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Published on December 12, 2019

10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

When you apply what you’ve learned about yourself in your day-to-day, you’re setting yourself up for achieving success. There are many ways to develop and grow as a human.

Personal growth is a divine transcendence involving the physical, mental and emotional aspects of ourselves. To me, challenges act as a passageway or path toward greater awareness and a better understanding of your self — the self which is multilayered, dynamic and complex and demands (but resists) change.

Personal growth, however, is bigger than simply changing. If you’ve ever experienced losses or setbacks in your life which forced you to rebuild, that is one way to identify and evaluate the inner workings your self.

You don’t have to go through a major devastation to begin the process of personal growth. All you need to do is take the time to identify where you’re at, especially mentally, which can open many doors you might never have thought were possible to open.

A family member sent me a three-minute and thirty-five-second video on YouTube that changed the way I think, perceive, and respond to life situations. In the video, you’ll learn how to locate yourself mentally by asking the question: “where am I?” It might sound silly, but really, if you think about where you are, you’ll get a sense of how you’ve been navigating in the world and perhaps why you’re not making the progress you’d like, whether in your personal life or career.

Many people are wired to thrive on ego and reject anything that threatens their ego. In fact, our brains often struggle to detect a real threat from a threat to our ego (which you’d know already if you watched the quick video). If you are close-minded or functioning below the line, you’re not allowing personal growth to manifest. Instead, you may think, well, I don’t need personal development or growth. I’m perfect and everything is figured out.

What you might not realize is that personal growth is happening on a daily basis. Each day, things are unraveling and unleashing all around you for the sole purpose of teaching you something or to make you take (healthy) action.

As of recently, I underwent a life-altering mindset shift after I assessed where I was at. I recognized bad habits and things that I needed to work toward and shift. The way we think, whether you accept this or not, influences our actions which thus becomes our behaviors. These behaviors may even induce our daily habits, good, bad or indifferent.

Identifying where you’re at mentally is even more important than asking the question, “what do I want?” You won’t likely get what you want out of life if you’re too close-minded and not willing to improve areas in your life. The biggest challenge I faced was recognizing and being mindful of the ways I was functioning on a mental and emotional level.

This year has been, I thought, an awful year; the worst of my life. Six months ago, I felt that I’d lost everything. In recent weeks, this mindset shift occurred when I began painting again for the first time in quite a few years. I’d concluded that in life, what’s meant to come apart will and if something isn’t meant to manifest, it won’t.

Life can often feel like a series of chaotic events that you can’t control. But in this chaos, something is trying to take a new shape. And that something is you.

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The only control we have is how we think and respond to the things happening around us. Our actions are an extension of our thoughts. How we think determines more than you may realize.

I put to the test, on myself, to try and be more open-minded to new things and experiences. This experiment led me to finally finish yet another novel I’d written and produce the kind of artwork I’d always dreamed of producing. And, this new openness also directed me towards getting the job of my dreams.

So, here are the 10 ways to step up your personal growth for success.

1. Establish an Effective Morning Routine

Morning routines are a great way to develop new and healthy habits. The most successful people wake up way before 8:00 in the morning. If you want you to start your day off on the right foot, sleeping in until the eleventh hour won’t help.

Beginning your day with ease and moving slowly will guarantee smoother transitions throughout the day. Even if you have a chaotic job, how you greet a new day determines a lot.

Statistics now say that a morning routine, which may involve accomplishing personal goals like making your bed or doing an exercise regimen, improves your mental and emotional health immensely, by a large percentage.

Create the ultimate morning routine to accelerate your personal growth and you will see greatness unfolding all around you.

Take reference of this Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day.

2. Establish an Enriching Evening Routine

Evening routines are just as important. My evening routines consist of journaling, meditating or doing some meditative artwork while listening to interesting music.

At the end of every day, after dinner, I write out what I accomplished and what still needs attention. Doing this increased my success because it inspired me to do more, create more and always be engaged in something positive.

After three weeks, I found myself producing about forty paintings, finishing edits on a book project, and completing some overdue tasks.

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Here’s a guideline on how to build a night routine: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

3. Spend at Least 15 to 20 Minutes a Day Reorganizing and Cleaning

A clean office, workspace, or home is the best way to achieve self-efficiency.

A video on Netlix I watched about minimalism influenced me to implement that in my home and work. Minimalism is extremely beneficial for your mental, emotional and even physical health and well-being. A tidy space allows one to move freely and accomplish a lot. It can even be inspiring.

As an artist, a polished space inspires me and promotes calmness. In turn, this mental clarity allows me to work without distractions and interruptions, ensuring a nice flow.

Inspiration and influence drive creativity and working in a dreadfully messy and chaotic environment will hinder and impede your ability to finish tasks. Organization is a big part of personal growth and will set you up for success and achieving a great deal of work.

4. Consider Time-Blocking

Time-blocking is the best time management tool out there.

I am a creative individual and enjoy doing many things including painting, drawing, sewing, photography, and writing. These activities are my lifestyle and passions. Without them, I feel like something is missing. And yes, I do a lot each day. So, time-blocking keeps me in check and disciplined. If I set aside three hours in the morning to write, I stick to it and do nothing else.

Time-blocking can also prepare you for the workforce if you plan to get a job in the future. In a job, you must be punctual and spend a set amount of hours. Even time-blocking your hobbies and wellness activities is a great way to set up personal growth for success.

Learn more about time-blocking here: Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks

5. Make an Appoint to Check-In with Yourself Each Day

Daily self-check-ins have a wide array of benefits. I spend only fifteen to twenty minutes each morning or afternoon to evaluate how I’m feeling and where I am mentally and emotionally.

