Let’s Talk About Personal Development

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Let’s talk about personal development. What is it and how can it help you?

Personal development is the process of looking at your skills, your core beliefs, your qualities and how you can improve them and use them to best reach your potential. If you are a freelancer, the chances are you have already put some time and effort into what makes you tick and the path that you want your career to take. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for more of that good stuff.

Personal development actually starts very early in life. It begins with our experiences within our family unit, and eventually extends to school life and our first relationships and so on. Sometimes when people finish education, be that college or university, they find a job and stop learning more about themselves, or stop trying to improve.

Why is it important? Well, Maslow (1970), suggested that everyone has a need for personal development that is built in. It actually appears in a table called the Hierarchy of Needs.

How to Get Started

Think about what your vision is. While personal development can just be a fun addition to your life, for others it can be a fulfilling and enlightening process that helps you find a new purpose, and greater motivation for everyday life. Having a clear idea of where you want to be in the future is essential. Sit down and write a plan, think about where you are now, where you want to be and the steps you’ll need to take in both your personal and working life.

Actively look for blogs, books, and speakers like kevinabdulrahman.org.

A few things which can really help are performing a Personal SWOT analysis, taking the time to think about what you feel are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Be as honest as you can when you do this, it might be tempting to write, for example, that you are fluent in French, but what you mean is, you have basic conversational French ability. Honesty is key.

Knowing how you learn, can help you learn faster and more efficiently. There are a few methods that you might like to use to work out your learning style. However, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford proposed the following styles:

Pragmatist – Does it work? Does it have a practical application?

Reflector – Think it through. They like time to consider things thoroughly.

Theorist – Does this fit? They like things to fit with their knowledge framework.

Activists – Let’s get stuck in. They learn by doing.

Work out which one you are, and learn to work in a way that fits with it.

Write it all down. Make notes, keep track of your progress and pay attention to what is working and what isn’t. Making a record of your success and development will encourage you to keep growing. You might even like to create a learning log, where you can reflect when things get a little tricky.

Review and revise. Real personal development is unlikely to be a smooth path. Taking stock every once in a while will ensure you stay on track and motivated.

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