Personal growth is not just something we should do from time to time. For it to be most effective it is about being in a constant state of personal growth. After all, our evolution as human beings is centred in our capacity to grow and develop, to shift for the better, when our lived experiences teach us something new about ourselves and the world around us.
So, it begs the question – what is it like to be in a state of constant personal growth? How do we begin to embrace that constant state of personal growth? Over a number of years, I asked myself those questions countless times. And this is where I am currently…
I considered the meaning of “philosophy”. And literally, “philosophy” means “love of wisdom.” In a broad sense, philosophy is an activity people undertake when they seek to understand fundamental truths about themselves, the world in which they live, and their relationships to the world and to each other. So, in an attempt to create a clear philosophy and a personal growth framework, I thought about all the things I do within this process of personal growth, and I came up with my own personal growth template which includes the following.
Taking regular time for reflection – the capacity to reflect on my daily life experiences, and process these in a self-affirming, curious and compassionate way is one of the bedrocks of what supports my own ongoing personal growth. I realised that part of what supports me to understand myself better is taking the time to explore and consider my thoughts and feelings about specific aspects of my life, on a daily basis.
I also then realised that reflection on its own is not sufficient – engagement is key. Being fully present and engaged in what is going on for me day-to-day is empowering and self-informing. Keeping present in your day-to-day engagement, and then reflecting on those engagements is what will shape and inform your personal growth journey.
Reflection and engagement together help create deeper self-awareness. Which brings to mind that phrase “when I know better, I will do better.” Which takes us to the next aspect of personal growth…
Accountability is probably the most empowering, life-changing state that you could step into. Within personal accountability comes the gift of personal ownership, autonomy, self-sufficiency, and control of your life journey. While reflection and engagement help build awareness of aspects of our life we would like to improve or change, accountability is the driving force that will sustain you as you work to explore new possibilities and opportunities for yourself. Ownership of your stuff, good and not so good, is liberating and empowering on many different levels.
So, we now have the personal growth building blocks of Reflection, Engagement and Accountability.
Then the final and pivotal element to add to this is Choosing Change. You can do all the reflection in the world, hold a wide range of awareness about yourself and the world, but then you have to choose what you do with those personal insights. Choosing to act on those and make the changes in behaviour and perspective that are required of you, that’s your gold medal moment. That is what becomes the fruit of your personal growth labour.
You in a sense begin to reach, over and over again, “heights” in your personal growth journey. You self-actualise (Maslow). You become your own fully functioning person (Rogers). And you begin to exist within a space of synchronicity and serendipity (Jung).
So, through Reflection, Engagement, Accountability and Choice you achieve new Heights. Welcome to the REACH philosophy template of personal growth.
If you are thinking “I am not sure this is something I can do on my own”, explore what professional support you could access. If you wish, for advice or support about your next best steps – email me directly at email@example.com or if you feel you need the benefit of a supportive community, why not join the “My Life to Shine Member’s Hub here or listen to “My Lifetential” podcast here.