You’ve faced challenges this year that have pushed you to grow in ways you hadn’t been pushed before. What did you learn from these circumstances? How did they make you grow? Understanding where you are today based on those situations helps you move forward to tomorrow and beyond. You may find that it doesn’t require a lot of changes to grow, but keeping a constant vigilance year over year, or month by month, gets you down the path towards confidence and success. In order to keep track of personal growth, I want to let you in on some tips that you can use to develop a system to benchmark your progress.
Twice a year, usually around my birthday, I hold up a mirror to my life to see what kinds of changes have taken place. Do the same thing for yourself. Find a quiet place where you can peacefully reflect on your accomplishments. Review the past few months of your life and ask “Where have I failed?” and “How have I improved?” Take stock of where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. Make it a practice to write down your goals so that, when you return to your moments of reflection, you can pull out the list and check off items.
Sometimes we get too focused on our failures, and social media can be a trap for negativity. We can get wrapped up in watching the highlight reels of others on social channels and develop an unrealistic view of the world around us. We see people traveling or the accomplishments of our competitors and think, “Why haven’t I done this?” But personal growth is about you, not them. Even the small, incremental changes from your year add up to a more strategic you and ultimately pay dividends, trust me. Changing your perspective little by little, even by just one degree, will eventually result in a significant shift to an improved frame of mind.
Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself
You understand the concept of a SWOT analysis but have you ever thought to perform one on yourself? What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? Originally created in the 1960s by Edmund P. Learned, Kenneth Andrews, C. Roland Christensen and William D. to improve business, people are now performing a SWOT analysis on themselves to see where they can be refined. It’s an excellent way to build a checklist of your characteristics and assess personal growth.
Corporations aren’t the only ones who have brands anymore; we have them, too. To perform a SWOT analysis, you must first understand what your personal brand is. Your brand is what you communicate to the people around you. You’ll want to make sure that brand is consistent and offers employees, friends, and anyone you come into contact with the most authentic representation of who you are. Just like Home Depot is different than Lowe’s, you’ll want to offer a unique personal brand. We all have people we admire, but admiring them and creating a personal brand around them are two different things. The characteristics and passions that define you are what make you unique, so own them. Once you understand your personal brand you can perform a SWOT analysis to see where you would like to improve or adjust.
Become emotionally intelligent
How often are you aware of what’s happening around you? Being emotionally intelligent can be as simple as opening your eyes to your surroundings, and it’s responsible for 58 percent of business performance. There are also skill tests and personality assessments that can help you see how you’re doing or what level of awareness you have or are capable of. Consider this, if your business was unaware of market or social trends, where would it be? If an event happens that changes the way a customer communicates with your business and you are unaware of it, you are closing yourself off to better service and improved customer engagement. Personal growth works much the same way. Situational blindness hinders each one of us from growth, and you’ll find there is always something to learn when you are properly aware. Every day there is something we can take with us towards the future.
The last piece of advice I can give is not to give up. Let’s say you want to dig for water, so you try digging ten feet in one corner, then give up and move to the next corner and so on. But what if you had stayed in the first corner and dug ten more feet? You probably would have found water. What does this mean in terms of personal growth? It means you shouldn’t give up just because you don’t see immediate improvement. Keep digging in the right direction and you’ll find an improved you during your next evaluation.
This article was originally posted on Business 2 Community. Read it here .