At some point early in my journey I became a bit more conscious about my growth. Not just about my career but many aspects of my life. For those who work with me this would be no surprise as I would have brought up the topic of personal growth at least a few times. Here are few things I find important for personal growth.
Being self-aware is the first thing. You cannot solve a problem that you don’t know about. Identify areas you should improve by being conscious about what you do, the outcome of it, the impact it makes and the feedback you get from others. You have to have a process for identifying these gaps on a regular basis, may it be knowledge, skill, values or lifestyle.
Don’t wait for others to give feedback, ask for it. Make sure you get enough feedback on a regular basis to keep you on your toes. This is easier said than done. It’s natural to have resistance to take criticism as not all criticism is constructive and genuine. Maturing up to keep an open mind and inviting as much feedback is an important part of the growth process. You have to grow a thick skin to filter-off all the bullshit and take good constructive feedback which will help you grow.
Be conscious about your environment
I’ve found this to be very important. If you are in an environment that does not promote learning and growth, it is likely to slow your own process down. It is important to be around people who value learning and take action around it. It’s contagious and helps your process of growth and turns it into a habit . Identify this early on and take action. Detach yourself from an environment that is not pushing you to learn and grow.
Be aware of change
The world is changing and has been changing. The knowledge or experience you gained a few years back may not be relevant anymore. You will only know if this is the case if you are constantly learning and are aware of the changes that happen in your space. Condition yourself to look outward on a daily basis. Allocated time for reading lists and listening podcasts is a must.
I’ve found this to be one of the best ways to get a boost of improvements into my life. Nonfiction types such as biographies, success stories, guides/self-help, academic text and philosophy can help in different ways. It is important to put what you learn into practice to really make it stick. As you try different practices, methods and techniques you learn from good books you’ll quickly start seeing improvements and what works for you.
Teach what you learn
Besides the satisfaction of sharing, teaching is a great way to stay sharp and keep learning new things. You can never teach someone something when you don’t fully understand it or when you don’t believe in it. The best things you can teach someone is the things you’ve seen through to success or failure.
Keep working on it
It’s a continuous process. Make a list and keep adding to it. Have a plan around how you are going to up-skill, improve knowledge, unlearn a bad value or learn a good one. Have regular checkins on your plan. See it through. Never stop learning.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” — Frederick Douglass