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Personal Development

5 Essential Habits to Adopt for Your Personal Development

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson might be a challenge for some. Why? Because it places the responsibility for our lives on ourselves. Ultimately the success of our lives will depend on our commitment to our values, goals, and our ability to stay resilient when working through setbacks.

What is Personal Development?

Healthy personal development is a conscious lifelong learning process examining our current situation and taking strategic action to meet our values as human beings.

What is not quite understood or clear is it is impossible to NOT develop. Every human being will develop in some way. Our challenge is deciding between whether we want to be in charge of our lives, and develop according to our inner values or whether we want to ignore these values and let life do whatever it will.

Like our current pandemic, it does not matter if we like the changes or dislike challenges. How we adapt, adjust, learn, and focus will determine our ultimate satisfaction with our life.

Personal Development is a Life-Long Process

We all learn from action as the result of these actions and the adjustments we make to these actions, help teach us something new. Whether you are young or are climbing the ladder towards success, you are constantly under the process of personal development.

Attending a Tony Robins event and walking over a hotbed of coals can be a life-changing moment, but only if we take ongoing action from this experience.  Unfortunately, often we are seduced by the exhilaration of experience or lose track of our progress.

As a coach and trainer that has worked with thousands of people, I often hear the exclamations of individuals who face new exciting realizations.  Though, this realization/breakthrough often disappears in a week’s time. Why?  Because “action” is required in order for one to truly own and live according to these exciting breakthroughs.

How to Consciously Develop Personally

As Charles F. Glassman said,

“Before you find your soulmate, you must first discover your soul.”

This quote is very significant. It explains how people can be so involved in finding a perfect person for their lives that they often forget to “find” themselves. Relationships are of prime importance as they almost always mirror back to our progress in our personal development.   This does not just refer to romantic relationships but to all the casual and familial relationships we have in our lives.

Relationships are an ideal opportunity for people to discover themselves and see where they might lack or want to improve.

Personal Development Starts with Self-awareness

Self-awareness helps people understand and discover their inner-self. It allows them to realize their core values and beliefs and to assess themselves and make decisions on what they consider “essential”.

5 Key Areas of Personal Development

1. Enhancing Your Personal Mindset

Conscious Personal development focuses on precision and clarity. Whether it is a job or a thought, the most important thing that an individual could focus on is their mindset.  One needs to consider, what mindset someone is currently in, and what mindset is needed for the particular situation. More often than not, we are approaching something with a hundred other thoughts running at the back of our minds.

While there is no way to achieve 100% effectiveness, a mindset of curiosity is one of the most beneficial.

Reflecting on what is required at the moment and recreating this way of being.

Repeatedly, we find ourselves in situations where we have to choose between two options. In these situations, it is often our inner self that will help us decide.

In NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programing), we have a phrase called a “double bind”. A double bind refers to those tricky situations where it seems like a lose-lose decision. The only way out of a double bind is to have a deeper connection with ourselves, looking at our values.

2. Staying Motivated

Motivation is an inner game.  You cannot buy it at the grocery store or order it on Amazon.

Professional coaches are experts in helping clients discover their motivational strategies. We all have one, and it is generally unique to each one of us. To stay on our positive personal development journey, we must discover and become skilled at re-energizing ourselves, also known as self-motivation.

Everyone has setbacks.  Do not fool yourself!   Be prepared, accept them, and move on.

Abraham Lincoln once said,

“A compass will always point you to true North, and if you follow its path, you will surely never reach what you seek, for you cannot survive the swamps, rivers, and chasms you must cross on your way. If, however, you take your time, plan, and find routes around these obstacles, you will almost always reach your goal.”

3. Developing Resilience

Resilience is not something one is born with. Throughout your life, there will be multiple occasions where you face disappointment or struggle. The most important thing to do is to stay resilient. Rather than letting the disappointment linger, one must deal with them, doing the best that is possible at that moment.

4. Maintaining Strong Relationships & Asking for Help

The old saying “I’m a self-made man” is utter nonsense. No one becomes successful on their own! Successful people know they have blind spots and do not always see all the options. They realize that they do not know everything and often need additional information or help.

Consider Tiger Woods, one of the greatest, if not the greatest golfer of all times.  His entire career has been about relationships with others that will tell him the truth about what he does not see himself.  Positive, healthy personal development is not for the meek or the weak.  It is for those brave enough to be open, flexible, curious, and often courageous.

5. Develop Personally Every Day

Every day, every hour and often every minute, we have choices to make.  We can sleepily go through our days, avoiding challenges, letting the wind blow, and decisions are made for us. But individuals that are committed to their personal development will stay mindful, open, and make decisions based on their values. These individuals understand that they will make errors, lapse in judgments, and then need to make adjustments.

Final Words

Two roads diverged in the woods, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

We all have to make a decision about how we want to live our life. Do we want to live our lives asleep – blaming the world or others for our situation? or do you want to develop yourself personally, in a mindful conscious way – taking the road less travelled, embracing challenges head-on and living our lives according to your values? The choice is yours to make.


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Steven Kiges
Steven Kiges

Steven Kiges is the co-founder and director of the ICF (International Coach Federation) accredited The Coach Training Academy.  Steven is a professional speaker, author, entrepreneur, and Certified Master Life Coach: a distinction held for coaches who have logged over 5000 hours with clients.

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