Personal growth is essential for health, happiness, ambition and achievement. As a human being, you have amazing potential to continuously accept, and conquer, new challenges. Many people hinder their own personal growth by refusing to take action. They come up with a myriad of excuses. If you do not want to be like them, you must develop a personal growth mindset.
A personal growth mindset allows you to not only take on new challenges; you actively seek them out. While some ‘experts’ might tell you that this kind of thing requires intense mental training, it generally doesn’t. All you really require is an open mind, a desire to try new things, and awareness that you can improve your performance with commitment and effort.
With the foundation for positive life change now in place, it’s time to take action. Here are the eight steps you must take to adopt a personal growth mindset:
- Explore Your Inner World
Perhaps the most difficult part of changing your life involves exploring your inner world. True change cannot just occur on the surface or outside of you. The first step you must take is to identify the obstacles that are preventing you from changing. You need to “look in the mirror” and specify what the baggage, habits, emotions, and environment are that are keeping you from your goals. Understanding these obstacles takes the mystery out of who you are and what has been holding you back. It also gives you clarity on what you need to change and gives you an initial direction in your path of change.
These explorations of your inner world can enable you to finally understand why you have been the way you have been and done things you have done even when neither have worked for you. This process will also help you to remove the obstacles that have stood in your path to change. These insights also, at a deep level, liberate you to move from your current path to another that will take you where you really want to go. Most importantly, truly understanding your inner world will allow you to finally put the past behind you-when most of your life you have been putting your past in front of you.
- Change Goals
Once the path to your goals has been cleared, you still need to have a clear idea about your final destination. When you establish clear objectives of the changes you want to make, you are able to better focus your efforts and direct your energy toward those changes. These goals should identify what areas you want to change, how you will change them, and the ultimate outcome you want to achieve. Moreover, the goals should be specific, objective, and time defined.
- Action Steps
So far, everything you have done to change has been talk. Now it’s time to actually make change happen. Action steps describe the particular actions you will take to achieve your change goals. They may range from adhering to an exercise regimen to maintaining emotional control in a crisis situation to staying focused when surrounded by distractions. Action steps give you the specific tools you need to act on the world in the present and to give you alternative actions that counter your old baggage, habits, emotions, and environment.
- Try One New Thing Everyday
If you commit to trying one new thing every day, you will have tried 365 new things in one year. The chances of finding something you like, enjoy or are good at are much higher. More importantly, you will quickly develop a personal growth mindset where you see challenges rather than problems, and you are unafraid to try new things.
- Stop Justifying Everything
You do not need to justify everything that you do. When you adopt a new behaviour or hobby, your friends and family will ask you why you have done it. Remember that you do not need to offer any justification other than ‘because I want to!’
- Engage New People
Seek out and have conversations with people, and groups, whom you might not have spent time with previously. Approach these conversations with an open mind and you will learn new things and have your own views challenged. This will help to freshen up your life and stimulate your creativity and sense of adventure.
- Understand That You Will Never Do Your Best
No matter what you do, there will always be opportunity for improvement. There are always opportunities to learn from your experiences and use the feedback to improve. Therefore, you can never do your best but you can do the best that you can at any given moment, with the knowledge and skill you possess at that time. When you understand and accept this, you realise that the judgements of others are irrelevant. You can take comfort that you did the best you could at that time and resolve to learn from the experience so that you may do better next time.
- Focus On The Experience Rather Than The End Result
There may be activities which you have avoided because you don’t feel that you would be any good at them. Ask yourself ‘Does it really matter if I am not very good at it?’ The answer is ‘No’. You don’t need to be good at it, if you enjoy it. You are not looking for a record deal, a museum exhibition or a professional sports contract. You are simply looking for fun. If you focus on the experience rather than the end result, you will have a lot more fun and you might, unwittingly, find something which you are actually good at.