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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Commit to Self-Development for Continuous Growth

How to Commit to Self-Development for Continuous Growth

Everyone wants to improve themselves, and we all want to grow in all aspects of our lives. All of us aspire for self-development for continuous growth. However, committing to it is a different thing altogether. Now, you may be wondering how you can be committed to your self-development.

The answers you seek are in these 7 tips on how you can be committed to your self-development for continuous growth. After mastering these strategies, you will gain control of your destiny and feel supercharged.

1. Build Self-Development Through Knowledge

Do you often feel unprepared or find yourself making frequent mistakes?

Self-development is taking action to replace doubt with knowledge. Continuous growth means expanding beyond your comfort level and continually gaining new information to accomplish your goals.

And what about days when you seem to make one error after another? The truth is, mistakes will occur—it happens for everyone. If the fault is yours, own up to it, and let it go. As author Maya Angelou says:

“When you know better, you do better.”

2. Visualize Your Potential for Personal Growth

Are you struggling to understand the next steps in achieving your goals?

Growth comes from knowing how to manifest your aspirations. Imagining anticipated success brings clarity and reveals the actions needed to achieve your objective.

Begin by breaking larger goals down into realistic steps: If a vision seems too large, it may feel out of reach. Practice visualizing your purpose any time you feel stuck, and stay open to making adjustments along the way.

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3. Develop Self-Confidence and Expand Your Abilities

When was the last time you volunteered for a project before being asked? Does hesitation hold you back from success?

Having confidence means believing in yourself and your unique expertise. Take a moment and repeat the following:

“I am worth it. I value my position at work. I deserve to be successful.”

Say it often and with conviction because your brain will interpret it as fact and you will soon believe it.

Remind yourself of your strengths. Start by focusing on smaller abilities then build-up to bigger ones:

I am a great cook. I am an amazing singer. I am an invaluable executive.

Do You Think About Giving Up and Walking Away?

Wanting to resign may be a sign of low self-esteem on the job. When life gets overwhelming, the impulse to walk away can be strong, but before giving up, ask yourself 3 questions:

  • Why do I want to leave?
  • How will it benefit me to ditch this right now?
  • Who will I let down if I quit?

Self-growth naturally happens when you push through, so remind yourself that feelings are temporary. Take a break and contemplate the big picture because it is easy to lose the ability to think clearly in the heat of the moment.

Consider finding an accountability partner for motivation, decide that giving up is not an option, and stay focused on your goals.

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4. Grow Your Productivity by Making a Plan

Do you struggle with managing your time? Is procrastination a constant challenge?

Poor time management will slow your growth.

The simplest way to start improving in this area is by creating a plan and sticking to it. Using a daily organizer or calendar will help you become more efficient and stay on track.

According to Trevor Bibic a personal trainer:[1]

“Good time managers take a few minutes at the start of their day to prioritize tasks and consider how much time is needed to perform them.”

When filling out your planner, note daily, weekly, and monthly items, and include all deadlines, personal appointments, and meetings. Know how long these events will take and schedule appropriately.

At the same time, do not be too strict with your time. Avoid filling in every block of time or you will set yourself up for failure. Structure your day around what needs to be done, but stay flexible and leave room for unknowns that may pop up—they always do.

5. Improve Your Focus and Make Big Strides

Is focus a challenge? Are you easily distracted at work?

Interruptions may be all around you—the beautiful sun shining through the window, a conversation between co-workers, and even conflicts at home are a distraction from work. Staying focused takes mental strength and requires mastering the art of avoiding distractions, but it will keep you productive.

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Here are 4 tips:

  • Remind yourself of the significance of your job. Knowing its value will improve your focus.
  • Reduce the chance of being distracted. Keep your cell phone on vibrate or tucked away.
  • Concentrate on just one task at a time. This will tighten your focus and reduce feeling overwhelmed.
  • Use noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. If possible, block out all office chatter and noise.

6. Create Routines to Reduce Stress and Expand Growth

Is getting up in the morning and out the door on time a daily stressor?

If growth in this area is needed, a morning routine is definitely in order. Indumathi Bendi, M.D., a primary care physician at Piedmont says:[2]

“Carrying out routine activities reduces stress by making the situation appear more controllable and predictable. Preparedness is a key way to prevent stress.”

That sounds good on paper, but how do you make it happen in real life? Follow the early bird catches the worm concept. Rising earlier will give you time to get ready, process what the day has in store, and focus mentally.

Starting your day earlier also means you can finally get in that workout, eat breakfast, and stop worrying about traffic making you late.

Here are 3 ideas for your morning routine:

  • Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier. There’s no need to conquer Mt. Everest in a single day. Each week thereafter, increase the time by 15 minutes until you arrive at your wake-up goal.
  • Keep your alarm clock out of reach. Getting up to turn it off will literally have you out of bed and on the go.
  • Once awake, immediately make your bed. It is far less appealing to crawl back under the covers when you have taken the time to make your bed look so tidy.

Are You Staying Healthy by Getting Enough Sleep at Night?

