It is probably no surprise to anyone that personal development, like anything else, entails becoming skilled at various positive behaviors.
Everything we do requires awareness first, then learning and application, and then practice. Merely reading about a healthy self-concept, developing humor, resilience, or positive thinking isn't going to get us there.
We must first figure out what skills we require and then proceed to incorporate them into our thinking and behavior. Easier said than done - right?
If we understand that there is, indeed, a process and that it takes place in stages, we can be more patient with ourselves and realize that nothing happens overnight. By understanding the four stages of learning a skill, we can concentrate on the learning process itself and not feel bad about where we're at, and why we don't know everything already.
➢ You are going through life feeling that something is missing; you're plodding along but not really paying attention - you just stumble along.
➢ Soon you begin to realize that you are unhappy with yourself, your relationships, your career and you're stuck in a rut. You know you have to do something but have no idea what or how to go about it. You start reading about personal development but feel overwhelmed with how much there is to learn.
➢ You have realized that there is no other way to improve, but to apply yourself read and do what is needed. It's time to put to practice what you have read and discovered. It is difficult, yet fun because you are stretching yourself, growing and your life is becoming more meaningful and productive.
➢ So here you are on the path of personal development. You know it's an ongoing process, but because you've incorporated many positive habits, positive thinking and positive behaviors, your life is less of a struggle and more of a progressive journey. You don't think in terms of obstacles; you think in terms of opportunities and ways in which you can improve yourself.
As I've mentioned, the four stages of learning pertain to how we learn anything in life. Until we know better, most things seem easy. For example - riding a bicycle. Before you knew how to ride one, it probably looked easy until you got on and tried to ride it. Then you realized how incompetent you were at it.
The same with roller, or ice-skating. First you had to learn how get up and keep your balance. Not so easy! Then you'd fall a few times and maybe even get a little bruised (ouch!). In order to get better, you had to keep practicing until you got really good at it. After a while, low and behold, you no longer had to think about what you were doing and it became smooth sailing.
So it is with any skill. Keep improving and working on yourself until it becomes second nature. Not only will you get the most from life, you will living to your full potential.