Benita French is an author and Personal Growth expert. She has been researching and living the concepts behind Personal Growth her whole life and applied it to her sessions with clients.
What is Personal Growth?
-Personal growth is another word for personal development or inner development. It means to grow as a person.
-Personal growth is working on yourself to improve yourself. It’s about becoming MORE of who you are. Expanding yourself.
-Personal growth is becoming aware of yourself with respect to the people and environments you’re in.
-It’s the process of challenging how you were taught to think and feel about yourself and the world.
The results of personal growth are improvements in your life in many different ways, an increased (healthy) focus on yourself and getting what you want faster and easier.
Growing as a person is to strengthen and balance these aspects of yourself:
Awareness– developing it
Capable– Feeling capable
Care– Self care versus care for others
Emotional and psychological problems
Present– being present
Responsibility– for yourself and others
Worthwhile– Feeling worthwhile as a person and as a woman.
There are different kinds of awareness. There is spiritual awareness and possessing general awareness. General awareness is more closely linked with personal growth, although you are likely to have spiritual awareness when your general awareness is well developed.
Awareness has to do with:
-Being appropriate and professional, in a personal (not necessarily in a professional) setting
-How you affect the peace of others and how others affect your peace- this is related to consideration of personal space in a physical, visual and audible capacity
-Exercising the proper or sensible procedure in a problem situation for ease for all concerned
-Group dynamics, where the intensities or weaknesses are and where you fit into that
Developing your awareness through personal growth work enables you to improve your life.
Capable- Feel capable
-Feeling capable or believing yourself to be capable, is an easy thing to forget and hard thing to remember. It’s normal to need constant reminders that you are capable, that you can trust yourself and that you can do it.
-You have proved yourself to be capable in the past and your capability is not and never will be lost. With practise and effort the feeling of being capable will come back and will yield the results you seek.
Feeling more and more capable over time is part of how you grow as a person, enabling you to obtain what you want faster.
-The better you can communicate, the easier life becomes- with every body.
-Communication is about getting across what you want to express in a written or verbal form and by acting it out.
-The ability to communicate and communicating as appropriate to the situation, can help you feel more peaceful and reduce the problems you encounter.
-Not belng able to communicate your needs, your feelings or your thoughts usually results in frustration and anger.
-Being able to communicate well goes hand in hand with confidence and enables self care more often.
Communication is part of personal growth because it enables all other aspects of personal growth to be attained, reducing emotional and psychological struggles in your life.
Care- Self care
-Self care is an awareness of your needs versus the needs of others.
-Caring for others ideally should occur when you are willing and able to give, as appropriate to your role or position.
-Self care is caring for yourself first or as soon as is appropriate and caring for others second or when you can manage it, rather than forgetting about yourself when somebody around you has needs.
-If you can care for yourself first (this does not mean being selfish, although selfish people tend to interpret it as such) then you are more likely to care for others better.
-Practising self care is critical as nobody, not even your perfect friend or partner will regularly put your needs above theirs.
Self care is part of personal growth, because as you improve on your own self care, you are more likely to move away from negative people and toward positive ones instead. Positive people are more likely to help you get where you want to go.
Confidence- Feel confident
-Feeling confident is something that can happen with some people but not with others, with some things or in some environments but not in others.
-Feeling confident is similar to feeling capable, one difference being that confidence tends to be more often related to interaction with others, including the process of learning something new or preforming something around others.
-Confidence is something that starts to build from childhood, because your parents or significant others, give you positive reinforcement about yourself, that you are good at something, that you are a good person, that you are important, likeable, loveable and acceptable.
-Confidence can occasionally be expressed even if the child (now adult) did not receive positive reinforcement from their parents- if the child believes they are capable enough to express confidence. These individuals have an extraordinary strong sense of self and are more likely to succeed in life.
Confidence is part of personal growth because as you believe more and more that your feelings, thoughts, ideas and views are relevant, the opportunity to influence the world and those around you escalates.
