Self Development: The 9 Skills You Need to Improve Your Life
Self development is simply the process of learning new things and building new skills—skills that help us increase our chances of success, achieving our goals, and manifesting our dreams. Want to improve your life? Here are the skills you need to start developing today.
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I am obsessed with self-development, because I've seen the impact self-development has. In fact, only 10 years ago, I had no connections, no money, and worked a minimum wage retail job. 10 years later I have a Ph.D. from Berkeley, am the author of a book on how to generate happiness in the technology age, and have created programs on how to start your own purpose-driven business, how to detox stress, and how to increase your personal happiness. How did I do it? I learned about personal self development.
What Is Self Development?
So what are the most important personal self development skills? Here are the 9 skills that I have found to be essential to any self-development plan.
Here's a few quick personal development "healthy" tips:
1. Develop a growth mindset
If we have a “fixed mindset,” we may shy away from challenges because we do not want to feel embarrassed or humiliated in front of others—who does, right?! But this can be problematic because our fear of making mistakes can lead us to avoid challenges and new experiences—experiences which would help us grow, improve ourselves in important ways, and create the life we desire.
If we have a “growth mindset,” we enjoy challenges, despite the risk, usually because we value learning and growth more than others thinking we know what we’re doing. That's why those with a growth mindset often build new skills more easily because they believe they can and so they really work at it.
2. Develop your ability to think like an entrepreneur
Everyone can benefit from learning how to think like an entrepreneur, regardless of whether or not we have our own business. Why? Because entrepreneurs have to be innovative, good at planning for a all possible outcomes, and skilled at getting others to buy into their vision or dream, they tend to be adaptable and capable of thriving in all sorts of situations.
By learning how to be entrepreneurial, you learn how to achieve your goals, whether those goals are to start a business that makes a positive impact in the world, to set yourself up for an early retirement, or climb Mount Everest.
3. Calm yourself & de-stress
High levels of stress are not only bad for our health and well-being, they can prevent us from effectively pursuing and achieving our self development goals. By learning some stress-reducing strategies, your body and mind will be more equipped to handle the challenges that will inevitably arise.
4. Develop your positivity reflex
Life is hard sometimes. We all experience ups and downs. But we don't all respond to these ups and downs the same way. Some people let the hard times defeat them. Other people who think positive don't take things so hard. That's why developing your positivity reflex is so important. If you can be even a little bit more positive, the bad times don't look so bleak.
5. Develop a healthier relationship with your phone
So many people just get sucked into their phones or other devices, letting this object take over their time, headspace, and even emotions (take the smartphone quiz). It's no wonder we have such a hard time building new skills these days when our attention is being eaten by tech.
That's why it's so important to outsmart your smartphone—to learn how to use you tech in ways that are good for you instead of bad for you.
6. Develop yourself to be more resilient
Resilience is that super important skill that helps you bounce back quickly after being knocked down. This is one of the most important skills for success because none of us will ever achieve anything if we don't keep trying when we fail. So build some resilience skills.
7. Stay mindful of the present moment
When we are mindful and stay present in the moment, we're taking each day as it comes. Even though we have a goal or dream we are striving for, we can better enjoy the process and take pleasure in the simple and wonderful parts of just being alive.
I'll admit, this is a skill I struggle with, but I see how struggling with mindfulness limits my success, so I keep trying. You can give it a try too and build some mindfulness skills.
8. Take care of your health
I made the big mistake of not taking enough care of my mental and physical health and as a result I got mold illness, parasites, and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It stole a year of my life. Clearly this held me back from where I wanted to be. So take care of your health—start by improving your gut health and limiting your exposure to toxins, and go from there.
9. Keep developing yourself in new ways
The science is clear—the more ways we develop ourselves, the broader our skill set and the more success we tend to have. So try learning some new emotional skills or try out some activities to build these skills. You just might learn something that changes your whole life.
Learn a bit more about personal development:
In sum: Personal self development is the key to success
Our own personal self development is key to achieving whatever it is that we desire. We might not always succeed 100% of the time, but the more tools we have in our toolbox, the greater chances for our success.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.