What will personal development look like in 2021?
Many of us are looking back on 2020 with shock, perhaps thinking to ourselves, "What a year...". COVID-19 impacted the globe in unimaginable ways and those of us who typically think of themselves as strong found they were in heightened stress and worry. And this has not only affected those in the workplace.
It has affected all parents, children, those who live alone, the elderly. It has crossed borders, races, cultures, genders, and generations. The country has faced challenges before, but this is new to most of us. We have had to adapt to society during a pandemic and live life according to new guidelines that were decided for us.
Adaptability is, however, a healthy trait. While the circumstances that led us to explore our adaptability consciously were not ideal, is it possible that some good has come from this year and the challenges we've overcome?
Your personal development is unique to you. You define what you want to be in 2021 and after that. What has this year taught you with greater self-awareness? That you are adaptable? Something else? Something more?
Stress regarding work and job security has been a key theme this year; there has been a rise in fear for the future. However, that fear may well have arisen as an automatic thought that was not then questioned. Some fear and worry may be legitimate depending on your circumstances (I certainly appreciate many people, even in my own circles, have faced redundancy or other loss) but taking ownership over your personal development allows you control.
By controlling what you can, by focusing on that, you potentially open yourself up to opportunities you were previously closed to. Focusing on what you can control can also improve how you feel about yourself. In turn, you may feel more energised with a clearer mind that then enables you to explore more of what you want. I know this is not easy - if it was, you would be doing it already with great fulfilment.
Personal development exercise
Agreeing with yourself to look internally is the start. Raising awareness, gently, of what is currently going on for you and where this is in relation to where you want to be or what you want to be, is the next part.
Perhaps draw a diagram or write this out in a notebook, starting with "Where I am now" and ending on "Where I want to be in [your desired timeframe]". Between the two is what you can control to help you to get there. Try not to make negative assumptions, just write freely as if nothing is in the way.
Now, there may be some roadblocks along the way in reality, but with an open mindset, you can create new paths when you do hit them and, with greater awareness of yourself, your strengths and your capabilities, you are more effectively equipped to reach your destination.
Personal development can sound so overwhelming. Start small. It is not all about books and webinars (although they are valuable). In 2021 - or even right now - you can start with you. You choose what your personal development will look like in the next year.
Personal development is not cheesy, nor is it for the weak. It is for those who are strong and determined to design the best life they can, not leaving to other people. Define it as you choose, but remember that it may well increase your happiness. I invite you to be the best you.