Personal Development

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Personal Development: Be in the Driver’s Seat

By: Candace Unger, Human Resources Assistant at Remedy Intelligent Staffing

When you think about “personal development,” what comes to mind? Goals? Growth? Learning? Opportunity? If any of these words come to mind, you’re absolutely right! However, personal development revolves around more than just that—it involves taking on new adventures, overcoming challenges, facing fears, and being open to the endless possibilities that are ahead of you.

To some, embarking on the journey of personal development is an exciting opportunity, while to others, it can be uncomfortable and overwhelming. Regardless of how you view personal development, having support from the important people in your life is critical. They are there to guide and motivate you as you go through your journey. However, the main person that needs to be cheering you on is you.

Here are seven tips you can use to ensure you’re in the driver’s seat of your own development:

  1. Don’t Tackle Too Much at Once

When you first start on your journey of personal development, it can be a little challenging to pick and choose exactly what you want to improve or change about yourself. So take some time to narrow down your list and determine two to three areas of improvement that you would like to focus on. That is a manageable number, and it allows you to place more focus on each specific area, instead of trying to change everything and spreading yourself too thin. 

  1. Stretch Yourself Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Pushing past your comfort zone is one of the best ways to grow, and oftentimes, you will surprise yourself during the process! A great way to do this is to set SMART goals for yourself. What does SMART stand for? Specific. Measurable. Attainable/Achievable. Relevant. Timely.SMART goals help you stay on track and cause you to think out of the box because they tend to involve things that lie outside of your regular routine.

Let’s use networking as an example. If networking is nerve-wracking for you, try setting a SMART goal of joining a local networking group with a few colleagues and attending two networking events per quarter. By the end of the year, you will have eight networking events under your belt, and you will most likely be feeling more comfortable with it. Starting small is key, but once you get going, you will start reaching goals that you never thought you could.

  1. Take Advantage of Development Opportunities

Does your workplace have training and development programs for its employees? If so, take advantage of them! These programs are designed for employees to learn about their company, their colleagues, or even things about themselves that they didn’t know before.

Companies develop these programs because they want to invest in their employees and provide them with the tools to grow and succeed. If you hear about a training and development opportunity that you’re interested in, sign up for it, and if you hear about one that is outside of your comfort zone, sign up for that one too! Showing interest in development opportunities is a great way to build upon your leadership skills as well.

  1. Become Comfortable with Asking Questions

Many people tend to shy away from admitting that they don’t know the answer and accepting that they need help from others. When faced with these situations, don’t be afraid to jump those hurdles. Asking questions and asking for help are not signs of weakness; they are signs of strength. The sooner you allow yourself to ask questions or ask for help, the more natural it will become. As a result, you will build solid and meaningful relationships with others and learn about perspectives that are different than your own. As a side note, asking questions during a meeting comes across as being attentive and wanting to engage in the conversation.

  1. Seek Consistent Feedback – Even If It Hurts

When making the decision to focus on personal development, it’s important to accept the fact that others are going to point out things that you could improve upon. Is this supposed to be an easy thing to accept? No. However, feedback is an amazing thing because it typically sheds light on areas you’ve never thought about before or things that have been on your mind for a long time but you didn’t know how to handle.

Feedback can be positive, negative, or constructive. Everyone loves positive feedback; however, it’s unrealistic to receive positive feedback all the time. Receiving negative or constructive feedback is not necessarily a bad thing; it can actually be some of the most helpful feedback that you receive. Why? Because it identifies opportunities for growth and development. Feedback is not meant to hurt you; it’s meant to stick with you. Asking for consistent feedback shows that you are open-minded and invested in your own development.

  1. Hold Yourself Accountable – Take Ownership of Your Development

A big part of personal development is keeping up your end of the bargain. Yes, personal development involves others helping, guiding, and motivating you to get you where you want to be. However, the only one who can control how much energy and effort is put into it is yourself.

This is your life, your journey, your story. Take ownership of it, and don’t let yourself fall behind on your goals. Transform your goals and dreams into realities. Create an easy routine for yourself. Make a to-do list. Check in with others on a regular basis so you can share your progress with them. No one knows yourself better than you do, so figure out what works best for you, and be the driving force behind your own accomplishments.

  1. Exude Confidence Every Step of the Way

Confidence and positivity go a long way when it comes to personal development. Believing that you willachieve your goals (rather than you can), is the ideal mindset to have as you go through your journey. Don’t allow obstacles to hinder you; view them as opportunities to grow and learn.

As you experience new situations, you will become more comfortable and confident in your own skin. Confidence and positivity are contagious. The more confident and positive you are, others will follow suit. Sometimes, they will even look up to you or come to you for advice because they view you as confident and competent. Never underestimate the power of confidence and positivity!

The road to personal development is constantly evolving and never-ending. With a combination of a positive attitude, involvement in learning and development opportunities, and pushing your comfort zone to the wayside, you can ensure that you’re in the driver’s seat of your personal development!


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