Where to start self-development: stages and recommendations

Ted Scott
Ted Scott
5 March 2024
12 min

Today only a lazy person does not talk about the benefits of self-development. It is hard not to agree with this, because developing and improving our knowledge, cultivating the best traits, skills, we get a chance to change life for the better, to achieve new heights in career, to achieve harmony and understanding with ourselves. But how to build your path of personal growth? Where to start? After all, it is not enough to wake up one morning and just say to yourself: that’s it, from today I will be the “best version of myself”. What should this “better version” look like? Where to look for the necessary information? In practice, this task turns out to be not as easy as it may seem at first glance. Most people end up stopping at the planning stage.

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Today we will talk about where to start self-development, how to make your personal plan, what methods to use to succeed in work and life, using your potential.

Why it’s hard to start self-development

start self-development

When dreaming of advancing in their careers or visiting new countries, most people do not think about the fact that in order to do so, they need to take a number of specific actions. It would seem that everything is simple in theory: you find a new job, learn a foreign language. Then everything goes “as usual”. But in reality it turns out that in order to achieve these results you need to do a huge number of actions, seriously work on yourself. That is why ambitious plans often remain a pipe dream.

Here are some of the main reasons that hinder the process of self-development:

  • Lack of a clear, precise plan of action. This makes it unclear where to go, how to make the first step.
  • Loss of motivation. Yesterday you were thinking excitedly about enrolling in a language course or creating a good resume for employment, but today there is no mood, you don’t feel like doing anything, you continue to be inactive.
  • Weak self-discipline, willpower. That is why it is so difficult for you to “pull yourself together”, to force yourself to act. It seems to be physically impossible.
  • Not enough time. Working or studying 24/7, it’s hard to carve out time for yourself and your personal needs.
  • Deteriorating health, physical fatigue due to overwork or lack of sleep. In such a state, there is hardly any desire to work on yourself.
  • Insecurity, fear of new endeavors are also serious obstacles to self-development. They will hinder growth in new directions, prevent the mastering of new skills.
  • Toxic environment. Constant criticism, negativity on the part of others, lack of understanding and support from their side do not contribute to personal development.
  • Limited resources. That is, lack of finances or sources of education.

All of the above factors represent certain parts of a person’s life. To eliminate and overcome them requires regular efforts and constant work on oneself. Another obstacle on the way to self-improvement is copying someone else’s way of thinking, wrong life attitudes, bad habits that turn into “garbage”, preventing a person from living his own life. To deal with this once and for all, answer for yourself the question: “What do I really want?” and discard all unnecessary “husks” from yourself.

How self-development changes lives

How self-development changes lives

Discovering something new, gaining knowledge, forming useful habits, a person significantly improves the quality of life. Other advantages of self-development:

  • Unlocking potential, personal growth. Developing in different directions, a person becomes more educated, competent, conscious and self-confident.
  • Gaining new knowledge and skills. It promotes career growth, expansion of the circle of communication, the possibility of creative expression and realization in different spheres of life.
  • Increased self-esteem. By achieving some results, a person gains confidence in himself and his abilities.
  • Quick adaptation to change. The modern world requires from us flexibility and the ability to adapt to different conditions. Self-development helps us to easily survive changes and overcome any difficulties.
  • A feeling of satisfaction with life, harmony with oneself. Getting rid of complexes, mastering new opportunities, improving themselves, people experience a sense of satisfaction and well-being.

Self-development is one of the main factors of a successful and happy life. It is the key to the development of positive qualities and talents of a person, helps to feel self-sufficient and self-confident in any situation, to maximize your creative and intellectual potential.

Stages of self-development

Stages of self-development

Self-development is the evolution of a person, making him move, strive forward, not stopping at the achieved results. There are no universal ways of personal growth. But, in any case, for changes it is necessary to pass the following stages:

Understanding the need for inner transformation

This requires a sober look at yourself and the world around you, with a critical assessment of what is happening. Ask yourself questions:

  • What has changed in my environment? This is important if you are rejected, not accepted, negative events are happening around you. You are in a state of stress, do not want to work, do not find common ground with others. The situation when the world becomes unfriendly to a person, often indicates his dissatisfaction with life, the need for change, a change of level, which he has long outgrown.
  • What do I want? A life without dreams leads to disharmony, loss of interest in life, fatigue, and a sense of one’s own grayness and worthlessness.
  • Why am I doing this? If you realize that your actions contradict your inner values, it’s time to deal with it, because this is a sure path to degradation. For example, you are ready to humiliate yourself, to borrow money in order not to work.
  • Why am I afraid, apathetic? As a rule, such a state is often connected with internal contradictions. You wanted to become a rock musician, but you work as an ordinary accountant in a small office? To get rid of this state, you need to find something new for yourself, to find inner harmony.
  • Why am I lazy, procrastinating, tired? Mark for yourself when you feel the urge to put things off “for tomorrow”? Perhaps you have long outgrown your activity or are fulfilling someone else’s goals?
  • Why do I seek self-destruction? Any dangerous addictions, such as alcohol or drugs, gambling addiction, are a sign of inner protest. Strange as it may sound, they can also be used for personal growth if you understand their true causes.

