On Personal Growth

Series: leadership March 22, 2017

Personal growth is about developing the ability to replace bad, counter-productive or ineffective habits and behaviours with good ones. The simplest way to do this is by mastering your ability to control your default response to events and circumstance.

Just because it is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Personal growth is hard because you have to admit that you have faults, realize you are not always right and discover that the way you interpret the world might be flawed. Personal growth means you will have to face the reality that just like everyone else, you are not special.

On the flip side you’ll discover an empowering realization that you are in control of your destiny. That tomorrow’s version of you will be better than today’s. That by focusing on improving yourself, you are indeed special because not many people attain such a high level of self-awareness.

A great exercise to gain mastery of your inner game is to set aside 10 minutes every night to write in a journal about one event you experienced. How did you react? Were your reactions largely emotionally based? What would you do different? Is this a pattern or habit that you’d like to change?

When you’ve identified an area you’d like to improve, start asking yourself in that 10 minute space “Did I do my best to [insert desired behaviour here]?”. Your answers can be a simple 10 point scale or something deeper if you prefer.

The important thing is to be honest with yourself. Hold yourself accountable.

This constant focus on your thoughts, habits and behaviours will slowly but surely drive small changes. You’ll stop yourself before you respond to emotionally charged events. Your inner voice will start asking “Is this how I want to respond? I’m going to have to answer that question tonight!”.

You’ll become your own coach.

The journey towards personal growth can be long, tough and full of uncertainty. The rewards, when you stick it out, will be a more fulfilling life for yourself and a set of skills to help those around you achieve the same.

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