What Does Personal Growth Mean To You?

personal growth

Adulting is hard. According to Cognitive & Behavioral Consultants, 75% of all lifetime mental illness starts as early as age 24, as young adults face the challenges of being independent. Worries come in a variety of shapes, ranging from financial issues to emotional weaknesses. Building a safe place in the world for yourself and establishing an autonomous sense of self is scary and challenging. 

So, depending on the challenges you face in your life, your definition of growth will vary dramatically. Someone who comes from an impoverished background will value financial growth as an indication of successful growth. On the other hand, someone who dreams of recognition will seek professional growth. There is no right or wrong when it comes to personal growth. You decide who you want to be and how to make your dream come true. Here are some of the most important signs of personal growth according to women. 

Financial growth

Improving your finances may not be your main goal in life, but it can be an underlying factor of stability, happiness, and health. But what does financial growth look like? 

Building assets and income

How much are you worth? This might seem like an odd question, but understanding your net worth can be instrumental in building financial stability. If you are unsure how to calculate it, you can use a professional net worth tracker to help you measure your assets minus your liabilities. To put it in simple terms, net worth could combine the value of your home, your cash, and your savings minus the remaining mortgage and other loans and credit card payment due. Gradually, as you manage your liabilities, your net worth grows. You can determine a net worth objective to increase your wealth safely. 

Putting debt behind you

The average American owes short of $100,000 in total debt, according to a 2020 Experian report. The typical debt includes liabilities such as credit cards, mortgages, and student loans, among the most frequent debts. Measuring financial growth in terms of debt reduction helps position yourself in a stable place for the future. 

For half of the population, paying off bills and struggling to save money are significant obstacles to debt reduction. Yet, digging yourself out of debt can make bills repayment and savings easier, and protect your mental health in the long term. As not all debts are created equal, it is essential to start with a solid plan of attack, prioritizing some repayments over others in terms of how much you can afford and your interest rates. Also, don’t forget that some creditors are open to negotiating repayment terms if it means they are more likely to get paid! 

Protecting your family

Financial growth can also mean building bridges toward the future. Rather than focusing on your financial wealth today, you can think into the future to consider how your choices now will help your family tomorrow. Therefore, for family-oriented people, financial growth may be the ability to draft a will and long-term investment portfolios that will benefit their spouse and children. 

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that it is never too early to consider life insurance to protect your family from what could happen in the events of your death. Even when you are at the beginning of your financial growth journey, your sudden absence could mean a significant income loss for the family. Making plans for the future could be your way of growing financially, even if it includes planning for life insurance. 

Professional growth

Almost 6 in 10 women participate in the labor force. They all have different professional aspirations, needs, and dreams. But if your career is at the heart of your growth, here’s what growing professionally might look like. 

Being recognized as an expert

As a career person, public recognition for your skills and expertise is a meaningful achievement. Therefore, being asked to speak in public, while it might be daunting, is also evidence that your voice is being heard and respected. It is important to understand that giving a presentation is a delicate balance of informative content and style. 

An expert doesn’t only share their knowledge. An expert must make their knowledge accessible and digestible for the audience. In other words, while mastering skills requires a lot of hard work, being recognized as an expert is essentially the ability to entertain and educate, making your honed skills appear simple to all! 

Starting your own company

Many professionals agree that the biggest achievement in their career is to become their own boss. The good news is that female-founded start-ups have doubled during the pandemic. Many women have turned remote working environments into an entrepreneurship advantage. Indeed, they can combine parental requirements and work from home. 

The pandemic has been a revelation for many women, enabling them to build a career that can support their families without compromising on motherhood. Indeed, while gender can remain an obstacle for female entrepreneurs, more and more successful women are helping pave the way for future entrepreneurs. 

Matching your values in your job

Happiness at work should not be optional. When adults spend the major part of their lives working, it is essential that their job becomes a source of pride and contentment. Therefore, as professionals build up skills and experience, they take a different approach to their careers. Indeed, paying the bills is a less significant worry when you’ve established yourself in a role. Professional growth becomes the ability to choose a role that suits your personality, rather than having to make do with jobs that can make you feel miserable. 

Emotional growth

Growing emotionally is a difficult and challenging path. Emotional growth is as much the ability to recognize negative emotions as the one to seek positive ones. 

Being able to walk away from an unhappy relationship

Are you happy in your relationship? If you are unsure, or you are still waiting for your spouse to change, chances are you are unhappy, but you prefer to ignore it. Too many women feel trapped in a relationship that lacks support, love, and compassion. However, many stay in a state of unhappiness rather than putting themselves first because they:

  • don’t think there is a better option elsewhere
  • don’t want to upset the kids
  • feel scared at the thought of being alone

In reality, understanding and realizing that your happiness is worth the effort is the first step toward emotional acknowledgment and growth. 

Learning to love yourself

You can’t love anyone truly unless you love yourself first. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence can affect many women in their day-to-day lives. They struggle to meet social expectations and feel they are not worthy of love unless they can be perfect. 

Learning to love yourself is not an easy journey, but it is worth it. As you begin to show yourself kindness, you can grow your self-confidence and your sense of self-worth. You are also in a better position to seek happiness for yourself rather than depend on others. 

Learning to forgive others

Last but not least, when you accept that nobody, including yourself, is perfect, it becomes easier to forgive mistakes. You can put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their behavior or response. As a result, you are less likely to hold grudges. 

People may wrong you, or they may hurt you. However, when you choose to remain angry at them, you actively build a negative emotion for yourself. Forgiving them or letting go of the negative things in life can help you stay centered and grow stronger. 

Growth comes in different shapes. You decide what growth means to you. As mentioned earlier, there is no right or wrong path toward growth, and there is nothing wrong with choosing financial growth or emotional growth. We all have different needs and expectations. So, build the growth path that makes you feel better about yourself. 

Jackie LaMar

Beach lover. SoCal dweller. Life is never over unless you surrender. Keep going, the prize IS out there.

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