Accepting yourself and your shortcomings

For this purpose, you can use the methodology of psychologist Kolesov. Make a table, writing down shortcomings that can be transformed into personal strengths:

ProblemIts negative impactHow it will help change your life for the better
Lack of responsibility for actionsProblems in career, in all spheres of life, inability to raise children normally.When forming the skill of responsibility for one’s actions, self-esteem is increased, willpower is developed, and one’s own shortcomings are correctly perceived.
Stereotypical thinkingLiving by imposed rules (you can’t stand out, you have to conform, it’s better to keep quiet) will prevent a person from developing and achieving their goals.By rejecting other people’s attitudes, a person acquires his own system of values, is not afraid to take on bold projects and make unconventional decisions.
Aggression towards the environmentBelieving that everyone in this world is set against him, man condemns himself to a joyless and pessimistic existence in a state of eternal enmity.Aggressive energy can be channeled peacefully by spending resources on training, business development.

Without acceptance of their shortcomings, people experience chronic dissatisfaction with life. They develop numerous complexes that lead to loneliness, desolation and depression. To deeply work through personal problems in the process of self-development, you can use the help of a psychologist.

Where to start self-development

Where to start self-development

So, you’re determined to become the “best version of yourself.” What’s the next step? First, decide which areas of your life you want to improve. To do this, you can use the “Balance Wheel” method by Paul J. Meyer. According to this theory, it is important for a person to improve in the following areas for harmony:

Physical conditionSocializationSpiritualityIntelligence
Observance of the daily regimen, proper nutrition, active lifestyle, staying in nature, elimination of bad habits.Establishing contacts and connections with loved ones, colleagues, others, ability to earn money, financial stability, understanding of one’s own value.Cognition of one’s inner world through religion, spiritual practices, getting rid of aggression, negative emotions, the ability to live in harmony with oneself, to control one’s emotions.Gaining new skills, knowledge, brain training, professional growth.

Analyze what problems are important to solve first? Answer the following questions honestly and clearly:

  1. What do you want to change in your life?
  2. What’s best to give up altogether?
  3. Do you enjoy your work?
  4. Do I really want to change myself?

In this way you will formulate your own list of problems. They will sound different for all people. Some people are tormented at a job they don’t like, others live in a state of constant stress, others don’t earn enough, and for some the primary problem is being overweight or smoking. Based on the answers, set your goals accordingly, observing the following rules:

  • The goal should be clear, specific and achievable.
  • It must be recorded in writing.
  • Goals are set for different periods: 5 years, one year, one month, one week and one day.

An algorithm for setting a financial goal might look like this:

  1. On a piece of paper write the amount of money you want to earn.
  2. The time in which to get this result is specified.
  3. A route to achieve the goal is constructed. Example: “In exactly 5 years from today’s date, I will earn my first million”.

It is important to strive to achieve the goal by a certain deadline. This will allow you to properly allocate your resources and efforts on the way to achieving it.

Once you have identified the areas of your life that need to change, set realistic and achievable goals, you can move on to creating a plan of action. Your goal is the final point. To get to it, you need to take certain steps, to break a large-scale strategic goal into small tasks. And perform them one by one in the order of prioritization.

Step-by-step algorithm for personal growth

  1. Make daily plans. Without a plan for the day, it will be difficult for you to move towards your goal. You simply won’t know what to do in the moment. Take 10-15 minutes in the morning to plan. Summarize at the end of each day. Make to-do lists for the day and do them in a planned sequence, focusing on importance and priority.
  2. Practice proper rest. It is important for any person to get enough sleep and avoid overloading the body to prevent stress, physical and mental exhaustion.
  3. Lead a healthy lifestyle, wake up early, go to bed on time, be outdoors more often, do not forget about active movement during the day.
  4. Take time to improve your physical condition: exercise, eat right. It is not necessary to resort to drastic measures. It is enough to exclude from the diet harmful, fatty foods, sweets, fast food. Do not forget to drink water during the day. Improve physical fitness. If there are problems with this, start with walking. Compose for yourself a simple set of exercises for 10-15 minutes and perform them at the same time, every day. This way you will feel more awake, more active, lose a couple of extra pounds, which will have a positive effect on your appearance and self-esteem.
  5. Learn to take responsibility for your actions. Life in the role of the offended victim will not allow you to reveal your capabilities and abilities. Correctly perceive criticism, draw appropriate conclusions from it.
  6. Be open to new things, learn, improve and grow.
  7. Live “in your own mind”, set personal boundaries. Don’t let anyone, even loved ones, violate them.

Recommendations for self-development of men and women

Recommendations for self-development

Any work on yourself involves effort and self-control. Giving yourself slack once, then once again, you can completely negate the results achieved. Always remember that personal discipline is not a restriction and not a rejection of the usual life. It is just the elimination of secondary, unnecessary things from it.

