The 'What & Why' of Personal Growth!

The “what of personal growth (or development as many prefer) is important to an understanding of “why” we as women in business need to engage in it for our ultimate success!. 

At the close of last week’s AWI blog post, I stated that this week I’d talk about what personal growth and development is. It’s also important to grasp why it’s important for women in business, especially Christian women, to pursue it as an important ingredient in our ultimate success! 

WHAT IT IS! “Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations,” according to Wikipedia.

Not surprisingly, Wikipedia states “Personal development takes place over the course of a person’s entire life,” It is not limited to just self-help. The concept involves formal and informal activities for developing others in roles such as teacher, guide, counselor, manager, life coach or mentor.

So basically, personal development is gained from our decision to engage it via self-examination, as well as helping others engage in it as well! TWEET THIS

Personal development is the process of going within in order to continually become who we are designed to be on the outside. As well as on the inside!

Sounds very much like a riddle, and in many ways it is. The entire life long process of becoming is ‘riddled’ with surprises, joys, sorrows, missteps, opportunities and positive experiences. Each one designed to move us from the woman we were – to the woman we are – to the woman we are designed to be!

That’s the essence of personal development. Getting to know ourselves on an ever deepening level so that we overcome that which will trip us up because of a lack of self-awareness. Taking the lumps of coal with the lumps of sugar while learning everything we’re meant to learn from each experience. 

Here’s something I learned over the years that is less than pleasant to contemplate; but is nevertheless true. Personal growth is ripe with what we would humanly label – “negative” experiences. Tough stuff. The stuff that tries a woman’s soul. TWEET THIS

For those of us who love the Lord, such truth seems contradictory to the message of Scripture that our God loves us unconditionally. However, the “tough stuff” is necessary to scrape away the rough edges in order to reveal an inner beauty which lies just beneath the surface. And when we permit that process to occur; our inner beauty matches that which others see on the outside! 

What lies within becomes us!

One of my favorite psychologists, Abraham Maslow, is best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization.

His theory was there are certain basic needs all humans must fulfill in order to both survive and ‘thrive’. We must satisfy a need for food, water, warmth, rest, safety and security – physiological needs. Once satisfied, we can then focus on fulfilling our psychological needs – a need for intimacy and relationships. A need for a sense of accomplishment and recognition of same (“self-esteem”). Finally, some folks strive further in life to become what Maslow defined as “self-actualizing” individuals. Basically, individuals who achieve their full potential, including (but not limited to) creative activities.

I call self-actualization “becoming everything for which we are designed and destined to become!” The act of becoming! TWEET THIS.  

I’ll say more about Maslow, the hierarchy of needs and the act of (or art of) self-actualization in future posts; but for now – a look at some aspects of personal growth and why they are important to us as women in business seeking a level of success in life and business which fulfills our desires:

  1. Improving self-awareness – this is the foundation upon which we grow and develop personally, as well as professionally!
  2. Improving self-knowledge – with awareness of who we are within, comes the knowledge of same and an acceptance and ownership of the good, bad and ugly!
  3. Building or renewing identity/self-esteem – acceptance and ownership is important to developing our true identify and developing a positive sense of self!
  4. Identifying or improving potential – Why am I here? What am I meant to do with my life? What pursuit or the thought of same thrills me?
  5. Fulfilling aspirations – once we gain a sense of our design and the potential to achieve it; we must seek to fulfill and achieve the destiny for which we are designed!

Just a few of the actions individuals engaged in personal development will pursue. There are many more, however the 5 listed above are one’s I consider the ‘bedrock’ of individual personal growth and development. In other words, engage in these first and the rest will follow suit!  

Why do women in business need to engage in personal growth for the success they desire – personal and professional?

We are designed by a loving PAPA God for a unique purpose. We have specific natural talents and abilities, as well as the propensity for many others. Unless we first tackle the act of personal development, we will climb only so far up the mountain of fulfillment. In so doing, we’ll miss great opportunities for self, others – and ultimately the purpose for which He designed us. We’ll miss our appointment with a destiny for which only we are designed to fulfill! However, in the end, the choice is ours.

Which prompts me to end this post with a question. . .

Which do you choose: the sometimes rough road of personal growth & development? Or the highway of least resistance?

Next week, more on personal development or “What’s In It For Me”  



Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Enriching Women in Business Worldwide
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[author_info]I’m the Visionary Partner for Affiliated Women International (AWI). We connect women in business worldwide, especially Christian women in business via our Neighborhood Boutiques community. A community designed to inspire, educate, motivate and inform that each might succeed. [/author_info]




Linda S. Fitzgerald

I have a fiery passion to see women become all they are designed to be - personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness.

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