By Jacqui Rudd, from The Maker Edit
Although personal development is a topic often related to self-help books, podcasts and
the hustle lifestyle, once you break self-development down to its core value it’s really about empowerment. Mastering your development means you’re in charge and taking action towards your ambitions with a plan that is personalised to your needs.
Taking ownership of your self-development is powerful.
As a freelancer I make business decisions based on what to achieve in my career and how I want to work and keeping a development plan has helped me grow my business with intention.
It’s time to stop keeping your ambitions a daydream and start taking action towards living them.
Here are 5 strategies that you can start implementing now to empower yourself and help you along your self-development journey...
1. Learn to Make Mistakes
Mistakes are a part of living and being comfortable failing is something you can learn, by putting yourself in the position to fail. I do this by going bouldering, working on climbing problems often takes several attempts so I had to learn to be comfortable falling off the wall or accepting defeat and jumping down to start over again.
2. Embrace Discomfort
Feelings of discomfort are a part of taking action and any self-development journey. These feelings can cause us to self-sabotage but embracing this discomfort accepting it will be there can help us to be more aware of when our behaviour and choices are being influenced by fear.
3. Continue Learning
Always stay curious and continue to seek knowledge in a variety of ways. By adding a variety of learning experiences and alternative perspectives you will open yourself to more diverse options on your self-development journey.
4. Identify your Weaknesses and Upskill
Everyone has weaknesses but ignoring them or inviting comparisons isn’t helpful, instead consider acknowledging them and finding ways to upskill. Viewing your weaknesses as development areas that you are actively trying to improve is a great mindset shift to help you on your journey.
5. Nurture and Build an your Strengths
Now is the time to start considering your strengths as assets, it’s your job to continue to improve and cultivate them and find ways to use your strengths to reach your ambitions.
How to Find Direction
Step #1 - Gratitude Journaling
Take a few minutes to consider and write down all the things you love in your life, all your achievements, your favourite outfit and food, the amazing people in your life and give yourself a mental high five for your small and big wins.
Step #2 - Perfect Day Exercise
Write down your perfect day! Consider where you would live, what you’d do in the morning, what your commute would be like, what tasks you’d cover over the day, projects you’d do and what you would do in the evening and how you would wind down at the end of the day.
Step #3 - Articulate your Vision
Consider your perfect day from a more practical perspective, and what steps or positions you would need to achieve or reach along your journey to getting to your perfect day.
Setting Yourself Goals
Dream big but start small
This allows yourself to step out of your comfort zone and think big, be daring and confront the scary fears around your long-term ambitions while still taking small steps towards it.
Start by acknowledging a long-term ambition that is important to you and write down why you want to achieve it? What is scary about it? What is exciting about it? Why does it matter so much to you?
Three Goals for Three Months
Break that ambition down into three smaller goals you need to achieve that work towards your long-term ambition. Make sure these goals are reachable in the next 3 months, by making sure they are realistic to a short deadline you are more likely to keep momentum and motivation towards those goals.
Creating a Personalised Plan
Create a Task List and Timeline
Under each of your goals make a list of actions and tasks, set up a timeline with deadlines and how they will work towards your goals.
Self-development planning is personal to you, how you work, what you find motivating and what helps you to continue on your journey. This is why I always include self-care tasks within my planning, because it is practical and will help keep me focussed and healthy. This can be a morning walk, a midday meditation, an exercise class, catching up with a friend, pampering time, baking, creating or even chilling with a book.
Formulate Your Plan
Create your plan in whatever format works best for you, this could be on Trello, Asana, a simple google calendar view, handwritten in a journal or a visual calendar on your wall (that's my preferred method). This can be trial and error, everyone works differently and I have tried many methods of creating plans over my career and have found having a big visual reminder on the wall works best for me but some people prefer an app on their phone.
Set Dates for Reflecting on Progress
I set weekly journal reflections and edit my plan monthly according to my progress, these are not moments to put yourself down only to lift yourself up. Allow yourself to celebrate your small wins and compassionately consider what you haven’t completed and why without judgement and simply edit your plan according to your progress.
About Jacqui Rudd
Jacqui is a freelance writer, guest lecturer and accredited coach and mentor working within the creative industries. Jacqui specialises in the craft sector and with her business The Maker Edit supports maker entrepreneurs and creative businesses navigating imposter syndrome, building self-management skills and cultivating a growth mindset.