Want to focus on personal development so you can become the best version of YOU?
Whether you want to cook like Nigella, master classic vintage beauty like Audrey, be a glamor queen like Marilyn, crank out content like Gary Vee, build an iconic empire like Disney, be a pop queen like Lady Gaga, or rule the fashion world like Anna Wintour, it all begins with the squishy grey stuff between your ears (a.k.a. your brain).
These icons ALL mastered their craft with one important thing: a growth mindset.
With a growth mindset, you can absorb information like a supercomputer, learn from your mistakes, hone your strengths, and relentlessly chase your dreams.
Conditioning your mindset for growth has never been easier. There are a squillion online courses to give your noggin a glow-up: from courses on confidence through to meditation.
But where do you start? How do you know you’re picking a good course?
Luckily, this little personal development junkie (aka, moi) has done A LOT of online courses (I’m obsessed) and knows what to look for.
I’ve done the groundwork so you don’t have to! I’ve been researching the best rated online self-study courses for personal development, so you can be the best version of YOU - and today, I’m sharing what I’ve found!
These courses are self-paced, yours to keep, and simple, so you can absorb the information, practice it, and action it. Best of all - once you’ve purchased them they’re yours forever, so there are no pesky deadlines to worry about. Hello, glow up.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ONLINE COURSE
The online course industry is enjoying a hot little minute right now. Forbes estimates that the e-learning industry will climb to a whopping $325 billion industry by 2025.
But just because there are a LOT of courses out there doesn’t mean they’re worth the money. People commonly get their butts burned by online courses that cost a mint and promise the world, only to deliver a few scraps of information that soon turn up on a cursory Google search.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you! When you’re choosing the right online course for you, make sure it offers the following:
#1: A risk-free guarantee
The benefit of buying something in a shop is that you know what you’re buying. You can get it off the shelf, push the buttons, kick the tires, have a flip through, and make sure it’s the real deal.
When you’re buying online, there’s no way to know whether you’ve been catfished until you’ve already parted with your hard-earned dollars.
For a personal development program with everything to gain and nothing to lose, choose one with a 30-day moneyback guarantee.
This gives you plenty of time to test the course and make sure it delivers on its promises and is worth every penny.
#2: It’s run by a real expert
The best way to get real-world skills is to learn from industry leaders who are masters of their art. Anyone can be anyone online and nobody wants the bum steer from someone who doesn't walk their talk.
Do your research and make sure the person who's instructing you has the results in life YOU want. Don't listen to just anybody.
Make sure your instructor has the experience, qualifications, and skills to back their teachings.
#3: It can back up its claims
Ooooooooooh I love me a good, juicy sales page. I sit there with my morning coffee, click on a Facebook Ad, and let the sales page whisper sweet nothings into my ear (or eyeballs) about all the ways it will change my life.
Online window shopping is a serious 2020 vibe.
A good sales page is as smooth, seductive, and irresistible as a hot mocha with cream. But before you want to have its babies, pause for a moment.
How will it deliver the transformation?
Do the modules clearly show you the steps that lead to the result or transformation you want? Does the course outline what you’ll learn?
Can it link what it teaches with the result you’re hoping to get?
Say you’re interested in a course on Earning Six Figures from Instagram. It's promising that you can grow a six figure business simply by using your Instagram account.
The sales page should offer a course outline that paves a clear path for achieving it, with relevant subjects, skills and outcomes. It should also indicate who will benefit most from the course, and have real reviews from satisfied students, including tangible results.
In other words, it should be able to "join the dots" clearly from where you are now, to where you want to be.
#4: It is digestible
Every Friday night, my husband and I perform food alchemy i.e. we take boring, cheap frozen supermarket pizzas and, using whatever’s left in our fridge, we transform them into deliciously indulgent gourmet pizzas, the kind Dominos never offer a discount voucher on.
My husband’s modus operandi is to slather his pizza with lashings of sriracha sauce - so much, in fact, that the pizza is more just a vessel to get the sauce into his mouth.
He loves sriracha sauce.
Sriracha sauce, on the other hand, does not love him.
As delicious as it tastes, within an hour, his belly is speaking whale.
