Welcome to Week 5 (the final week!) of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series that has brought you a new blog post on each Wednesday of the month. The aim of this was to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Paige Eades, with What is personal growth and Why Should I Care?
Personal growth is such an individualist activity, wouldn’t you say? From endlessly discussing life plans with career consultants at school into talks and gossips with friends detailing our ‘five year plans’ (does anyone else still live in the hope that our lives will turn out to be a perfect fairy-tale?); the theme of self-development has been imminent throughout our whole lives.
When Emily called out for writers to pull together a series on ‘March is for Me’, I knew that it would be a great opportunity to discuss and delve more into our own personal connections with ourselves and take the time to consider if we are happy with the way in which we are treating ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane swing of things; the 9 to 5 work routine and the catch up weekend but looking after we is an essential step that many people argue they don’t have time for.
Something to consider; how many of us have actually sat down to consider our own personal growth? Putting the ever ingrained career chats and life objectives aside; what happened to developing the person we are inside and our desire to constantly better ourselves? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably been too long since you have had that real, open chat with yourself about how things are going? Why is that?
It almost seems rather taboo to consider yourself and put yourself first in the modern world; the idea of doing something to please others comes way before pleasing yourself. The feeling of wasted time is a familiar concept to many of you I’m sure, with the inkling of ‘I’d really rather be doing something else; but I’m not, because I’m here supporting you’. And that’s okay – there aren’t going to be moments where everything is about what you want; but to me a major element of personal growth is about taking the time to consider what your needs are and being brave enough to create boundaries if need be. Contrary to popular belief; creating personal boundaries isn’t selfish – it’s establishing how far you can go without damaging yourself.
Creating personal growth journeys is encouraged in ways that you probably won’t even link to in your life; and it’s easier than you might think. I remember my first insight into striving to better myself was the infamous gold star chart on the primary school classroom wall; which celebrated including others into games or sharing our snacks with those who didn’t have any (oh, to live in a COVID free world again). The sense of achievement and satisfaction after adding a little gold star sticker to my name and knowing that I had made another’s day a little better was a feeling that can’t quite be replicated in adult life. Although I’d love it – where are the star chart boards now eh?
I can almost hear the sighs of imagining an obsession with gold stars – but hear me out. The celebration of working towards becoming better and the small accomplishments along the way should be celebrated. Each step to learning and developing is a great one, and without sounding too soppy – it’s those kind of achievements that make the world go around.
You are in connection with your goals
Personal growth is all about taking the time to reflect on your current circumstance and establish new and realistic goals that you would like to achieve. It is evident that the goals that you set at 12 are going to be different now; and the personal growth journey is all about embracing that! The beauty of life is that it is constantly evolving; and things aren’t going to be smooth sailing throughout – to put it bluntly shit happens and circumstances change, and the subsequent effect is that goals do too. Through remaining aware that goals are, and can be, adjustable to changes is a key to personal development – and understanding that a temporary setback isn’t failure or that the goal should be given up on; it’s just that – a temporary setback.
You align yourself to new values
As previously discussed, personal growth is an everchanging event – it snakes and swivels and whirls around your life. Through adopting a persistent desire to continuously better ourselves; we therefore align better with new and improved values. Think about it; do you have and believe in the exact same values that you held 5 years ago? No? You’re not alone; many people shift and alter their values in accordance with new information learnt or experiences shared – so it should only make sense that we configure our new morals and values in line with what we currently associate with.
You experience a greater peace of mind
What could be better than being so ‘in tune’ with yourself than defining exactly what your goals and aspirations are? I can’t count all the times where I’ve had what feels like a mid-life crisis surrounding what I want to do in pivotal points in time – starting college, heading off to university, first relationships – but if I had taken the time to re-evaluate what my personal goals were then I would have been reassured that these new changes were the right thing to do and were to help me on my journey, not hinder. Through establishing your personal development plan and continually monitoring it, it is only expected that you will experience a sense of ‘togetherness’ that is hard to achieve otherwise.
You experience healthier relationships
I’m a big believer in that you attract the people that share the vibes you put out into the world. If you are negative and refuse to accept new developments – you will attract and share values with similar minded people. However, if you strive to better yourself, base your aspirations on inspirational people and be proactive in your personal development journey; like-minded people will flock to join you. Relationships age and evolve as you make your way through life; and they can inevitably become outgrown. You deserve to be able to surround yourself with healthy relationships that inspire, satisfy and progress your personal development journey; so, strive to get them!
You experience greater happiness
Can you imagine anything better than knowing that you are actively achieving your dreams and aspirations? Knowing that despite everything, even on a day where you don’t want to do anything (relatable, amirite), you are striving to be the best person you can be – and making a positive impact on your time on Earth. We all can’t claim to become the next Greta Thunberg or the genius behind the cure for cancer, but we can all claim ourselves to becoming the best person that we are capable of.
Without sounding too cliché; in a world filled with increasing negativity, you have the choice to be that ray of sunshine – both for yourself and others. Take that opportunity. I’ll raise a glass to that!
What an AMAZING post to end the March is For Me series on – thank you Paige for your beautiful words and to each creator that has contributed to March is For Me this month and made it so special. It’s a series I know I will definitely be referring back to! Click here to be taken to each post.
I hope you are all doing well and keeping safe
Until next time,