Whether it be learning to cook new recipes, or finding new ways to manage your time. Personal growth, no matter big or small, benefits everyone. While everyone can benefit from healing and growth, it’s important to realize that the process can be more complex than it can seem. There is no cut and dry blueprint to growth since everyone’s process can be vastly different.

There are lots of ways to go about self-development and healing. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here are a few important things to remember while you create a process for you and your family to build self-awareness and explore personal growth:

Personal development happens over time and with practice; learning how to assess where you are at mentally is the first step.

Personal development begins with self-assessment. Learning how to check in with yourself is an important first step: How are you feeling? Are you overwhelmed? Where is it coming from? And finally, what, if anything, can you do about it?

Learning to check in with ourselves is a skill, and takes practice just like anything else. The more you practice, the better you will become at recognizing your needs. As time goes on, you will begin to know yourself in new ways. Answering tough questions about where you are at will no longer feel so foreign and uncomfortable, and you will learn to trust the process you have built for yourself.

Establishing an open dialogue with your kids beginning with your own vulnerability is crucial.

Children are growing up faster and faster. It is important to trust your teen and normalize speaking to them on an emotionally mature level. This will help them instill self-assessment habits of their own.

Talk about yourself; vulnerability helps to open up a conversation. Showing your kids that it’s okay to have bad days might just make them feel comfortable enough to talk about their own struggles.

For example; “This week at work has been stressful, but I am going to bounce back and look after myself next week by making sure I make time to go for a nice walk after work at least once.” This shows that you are willing to talk openly about your mental health and exemplifies self-care through challenging situations. There is no better way to teach this to our children than by leading by example.

Avoid confrontational questions and use supportive language to build your children’s confidence in themselves and guide them in the right direction.

If you are finding that your children aren’t noticing your self-assessment habits, try asking questions that lead them in the right direction. Being told what to do or receiving unsolicited advice can be stressful, can come off as criticism, and often results in a defensive response.

Instead of telling your teen that there is only one right answer, try asking things like “why do you think you’re feeling that way?” and “what do you think is the next step from here?” The hope is that eventually, with practice, your teen will start to ask themselves these questions on their own and, as a result, develop self-awareness and healthy coping skills.

Movement is important. There is no such thing as failure or moving backward; there is only sitting still and feeling “trapped”, or moving forward into growth, development, and healing.

A key concept when it comes to healing and achieving personal development is movement. When noticing patterns that leave your mental health in a volatile state, something to focus on is avoiding settling into whatever patterns may be resulting in your feeling “stuck” or “trapped”.

Try something new. No matter how simple that thing might be, it pushes you to learn about yourself. For example, if you push yourself to try painting, the worst possible outcome is that you find out you do not like painting. Though, you could also discover that you love it and could end up with a new passion or hobby that brings joy to your life. The same can be said about the things you are thinking about removing from your life. You may find that you did not need whatever it was in the first place! There is no failure with this mentality and it will always result in growth in some form or another. Encourage this way of thinking in your children to give them a way out of “the rut” when they find themselves in it.

Remember, self-assessment is the foundation of your journey to self-development. Creating a process for yourself will help you guide your children to find out what their own process will look like, and will put you all on the path to healing and growth.