Taking the time to identify where you are mentally can also improve your ability to manage stress and anxiety. You might use these check-ins to journal and empty your mind of useless thoughts or worries. I call this ‘brain dumping.’ A clearer mind makes more room for you to focus on what truly NEEDS focus.

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Have you ever found yourself obsessing over something silly, something that you later realized doesn’t need so much attention? This is one reason these check-ins are so empowering. You’re in control of the inner workings of your thoughts and perceptions.

6. Cut Those Bad Habits Out

We are habitual creatures and our minds are hardwired to thrive on habits. Unfortunately, bad habits are easier to cultivate than good ones. Stepping up personal growth means leaving those bad habits behind so you can stop sabotaging yourself or getting in your own way.

Bad habits can force us to miss out on great things. If there are bad habits you’re having a difficult time scrapping, use journaling to identify them and work through them. Writing is a great tool for getting to the bottom of and resolving issues.

7. Practice Self-Love Regularly

At a meditation group I’ve been going to lately, a poster on the wall in the room caught my attention. It said that if you’re peaceful with yourself, the world will be peaceful too. This is so true. Inner peace promotes peaceful responses and actions. Practicing self-love fosters this peace and promotes inner growth.

Meditation is one way I implement self-love in my life. Doing so has resulted in a calmer and quieter mind devoid of useless nonsense.

There are many ways you can implement self-love into your life: 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself

Just do what feels good to you, what enriches and moves you.

8. Give Back, for No Reason at All

When I began giving back, either to my community or supporting organizations, this gave me new insights. Everyone experiences similar struggles and setbacks and we’re always trying to overcome something and better ourselves.

Volunteering is a great way to step up personal growth. You’re giving your time and attention to other people (instead of yourself) and spreading goodness. That’s one thing the world needs right now: goodness.

Volunteering also creates peace in environments that may otherwise be chaotic and in disarray. Invest your time in helping others and you’ll be surprised by how this changes you.

9. Strive for Simplicity

We can’t always avoid complicated situations in life. Again, it’s imperative to be mindful of how you’re responding to the things that happen to and around you.

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Simplicity is the key to happiness, less stress, worry, and negativity. If you’re living in an environment that is utter chaos and in shambles, you’ll find yourself functioning at an extremely unsatisfying level.

We don’t always realize the sources of our stress. Something as small as a disorganized and messy house can have such an unforeseen and monumental impact on our mental sorting and functioning.

Strive to apply simplicity in as many areas of your life as you can. This will set you up for success down the road.

10. Practice Mindfulness as Often as You Can

At a conference I attended a while ago, the speaker introduced mindfulness by telling the audience to sit with feet planted on the floor, eyes closed and focus on breathing. But mindfulness is so much more than that. You can find joy in the mundane by simply being fully aware and in tune with your inner self and outer environment.

Even if you’re someone who is leading a rushed, jet-set lifestyle, no one is too busy for practicing mindfulness. Move slowly, breathe normally, and be completely aware of everything around you.

Being mindful increases your chances of success and will help you achieve tasks in a calm and peaceful manner. And, you’ll accomplish more! You’ll make fewer mistakes and the likelihood of causing further stress in your work or personal life will hugely reduce.

Final Thoughts

If you want to step up your personal growth and achieve success in life, it all begins with you. Stress has detrimental effects on all aspects of health. We might not realize that that is the reason we’re self-sabotaging or remaining stagnant.

Personal growth means you’re willing to truly grow and expand mentally, emotionally and physically. How you navigate life has a ripple effect–good or bad. It’s important to recognize that sometimes we all make things bigger or worse than they actually are, which only can interfere in relationships and friendships.

Asking yourself the fundamental question, “where am I at” and actually doing what you can to be more open-minded will change your life. Because knowing where you are will put you on the path towards achieving your long and short-term goals.

More on Personal Growth

Featured photo credit: Stanislav Kondratiev via unsplash.com

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Tessa Koller

Author, Motivational Public Speaker and Artist

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and exhausted. Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s time to do something about it.

Here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm, leaving you calmer, in control, and a lot less stressed at work.

1. Write Everything Down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when work feels overwhelming is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s occupying your thoughts[1].

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind, write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind.”

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will help you stop feeling overwhelmed at work. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have emptied your head, go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. You can learn how to create a more meaningful to-do list here.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago to help when work feels overwhelming. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and we humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take[2]:

When feeling overwhelmed at work, use Parkinson's Law.

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad. It’s more wishful thinking than bad judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage when we’re feeling overwhelmed at work. If you have estimated that to write five important emails will take ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is that you put yourself under a little time pressure, and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time, so it plays tricks on us, and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our team members to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening, and we get more focused and more work done. This will help when work feels overwhelming.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos to avoid getting overwhelmed at work. Schedule time for each task, especially high priority tasks, while also grouping together similar tasks. This will help relieve stress and anxiety in your daily work life.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done, and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer, and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one[3]. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend, or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss or a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and will only make you feel more overwhelmed at work. You need to make a decision to deal with it, and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved.

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed, and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend about the problem.

    He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem, and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I pay a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first was: don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second: there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we are feeling overwhelmed at work (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

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    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

    It also means that, rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible, and you can make decisions about what to do about them.

    Often, it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be that you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    When work feels overwhelming, it’s not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work. It can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s easy to feel like you have too much on your plate, but there are things you do to make it more manageable. 

    Make a decision, even if it’s just talking to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution.

    When you follow these strategies, you can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Josefa nDiaz via unsplash.com

    Reference

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