Personal Development

The Heights guide to personal development

Most of us want to feel like we’re improving over time. Here’s our guide to realising your potential.

Personal development has had something of a moment recently. Even before the pandemic, it was big business. Add in lockdown-induced pressure to learn new skills, and the stage was set for it to really take off. Still, at Heights we’re big fans of personal development. It’s something that drives us, and let’s be honest, there are times that we all need to stretch ourselves a little.

So we’ve put together a guide, containing everything we know about allowing ourselves to become the best versions of, well, ourselves.

What is personal development?

Self compassion

There are many facets of personal development. Learning professional skills, sure, but it can also be emotional or spiritual, even philosophical. It’s a big topic, and one that we feel pretty attached to. Our ability to grow and improve as people is central to the Heights ethos.

People have different reasons to want to develop. But they’re usually focused around a desire to live, and feel, better. For some, that might centre on the professional sphere, others on family, others on the self. They’re all valid, and it’s important to accept that, while the outcomes may seem different, they’re all closely linked. The fundamentals are the same.

Attempting to change for the better can be difficult, particularly in this media landscape. We’re bombarded with messaging that tells us we don’t look right, we don’t work right, we don’t act right, and we internalise those messages. It’s demoralising. But being able to recognise those messages for what they are is the first step to overcoming the feelings they instil. And once we realise that we aren’t defined by the attitudes of others, that’s when we can really get going.

The science behind compassion


Compassion is often thought of as emotional rather than scientific. As well as being an unhelpful divide, that’s also wrong. Compassion is vital in an environment that prioritises personal growth.

Dr Jim Doty is a leading neurosurgeon, and the founder of the Center for Compassion at Stanford University. He has spent years looking at what happens when we’re kind to others (and to ourselves), not just on an emotional level, but on a neurological level. We invited him onto the Braincare podcast, and got chatting about intuition, magic shops, and the physical ways that compassion affects your brain.

Read the recap

Fighting your inner critic with Emma Gannon


You know the feeling of starting a new project? Getting excited, making sure you have the best tools, the best environment. Then when it’s time to start, you don’t. You can’t quite say why, but for some reason, you don’t.

Author, podcaster, and general multi-hyphenate Emma Gannon went on about self-sabotage so much that her friends suggested she write her next book about it. Across two episodes of the Braincare podcast, she shared her insight on our tendencies to ruin our own day, and how a voice in our head can feel like it controls our life.

Listen to Self-sabotag e and Fighting your inner critic now.

3 ways to silence your negative inner voice


Heights co-founder Dan Murray-Serter also has plenty to say about handling the negative side of your inner voice—the critic that won’t shut up, and knows exactly what to say to bring you down. Getting a handle on that voice is essential for giving yourself the space to develop.

From David Brent to Brené Brown, these are his top three tips for silencing that critic and prioritising ambition over perfectionism.

3 ways to silence your negative inner voice

How to stop negative self-talk with Jay Shetty


Want even more ideas for how to stop being your own worst enemy? Well you’re in the right place. As a monk, Jay Shetty learned a lot about how even the calmest, most serene lifestyles can fall foul of self-criticism. So he decided to work out how to deal with the negativity in a productive way, and harness the positivity that replaces it.

We spoke to him on the B raincare podcast to discuss his methodology for practising self-compassion, along with some of his tips for boosting self-esteem.

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Your new best friend: you


Our inner voices are always there, and can swing from inspirational to crushingly negative, sometimes alarmingly quickly. At those times, it can be hard to feel good about them.

But our inner voices are there for a reason, and taking some time to address that relationship does wonders for our ability to show ourselves a little compassion. On a recent Braincare Club session, performance and well-being coach Mica Vaipan chatted to us about what we can do to become friends with our inner critics, and use them to our advantage.

Read the full recap

Self-care equals braincare

Adrienne Herbert

Having presented the Power Hour podcast, along with TEDx talks, Adrienne Herbert is familiar with achievement. Which means that she’s familiar with how important it is to look after yourself. After all, if you don’t, how can you possibly expect to perform at your best?

On this episode of the Braincare podcast, she explains why there’s more to self-care than buying the right crystals, or following the latest trend on Goop, and shares her tips for practising self-care, starting from within.

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Harnessing positive thinking

Man standing on a mountain in front of a cloudy sky

Acts of self-care can make us feel better. Even small ones, such as lingering over a morning paper with a cup of coffee, have an impact. In fact, regularly practising self-care can improve your mental and physical health, boost your mood, and feeling more calm. Healthier, happier, all that jazz.

These small (or large) acts can also help us to view things from a more positive perspective. And that’s where the improvements start compounding.

Learn more

How to meditate

Someone meditating in front of water and mountains

For many, meditation and mindfulness are important displays of personal development. Taking the time to allow yourself to practice suggests that you are, to some extent, prioritising yourself.

And yet for lots of people, meditation is a bit of a mystery. A lot of the time, there doesn’t appear to be a lot going on, so how do you practise it? We caught up with meditation coach Natalia Bojanic, who shares her secrets on how to approach the ancient art as a beginner.

Get started

Unsure where to start?

We get it. It can seem like a lot. To start off small, we’ve put together a daily diary of self-care activities that you can do every day. You don’t need to do all of them, just work out what works for you, and put yourself in the best position to grow.

Personal development at Heights

At Heights, we care without compromise. It’s one of our commitments as a company —we believe that transparency is the key to success, and that treating each other with compassion and understanding increases our potential, rather than limiting it, allowing us to grow together and *cough* reach our Heights. For more articles and tips about braincare, take a look at our blog or the Braincare podcast .


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