Ways to grow as a person

9 Ways to Grow as a Person I Psych Central

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You are different today than you were 5 years ago. And 5 years ago, you were different than you were 5 years before that. Change is inevitable.

You can encourage your own personal growth and change, though chances are you’ll grow in ways you didn’t expect.

When considering how to better yourself, the answers might be simpler than you think. Much of who you are comes down to the intentional decisions you make every day.

You can change, grow, and improve (whatever word rings true and motivates you) by consciously choosing your daily, weekly, or even monthly choices and directing your habits toward a future of your choosing.

Bettering yourself can be called many things, from personal development and self-improvement to personal growth — all of which describe how you grow and change internally.

Growth isn’t necessarily linear. It can expand in all directions.

You can grow physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually as you cultivate your activities, habits, and choices toward the person you want to be.

Whatever personal growth means to you, there are small changes you can make every day that can have a big impact.

Here are some you can try.

1. Identify your personal values.

Consider exploring what matters to you — what gives you meaning and purpose.

Knowing your values can help when you’re choosing a career, a degree, or even whether to accept that promotion you’ve been offered. It can also help you know how to set and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships.

2. Practice daily gratitude.

Daily gratitude is a positive psychology method that can help you find ways to be grateful for the experiences you’ve had in your life.

Positive psychology was developed on the belief that embracing your personal strengths and focusing on concepts such as gratitude and purpose can help you lead a meaningful and fulfilling life.

You can start a gratitude journal or simply write down a couple of things you’re grateful for each day in a planner or notebook.

3. Adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Eating a more balanced meal and exercising regularly can improve your mental and physical performance and boost your productivity during the day.

Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and keeps your muscles strong. If you already exercise regularly, try a new sport or activity.

You can also stretch yourself physically by searching for new exercise challenges, such as strength training or signing up for a race.

4. Meditate.

Adding a 5- to 10-minute meditation session into your day is easy and has many physical and mental health benefits. But it can also promote personal growth.

Meditation is designed to help you learn to stay focused on the moment and redirect your thoughts when they begin to wander.

When your mind wanders, you might have trouble focusing on a task, whether that’s a special project at school or a big presentation at work.

Meditation can help improve your attention and concentration and reduce mind wandering, according to a 2013 study.

Improving your focus and concentration may open the door for new opportunities for growth at work, at school, and in your personal relationships.

5. Get quality rest.

Rest is a crucial part of your self-care.

The World Health Organization notes that the fundamental principles of self-care include personal factors such as empowerment, self-efficacy, and self-reliance — all qualities that can help improve your personal growth and development.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your body needs about 7 or more hours of sleep each day to fully recuperate from the busyness of your day.

Quality sleep not only rejuvenates you for the next day but can also help you stay focused on your goals during the day.

6. Set short- and long-term goals.

Your growth may not be as static as you think. Sometimes you can’t see how much you’ve grown without the help of goals.

Try to set one or two long-term goals, then create the short-term goals you’ll need to reach them. Tracking your progress to see your growth can help you see how far you’ve come.

7. Be kind to yourself.

Making mistakes is a part of life. Instead of criticizing yourself for those mistakes, try to practice self-compassion.

Consider giving yourself the same empathy and understanding that you give to others.

Additionally, remember that self-compassion isn’t the same as self-pity.

Self-pity says “Why is this happening to me?” while self-compassion says “These things happen.”

8. Embrace setbacks.

Setbacks give you an opportunity to learn, grow, and try again.

Remember that any type of growth or change comes with some discomfort. A setback can also make your success that much sweeter.

9. Explore new activities.

Taking the time to explore new activities can open you up to new opportunities and new ways to help promote personal development.

Some new activities you can try include:

  • Learn a new language. Learning a new language has never been easier. Apps such as Duolingo and Rosetta Stone let you learn languages on your daily commute or while on a daily run.
  • Try a new podcast. Are you curious about true crime, marketing, or genealogy? There’s a podcast for almost everything.
  • Learn to play an instrument. If you’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument, consider signing up for music lessons. If in-person lessons aren’t your jam, there are plenty of places to take lessons online, including free videos on YouTube. If you’re a musician already, consider trying a new instrument or a new type of music.
  • Develop and feed your creativity. Creativity comes in many forms. Your creativity may come in the form of developing a new pantry organization method, building a new storage rack for your garage, or redecorating your bedroom. If you like to draw or paint, try to find a class near you. Cooking can also offer a creative outlet to boost self-esteem and encourage connection.
  • Read a book. You can read a book on just about anything, exposing you to new ideas. Try a book on personal development or growth from your local library. A biography or historical novel may also be helpful in motivating and encouraging you to take a new step or make a change.