It cannot digest the soup of hot sauce my poor dear husband has just lovingly ingested.
Sometimes the information in a course can be deliciously good and feel like good value - but it’s difficult (or impossible) to "digest" (read: implement) in a meaningful way.
Good courses are digestible. They’re not stuffed with filler, irrelevant subjects, or vague concepts that have nothing to do with the results you want.
Good courses are actionable. You should be able to take each piece of information, DO IT, and get results from it.
Good courses are engaging. They can almost be addictive - you’ll finish the next module and want to keep going with the next one.
Good courses deliver content in an engaging way through storytelling and providing generous value.
Good courses get results. They get you to take doable actions so that you build momentum and confidence as you go.
#5: It’s suited to your current point in your journey and your goals
Ultimately, even a rip-snorting course will be a waste of money unless it meets you where you’re at, and can deliver the transformation (a.k.a. the results) you’re after.
Thoroughly research the sales/description page (and even everything you read below) to make sure the course is a good match for your needs.
WHY UDEMY IS MY COURSE PROVIDER OF CHOICE
Some girls get addicted to shoes. Some girls get addicted to hot mochas with cream. I’m addicted to both, but also, I’m addicted to the amazing course platform Udemy.
I discovered Udemy a few years back when I was looking for courses to help me grow my blog. At the time, Udemy was having a flash sale, with courses reduced to $14.99 each.
With my budget of $100, I could buy up big.
I was hesitant, because most of the online courses I’d taken in the past were hit-and-miss. But I swallowed hard, took a deep, shaky breath, and signed up.
Seconds later, I got started on my first course (you can begin right away). I was immediately impressed, and happily tumbled down the rabbit hole of self-education.
I became the Hermione Granger of Udemy.
Every spare moment, I was learning to improve my copywriting, run my business like Disney, and speak in public with confidence.
Not only has every course so far been digestible, entertaining, and engaging, delivered by people who were Mr. Miyagis on the subject ... but every course got me results.
With over 50,000 courses (and counting) to choose from, I’m still adding to my collection. Udemy’s like a search engine - it’s become my go-to for adding a new skill to my repertoire.
Here’s why I use Udemy to upgrade my skills.
You can learn about anything: Want to give your resume a little extra zing by mastering social media marketing? There’s a course for that. Want to learn how to communicate telepathically with your dog? There’s a course for that too. It’s a one-stop e-elearning marketplace. If it's teachable, it’s probably on Udemy. There are over 50,000 courses currently on the market, and new courses are being added every month.
It’s risk-free: You can vet the course before you take it by reading REAL reviews, searching by rating, and reading your instructor’s bio. Also, Udemy’s courses have a 30-day money-back guarantee. You have peace of mind that whatever you spend is a sure investment in your growth.
You know what you’re getting: Every course comes with in-depth descriptions, includes instructor bios, as well as a list of modules, lecture lengths, reviews, and outcomes. Many also come with certificates of completion that make you look fancy pants at job interviews and performance appraisals.
They’re engaging, concise, and comprehensive: Each course is divided into modules with video lectures. Many also have workbooks, and lecture notes if you prefer to learn by reading, so you can learn in a way that suits you. Every course I’ve taken has explained everything clearly and thoroughly, equipping me with all the skills I need to get actual results.
They’re budget-friendly, and have incredible flash sales: Many courses are under $100, and Udemy regularly runs flash sales where course prices can drop as low as $8.99.
You can complete your course when it suits you: There’s no pesky Facebook lives to commit to, “enrolment dates” you have to wait for, or deadlines to add to your already overflowing schedule. You can begin right away, and once you’ve purchased the course, it’s yours to complete at your own pace, so you can log on and complete a module when it suits YOU.
It's a trusted course provider by some of the biggest businesses in the world: Organizations like Adidas, Volkswagen, and Pinterest trust Udemy for up-skilling their employees.
14 TOP RATED PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES ON UDEMY
Total students enrolled: 23,583 students Instructor: Life Progression Project Course length: 1 hour Key takeaway: Develop a growth mindset by learning how to think like a successful person. Student rating: 4.4/5 stars
One of my dad’s favorite quotes is “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.
