Self development is an endless journey with no final destination.As life progresses, you are guaranteed to face a variety of circumstances, changing environments, and new roles that require you to adapt to them. A personal development plan will help you to handle the pressures that come with the continuous changes and challenges, so that you are well-equipped to excel in all the areas in your life.
Self development is simply the process of learning new things and building new skills — skills that help us increase our chances of success, achieving our goals, and manifesting our dreams.
Why is Personal Development Important?
There are many ideas surrounding personal development, one of which is Abraham Maslow’s process of self-actualisation.
Maslow (1970) suggests that all individuals have an in-built need for personal development which occurs through a process called self-actualisation.
The extent to which people are able to develop depends on certain needs being met and these needs form a hierarchy. Only when one level of need is satisfied can a higher one be developed. As change occurs throughout life, however, the level of need motivating someone’s behaviour at any one time will also change.
- At the bottom of the hierarchy are the basic physiological needs for food, drink, sex and sleep, i.e., the basics for survival.
- Second are the needs for safety and security in both the physical and economic sense.
- Thirdly, progression can be made to satisfying the need for love and belonging.
- The fourth level refers to meeting the need for self-esteem and self-worth. This is the level most closely related to ‘self-empowerment’.
- The fifth level relates to the need to understand. This level includes more abstract ideas such as curiosity and the search for meaning or purpose and a deeper understanding.
- The sixth relates to aesthetic needs of beauty, symmetry and order.
- Finally, at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy is the need for self-actualisation.
Maslow (1970, p.383) says that all individuals have the need to see themselves as competent and autonomous, also that every person has limitless room for growth.
Self-actualisation refers to the desire that everybody has ‘to become everything that they are capable of becoming’. In other words, it refers to self-fulfilment and the need to reach full potential as a unique human being.
For Maslow, the path to self-actualisation involves being in touch with your feelings, experiencing life fully and with total concentration.
Why Self Development Should Be on Your Goals List ?
1 — IT FORCES YOU OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
If there are areas of your job that you do not like, or are not good at, those are the weaknesses that a personal development plan can help you improve on. Confronting these areas and improving on them can help to push you out of your comfort zone. This allows you to experience growth and to improve your skills.
2 — IT DEVELOPS YOUR STRENGTHS
A personal development plan not only helps you to improve on your weaknesses, but it can also help you to develop your strengths. By taking time to focus on nurturing and using your strengths more, you go from being good at something to being excellent at it. You can reach your potential and achieve great growth by developing the skills you are already good at.
3 — IT BOOSTS YOUR CONFIDENCE
Making the decision to improve on your skills takes you a step closer to feeling more confident. Once you have achieved a certain goal, gained another skill, or developed a certain area of your life, you naturally feel good about yourself. The more you keep on developing in the areas of your life you are not confident in, the more you can boost your confidence.
4 — IT IMPROVES YOUR SELF-AWARENESS
Personal development is closely linked to self-awareness. It gives you the opportunity to take an honest look at the areas of your life that need improvement. Through this process, you get to know who you really are, what your true values are, and where you would like to go in life. Once you go through this process, you will improve your self-awareness and experience fulfilment.
5— 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.
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.