What is Self – development? In simple terms, it is the process of learning or at least trying to acquire new and better skills to enable the desired change within us.
The changes within us will in turn help us to become better suited to reach our goals at the desired pace.
To explain it better with an example, I could give the example of someone looking to take the role of a manager in his organization. To get into a role like that, one would have to have qualities like leadership, interpersonal skills, decision-making, etc. One will have to consciously develop these traits. Aren’t Knowledge, experience, and qualifications sufficient for career growth anymore?
Well, the world has really shrunk. Remote working has opened the doors for new ways of working. This is a convenience for many, yet it is also a threat. The competition has increased.
So, if someone is looking to grow in his role, he/ she must be ready to invest in Self-development.
Investing in Self involves concepts like self-efficacy. self-esteem and most importantly self-awareness.
Self-efficacy is the confidence that one has in his or her ability to complete a task he has undertaken.
Self-esteem is a more realistic view of your abilities to thrive and excel. To me, Self-efficacy and esteem are closely related terms, which are much required for the development of self.
Self-awareness is the most crucial and critical attribute for self-development.
Self-awareness in simple terms can be said as our ability to understand our values, strengths, emotions, etc.
So how do self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-efficacy help us to develop ourselves?
When we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we can reduce our weaknesses and focus our efforts on our strengths.
Armed with realistic confidence, we can plan and chart the way ahead.
We sometimes procrastinate or avoid performing some tasks. Self-awareness journaling and meditation help us to identify the reasons for procrastination.
Self-awareness helps us to plan our goals for the desired career growth and self-efficacy gives us the confidence and motivation to follow it.
These also keep us prepared to spring back faster if we encounter any failures along the way.
How do you develop these traits?
To start with, all we need is a task that is sure to motivate our confidence. Choose a task that is not very tough or attention-seeking, but relatively easy to achieve. When we set a goal to complete this kind of task, it sends us a signal that we are set to accomplish it. This could be the first step to gaining confidence in our abilities.
The next step would involve mapping our strengths to the desired goal. For example, if being focused on one task is your strength, then try to create goals that involve completing one task at a time. How to become aware of our strengths?
There are many assessment tools that help us to identify our strengths. A coach or counselor can also help you to identify your strengths.
The next step would be to maintain constant motivation to achieve the desired goals.
It has been proven that we can motivate ourselves by being surrounded by people, who are achieving by staying in similar roles as us. This is called social modeling.
NLP techniques like modeling, mirroring, etc can be used to get closer to the desired goal.
As we move in the direction of self-development, make peace with your awareness. Accept that there may be unexpected delays and roadblocks along the way. See what can be learned from the delays and defeats.
An important aspect of self-development planning is maintaining good physical health. Ensure that you stay active and healthy to achieve success.
To conclude, I am tempted to quote these verses from Bhagavat Gita
उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् |
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन:
Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and the enemy of the self.
Wishing you all a powerful friend – a stable mind as you progress in your career and life.