Let’s Get Serious – What Is Self Development About?

Over a decade ago I remember hearing about this new fandangle self development thing constantly, and spent a few good years thinking “What is self development about?” before I actually did something to learn about it. I’m here to make that process easier for you.

The dictionary defines self development as the process by which a person’s character or abilities are gradually developed. My opinion is that it goes a lot deeper than this statement will have you believe.


A huge part of self development is creating self awareness.

It’s becoming aware of your strengths and weaknesses and learning that it’s ok to choose to love and accept yourself exactly as you are…..

But simultaneously, wanting to change yourself, so that you can become the best you that you can be!

The idea includes many different areas of life, from simply learning new skills and expertise, to developing a greater level of emotional intelligence, to learning and implementing healthier physical behaviours and routines, which may include anything from diet to exercise even to sleep routines and so, so much more!

From awareness of self, and where we perceive our greatest weaknesses are in our lives, we can then develop those traits and expand into a new and improved way of being, existing and behaving.



The spiritually minded community, which is the area where I reside, would explain self development as the improvement of all aspects of the self, with a foundation of the following:

  • The physical self
  • The emotional self
  • The mental self, and
  • The spiritual self

The above “legs of the table” are believed to need to be developed simultaneously for the best health and lifestyle – if one lags behind, the rest of your life can get chaotic because the table gets unbalanced with one leg getting longer or shorter than the others.

These “legs” can be broken down into smaller subcategories for a better understanding of the importance of working towards a better you, and a better life.


The physical self can be broken down into many parts, much more than just the physical body, but by all the physical things we can touch.

The aspect of the physical body is, of course, of extreme importance, because if we don’t look after our bodies as our temple, then we won’t be here long to care about the other stuff!

With the physical, we are talking also about financial health; how we relate to our family and whether we are on good speaking terms with them; how we live in our homes and whether we keep a clean and comfortable space etc.


It is so important to note here, that the emotional aspect is not just about how we feel in the present, although that is pertinent; if we regularly feel angry or frustrated, to a degree that it affects our relationships and creates tense situations that needn’t have otherwise been tense, that is a problem, however, we are talking about the fluid nature of emotions as well.

Our emotions, as part of our human nature, go up and down consistently. Emotions were never designed to be a monotonous drone of the same thing.

But we tend to have a regular level of emotion, a “home base” which can be likened to an individual’s “neutral”, and part of the spiritual self development model is to lift and increase your home base emotion, so that you can feel happier more frequently.

The other aspect of emotional self-improvement is to develop your emotional intelligence which includes the ability to respond in a healthy manner to triggers which previously would’ve had you react badly.


Mental mastery can be a really challenging part of self development!

This can tie in with the emotional development, by how we respond or react to negative stimuli, within our thoughts. For example, if you were driving to work, and someone cut you off, would your thought processes stay negative and affect your entire day, or would you think “Wow! I was so lucky that driver missed me!” and carry on throughout your day feeling blessed that you made it to work?

Mental mastery is about learning to master our thoughts; learning to control them so that they don’t control us!

It’s about our beliefs as well. How do we think about the world, our finances, our jobs? Self development is about changing our perception on our negative beliefs and starting to use our thoughts in a more empowering manner, because our thoughts are the cornerstone of creating the life that we live.


The spiritual self is about the unseen aspects of our self, including our spirituality and how we use (or deny) our other senses, such as our intuition.

This is all about how we see ourselves and our inner connection with who we are and how our inner self gains access to a greater awareness of who we are; our shadows, triggers and unhealed parts of our self; the wounds which we carry around unhealed creating subconscious scripts in our energy and our being, causing the negative reactions of our bodies, emotions and minds.

The spiritual self is also about a wider comprehension of the universe and unity consciousness. The understanding that no matter what your specific beliefs, that there is something out there larger than us and the acknowledgement that it is a part of us!


So when you ask yourself “what is self development about?”, spiritual-growthit is entirely up to you!

Whatever your spiritual beliefs, and how you define it, self development truly is a huge area for contemplation, one which has no real limitations on how you can work this to your advantage.

Well, the only limitation is your very own imagination! So get a magnifying glass out, and take a good look at yourself and the areas you feel you could have done better:

  • Did you eat well today?
  • Did your emotions run away from you for no reason?
  • Did you find yourself down the barrel of another negative thought loop?
  • Did you allow your intuition to guide you?


