I was scrolling through one of the social media apps on my phone the other day and was struck by an ad that popped up in my feed. This ad confronted me (bold letters and all) with: “ARE YOU WHO YOU WANT TO BE?”. My first thought was ‘why are you screaming at me?’; my second was ‘how could some witless self-help coach possibly offer any useful advice on my self-development?’.

Aside from providing mindless tips on how to enhance your productivity and advice on how to get rich quickly, this ad managed to get me thinking about personal growth. The question nonetheless remains: can you even claim to offer advice on self-development when this process looks different for everyone?

Self-Development Takes Work, but It’s Worth It

If the self-help guru couldn’t, I was sure Google would be able to give me some answers. I needed to know what self-development entails, so I typed “what does self-development entail?” into that search bar and went on an obsessive researching spree.

Not surprisingly, the definitions of self-development that come up are all a bit vague but seem to agree that self-development involves the improvement of your skills, talents, and base of knowledge. Even so, the reality is that personal growth and development will never universally look the same (which is kind of implied in that personal part).

One thing that is resoundingly true for everyone undergoing this process, however, is that it will consistently require your time and effort for it to be successful. You unfortunately can’t expect any positive progress to occur in yourself if you do not consistently employ measures to realise that change.

Many people (myself included) find it incredibly discouraging when they can’t see the effects of their efforts towards personal evolution straight away. This is a very human reaction, but it would be silly to let this feeling stand in the way of who you are bound to grow into.

Are You Who You Want to Be?

Remember, there is no right way to grow. Even if you fail in your own eyes, your so-called failure can be productive in informing your self-development.

As a rule-of-thumb, I consistently ask myself: “Am I the same person I was a year ago?”. If you do the same and the answer is “no”, then it’s a good sign that you’ve undergone a set of changes. It’s up to you to determine whether or not that change leads to your personal growth, however.

Please note that this all is advice based on a mere twenty-five years of life experience, so take it with a pinch of salt. My hope, however, is that the musings of this 25-year-old author inspires you to think about your own development.

I want you to look at the question “Are you who you want to be?” without discomfort. If there is anything that you should take away here is that it is okay to not be the person you want to be yet. Eventually you will be – as long as you put in the work to get there.

Be your own self-help guru – grow yourself by growing your mind.

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