16 Ways To Achieve Self-Growth

By Jennifer Herrity

Updated December 16, 2021 | Published February 15, 2021

Updated December 16, 2021

Published February 15, 2021

Jennifer Herrity is a seasoned career services professional with 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting and leadership roles with the purpose of helping others to find their best-fit jobs. She helps people navigate the job search process through one-on-one career coaching, webinars, workshops, articles and career advice videos on Indeed's YouTube channel.

Self-growth is a process that allows you to expand your abilities by evaluating your behavior, attitude and reactions. Self-growth can positively affect your career and personal life as you learn skills like effective communication or begin positive habits like reading regularly. In this article, we define self-growth, explain why it's important and suggest ways to achieve it.

What is self-growth?

Self-growth, also known as “personal growth,” is a process of developing new skills, behaviors, actions, attitudes, habits and reactions to benefit certain aspects of your life. Self-growth might be something you want to work on concerning your career, personal life or both. There are a wide variety of ways you can pursue self-growth depending on what you want to improve and how you like to learn new things.

Related: 7 Tips for Personal Growth

Why is self-growth important?

Self-growth is important because, for most people, there is at least one reaction, attitude, behavior or habit they would like to change about themselves. It is possible to change and grow as a person through dedicated effort and a realistic appraisal of how you behave. Self-growth can make you a better employee, coworker, manager, partner, parent, child or friend. By working on the things you feel you need to improve, you can positively affect many aspects of your life.

18 ways to improve and grow yourself

There are several methods for achieving self-growth. Some require little investment while others require a long-term commitment and hard work. It will be up to you to determine what kinds of self-growth activities will be the right fit for you and your goals. Here are some common self-growth practices to consider:

1. Meditating

Meditation is a practice that uses techniques like mindfulness to learn self-awareness. It has a calming effect that can give you a break from your thoughts, sleep better, be more productive and improve focus. Some methods of meditation take less than a minute to complete and others last over an hour depending on your need and level of practice.

It may help to practice meditation regularly to improve your mindfulness skills and look inward but you can also use meditation to calm yourself when upset or stressed.

Related: 12 Ways To Improve Concentration at Work

2. Reading

Reading is a great way to promote self-growth. There are books available on many subjects related to self-growth such as self-help and business leadership. You can also find information on self-growth in magazines and online. If you've identified areas you want to improve, you will probably be able to find a book or article on that topic. However, don’t limit your reading to only self-help books. You may learn something new within the pages of a fiction or nonfiction work.

Related: How To Improve Your Reading Skills

3. Writing in a journal

Journaling is the act of writing down thoughts, behaviors and activities. It's a great way to gain self-awareness and notice behavioral patterns. Writing out problems you're experiencing can also help you find solutions as you may see things differently once you have written them down. Finally, journaling can relieve stress because you are expressing your feelings to a nonjudgmental audience.

Read more: Learn How To Journal in 9 Steps

4. Finding a coach

Depending on which areas you want to improve, working with a coach might be beneficial to you. While sports coaches may come to mind, there are many other types of coaches. Consider working with a career coach, creativity coach, financial coach, leadership coach, productivity coach, strategic coach or even a dating coach. A coach can be particularly helpful if you aren't sure where to begin or what specifically you need to change or adjust.

Related: What Is Career Counseling and Coaching?

5. Promoting interests

Learning about your interests and then following up on them can teach you many skills. This might relate to your career if you discover you are interested in a particular type of work or it might relate to a hobby or other personal skill. Learning something new lets you stretch yourself whether physically, mentally or emotionally. Self-growth might mean finding a career you find interesting or taking up a hobby that keeps you mentally engaged.

Related: 8 Ways To Find Your Passion

6. Seeking therapy

Counseling, including therapy, can teach you about parts of yourself that you may not be aware of and help you work towards new goals regarding your behavior or habits. There are many reasons why people go to therapy and self-growth is one of the most common. If you aren't sure where to start, counseling can help direct you to areas of your life that you could improve.

7. Sharing goals

Sharing your self-growth goals with friends and family can help you remain accountable. For example, if you want to start exercising more, you may find you know others who would join you. Also, if you have a negative behavior you’re trying to change, those close to you can gently remind you if you slip back into old habits.

