Have you ever noticed just how many different terms there are for personal development?

Quite a few, I've found.

It must be quite confusing to people who are just starting out on their personal development journey, so I've come up with this handy glossary to help you figure out which term suits you best.

thank Dictionary.com for their definition guidance.

Personal Development ...
... is improving yourself and becoming the person you wish to be and to achieve what you wish to achieve. It covers activities such as (but not limited to) improving self awareness and personal identity, developing your talents and pushing towards your full potential, enhancing your quality of life and working to realise your dreams and aspirations.

Self Help ...
... is all about using your own skills and resources to achieve goals and dreams without relying on others. Although you may use resources from a range of people, the efforts to apply them to your life is completely yours. Generally applied to a specfic area (such as becoming mindful or overcoming anxiety) rather than the overall improvement of yourself.

Self Improvement ...
... is all about improving your existing knowledge, status, or character. It can cover learning of any sort outside of a formal education setting, such as increasing foreign language performance.

Self Development ...
... is the same as personal development, but may have a stronger focus on mindset over action or achievement.

Self Knowledge ...
... is all about understanding your own motives, beliefs and character traits. It's learning who you are and what you stand for.

Self Awareness ...
... is the same as self knowledge but covers how others perceive you too.

Self Actualisation ...
... is the psychological way of saying 'reaching your full potential'. It's about continually growing and being the best that you can be in every situation. Although, there is some debate as to whether it is something that you can ever actually 'catch' or whether it is something that will always be ahead of you, motivating you forward, to more and more.

These are just a few I could think of and you can see that they are all slightly different BUT essentially describing the same thing. I prefer the term Personal Development but you might have a different choice. Something else might resonate better with you and your journey, and that's okay. Just substitute mine for yours when you read any of my posts.

 

What is Personal Development? Is it the same as Self Help or Self Improvement? Some useful definitions …

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