There are blank periods in a person’s life when he does not quite know what to do next. His job has come to an end or he feels as though he needs a change from the job he is currently employed in.

That blank period might also come at the end of school when a teenager or recent university graduate does not know what steps to take next. Personal development is something an individual undertakes at intervals to assess what those next (or first) steps should be.

What is Personal Development?

Experts describe this as a means of figuring out what you are good at and setting goals. When you know what your skills are and can determine what you want out of life, it is easier to choose a direction, whether that is seeking further schooling or gaining life experience.

The idea is that you should be able to direct yourself and not allow negativity to prevent you from succeeding. People make excuses about fate or destiny, but not when they buy into the following method of personal development. Only self doubt can stop you. If you have heard the term “self actualization,” then you might already have a grasp of the methods.

Self Actualization

What do you need at a personal and physical level? You need food, water, safety, love, and so on, according to the Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. People also want to feel worthy, but they often rely on others to provide their sense of self-worth.

During a period of Personal Development, a student comes to realize that he is in control; that the only thing stopping him from succeeding is self-doubt.

How can a person achieve what he wants now that he knows what that is?

He has to learn more about that goal: the job, the relationship, etc. Learning helps to get him there but attitude is critical as well. In a state of self-actualization, a person has all he or she needs and has succeeded in arriving at the object of his dreams and plans.

Next Level

Having arrived at a place where you know what job you want to be doing in a year or how you expect your personal life to look, the next step is taking action. Some common issues you might face which hamper your ability to succeed are being disorganized, undervaluing your skills, and being intimidated by obstacles. Here are some steps you can take to move forward.

Take a Look at your CV

When was the last time you explored your personal skills? Have you added volunteer work, recent education, and life experience or are you focused only on paid work?

Have someone with a keen eye for detail who also knows you well take a closer look and draw out the skills you have missed. They were exhibited when you helped to organize classroom activities as a helper in your child’s class, when you coordinated volunteers for a charity auction, or as a part of looking after a child with a disability.

Many women find it difficult to look for work if they stayed home to care for their children, but they fail to recognize their employable skills and their inherent value as workers, all developed simply as part of involved parenting.

Time for Time

What if the goals have nothing to do with work and everything to do with retirement or scaling down employment before then?

A person can achieve these things and much more by creating a plan and sticking to it. If life has lacked structure up to this point or there has been little money around for saving, it’s time to decide how to use time effectively or how to invest money for the future.

Do not expect to keep all of this information loaded in your mind either: journalize, draw up a poster, or create some other system that is visual and hard to forget. Put it somewhere unavoidable.

Don’t Let Anything Stop You

It is easy to make excuses. You can’t achieve this or that because you are a loser, a victim, incompetent, and no good at this or that skill. These are just ways of avoiding success. Saying that money troubles are in the way is also a potential excuse.

Can you cut out or cut back on something you do or buy every week?

Maybe that cup of coffee at the café every morning or your weekly treat could be kicked to the curb, and before you know it there are a few hundred dollars more for spending on transportation or software needed for distance learning. You can do it if you really want to achieve your objective.

You don’t necessarily have to quit work so you can attend school either. Really, it’s a matter of deciding what is most important. If you want to be there after school for your children now might not be the time to strive for a career that will involve in-depth schooling or travel.

Stay Motivated

Whatever keeps you going let that be a visible reminder you can turn to at any time. You have already created a chart: keep it updated and refer to it every so often to see where you were and how far you have come in a month. Do something every week towards achieving your dream. There’s a good chance you will be surprised by how much you have already accomplished in order to succeed.