On this journey to becoming the best version of ourselves, we often encounter a lot of jargon. There’s the goal-setting, mindset, self-care, mindfulness, affirmations, and so many terms it can become overwhelming and daunting. When I first began this journey I remember feeling behind. It felt like I could never catch up with those around me who were already so knowledgable about personal development. If you feel this way too, I want to let you know this is a perfectly normal feeling! With that being said, I will break down some of the basics. Two terms that I see used interchangeably is personal development and personal growth. It turns out there is key differences in personal growth vs. personal development. Today let’s explore the similarities and differences. Before we get started, if you’re ready to cut through the overwhelm and take control of your mindset, sign up for my free 5 day email course, Overcome the Overwhelm Training. Each day I’ll provide actionable steps you can take to feel less overwhelmed in your life.
What is Personal Development?Personal development is any activity you participate in to make improvements for yourself. This can be personal, romantic, professional, spiritual, and anything else that plays a large role in your life. As you are working on personal development, you are taking deliberate action to move forward and make changes in your life. This can be to stop habits that aren’t serving you, further develop things you’re good at, and improve quality of life. When you read books, listen to podcasts, go to workshops and seminars, watch videos, or hire a life coach, you are actively learning and participating in personal development. In short, it is the work you do to get from who you are to who you’d like to become. It requires you to look at your past, assess your present, and plan for your future. When you identify a habit you’d like to change or a goal you’d like to attain, personal development allows you to find the tools to help get you there.
What is Personal Growth?I see personal growth as a result of the personal development. Think of it like when you were first learning how to drive. You went through the motions of a driver, practiced the skills, and ran through a checklist of what to do in your mind. Eventually, probably without realizing it, you became a driver. Growth is that next level. It is ever-evolving and won’t always be linear. In fact, in order to achieve personal growth you need to make mistakes and have setbacks that you can learn from. Personal growth is becoming the person that motivated you to embark on personal development.
Personal Growth vs Personal Development – Are They Separate or Connected?When it comes to personal growth vs personal development is there one that is better? Does one need to happen before the other? Will both always happen? That is complicated and doesn’t necessarily have a right answer. You can read all the self-help books and attend the workshops but if you don’t take conscious action you’ll likely never grow and develop. Personal growth can happen both intentionally and unintentionally. That is, as a result of personal development and as a result of outside circumstances. Of the two, personal growth tends to be the scarier. This is because as you grow and become someone “new”, your identity changes. Part of growth is accepting and embracing the change that comes along with it. It is also understanding that not everyone in your life will understand it and that is ok.
How to Know the DifferenceTo simplify and give you a better picture, I will share some real-life examples of both. Here are 5 signs of personal development vs personal growth. Personal Development:
- Reading self-improvement books
- Attending workshops and seminars
- Journaling your thoughts
- Hiring a life coach to stop overeating
- Identifying your strengths and weaknesses
- Finding yourself not falling back on a bad habit
- Able to give advice from a place of experience
- Not be distracted when meditating
- Not punishing yourself if you slip up on your diet
- No longer falling into victim mentality when something doesnâ€t go according to plan
Final ThoughtsBetween personal growth and personal development there are differences but also similarities. When you’re beginning this journey it’s important to not let all the terms and techniques out there discourage you. Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. If you’re new or experienced with personal development, I invite you to check out Overcome the Overwhelm. This is my 6 week 1 on 1 coaching program designed to shift your mindset from a place of overwhelm to clarity. Curious about what’s possible? Sign up for my free 5 day Overcome the Overwhelm email training! Now let me know, what do you think are the differences and similarities between personal development and personal growth?
This content was originally published here.