For many people wishing to improve their lives, there can be confusion over the difference between self improvement and personal development.

What Is The Difference Between Self Improvement And Personal Development?

Self improvement and personal development might often be paired together in blog articles or online discussions, but it is important to remember that the terms relate to different things.

For example, self improvement focuses on the inner self. It concerns all aspects of our personalities such as happiness, spirituality and peace. It highlights that we hold the key to our own happiness and helps us deal with negative feelings such as guilt or remorse.

On the other hand, personal development is related to our overall development in terms of careers, behaviour, fitness and lifestyle.

Personal development enables us to recognise areas in our life which may need improvement and create a pathway which enables us to reach our objectives.

More information on Self Improvement

Self improvement can help build confidence, aid in overcoming fear and make us a better rounded person overall. However, it is important to realise that self development starts with self awareness.


Self awareness needs us to tune in to our body’s sensations, thoughts and emotions. In order to identify areas in our life which could benefit from improvement, it can be helpful to keep a journal.

The journal may highlight patterns in your behaviour or correlations between thoughts and emotions, which enable you to increase your level of self understanding and constructively improve your life.

The motivation to improve our own personal development usually comes from one of two key areas. It could be due to a desire to succeed or because you are feeling unhappy and want to change a current situation.

Creating a personal development plan can give a person direction. A personal development plan is unique for each person and will be in harmony with their minds and the things they want to achieve in life. It is purpose driven and enables a sense of fulfilment.

To create your own personal development plan you need to recognise the areas that you want to improve.  For example, body, finance, social or professional.

Set one development goal for each area and include a series of individual steps which need to be taken to reach that goal. Take your time and really discover what you want from life.