10 Ways To Stop Others From Interfering With Your Personal Growth Journey

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Humans are inert beings, very rarely ever wanting to remain stagnant in our current slot in life. There will come a moment when we’ve decided we’ve had enough and want to grow beyond who we are in the moment, but taking the steps toward that journey can be daunting.

Fortunately, there are ways we can support our path towards self-improvement and growth all on our own, infusing our journey with confidence, strength, and resilience.

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Where To Begin?

Self-improvement and growth are important parts of life that many of us prioritize, yet it can often be difficult to know how to best start and support our own journey, especially if we’re starting from zero with no one else to refer to for advice.

A greyscale image of a hand holding a compass.
Pedxels / Bakr Magrabi
Pedxels / Bakr Magrabi

Self-improvement and growth are meant to empower us, but it can be hard to feel that way when we don’t know how to prop ourselves up. From cultivating healthier habits to recognizing who our true allies are, let’s take an in-depth look at how to support ourselves in our journey toward personal growth and development.

Prioritize You

The first step you have to take in your personal growth journey is to remember that this is for you and you alone. You’re not doing this to be more palpable to other people, you’re not doing this to better provide for your friends, and you’re not doing this to make your family proud. You’re doing this so you can lead a healthier, happier life.

A portrait of a woman with her hair blowing in her face, eyes closed, smiling.
Pedxels / Christian Diokno
Pedxels / Christian Diokno

It will take some getting used to, always and only putting yourself first, but it’s the best way to make sure you stay firmly on this new path before you. Stand your ground and reap the benefits.

Becoming Aware

When it comes to becoming more aware of yourself and the way you live, it’s advised to use a holistic approach. That means you recognize all areas of wellness as you examine your life how it is now. Really think about it; how are you doing right now? What’s leaving you feeling unsatisfied? How would you like to grow?

A portrait of a woman with only half her face in light, focusing on her eye.
Pedxels / Joao Jesus
Pedxels / Joao Jesus

When thinking about growth, think about these areas in which you could develop: physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, environmentally, financially, occupationally, and spiritually. Think about which of these areas matter most to you, rank them, then focus on the first few and devise ways you could grow and become closer to your goals. If physical improvement is important to you, start researching at-home workout routines. If intellectual growth is at the top of your list, try researching local language-learning classes. The possibilities are endless!

Make Room For Your Past

Though this new venture focuses on your future, you must always allow room for the past to remain part of you, even if it’s been tough. The things you’ve experienced and gone through have shaped who you are and created the core tenants of your personality. Though it makes sense to want to let go of the less desirable habits you might have picked up along the way, abandoning your old self entirely doesn’t always give you that fresh start you were looking for. Instead, it might leave you feeling a little lost.

A woman sitting on a couch writing in a small red journal.
Pedxels / Pixabay
Pedxels / Pixabay

Your past is worth honoring and holding onto at least partially, even if the only reason is so you can see how far you’ve come in your journey.

Limit Comparison

One of the biggest ‘easier said than done’ tips is to limit how often you compare yourselves to others. It’s natural behavior, as we’re taught to do it our entire lives, plus it’s just hard to see someone we think of as ‘doing better’ than us and wish we could live the same way.

A woman holding up and comparing two different articles of clothing.
Pedxels / Liza Summer
Pedxels / Liza Summer

Rather than comparing, try to shift your perspective and view these people you’d otherwise be jealous of as inspiration instead. Use their joy as a goal, but remember that what you end up accomplishing might look different. That doesn’t matter so long as you’re happy.

Consistently Build Healthy Habits

Healthy habits are the foundation of progress of any sort, but it’s not just a one-and-done thing. Healthy habits have to be introduced gradually, at multiple points throughout your life, simply because things change! Your needs today might not be the same needs you’ll have in a year from now, so needing to change up your habits to best match your growth as a person makes sense.

A woman stands among foliage and ferns in a forest.
Pedxels / Saliha Sevim
Pedxels / Saliha Sevim

Always having set goals helps with this, as it gives you something to strive for and build habits around.

Build A Supportive Team

Having a good support system is imperative to leading a healthy life. If you feel like you lack one now, joining things like local or online support groups for those with similar struggles is a great way to meet new people who get what you’re going through and who will always be there to cheer you on when you need the motivation.

A group of friends high-fiving.
Pedxels / Fauxels
Pedxels / Fauxels

Having someone who can be there to catch us when we fall will make taking uncertain steps forward far less scary.

Embrace Discomfort

If there’s one thing I can say as a blanket statement for anyone’s journey toward self-improvement, it’s that it will not be easy. Fighting against everything we’ve known and done our entire lives is a monumental task that can bring about a lot of uncomfortable feelings.

A woman in a brown sweater hugging herself.
Pedxels / Aruna Kransnikova
Pedxels / Aruna Kransnikova

When that happens, don’t push them away. Instead, open your arms and embrace them. By making peace with the inevitable discomfort you feel, it will be easier to push through and overcome as opposed to fighting against it.

Take Things Slow

Becoming a healthier version of yourself isn’t a straight shot, and your progress will be extremely non-linear. You’ll be doing amazing for a few weeks, then experience a crash, likely before you shoot up to new heights, only to sink back to your lowest point. This is extremely common and not something you should beat yourself up for, but it’s also a good reason why you should take things slow.

Two hands reaching upwards, one caressing the other.
Pedxels / Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas
Pedxels / Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas

Overwhelming your brain and body with an entirely new regime will lead you to overcommit and thus feel terrible when you slip up on even one part of it a few days in. By introducing new aspects one at a time, you’re giving yourself time to get used to it and hone it before moving on to the next thing.

Recognize Your Allies

Much like the support system tip, it’s important to take stock of the people in your life and how they react to the successful steps of your journey. Are they happy for you and congratulating you? Or are they being dismissive, maybe even outright unsupportive?

A group of friends taking a selfie.
Pedxels / Hannah Nelson
Pedxels / Hannah Nelson

Those who don’t agree with the moves you’re making to better your life are simply not worth keeping around. It’s harsh, but it’s true; this is not a time to hang onto anyone who might want to push you off the path you carved out for yourself.

Celebrate Your Progress

Lastly, you won’t feel motivated to keep going if you don’t celebrate the progress you make. Set milestones for yourself—ones that are achievable but not too easy—then let yourself have something once you hit them! Maybe it’s a really nice dinner, a new dress you’ve had your eye on, whatever it is that would make you feel happy and good about how much better you’ve become.

A woman in a red jacket standing on a bridge, arms up in celebration.
Pedxels / Luke Webb
Pedxels / Luke Webb

The work you’re doing is tough, and it will be hard to choose to keep going at times but know that you’re worth the effort it will take to fully realize your new self.

Living For You

It’s important to remember that the journey of self-improvement and growth is an individualized process. Taking time for self-reflection and exploring different (maybe even unconventional) avenues for personal development are all empowering steps in the process that will only help you learn more about your needs and desires.

A weathered sign post pointing toward the right.
Pedxels / Jens Johnsson
Pedxels / Jens Johnsson

No matter how hard it may seem at first, progress toward a more positive life is possible, and not only that, but it’s worth it. You deserve this transformation, you deserve a life that’s shaped how you want it to be, and you deserve to be happy.

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Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

Dan is a content writer with three years of experience under their belt, having mostly covered viral media but now shifting toward spirituality and astrology. He’s a strong believer in using one’s beliefs as a means of self-improvement and being in touch with whatever messages the universe has to offer.

He can’t wait to share his insights with a[…]