As the late Tupac Shakur once said, “I want to grow. I want to be better. You Grow. We all grow. We’re made to grow. You either evolve or you disappear.”
This quote is one of many inspirations that speaks truth and motivates me to grow as a human being, especially when it comes to tackling barriers that can hinder me from shining brighter than I can imagine. This is what I call personal growth, which involves challenging our own beliefs about ourselves, including the strengths, weaknesses, and misconceptions. We learn and eventually become who we really aspire to be by being consciously aware of what we seek to improve in our selves, our lives, and actively make changes to make it a reality. These changes can be anything from fulfilling aspirations of life, improving our health, becoming financially independent, improving socials skills, or even becoming more spiritually tuned.
When one chooses to evolve and gain a better sense of self by knowing who they are and actually living that lifestyle, it can tremendously boosts self confidence and have a domino effect in other areas of life. For instance, someone who consistently takes action to conquer their shyness by improving their soft and social skills (e.g. starting conversations with strangers) can eventually become a skillful speaker and more comfortable with people they don’t know. This course of action may seem minor or a silly thing to conquer but I guarantee this mastering this skill will be highly useful when it comes to interviewing, networking, entrepreneurship, and even dating.
Who you aspire to be in five, ten, or 20 years can be way different from who you are now and experiencing personal growth is the journey that prepares you to get there. However, just like change, growth requires work and it is not easy to get out of our comfort zone. So, to start you off on a growth journey, here are two things you can do that have the ability to make a difference, especially in the long run.
1. Conduct and Honest Self Assessment – I believe the biggest lies we can tell are the ones we tell ourselves. Therefore, this assessment involves two parts. First, evaluate what is important to you and where you would like to seek change or growth. I’m sure we all have goals in life so consider what we would like to change and write them down. You can also create a vision board with pictures, quotes, items, or whatever you like that keeps you motivated and inspired. Second, have an honest one on one with someone you trust and knows you well to help assist you in the right direction. The goal is to ask questions and get feedback to help you learn more about qualities and/or behaviors you have that you may not be aware of since we can often downplay or not recognize some of our capabilities. For instance you can ask them what they believe your strengths are or a behavior you exhibit in a certain situation. If you feel stuck, take a look at your goals or the areas you seek to change and develop questions based off that to help you in your conversation.
2. Take Action One Step at a Time – Once you have learned more about yourself from your perspective and others and finally ready to take action, start off with one thing at a time until you’ve built enough momentum to move to the next. Do NOT try to do everything at once because chances are everything will crumble at once. This reeks havoc on our confidence and we risk the chance of giving up, especially if we are out of our comfort zone and without a plan. To combat this, try setting a milestone for yourself and when you get there, introduce the next thing you want to go after.
Remember, we don’t have to settle with a feeling of insignificance or be scared to be who we are meant to be. So take courage as we are meant to grow, inspire, and evolve, not disappear.