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5 tips for Personal Growth

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Today I want to talk about a topic that is deeply personal and important to many of us: becoming the person we are meant to be. Each one of us has a unique journey in life, with its own challenges and opportunities. But the ultimate goal for many of us is to find our purpose, to discover our passion, and to live a fulfilling life.

Let’s begin by talking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who developed a hierarchy of needs to explain human motivation. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to higher needs.

So, understanding this, how can we become the person we are meant to be? How can we reach self-actualization? You must know who you are and then who you want to be. Sometimes these two things can be very different. Sometimes we may want to be something we currently are not but that doesn’t mean we can’t become that person. If you can become aware of the strengths you have and the things you do like about yourself and then work on the things you want to become, you can become the person you are meant to be.

The first step in becoming the person you are meant to be is to understand yourself. Taking the time to reflect on your values, your strengths, your weaknesses, your passions, and your goals. Ask yourself what really matters to you, what makes you happy, and what you want to achieve in life. This self-awareness will help you to make better decisions, set meaningful goals, and stay true to yourself.

1. Self Assessments

Self Assessments can be great tools for this. In addition to self assessments, journaling about those assessments, answering questions, and processing your thoughts on paper can also bring you closer to understanding yourself and where you want to go in life.

Let’s look at a few options for assessments.

1. The High 5 test- over 120 questions to determine your strengths

2. Values assessment- compare different values until they are sorted to the highest levels

3. The Myers-Briggs is an introspective self-report questionnaire that assesses your personality preferences and places you into one of the 16 types, which helps you make sense of why you see, interpret, or act a certain way.

4. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is a 70-question test that measures communication styles and what resulting actions tend to be. It can be utilized with the Myers-Briggs.

5. The Big Five personality traits, also known as the five-factor model (FFM), is based on the common language descriptors of personality. The Big Five Personality Assessment divides people into five personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. It can help you identify your particular learning styles and working preferences.

6. The Holland Code determines your suitability with different careers based on the six occupational themes: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional (RIASEC). It identifies your top interest and how it compares to other areas. Test takers are given a three-letter code, which defines their three dominant personality types. Mine was social because I want to help others.

7. Enneagram personality test will show you which of the 9 personality types suit you best. See how you score for all 9 Enneagram types, and understand where you fit in the Enneagram personality system. I am a peacemaker.

2. Set Meaningful Goals

Once you have a better understanding of yourself, it's time to set some meaningful goals. What do you want to achieve in life? What kind of person do you want to become? Make sure your goals are aligned with your values and passions, and that they challenge you to grow and learn. Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, and track your progress regularly.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher since the fourth grade. I loved my teacher, Mrs. Devaughn in 4th grade. She made school fun and exciting. She was young and had a lot of energy. I’ve always had this love of learning and wanted to help others learn their best too. Even in first grade, I remember helping a classmate with their work and he is now a cardiologist. HAHAHA! In 11th grade I was taking Algebra II and the teacher left the room having a mental breakdown. We were suppose to have a test the next day so all the classmates asked me to get up to teach the class. So I sat at her seat and started writing out problems on the overhead projector. All of these events led me to complete my Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and become a Kindergarten teacher. BUT THEN....

3. Learn from your experiences

Life is full of ups and downs, and each experience can teach us something valuable. Embrace your failures and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. Take the time to reflect on what went wrong, what you could have done differently, and what you learned from the experience. Use this knowledge to improve yourself and your future decisions.

When I finally got into the classroom, I realized that teaching was way more than just sharing information in fun ways. There was a lot more to teaching than I was really ready for at the young age of 22. I was not at all ready for having to discipline or be in charge and control so many different dynamics at one time. It was very overwhelming. I also had students that struggled and so I soon learned that maybe there was something else I could do that would make a difference and fit my personality a little better. After my first year of teaching, I went back to school and started a school counseling program.

4. Surround yourself with positive influences

The people we surround ourselves with have a big impact on our lives. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, support you, and challenge you to be your best self. Seek out mentors and role models who can guide you on your journey. Join communities and organizations that share your values and interests. And don't be afraid to let go of toxic relationships and negative influences that hold you back.

I was fortunate enough to always have amazing people around me. My husband was always super supportive and we sort of had to grow up together since we were married at such a young age. We had wonderful friends to hang out and do things together before we all started families and shifted away from one another. The thing about a job is that sometimes the people you work with can be the make it or break it of keeping the job. When I finally landed my job as a school counselor at Smithville Attendance Center, it was right after a tornado had wiped out the school. The whole community had to come together and we survived in trailers for two years while the new school was being built. The administration and the teachers at this school made all the difference in my growth and development as a school counselor. I am the only one for over 500 students, therefore, it takes us all working together to make my job run smoothly. I appreciate those colleagues more than they probably even know.

5. Take Action

Finally, becoming the person you are meant to be requires taking action. Don't just dream about your goals and aspirations, take concrete steps towards them. Break down your goals into smaller, achievable tasks, and take action every day. Make time for your passions and interests, and prioritize your personal growth. Remember, every step you take towards your goals brings you closer to the person you are meant to be.

I practice certain things every day to make sure that my actions align with my values and my commitments. I keep consistency with myself on doing the things I want to make sure I do each day. And here is my secret…

Master Your MOMENT. I begin my day with Meditation for 10 minutes. Then I Observe my day by writing down the things I am committed to doing. What did I plan to eat, what did I plan for movement, what did I plan for having restful sleep, what three top priorities do I have to be productive to get work done, and what are some things I am committed to doing in my relationships. Monograph is another way that I master my moment by writing. I keep a journal where I write down my gratitudes and the good things or the things I learned about the day. One of my other essentials things is Exercise and I try to vary what I do so I never get bored. I can also spread it out so if I'm not feeling it that morning, I can do it later in the day but most of the time I like to get it done in the morning. Nurturing your mind is another top priority. It find it important to have positive inputs at some point. That could be listening to a podcast or reading a personal development book, or watching Ryan Holiday on Stoicism on YouTube. Providing my Testimony every day helps keep my values in check everyday and keeps my compass going in the right direction. I state the things that I want to be in my life while I drive to work. It makes it easy and a great transition to starting the day.

In conclusion, becoming the person you are meant to be is a journey that requires self-awareness, meaningful goals, learning from experiences, positive influences, and taking action. It won't happen overnight, and it won't be easy, but it will be worth it. So, embrace your journey, stay true to yourself, and believe in your ability to become the person you are meant to be.

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