Related: How To Write an Action Plan To Achieve Your Goals

8. Tracking habits

Tracking habits lets you reinforce positive habits and your overall progress. You can use a journal, a planner, an app or a website to track habits such as achieving work goals, reading, exercising, not smoking, drinking more water or meditating. Tracking helps a habit become a routine and after a while, these positive habits can become an automatic part of your daily life.

Related: How To Organize Your Day To Maximize Success

9. Being grateful

Being grateful can improve your overall attitude and help you appreciate what you have. For example, you might set aside time to reflect on good things that happened that day or reflect each week on what makes you feel grateful. Your gratitude may be about big events—a job promotion or achievement—or small things like nice weather, a good meal or positive customer service. Whatever you feel grateful for, recognizing it can lift your spirits.

Related: How To Be Optimistic (Plus Benefits of Optimism)

10. Knowing yourself

Self-knowledge is an important part of self-growth. You need to know yourself to understand how you can improve yourself. Simply asking yourself things like "How do I react to stress compared to others?" or "What habits do I wish I was better at integrating into my life?" can lead to increased self-knowledge.

Related: The Importance of Self-Reflection and 17 Guiding Questions

11. Caring for yourself

Self-care is important to self-growth as it helps restore positive feelings. Maybe you enjoy taking a hot bath, a massage or a moment of relaxation with a cup of tea. These are moments you can spend relaxing your mind and thinking about your goals, dreams, problems and behaviors. Also, self-care shows you value yourself which can be crucial to sustaining long-term self-growth.

Related: How To Make Time for Self-Care While Working From Home

12. Waking up early

Waking up early is a simple way to improve your daily productivity and quality of life. By doing so, you have more time to dedicate to self-growth before everyone else is up. You will also add extra time to your day, enjoy the quiet before the day begins and let your brain switch into its active mode.

Read more: How To Wake Up Early To Reach Your Goals

13. Affirming words

Affirmations are words or phrases that reinforce positive feelings or beliefs you can repeat as needed. Examples of affirmations are "Whatever I do, I get positive results" or "I am worthy of good things." There are many examples available in books and articles or you can create your own that works best for what you need. You can either repeat these affirmations at a set time, like in front of your mirror each morning, or as needed in stressful moments.

Related: How To Avoid Selling Yourself Short (With Tips)

14. Celebrating success

Celebrating an achievement of any size can release positive chemicals in your body, encouraging you to seek more positive rewards in the future. You might buy a special coffee for arriving at work on time or have a special dinner for reaching a particular work goal. Rewards don't have to be huge or expensive as long as you see them as a celebration of success. Looking forward to a celebration can also increase your chances of achieving goals in the future.

Related: 30 Congratulations on the Achievement Messages To Share

15. Enhancing soft skills

Soft skills are nontechnical abilities such as communication, empathy, time management, listening and interpersonal skills. They can also lead to self-growth as many involve understanding how you react to different situations. For instance, if you often mishear instructions at work, seeking resources to teach yourself active listening can make you more effective in the workplace. If there are difficult people you can’t avoid, people management skills may help you deal with them.

Read more: Steps and Tips for Developing Your Soft Skills

16. Seeking feedback

As much as you want to grow personally, you may still be unaware of what might be doing to potentially jeopardize your self-growth. For example, you may not know your tone of voice sets up a negative attitude among your employees. Asking for feedback gives you an additional perspective as you learn how to improve yourself. You may ask friends, family, colleagues or your manager for their opinions since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively.

Related: How To Professionally Ask For Feedback

17. Learning assertiveness

Growing as a person often requires you to learn how to assert yourself. If you allow others to dismiss you, you may give them the impression you don’t value your own beliefs or ideas. For example, if don’t let a coworker know they’re doing something wrong, you may cost your company expense or productivity. You need to stand up for yourself, make your feelings known and put your needs as a priority.

Related: Q&A: How To Be More Confident at Work

18. Being resilient

Achieving self-growth requires effort, and sometimes, you may encounter setbacks. You need to recognize that it doesn’t matter if you stumble as long as you keep going. Visualize yourself taking the steps necessary to achieve your goal and keep you motivated. Keep a positive attitude and see the small steps as successes. Most importantly, be persistent and keep moving toward your goal.

Read more: 8 Steps To Overcome Failure (With Resilience-Building Tips)

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