Barriers to Personal Growth

Many people experience barriers to personal growth, which can make developing basic life skills harder. Few of us start from the same place. So it is important for each of us to identify our specific barriers to personal growth and / or employment opportunities and address them before creating an overall plan for success. These barriers can include lack of education, cultural differences, addiction, medical or mental health issues, an abusive relationship, a criminal record and / or a serious life change.

Minimizing or eliminating these barriers to personal growth up front, will make the creation and implementation of a personal plan for success much easier. If ignored, these potential barriers can undermine the hard work we put into being successful and become a much larger problem in the future.

The good news is that the world is full of resources. Acknowledging a potential barrier and exploring all possible resources are fundamental to overcoming personal barriers. Understanding that you are not alone is also important because it provides the strength needed to take on the barrier. No matter what the concern, rest assured there are many others out there with the same concern.

Finding a mentor or reading about someone who has successfully overcome a similar – or far worse – situation builds hope for the future. And believing the future can be better will often increase the desire and determination to make it happen. Basic life skills also make overcoming barriers to personal growth much easier. *****************************************************************

Barriers to Personal Growth: Addiction, Medical or Mental Health Issues

Physical, psychological and emotional issues are major barriers to personal growth. In many cases, the effects of addiction, medical or mental health issues can be minimized or eliminated through counseling, therapy and / or medication. If ignored, however, any plan for future success could be doomed to failure from the start.

Resource: helpguide.org is an excellent resource for questions regarding a large variety of issues such as addiction, depression and anxiety.

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Barriers to Personal Growth: An Abusive Relationship

Abusive relationships - another major barrier to personal growth - often result in low self-esteem and a feeling of helplessness. This makes self-confidence – one of the most important aspects of being successful – virtually impossible. If we believe we will fail no matter what we do, failure is all but guaranteed.

Healthy relationships that are based on mutual trust and respect help us grow. Abusive relationships prevent growth and success. Skills particularly helpful in strengthening a relationship include setting personal boundaries and being assertive .

Resource: domesticviolence.org is an excellent resource for questions regarding abusive relationships.

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Barriers to Personal Growth: Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can be challenging. They should not, however, be viewed as permanent barriers to success. Personal goals ultimately decide our level of success. Basic life skills such as character and good communication skills, along with basic education skills such as being able to read and write are far more important in determining future success than cultural differences.

Language often presents the biggest challenge. Not being able to understand the dominant language can definitely limit success. The degree to which it is necessary to read or write that language, however, is a personal decision. Sometimes, a working knowledge is all you need.

Differences in beliefs, traditions and dress can also present a challenge in the workplace. Healthy self esteem along with empathy for the other person, however, can all but eliminate this challenge.

Suggestions for overcoming cultural differences:

• Develop basic life skills and fundamental reading and writing skills. The more confidence you have in yourself and your abilities, the less likely you will be to feel uneasy around people of different cultures.

• Focus on the character of the person – especially in the workplace. It is easier to overlook cultural differences if a person is honest, dependable and hard-working.

• Make an effort to empathize with other people by attempting to put yourself in their position.

• Focus on similarities and common goals.

Resource: esl.about.com is an excellent resource for learning basic English reading, writing and comprehension skills.