What is Personal Development?

The answer to the question, “what is personal self-development?” is varied and complicated. That is because it comprises a variety of activities that help improve one’s knowledge of the world as well as one’s own relationship with the self.

The goal of any personal self-development is self-improvement and improved relationships with others as well as the ability to conceptualize and then actualize one’s most cherished dreams and aspirations.


So, what is personal self-development?  It can be –


  • Improving awareness of the self
  • Setting an attainable goal
  • Letting go of the past
  • Building a new identity
  • Developing latent talents and strengths
  • Improving your financial situation
  • Learning how to have faith in your gut instincts
  • Confronting your worst fears
  • Deciding what you want to do for a living
  • Managing your time so you are more efficient
  • Becoming a more effective communicator
  • Learning leadership skills
  • Repackaging yourself as an ideal candidate for a job
  • A weight loss program
  • Taking care of a health problem
  • Following a lifelong dream
  • Pursuing higher education
  • Getting a makeover
  • Starting a business
  • Quitting a job to become a freelancer
  • Improving your ability to meet new people
  • Preparing for retirement
  • Stockpiling for an emergency

The above list is not complete but it gives you an idea of all of the answers to the question “What is personal development.”  Notice that self-improvement can be applied to many different aspects of our contemporary reality including economic, biological, organizational, archival or other structures. For instance, if you are quite messy but you have a huge collection of photographs from your past part of your personal self-development might be clearing the clutter of the past from your life and putting all of the pictures in a binder that helps tell the story of your past.

Many people achieve these types of goals with the help of a career counselor, a debt counselor, and a life-coach or by taking specific classes in such disciplines as neuron-linguistic programming or life coaching.

Often when asked “what is personal self-development” a professional or life-coach will tell you that it is a set of tools, techniques strategies and methods for improving self-actualization but it is really much more than that.  Personal self-development can also take other less official forms and include the practice of yoga, meditation, taking a new course or embarking on a physical fitness program. Personal self-development is a process that never should stop being a part of every moment of your waking life.