tree in the sunset within the silhouette of a woman

The Ultimate Guide to Personal Growth: How to Improve Yourself and Live a Better Life

Are you happy?

Do you strive for more in life?

Do you think that out there somewhere, there’s a better life that you could – should – be living?

When I was in my early 30s, you could say I had all but given up on personal growth.

I was living a comfortable life that was purely okay. Sure, it wasn’t great, but I got by, and I liked it enough.

I had good friends, a great family, and a decent job that paid the bills.

Only, what I now realize is that I wasn’t all that happy during this time.

I was comfortable, but my choice to stay in my comfort zone also stunted any chance I had to grow.

And unfortunate life events forced me to look back over my life and examine why I wasn’t happy and what to do about it.

In a way, I was lucky – because, without these unfortunate events, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

But not everyone gets a shock back to reality and an opportunity to examine their life — I think we all know someone who reaches the pinnacle of their life at 35 and coasts until the end.

And when you see it, isn’t it sad?

What is Personal Growth?

black background with yellow lights saying 'go up and never stop' in reference to personal growth
Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

I believe that in order to live a full life, we have to work to improve ourselves continually. And sadly, most of us don’t. We lay back in our comfort zones, doing the same things over and over again, never taking steps towards improvement. 

This attitude is dangerous, and it’s something you must actively fight if you want to live your life to the fullest potential.

Personal growth is always taking steps to grow and become a better person. It’s taking chances on doing things you love and are passionate about rather than taking the easy way out. It’s committing to continually grow to live a happy and fulfilling life.

It’s learning how to make the most out of your life and living your life to the fullest.

And it’s becoming the best version of yourself.

And it’s my humble opinion that we all need personal growth in our lives…

Why do You Need Personal Growth?

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the best gifts you can give yourself is personal growth.

It’s a constant need, or want, to grow as a person and upgrade your life skills – allowing yourself to follow that path can be sometimes scary, but almost always enlightening.

It’s a never-ending journey, and while that sounds intimidating, that’s the beauty of it; because it’s not a destination, you are continually expanding your horizons and bettering yourself.

Personal growth is the act of consistently growing and improving yourself, your skills, mindset, and life. Developing the skills and mindset towards personal development goals will also help reduce anger, stress, and frustration by creating a success mindset.

And along the way, you’ll do more than you ever thought possible.

Do you want to grow and, by focusing on self-improvement, improve your overall well-being – mentally, physically, and spiritually?

Do you want to become a better person? A happier person? A more successful person?

Do you want to live your best life?

Then you want to say yes to the personal growth journey.

And along the way, you’ll learn about yourself, about your true life purpose, and about your struggles. 

It will also help you put your goals into action and realize the importance of personal development to a new life. To your new life.

What are Examples of Personal Growth

little girl with a backpack standing on a mountain top at the day time

Personal growth is in the eye of the beholder. 

It could mean one thing to me, something different to you, and yet something else entirely to your coworker.

At one point – piggy-backing off a terrible event, I decided one of the primary goals in my life was to help people. That decision ended up being a significant decision in my life, and one that I strive for still today.

I went to school to become a personal trainer but kept my “day job.”

Later, on the back of another traumatic event, I decided I wanted to help people more intimately. I knew I loved writing, so I started writing. I became a coach. And because I wanted to travel the world, I quit my job to become a digital nomad in the process.

I’m not advocating you make significant changes like that, but if it’s something you want in your life, freakin’ go for it (but make a plan to get there – more on that below).

Your personal growth plan could be to go for a promotion within your company, go back to night school to become a doctor, quit your job and travel the world, or write a New York Times bestselling book. 

Or it could be to simply take a trip out of the country for the first time.

There are no right or wrong answers. 

Don’t be afraid to dream big, but take small steps. 

I talk below about making a personal growth plan, which will help give you some ideas. In the meantime, keep an open mind, don’t rule anything out, and make note of any way you want to grow, big and small.

How to improve your life with personal growth

stick figure walking up stairs growing with personal growth

Two of my most significant opportunities to improve personal growth have come after negative life events spurred me to re-examine my life.

And forced with that, that’s precisely what I did.

And both times, I found that I wasn’t very happy, deep down.

Sure, I was alright, but I wasn’t really living the life I wanted.

And so I made changes to start living that life.

That’s the funny thing about personal growth – it’s so great, and yet it’s so easy to back away from it and take a seat in your comfort zone again. Until, in my case, something jarred me loose from that comfort and made me realize that I’d become complacent again.

But there are some things you can do to start improving your personal growth right now, without a jarring negative life experience to get you going.

Below are four essential qualities for improving your personal growth.

1. Change Your Thinking – Have a Growth Mindset

the same old thinking and disappointing results, closed loop or negative feedback mindset concept presented on blackboard with colorful sticky notes, white chalk

Having a growth mindset is the key to success when talking about personal growth.

Instead of thinking of yourself as someone who’s done growing up, think of yourself as someone who’s always growing—always trying new things, big and small.

Think of yourself as someone who goes outside their comfort zone, who is always working towards growth in some way, and who accepts the challenges to get where they want to be.

