6 Areas of Whole Person Development: Psychological

Whole Person Development— a multi-faceted approach to growth and improvement—is the key to success in our relationships, careers, and personal lives. The six categories of Whole Person Development include emotional intelligence, physical, spiritual, social, psychological, and professional. This article will delve deeper into the psychological aspect of Whole Person Development and outline how to improve this characteristic for continued success.


What is the Psychological Aspect?

The psychological aspect of Whole Person Development pertains to our minds—how we think, how our emotions impact our thoughts, how our brain and emotions respond to each other, and how we perceive ourselves. While the human psyche is a system far too complex to be accurately defined within the confines of a few simple sentences, a high-level approach has been taken for the purpose of this article.


Self-Esteem and Social Media

In regards to Whole Person Development, self-esteem the most integral aspect of the psychological facet.  Self-esteem is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a feeling of satisfaction that someone has in himself or herself and his or her own abilities.” In other words, your self-esteem is the confidence you have in yourself, which leads into self-appreciation—how you practice self-care and how you appreciate, respect, and value yourself.

In this modern era, much of our lives are dedicated to showing ourselves to others through social media. Much like family pictures tend to capture the happy, posed moments in our lives, social media often shows a skewed perception of individuals’ realities. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Custard in the U.K. shows that upwards of 75% of people lie or exaggerate on social media to make themselves appear more interesting, more successful, or happier.  Until we learn to shift our focus back to our true selves, we will be unable to practice self-appreciation without acknowledgment and validation from our peers.


Case Study

Bloom Leadership recently had a client who, despite being beautiful, successful, and ambitious, lacked a positive self-image.  To her peers and friends, she was perceived as an amazing woman who was both successful and confident. The client excelled at maintaining this exterior image, while internally she battled with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. The client put a substantial amount of time and energy into maintaining this image rather than focusing those valuable assets inwards in order to nourish her true self. As such, she lacked the contentment and self-satisfaction she conveyed to the outside world.

Upon shifting her focus to Whole Person Development, the client realized that she had some serious work to do on the psychological aspect of herself. Not only would she have to work to offset the negative self-talk, but she would also have to delve deeper and determine the root cause. With the assistance of Bloom Leadership’s coaching, the client was able to identify why she struggled with self-appreciation. A mantra was developed to help the client practice positive self-talk and regain her confidence and self-esteem. With time and dedication, the client was able to let go of the image of perfection and accept her unique value as an individual. She was able to use her experiences to show others how to build confidence in the workplace. This client has successfully found her Whole Person Development blend.


Challenge Yourself

The psychological aspect of Whole Person Development is for many a constant work in progress that may encompass an entire lifetime. However, you can start today! Set aside a few minutes and make a list of what you love, value, respect, and appreciate about yourself. If this exercise makes you feel uncomfortable, think about whether you’re questioning your value; it’s entirely normal to feel this way while completing this exercise. From your list, try and see what is out of congruence with your Whole Person Development blend. Is psychological the facet that needs the most work? If so, challenge yourself to set aside time to do something that is truly only for you! You may be amazed by the impact it has on your life.


Meredith Wailes is the President of Bloom Leadership, a cutting-edge platform for business growth with a focus on Whole Person Development. Meredith is a founding member and Chair of Membership for the Private Directors Association and creator of “SeeD”, a scholarship fund dedicated to female leaders who manage, operate, and/or own for-profit businesses in Charlotte, NC. For more information visit Meredith on LinkedIn and Twitter.