Friday, October 26, 2012

4 Personal Development Skills Worth Learning This New Year

Do you find yourself working at a job you hate, resenting the demands of family life, and hanging out with friends you could care less about? You put on a happy smile for everyone to see, but deep inside you feel stale. You're just waiting for the clock to turn another day, so that you can do the same thing all over again. For the past few years, nothing is interesting, exciting or fulfilling. In fact, when asked when the best day of your life is, you have a hazy picture of an event that happened a decade ago.

Well, if this is you, know that you're only doing this to yourself! (It may sound harsh, yes, but it's true.) There's absolutely no reason for people to feel that they're merely play-acting a role they didn't want, trapped in a scene they can't avoid. Your life is your own and it is what you make it. You're the captain of the ship. Perhaps what's lacking from you is personal development skill.

But don't worry; help is on the way! Below are just 4 of the personal development skills you can still learn:

Self-Awareness

Everything starts with self-awareness. This is the ability to push pause and look at what's happening inside of us at any given time. It's a personal development skill because contrary to popular belief, it's not as easy as it sounds.

Many of us are conditioned to look more towards what's going on outside of ourselves, than what we're feeling and thinking. Some of us also tend to be constantly in denial about the things happening in our life. But if we don't practice the personal development skill of being self-aware, we may miss the emotions simmering just beneath the surface. The last thing we want is for the things we repress, to suddenly blow up in our faces!

Countering Irrational Thinking

Here's a personal development skill worth learning: the ability to debate with one's self when we're being unreasonable.
Irrational thoughts are those that make no sense whatsoever, and may in fact be self-defeating, but are so powerful we cling to them for dear life. For instance, we may have convinced ourselves that we need to please everybody in order to be loved. Or maybe we think that we need to win someone else's approval first before we can consider ourselves a success. But really, are thoughts like these helping people become who they're meant to be? You have to know how to stomp these thoughts down; otherwise they will take over your life!

Communicating What We Feel

Few consider assertive communication as a personal development skill. But it makes sense that it's one, doesn't it?
Unless you tell people what you need, it will be difficult for them to respond effectively. There are times when we spend our lives resenting how loved ones fail to provide us with what we're looking for, when a simple request from us would have solved the problem. The world does not have a crystal ball that can guess what's going on inside us. If you want to be heard, you have to speak!

Bouncing Back from Failure

Lastly, invest in developing your resilience.
Failure can do either one of two things: it can defeat you, or it can make you stronger. The key really is in practice. Whenever you fail, figure out what went wrong and endeavor not to make the same mistake twice. Real estate mogul Donald Trump had to declare bankruptcy at one point in his life, but did it stop him from trying again? J. K. Rowling, author of the bestselling Harry Potter series, had to go through several manuscript rejections before getting published. When you fail, cry. But only for a moment. Harness the personal development skill of dusting one's self off and trying again.

If you add these four personal development skills to your list of New Year's resolutions, for sure you'll have a different outlook same time next year!

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