Why Personal Growth is Important

personal growth is important

When it comes to learning, many of us focus on the outside world around us. We are taught to grow our skills, our finances, and our resume, leaving many people wondering why personal growth is important in the first place. In reality, introspection and personal development are the most vital steps we can take to excel in all areas of our lives.

Personal growth is a lifelong journey of discovering yourself, clarifying your goals, and striving to fulfill your greatest potential. Perhaps the most notable reason why personal growth is important is summarized by Tony Robbins:

“If you are not growing, you are dying.”

Our time on Earth is (relatively) brief. Less than a century, and we’re gone. How do we make these moments, years and decades worthwhile? How do we leave an impact on the world? How do we achieve our wildest dreams?

The answer lies in personal development. Here we will explore the main benefits of personal growth and how they can help you become the best version of yourself.

Why Personal Growth is Important:

  • Helps you get “unstuck”
  • Leads to self-discovery
  • Sets your mental GPS
  • Helps you find your mission and purpose
  • Builds your confidence
  • Improves relationships

Getting Unstuck

getting unstuck

It’s easy to get stuck in your predispositions about yourself, your capabilities, and your limitations. Every day I meet people who are, in some way or another, stuck.

They work the same job, repeat the same bad habits, and go through the same cycles of brief inspiration, momentary defeat, and quickly giving up. They lament, “I wish I could do [XYZ dream] someday” but they are not willing to change themselves in order to achieve it.

When you’re stuck, growth is not even on your mind. You are just trying to get through the day so you can relax on the couch at night, hope for the weekend, rinse and repeat. It’s hard to realize that working on yourself could radically transform your life.

Escaping the Quicksand

Most people don’t have a real vision for what their life could look like because they are so damn stuck in the quicksand of their present reality: struggling to make ends meet, not knowing their passion or purpose, and numbing or distracting themselves from facing their fears and flaws.

This “quicksand” can manifest as anything from anxiety and chronic worry, to alcoholism or drug abuse, or even just wasting hours everyday on TV or social media. All of these habits (and many more) are ways that people keep themselves stuck. Personal development is the way out of the swamp.

But let’s be honest, it takes a whole lot of hard work and determination to change your life. Just like trying to walk out of quicksand, you really have to push to get out. Most people simply don’t have the motivation to do it. In many ways, it is easier to stay stuck.

What leads many of us (myself included) to personal growth is finally putting our foot down and saying “enough is enough”. We’re sick of the dull, mundane, fearful, self-loathing, and purposeless way we’ve been living. We crave something more.

Don’t Stay Stagnant

The opposite of growth is stagnation. That is exactly why Tony Robbins says “if you are not growing, you’re dying”. It may seem dramatic, but if we look to nature, plants and animals who stop growing are beginning their decline toward death.

If a plant gives up on regrowing new leaves in the spring, it will inevitably die. If there is no current or oxygen in a pond, the stagnant water becomes overgrown with algae and slime. Our souls work the same way. Stagnancy destroys our creativity and blocks us from achieving our full potential.

Each day you spend stuck in “the way things are” is another barrier between your present reality and the dreams you want to live. When was the last time you tried something new? When was the last time you took a good hard look at your life and analyzed what’s holding you back? When was the last time you asked yourself “who am I and why am I here?”

Discover Who You Are

discover who you are

A shockingly large percentage of people lack basic self-awareness. Self-discovery is an often tumultuous voyage that many don’t want to embark on. It can be rocky, frustrating, confusing, terrifying, and quite emotional. But it is usually the most monumental and transformative journey of a lifetime.

Self-discovery is the key entrypoint to the world of personal growth because, if you don’t know who you are or what you want, how can you grow? We have to begin by doing this inner work to manifest outward results.

Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

Personal growth is going to look extremely different for everyone. There is a level of confidence, as well as humility, needed to truly recognize your own talents, faults, and spaces where you need to grow. It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. OK, sometimes it’s brutal. But the only way to really analyze who you are and work toward who you want to become is to get out of your comfort zone.

Finding Your Core

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent most of my life unsure exactly who I am. If all my belongings, labels, jobs, and identities were stripped away, who would I be beneath it all?

If I stopped pretending to be someone that I think other people would like, how would my raw authentic self come forward?

These are intense questions that require a lot of contemplation, but don’t worry, you don’t have to have all the answers (none of us do). As the old adage goes; it’s the journey, not the destination.

The important thing is to begin the inner exploration and seek out your core self that hides beneath all the masks and costumes you may wear in your daily life.

When you figure out who you are and who you want to be, you can set your sights on the beautiful possibilities up ahead.

Set Your Mental GPS

mental gps

Can you imagine how dangerous and insane it would be to drive on a highway all day and night while looking in the rear view mirror? This is how most people live their lives: looking backwards and living in the past.

A Compass for Change

When you begin your personal growth journey, it is like searching for a destination and setting the navigation in your GPS. Suddenly, you have a clearer direction as to who you want to be and what you want your life to look like.

Have you ever felt like you don’t know where the heck you’re going or what you really want? So many of us spend our lives slogging away at jobs we hate and scrapping to get by day-to-day. We forget to look at the big picture and imagine how we want to improve.

