Essays About Personal Growth: Top 5 Examples and 8 Prompts

If you’re writing essays about personal growth, our guide’s article examples and prompts will help stimulate your creative thinking.

Personal growth is looking at ways to improve yourself mentally, socially, spiritually, emotionally or physically. It is a process where we envision a better version of ourselves and strive to realize that ideal self. Personal growth demands the setting of personal goals and ensuring routine progress. The work toward personal development involves a great deal of hard work and discipline as we push our existing skills and strengths to a higher boundary while reducing our underlying weaknesses.  

Read our essay examples and prompts below to help you produce a rich and creative essay about personal growth.

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5 Essay Examples About Personal Growth

1. Is It Really Too Late To Learn New Skills? by Margaret Talbot

“… [H]e decides to throw himself into acquiring five new skills. (That’s his term, though I started to think of these skills as “accomplishments” in the way that marriageable Jane Austen heroines have them, talents that make a long evening pass more agreeably, that can turn a person into more engaging company, for herself as much as for others.)

Learning new things may not be a cup of tea for those in their middle ages. To get out of established expertise, be looked down on as a novice, and push the brain to work double time may even be a dreary and intimidating process. , But Journalist Tom Vanderbilt, award-winning writers, and Nobel Prize recipients prove that satisfaction is worth it for personal growth and fulfillment. 

2. I’ve Completed Hundreds Of 30-Day Challenges. Here’s What I’ve Learned by Tara Nicholle-Nelson

“I think of Challenges as self-directed projects to change my behavior or spark some personal growth or development I’m clear that I’d like to have. Sometimes I want a mindset shift or want to make (or break) a habit, or I just have a sort of big project I want to sprint to finish…”

Why are we so drawn to self-imposed challenges? For one, it’s a competition only between you and yourself, giving room for flexibility in the rules you set. It provides structure to your goals, chunks your bigger long-term self-growth goals into gradual and doable daily tasks, provokes a sense of self-accountability, and helps you focus your energy on what matters most. 

3. I Was A Self-Help Guru. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Listen To People Like Me by Michelle Goodman

“Apparently, I learned, gurus are people too, even gurus lining the self-help shelves of friendly neighborhood bookstores. They aren’t infallible, all-knowing oracles above worrying about their generous muffin top or widening backside. They are businesspeople — businesspeople with books, keynotes, and openings in their consulting practice to peddle”

From abhorring gurus to becoming one and then hating the industry much more — this is the story of a self-help book author who realizes it was herself who needed the most advice for personal growth. But, as she creates a facade of a well-balanced life to establish her credibility, things turn dark, almost costing her life. 

4. How To Craft A Personal Development Plan That Inspires Meaningful Results by Scott Jeffrey

“When entertainment, distraction, and workaholism consume our attention, something doesn’t feel right within us… To have a full and meaningful life requires us to open to more dimensions of ourselves. And a Personal Development Plan can help us do just that.”

Everyone strives for personal growth. But once we jump at it, some wrong ingredients may spoil the sense of fulfillment we expect. The right process involves navigating your potential, creating a larger vision, selecting areas to focus on, setting your schedule, and monitoring your progress.

5. Personal Development And The Power Of Feedback by Emily Marsh

“Without feedback, we would learn very little about ourselves, in or out of work. The feedback process is like holding a mirror up to yourself; that’s why it can be uncomfortable at times. You have to be prepared to listen to and acknowledge whatever reveals itself.”

Hearing feedback is critical to personal growth. Negative feedback is constructive in losing our bad habits. However, purely positive feedback is non-progressive and dangerous if we only seek to affirm how we regard ourselves.

10 Prompts On Essays About Personal Growth

1. Why Is Personal Growth Important?

We can never be perfect. But we can always progress. In your essay, explain why nurturing a growth mindset in life is essential. What long-term benefits can you reap daily from wanting to be a better person? How does it affect the mind, body, and overall wellness? Answer these while citing studies that outline the essence of personal growth.

2. Take Up a Personal Growth Challenge

Essays About Personal Growth: Take up a personal growth challenge
Take up any challenge you find exciting and write about your experience

Take up any challenge you find exciting and feel up to. Then, write about your experience. If successful, offer tips to your readers on how one can prepare their body, mind, and discipline to stick to the goals. If you did not complete the challenge, don’t worry! Your failure can still be a learning experience that contributes to personal growth and is worth writing about. In addition, you can add what areas of yourself you would like to improve on if you ever take up the challenge again. 

3. Your Personal Growth Journey

Talk about your goals and your daily efforts to reach this goal. It could relate to acing a test, your sports team winning or professional success. Of course, there will be a handful of challenges in any journey toward a goal. What were the obstacles and distractions that tried to keep you off track? Share these with your readers and how you strived or are striving to conquer them.

4. Personal Growth Among Successful People

When you see people already at the height of their careers, you’ll find some continuing to walk out of their comfort zones and reach for the next higher mountain. For this essay, explain the connection between striving for personal growth and success. Then, provide a list of everyday habits among successful people that others could consider adopting.

5. Personal Growth for Leaders 

Leaders must adapt and address problems efficiently and decisively as they move through a fast-changing landscape. Elaborate on how the pursuit of personal growth helps leaders deliver in their enormous role in organizations, companies, and communities.

6. Personal Growth at Work

If you firmly believe that growth at work translates to personal growth, it would be less hard for you to get by at work. But this gets a bit more complex if your feel that your work is no longer satisfying your self-actualization needs and even limiting you. For this prompt, help your readers determine if it’s time to quit their job and continue their journey for personal growth elsewhere. If you want to address companies, offer recommendations enabling their employees to grow and have a vision for themselves. You may also suggest how managers can keep an open line of communication so that personnel can relay their self-development needs.

7. Best Personal Growth Books

Essays About Personal Growth: Best personal growth books
Talk about the best quotes that struck the chord and the thought racing in your mind while reading them

We all have that book that has given us a new kind of energy that made us feel and believe we can do anything if we put our heart into it. We keep these books close to our hearts, serving as a reminder of other bigger goals ahead of us when the going gets tough. Create a numbered list of the books that have captivated you and helped you realize your potential. Talk about the best quotes that struck the chord and the thought racing in your mind while reading them.

8. Strong Motivation for Achieving Personal Growth

When you tap onto your inherent and external motivation for a much-needed push, it may be easier to turn bad moments into something that helps advance personal development plans. For your essay, explain how motivation can be a bridge to get you to your growth goals.

If you’re still stuck, check out our general resource of essay writing topics.

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing?

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  • Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.