It’s important to remember that not everything has to be a massive goal for you to grow personally. 

Start a meditation practice, try a new way to work out, give stand-up comedy a try, or travel to another country for a new perspective on life.

All of these are ways to use personal development to your advantage and enjoy doing it.

2. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone – Enter Your Growth Zone

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt

Many of us stay within our comfort zone at all times, but getting outside our comfort zone is how we grow.

Most people I know want to improve their lives somehow, though many won’t say it aloud.

Because the truth is, change can be scary. It’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone and avoid the hard work and unknown that comes with growing and evolving.

It’s important to realize that the easy way out, of staying in your comfort zone, is the only way to guarantee that you’ll never live that life you dream of; you’ll instead settle for an ordinary life…one that you may one day come to regret.

So start taking steps out of your comfort zone, even if they’re small. It’s an excellent strategy to get used to stepping into your growth zone often.

It’ll better prepare you for going on your personal growth journey and for being ready to take on life’s unexpected twists and turns that thrust you into the growth zone, too.

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Create that YouTube channel.
  • Travel to another country.
  • Go to a networking event.
  • Go skydiving.
  • Try your hand at stand-up comedy.
  • Build your podcast.
  • Start a meditation practice.
  • Learn to knit.
  • Train for a marathon.
  • Take that sabbatical to Europe.

In fact, you can find new ways to grow every day by choosing something small or breaking something big into small and easy to accomplish steps.

3. Get Out of the Shallow End – Jump in the Deep End

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

~Oscar Wilde

Many of us have massive plans for ourselves and our future. And yet, it never comes to fruition.


We’re scared of the work, don’t have the confidence in ourselves, don’t have the time. We fear failure, fear what others will think, and we fill ourselves with self-doubt.

We wait for the timing to be right, but the timing is never right. 

We wait for the confidence to take action, but the truth is we have it backward – we need to take action to build our confidence.

There are always a million reasons not to do something.

But personal development is always worth it—every single time. 

So make sure you take action and go after the things you want in this life.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Fall on Your Face

“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”

~Thomas Edison

I’ve failed at a lot of things. I’ve failed as a business owner, as a digital nomad – as a human being.

But you know what?

I don’t care – I’m no longer afraid to fail.

I embrace failure, and you should too. The fact is, if you’re stepping outside your comfort zone and trying to live the life of your dreams, you’re going to fail. 

A lot.

And that’s okay. It’s more than okay – it should be expected.

Failure can be a powerful learning experience (if you embrace it) and, more than that, a stepping stone to success.

If you’re afraid of failure, you might be putting yourself in a box that holds you back from reaching your full potential.

In other words, without failure, there can be no success.

That’s right, so in your natural human response to failure, which is to avoid it, you’re doing the worst thing you can do for yourself—not allowing yourself to succeed.

It’s time to stop viewing failure as the enemy. 

The real failure is never trying.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

~Thomas Edison

Here are a few things to know about failure:

  • Failure is inevitable – it’s going to happen to you. 
  • Failure is necessary – show me someone who succeeded, and I’ll show you someone who failed (a lot) on their journey.
  • Failure isn’t fatal – far from it. It’s only fatal if you give up.
  • Failure is feedback – to steer you in the right direction.
  • With every failure, you will grow stronger.
  • With every mistake, you will learn.
  • Every time you fall, you will pick yourself up, gain confidence, and move forward easier.

Embrace your inner weirdo – once you’re not afraid of failure, the things you will try and be able to do may astound you. 

How to Make a Personal Growth Plan – and succeed

woman meditating and stretching for personal growth
Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

So now that you’re set up to take a step into self-improvement, it’s time to create a plan.

Because without a plan – without goals for personal growth – the dreams and aspirations you have could just go to waste.

But with a solid personal growth plan in place, your chances of success increase significantly, for anything you set your sights on.

Read on for how to create your plan.

Get Clear on What You Want

What are some things you want in life? 

Clarity is critical because if you’re vague about what you want, you can’t plan how to get there (which we’ll discuss below), and you won’t succeed.

Maybe you know, maybe you’re still figuring it out, or maybe you have an idea, but it’s time to put pen to paper and get it down in writing.

What do you want in your life? 

Now’s not the time to hold back. Get it all down, and you can go from there. Organize it by what’s most important to you.

  • Start that side-hustle you’ve always wanted to start.
  • Become a digital nomad.
  • Write that epic novel that’s been on your mind.
  • Go for that other job you’ve always wanted.
  • One of the many things on the growth zone list above…

Hint: Organize by importance and effort – some things aren’t as important but are easier to accomplish.

Start Crossing Off Your Bucket List

A great way to start your personal growth plan is to revisit your bucket list – and start crossing it off.

Even the small things on your bucket list will help you grow.

There are so many things you’ve probably thought of and then put in the back of your mind.

  • Go for that promotion.
  • Go skydiving.
  • Do a poetry slam.
  • Get on The Moth podcast.
  • Start a YouTube channel.

Time to get it all out on that piece of paper.

And start organizing your list by short-term and long-term goals. This way, you’ll have a big goal you’re trying to achieve, and you can sprinkle in some of the more manageable goals wherever you can.

