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Five Reasons Why Self-Development Gives Your Life a Lift

  Written by John Boddington

Life coaches seem to be everywhere, with self-appointed gurus ready to pounce around every corner, so it’s hardly surprising if you feel a little weary about the subject of self-development.However, if you break free of the cheesy mantras and clichés, you’ll find there’s real value in the concept.

Self-development is far more than just enhancing your career prospects or being a better person. It’s about becoming a more rounded individual in ways which are fulfilling and ultimately enjoyable.

Here’s a few ways in which self-development can give your life a lift that you might not have previously considered.

1. Take part in voluntary work

The idea that working is all about money has becoming so firmly entrenched in our society, it’s hard to think of it in any other way. However, there’s a deep contentment that can be gained by working for altruistic reasons.

Voluntary work comes in all shapes and sizes, and no matter what your skills are, there will be something suitable to try.The great thing about carrying out voluntary work is that not only is it particularly fulfilling, giving you the chance to reconnect, but you could also learn something new. You might not instantly think of voluntary work as a way of upskilling, but it’s a win-win situation that everyone could gain from.

Voluntary organisations are usually desperate for willing helpers, and so are more than happy to provide training where needed. This could help you to bring a new dimension to your own career and personal life, or even inspire you to follow a new direction.

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2. Reconnect with your creativity

As children, we aren’t stifled by practicalities, and are able to access all kinds of imaginative and creative solutions through play. If you’re in a job which focuses on the more logical and objective elements, it’s very easy to lose touch with your inner 4-year-old.

Go back to your roots and try out a new creative skill, whether that’s drawing, writing a story or making something with your hands. The process of being creative will provide you with the opportunity to use those parts of your mind which have been stifled for way too long.

If it’s been some time since you last set your imagination free, there’s a good chance you might feel a bit daft.  But don’t let your inhibitions get in the way of having fun!

Creativity has a place in everyone’s life and it can be used for functional purposes such as finding innovative solutions at work, or taking relationships to a more intimate level.

3. Study for a qualification

If you enjoy your job, but are feeling limited by the available opportunities, you could discover the stimulation you need by studying for a qualification.

This could be directly related to the work you’re doing, or in a totally different field. Engaging your brain and studying can help relieve some of the frustrations you might feel at work - you might even feel grateful for having a job which doesn’t tax your brain too much!

Studying for a qualification in any area will ultimately make you more employable, even if it doesn’t directly seem relevant to what you do. It will show that you’re willing and able to learn new skills, and could provide a different dimension to what you have to offer.A qualification can help with your personal relationships as well. If you feel more fulfilled and mentally stimulated, you’re less likely to be frustrated and grumpy and will be all round better company!

Let me give one of my colleagues as an example. He studied a business degree, and specialised in marketing. He now works in marketing.

But he has a passion for English literature, and more than anything, wants to write a dissertation. He even knows the subject he wants to write the dissertation on!

So, he's now studying English part-time, and he still has many years to go.

But he's loving it!

Not only is he getting to read literature, and write about it, but he now has access to a totally different group of people. The other students are also passionate about English, and has opened up a whole new avenue for him to explore in his private life.

That group of younger students who are studying for the first time, also then can make interesting comments about what's happening in the world, which has given him some new perspectives on marketing at work too.

So it has really been a great avenue for him to explore.

4. Learn to be on your own

Whether you’re a fan of Facebook or a whizz on Insta, social media has meant that we’re connected to others 24/7. Even if you’re on your own, that’s never truly the case as there’s people you can chat to just a click or two away.

While this is a great comfort at times, it also means that lots of us have forgotten what it means to be happy on our own. Solitude and quiet isn’t something that needs to be avoided, nor feared, and it can provide great opportunities for insight and self-growth.

If the idea of switching off your phone makes you quake, try it just for short periods of time at first. It can be extremely liberating not to have to think about what you might be missing online; within a short while you’ll come to the conclusion that there’s nothing you can’t catch up on!

Solitude reduces anxiety and stress and gives you the mental space to properly recharge. You may well scoff at the concept but just try it and you’ll discover that taking a step back from time to time will help you to step forward.

5. Understand that you’ll never “be ready”

Modern life is busy and demanding, and if you wait until there’s sufficient time, you’ll never do what needs to be done!

Delaying the chance to upskill and develop until there’s a gap in your schedule means you’ll probably still be waiting when the next millennia rolls around…

If there’s something you want to do, there’s always time to try and create the necessary space. There will always be more work that needs to be done, and pressures that gobble up your time. But making time for you is a priority which should come above everything else, because if you don’t you’ll find that others will be eclipsing you along the way.

Big decisions always feel big, no matter when you take the plunge and sometimes it’s just a case of diving right in and getting started. Whether it’s making big life changes such as trying for a baby, or fitting in that new career qualification, don’t wait until there’s nothing else going on or else you’ll be in danger of leaving it too late.

Self Development is the tool everyone needs!

Even though the industry might be packed with suggestions, the above steps have the possibility of making a real difference to your life. Easily achievable by everyone, you have the chance to re-imagine what you want by stepping back and seizing control. If you want it, the opportunities to develop and change are there - but it’s up to you to make the first move.

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RRP from $229 – limited time offer just $49

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