Life Progression Project teaches you skills for building habits to shift your mindset so that you think like a successful person. It teaches success habits like goal setting, visualizing, time management, and eliminating negativity.
Several students commented on the wake-up call it gave them to start taking action in their lives.
Total students enrolled: 15,520 Instructor: Chris Haroun Course length: 1.5 hours Key takeaway: A series of 50 personal development tips for reinventing yourself Student rating: 4.5/5 stars
I don’t believe in self-improvement: but I do believe in self-invention. All of us, with the right guidance, can nurture ourselves into our fullest potential and live the life we were born for.
This course (so impressive it’s profiled in Business Insider) provides 50 self-development tips for reinventing yourself. There are modules on goal setting, happiness, confidence, taking risks, and being yourself.
One student declared that the advice in this course was life changing. Another even declared it the best personal development course on Udemy!
Total students enrolled: 3,854 Instructor: Deepak Chopra Course length: 3.5 hours Key takeaway: How to become an empowered and creative leader Student rating: 4.6/5 stars
If you want to change the world with your message you must be able to combine two skills: leadership and passion.
The world is crying out for your leadership to guide them to enlightenment. Who better to guide you on that journey than Deepak Chopra, the world leader on integrative medicine.
You’ll learn the qualities of a great leader, synchronicity, and emotional intelligence (among other things). One student shared that not only did she learn how to be a better leader, but this course also transformed her personal life.
Total students enrolled: 10,897 Instructor: TJ Walker Course length: 3 hours Key takeaway: Develop a growth mindset and success habits Student rating:4.5/5 stars
Networks like Bloomberg TV have dubbed instructor TJ Walker as the leading speaking expert - and he’s created a lot of best selling courses on Udemy. In this one, he teaches success mindset qualities, how to unlearn society’s fixed mindset programming, and how to apply a growth mindset in real life.
Students say the course was informative, taught them to be positive, and helped them to understand their actions.
Total students enrolled: 10,024 Instructor: Danielle LaPorte Course length: 3.5 hours Key takeaway: Set goals that light YOU up so you can share your unique genius with the world Student rating: 4.8/5
If you have a big enough why, you can handle any how! If you struggle to set sticky goals, it’s because your reason for setting them isn’t compelling enough.
Danielle LaPorte’s philosophy is that passion, purpose, and emotion are the driving forces behind successful goals. She takes us through fire starter sessions, a video series for setting goals that light us on fire by connecting us with how we feel and how we want to feel.
One student says Danielle is “warmth, fire and inspiration with clear strategy”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Instructor: Silviu Marisk - Effective Learning Lab Course length: 13.5 hours Key takeaway: How to learn fast by speed reading, efficient note-taking, and memorising information Student rating: 4.5/5
I reckon it’d be pretty cool to be a robot. You could learn anything instantly by installing a data chip. Unfortunately, we haven’t got instantaneous data chips yet, but this course could just be the next best thing.
This is the #1 rated course for speed learning on Udemy, delivered by career hacker and productivity coach Silviu Marisk. You can master new knowledge with the speed of a genius superhero.
It promises not only to teach you how to read 3 x faster than a college graduate, but also how to retain what you learn. One student was able to bump up his reading speed to 750 words per minute with 95% retention. Wow!
Total students enrolled: 35,011 Instructor: Jimmy Naraine Course length: 5 hours of video + 1.5 hours of audio + 26 resources Key takeaway: How to exude social confidence and feel confident within Student overall rating: 4.4/5
If you struggle socially, and want to drop fear of rejection, stop people-pleasing, and end social anxiety, this course is for you. Instructor Jimmy Naraine is an international speaker, and won the first Udemy Innovation Award.
One student noticed positive changes in their posture and eye contact after only a few lessons. Another said it helped her regain confidence after losing her mum.
Total students enrolled: 53,654 Instructor: Alexa Fischer Course length: 5 hours Key takeaway: Real-life tools to unlock your presence and make you magnetic to everyone you meet Overall rating: 4.4/5 stars
Imagine getting in front of a camera, being onstage, or even attending a networking event and feeling completely at ease. That’s what this course by actress Alexa Fischer promises to do.