There is a whole world of possibility out there once you have the courage to build your self awareness, and then start to recognise and acknowledge that how you’ve always been doesn’t necessarily equate to how you will always be.

It’s always your choice as to how you want your life to be.

It’s not a short road, in fact, it’s a lifetime journey, but the more effort you put into developing your self, the more changes you will see in your external world over time.

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Josie x

16 thoughts on “Let’s Get Serious – What Is Self Development About?

  1. I believe I was meant to read this article as I suffer from ptsd and I have problems with all the different parts of myself. I find it hard to control any of them but I will be referring back to this article as I know it will be a great help to me in the future. Thank you

    1. Thank you for your comment Gerry! I’m so glad you got something out of it, may be both continue to heal and be able to inspire other PTSD sufferers to heal by telling our stories!

      Love and Blessings,
      Josie x

  2. “It’s always your choice as to how you want your life to be.”

    Love this one! It’s so true! It’s hard to look at yourself, your feelings, your behaviour, but in the end… It’s all worth it if you consciously decide that you want to live a happy life! I hope many people will find their way to your article just to see that they have the power within themselves to look at their thoughts, their emotions, AND that they have the power to turn it around.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment Virendra! I truly appreciate your very kind words, and I’m so glad you enjoyed reading and got something out of it. Have a fantastic day!

      Love and Blessings,
      Josie x

  3. This article is a must read for everyone and I will take it upon myself to rebroadcast. I must commend you for taking your time to share this article. I really learnt a lot from this information, self awareness and everything that has to do with self development , I will put this into use and I know I’m going to get the improvement I desire thanks for sharing this information.

    1. Thank you for this heart warming comment. It really  makes me happy that you have shared the page and are getting so much from it.

      Josie x

  4. Hi Josie, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Self-development is very important and we should always strive to improve it little by little. You are giving me a motivation to work on myself even more so I really appreciate this. Can I share this post on my Pinterest profile? I would like to encourage other people.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thank you so much for your comment, I am so pleased that you have benefitted from reading. I would be honoured for you to share on your Pinterest. Thank you so very much!

      Josie x

  5. Wow, such a great Article you’ve written! Especially because I am so into self-development right now. It all started with reading the book “The Secret” and from there one brick after another came to build a stable wall which I am currently still working on. I don’t know where I would be in Life if I hadn’t started developing my self. The beautiful thing about this process is that you never know what’s coming next and surprising turns show up along your path. I never thought that I would become religious or even spiritual but now I am very familiar with religion and spirituality.

    Mazel Tov!

    1. I loved reading your comment! My starter book, that tipped me over the edge and into self development was “You Can heal Your Life”, it hit the spot for me to realise that I can actually take control of my life. Funny though, I have never actually read The Secret, but I did recently watch the movie on Netflix. Great stuff! I;m so glad you got something out of my post, keep moving forward with your development, I think it’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done, to keep improving on who I am as a person.

      Josie x

  6. Hi Josie, this topic of self development is a very serious topic that requires serious attention. And I appreciate you for bringing this topic up. As stated in your post, the spiritual, emotion, physical, mental and imaginative self must come together to become one for there to be a true reflection and identification of who one is truly is. I agree with you that one’s imagination is the only limitation to what one can achieve. I learnt a lot from this piece. Thank you so much

    1. I’m so grateful for your comment, and knowing that you got a lot out of my writing. Thank you for your thoughts,

      Josie x

  7. This article is super awesome as it is timely. I was just trying to mentor someone at work when I found myself thinking about this. For me, self development is a serious matter especially if you want to influence people around you. Your post provided validation to some of my thoughts. One has to start from within before he can influence others. I like how the diff aspects are broken down and given a deeper meaning. I enjoyed reading and learned a lot about myself and what I want to do to further improve. I will keep coming back to your site to remind myself of the things I have to do to be a better version of me.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, and please do visit again. I wish you all the best in your self growth and in serving others in their growth.

      Josie x

  8. Self development is very essential to everybody, it’s an important part of human existence. In a nutshell, it’s an upgrade of our physical self, emotional self, mental self etc.

    It’s not a one day process, but a lifetime achievement that takes perseverance and persistence in order to achieve the set out goals of attaining self development. 

    We all need self development, just like a computer system, an upgrade is essential for better performance. 

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Jane!

      Perfectly summarised and I love the  simile for the computer system.

      Josie x

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