There’s one problem when it comes to Personal Growth.
Most of us don’t even know the depth of our problems. 60–70% of the time I’m mistaken in doing so. It’s my father or my journal that uncovers the whole situation for me most of the times.
I never knew that I was so reactive.
I never knew that negative self-talk was a problem.
I never knew that I was playing blame-game with myself.
I never knew that I was lying to myself.
There’s a lot that I still don’t know. But I’m hopeful. I’ve come this far already, and there’s no way I’m turning back.
What’s Personal Growth? (sounds boring)
To the mind, it is just another term that it will get excited about for a few hours. After that, it’ll have or create something else to long for.
I became a fan of personal growth after discovering all the problems I was suffering from.
A sense of responsibility emerged after getting to know that I was sleepwalking through life. And it was high time that I woke up and took control.
All of this excited me to work over myself. I had found a real-time battleground to exercise my mind muscles.
It’s a great feeling.
But there’s a point from where you start your journey of Personal Growth.
That point is self-awareness. It’s a realization. A skill to be honed.
A Few Words On Self-Awareness
For an average person, 10–20% of the stuff he/she does/thinks is conscious.
Going deeper, what about our thoughts? How much aware are we for the script running inside our heads?
Totally unguarded. Our thoughts are like the reflection of what’s churning inside. Nothing better than them can tell you about your current state.
My mind mostly manufactures negative thoughts. I’ve been feeding “attention” to them for a long time.
And the surprising fact is, that after getting kicked from several sides, I still feed them. POWER OF HABIT!! 😯
“That’s what everybody does! There’s nothing wrong in that! What I did was completely okay. I’m not going to back off. It’s their fault. They’re thinking the wrong stuff.”
What sort of mentality does this represent? It represents the justification model.
And they’re my thoughts. I’ve justified people and myself so much that it became a part of me! Justifying.
Till the time my parents kept telling me that I justified too much, I wasn’t convinced. But the day I “heard” this thought for myself, I started working on it.
The first step towards personal growth is self-awareness. To know what’s going on inside you.
The №1 Habit Of Self-Aware People
Journaling. Reflection. Takeaways.
Journaling works like magic. You write in it once and you’re going to come back. Provided you don’t get intimidated by all the junk you see upfront.
You have to listen to the voice ringing “inside” your head. It’s the answer to all of your questions.
If you’ve been feeling uneasy for some time, sit down and relax. Then watch your thoughts float by.
The thought of betraying that shopkeeper has been disturbing you. You note it down and fix the problem if you can. And if you can’t, you take it as a lesson for next time.
Journaling is a great habit. If we write in our journal daily for 20 minutes, we’ll do wonders.
Because it increases the amount of attention we’re paying inside. So our mind gets nourishment and we develop new habits and mind patterns.
We can totally rewire our beliefs and thoughts.
It has been my experience with journaling. During the fresh morning hours, if I write about my mistakes and rant about what’s going inside, it helps me the whole day.
It tells me where I went wrong. Where my mind is still stuck. I take measures to improve those weak areas, create small pointers/mantras. Those mantras keep repeating inside my head a few time during the day.
When I had first started to journal, the format was pretty weird. But it was the quickest and most effective one.
Whatever I thought was wrong was framed into one sentence and was written two times. Every day.
Supposed I have 7 sentences. Then I’ll be writing 14 sentences in all and this will be repeated every day. This procedure hammered the same points in my brain repeatedly.
And this was supposed to be done before sleeping. Researchers say that any activity if done within 10–15 mins before sleeping, it reaches your sub-conscious mind. The most powerful and influential aspect of our life.
And I could feel it. My habits and mind patterns were getting slowly aligned to the sentences I wrote.
“I shall not touch junk food without permission of my Mom.”
This sentence used to ring inside my head like an alarm when I would head to the nearest conventional store.
It was like my journal book was going around with me in my head. Imparting directions to a blind man who is clueless about the directions.
Be True To Yourself
It’s the only way to transform your life through self-awareness. Otherwise, our lives are drifting away in the pursuit of “becoming” someone else for someone else.
Treat your journal like a mirror. Why do self-help gurus call it “self-reflection”? ‘Cause it really is! You’re looking at the thing as it is.
It is the practice for you where you “push yourself” out of your comfort zone. You face the hard truth as it is. AS IT IS. AS IT IS!
If we get complacent about the practice and show mercy on ourselves, it won’t work. Be ruthless when it comes to finding out your mistakes. Treat yourself like some other guy.
When we look at others’ problems, we become the guru and figure out where he/she is going wrong. And how obvious it is to recognize the truth and work on it.
But when it comes to us, we fail to stay strict. We fail to abolish the “soft corner.”
When we’ll be able to look at the whole situation with a new perspective with all of its aspects covered, the best solution will arise. Ones that you might have never thought of.
Journaling is a highly motivating task if done properly.
But I’ve faced one of the most common problems. Losing hope.
When I saw the list of problems and huge paragraphs, all about my mistakes, I got demotivated. I thought that there was no point in doing all this.
But no. The whole point of journaling is to tell you that there are mistakes with which we identify. We are not the mistake.
I am a liar. Instead of such a self-defeating statement, try this, I lied.
It is a challenge in itself to stay charged and powered to fight your mistakes. But trust me, it’s worth it. Nothing can give you more satisfaction than working on yourself gives.
I know it isn’t easy. To bombard ourselves with ugly truths.
It is hard to write what is unacceptable for us, but so evident.
These things don’t work like magic. They need time and effort. Provided you follow the proper guidelines.
Sometimes, you won’t be able to figure out the problem. Approach someone you trust and know who might help you out.
For example, whenever I think that I’m missing a point somewhere. When the dots don’t seem to connect. I approach my father. He pitches in and further streamlines and filters the problem to the core along with a perfect solution.
A new perspective is always healthy for your personal growth. It doesn’t matter who provides it.
But you need to be honest. Till the time I was not facing the truth and being honest, the results didn’t come to me.
It needs courage. It needs boldness. It needs willpower. All of this to nail down and face the truth.
It increases self-confidence and motivates you for further change.
It has brought about a positive change in my life and made me more self-aware. I enjoy journaling. ‘Cause I get to play with my head for a while. It’s challenging at times. And that’s when it gets exciting!
You’ll see the results only if you do the work. — Jeff Goins
If you liked this article and would like to stuff more such content in your psyche, check out my blog, Connecting Dots!
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.