Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
– Chinese Proverb
Personal growth means improving your behavior and habits, and refers to the tools we each use for building positive habits, behavior, actions, and reactions. I am often heard saying “do better, be better”. That is a quick definition of personal growth and a reminder that personal growth never stops. As an adult we need to continue on the journey of personal growth and stepping into the new and improved version of ourselves everyday. It is by finding the space or the time to reflect on who we are, and what and how we are growing. It all begins by having goals (refer to Aug. 15, 2021 blog post).
Personal growth is just that, it is something you identify in yourself that you want to work on. I have had parents and friends ask me what I am working on, and how do I “discover” what personal growth I need to work on. Personal growth to me refers to the self-improvement of my skills, knowledge, personal qualities, life goals and outlook. That is a huge mass of areas and I certainly do not focus on all of it at once. So I create goals for the year and each quarter of the year and dig into one area of my being I want to improve. I am happy to say that I am much different from my 20 something, know it all personality, although, I know it rears its head at the worst moments. The great thing about personal growth, is I see that coming and sometimes I can stop the words or behaviour from entering the conversation I am engaged in. I will be honest, that know it all 20 something personality mostly shows up when I am having a discussion with my own daughters. For that reason, I have created listening with curiosity goals and to not create my response while my daughters are talking but to keep being curious and then sharing my thoughts posed as questions.
But how do you decide what to work on? I take time at the end of the day for self-reflection on what I did well and what I need to work on. I write it down, and on a monthly basis I read through my journal and spot trends and will then comment and reflect on that trend. It leads to opportunities to create goals and to improve who I am. So finding the space for personal growth, is finding the time to journal, or write down thoughts about what you need to improve for yourself. A word of caution, also take the time to write down what you are awesome at. We are great at picking out our faults but also remember to cheer yourself on, give yourself credit and celebrate! We are each unique, having our own struggles and acknowledging not only our growth opportunities but our strengths helps us to feel positive about the personal growth goals that we create.
One of my top ways to continue on my personal journey of growth is to read. You can hit me up on a topic and I am sure I have a book I can recommend. I also have a book club where we read books that are meant to challenge our beliefs and then we have fierce conversations about each of our beliefs and how the book challenged our views and changed our perspective. So I encourage you as a parent to create the time for reflection, write down your goals and continue that journey of personal growth.