Personal growth is different for everyone. But you should be able to see your progress. You know those of us who speak about personal growth tell you or at least SHOULD tell you that personal growth is different for everyone. What works for some may not work for others. That is 100% okay. But how do you know you have really grown in your personal growth journey? How do you know if you have progressed on your personal growth journey?
How many times can I say personal growth in this blog post? Let me know in the comments below. hahaha!
In this post, I will be using myself as an example so you can get a sense of how you can measure your progress on the growth you’ve had.
How it started
My personal growth journey started roughly 2 years ago in 2019. When I first started I didn’t know personal growth was a thing. What I was going through in my mind had no name. My life revolved around those around me. I had nothing and did nothing for myself. I was in this constant rut of feeling worthless, useless, and just stuck.
In the back of my mind, I had this little voice just telling me “This is not it. This is not how your life will be forever.” I knew I wanted more. More out of me, out of my life, my friends, my family. Even though right front and center was that stupid negative nancy voice in my head telling me something different. It was that voice that just told me this is your life get used to it. That stupid voice that made me think that for all these years.
That newfound Jimney Cricket voice in my head just wouldn’t shut up. It kept getting louder and louder until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. So I set out on this quest to figure out who I am as an adult. I go into more detail in my post “Self-Improvement Journey: How I inspired myself to start my own“. If you want to read more about it. Also, you can listen to it on Youtube. If you don’t want to do either here is a little blurb of what happened in a nutshell.
The first thing I would do
The first thing I would suggest doing to measure your growth is to look at yourself as a whole. Is there a significant change you can see or feel about yourself?
Let’s look at me 11 years ago…
I had to reference my google photos for this… But let me paint you a picture.
I was in an abusive relationship. I enrolled in college to have some freedom from my “loving” boyfriend. I made friends surprising very quickly and somehow found a bar to go to every night of the week that had karaoke. Karaoke was our crack, but so was drinking.
We would go to karaoke at 9 pm stay until the bar closed at 2a then would find a bar in a different county that was open until 3a. After that, we would go to Denny’s and stay there until 4/5 am. Get home and sleep an hour or 2 then I would go to work from 7a-3p.
We didn’t do it ALL THE TIME but could if we wanted to. There were times when we would go to the bar every day of the week. Looking back now I honestly couldn’t tell you how I functioned. Just typing that exhausted me.
No one knew how bad my drinking was. I was drinking to numb the pain of my abusive relationship. If I was drunk I didn’t care what he did to me. I did this for 4 years straight. 2008-2012 Most of it was a blur, but I can tell you from the pictures I have… I had fun.
That phase of my life ended in 2012 because something changed. It wasn’t overnight, but it slowly started to change. I can look back now and see that it started when I met Mike. For some reason, I knew this would be a long-term relationship. My priorities shifted from hanging out with my friends, drinking, and going to karaoke to wanting to spend all my time with Mike and his daughter planning fun “family” activities to do.
It took 7 years of focusing all my energy on our little family for me to take a step back and realize I kinda lost myself along the way. For years I was defined by my friends and then my family, but now I want to be known as Michele the person.
The New Me
I can see a huge difference in my growth when I look back at my younger self to who I am now. For 2 years I have worked hard to find out more about myself. I guess you could consider me an influencer. (shutters) I don’t like that term, but for 2 years I have been sharing ways to inspire people to go after the life they deserve. But it is those who read my blog or follow my social media accounts who have really inspired me. Through the messages, comments, or emails I get telling me their stories.
It inspires me to keep doing what I am doing, because honestly sometimes it’s hard. The writer’s block, the constant need to post to be seen, to get traffic, and to make this my full-time job and make money. Blogging is hard. Even though that’s not the main goal of this site. It is nice to make money doing what you love. It always sits in the back of my head. I am constantly worried I am not doing enough to the point I get so inside my head. I end up not doing anything and then beat myself up for not doing anything.
It is this vicious cycle but what gets me out of it is those messages, comments, or emails. It’s a reminder that I am not alone and need to push through not only for me but for all my redonkulous friends online.
Other ways to measure your progress
Once you reflect on who you were to who you are now you can (hopefully) see the difference. It may not be a huge change, but as long as you have seen some progress call it a win.
Now you can break it down into smaller chunks. Go through each category of personal growth. Or at least the ones that pertain to you. As I said previously not all personal growth journeys are going to be the same for everyone.
You may be working on your mental mindset, but your friend could be working on their physical aspect. Be it their health or their physical environment. Meaning you both wouldn’t be reflecting on the same situations or events. And it doesn’t make one journey less than the other. How you measure your progress individually will be different for everyone. DO NOT forget that!
