Unlock Your Potential: How Coaching Psychology Can Help You Reach Your Goals
And our top personal growth tip for the new year
As we enter 2023, we wanted to take a step back to the basics to discuss what personal growth means to us, and share our top tip to help you reach your goals this year.
What is personal growth?
We may not always notice it, but change is the only constant in our lives. Personal growth is the process of directing that change to improving and developing in any area of our lives: mental & emotional health, career and financial success, physical health, and more.
It could even be argued that personal growth is essential for living a fulfilled and meaningful life.
So what lies beneath the surface of personal growth? What are the psychological mechanisms that drive our desire to improve, and how can we apply them in our day to day?
Theories of personal growth
A well known theory of motivation is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory says that individuals must meet their basic needs before they can begin to focus on self-improvement and personal growth. Starting with foundational physiological needs such as food and rest, Maslow's hierarchy takes us to self-actualization and beyond.
What we love about Maslow's theory is that it gives us a framework for growth without being prescriptive about its application. This makes it possible to personalize it to each person's unique journey. For example, depending on your unique circumstances, you may feel a great sense of belonging and love with only a small group of friends, whereas someone else may want to continue improving theirs despite having a big group of family and friends.
There are many other theories in personal growth, and one of our other favorite theories is Carl Rogers' theory of person centred therapy. The core principle of this theory is that humans have an innate drive to realise their full potential. A person centred approach can help build up self-awareness and a sense of agency that fuels personal growth.
With roots in psychology and therapy, this theory is applied by practitioners in many areas including coaching and management. This is because the elements of the person centred approach (empathy, active listening, unconditional positive regard) can be applied in the context of any 1:1 growth conversation.
Our top tip for your personal growth this year
While the best personal growth outcomes are created by building a keen sense of self-awareness and agency, support systems are another critical factor in enabling our growth. This is because they provide accountability, feedback and objective advice where appropriate.
Support systems come in various forms: family, friends, co-workers, managers, therapists, mentors and coaches. Each type of support can provide different insights and perspectives. We make no secret of the fact that we love the work that coaches do in creating incredible support systems for growth. Frameworks like Maslow's hierarchy and tools like the person-centred approach are expertly applied by coaches to help millions of people around the world.
Our top tip for personal growth: get at least one accountability buddy to support you in your personal growth journey.
Not only can this be a pivotal factor in helping you grow, it is also more fun!
PS: You might even discuss the thought bubbles from the previous section with your accountability buddy or buddies and share your views with us!