Just last night when I checked my email, I realized that on MosaicHub, Joy had asked the following question:
“What are the top five questions to ask yourself when working on personal development?” Joy goes on to ask:
I want to know the leading questions to ask about personal development and finding one's purpose. When the interest is in personal growth, what are the major questions that people ask and especially women?
This question really piqued my interest because only last week, following a training session, the women were asking a similar question.
So, for you Joy, the ladies in the discussion after the training session and everyone else who ever wanted to know, here are my top 5 questions to ask yourself when working on personal development.
Question #1 – Who am I?
Yes, really. When engaging in personal development, the biggest question you need to ask yourself is “Who am I?”
Why is this important?
To develop yourself, you have to know who that “self” is first of all and then prepare “it” for the change. I had to figure this out all by myself but once I got it, everything changed.
So just pause for a moment and ask yourself “Who am I?”
And be honest with your answers because being clear and honest about who you are guarantees that you change the “right” person. If you tell yourself that you are someone who is committed to seeing things through to the end but in reality you are the world’s biggest procrastinator, who are you really changing?
Being honest (and brutally so!) reduces frustration with the process and increases the speed with which you can achieve growth.
Question #2 – Who do I want to become?
This question follows naturally from the first one and must be considered because personal development, like interpersonal skills, is about growth and change. That change happens faster if you have a crystal-clear mental picture of what that change looks like.
Answering this question by writing a simple, honest statement of who you want to be not only provides clarity of destination but facilitates the exciting journey towards that destination.
So go ahead and answer this question by writing a statement that begins with “… I am…” and continue in the present tense as though you are already that person.
Remember, having clarity on a goal is a big step towards achieving that goal.
Question #3 – How would my life change if I became who I want to become?
The expression “personal development” or “self-development” suggests growth to a higher or better version of oneself. Yet, one of the biggest barriers standing in the way of change is the fear of success.
Answering the question: “How would my life change if I became who I want to become?” increases the chances of your becoming who you want to be.
Think through your answer to this question carefully because your clarity will come when you describe the life you want and the change that must take place for you to have that life.
For example, let’s say that you want a life in which you focus on your goals, your productivity is high, you are surrounded by people who support you and you have worthwhile relationships.
In answering the question, not only would you describe the new life but you would have to include the fact that you need to get rid of existing relationships which no longer enhance your life, you would also need to stop procrastinating and be discriminating about how you spend your time.
If you respond in this way, it ensures that you create the inner drive you need to begin your personal development and significantly increases the chances of succeeding.
Question #4 – What could prevent me from achieving my self-development?
This is the “reality-check” question.
Failing to ask yourself this question is dangerous to the entire self-development process, especially for women, since we tend to be more sensitive to the feelings and needs of our loved ones.
Even though the decision to change was yours, you could find yourself experiencing internal conflict, wondering how your actions will impact others or experiencing the fear of the pain associated with change.
Answering the question “What could prevent me from achieving my self-development” helps you to complete the big picture and silences that small doubting voice inside your head.
After this, it will be easier to think big and be BOLD, accept uncertainty and be positive - all tools you will use to up-size your growth.
Question #5 – What is the absolute first step I must make to begin my personal development?
Even after you have answered the other four question and you’re satisfied with the answers, you could still find the going tough. This is because the whole realm of change in the area of personal development can be quite overwhelming.
When you can logically answer the question: “What is the absolute first step I must make to begin my personal development?” you KNOW you have broken down your journey into smaller, less intimidating steps.
From there, you can identify the first step which you have to take to move forward in a way which removes, or at least reduces, the feeling of overwhelm.
This produces feelings of achievement and control very early in the process, an important advantage for the rest of the growth.
Wrapping it all up...
So there you have them, my take on the top 5 questions to ask yourself when working on personal development.
Answering these questions in a simple, clear and honest manner will ensure that you manage your own personal development regardless of whoever you select to coach you along the way.
Remember, change management is the means by which you move from good intentions to great results!
To your self-development success...
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