Creating a bedtime practice that allows you to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is a game-changer. Any sleep expert will tell you having healthy nighttime habits is essential for good sleep. Be patient since it could take 3 to 4 weeks to establish a solid routine, and there may be occasional setbacks.

Here are 3 ideas for your evening routine:

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  • Set a regular bedtime each night. Stay as consistent as possible.
  • Wind down in the evening. Be intentional about skipping things that energize, such as caffeine, exercise, conversations, or upbeat music.
  • Avoid bringing your cell phone to bed. Blue light emitted by electronic devices is known to interfere with sleep hormones, so keep it tucked away.

7. Increase Energy by Challenging Your Body and Mind

Do you often find yourself dragging at work with no idea how to make it to five o’clock?

Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law states:[3]

“A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.”

That concept is great in theory, but how do you stay energized at work when being in constant motion is not an option?

Try the following:

  • Organize a snack drawer or lunch box. Eating healthy foods (fruits, nuts, yogurt, protein bars) throughout the day keeps your body energized by increasing blood flow and brain function.
  • Stay hydrated. This will invigorate your body and the mind, but avoid too many caffeinated drinks, which can lift you up then make you crash hard.
  • Take a walk. The movement and oxygen will boost your energy and provide exercise, which is always a plus for the mind and body.
  • Try a 5-minute meditation. Find a private, quiet place to sit then get comfortable and close your eyes. Wiggle your toes, stretch your back, let your body relax, and focus on slowing down your breathing until you feel rejuvenated.

Final Thoughts

The key to continual growth and reaching your goals is in taking specific action steps.

Sit down and do a realistic self-assessment of different areas in your life—education, aspirations, beliefs, focus, and daily habits. Be honest with yourself, and identify where there is room for improvement. By taking ownership of your life, you are setting a course to accomplish anything you desire.

Start by committing to these 7 tips on how you can be committed to self-development and watch your success skyrocket!

More on Self-Development

Featured photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash.com

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Nancy Solari

Nancy Solari is an accomplished CEO, life coach, and motivational speaker.

7 Ways To Expand Your Horizon And Push For New Frontiers How to Start Journaling for Self- Development (6 Simple Ways) How To Take Back Your Life When Things Get Out of Control How to Commit to Self-Development for Continuous Growth How to Find Joy in Life During Difficult Times

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Published on March 1, 2021

How To Find a Mentor And Make The Relationship Work

How To Find a Mentor And Make The Relationship Work

One of the fastest shortcuts to success in anything is to learn from someone who’s already done it. No matter what your goals are—from starting a business to inventing a new technology, from becoming a better public speaker to getting a promotion—there’s someone out there who’s done some variation of it. They’ve already faced the trials and tribulations of that journey. They have the connections. They’ve gained experience and wisdom. They know the pitfalls and challenges, and they know the shortcuts. If you want a higher chance of success, find a mentor.

Pick up a biography of any successful person, and you’ll quickly learn that there’s one thing they all have in common: they’ve all had mentors—people who came before who taught and championed and supported them, people who helped shortcut their path to success in their given field.

Mentorship Isn’t Exactly New

The recorded history of mentorship dates back to at least Ancient Greece.[1] In the Middle Ages, most skills and crafts were learned through apprenticeship.[2] And since the 1970s, mentorship has become a critical part of many businesses and enterprises.[3]

But it’s not just an enduring legacy—research backs its benefits up. People with mentors are more likely to get promotions, be more engaged, and even feel more satisfied at work.[4][5] In fact, a study at Sun Microsystems found that 25% of employees who took part in mentorship got a pay raise and were five times more likely to get a promotion.[6]

So, how do you take advantage of all of these benefits and find yourself a mentor? The good news is there are more opportunities today than ever before—from free to paid, from formal to informal.

How to Find a Mentor

Here are five ways to find a mentor and make the relationship work.

1. Start With Your Human Resources Department

If you work in a corporate setting, start with the HR department. They’ll be able to connect you with any company-sponsored mentorship programs or, at least, point you in the right direction.

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Even if you haven’t heard of a company mentorship program, it’s worth checking in because you might be surprised—71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs, but only 37% of professionals actively have a mentor.[7]

If your company doesn’t have a formal mentorship program, HR may be able to recommend aligned organizations or affinity groups, or even help you set up an informal meeting with a potential mentor in the organization.

2. Join a Club, Organization, or Affinity Group

You don’t need to work in a corporate setting to join a like-minded group or club. If there’s an area you’re passionate about or if you’re looking for a mentor with similar background and interests, there are several non-profits, organizations, and groups that can help you meet a potential mentor.

Join a club or group in your area of interest and start networking. There are groups related to everything from skills like public speaking to fields like entrepreneurship or art, to celebrating and supporting your culture, background, sexual orientation, or identity.

If you start with your passions and values, you’re more likely to find a mentor who’s aligned.

3. Sign Up for a Networking App or Service

In the 21st century, networking can be as simple as a swipe on the phone or a click on the computer. There are plenty of networking and mentorship groups already in place, from SCORE, which helps small businesses connect with mentors for free, to Meetup.com, which helps people with similar interests to meet up, to even Shapr, which is known as the “Tinder for business” and helps you connect with other professionals in your area.