Personal growth can come in many forms.

Knowing your personal values and making choices that align with that is a great first start. Growing as a person may also look like showing self-compassion, learning to set boundaries, or exploring a new activity.

Whatever change you attempt, remember that growth comes slowly and can expand in all directions.

How to Grow as a Person - No Matter What You're Going Through

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Often, tough circumstances are used as excuses for not investing in personal development.

It seems may seem impossible for someone to grow when going through a stressful event in your professional life or in your romantic relationship, such as a breakup.

Luckily, everyone can take steps to better themselves, no matter what their current situation is.

Personal growth lets you live a more fulfilling life as the best version of yourself by helping you develop healthy behaviors.

This article specifies the many actionable steps you can use in your personal development journey.

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How Do You Grow as a Person and Why?

There are a plethora of benefits to investing in yourself and your personal strengths. Firstly, you become more self-aware and in tune with your senses.

You understand who you truly are, and you gain an understanding of your goals, desires, and emotions. Once you understand yourself, chasing after your goals becomes more natural.

Additionally, those who invest in themselves become more focused and efficient. The clarity one receives from personal development allows one to prioritize tasks more accurately and effectively.

This means that throughout your daily life, you begin to focus on your true desires instead of avoiding them. Along with that, greater resilience and motivation are other important benefits of real growth.

While personal development cannot prevent all bad situations from occurring, it does help you deal with your tough situations.

And when you feel unmotivated, with personal development, you will see clear benefits of the task and decide whether or not it is worth pursuing according to your goals.

Better interpersonal skills from self-improvement allow you to build more fulfilling relationships.

Growth lets you notice the skills you need to work on for success, two examples being communication and analytical skills. With employees, this can come through charismatic public speaking.

These skills help you deal with difficult people better as well, as you will realize how important strong relationships are to your success.

Leaders can especially benefit from the analytical skills gained, for they are useful when making decisions or delegating tasks.

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10 Amazing and Tested Ways to Grow as a Person

1. Try Something New

The world has so much to offer.

Experiencing new events can help you exit your comfort zone and explore new ways to apply your strengths.

With so many activities available, avoiding new experiences can easily hold you back from finding all the ways to enjoy an authentic life.

Applying this strategy exposes you to new activities and hobbies as well as amazing people who can boost your confidence and assist you in times of need.

2. What Can I do to Make Tomorrow Better?

This is an incredibly important question, as it helps you identify areas of need. If you ask yourself how to improve for the next day, do not view yourself as inadequate.

Part of having a growth mindset is realizing there is always room for improvement, but still remaining confident in your strengths.

Once you determine how to improve, you can take actionable steps to reach your goal. Thinking in this way discourages bad habits and encourages far more productive habits.

3. Learn to Really Listen

Give a voice to others and help them bring out their inner strength.

Even if you are uninterested in a conversation or disagree with someone, give them the respect they deserve and truly try to comprehend what they state instead of making assumptions.

Listening can become more natural if you visualize what the other individual states, and confirm their feelings after they finish speaking.

This activity improves your relationship-building skills and builds upon your empathy.

4. Read More

Reading a book exposes you to many new cultures, ideas, and ways to possibly improve yourself. It is arguably the best way to start intellectual growth.

Both nonfiction and fiction help boost your memory power and can also give readers a profound sense of enjoyment.

Fiction increases one’s empathy as it puts you into the shoes of a character.

Nonfiction can help you reflect on past tragedies or mistakes made by others, thus increasing your awareness and giving you a powerful lesson you can easily remember.

Make reading a habit instead of unproductive activity.

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5. Laugh

It is often stated that laughter is the best medicine. This thinking certainly applies to growth. Instead of fretting about your inadequacies, laugh at your mistakes.

Acknowledge what you did wrong, but do so in a lighthearted way. Disassociate negative feelings stemming from missteps to your self-worth, another key aspect of the growth mindset.

This keeps your confidence high but allows you to be in tune with your strengths and weaknesses, which is highly beneficial to your development.

