So many of us are looking to level up in life. But it’s easy to succumb to some of the pitfalls of self-improvement and take it to an unhealthy place. (Self-discipline is not about beating ourselves up!) In order to achieve a balance, we’ve paired some personal development tips with helpful affirmations to help you grow without losing yourself in the process.✨
The first is…
Engage In Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is the first step to discovering how you’d like to grow, and there are so many great ways to do this! Some of my favorites include journaling, writing prompts, meditation or even just taking a walk. Working toward a greater sense of self is not only an optimal starting point for self-development, but it’s also an amazing way to boost your confidence, decision-making skills, and relationships! (Click here for some amazing self-reflection writing prompts!)
And Remember That It’s About Journey, Not Destination
Before starting any self-development practice, it’s imperative that you remember: It’s all about the journey, not the destination. Too many times, we set our sights on the future. The end goal. The outcome. And we don’t allow ourselves to be happy until we reach it. We say to ourselves “I’ll be fulfilled when I reach this point,” all the while, missing out on the beauty happening all around us each day. Self-development isn’t on the other side. It’s right here, right now, and all along the way. Focus on growth, not goals.
I challenge you to get mindful! With curiosity and acceptance, spend just 30 minutes in the here and now. Forget about all the upcoming things you need to get to done or mistakes of the past. Bring your mind to the present moment. One great way to achieve this is through mindful eating! Learn to be present with one meal a week to start, and then work your way up to a couple mindful meals a week. You might even try mindfulness with other activities such as driving, walking, feeding your pet or watering your plants.
And Remember That Your Journey Is Your Own
One of the worst ways we can get wrapped up in unhealthy self-improvement is by comparing ourselves to others. It’s too easy for us to look at someone else and think, “That’s where I want to be” or “That’s what I want to have”. This mindset is the surest way to reach disappointment. Each of our journeys is so distinctly unique, as is our personality, our frame of mind, our upbringing… everything! Your journey is yours alone and that’s a beautiful thing. Embrace all that you are and focus on being just a little better than you were yesterday.
Learn A New Skill
Shake things up and learn a new skill! Is there something that piques your interest? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try? Well, this is the week to try it! Once of the surest ways to practice personal development is to up our skillset. This might be through learning a new language (Duolingo is a great app for that!), picking up a new method of crafting like macrame or woodwork, taking a class, joining a hobby group or just getting some friends together and watching a Youtube tutorial!
And Remember That You Are Already Whole
Sometimes we approach self-improvement from a deficit mindset—an idea that we are not enough. If only we could improve this or that thing, we could finally prove our worth. We could finally be whole. This is perhaps the WORST reason to start a personal development practice! A sapling is not less whole than a tree. It’s simply in its own stage of development. Likewise, you are ALREADY whole. You are ALREADY enough. This realization is MUCH more important to develop than any skillset you could ever learn!
Celebrate Your Wins
For some of us, focusing solely on a goal and forgetting to acknowledge our growth along the way is almost second nature, as if depriving ourselves of feeling good will somehow motivate us to reach the finish line faster. Again, this is where the “journey, not destination” value comes in. It’s so imperative to your self-improvement journey that you celebrate your small wins along the way. Why? Because doing so releases dopamine in the brain, the feel-good chemical that strengthens our connection to learning, growing and promoting change in our lives!
And Remember To Be Kind To Yourself
It might come as a surprise, but self-compassion is perhaps the most important element of personal development. Beating yourself up might seem like a good way to stay disciplined, but it actually delays and hurts your growth. Scientific studies have actually found that self-compassion keeps you motivated and more resilient to setbacks. Relax your mind and shed the notion that you need to be perfect. It’s simply unrealistic and not helpful. Growth is messy! Allow it to be! Being kind to yourself along the way will help you adapt and overcome.
How will you choose to practice self-compassionate self-development?