You can start by visualizing your ideal self. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want out of life?
  • What have I always wanted to do, but still haven’t?
  • Where do I see myself in 1, 5, or 10 years from now?
  • When do I feel the most proud of myself?
  • What lights me up? What makes me truly happy?

Personal growth is a catalyst for massive change because it recalibrates your inner compass toward fulfillment, happiness, and learning.

Finding Your Mission and Purpose

find your purpose

A mission is a reason to get up everyday and put your best foot forward. This is what makes life so rich and meaningful. When you are working toward something- anything- you are growing and learning. You have a reason to wake up in the morning and try to improve yourself every day.

To start, take a look at your interests and hobbies.

  • What do you do in your free time?
  • If money was no object, what dream would you pursue?
  • If you didn’t have to work, how would you spend your time?
  • What do you often read about?
  • What did you love to do as a kid?

Trying New Hobbies

If you don’t have any hobbies outside of work or familial obligations, you should get some. Set aside even just an hour a week just for you and your personal growth. Try new things that you would never try before. Explore things you find interesting and follow that thread until you discover something that really lights you up.

Keep at it for a month and then for a year. When you look back, you’ll be amazed how much you have grown (not only in your hobby, but in your life as a whole). Projects and goals give us something to look forward to. They build confidence and a zest for life.

Helping Others

At the end of the day, personal growth helps you find a mission to guide your decisions, big or small. For many people, that purpose comes back to helping others. Whatever your passions or interests are, consider how you can be of service to other people while doing what you love.

Where passion meets service is the sweet sauce of life. This is where the magic can happen and you begin to experience things you never would’ve imagined.

Build Your Confidence

build confidence

As someone who used to live in a state of complete self-loathing, embarrassment, and social anxiety, personal growth has drastically improved my self confidence. I’ve learned to love who I am, flaws and quirks and all.

If people loved themselves more we would live in a much happier world, don’t you think? Confident people are able to extend more love and support to others, uplifting everyone around them.

Keeping Promises to Yourself

Confidence is built on simply making promises to yourself and keeping them. If you tell your boss you will be at work at 8 AM, most people will show up at the office at 8 AM. But if you promise yourself you will go for a jog tonight to reach your fitness goals, you may end up ditching the plan and saying you’ll do it tomorrow because you’re too tired.

The next day, you’ll probably feel pretty bad about your body or your lack of discipline. You broke a promise to yourself, therefore your confidence suffered. Most people have major confidence issues because they value others’ opinions more than their opinion of themselves. Your opinion of yourself is the foundation of confidence.

Putting Yourself First is Not Always Selfish

So why do we hold ourselves to high standards when delivering on other people’s promises, but we slack when it comes to promises we make to ourselves? We’re all guilty of it. This is especially common in westernized cultures where overworking and self-sacrifice are praised, while self-care and leisure are often looked down upon as selfish or indulgent.

Personal growth helps us to be diligent in putting ourselves first. It’s not selfish; it is vital for building self confidence and self worth. The more you deliver on the promises you make to yourself, the more your confidence will grow.

When someone does a lot of favors for you, you tend to have a pretty good opinion about them, right? So do favors for yourself. Improve your opinion of your mind, body, soul, talents, etc. Magnify your strengths and try to love yourself more through the act of putting your goals first (and making sure to keep those promises you make to yourself).

Improve Relationships

improve relationships

Anyone in the personal growth space will eagerly tell you that working on themselves has drastically improved their relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners. That’s because self-work is the heavy lifting of human relationships.

Many people have completely revolutionized their ability to communicate and express emotions and desires, creating better partnerships and even business relationships.

Be Brutally Honest With Yourself

Does it sound too good to be true? Maybe. But logically, it makes a lot of sense. Someone who understands their own emotional strengths and weaknesses will be much more cognizant of how they treat other people. This takes being brutally honest with yourself.

Deep down we all have flaws that we don’t want to admit. For example, I know I can be incredibly judgmental of others and really that reflects on some of my own insecurities from adolescence.

Personal growth is about unraveling these ugly truths and bringing them to light. If you continue to ignore or suppress the negative ways we interact with other people, we will never be able to grow.

Remember, if you’re not growing, you stay stagnant. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have relationships that are constantly improving and bringing me more connection and joyfulness in my life. Being honest with yourself is a small price to pay for this reward.

Assess Your Relational Health

Start by assessing your emotional maturity, your communication skills (or lack thereof), and the health of relationships in your life. If you find patterns of toxic relationships or friendships that lack emotional vulnerability, these are clues for how to direct your personal growth. Trust me, it’s not them, it’s you.

As Aldous Huxley said:

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

By improving yourself, you instantly improve the connections you have in your life. You become more humble, more giving, more compassionate, and a better communicator. You notice your blind spots and, instead of beating yourself up for them, you take action to change. You ask people you care about for their opinions and help along the way. As you grow, so do the people around you.

Want More Insights Into Personal Growth?

If this article resonated with you, you might also be interested in reading, 7 Tips on How to Improve Your Personal Growth. It should be right in your personal development wheelhouse.

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