Personal development is a lifelong process. It is a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realize and maximize their potential.

This page helps you to identify the skills you meed to set goals which can enhance your employability prospects, raise your confidence levels. And lead to a more fulfilling, higher quality of life. Plan to make relevant, positive and effective life choices and decisions for your future to enable personal empowerment.

What is Personal Development

There are many ideas surrounding personal development, one of which is Abraham Maslow’s process of self-actualisation.


Maslow (1970) suggested that all individuals have an in-built need for personal development which occurs through a process called self-actualisation. The extent to which people are able to develop depends on certain needs being met and these needs from hierarchy. Only when one level of need is satisfied can a higher one be developed. As change occurs throughout life, however, the level of need motivating someone’s behavior at any one time will also change

* At the bottom of the hierarchy are the basic physiological needs for food, drink, sex and sleep (the basics for survival)

* Second are the needs for safety and security in both the physical and economic sense.

* Thirdly, progression can be made to satisfying the need for love and belonging.

* The fourth level refers to meeting the need for self-esteem and self-worth. This is the level most closely related to self empowerment.

* The fifth level relates to the need to understand. This level includes more abstract ideas such as curiosity and the search for meaning or purpose and deeper understanding.

* The sixth is related to aesthetic needs of beauty, symmetry and order.

* Finally, at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy is the need for self-actualisation.

Maslow says that all individuals have the need to see themselves as competent and autonomous, also that every person has limitless room for growth.

Self-actualisation refers to the desire that everybody has ‘to become everything that they are capable of becoming’ In other words, it refers to self-fulfilment and the need to reach full potential as a unique human being.

For Maslow, the path to self-actualisation involves being in touch with your feelings, experiencing life fully and with total concentration.

Managing Your Personal Development

There are a number of steps to take in managing your personal development.

1. Developing a Personal Vision

Personal development can simply be for fun. Most of us, however, find it easier to motivate ourselves to learn and improve if we have a purpose in doing so. Developing your personal vision – a clear idea of where you want to be in a few months or years and why – is a critical part of developing this purpose.

2. Planning Your Personal Development

Once you are clear about where you want to be, you can start planning how to get there. Drawing up a personal development plan is not essential but can help and it does make the process much more realistic.

3. Starting the Improvement Process

There are a number of different ways in which you can learn and develop. Some techniques called expertise transfer suggests how different types of learning processes may be more effective for certain people

4. Recording Your Personal Development

It is often a good idea to keep a record of your personal development. By writing down key developments in your learning and development as and when they happen, you will be able to self reflect 0on your successes at a later date.

5. Reviewing and Revising Personal Development Plans

Learning is a cycle. For more effective learning, it is important to reflect on your experience, and consider what you have learnt from it. Regular review of your personal development plans, and your development activities, will ensure that you learn from what you have done. It will also ensure that your activities continue to move you towards your goals, and that your goals or vision remain relevant to you.


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