I’m taking this course personally and I already love it. She’s so bright, bubbly, and engaging and has an amazing presence - so you know she can walk her talk.
I especially love her vocal warmups, postural exercises, and signature style tips. I know you’ll love it too!
Total students enrolled: 2,224 Instructor: Kara Ronin Course length: 3 hours Key takeaway: Set boundaries, speak confidently and handle awkward conversations Student overall rating: 4.5/5 The ability to be assertive is one of the most important social skills you can build.
The art of assertiveness is the art of effective communication. It’s the ability to make sure others hear and respect your needs, whilst also respecting the needs of others.
Kara Ronin teaches you to set boundaries, speak confidently, and express your opinion. I promise, such skills will change the game for your confidence.
One student wanted to progress in her career but struggled with being passive. Using the skills she learned in this course, she was put first in line for a new project at her company.
Total students enrolled: 3,102 Instructors: Deepak Chopra & Mallika Chopra Course length: 1 hour of video + 16 articles Key takeaway: An introductory course on the basics of meditation Student overall rating: 4.4/5
Imagine learning how to meditate by the master himself: Dr Deepak Chopra! Well, now you can.
Deepak Chopra’s melodic, peaceful voice gently guides you through the meditation basics. He teaches you how to set up a meditation practice that works for you. Students love his gentle, calming voice, and find the course refreshing and relaxing.
One student was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to meditate under Dr Chopra’s instruction. If you’re going to learn a skill, why not learn from a master, I say!
Total students enrolled: 2,414 Instructor: Mark Youngblood Course length: 1 hour video + 39 minutes of audio + 5 downloadable resources Key takeaway: Practices for cleansing and protecting your energy Student overall rating: 4.6/5
Being an empath is exhausting! Others' energy can drain you quickly and can lead to sickness, exhaustion, and burnout.
It’s important to know how to protect your energy, cleanse it, and restore it, so that you can do what you’re here to do: be a shining light to others. This course teaches you to keep your aura healthy, protect your energy, and even how to dispel others' negative energy.
Several students declared it a must for empaths. One student, in particular, loved how it empowered her to protect herself and still help the people around her.
Total students enrolled: 7,901 Instructor: Thich Nhat Hanh, Sounds True Course length: 2 hours Key takeaway: Mindfulness to help you find happiness and peace Student overall rating: 4.4/5
Suffering is borne out of not being present. You’re either anxious about the future, or sorrowful/regretful about the past.
Mindfulness is the art of staying completely present in the NOW. Who better to teach it than Buddhist zen master Thich Nhat Hanh?
You’ll learn to access joy by mindfulness through breathing exercises and meditation. One student found the course made a tremendous difference in their lives, experiencing more calm and self compassion.
Total students enrolled: 10,296 Instructor: Tara Brach Course length: 4.5 hours Key takeaway: Discover self-worth, and navigate painful situations through mindfulness and meditation Student overall rating: 4.7/5
Are you your own worst critic? Do you battle resentment, or struggle to receive love and praise?
This course by clinical psychologist and renowned meditation teacher Tara Brach is for you. The subjects taught in this course include self-awareness, self-compassion, releasing resentment, and forgiveness.
One student feels she "opened up like a flower" and her life significantly improved from taking this course.
Total students enrolled: 38,196 Instructor: Pema Chodron, Sounds True Course length: 4.5 hours Key takeaway: How to find peace and happiness Overall rating: 4.6/5
Have you ever gotten stuck in behavior or patterns that hold you back? You know they harm your life, and want to change them, but you can’t seem to shake them off?
Tibetan Buddhist master Pema Chodron shows you how in this course. You’ll learn to identify your negative patterns, replace them with more empowering habits, and add more peace and joy to your life.
One student even said that if everyone on earth took this course, we'd achieve world peace! And peace begins with each of us.
Success begins with building habits and skills that condition your mind to go after your dreams on autopilot. Luckily, in the internet age, you don't need to fork out your house deposit on swanky seminars.
These days, your personal development journey is as simple and accessible as having an internet connection, a passion for your mission, and a thirst for knowledge.
Have you taken a course online before? What did you think? I'd love to chat with you in the comments about your experience.