Most people would admit that self-improvement is an important goal in their life. Some may even place it at the top of their list. But unfortunately, for many, the process of self-improvement often ends there.
In the busy dealings that make up their lives, most people claim they have neither the time nor the energy to pursue personal development goals. The business of life—school, work, family—becomes the reason why the goal of personal development “dies on the vine.” It doesn’t have to though. Your personal development journey can begin today, and with a little effort you can help jump-start your future. Below are 10 Personal Development Strategies which can help get you moving in the right direction.
1. Self Talk
Positive self-talk is a great beginning for your personal development journey. Listen carefully to that little voice in your head and evaluate the messages. Remember the old saying: “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right?” It’s true. You can achieve exactly what you believe you can achieve, so replace self limiting thoughts and beliefs, such as “I can’t” with “I will.” This positive self-talk will help you create a great sense of momentum.
2. Self Inquiry
What’s really important to you? What do you want to achieve and what are the timelines for these goals? These questions are an example of self inquiry using quality questions. Develop a list of questions applicable to your own life and personal development goals, and them take the time to answer them thoughtfully and honestly. Refer back to these questions often to assure you are on the right track.
Whatever it is you want to do, you can be fairly sure someone else has already done it. Take a look at the people you admire and respect. What techniques do they regularly employ that help them become successful? Take note of the way they carry themselves and try to emulate those qualities you find helpful. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
There are literally thousands of self-help and personal development materials available, both online and in print. Not all will be applicable to your situation, but you’d be surprised at the pearls of wisdom you can find with a click of the mouse or a visit to the library. Turn off the television and use that time instead to educate yourself. Remember that there are people who have been where you are and have reached where you want to go. Find out how they did it.
Everybody needs time to rest and refuel. Reward yourself for all your hard work by occasionally taking a break. Use the time to reflect on your progress—your successes and failures—and create an honest assessment. This will be an important tool when you’re ready to get moving again.
Keeping a log of your progress is vital for personal development, and a journal is perfect for this purpose. Think of your journal like a letter to yourself. Write down all the measures you have employed and techniques you have implemented, and note both the ones that have proved useful as well as all the ones that have failed. This is a great way to combine record keeping with creativity.
Have you ever heard the saying, “If you can see it, you can be it?” I’m sure you have, and that quote aptly summarizes the technique called visualization. In simple terms, visualization is a technique in which you picture yourself being successful in various situations. Instead of fretting over an upcoming exam, for example, picture yourself calmly answering the questions with confidence and certitude. Picturing success can have a calming effect and will enable you to perform at your best.
8. Goal Setting
Goal setting is widely accepted as the most important technique for self improvement. Setting measurable goals and objectives will help you define exactly what you want, and serve as a plan for how you will get there. Remember to create timelines for achieving each milestone. This will help keep you focused and on track.
9. Learn from Failures
Everybody would like to avoid failure, but unfortunately that’s not possible. Regardless of your efforts and energy, there are going to be times when things do not work out. Do not let these minor setbacks discourage you. Learn from your mistakes and use these lessons as an opportunity to grow.
10. Reward Yourself
Take some time to reward yourself for all your efforts. Take a vacation, go to a movie or visit friends. Celebrate your success!
Have you ever reacted to a person or situation in a particular way and later regretted the manner in which you handled it? Did you let your emotions get in the way of making good decisions? If you answered yes, you are not alone. Emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety and fear can cause people to act rashly and make decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make.
The choices you make regarding your future are far too important to let emotions get in the way. Making decisions regarding your future should be handled while you are relaxed and confident rather than emotionally high or low. These emotions can interfere with your ability to think clearly and rationally.
So how do you control these emotions? How can you deal positively with their effects and bring yourself under control? Below are five powerful techniques for emotional control that have been proven to work.
1. NLP Swish Technique
The NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique called the Swish, is a very popular emotional controltechnique. In the Swish, you are taught to replace an unwanted thought or response with a more appropriate and useful one, thus redirecting your thought process. You are sending a message to the brain that essentially says, “Don’t do that, do THIS.”
This is a valuable technique that teaches you to manage your own thinking and consciously change the wayyou react to various situations. Each time you use the Swish, you are training your brain to switch or re-direct from harmful emotional responses to solutions that are well thought out and rational.
Using the Swish
1. The first step is to develop your own Replacement Feeling. Ideally, how would you like to act in the face of stress? Use visualization to clearly see yourself experiencing this new feeling.
2. Discover the trigger for the unwanted mood. Ask yourself. “What seems to always occur immediately prior to the stress I feel?”
3. While viewing the unwanted image in your mind, insert the replacement feeling into the corner of that picture. If the undesirable image was a post card, look at the healthy replacement feeling as a stamp in the corner of the card.
4. Now Swish the two images. Slowly allow the replacement feeling to grow and gradually take up more of the post card. Continue until the new feeling is the primary and foremost image.
It takes practice, but regular implementation of this technique will help you become more relaxed and empowered in the face of stress and negativity.
2. The Sedona Method
The Sedona method is a technique geared to help people let go of unwanted feelings and emotions and replace them with more positive ones. It is performed using a series of questions meant to help increase your awareness of the present moment.
Most experts will agree that when people are frustrated they act in a frustrated manner. The same is true of other emotions. Using the questions promoted by the Sedona Method, people are able to clearly define each situation for what it really is and act accordingly. The ability to alter the way things are perceived can reduce stress foster confidence.
3. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Tapping
The technique known as EFT Tapping has been around for quite a while, and many swear by the results. Simply stated, it involves tapping various parts of the body—wrist, eyebrow, cheek, etc—while uttering certain statements aloud. This technique is thought to alter normal reactions to stimuli and promote healing. The tapping is thought to release the power within—a power to help make calmer more productive decisions.
We can change the way we will react to a stressful situation simply by seeing it first. Picture yourself reacting calmly and confidently in a situation that normally causes you distress. Give the picture as much detail as possible, making it look truly achievable. If you train yourself to see positive results before they happen they have a much better chance of materializing.
Tips for visualization:
· Find a quiet comfortable place
· Clear your mind and breathe deeply
· Create a clear picture of what you want to happen
· Recognize distractions and let them go
· Repeat often
5. Freeze Framing
Think of the thoughts in your head as individual frames in a movie. What would you do if you could freeze one particular frame that caused you distress?
The Freeze Frame technique allows you to do just that. With your eyes closed picture a frame that has given you emotional trouble and freeze it. While the image is in your mind, breathe deeply and recognize each breath. As you begin to relax, you will find you are able to deal more appropriately with the emotions that scene produces. Picture yourself acting calmly and decisively in the face of troubling thoughts or events.