13 Years ago I stumbled across an audio program about Personal Development and Self Improvement and was stunned by the depth and power of the content. Soon enough I was doing my own thinking and developed a personal development program I used for myself. It focused around making things conscious that were holding me back and developing my personal skills to get the most out of myself.
Since then a lot has changed but the root of my system in still in place. One key idea was always the concept of continuous improvement. So my system got much more insights and experiences in order to improve it continuously. But it not only got bigger – it also got simplified more and more. I was reducing it to the essential 7 steps which are the basis of my personal development system today.
The initial question was: What is the very first step in personal development? The thing that everybody has to go through in order to grow as a human being?
I know that you have to have a certain motivation to grow, so there has to be the willingness to do it. Why that happens is different for everybody. But when it’s there, the very first real step is…
1. Take Full Responsibility in Your Life
In other words: You are responsible!
You are responsible for everything that happens in your life- and nobody else. It may sound weird first, but this realization is actually a very powerful one. The reason is that whoever is responsible, that person has all the power. There is the possibility to fail and be responsible – yes that is true. But we can’t give in to that fear. In order to grow we have to take responsibility all by ourselves.
2. Get Rid of Limiting Beliefs
Sometimes we try to get everything right but still it’s not working. The reason could be that we are – unconsciously – sabotaging ourselves. But why are we so stupid? Answer: there are limiting beliefs that operate inside our minds.
Everybody has beliefs, mostly formed at young ages. The question is though:
Are your beliefs really supporting you?
I don’t think that all beliefs must be 100% correct. Much more important is that they empower you, and not limit you in any way!
3. Develop a True Life Vision
Your Vision is determined by your deepest desired. What makes you truly happy? What do we really want from our life? What is it that we are here on earth for?What can we do best?
What is your purpose in life?
Those questions lead to us developing a real vision, that totally drives us to succeed. This makes it much easier since we now have a kind of picture how our best life looks like.
4. Set Compelling Personal Goals
It is very important to get more specific about your vision and formulate real compelling goals that express clearly what you really want in life. Many goals are boring and doesn’t motivate us enough. But this is only because those goals are not the right ones. Goals have to be in a way that when you hear them, you barely can’t control yourself to jump up and start doing something about them. Those are compelling goals and those are the ones we will extract in that step.
Now it is also important to don’t go overboard with too many goals and to remember that you also want to achieve balance in your life. So there have to be some kind of categories for your goals and a limited number of goals.
The resulting set of goals will stay in front of you and you will take action towards them every day (see step 7).
5. Develop your Mind
Now we come to not only laying the foundation of a successful life but also to sharpen our tools. The first tool is our mind.
For instance one of the best things to train is our mental focus. The ability to intensely focus on something until that is done is a key to real success.
With the second step we already improved our internal “software” by changing limiting beliefs, but here we take this to a next level.
6. Develop Your Body
The second amazing tool we have is our body. Especially important is fitness and our energy level. We need an abundance of energy
We can increase our personal energy by
1) Proper Breathing,
2) Proper Eating,
3) Aerobic Exercising,
4) Proper Sleeping and
5) Improving our Mental Energy: that means our thoughts and emotions.
7. Learn to Take Effective Action
What is personal development without taking action? When we have laid out our plan and have all the resources, all that really matters is to take action, effective action.
Time-Management is a topic that everyone can benefit from, especially if we want to get ahead and make a difference in our lives: “Where should I spend my time on? What is important?”
Effective action is the final part on our 7 steps to personal development and improving in this area will ensure that we will fulfill our potential.