Marching Forward: Personal Growth Challenges

March is an iconic month and is especially known as a time when self-reflection is encouraged and challenges are taken. It can be hard beginning; there will be setbacks and moments where you feel like you aren’t making any progress in your personal growth journey, but that is normal and to be expected, it’s important to remain consistent and patient with yourself.

I suggest beginning with self-reflection, although it can seem daunting sitting with yourself, as you practice more and more it becomes more welcoming than scary. Here’s how you can practice the art of self-reflection:

Be Present: Set aside time to be alone with your thoughts. Find a quiet space, take a few deep breaths, and focus on the present moment. This practice helps you become more aware of your inner experiences.

Shadow Work: Pose reflective questions to yourself. This can be done through shadow work, which involves getting to know the parts of yourself that you’re not consciously aware of. These hidden aspects, often referred to as the “shadow self,” contain attributes, attitudes, and qualities that may be incompatible with our self-identity. Here are some essentials to remember as you begin to incorporate shadow work into your life and routine:

Fear: Unacknowledged fears that influence my decisions.

Anger: Suppressed anger or resentment.

Shame: Hidden feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness.

Desires: Aspects we consider unacceptable or taboo.

Projection: When we see our own traits in others.

Practice Gratitude: ‘In the face of hatred, gratitude prevails’ – I wrote this in my journal just days after practicing gratitude through my five-minute gratitude journal. Try to reflect on the positive aspects of your life. Acknowledge what you’re grateful for. Gratitude helps shift your focus away from negativity.

Visualize Your Goals: Imagine your future self. What do you want to achieve? How do you want to feel? Visualizing your goals can guide your actions and decisions.

Keep in mind that self-reflection is a journey. Be patient with yourself, and allow the process to unfold naturally. As you transition from self-reflection to setting small challenges for yourself, consider this: While self-reflection provides the foundation, taking deliberate steps toward growth requires action. Now, let’s explore some manageable challenges that can propel you forward on your personal journey:

Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness helps you stay present and aware of your thoughts and feelings. Set a daily challenge to practice mindfulness meditation for a few minutes. Focus on your breath, observe your surroundings, and let go of distractions.

Conquer A Fear: Facing fears is a powerful way to grow. Identify a fear (big or small) that holds you back, and take gradual steps to overcome it. It could be public speaking, heights, or even trying a new food.

Pick Up A New Hobby: Whether it be learning a new instrument, attending a pottery class, or implementing exercise into your routine – picking up a new hobby can be challenging and requires consistency and dedication.

Your first challenge? accept my invitation to the march towards growth, whether your journey is personal, academic, mental, or in whatever aspect or capacity the first obstacle to surpass is beginning. From then, allow the rest to flow to you like water, and keep in mind that you aren’t something broken to be mended and that this march towards personal growth is simply meant to align yourself.


By Journey Powell, Freshman, Spelman College

Instagram: journeyaliah


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Written by Journey

Hiii, I’m Journey. I love to model and write poetry. My favorite movie series is Harry Potter.

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