, neighbors, schools, and even our employment journey. Unfortunately, these templates are not always positive, and we soon realize that although it takes a village to raise a child, it would have been better if all the characters in the village were exemplary. The motivation to develop self is often powered by a personal desire to override some of the negative templates, but as soon as some of these desires are met, new ones arise - hence the benefit of this lifelong process and fascinating art called personal development.

As a force for growth and progress, personal development is an important aspect of life, which each one of us should strive for. While training and coaching creates a guide, it is our innate willpower that drives us to develop and become better individuals. In our development journey we must ensure the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual versions of ourselves are not neglected.

Here are 10 tips for successful investment in self-development.

  1. Plan your development - Make a plan and include at least one thing from each version of yourself that you would like to improve. Invest in formal training if necessary.

  2. Take baby steps - Break large goals into smaller ones and keep your eye on the prize.

  3. Find a trusted “truth-teller” - You can learn from the mistakes of others, but you can also benefit from honest and constructive feedback.

  4. Embrace change - As the world around us changes, we change by default. Ensure your plan details how you will change for the better; and set your milestones.

  5. Hold yourself accountable - You are responsible for what and who you are today. Be responsible for your progress.

  6. Be intentional in your pursuit - Find your true intention before you commit to doing something. Our intention often becomes our reality.

  7. Challenge yourself -Don’t deny yourself the satisfaction of achievement and optimum change by setting overly simple targets, but at the same time do not reach for impossible goals.

  8. Recognize your worth - People around us benefit from who we are and what we do. Your effectiveness can only increase your value and contribution to others.

  9. Follow your passion - Indulge in things that you really enjoy and surround yourself with strong and positive people who will support you.

  10. Take your plan seriously - It should rank right up there with taking your daily vitamins.

Abraham Lincoln sums it up nicely for us—“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” While we can never be done with growth, each time we make a personal investment in our development, we improve ourselves, and our impact on others.

By Stacy-Lee Abrahams

Personal and Professional Development Consultant

About Stacy-Lee

With over 20 years’ experience in Human Resource Management and in manpower planning, people engagement, strategic compensation, training and development, and performance management, Stacy-Lee Abrahams worked with some well-established companies and as a freelance consultant to help others streamline their HR systems and processes in furtherance of people development. Stacy-Lee serves as the Personal and Professional Development Consultant for Victorious By Design.

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30 nov 2021


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