6. Give Back

Giving back to your community boost levels of dopamine, thus increasing positive feelings and happiness.

Donating time or money, helping out an elderly person, or simply buying more ethical products are all forms of giving back.

Doing so aligns your actions with your beliefs and develops a sense of meaning.

7. Set Meaningful Goals and Take Ownership of Your Future

If you create vague goals, formulating a strategy can be difficult and ineffective. Develop specific goals and create a list of ways to achieve them.

Ensure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

This means having deadlines, making goals achievable, and learning from any mistakes you make.

8. Get Grateful

Since we get used to the many wonderful aspects of our everyday lives, those items and people may be taken for granted.

Create a habit out of listing all the individuals and items you are thankful for.

Let others know if you appreciate them.

Doing so makes them happy and builds a stronger bond between you.

9. Learn to Stand Up for Yourself

Letting your desire to be liked to overtake your priorities can lead to uncomfortable situations.

You must learn to prioritize your wellbeing and happiness as opposed to always pleasing others, even if the latter is instinctual.

Let others know when you feel unsatisfied or if they are too demanding; do not assume they understand your emotions.

This turns a bad situation into an opportunity to express your thoughts and grow to reach a conclusion between both parties.

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10. Forgive Others, and Yourself

You probably feel regret when recalling some events. Perhaps you may have even thought of what you would do differently if given the opportunity to change the past.

While that is unfortunately impossible, you should find ways to correct the behavior which placed you in a bad situation.

Additionally, recognize that you are only human and that a growth mindset does not demand perfection.

Learn to keep your own humanity in mind when judging yourself or others.

Of course, this is not an excuse to dismiss bad behaviors, but it is simply a reminder not to be overly harsh.

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Frequently Asked Questions About How To Grow as a Person

What does it mean to grow in life?

Growth is manifested differently in each individual and there is more than one type of growth. Some individuals immediately think of physical growth.

The human body maturing and releasing hormones brings changes to brain cells, which affect an individual’s mood. More commonly, though, growth is a mental process.

It involves getting to know oneself and finding ways to maximize one’s full potential.

Building new habits and “rewiring” one’s brain to be more positive and strength-centered is one aspect of self-development. The journey helps one find their true and best self.

What does growing as a person mean?

Growing as a person means that an individual takes care of their own self-development, tries to advance their skills, and acquires knowledge in different fields to realize what it means to result in personal growth.

It’s a process when people become aware of their own “self” and realize how to identify their values, attitudes, thoughts, actions, emotions, strengths, and weaknesses.

Along the way, they make mistakes and learn from them what’s right, what’s wrong, and how to become a better person for themselves and society in general.

What is the best way to grow yourself?

The best way to grow yourself is to become mindful of your actions, thoughts, and emotions. Being aware of the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of your life will allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and what is something that will help you grow yourself.

Keep in mind that you need to find the proper method of self-growth by yourself. Things that work for people might not help you to advance yourself because every individual is unique and, consequently, every situation is different from the others.


Self-growth is a beautiful yet challenging journey. It is worth taking if you wish to feel more satisfied in life in addition to building upon your strengths and addressing your weaknesses.

Finding out what are your strengths, putting in the hard work by quitting bad habits and finding new ways to use your strengths definitely pays off in the long run.

If you feel doubtful or unmotivated during your journey, just remember the many benefits which come with self-development.

Your best self and limitless opportunities await you at the end of the journey!


Personal growth - Psikhologos

As a strict scientific concept, "personal growth" has a difficult fate: different scientific schools invest significantly different content in it, and psychological practice exploits it, in principle, caring little about the rigor of terminology.

That personal growth, which is heard in popular books and in training advertisements, is in principle not a scientific concept, but a popular brand. Books are published devoted to (seemingly) personal growth, trainings are conducted (supposedly) for personal growth, while in fact books and trainings may not be entirely about personal growth. About what? About personal life, relationships, what to do with depression, how to find a job... All questions are important, vital, and books and trainings can be useful, only they can be attributed to the topic of personal growth only with the broadest interpretation of the term. And why they are all released under the heading "personal growth" is a marketing question. "Personal growth" is a fashionable concept, and under such a cap all these goods are sold better.

