As human beings, we all strive to satisfy our desires and accomplish our goals, sometimes without considering whether we are competent to achieve them. We can be full of fake self-esteem or greed, thinking that it's the best for ourselves. We can be selfish and toxic to others even though we are very much conscious of those personality traits. But we all have one thing in common – we all want to unleash our potential and be the best version of ourselves.
What Is Personal Growth?
As stated in the research of Aaron Geise, a student at the University of Missouri, personal growth represents a phenomenological experience of self-directed growth related to positive functioning.
Another definition of personal growth, as published on Psychology Today, the most prominent mental health and behavioral science website, is that it represents overcoming our tendencies to respond quickly or negatively.
No matter what definition you find the most reliable, one thing's for sure: it's about becoming a better version of ourselves.
Why Start Your Journey of Personal Growth?
We cannot control everything. Many things are not in our power – the place where we were born or our family. But what we can control is our response to the outside world and our way of making it better.
Most of us want to be rich, famous, or successful. While it might seem like it's helpful for long-term happiness, we often forget to contemplate the reality of it. It's not going to buy you happiness. That happiness is most likely going to flee from you after some time.
That's when we come to personal growth – it gives you flexibility in control of the things around you and mostly in yourself. It gives you independence, freedom, and choice – all the things that encourage happiness in your inner self.
How To Achieve Personal Growth?
By clicking on this article, you proved you are ready for personal growth, but you probably don’t know where to start. Luckily for us, history has proven itself worthy of understanding, especially in psychology. You have probably heard of Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist who created the famous Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs can be interpreted as a journey to achieving a person's full potential – self-actualization. We all need to pass specific points in that journey, and by fulfilling those needs, we will be able to grow as people with enough self-esteem, courage, and knowledge.
Maslow divided all human needs into five categories, later illustrated as a pyramid. Naturally, our mind and focus will shift to the next level after fulfilling the one before.
Those categories are physiological (food, breathing, sleep, homeostasis), safety (security of body, resources, health, morality, family…), love/belonging (friendship, family, sexual interactions), esteem (self-esteem, confidence, respect of others…), and finally self-actualization (morality, creativity, acceptance of facts, lack of prejudice…).
Use this pyramid as a map, but remember – it's different for everyone, especially the peak of it because no one will express themselves in the same way.
Additionally, it's not going to be easy. On average, forming certain habits takes more than two months, around 66 days, to be exact. But it all depends on the person, the habit itself, and the environment you're in.
This path requires a lot of dedication and even more disavowals. You'll need to leave the past in the past and focus on the present. I have always struggled with the things from the past, but then I used it as a lesson, not as a way of beating myself to sleep every night and complaining about something that I cannot change anymore.
Three Things You Can Implement in Your Life To Start the Growth
- Read for 30 minutes every day
Thirty minutes is a little time, but it can be meaningful depending on what you do about it. Reading has been proven to improve memory and vocabulary, and it can even help you identify real-life situations and know what approach to take toward solving them.
- Sleep 8 hours every night
We have all taken an all-nighter throughout school, but it must not become a habit, especially if you'll be on your phone the whole time. Sleeping is necessary for the function of the entire organism. Its lack has an impact on doing everyday tasks, including talking, writing, and seeing. You might feel dizzy, unconcentrated, and even disoriented.
Sleep is essential for self-improvement and probably the most crucial first step. What's the use of all this planning when you cannot do anything?
- Know the difference between „Flow“ and „Pleasure“ hobbies
Among many great psychology books, „Flow“ by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has left one of the most significant impacts on me. He speaks about the different kinds of activities, carefully letting us know the difference between those two types of activities.
Flow hobbies are activities that require us to think and improve. They also need you to be aware of your surroundings and thinking process. Do you know the feeling when you're doing something and lose track of time? Those are flow activities. For example, it's playing an instrument, sports, dancing, drawing, or writing.
On the contrary, there are „Pleasure“ hobbies, such as watching movies or series or going out for a coffee – they do not stimulate you to improve or challenge you in any way.
These are some of the few activities you can do to start your journey toward becoming a better person. We wish you luck and know that you're not alone! Reach out to us anytime if you need someone to talk to or want to inform us of your progress! Good luck!
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*An article was prepared and written by Balša Kićović, editor of the Redaction