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Last Updated on May 21, 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 October 22, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Critical (And How to Strike a Balance)

The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Critical (And How to Strike a Balance)

It is easy to hear the term “self-critical” and be immediately put off. After all, it’s difficult to be our own critics. However, utilizing self-criticism means taking a more self-aware path to ensure that you aren’t overlooking any possible areas of self-improvement.

Self-criticism affects your self-esteem and can be a useful tool to identify patterns of weakness that you can look to eradicate by adapting your behavior.

Self-Criticism Vs Self-Deprecation

In exploring the idea of self-criticism, one has to first consider what it means for the individual. It’s important to remember that there is a significant difference between being self-critical and being self-deprecating.

Self-deprecation is the act of putting oneself down, sometimes in an attempt to be humorous, but oftentimes out of a place of doubt and insecurity[1].

Self-deprecation erodes one’s confidence. It isn’t something to use lightly, as your own self-talk will play a part in defining your existence and how you are perceived, and, more importantly, in how you perceive yourself.

At the same time, you can’t take yourself so seriously that you are unable to make light of your mistakes as you pursue self-improvement. There is, of course, a balance to be struck, and both self-criticism and self-deprecation can be utilized in moderation.

Learning the difference between the two is the key to pursuing a productive life that will allow your successes to compound and your failures to be reduced. While self-deprecation can highlight flaws in your approach to life, self-criticism is more concerned with addressing those flaws and then acting to correct them.

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Self-Criticism: A Roadmap for Positive Change

Self-evaluation as a tool can open your eyes to the problematic behaviors that are derailing your goals. By identifying those behaviors, you can identify the steps to become the best version of yourself.

“Your thoughts affect how you feel and how you behave. The way you think has the power to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” -Amy Morin[2]

This idea underlines the importance of not allowing self-criticism to blur into the realm of self-deprecating behavior. That will only work against you as you are attempting to constructively analyze your own behavior.

Auditing is necessary and good. Look at industries across the board and you will find that the most successful companies, people, and products have worked hard to refine their final output. Auditing your life, schedule, clients, contacts, and more will help you to identify the good from the bad.

If you don’t look back on what you’ve done and allow yourself to be self-critical of the areas that created more problems and less results, how will you learn how to avoid those missteps in your future endeavors?

Auditing with critical thoughts will allow you to build your own map to success by targeting behaviors that are ineffective in your pursuit of goals, and it will help you realize the changes that need to take place in order to correct for those inefficiencies.

The Pros of Being Self-Critical

Self-Criticism Opens Your Eyes to Areas of Improvement

In life, you ought to be your biggest fan and instill the confidence in yourself to show the world that you are worthy of the life that you’ve achieved up until now.

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At the same time, however, you need to have the self-awareness to understand that you can feel like a million bucks while still having room for improvement. Learn to be self-critical enough to increase your overall success in the pursuit of your goals.

You can check out this TED Talk with Tasha Eurich to learn more on how to improve your self-awareness:

We all need to look in the mirror at times and work to identify the deficiencies in our own behavior in order to find room for improvement. So many people live their lives in a manner that allows no room for self-reflection and thus are missing out on key opportunities.

For example, many people complain about not having the money to save for retirement, but instead of working to identify a solution, they assume that it cannot be fixed. Some of those individuals might find that if they challenge themselves and open themselves up to criticism, they may find the source of their problem.

Perhaps they don’t have a proper budget in place and are spending more money than they bring in on a week-to-week basis. Being self-critical would help them realize this.

I’d argue that if we all spent more energy evaluating our place in life, how we got there, and where we want to go, it would clear up what is missing from the equation.

Self-Criticism Allows You to Realize Your Potential

By working to analyze your own behaviors and identify areas that need to be improved upon, you will be able to better strive to reach your full potential in life and unlock success.

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Being self-critical will help you to go from where you are now to where you want to be, and it will increase your self-awareness. There are so many positives to be gained by adopting a self-critical attitude.

Read more about self-improvement: 42 Practical Ways to Improve Yourself

The Cons of Being Self-Critical

Self-Criticism Can Overemphasize Negatives

The problems that could arise if one is overly self-critical are not always clear, but there are a few issues that can pop up if you start being too hard on yourself.

If you are self-critical too often and don’t allow space in your own audit of yourself for praise, celebration, and reassurance in your victories, then you may be on a path of negative self-talk and perhaps even depression.

If you are constantly looking for what is wrong with your actions or pursuits while failing to see what you are doing right, then you aren’t utilizing self-criticism properly. While the line is thin, there is definitely a difference between appropriate, foundation-building self-criticism, and over-zealous, confidence-eroding self-deprecation.

Self-Criticism Can Lead to Negative Distortions of Yourself

One struggle I often see in individuals is with their own perception of self. If you have been raised to believe that you are a failure, for example, then you may not have a healthy expectation of yourself.

By being overly self-critical, you might be distorting your own self-image. The key here lies in utilizing the device of self-criticism correctly, which many people often do not do.

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If utilized properly, self-criticism can be a fantastic tool, but if used incorrectly, it can have devastating effects on your own self-worth and confidence.

Final Thoughts

When used properly, self-criticism can be a tool for success.

We must work hard to ensure that we are in fact exercising a constructive analysis of our own behavior and not falling into self-deprecation.

Unfortunately, it seems as though many view the idea of being self-critical with a negative connotation. However, it can be an extremely positive and fruitful exercise if pursued with the right mindset.

It helps tremendously when you have a community of friends and family who also help to uplift you and encourage you as you are pursuing your dreams in life.

In evaluating your own situation and in attempting to constructively self-criticize, you should also take a look at the people you surround yourself with to try and better understand if those individuals are helping you in your aspirations or if they are holding you back as you work to better yourself.

“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn[3]

If you work to adopt a healthy version of self-criticism and avoid allowing it to delve into self-deprecation or self-doubt, then it will serve you well as a tool to lend support to your goals and aspirations.

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Featured photo credit: Elijah O’Donnell via unsplash.com

Reference

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