My Top 11 Tips for Personal Growth

By Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

Are you looking for ways to use your full potential? Do you want to achieve your goals and grow personally? If you do, you should know that you’re not alone. These days, the phrase “personal growth” has become a trend. But do you understand what it really means?

In psychology, personal growth can be defined as the process of developing new skills, attitudes, habits, and behaviors that benefit certain aspects of yourself and your life. In other words, self-growth means learning from your past mistakes and developing efficient strategies to add value to your current lifestyle.

Regardless of the definition, one thing is for sure: personal growth is a positive process. It’s something every individual should strive for. But achieving self-growth isn’t easy. This is why I’m going to share my top 11 tips to help you grow personally and realize your full potential.

1.   Own that change is my responsibility and no one else’s.

Do you try to take responsibility for your life? Just think about it. Most of the time, people try to attribute their mistakes to external factors and avoid responsibility for the circumstances that happen in their lives. That’s exactly the thing that the classic attribution theory proves (Kelley, 1980). But guess what?

Avoiding responsibility will only take you away from your personal growth. What’s more important is to realize that change is your own responsibility and no one else’s. The truth is that change is a significant part of personal growth. In fact, without change, nobody can refine their skills or develop a different perspective on certain aspects of life. So, try to change and accept that it’s your personal responsibility!

2.   Pay attention to the signs of change.

If you’re trying to grow personally, accepting your responsibility for change isn’t enough. Instead, you should also try to pay attention to the signs of change. What I mean here is that change is a natural part of our lives. No matter how happy or satisfied you are with your current condition, change is inevitable. But you can only use this change productively if you pay attention to its signs.

Now you probably wonder what some examples of the signs of change are. If you notice that you accept challenges more easily than before, realize that you can apply for new roles, say yes to new opportunities, or use your time more productively, then you can consider all of these examples as positive signs of a change.

3.   Learn from your failures, not just your successes.

The idea that we should learn from our mistakes has almost become a cliche. But believe it or not, it’s true. The reason is that people who rely on their success find it hard to grow personally. After all, if you’re always succeeding, you probably try too hard to avoid mistakes and refuse to face significant challenges that would help you grow further.

Of course, I’m not saying here that learning from your success isn’t important. But I’m saying that you shouldn’t learn ONLY from your success. Try to face challenges, make mistakes if it’s inevitable, and learn from your failures to grow personally and not make the same mistakes again in the future.

4.   Count your wins. What are signs of success for you?

Not only failures but keeping an eye on your success also contributes to self-growth. Why? Because success makes people happy, develops self-worth, and improves quality of life. As a result, success can lead to personal growth.

What are the signs of success for you? Just ask yourself this question, try to identify the signs of success in your daily life – big or small, and don’t forget to count your wins. That way, you’ll increase your self-esteem and grow personally.

5.   Follow your own way, do what you love. Do now just follow the crowd.

People have a natural tendency to conform. In fact, studies show that following the crowd is biologically rooted in human beings (Morgan & Laland, 2014). But it doesn’t mean that you can’t avoid unconditionally doing what others do and start to follow your own way.

The simple truth is that one of the most crucial things that result in self-growth is doing things that make you happy. So, try to stop comparing yourself to others, set your standards for other people instead of yourself, and compare yourself to your future self, someone you’re trying to become. Just follow your own day, do what you love, and you’ll soon find out how this contributes to personal growth.

6.   Love yourself and take care of yourself.

Can you believe that there are some science-based benefits to loving yourself for your health? Yes, self-love actually contributes to better health outcomes such as emotional stability, optimism, productivity, and increased psychological well-being. It’s not surprising that being compassionate towards yourself can also lead to personal growth.

So, try to take care of yourself, accept your strengths and flow, and love yourself. That way, you’ll find it much easier to grow personally.

7.   Don’t dress for the job that you have, dress for the job that you WANT.

Have you already heard this career advice? If you haven’t, I’m going to tell you that it’s not particularly about the dress code at the office. Instead, this quote means that you shouldn’t wait until you’re finally hired to start doing your job. You should start expressing yourself to people as soon as you can to make an impact and show others who you really are.

In terms of personal growth, “dressing for the job that you want” means being yourself and not pretending to be someone you’re not. Strive for progress to transform your present-day into your desired future.

8.   Be curious about others and ask questions all the time.

Being curious and asking questions is an important part of self-growth. But you should know that you shouldn’t be curious only about your own progress. You should also be genuinely interested in how others perceive your achievements.

The reason is that we’re all more or less subjective. That’s why we need to ask questions to find out whether we’re actually doing something worthwhile for ourselves or not. So, ask your friends, family members, or colleagues about the things that you’re curious about and try to keep their feedback in mind.

9.   If you’re not 5 minutes early, you’re late.

Did you know that early birds tend to be exceptionally successful? That’s why you should always try to be at least 5 minutes early! Well, the truth is that people who identify themselves as “early birds” have better work performance, start their days more productively, have healthier lifestyles, and consequently, have a better quality of life. And guess what?

Being an early bird can also help you grow personally because you’ll have more time to focus on yourself and take steps towards self-development. So, remember that if you’re not five minutes early, then you’re already late!

10.  When you’re working, only use your smartphone for making phone calls, nothing else.

We might enjoy spending our time on smartphones to distract ourselves from daily stressors,  but unfortunately, excessive use of smartphones disrupts our productivity. What’s worse, using smartphones too often might even lead to addiction (Duke & Montag, 2017). That’s why you shouldn’t use your smartphone when you’re working.

How is this related to personal growth? Well, when you crave using your smartphone but force yourself to concentrate on the work, you’re developing your willpower. And working on your needs and impulses is an important part of personal growth. So, only use your smartphone for making urgent calls while you’re working instead of using it to distract yourself.

11.  Act like you’ve got this and can handle everything. Fake it until you make it.

My last tip for your personal growth is to pretend to yourself that you have the power to handle your difficulties. It’s true that stress is an integral part of our lives. But if you imitate confidence and maintain an optimistic mindset, you’ll soon realize that stressful events in your life don’t really stress you anymore. And that’s when you start to grow personally. So, fake it until you make it, trust yourself, and as a result, you’ll achieve the outcomes that you’ve always dreamt about.

Why Does Personal Growth Matter?

Hopefully, these 11 tips for personal growth will be helpful for your journey of self-growth. But if you still doubt the importance of personal growth for your well-being, then you should know why it matters for your mental and physical health.

In simple words, personal growth is the key to a happy, satisfying, successful, and healthy life. People who actively pursue personal growth have better social relationships, less stress, enhanced self-control, and improved peace of mind. Most importantly, personal growth will help you to become a more compassionate and positive person with a healthy mindset.

Keep in mind that everyone’s journey of personal growth is unique. There’s no standard for personal development, and you’re the only one who decides when it is the right time to start working on yourself.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Whenever considering changing your protocol whether it includes a change of medications, supplements, diet or lifestyle, always speak with your primary care physician first.

Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational free resources, online courses, and membership group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.