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Last Updated on December 8, 2020

Why Self Development Should Be On Your Life Goals List

Why Self Development Should Be On Your Life Goals List

Self development is an endless journey with no final destination. The results of this journey are important, but the aspect that is most important is the journey itself. But why is this journey so crucial to everyone’s lives?

Every so often, we all have those moments where we strive to do better, to be better. Maybe it’s something as small as becoming more punctual, or something that takes more time and effort, such as changing a troublesome behavior. But that journey often feels like a dead end, like nothing is improving. Sometimes it makes you ask yourself why you’re even trying.

This article aims to explain the purpose of self development and hopefully encourage you to keep pursuing this route to a better version of yourself.

What Is Self Development?

As mentioned above, personal development is a process. In general, it involves identifying skills and qualities, setting goals, and creating a path to improvement through skills you have or those you wish to develop[1].

Personal development is a process we all engage in, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. When you make it conscious by creating specific goals and planning how to reach them, you’re able to keep an eye on how you develop over time, making it more likely you’ll become the person you hope to be.

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Why Self Development Should Be on Your Goals List

Making self development a conscious goal in itself will help point you in a positive direction and get you motivated toward achieving the other goals on your list. Here are 8 reasons why you should start working on it today.

It Will Help You Find a Purpose

Self development forces you to take a look at what you want from life and what your values and beliefs are. From my own journey, it has shaped what I want to do with my life and has made me more passionate about my beliefs.

Many people lack a sense of self-awareness that will allow them to create a mission statement for their life. By focusing on self development, you engage with who are you and who you want to become, laying out exactly what you hope your life will look like. This naturally steers you toward a purpose you can work for.

It Can Stimulate Your Motivation

Once you have figured out your goals and mission statement, you are able to pick and choose how you want to develop yourself to achieve these goals. This will give you motivation, as it will give you a starting point.

For example, if you would like to help people, empathy and patience may be good skills to start working on. It will also give you more motivation to undertake the personal development journey as you will be able to see a clear end-goal. Once you have a path in sight, it’s easier to start walking it.

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You Will Have More Appreciation for Yourself

By understanding yourself, you will be able to appreciate yourself more. You can learn about overcoming your weaknesses and feel proud of your strengths. You will realize that weaknesses aren’t a bad thing; rather, they show you self-awareness. You will learn to find happiness on this journey by looking back at how much you’ve achieved in a short time, and how much you have changed.

It Will Create More Opportunities

When you start to develop yourself, you will be able to see all your potential, and this will open the doors to numerous opportunities. When you strive to be better, you are more likely to push yourself out of your comfort zone and seek out opportunities that would usually scare you.

Furthermore, self development often involves the development of specific skills and talents. By working on these, you will automatically open new doors and find new things to be interested in.

You Will Be More Resilient

Self development will unfortunately not stop obstacles or undesirable things from happening. However, it will allow you to build resilience and deal with whatever life throws at you[2]. It will give you the strength to power through.

By identifying your strengths and weaknesses, you will learn to be mindful of where you are at a given time and understand that you will be able to grow from any challenge. This will make it easier to overcome obstacles in the future.

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Change Won’t Seem So Scary

Similar to the point above, personal development will allow you to build the skills and qualities to overcome hurdles and difficulties. Before I started trying to develop myself, any small change in my life would create an impending sense of doom and dread. Now, I have come to realize that change is inevitable and that I can work through it using self development.

When you know that change is an opportunity for self development, you will feel more optimistic about hard times in general.

It Will Give You Confidence

As you aim to improve your personal limitations you will become more confident in the person you are becoming, along with how much you’ve changed. If you set a goal to improve your ability to listen and you find a year later that you are absorbing more and more details during conversations, you will begin to feel more confident in your ability to improve in other areas. Any time you get better at something, it will stimulate the knowledge that you are capable human being.

You Will Have Better Relationships

Self-improvement can improve how you build relationships with people and will also allow current relationships to thrive. Being more self-aware will allow you to be more open with people. You will feel much more confident in yourself and be able to let people see you for who you are.

During self development,  you can acknowledge your weaknesses and plan to improve them. Instead of letting them hold you back from sharing who you are, you will develop the ability to accept yourself and allow others to accept you in the process. This will naturally create a stronger relationship between you and your friends and family.

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Final Thoughts

Personal development will allow you to learn about yourself and what you want from life. When you’ve invested in personal development, you will want to keep going. Personal development in itself will change the way you live your life – you will always be strving to be better. It will allow you to flourish and live in the moment. It will give you the feeling of wellbeing and happiness and will help you to succeed and reach your full potential.

If you feel like self development is too challenging, try to understand that you’ve already been doing it. Since the day you were born, you’ve been developing and improving skills and talents. Now is simply the time to make the process more conscious and devote energy toward the things you hope you improve.

More Tips on Self Development

Featured photo credit: Fa Barboza via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Skills You Need: What is Personal Development?
[2] David D. Woods: Essential Characteristics of Resilience

More by this author

Tema Mamdani

Author and blogger

Why Self Development Should Be On Your Life Goals List

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

What Is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.

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You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:

Strengths

What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

What achievements have I been awarded?

What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?

Weaknesses

Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

What bad habits do I have?

What thoughts tend to hold me back?

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Opportunities

Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?

Threats

What competition do I face in a certain area?

What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.

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More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.

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4. It Minimizes Risk

Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

To Wrap Up

So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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Reference

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