“The truest success is but the development of self.” (Charles Atlas)
It’s a common misconception that self-development – or the concept of improving oneself – only requires identifying one specific area (or a few areas) of one’s life that needs improvement, work on that area, and that’s it.
Once you successfully developed that one area, your job is done.
This error in understanding is why a lot of people shun the subject of self-development.
Some overthink the process of identifying and deciding which specific area of their lives requires the foremost attention and therefore end up not taking any action at all.
Others are too quick to claim they don’t need help on any area at all because everything seems to be going well in their lives.
Unfortunately, this flawed mindset holds so many people back from actually living their lives to the fullest.
The First Step to Self-Development: It’s Simpler Than You Think
The path to self improvement starts with an acknowledgment that a need exists.
Next, you must accept the fact that solving any need requires some course of action, or you can’t be helped.
In other words, you can’t possibly address something that you won’t even admit exists.
Then, and only then, can you begin the work towards self-improvement.
You must first admit that you need help in a specific area of your life and be willing to ask for help so you can receive help.
So be honest with yourself.
And stop worrying about what others might think of you.
Remember, the quality of your life depends on the choices that you make.
Why You Should Pursue Self-Development
What many of us don’t realize is that the pursuit of self-development is not limited to improving how we talk, how we look, how we dress, etc. We are holistic beings, therefore what we do with one small area of our lives affects the whole system.
When you make a decision to get your full 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night, your mental performance dramatically improves, as well as your mood for the entire day.
You don’t stress out as easily as you used to, therefore your overall health and well- being improves as well.
And when you’re feeling good inside, it shows on the outside.
Suddenly, your co-workers begin to notice that you’re blooming, always smiling and naturally optimistic, regardless of what’s going on around you. Then they start wanting to be around you more, thus creating a positive impact on your relationships.
In this guide, I will give you the nine milestones that’s guaranteed to happen in your life, thus making it the wisest decision for you to pursue self-development, and commit to becoming the Best Version of Yourself that you can possibly be.
I hope that this guide would help you realize that the path to self-development is so much more worthwhile and rewarding than just learning to speak better, dress better or write better.
I hope that after you read this, you’d see the many benefits of seeking to improve yourself, make the choice to say “YES!” to you, and give yourself permission to finally become the person you were always meant to be.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, WHO ARE YOU NOT TO BE? (Marianne Williamson)
The 9 Milestones of Self-Development
You begin to gain clarity on who you truly are, what your dreams are, the things you’re passionate about, the values you stand for, your God-given gifts, what your purpose is, and what it is you truly, deeply desire to pursue.
You will be re- introduced to yourself, and you will start building this new friendship with and trust in YOU.
2. Spiritual Awakening
Your newfound clarity, understanding and awareness of yourself will eventually lead to an awareness of a higher Source Power that brought you into existence.
This will be followed by a deep desire and longing to connect and grow in understanding of your Creator; a natural curiosity for what lies ahead, and what awaits us beyond this world – the answer to which, you realize you’ll only find in Him.
You begin to acknowledge your struggles and problems, and admit that something needs to be done about it.
You make a decision to break free from what’s been holding you back all these years.
You’re finally ready and eager to let go of your self-imposed limitations you’ve used as excuses for having stayed inside your comfort zone for so long.
You become aware that it’s not going to be easy, but by now, you’ve found Courage, and so you declare to yourself that you’re ready for whatever comes next.
You’re ready for CHANGE.
And you may still feel fear at this point, but you’re no longer a slave to that Fear.
As you unshackle yourself from the limiting beliefs that have kept you a prisoner of the past, you will begin to trust and rely on yourself again.
You will discover strength and wisdom you never knew you had, pushing yourself beyond your perceived limitations.
You will gain deeper wisdom, courage and confidence.
You will also develop a gratitude mindset as you begin to fully realize and understand that you were indeed wonderfully and fearfully made by your Creator, until you can find no reason why you shouldn’t be loving YOU, just as He has always loved you.
You become aware of your current limitations, but you now understand that it doesn’t have to be the case forever. You know now that you can grow, you can improve, you can expand your knowledge, you can acquire new skills, you can gain deeper insights and wisdom, and that the person you are today is not going to be the same person you will be tomorrow.
The idea of failing no longer scares or intimidates you, because now you know that mistakes are opportunities for learning and doing things better. You then become more proactive, aggressive and dauntless in educating yourself more, and further developing your skills and talents, by any means necessary.
As you continue to invest in your growth, you begin to see your own place in the world, and the numerous opportunities and possibilities that are also available to you.
Your thinking, therefore, is no longer grounded on a scarcity mentality, but that of abundance instead. The more you cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your heart, the more generous you become to others, and in effect, the more miracles you attract and manifest into your life.
7. Better Relationships
As you continue to feel better about yourself, and love yourself more, there’s going to be more of you that you’d naturally want to share with others.
You become more loving, understanding, forgiving, appreciative, respectful and compassionate towards other people because you now have a clearer picture of what those values and virtues look like as you continue practicing them on your own self.
The way you communicate with people and how you resolve conflicts will dramatically improve. You will also become less judgmental of other people as you continue to practice self-love, because genuine love doesn’t condemn and doesn’t judge.
So what you practice within yourself, you naturally extend to others. The same compassion you give to yourself every day, now becomes a natural tendency for you to give to others as well.
8. Improved Well-Being
As you become the master of your own mindset, and as you grow more in self-love, you will find that you’re able to proactively filter out the various stress triggers in your life, therefore your health improves at the same time.
You become more aware of whenever your common stress triggers tend to show up, and you know exactly what to do to not indulge these stress triggers. You don’t allow them into your space any longer.
As you grow deeper in self-love, you also become more committed to taking better care of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Your journey to self-development always creates a ripple effect in the sense that it doesn’t stop at changing you and transforming your life from the inside out.
The choices that you make – the behavior you choose to display, and the way you choose to respond to your circumstances – as a result of improving your character and mindset, in a lot of ways will also leave an imprint in the lives of the people you cross paths with.
You will be inspiring and influencing a lot of people to walk in your footsteps and follow your example, whether you intend to or not. It’s just the way that it is.
Other people may disapprove of and criticize you for the changes you decide to make in your life in your pursuit of self-development. But there will be those who will see in you the very person they wish to become and will draw their own inspiration from your example, as they too embark on their own journey to self-discovery and awareness.
And your legacy will create a ripple effect – as you influence them, they influence others, and so on it goes.
What kind of Legacy you leave behind is entirely up to you.
I’m an advocate of self-development.
Much like most women I know, I used to think that to be a good mom meant denying my heart’s deepest desires, giving up on my passions and dreams, putting my kids and other people first, and forgetting who I was created to be. In the process, the light inside me slowly faded and eventually, I was merely existing, not living. Until a voice inside me cried out, “This isn’t the life you were meant to live!”
So my own breakthrough started with a brave but humble admission that something was terribly amiss in my life.
And since the moment I reclaimed responsibility for my own happiness, my life has been transformed.
It’s no coincidence that you stumbled upon this article. I believe you too are being called to do something much more significant with your life.
I hope this article has inspired you to honestly evaluate where you’re at in your journey and to choose to start pursuing self-development; explore the endless possibilities out there for you to live a genuinely abundant and purpose-centered life.
It’s my prayer that you fully embrace the wisdom and guidance that I only desire to share with you through this article.
You’re a wonderful and unique person with particular skills and attributes- and with the potential to use those fully in being your BEST SELF.