But don’t be afraid to think big too…

Find Your Intersection of Passion and Strength

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

~Joseph Campbell

Maybe you don’t know what your aspirations are – I didn’t.

I had to put in some work to understand what drove me, who I wanted to be, and ultimately, my purpose.

Here are some questions to answer that can help you go down the path of self-discovery.

What are you passionate about? What makes you stay up until the wee hours of the morning because you lost track of time?

What are your strengths? What have others said you’re good at?

We all have passions, and we all have our strengths.

Our purpose lies somewhere at the intersection of our passions and strengths.

Write down your passions. Write down your strengths (if you struggle with this, ask others: coworkers, friends, family…)

Now, how can you combine your passions and strengths and do something you love to do?

To Succeed Create SMART Goals for Personal Growth

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

– Mark Twain

Because a personal growth goal can be so broad and ever-expanding, many people fail.

But it’s not the size that matters; it’s the plan they put in place.

Well, truthfully, they usually don’t have one.

They have an end goal, and they shoot from the hip.

The trick to success when dealing with personal development is to use SMART Goals (graphic below):

SMART goals laid out

Make sure to picture your end goal, even if it’s five years in the future. 

And back it up from there: What are you going to do in 5 years to make that happen? This year? This month? This week? 

What are you going to do today?

Picture your end goal and break it down into small, manageable steps.

Remember, each step should be an easy enough stepping stone to manage.

And once you hit that small step, congratulate yourself on moving forward.

Then take action to take the next step.

In doing so, you will consistently see progress, create motivation, gain the confidence to take another step, and keep the action going forward.

When You Need More – Personal Growth Coaching

man holding fixed light bulb out to another person
Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

I was going through one of the worst times in my life.

I was struggling with depression and felt like all was lost.

What did I do?

I sought a life coach – well, a personal growth coach, to be specific. 

Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve followed him for a while, and I happened to get an email at just that time, which prompted me to reach out.

And I’m so glad I did.

Not only did it get me out of my depression, but it made me realize that I’d been missing out on personal growth for a long time.

It’s been five years since I hired my coach, and while I currently don’t have a coach, the lessons I learned changed my life.

I now feed off of personal development and am continually looking for self-improvement avenues.

And that’s not to say I’m not happy about where I am, because I am. But I’m also on the path to so much growth, and I’m finding new things out about myself every day.

Every day I’m in my growth zone.

But I understand that getting out of your comfort zone is really damn hard.  

Sometimes making decisions that rock your comfortable life fills you with anxiety and self-doubt.

Even dread.

And it’s okay to reach out to someone who can help.

Personal growth coaches can help you break down barriers – walls you put up – that try to protect you but end up hurting you in the end.

And these walls need to be broken down – or you could end up like so many people – who stop living at the age of thirty-five and coast until the end.

And then look over their life with regret that they didn’t do so much more when they had the chance.

Are You Ready to go on A JOURNEY OF Personal Growth?

Hiker with backpack standing on top of a mountain and enjoying sunrise on a personal growth journey

So what are you waiting for?

What’s the holdup?

Start making your personal growth plan today.

And don’t let anything get in your way – not your fear and self-doubt, not the excuses you will keep making, and not others or what you fear they will think.

Or you could sit back and watch life pass you by, one day looking back with regret because of all the things you could have done – yet didn’t.

Comfortable is no way to go through life.

But getting out of your comfort zone and into your growth zone is.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

~Howard Thurman

Going for that promotion, changing careers to something that makes you happy, creating your own Amazon product, or traveling the world while becoming a digital entrepreneur – that’s living, my friends.

Doing something that gives you a life of passion and purpose. 

Something that causes you to smile at the day ahead, every morning before you even get out of bed.

Something that takes all the stress and anxiety and throws it out the window, that eliminates the fear, and that increases your self-confidence so that you can continue to grow in ways you never thought possible.

And all of those somethings can be the result of personal growth.

That’s why I dedicate my website to personal growth, and I commit myself to help you grow in any way that I can.

Because I know you’re capable of so much more.

So let’s take this journey together.

Go through the steps above, put your personal growth plan together, and take action.

Let me know in the comments, or email me at and let me know what you’re up to. 

Let me know how you’re going to grow this year.

And let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

10 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Personal Growth: How to Improve Yourself and Live a Better Life”

  1. Hello! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new
    iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and
    look forward to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!

  2. May I simply say what a comfort to find somebody who really understands what they are discussing
    on the net. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and
    make it important. A lot more people must read this and understand this side of the
    story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that you definitely possess the gift.

  3. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless just imagine
    if you added some great graphics or video clips to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could definitely be one of
    the very best in its niche. Very good blog!

  4. I do not know whether It’s just me or if everyone else experiencing problems with
    your website.
    It appears as though some of the
    text in your posts are running off
    the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me
    know if this is happening to them too?
    This might be a issue with my
    internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously.


  5. Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand
    your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely magnificent.
    I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you are
    saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to
    keep it sensible. I can’t wait to read much more from you.
    This is actually a tremendous website.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top