Emotional and Psychological problems- reducing these
-Emotional and psychological problems include those that relate to anger, anxiety, competition, depression, jealousy and worry as well as problems related to the limitations of yourself and others. The aforementioned, get in the way of a happier, more fulfilled and peaceful life.
-Anger prevents better communication, anxiety reduces the ability to be present, competition and jealousy can result in not feeling worthwhile, depression can negatively affect your self care and worry can make everything worse, leaving little or no room for inner development.
-Being able to better manage the limitations of yourself and others, reduces your frustration and can increase the speed at which things happen or are resolved.
Reducing emotional and psychological problems enables personal growth.
Present- Be present
-Being present is about being here and now, not in the past and not in the future.
-Most people can only achieve ‘being present’ for short periods of time, if they remember to be present at all.
-Being in the moment means the same thing as being in the present.
-When you are in the present, you are less worried and anxious and more calm and at ease in general.
-When you are in the present, you can redirect the energy linked with chaotic thinking, into an awareness of what your needs are right at this moment.
Being present is part of personal growth because the more you can be present, the more you can enjoy the moment, which can allow you to look back on your life with less regrets and more compassion.
-There are two types of responsibility: responsibility for yourself and responsibility for others.
-When you are able to take more responsibility for yourself, you are less angry at others and at situations.
-Taking responsibility for yourself is looking at what you said or did to cause somebody or something to be a certain way, which includes the results of decisions made, even if those decisions were not made consciously.
-Taking responsibility for others ‘should’ ideally apply to parent- child relationships and situations therein (especially while the child is still a child).
-Ideally, taking responsibility for others in general, ‘should’ not exist, this includes colleagues, your boss, your friends, your team, your followers, your family and in particular your parents. Every person is responsible for themselves and it is not your fault if they have or haven’t obtained what they want from life. Usually when somebody takes responsibility for others, they are creating stress and anger for themselves later on which leads to tiredness and ill health.
-Responsibility, taking responsibility for yourself and reducing your need to be responsible for others, can be very confronting, although the rewards are tremendous. You are unlikely to see or notice the rewards of taking more and more responsibility for yourself, until specific circumstances have occurred. When they do occur, you might have a moment when you notice how much you have grown and how much better off you are when compared to others in a similar situation to you.
An understanding of responsibility is part of personal growth because it’s one of the quickest ways to empower yourself in all areas of your life.
Worthwhile- Feel worthwhile
-Feeling worthwhile means to feel that you have something important to offer, that your existence matters, that you are important, that you are worth spending time, energy or money on.
-It is seeing yourself not from the viewpoint of negative people around you.
Eg. Completing higher education, owning a house, a high income or having the ‘right’ kind of job doesn’t make you more worthwhile than if you didn’t have these things.
Feeling more worthwhile can be increased:
-If remember to feel good about your interests and giving time to those interests
-If you value your time to yourself, as opposed to feeling of value only when you are around others
-If you value YOUR opinion of what you ‘should’ be doing with your time, over the opinion of others and what they believe you should be doing with your time.
Feeling worthwhile is a part of personal growth, because the more worthwhile a person you feel, the better leader you will be.
Worthwhile- Feel worthwhile as a WOMAN
-Speaking heterosexually, in centuries past, you were more likely to feel worthwhile as a woman if a man wanted to marry you and have children with you. Last century, this changed a little. You were more likely to feel worthwhile as a woman if a man found you attractive, wanted to have sex with you, be in a relationship with you or have children with you. Your parents and grandparents and your level of association with them reinforce these (outdated) perceptions.
-You are worthwhile as a woman whether you are single at the moment or in a relationship.
-You are worthwhile as a woman whether you are in a relationship or whether you are married.
-You are worthwhile as a woman whether you have children or not.
-You are worthwhile as a woman regardless. You are worthwhile regardless.
By addressing and readdressing the criteria you use to determine whether or not you feel worthwhile as a woman, you become clearer on who you are. In doing so, you grow stronger and less affected by pressures from society and family.