In modern psychology, personal growth is understood primarily as a measurable fact, as a result of significant and positive changes in a person's personality. Whatever we call it - personal growth, personal growth, personal development, personal growth and development - all these are, first of all, positive changes in a person's personality, strengthening the core and increasing the potential of the individual. It is not always clear what happened to a person, but in some cases it can be said that personal growth has occurred with a person. A person has become - different, he has become better at managing his life, has become stronger, deeper and inner richer. The main characteristics of personal growth and development are its focus, activity and scale.

V.L. wrote well about personal growth. Levy (from the book "Where to Live. A Man in Chains of Freedom"): "What is personal growth? If a person has more: - interests, and with it incentives to live - the meaning of life, - the ability to analyze - to distinguish one from the other , - the ability to synthesize - to see the connections of events and phenomena, - understanding people (including oneself), and with it the ability to forgive, - inner freedom and independence, - responsibility assumed voluntarily, - love for the world and people (to including himself), then this means that a person grows personally. Synonyms: mentally, spiritually. "

Film "How to achieve results in personal growth? N.I. Kozlov"

personal growth (personal development trainings) and business trainings, business-professional trainings. If the participants learn knowledge and specific skills that are relevant for business, and the trainer does not touch the participants’ personalities, does not discuss their values ​​and lifestyle, does not affect their attitude towards themselves and people, this is business training in its purest form. The participant learned how to advertise goods more efficiently and build working salary schemes, the participant mastered the skill of displaying goods and learned the text of a competent presentation - he can be more efficient in business, but as a person he remained the same, the tasks of personal growth and development were not there.

Unlike these skill-specific trainings, which are essentially instrumental trainings, personal growth and development trainings work with the personality of the participants in the training. The form of work of such trainings can be very different. In trainings of a psychotherapeutic orientation, work is more often done with personal problems and fears of participants, helping to relieve mental pain and resentment, freeing them from psychological trauma and complexes. Personal development trainings no longer work with problems, but with the tasks of participants, they teach you to see not problems, but opportunities, to live not according to patterns, but creatively, not to worry in vain, but to turn on your head and think, to look not for excuses and excuses, but to find solutions and take responsibility, to see people not as enemies and not to defend themselves from them, but to treat people kindly, quickly find friends and establish cooperative relationships. Personal development trainings teach participants to manage their emotions, live not in the past, but in the future, develop the author's life position in the participants and put before them the questions of their personal values ​​and life mission.

Criteria and indicators of personal growth are subjective and depend on who evaluates it, how it understands it and what pays attention to. These criteria will be different for representatives of various psychological schools and trends, for people with different psychotypes, for process and result workers, for men and women. Men in personal growth are more often interested in external results that can be objectively assessed or measured, for women, personal growth is rather subjective and is felt primarily by herself or people close to her.

Personal growth as a process of unfolding what is inherent in a person by nature

Dealing with the concept of "personal growth", one must take into account the fact that some psychologists, primarily of the humanistic direction, put their own, rather specific content into this concept. Namely, they understand personal growth not so much as the result of positive changes in the personality, but as a special process, a special way of personality development. Based on the ideas of the positive nature of a person, characteristic of the works of K. Rogers and A. Maslow, they consider personal growth as a natural unfolding in a person of what is inherent in him by nature or has become his second nature. If we distinguish between "growth" as something natural and "development" as something that is largely set by the environment, then psychologists of this direction understand personal growth as something that grows in a person on its own, in contrast to what is set in a person by society in the process of socialization. .

A. Maslow wrote: "A teacher or culture does not create a person. They do not instill in him the ability to love or be curious, or philosophize, create symbols, create. Rather, they enable, favor, encourage, help what exists in embryo, become real and relevant" [17, p. 161].

It is precisely because of this linguistic confusion that a paradox is possible, when not every personal growth is personal growth. Indeed, actual personal growth (by outcome) can be achieved in a variety of ways. For example, if an increase in the potential of the individual occurred as a result of the process of personality formation, as a result of the process of education organized from the outside, then there was no process of personal growth, and the result - personal growth - is obvious.

Such a concept of personal growth, which opposes its development and personality formation, was born in the tradition of humanistic psychology and exists only within its framework: psychoanalytic or behavioral psychologists do not use such a concept of "personal growth". In order not to be confused, we suggest that in those cases where we are only interested in the result of personal growth and the path how it was achieved is not important, we use a more general concept: personal development.

