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What Is Personal Development? Essential Guide

What is personal development featured image
Personal development is all about improving your skills and mindset. Image credit: Samantha Gades

What is personal development? Essentially, personal development is the process of acquiring new skills and qualities to improve your job performance, confidence and self-esteem.

This means if you want to find a way to enhance your professional life, or even your overall worldview, personal development is key. However, what this actually means in practice is often unclear. Today, we’ll be looking at personal development in more concrete terms.

What is Personal Development?

Personal development is critical for you to thrive in your career.

For example, if you need to be a better leader, it is critical to develop a unique style, have an authentic appeal, and a commanding authority for others to follow.

Similarly, it helps you achieve peace of mind by reducing stress caused by conflict. With a personal development plan, you’ll be able to appreciate life by focusing on the positive aspects of life and let go of issues which are the cause of conflicts.

What is personal development workplace stress stats
Over half of stress is caused by workplace factors, which can be alleviated by personal development. Image credit: Stress.org

However, this doesn’t mean that you ignore problems. Instead, personal development lets you address them from a problem-solving perspective, rather than obsessing about them and getting nowhere.

A personal development template can assist you in addressing areas of your life that need improvements, so that you can be proud of yourself and face life with a positive outlook.

As a result, personal development empowers you to express your inner self fully and develop strong social and professional relationships.

Theories of Personal Development: Four Personality Perspectives

Your personality is your unique pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviors. These persist over time and under different circumstances.

For a long time, personality development has been a major topic of discussion in psychology and related disciplines. Numerous personal development theories have been developed, all with a single goal of trying to explain personality development.

In the study of personality, theorists have various different approaches. While some of these theorists set out to identify the most vital characteristics of personality, there are those concerned with understanding the reasons for the differences in personality.

Cognitive Theory of Personal Development

The cognitive theory of personality focuses more on information coding and retrieval plus the goals, motives, expectations and beliefs involved in the development of various personality traits.

Personality theories can either be nomothetic or idiographic.

In nomothetic, a person has an individual or lesser amount of traits common to all people while in idiographic, each individual bears a unique personality structure and will even possess qualities others do not have.

When it comes to the nomothetic approach, we can use a personal theory to generalise about a particular individual or to put them in various categories.

For instance, a person can have a particular trait or style. However, the idiographic approach makes an attempt at describing a particular individual with the goal of showing how that single person is different from the rest of the individuals.

Most cognitive theories of personality mainly establish the ways in which personal knowledge and judgment are formed. Usually, the development happens in an asymmetrical fashion as individuals must first adapt to their environment.

Psychodynamic Theories

There are several propositions central to all psychodynamic theories. Considering that most of the mental life is unconscious, we tend to behave in ways that we ourselves do not understand.

Besides, it’s possible for mental processes such as emotions, motivations, and thoughts to lead to conflicting feelings, since they operate in parallel. Under the psychodynamic theories, stable patterns start forming during childhood.

Carl Rogers Theory of Personality

The main theorists of humanistic personality theory are Alfred Adler, Carl Rogers, and Abraham Maslow. Carl Rogers believed that humans develop personalities in the service of positive goals and that we possess an innate drive toward fulfillment.

Abraham Maslow suggested that individuals are motivated by the hierarchy of needs.

Usually, basic needs are centered on the necessities of life that include food and water. But as the people move up the hierarchy, the needs get centered on stuff such as esteem and self-actualization.

Carl Rogers Theory of Personality builds on Abraham Maslow’s perspective of personality.

 

Personal development maslow
Carl Rogers builds on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Image credit: ProfileTree

He adds that for individuals to grow, they need an environment that offers genuineness, acceptance, and empathy. Without the traits, relationships and healthy personality can’t develop.

Rogers also had the conviction that every individual could achieve their personal desires, wishes, and goals in life. However, for individuals to reach their true potential, a number of factors must be achieved.

Acceptance and Personal Development

Personal development also helps you develop charisma, giving you the power to attract people and receive acceptance from them.

In addition, it helps you further your career through identifying skills and courses to add to your portfolio. This helps you to better your efficiency.

By identifying and investing in your priorities, you improve your competencies and self-mastery. Partaking in continuous learning and developing an open-mind is a sure path to attaining personal goals and fulfillment.

As a result, you’ll be successful in interpersonal relationships by developing respect for co-workers such that you seek to understand them instead of rushing to criticise. With this approach, you’ll have a well-balanced professional life and better performance without troubling conflicts.

An effective personal development plan ideas include exercising a flexible attitude, punctuality, and empathy towards others.

With such qualities, you’ll be able to execute your work efficiently. Your perspective will shift from dreading problems to approaching them as opportunities for problem-solving and learning.

Also, your approach to management will be impeccable since you’ll be expressing your ideas artlessly and influence others in teamwork projects.

What is Personal Development? Managing Your Personal Development Plan

There are various steps you can take in your personal development journey. These include:

Developing a Personal Vision

What is a personal development plan? It’s simply the vision of improving your life to achieve desired outcomes. Personal development can be a fun experience once you have established the ideas you wish to execute.

For example, advancing your career trajectory implies working on the specific areas that will improve your career prospects. For instance, learning new skills through certification courses within a year or within months is a realistic plan.

Planning Your Personal Development Plan

An ideal personal development plan involves setting a specific goal, such as aiming for promotion from an associate to an executive and investing time to earn respect and credentials to attain it.

Once you identify where you want to be in the near future, then you can embark on the steps necessary to achieve your goal. You can begin by doing a SWOT analysis of your professional life to identify the specific areas that need improvement.

Embarking on the Improvement Process

There are various methods of learning and developing new skills.

However, you need specific techniques to learn and improve your competencies. These include learning from your mistakes, learning from a mentor, and direct learning through reflection from the input of an expert, which translates to expertise transfer.

Since every individual is unique, there are various learning styles.

It is essential to choose one that best suits for efficient learning. These include active experimentation, learning from experience, reflective observation, and concrete engagement in activities related to your expertise.

Recording Your Personal Development Journey

An effective development plan ought to have the means to track progress and measure results.

For your plan to be effective, it is necessary to note developments in the learning curve and compare your achievement to previous levels. Then, you can reflect and revise your plan accordingly.

What is Personal Development? Take Charge Today, Enjoy the Benefits Tomorrow

Read to embark on your personal development journey? With a personal development plan, you can turn your life around to achieve amazing results and the greatness that comes with the ability to manage yourself in the circumstances that matter most.

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