by Kerry Hart
As you grow and change in this ever-developing world, your personal development needs focus as well. Personal development often can be overlooked, despite a person struggling on the day to day. Truly knowing yourself can be one of the most difficult tasks to undertake, but the benefits are truly unparalleled. Getting to know your strengths, flaws, and characteristics is challenging, but don’t place your personal development to the side due to fear. Individual growth is an opportunity to resolve old issues from the past that may be holding you back, and it’s a time to explore what it is you want for your life.
Face the Facts
As you travel along your self-awareness journey, you will come across qualities within yourself you may not like. Perhaps these are negative qualities that remind you of a parent you dislike or qualities a previous partner has hurled in your face during an argument. Regardless of your negative attributes, they make you who you have become and are just as important to address as your positive qualities. Once these negative qualities are examined, typically people will turn from their self-exploration journey and leave a few stones unturned. This is the moment you want to stay strong and forge ahead. It is important to examine these negative aspects of yourself so you may better address them. Once you address the negative qualities, it will be easier to accept them, and therefore change.
“You need to examine your wants, needs, and fears to understand better yourself and your goals.”
Rid the Fear
Change can be a scary process that is simply inarguable. Many do not have the strength and will stay stuck in a situation regardless if it is bad for them simply due to a fear of change. Perhaps you have been at the same job for a while and do not love going into work every day. Maybe you are in a destructive relationship, and while you know it is bad for you, you find yourself staying day after day simply because it is easier. Do not allow your current rut to destroy you and your happiness. Taking a step back and evaluating your current situation, be it bad or good, is rewarding. You need to examine your wants, needs and fears to understand better yourself and your goals.
Examine and Understand
As you begin to examine your goals, take a look at every aspect in your life. Are you happy at work and in your relationships at home? Are any of these areas of your life becoming so stressful you have trouble functioning on a daily basis? Perhaps you find you are taking out your negative mood on those around you, who may or may not deserve your wrath. While you may not be completely aware what your life’s goals are if you are unhappy in your current life, your mood will be affected. It is important to sit down and examine what it is you want in every area of your life. Gaining an understanding of the reasons for your deepest hopes and dreams will provide the opportunity to move toward achieving them.
Most people do not take the time in their day to check in with themselves. Schedules fill, life gets busy and self-focus dissipates; however, having a better understanding of you will lead to a happier existence. Once you have your clear set of wants, needs, and desires, evaluate your past experiences and examine how they can better your future. Should this process feel a little awkward, feel free to seek out a third party opinion. Therapists from various backgrounds will be able to help you along your journey. I run a personal development program through my private practice and I would be willing to bet other therapists do as well. Allow yourself to get lost in your world while a professional guides you through your process. Look back at your shadows, celebrate your successes, and move forward with a more clear, focused you!
Kerry Hart, LLMFT is a couple and family therapist in private practice. She is located in both East Lansing and Grand Rapids and is currently accepting new clients. kerryhartcounseling.com