Self development can be defined as the process of improving your self awareness, getting to know yourself, and understanding the things that are really important to you. If you want to grow as an individual, it is important that you be intentional about your journey. Self development is a very personal journey that depends on the individual. Some people may enjoy reading books, while others may prefer listening to an audiobook or attending a workshop or class.
There are many ways to start on this journey. We have compiled 10 ways for you to begin your self development journey.
#1 Begin with Self Care
Self-care is a practice that seems foreign to most people. Probably because most have been taught to put themselves last and take care of the needs of others first. That’s backwards thinking, because you can’t help anyone else until you first help yourself.
Start by letting go. Too many people hold onto doing things because they feel guilted into it. They handle issues or deal with other people’s tasks that they really don’t want to be doing in the first place.
It’s hard to decline invitations you don’t want to accept – or stop doing things that people you care about want you to do, when you don’t really want to do them. It can be hard to even say no to yourself.
That happens when you have a mindset, a sort of mental checklist, of what you “should” do. For 2019, decide that you’re going to say no to handling or doing anything that you really don’t want in your life.
It’s okay to skip the big family meetings that end up with someone angry at someone else – or to say no to the coworker who pushes his work off on you. Free yourself to say no to yourself when you feel you “should” stay late at work to finish something up for the good of the company, even though you’ve been breaking your back for months and ignoring your own needs.
You need to put what’s best for you first regardless of what else you have to let go of.
Making sure that you take care of your physical self is part of self-care. That means taking the time to plan healthy meals and snacks, not skipping meals, and not rushing through your food so you can get back to work or take care of something for someone else.
Taking care of your body with exercise is part of self-care. You don’t need to have a goal to lose weight in order to use exercise in your plan. Exercising relieves stress and lifts your emotions.
You need it just because it benefits you. Don’t give up sleep to get on the never ending hamster wheel of work or day to day tasks. The next day, the work or those tasks will be right where you left off – but you’ll feel more prepared mentally and physically to tackle them.
It won’t benefit you to lose sleep in an effort to keep up or get ahead. Instead, do what you can with the time you have and allow that to be good enough for you. Build in times where you’re off the clock professionally and personally.
Just have some fun. Do something that feeds your soul. Take a trip. Do nothing. Read a book. Go to the movies. Visit a friend. Nurturing yourself – your happiness – is an important part of self-care.