As with most things, there are stages of personal growth and development. While a recent uptick has certainly happened, personal growth and development is not a new concept. It has been around for as long as people have existed. While not all people have had the luxury of focusing on it, it has certainly been there.
Have you ever heard someone say, “there are levels to this”?
Personal growth and development definitely has levels and there is no right or wrong place, or level, to be (at least for the most part).
The reality is that the growth process is and can be a messy one. There will undoubtedly be obstacles and challenges along the way.
But those with a growth mindset recognize obstacles as a good thing. They are the tests along the journey that keeps us moving forward in the growth process.
Today I want to share with you 5 stages of the personal growth and development journey.
Things To Keep In Mind About The Personal Growth Journey
- No two people's journey is going to look the same. While there are stages, they may not ever look the same for different individuals.
- The journey does not have an endpoint. As long as you are living you can be growing in some way, shape, or form.
- Don't try to rush ahead. Accept the space that you are in and be fully in it. Don't expect yourself to be anywhere other than where you at any given moment.
- Give grace. Give grace to others around you and yourself. Recognizing that we are all on our own path and the pace with which we travel our individual journeys will be different and that is perfectly normal and okay.
5 Stages of Personal Growth
If any of my work resonates with you, you’re probably past this phase.
At least you’re near the end of it.
Here are a few signs that you are in this phase:
- You are ruled by fear. Fear stops you more times than not from doing the things you really want to do.
- You constantly seek out pleasure. You feel like eeverything should feel good. Therefore you run from feelings of discomfort, vulnerability, and other feelings that are designed to stretch you.
- You lack fulfillment. You are always feeling like there has to be more – money, friends, and even experiences.
- You make mistakes and blame others for them. You can't own your mistakes and face the consequences of them without shifting blame and negative attention away from yourself.
The most distinguishing characteristic of this stage is lacking fulfillment.
Whatever goal(s) you achieve, they don't give you lasting gratification. At one point or another, we start the spiritual awakening or activation and understand there’s more to life. We realize there’s more to us. We reach a point where we realize we're living on cruise control and decide it's time to take control of the pedals and the wheel.
That’s when we start getting activated.
When you move past the state of unconsciousness or being inactive, you start feeling like you’ve wasted a lot of time on it.
You start to realize that your expectations have not been met – those you have of others and yourself. But you also become aware of the fact that your old habits were preventing you from growth.
And you may even begin asking yourself why this is happening.
You may start highlighting all your bad habits.
Do you know how you become a better person? By recognizing and identifying your imperfections.
You can overcome the bad habits that were distracting you from the journey of personal growth.
In this stage, we start to understand that our experiences aren’t coincidental, and we start looking for answers.
We realize that life is about learning and discovering our true selves. We have a lot of realizations, both equally exciting and possibly overwhelming.
In this stage, you move from knowing you have to make changes to actually making the changes.
If you feel like you gained or have had a lot of information, but things in your life aren't reflecting that information, you’re most likely in the assimilation phase.
You’re probably going to test and possibly adjust your belief systems. You’ll realize that what you once knew was not sufficient.
This is a stage of exploration.
This is where we do the emotional work of healing old issues. Limiting their ability to limit us or hold us back. We take the tools we have, and the skills we’ve learned and put them into practice.
Once you have gotten here, you’ve developed new habits and you started taking actions towards growth. You have overcome some obstacles and you understand there will be more of them to come.
You’ve developed an inner strength that keeps you pushing forward.
You’re not a new person, but you are more authentic. And you feel good in this space. You understand that everyone has flaws, just like you. And you learn to accept people for who they are.
Does this mean we are totally evolved and never have anything to work on?
Not at all.
We are still human.
The difference now is when we reach obstacles or are stuck on expectations, we can move past them and into a place of acceptance.
We stop struggling with reality and either accept it for what it is or do the work to change it.
We are happy with ourselves and no longer held captive to our impulses.
This is where your growth goes beyond you.
This is where we not only live in our truth and as our authentic selves, but we feel called to help others do the same.
Some might dash to this phase too soon. There is absolutely no rush and we want to make sure that we fully assimilated and affirmed in our own personal journey.
Personal growth and development is an important part of everyone’s life. Even when we don’t realize it, there’s an inner calling urging us to get on that path. When we start on the journey, it’s not always easy to stay on that path. But if we do stay, we will finally be heading towards real personal happiness.