Here are some general tips for women and men to help with self-development:

  • Learn something new all the time. For example, a foreign language. Read complex literature, participate in master classes, acquire useful skills that will help you advance and develop in your profession.
  • Learn a new hobby. It will help to distract you from routine, will contribute to the development of emotional, physical and creative abilities. There are many interesting directions in which you can try your hand. For example, cooking, pastry art, drawing, yoga, dancing or hiking.
  • Train your memory, concentration, attention. Various online simulators and brain training platforms will help you develop yourself in this direction. In this way, you will keep it in tone and increase your personal productivity.
  • Overcome fears, do not be afraid of new beginnings. They constrain you, prevent you from moving forward and close the road to future achievements. You can get rid of them by forming logical thinking, developing the habit of acting despite fear.
  • Think positive. Getting rid of negative emotions will greatly improve your quality of life. It is difficult, but possible to do with the help of simple and useful exercises: for example, comparing your life with other people (there are always those who are much worse off than you); maintaining a good mood with encouragements in the form of compliments, gifts to yourself, cooking delicious meals.
  • Strive for professionalism. For this purpose, it is important not to stop learning at all stages of life, to invest in your education and qualifications.
  • Manage your finances wisely. This skill will help you learn how to save and save money, increasing it with the help of proper investments. Try to set aside up to 10% of your earnings each month. Invest your free money in stocks and bonds, having carefully studied this issue beforehand. Do not take out loans for unnecessary things, such as a new iPhone.

Self-development methods that work

Self-development methods that work

There are many techniques and methods to help improve your life. Among them, it is not difficult to find a suitable option for yourself. For example:

“Wonderful morning.”

You choose 6 actions and do them every morning. Start preparing for the next day in the evening. Say several times in your mind: “Tomorrow I will wake up at 6:30 (you can choose any time). I will feel alert and have a good night’s sleep”. Start your morning with a wash with cool water, a glass of water and exercise. Make time for meditation. Make a to-do plan for the day. Allocate 15 minutes for any useful activity, such as learning a foreign language or reading.

Daily exercise

This is the best way to boost your energy levels and wake up in the morning. Allow 7-10 minutes for simple physical exercises. Do not overdo it: a few arm rotations, head rotations, ten push-ups and stretching will be quite enough.


These are positive attitudes that program a person for success. When repeated many times, they become fixed in the subconscious mind. By regularly repeating the phrase: “I am a successful person”, over time you will feel it in reality. Here are some effective affirmations:

  • “I’m a confident person.”
  • “I am healthy, alert and full of vigor.”
  • ” I attract money from a variety of sources.”

Motivational Diary

You can write down any thoughts and original ideas that come to you during the day. Use it to summarize, track personal achievements and failures. Keep a record in it:

  • Your values in life;
  • Goals, plans to achieve them;
  • Its pros and cons;
  • Motivational mottos, sayings and quotes;
  • Positive evaluations about you by coworkers, supervisors.


Find literally a couple minutes in your morning schedule to sit in silence. Find a quiet, peaceful place so that no one disturbs you. Relax, close your eyes. Breathe evenly and deeply, focusing on your breath, controlling your every exhale and inhale. This is a great way to immerse yourself in your inner world, to be alone with yourself.

Typical mistakes that inhibit personal growth

When embarking on the path of self-development, few people make it to the end because of mistakes that occur at the very beginning. These include:

  • The habit of putting things off until later. To become a “better version of yourself”, you need to get rid of procrastination. Take on tasks immediately and do them completely, as long as you have the desire and energy. Otherwise, you run the risk of “burnout” and failing to finish what you have started.
  • Waiting for inspiration. In this case, self-discipline is important. After all, motivation is a complex and unreliable phenomenon. Today you are ready to “roll mountains”, and tomorrow the desire to perform active actions may disappear altogether because of a bad mood or another failure.
  • The desire to have time to do everything at once. Putting several dozen tasks before yourself every day, it is worth thinking about the fact that time is not an infinite resource. You physically will not be able to cope with them effectively and efficiently. In addition, such a rhythm of life and work, threatens burnout. Do not forget to keep a measure in everything.
  • Fear of failure. Mistakes should be perceived as an impetus for new development. Remember: everything is possible.

How to use the LeaderTask Task Manager for self-development

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The LeaderTask app will help you manage your time wisely, put your life in order, make it organized and structured, and achieve better results with less effort. With it, you can easily organize your current tasks into “shelves”, create lists of goals and tasks. Electronic diary will show you the current picture of things to do, timely remind you of an important event. It will help you plan tasks for any period of time.

Using the Focus option, you can concentrate on important tasks. Inculcate and develop useful habits by setting up regular, repetitive tasks. Make realistic, productive plans and monitor their execution. See your productivity on an informative graph. The app is compatible with any digital platform, installs on your PC, tablet or phone. It does not require an internet connection.


Self-development is a multi-stage, complex process that affects all aspects and spheres of life. To achieve personal growth is not enough aspiration and desire. It requires self-discipline, concentration on the main goals, accurate definition of the key vector of life development. Do not rest on your laurels, read smart books, be inspired by the examples of other people. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Take them as experience for further achievements. Do what you love, learn new skills, gain knowledge that will be useful in your future work and career. Improve yourself physically, intellectually, socially, spiritually. In this way you will make your life full, successful and harmonious.

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