Looking back at my younger self I was very much “me against the world”. The world owed me for all the hardships I had been through. The world owed me for the life I was given. I was angry and had an attitude all the time. When I was younger, I didn’t like people and I had no problem letting them know. I was poor, raised by a single mom who chose her boyfriends, beer, and cigarettes over her kids.
Growing up I had seen so much death, domestic violence, and manipulation. I had such a crappy outlook on life and thought I would never make something of myself because the world hated me.
At 36, I can see and measure your progress because I can see I am not angry anymore. I have talked about my story, the abuse, and the death and turned it into a positive. All of that stuff happening when I was younger was horrible, but it prepared me to be the empathetic, kind, human being I am today.
That is what shocks me the most. I never thought I would care more about random people than myself. I have turned into the person who could give their last dollar or the sweater off their back to a person who I think needed it more than me. Younger me was so selfish. The Me Now and The Me Then would have never got along.
My mindset has changed so much that I shock myself.
So from my description above of my younger self, you can guess I wasn’t that emotional. I mean angry yes, but any other emotion I didn’t really show. Anything happy happening to people that would cause celebration I didn’t really get emotional over. Pregnancies, proposals, marriages… Even sad events, death, funerals… nothing.
And I have talked about this before, but in 2003 I was watching an episode of “Queer Eye for the straight guy” and this one episode just made me bawl my eyes out during this proposal. Ever since then I have been an emotional basket case.
I am an emotional basket case now. I cry at everything. Scrolling through TikTok, I must get teary-eyed every 10 minutes. I used to be annoyed by it, but now I embrace it. I can see and measure my progress.
How do you measure your progress during growth?
Physical a lot of people lump it into talking above physical health, fitness, and eating habits. It can be that for some, but I always like to throw in your physical environment because your environment can take a toll on you. Take a step back and ask yourself “Is your environment affecting your mental health?” If it is you can become mentally and emotionally exhausted.
I am constantly changing the environment around me. Move the bookshelf here, turning my desk that way…this way, and DECLUTTERING. That is a big one. Always decluttering. I have to motivate myself but it will get done. Items serve their purpose and when they are done it is time to move on to another family.
As for physical health, I have added workouts to my routine. It is not a constant thing, but I am really trying to make it one. Mike and I have really decided to put more effort into our health because we are not getting any younger. Especially with me having PCOS… I need to have a constant workout regimen. I am more active now than when I was younger. Which is a win for me!
Spirituality doesn’t have to be a religious thing if you are not religious. If you are great, I can appreciate your relationship with your lord. But for those of us who are not, spirituality can be looking inward, reflecting, learning becoming one with nature, with yourself. Just showing appreciation for the beauty around us.
Not in weird hugging trees then dancing naked around a fire… unless you are into that sort of thing then let your flag fly free! LOL
Spiritual for me is taking a hike. appreciating the sounds of the rivers, and the animals, and just enjoying the conversations Mikayla, Mike, and I have while walking. We are always hunting for new places to walk. It helps ground us and it’s really relaxing once you get over the humidity and constant sweating from the Florida heat.
Those walks are my favorite part of the weekends.
I have become a hermit. If you remember I talked about my younger self having a karaoke place every night of the week, constantly drinking and partying with my friends… I am not a hermit. I only leave the house to go do certain things. That was even before the pandemic. I flourished during 2020/2021. I am A-okay with not leaving my house, but all of the other areas of personal growth suffered a little bit because I don’t leave the house.
The pandemic happened a month after Mike and I moved to Tampa. I removed myself from some people’s lives that I just wasn’t feeling anymore. We weren’t vibing. That just left me and Mike. We only hang out with each other and 80% of the time that is awesome. We are each other’s best friends. But sometimes, SOMETIMES… I need adult women to talk to… Mike just doesn’t get the #girlythings.
My social life has probably suffered the most. I don’t need to measure the progress there… because I don’t want to be a backup friend and I don’t want the drama. So I would rather be alone than deal with that ish… I just want someone who comes over to sit on my couch with me, eat snacks, and bullshit with each. But who also have dreams and aspirations of making a better life for themselves. We push each other to be better. I EVEN tried Bumble BFF…
I have a bunch of journal related content that you might be interested in like:
The Beginners Guide to Journaling
25 simple questions you never ask yourself, but should
Life Audit Questions
How to Start Today – Manifesting the life you want
10 interesting October journal prompts for Self-discovery
World Mental Health Day – Checking In With Yourself
Healing your inner child
Reading this post over and over to make sure I include everything I want to really shows me how much I have grown. I can see the growth. I can measure the progress I have made. There are still A LOT of things I need to work on, like healing my inner child, but so far I think I am on the right path.
What are some ways you measure your progress on your personal growth journey?
Also, let me know if you are down to make some friends in the comments!
Until next time, have a great day! Remember you are a badass!