The ultimate social networking tool for business, of course, LinkedIn, can be a powerful asset in helping you to find a mentor or be introduced to one through a mutual contact if there’s a specific person in your field that you’d like to meet.

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Most of these services are free or low-cost, so do some research and join the service that makes the most sense to help you meet a mentor.

4. Pay for a Mentorship Program or Mastermind Group

In addition to the numerous free resources, you can also pay to be connected to a mentor or a mentorship community. Some high-level leaders actually sell formal mentorship programs. There are also paid groups, organizations, and masterminds that span every industry and area of interest.

If you’re interested in a paid program, do some online research on potential mentors, and ask people in your field if there are any mentors or programs that they’ve hired themselves or heard about. Though a paid relationship does change the dynamics of a classic mentorship, it can be extremely beneficial if you’re looking for specific structure and results or access to a very prominent person or group of people.

5. Reach Out Directly to People Who Inspire You

You can try to reach out directly to people who inspire you or potential mentors. Do your research and find people who inspire you or who have achieved success in your area of interest, and then contact them directly to ask for mentorship.

Of course, if you have the opportunity to be introduced to them through mutual contact (check LinkedIn first to see if you have any in common), you may have a greater chance of a positive response. But many prominent mentorships started with just an audacious e-mail asking for mentorship. So, don’t shy away from reaching out directly if there’s someone you really want to connect with.

Get the Most Out of the Mentorship

A mentor-mentee relationship is different than almost any other relationship you’ll ever have. It’s not exactly a friendship, but it’s not exactly a boss-employee dynamic, either (unless your mentor is your boss). So, it’s important to set up the right structure to make sure you both get the most out of the mentorship.

Here are five ways to get the most out of mentorship.

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1. Get Clear on Your Goals

Before establishing a mentorship, get clear on why you want a mentor. What are you hoping to get out of the relationship? What skills do you want to learn? Where do you hope this relationship will help you get in the next six months or a year? How much time do you want to dedicate to this mentorship? How will you know if the mentorship is a success?

Once you’re clear on your goals, you’ll be able to better assess who is the right fit for you, where to find this person, and how to communicate so you’re both on the same page.

2. Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries

Any good mentorship starts with clear communication and upfront expectations and boundaries. Right away, clearly decide how and how often you’ll meet, what your goals and expectations of each other are, and what boundaries you have around the relationship.

For example, some mentorships meet monthly but text in between meetings. Others only meet quarterly and check-in via e-mail a few times in between. Others still have no correspondence in between meetings. A little work upfront to be clear on things like where you’ll meet, how often, what communication is acceptable, and what issues are within the bounds of the mentorship can go a long way to making sure it’s a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship.

3. Keep It Consistent

Once you’ve ironed out the details, keep them consistent. Try to schedule out meetings at least 3 to 6 months in advance so that there are no misunderstandings. For example, you may choose to meet on the first Friday of every month, unless otherwise discussed.

Try not to cancel meetings unless something truly unavoidable comes up and, if e-mail is customary, be sure to consistently check in via e-mail in between. The biggest threat to mentorship is the lack of consistency. Over time, saying, “I’ll e-mail you when I’m free next month,” withers away into two or three months without any communication, and then a failed mentorship.

We all get busy, and things are bound to come up, so if the mentorship isn’t on your calendar and prioritized, it may fall apart after a certain point. Make a point to keep it consistent!

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4. Be Open to New Ways of Thinking and Trying New Things

The mentorship will challenge you and may ask you to try new things. You don’t necessarily have to agree with and resonate with everything your mentor says, but try your best to keep an open mind and try new things on for size—you might be surprised.

Your mentor likely has a lot of experience in your interest area, and they may have new ways of thinking about things from all of that experience. It doesn’t mean you have to accept their advice long-term, but being open to trying their advice shows your mentor you appreciate their wisdom and also opens you up to new possibilities.

If something isn’t a fit after you’ve tried it, talk to your mentor about that, and you can work together to find the right fit. But show up, do your homework, listen, and be open to new ideas and approaches. That’s the whole point of the mentorship, and it shows your mentor that you take the relationship seriously!

5. Be Grateful and Give as well

Jumping off that last point, be grateful. Especially if it is an unpaid relationship, your mentor is donating time to support you. Express gratitude and appreciation whenever you can, and take the advice and homework as seriously as possible. And don’t feel like it’s only a one-sided relationship. Your mentor gets so much out of the relationship, from appreciation to celebrating your successes to even the future networking and connections you can share with your mentor.

So, don’t forget to celebrate your wins and recognize that this is a mutually beneficial relationship. The better you feel about the relationship, the better it’s going to go.

The Bottom Line

Mentorship is an amazing and invaluable asset that can accelerate your growth, success, and even fulfillment. Finding the right mentor and getting the most out of the relationship can mean the difference between wasted time and connection, wisdom, and a shortcut to your goals.

So dive on in and reap the same benefits that successful leaders have been accessing for the past 3,000 years. Find yourself a mentor.

More Tips on How to Find a Mentor

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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