Personal Growth: Reaching your true potential | The Goal Up

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

There is no end to self-development and personal growth. We're always striving to be more than we already are a better parent, spouse, child, sibling, friend, a better self for ourselves; more resilient in the face of adversity; more self-confident; happier; more fulfilled.


There is an infinite amount of ways in which self-development can take place. The self-development field is an ever-expanding continuum, with new products and models coming out all the time.


The self-development industry's golden rule is this: self-development happens in a feedback loop between experience, practice, reflection on occasion, other practice. Where you now do not have to dictate where you end up.


You can change your self-perspective at any given moment by changing your self-talk or environment to align with who you want to be - however, the former requires clear awareness of underlying beliefs that are holding you back. In contrast, the latter requires getting into action quickly to influence how other people see you. This article deals with self-talk specifically

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This doesn't mean that self-development is an impossible task if you don't like where you are now. It just means that the self-development industry tends to speak more to people who already have some degree of self-awareness and self-motivation. Self self-development works best when you take responsibility for your growth rather than waiting for somebody else to give it to you.

While self-development isn't easy, it can be simple. The following steps will get you started on the path towards personal growth, self-awareness and self-actualization.

#1: Connect with yourself emotionally

The first step is emotional self-regulation - that is, the ability to step back from any given situation to analyze your thoughts and emotions without letting them control your behaviour. This is difficult to do if you're self-aware enough to know how dangerous self-talk can be.


For those who lack self-awareness, self-talk is almost impossible to regulate and may contribute to developing depressive thinking patterns (e.g., "I'm a loser .") or anxiety thinking patterns (e.g., "What will people think ?").

Self-talk determines your emotional state.

The self-development process begins with self-awareness - the realization that we are responsible for what happens in our lives and don't have anybody else to blame for anything that's happened or that's currently happening. Once you work on self-awareness, you gain agency over yourself and your life choices rather than feeling like everything happens without you having any control.


This self-awareness allows you to self-regulate - which means self-talk can be self-regulated. But self-talk is challenging to self-regulate if you don't know how your self-talk affects your emotions and, subsequently, how it contributes to either positive or negative outcomes in your life.


Paying attention to what you think about most often allows for the most significant degree of self-regulation. We must be aware of our underlying beliefs before we try to change them, as otherwise, the process remains highly unstable, will likely fail and frustrate us even more about ourselves. This is why I recommend that people start writing their negative thoughts down on paper every morning for a couple of weeks to self-reflect and self-regulate.

The self-development process must have emotional self-regulation as a starting point, or else all future effort will be fruitless. For example, the thought "This is pointless" during a meditation session will hinder any progress you've made up to that point in your self-improvement journey.


#2: Recover from setbacks


It's been said that self-development is a journey, not a destination. If self-development were a state of being, then by definition, self-awareness and self-regulation would be the only things required to enter that state - however, this isn't how it works in reality. -Instead, self-development happens in a feedback loop between self-awareness and self-regulation. You can't move forward with self-development until you understand where you are now.


Once your self-talk has been adequately regulated, the next stage of self-development is self-growth - that is, reaching your true potential by taking positive action to fulfill that potential. This requires motivation that comes from an emotional drive rather than extrinsic motivation (e.g., money, fame, power), which is unsustainable long term. Self-growth comes from self-love, self-care and self-trust.

However, self-growth can be undermined or prevented by setbacks - episodes of self-sabotage that occur for various reasons (e.g., fear, anxiety). Therefore, the first step in self-development is to understand these setbacks and their underlying causes to be avoided or resolved.


The self-development process begins with self-awareness - the realization that we are responsible for what happens in our lives and that we don't have anybody else to blame for anything. But self-talk is challenging to self-regulate if you don't know how your self-talk affects your emotions and, subsequently, how it contributes to either positive or negative outcomes in your life. Once you work on self-awareness, you gain agency over yourself and your life choices rather than feeling like everything happens without you having any control. Paying attention to what you think about most often allows for the most significant degree of self-regulation. This self-regulation leads to self-improvement, which is a feedback loop between self-awareness and self-regulation.


Self-development happens in a feedback loop between self-awareness and personal growth - that is, reaching your true potential by taking positive action to fulfill that potential. Self-growth comes from loving yourself, self-care, and self-trust. For self-growth to happen, there must be self-awareness. The self-development process begins with self-awareness - the realization that we are responsible for what happens in our lives and don't have anybody else to blame for anything. Once you work on self-awareness, you gain agency over yourself and your life choices rather than feeling like everything happens without you having any control.


Self-development can be stalled or derailed by self-sabotage, which tends to self-defeat or undermines oneself through behaviour, cognition, or emotions. Self-sabotage can happen for various reasons (e.g., fear, anxiety). One way I like to think, self-care and self-trust. This personal self-growth can be undermined or prevented by setbacks - episodes of self-sabotage that occur for various reasons (e.g., fear, anxiety). The first step in the process is to understand these setbacks and their underlying causes to be avoided or resolved.

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