Prioritizing your personal development is essential whether you want to progress in your career or your everyday life. Improving oneself has become increasingly popular over the years, with research revealing that millennials alone don’t mind spending about $300 on their personal development. As self-help books and tools become more popular, it’s easy to get stuck doing so many things that you lose focus in working towards your personal development and not achieve your desired results. Here are some mistakes to avoid as you work towards developing yourself personally.
- Having unclear goals for your personal development
Knowing why you want to develop yourself personally will help you take a focused approach and understand what strategies to adopt for your personal development. Having clear goals from the start will guide you in making the right choices for your personal growth and help you avoid doing too many things at once. How exactly do you want to improve, and why? What realistic deadlines can you set for yourself?
You can write down your personal development goals, so you refer to them often to ensure you’re on track and monitor your progress. Your goals should also be specific. For instance, instead of saying you want to develop yourself personally to be a better person, you can be more specific by saying you want to improve how you relate with others or approach challenges and achieve this within a set period. This way, you can efficiently channel your goals into action and make them more achievable.
- Taking the wrong courses
The internet provides you with many opportunities to learn and improve yourself. However, this wide variety can cause you to feel confused and disorganized as you may not know where to begin. It can also mean taking on so much that you end up abandoning them halfway or not benefiting much from them because you’re in a hurry to complete everything. You can start small by reading one book at a time instead of many at once.
Also, it would help if you chose courses or resources relevant to your passions and reasons for wanting to develop yourself. For instance, suppose you’re pursuing a career or starting a business in the renewable energy sector. In that case, it would help if you took specific renewable energy courses geared towards your goals instead of taking general classes that may not equip you with the skills you need.
- Looking down on yourself
The way you view yourself can significantly impact your personal development. Concluding that you can’t do it or comparing yourself to others can affect your development progress. You shouldn’t see personal development as a way of fixing yourself, but rather as a way of enhancing yourself and an opportunity to grow. It would help if you had a positive mindset that will keep you motivated even when your journey to personal growth gets tough.
Additionally, you need to understand who you are, your values, and your passions to identify your strengths and weaknesses and know which aspects you need to work on. Remember that improving yourself doesn’t necessarily mean only correcting your shortcomings but also harnessing your strengths. Making positive affirmations to yourself as often as possible can help spur you on and remind you that you’re good enough. Having a favorable opinion of yourself will also fuel your willingness to grow and make it easier for you to learn from others to develop personally.
- Not making the time for your personal development
You may have so many demands, ranging from work to home and your daily routine. However, you can only get started on your personal development if you consciously set aside time for it. It would help if you made your personal growth a priority to devote enough time and attention to it. Even if it’s only a few minutes each day, it can go a long way to contributing to the bigger picture. For instance, you can try waking up earlier than usual to listen to your favorite motivational podcast. You can also find ways to combine your development efforts with other activities, like using your quality time with family as an opportunity to discuss personal growth and some of the lessons you’ve learned so far.
Aside from making time to gain insight about what you can do to grow, you also need to set some time to implement what you’ve learned. Experts often advise that you spend 25% of your available time reading or researching while spending the remaining 75% putting the things you’ve learned into action. Commitment is key to your personal development.
- Having the mindset that perfection is proof of success
One essential thing you need to note about personal development is that it’s a combination of little steps. You won’t get everything you desire at once, but the little victories you achieve along the way are worth celebrating. Having overly high expectations could lead to disappointment and make you feel you haven’t done much even when you’ve put in so much effort. Personal development requires discipline and patience, as your progress will often be gradual. You also need to bear in mind that you may make mistakes along the way, but that shouldn’t be a reason to quit. Instead, it’s an opportunity to learn and get a step closer to achieving your personal development goals. Therefore, although you should strive to think big, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself.
Additionally, don’t only work towards your personal development when you feel like it. Chances are, you may not always be so excited when working towards your personal growth. However, you still need to challenge yourself, keep going, and don’t underestimate your progress.
- Not practicing what you learn
Personal development is most effective when you apply what you’ve learned. Improving yourself doesn’t only end at reading books, taking courses, listening to motivational speeches, etc. You also need to consciously practice what you learn to ensure you don’t forget and occasionally revisit the insights you’ve gained, so they’re fresh in your memory. Therefore, it’s essential not to take in too much information at once and go beyond only reading theories.
There are many ways to achieve something, but it’s vital to identify what works best for you to practice it. You can jot down the highlights of what you’ve learned in your favorite journal or colorful sticky notes to constantly remind yourself of the changes you’re making on your development journey. Doing this will eventually yield tangible results in the way you think, your daily habits and make the change you’re aiming for a reality.
- Dwelling too much on the past
Keeping in mind some mistakes you may have made in your past may affect your current progress since you may keep telling yourself that if you couldn’t do it then, you most likely can’t do it now. However, this could negatively affect your personal development and make you hesitant to take on new challenges. Focusing too much on your past could limit you and make you stagnant in your personal growth. For instance, you may be thinking that since you’ve never been able to complete an online course in the past, you certainly can’t do it now. However, assuming that way means you’ll never try. Although it may be pretty challenging to put the past behind you, you can start by making a conscious effort to focus on your present successes, no matter how small, to encourage you to work towards the future.
- Not taking personal responsibility for your actions
Personal development requires taking responsibility for the changes you want to see and keeping excuses to the barest minimum. Therefore, shifting the blame on others when you don’t achieve your desired results may cause you not to make much progress in your growth. Your actions go a long way in determining the success of your development journey, and you must take full responsibility to challenge yourself. For instance, suppose you’re unable to lose the weight as planned at the beginning of the year. In that case, it would help if you evaluate your eating habits, whether you put in the needed exercise, etc. Doing this will make your aspirations more achievable instead of concluding that the demands of your daily activities didn’t allow you the time you need to make your fitness goals a reality.
You can get an accountability partner or two to help you stay on track and help you stay consistent. However, your personal development success ultimately depends on you and your conscious effort towards your growth.
Personal development starts with a desire to improve yourself and having a growth mindset. Being aware of the above-listed mistakes will help you know whether you need to make any changes in your personal development strategies and identify what you can do better. It’s best to find the approach that works best for you and take things a step at a time to enhance your personal growth and achieve meaningful results.