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Personal development; what’s all the fuss about?

You’ve probably seen the same question on job applications a hundred times over; that part where they ask you to list your professional development achievements. Whether it’s a short course, a mental health first aid training or a full-on professional accreditation, employers love to see that you have invested in your professional skills and development.

But what of your personal skills and development?

In short, personal development is the practice of looking inwards to grow and better yourself.

Personal development is the inner work that focuses on your mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual growth. In short, it’s the practice of looking inwards to grow and better yourself.

And it’s an area that often gets neglected. But when you consider that personal development can have a huge impact on your overall health, stress levels, relationships, finances and your career, investing in your personal growth is something you really should be making time for.

Want to understand your emotions better? Be more resilient to change? Transform your relationship with money? Spending time on your personal development is what will get you there.

And the thing is, personal development can have a huge effect on your home and work life. Because if you do the inner work to better the very core of who you are, you and everyone else around you will experience the benefits.

Personal development is unique to each and every one of us – we’re all beautifully human, after all. But in general, it can be broken down into five areas:

Mental Growth

We’ve all heard of physical fitness. But what about mental fitness? Mental fitness refers to maintaining your brain and emotional health, and it has a huge impact on your overall wellbeing. At its most basic level, mental fitness is about flexing your mental muscles and assessing whether your thoughts are helping or hindering you. Be it cultivating a positive mindset or looking at the limiting beliefs that hold you back, developing your mental fitness will allow you to evaluate the quality of your thoughts and switch them up.

Emotional Growth

How emotionally aware are you? Often we lead with our emotional response to situations. But, the thing is, our emotions aren’t always balanced, and when we respond from this place without awareness, we can place unnecessary strain on ourselves and our relationships. Cultivating emotional growth is about recognising our emotions and understanding how they affect our thoughts, responses and actions. Want to understand yourself and others better and improve your relationships? Looking at your emotional awareness is a brilliant place to start.

Physical Growth

Notice how cranky and not at your best you are when you’ve had a terrible night’s sleep? Your physical wellbeing is intrinsically linked to your mental and emotional wellbeing. Committing to physical growth means taking care to optimise your physical health; whether that’s getting the right nutrition, exercising regularly or working on your sleep hygiene.

Social Growth

Your social connectedness plays a huge part in your overall wellbeing and even impacts your life expectancy. Improving your social and communication skills helps to nurture your relationships – whether they be romantic, familial, professional or in the wider community.

Spiritual Growth

Not to be confused with religion. Your spiritual growth refers to how you make sense of yourself, the world around you and your place within it. Spiritual growth encompasses uncovering your sense or purpose, identifying your values and committing to the discipline of upholding those values, even – and especially – when it’s hard.

Suffice it to say, each of these five areas are inherently intertwined. And developing each area will have a huge impact on your wellbeing, relationships and your employability…

Here are just a few of the benefits of personal development:

Increased self-awareness

Here at Studio Think, we describe self awareness as the ultimate super power! Because if you know yourself intimately, you will become unstoppable. Self-awareness is about knowing the strengths and limitations in your thinking, and where your emotions and responses are rooted. Once you possess that awareness, it’s like zooming out and swimming above your thoughts and emotions, seeing them for what they are. And once you can see your thoughts and emotions clearly, you can choose whether you engage with them or not. Powerful stuff!

Increased resilience

Navigating the ups and downs of life can be hard. Personal development can help you to re-evaluate your expectations, assess whether you’re engaging in negativity bias, and help to shift your perspective. It can also help to cultivate the perfect balancing weights to hard times, such as gratitude for what you already have, and seeking the support of your network.

Clarity of purpose and values…

Personal development offers you the chance to listen in to your deep inner knowing; the version of you that arises in the stillness, and the one that knows what’s important to you. Through quiet practices, reflection and deep questioning, you will emerge with a greater sense of who you are, what makes you tick, and what values you seek to uphold.

Better goal setting

Knowing yourself better also leads to knowing what you really, really want. And we’re not speaking to external things here – things like wealth, status or material possessions. We’re speaking to intrinsic things. A simple exercise like musing on what wealth means to you can throw up all sorts of answers which are not at all money-related – like enough time with loved ones, for example. The inner work that personal development demands of you can be powerful and might just lead you to re-think what’s truly important to you.

Just 15 minutes a day can be transformative

Personal development is a lifelong journey; we don’t reach the end and feel complete. And while that might sound like quite the commitment, the great news is that just 15 minutes of personal development a day can bring about huge results. Whether it’s listening to a podcast, practising a guided meditation or journaling, a relatively small commitment can bring about huge shifts in your thinking.

And we here at Studio Think have an app for that! Our six day courses and coaching programmes require only 15 minutes investment per day. And you can spend those 15 minutes working towards something transformative; whether it’s exploring your perfectionism, addressing your limiting beliefs or cultivating a success mindset, we have a course for you!