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Personal development is a newer obsession of mine, but now that I’ve hopped on this bus, I’m trying to grab everyone’s hand and drag them along for the ride.
In 2019, I finally entered therapy after many years of mental health struggles and eventually hitting my own personal “rock bottom”. Since then, I have learned so much about myself, grown as a person, and am truly so proud of who I am becoming. I wish this journey for everyone, but I also do try to take the time to remember how hopeless, desperate, and alone I felt. This is what drives me to talk about mental health, personal development, and any related topic so much.
I remember how it felt to be at my rock bottom, and I want to speak out about my own experience to encourage anyone who might be in a similar situation of their own.
Now, before we go any further, I just want to remind anyone reading this that I am not a mental health professional of any sort. I am a human who personally has anxiety, depression and who had postpartum depression. Anything I say in my blog posts is based on my own personal experience and current opinions/thoughts. A great perk to personal development is the realization that I don’t know everything there is to know and I am a forever student. If anything I say or talk about ever sparks a desire to have a constructive conversation with me, please feel free to leave a comment or email me. I love to hear other people’s thoughts on this great journey towards self-love and acceptance.
If you feel like you are struggling with a mental health disorder(s), I gently encourage you to discuss it with your physician or a trusted family member or friend. This is a great first step to healing.
Moving on to the glorious journey which is personal development!
The most important thing about a personal development journey, in my opinion, is your mindset. You have to realize that, while it is a journey, there really is no final destination. Personal development is a lifelong journey that we will be traveling down as long as we draw breath on this big, beautiful Earth.
What is personal development? Personal development is the art of actively pursuing activities and content that can help you grow your mind, abilities, talents, improve your thoughts, attitude, etc.
For me, personal development also included personal awareness, self-love, as well as accountability.
A year of personal development reading
Why is Personal Development so important?
Remember this is my opinion. You are more than welcome to disagree with me and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject as well.
Why do I feel like personal development is important for everyone? Because personal development ultimately is looking inward and realizing that everything you desire starts from within. When you prioritize personal development, your own happiness, and your own personal growth, everything else in your life is affected as well.
I often get met with the assumption that that makes personal development “selfish” and I couldn’t disagree more. When you are in the habit of making personal development a priority, everyone and everything in your life are also positively affected as well.
How so? Well, if you are prioritizing your personal development, your mental health is affected, which in turn affects your moods, which in turn flows outward to affect those around you. So, if you think about it, personal development is one of the least selfish things there is.
If you’re a parent this is even more true because you have small humans watching everything you do and learning your habits, hearing how you speak to yourself and others, and absorbing all your attributes, whether you’re aware of it or not. I always get shocking reminders of this from my own son when he repeats or mimics a certain action of either myself or his father.
How to start your own Personal Development Journey today
Personal development Pinterest board
You could technically say you already started it if you’re reading this post and making the mental notes to look into some new things. It really is that easy.
There are so many ways you can implement personal development. A quick Pinterest search will showcase a magnitude of amazing personal development tools and ideas, but here in this blog post, I’m going to talk about my favorite types of personal development.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
As with literally ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, consistency is the most important factor. You don’t gain weight by eating one calorie-heavy meal. You don’t lose weight by exercising once. You don’t unpack a lifetime of trauma in one therapy session. You don’t become a master of any skill without a trial and error period. Give yourself grace and remember consistency is key.
Take the Enneagram test
OKAYYYYYYYY, so I really, really, really, REALLY, love the enneagram. I am not even remotely close to being an expert on the subject and am probably wrong about some aspects, so don’t take what I say on it as the gospel, but this is probably my favorite personal development tool and it’s a great place to start.
A brief slice of my understanding on the subject is this:
You take the enneagram test HERE and see what your highest “number” is. I have never paid for a test result before and don’t feel like you need to, but again, that is just my uneducated opinion. There are enneagram coaches/experts out there you can talk to for better info.
When you get your test results, you go read the core beliefs and core fears of that “type” and see if they resonate with you. How I would explain it is if you read those core fears and beliefs and you feel called out, uncomfortable, seen, or understood, then you’ve got the right number.
From there, search Instagram and Pinterest for enneagram resources. These are the two places I found 98% of my enneagram information. It’s easy, fun, and convenient.
Above is my own Pinterest board which is dedicated to my personal number, 7, but I do need to make a general enneagram board now that I think about it.
If you’d like a book on the enneagram, I do have this one, which according to my Amazon account, I purchased in March but I have not read it yet. I’ll read it after ZA.
There are also enneagram-specific devotionals. The one is obviously for enneagram 7’s so make sure you purchase the one for your own number.
Why is knowing your enneagram number so important for personal development? The Enneagram has helped me to dive deep into some of my habits and understand myself on a whole new level. There were things I’ve read about that I had felt so alone and misunderstood about until I discovered my Enneagram number.
Example: I have a very addictive personality which is a straight-up personality trait of some enneagram 7s. There is a chunk about it in my enneagram 7 devotional and it was very enlightening.
Read some personal development/self help books
Here is a list I created at the beginning of 2021. Full disclosure, I didn’t finish it and my favorite self-help book I’ve read so far isn’t even on there.
How to do the work by Dr. Nicole LePera is a seriously amazing, life-changing book. She also is a person I’d 100% recommend following on Instagram, her handle being theholisticpsychologist.
Try going to therapy
Unfortunately, this isn’t easily accessible to everyone. One day, I hope that changes and mental health is seen as the very important part of healthcare that it is, but that is not the case right now.
If you are able to see a therapist, I would definitely suggest it, though. I have been in therapy for two years now and it has been an amazing, wild ride of radical self-discovery.
We have addressed my coping skills, dug through the trauma I had forgotten about, reframed events, worked through current life struggles, etc., etc. It has been a truly amazing experience for me and I recommend it to everyone who is able to go.
An important thing to remember if you do go to therapy is that it is not a quick fix. Therapy takes time. Like I said, I’ve been going for 2 years and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. I started going every week, then every other week, and now I am going once a month.
Meditation and yoga are life-changing in an amazing way. The theme of this post, obviously. I am personally a very reactive person, so practicing meditation and yoga has helped me on the journey of becoming more mindful and aware of my responses.
I simply look up yoga and meditation videos on YouTube or my Amazon Prime account and do them at home. It’s so easy and really wonderful. Actually, yoga is one of the first tools I reach for when I am struggling with anxiety attacks. Love yoga.
These are my starting suggestions because this is how I started and these are still my favorite tools to this day. I guess since I’ve been in therapy for two years, I’ve been on this personal development kick for about two years. It hasn’t been smooth sailing, and I still regress and take steps back, but it has been the most fulfilling and glorious thing I’ve taken on yet. I am so excited for you to start digging deep into yourself and learning to radiate radical self-love from the inside out.
Do you have a favorite personal development tool? Favorite book? Whatever it is, let me know in the comments.
Nailed it with the point on consistency, Stephanie. In fact, I’ve written so many novels thanks to writing a few hundred words a day, compared to the ambitious output people take on when approaching a project of this kind. Anyway, thanks for this post!
This post was great, thorough, and super accurate! I look forward to reading more content! This really resonated with me.