12 tips for personal growth (And why it's important)

Updated 23 March 2023

To grow as a person means to mature, improve or expand your life in some way. For example, you can grow intellectually by learning new things, and grow emotionally by becoming more confident and secure or improving your physical and mental health. Growth like this helps us develop into balanced individuals who are ready to face the world with confidence. In this article, we discuss what personal growth is and offer 12 tips that anyone can use to improve themselves.

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Why is personal growth important?

Growing as a person is important because it helps you make better decisions and reach your potential. When you're happy with who you are, it's easier to feel content with where you are in life and to recognise what's truly important to you. By making progress towards goals that matter to you and devoting time to pursuing them, you can create a path for your future that leads towards greater happiness, health, success and peace of mind.

With every new skill you acquire, you increase your potential to make an impact on your community and to achieve your goals. Even if self-improvement isn't a goal for you, it can be a first step towards success in other areas of life. For example, improving your communication skills may lead to more effective career-building activities, while honing your leadership ability may help you advance faster at work.

Read more: 9 key steps to bettering yourself (with goals and benefits)

Tips for your growth journey

When you work on your personal development, your journey becomes unique to you and what you'd like to accomplish. Still, there are some universal tips relating to personal growth that can help keep you motivated and focused. Here are 12 tips to inspire your growth:

1. Be receptive when learning new things

Whenever you try to learn something new, whether it's a completely foreign concept or just something outside your normal comfort zone, allow yourself to develop new ways of thinking. You never know what you might discover or who you might meet while learning. Having an open mind can help keep your interests fresh and ensure that you continue growing both as a person and in your career.

A key to being receptive is not making assumptions. Try not to immediately assume that something is too hard, that you can't learn a new skill or that you won't enjoy it. Always think fairly of opportunities that could come your way.

Related: Q&A: Describe a challenge you faced and how you overcame it

2. Don't let past mistakes affect your future

Realise that your mistakes are simply part of your growth as a person. If you look at each challenge you face as an opportunity to improve, it can help you feel free to do so. Take opportunities when they present themselves and put yourself in unique situations by trying new things and networking with others. This strategy is an important one because self-improvement requires learning from mistakes and not just victories to improve.

3. Know that growth doesn't happen overnight

This type of growth takes time and practice. It's not something that happens overnight; rather, it's an ongoing process, a series of events that shape who you are as a person. Having patience throughout your journey of growth can help you avoid rushing through life or pushing aside more permanent goals in favour of short-term fixes. Be patient with yourself and those around you.

4. Recognise that small changes add up to big change

By working towards bettering yourself and achieving small successes along the way, you can create measurable change that can have a big effect over time. You can celebrate these minor victories by journaling about them or keeping a list to help you keep track of your progress. Think of it as feedback that you can use to determine how well your current efforts are working so far, then adjust accordingly based on what worked and what didn't.

Read more: How to be successful and achieve your personal goals

5. Build relationships with people you want to learn from

Connecting with people who are knowledgeable and experienced means you get access to valuable resources, insights and advice. Still, it's important to be responsible for your own development. Building relationships is about being available for learning opportunities rather than looking for something specific.

If you're looking to improve yourself in some way, search your network and see who you could connect with. There are websites dedicated to helping people learn from each other, which you could explore as a resource to aid in your growth. Most networking sites provide opportunities to collaborate and create connections with others who share similar interests.

6. Manage your time well

Time is an often-overlooked aspect of effective personal development. If you want to develop your skills, you'll likely want to find a time that you can disconnect from other activities to work on them. For some people, that's not a problem. But if you are juggling school, extracurricular activities, family life and a job, it can be more challenging to manage your time effectively. Try giving yourself some time by turning off your phone, finding a quiet space, putting on some music you like and focusing completely on one task at a time.

7. Remember it's okay not to have a specific goal

If you're not sure where you want to go with your life or what you want to do with it, it's fine to not have an exact idea of how everything is going to work out and just try new things as they come. By having flexibility with your goals you open yourself up to more opportunities and you never know where inspiration might come from.

You may also find yourself more open to changing your mind or finding new inspiration if you're pursuing a particular goal. Take your time and enjoy discovering who you are and what you want from life.

8. Build on what you know

Personal growth is a broad topic and can mean different things to everyone. To find a starting place with your personal development, you can figure out what you're good at and pursue opportunities that allow you to expand those skills. As you gain experience, look for new ways to enhance those skills. For example, if you have an ability in sales, look for sales training programmes or talk to your key clients. Making your strengths stronger can help build confidence in yourself while increasing your overall productivity.

9. Get creative

Creativity can inspire you on your personal journey. Consider setting aside time each day or week to go on a creative walk, where you use a notebook to write ideas or get inspiration from nature. You could also visit your local library, art museum, bookstore or any local event. Doing so can stimulate your senses and can often lead to interesting new ways of thinking.

10. Find support in the form of a mentor

A good mentor can inspire you by being invested in your professional development and your overall well-being. They can provide the support that guides you through unfamiliar circumstances. Not only can mentors help you grow as a person, but they can also improve your network of contacts, helping both yourself and others to advance towards your goals through collaboration.

11. Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities

Believing in yourself helps you to feel comfortable when taking on new experiences. It also allows you to advance through challenges and motivates you to accomplish your goals. If you believe in yourself, others may be more willing to help and more likely to consider your ideas and opinions. With faith in your abilities, you can be better able to develop your skills and emotions.

Read more: How to become a personal development coach (salary, skills)

12. Remember that maintaining growth takes balance

Time and attention are key to personal growth, but so is getting enough sleep, getting exercise, maintaining a healthy social life and engaging in activities that allow you to relax and reset. If you're looking to improve yourself, be sure to give these areas proper attention as well. Keeping up with personal development is partly about being smart with how you balance the challenging aspects with more enjoyable ones so you can stay motivated.

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