Personal growth, pedagogy and health

The concept of "personal growth" turned out to be very important for teachers of V. V. Davydov, see →

What is self-development: ways of personal growth

Personal growth and self-development is a series of positive changes in a person's personality. Some think about self-improvement in their youth, but most often it becomes a necessity precisely in adulthood, after 25 years.

You will learn about what self-development is and what components of personal growth exist in this article.

What is self-development and personal growth?

Self-development is a conscious structured process that is carried out by a person to realize himself as a comprehensively developed personality. It should be understood that self-development always involves the presence of a specific goal, attitude and desire to become better than you were yesterday.

In different areas of psychology, instead of self-development, the more professional term “personal growth” is used. It also refers to a long process during which a person increases his level of awareness, personal effectiveness and potential. By and large, self-development and personal growth pursue the same goals, although they are not absolute synonyms from a scientific point of view.

It must be taken into account that the components of personal growth for each person may differ significantly. First of all, they are influenced by the original goals and aspirations of a single individual, so there is no unique set of terms.

Components of personal growth

Psychologists identify the following components of a person's personal growth:

1 . Setting goals for self-development

Different people rarely pursue the same goals, because their formation depends on external circumstances, values ​​and inner mood. Most often, people begin to think about personal growth precisely when a clear, specific goal appears. For example, the development of emotional intelligence, driven by the goal of becoming an effective leader and increasing the productivity of your team.

2. Making a plan

The components of personal growth will only work if a person consumes useful information in stages, and not all in a crowd. That is why, before embarking on self-development, it is necessary to develop a strategic plan for solving problems, determine the starting point and intermediate stages of achieving the goal, and also visualize the desired result.

3. Motivation

A person is not capable of self-development if he does not have motivation for personal growth and understanding of why he needs it.

The starting point for self-development can be, for example, dissatisfaction with one's current standard of living or the desire to conform to a new social class, culture (when moving abroad), etc.

4. Professional training

Even the best personal growth training will not give you 100% results if personal development is not comprehensive. Experienced coaches will help you choose an individual development program, but you also need regular classes, independent practice and specialized literature on topics that you need to know to achieve your goal.

5. Work on the three sides of life

This includes the general development of the intellect, the improvement of physical abilities and the implementation of spiritual practices (for example, yoga or breathing exercises).

Be prepared for things that simply won't happen. Self-development is a constant process that a conscious person practices throughout his life. No training, book or coach will lead you to your goal without your efforts.

How to start personal growth

Self-development should be gradual, and it is best to start it with the following steps:

1. Get out of your comfort zone

Change your usual environment, get rid of predictability and routine. Discover the world of something new, unknown, even if it's about anti-stress painting after work, which you have never tried before. The main thing is to change at least one detail in the usual schedule.

2. Know thyself

To learn something new, you first need to know yourself, your character, strengths and weaknesses, and, of course, your goals - without them, the result of self-improvement will not be tangible at all. Meditation can help you get to know yourself.

3. Work on habits

Get rid of bad habits that hinder your personal growth. These habits include smoking, eating fatty foods, staying up late, etc. Instead, start instilling positive habits in yourself: a glass of orange juice instead of a cigarette, fresh fruit instead of chips, and so on.

4. Take charge of your own life

Remember that no one but yourself can force you to change. You are the one who controls your life and decides whether to strive for the best or leave everything as it is.

3 enemies of self-development

Even the best personal growth trainings, practices and exercises will not be effective if a person does not overcome the following enemies of self-development:

1. Fear

Fear of the unknown, difficulty, or failure is the most common reason for refusing personal growth. Succumbing to inner fear, a person falls into a stupor and is afraid to try something new. He is paralyzed, and there can be no question of any movement forward.

No matter how strange it may sound, but in order to overcome your fears, you just need to do exactly what you are afraid of. Having overcome fear once, a person is freed from it for life.

2. Self-confidence

And sometimes the situation is exactly the opposite: a person is so fearless that he does not doubt himself and naively believes that he already knows everything. Yielding to this false perception, he loses the opportunity to expand his horizons and, in principle, loses the incentive for further self-development.

3. Old age

Unfortunately, time cannot be conquered, but one can learn to manage it. Everyone has a period when he overcame fears and got rid of self-confidence, but then a new obstacle arises - fatigue.

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