Personal growth occurs when you intentionally attempt to improve yourself as a person either physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, or any other way you can think of. However, personal growth does not happen on its own and requires you to take some initiative to officially begin the process and change your life for the better.
What many people don’t realize when they’re trying to improve themselves is the role that memories play in who they are as a person and where they’re headed in life. Without this acknowledgment, it’ll be much more difficult to achieve your ideal amount of personal growth in life.
How Memories Affect Personal Growth
In all actuality, memories have the ability to help you advance yourself as a functioning member of society or hinder your growth as an individual. This is completely dependent on how you view your memories and how you use them to better yourself (or the opposite).
Let’s say a majority of the memories you have in your life up until this point have been positive and happy. Due to the fact that these events have caused positive emotions and most likely improved your outlook on life, you might already be the person you want to be (though there is always room for more development and improvement).
However, if your life up until this point has been full of trauma, negative experiences, and upsetting emotions, you’re more likely to find yourself anticipating and experience the negative.
Why is this the case?
When past experiences tend to follow a theme, it’s human nature to anticipate that the trend will continue. In these cases, when you’re always expecting something to go wrong or making negative generalizations about others or the world in general, you’re severely limiting your potential when it comes to personal growth.
Using Your Memories Strategically
While it’s impossible to deny the role, memories play in personal growth and development, formally acknowledging your memories and utilizing them strategically can change your life for the better.
To do so, you have to be willing to reflect on your past, the memories you’ve developed, and the emotions they’ve caused. When you do this properly, you can analyze why you feel the way you feel or why you are the way you are. This helps you to acknowledge the current state that you’re in and determine the changes you’d like to make in your life.
A Change in Perspective
If you’re dedicated, you can change your perspective on the memories you have and use them to better yourself. For example, you may have been rejected by a big-name company you’ve always wanted to work for. Because of this, you have low self-esteem and no longer apply to jobs because you’re afraid of rejection.
If you pose this scenario differently in your mind, you can view this memory as a positive rather than a negative. Specifically, you could be proud of yourself for even getting an interview in the first place because the company only interviews what they deem to be good candidates.
Rather than using this memory to fuel your fears of rejection, you can use the memory to feel accomplished in your talents and abilities. This mindset will allow you to grow as an individual in a more positive way.
To fully commit to personal growth and development, you need to analyze and evaluate the events of your past and the memories you’ve created. By doing so, you can recognize the aspects of your personality and life that you want to change. In the end, you can’t change your memories or what you’ve been through, but you can change how you view them and the impact they have on you.