By Follow Your Own Rhythm
Personal growth is so important and it’s definitely something that I have prioritized throughout my life. I’m always looking to grow as a person and learn more about myself so that I can understand who I am and how I function.
So as I sat there the other day thinking about my life, I took a moment to reflect on the “personal growth habits” that I had practiced throughout my life to see what has helped me best learn about myself and grow as a person. I boiled it down to 10 tips that are absolutely essential if you are interested in self-discovery and personal growth and implementing them into your life can dramatically help you improve your well-being.
10 Essential Tips for Personal Growth
1. Be honest with yourself
Self-honesty will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. If you are able to be honest with yourself about how you truly feel, what you truly want, mistakes you have made, why you said what you said, why you acted a certain way, why you believe what you believe, what you truly fear, what you are insecure about, how you feel about yourself…it will solve your problems A LOT QUICKER and EASIER.
I know it sucks to face the truth, especially when it has to do with seeing our “dark side,” but when it comes to healing, denial is NOT an option. And you don’t have to be 100% honest with others about how you feel in order to be honest with yourself, but you do have to be honest with yourself about when you are not being honest with others. It is ONLY this trusting and sincere relationship you have with yourself that will get you to where you want to be. Respect yourself enough to tell yourself the truth, which yes, takes lots of introspection and most of all, lots of courage, but ultimately, it is the only thing that will set you free.
2. Practice self-awareness and self-reflection
Start with being self-aware. Pay attention to your habits, thought patterns, reactions, motivations, fears, weaknesses, strengths, likes, dislikes, etc. and identify those aspects of yourself that you want to improve. Observe yourself without judging yourself. Self-awareness will give you the insight you need to improve your well being.
And then also, practice self-reflection. To self-reflect means to think about and meditate on who you are and what you do. It means to stand above your actions and motivations, and in a non-biased manner look at them for what they are. Ask yourself: how did I do? What did I do? What could I have done better? What can I do less of? How could I have been more clear, rational, kind, loving, conscious, confident, helpful? Why did I react in this way? How did this make me feel? How did my words or actions affect other people? Was what I did true to who I am?
Self-reflection is a great tool for getting to know yourself and for discovering those parts about yourself that you want to change and improve. Self-reflect without being overly analytical and critical of yourself though, as that will just create problems. The reflection process gives you the chance to grow from an experience as it involves taking the time to ponder and review your actions so that you can do it better next time.
3. Read inspirational, eye-opening books
Being open to learning about life, about our existence, about new perspectives, and about yourself is SO helpful for your growth as a person. Try to read inspirational and thought provoking books from time to time as they have the potential to open your eyes and spark new ways of thinking.
Why not read a book that has the potential to teach you more about yourself and life? What do you want to learn? What do you want to overcome? What do you struggle with? What are you curious about? What do you want to create in your life? Start with answering these questions, and then pick a book accordingly.
4. Focus on the step you are taking RIGHT NOW
Often times when we want to achieve certain results or get to a certain point in our lives, we want to be there NOW. We start to focus so much on where want to be, that we forget where we are. And even worse is when we start to imagine all the work it’s going to take to get there, and we overwhelm and exhaust ourselves and shut down. So you have to focus on the step you are taking RIGHT NOW.
Acknowledge the goals and dreams you have, but don’t get so lost in them that you focus more on where you wish you already were, and forget about where you actually are. Focus on what is within your reach right now and celebrate each step that you take towards your goals. This way your energy is not taken up by thoughts about the future, but is completely present in what you do today, and thus enhances and facilitates your progress.
5. Take a break from the busy-ness of life and go out into nature!
Life gets so busy with all that we have to do that there’s never enough time for what we actually WANT to do. You gotta relax. You gotta learn to take a break. You have to get away once in a while to recharge and reconnect. Getting out into nature is the perfect remedy for this.
Nature has a way of making us slow down and reflect. Everything moves a lot slower out in the natural world. Nature helps us reconnect with a more natural flow of life, one that is more aligned with your own true nature. It helps you see the big picture…that life is simple and beautiful, not complicated and hard like we make it out to be. When you’re out there, recognize the calm and peace all around you, pay attention to what you see and hear, and really try to feel how truly connected you are to everything in nature, because you ARE nature! This should help center you, relax you, and give you the energy you need to get back to your everyday life.
6. Simplify your life
Life tends to get really complicated with all of the thoughts that we have, problems that we create, and things that we have to do. So make things a bit more simple. Don’t spend so much time on matters that don’t matter. Whatever you can do to simplify your life, do it. This could mean buying less things, creating less things to do, cleaning out the clutter from your house, or getting rid of some of your junk. The more clean and clear your physical environment is, the more clean and clear your mind will become which will open up more space for what truly matters in your life.
7. Don’t overanalyze yourself, your faults or your problems
Self-analysis, contemplation, and reflection is a great tool for personal growth. But when you OVER do it and overanalyze yourself, you are bound to find problems. In fact, you actually create more of them with your thoughts. Over-analysis is a form of over-thinking, and because our thoughts are responsible for the majority of our feelings and behaviors, overthinking can literally change your state of being and thinking. So be careful not to focus too much on your faults and problems, as it can actually harm you. Instead, acknowledge what needs to change, and then focus on what you can do to change it. BE PROACTIVE!
8. Get out of your comfort zone and change things up
It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zone. It’s so cozy, warm, secure, and safe. HOWEVER, it doesn’t do much as far as your growth is concerned. So I recommend getting out there and changing things up! Is there a routine you follow everyday not necessarily because it makes you feel good, but because you’ve just been doing it for so long? Whether it’s the route you take to work, what you eat for lunch, what you do on the weekends, what you do every Christmas, change it up and try something new! Open your world to uncertainty and try new things!
Routines are good, but when they start to become dull and robotic and make your life stagnant and boring, or when you just do them to do them because it's comfortable, convenient, and something you’ve been doing forever, it’s a good idea to switch things up! Change is healthy and good for the soul, and excellent for personal growth as it opens your eyes to new perspectives, helps you learn more about yourself, and provides you with more meaningful life experiences.
9. Embrace your failures and mistakes
Our mistakes don’t define us. Their purpose in our lives is to help us grow. They are lessons to be learned. You will keep repeating mistakes, in different forms and through different experiences, until you learn from them. So the next time you make a mistake, instead of beating yourself up over it, try to see what you can learn so that you don’t have to repeat it again.
People so often give up on a goal the moment they screw up, relapse, fail or something goes wrong. Try not to give up in these moments! Don’t have an all or nothing attitude where if you can’t do it perfectly, you won’t do it at all. Remember that you can start anew in each moment. Don’t let your failures get you down. Look at your failures as areas you need to strengthen. Look at them as a challenge that you can overcome. Are you born knowing how to walk? Are you born knowing how to cook? No, you get good by making mistakes and learning from them.
10. Take care of your mind, body and soul
You have to take good care of yourself. Take care of your mind by thinking positive thoughts, being honest with yourself, avoiding alcohol as much as you can so your mind can be clear, avoiding drugs and caffeine, and getting a good night sleep. Take care of your body by staying physically active, eating nutritious, organic, and unprocessed foods, and avoiding chemicals in and on your body. Take care of your soul by doing what makes you happy, listening to your heart, meditating, living in the moment, paying attention to your surroundings, and being in touch with who you are and what you truly feel.
Try practicing these 10 things and see what a difference it makes in your life!
Let me know which tip you will start implementing right away or which one has been the most beneficial to you? I'd love your feedback! Leave it in the comments below!
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