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Personal Development

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I wish I could get back all those years I wasted by worrying about what others thought of me.

I wish I had lived my life by focusing on myself, my dreams and on things that mattered. 

I wish someone told me when I was little that it didn’t matter what others thought as long as I was happy with I wanted.

I wish, I wish.

Instead, what I heard was “Don’t do such and such thing, what will people say?” or, “If you do that, people will mock you”. 

I think that was the beginning of my anxiety. The worries about living up to other’s expectations and the pressure to take decisions that looked good in front of everyone that didn’t matter to my life.

I don’t blame my parents or anyone who passed to me this wasteful way of thinking. Because I know that they are unaware of the negative effects of it. And they were told the same by someone else when they were growing up. And many of us tell the same thing to our kids unknowingly. And it goes on like a cycle because it’s in our programming. 

 And if you are reading this, let’s put an end to the cycle and change it.

How to stop worrying about what others think

Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

-Anonymous

1. Know yourself

The first step in personal growth is being aware of the problem. If you don’t know that you have a problem, you can never solve it and grow out of it. You think you were born this way and that you have to live with it.

For example, I lived with social anxiety (still working on it) almost until the end of my twenties and never knew I had anxiety. Of course, I had the symptoms like being afraid to meet new people, worrying constantly about how people perceive each word I speak (so painful), whether the few words that came from my mouth were impressive and lose sleep over it if I thought it was not good enough, and afraid to speak in front of a group because I felt my contribution wouldn’t be good enough.

Basically, I lived inside my head by constantly scrutinizing every word I spoke and re-evaluating the past situations again and again. I constantly worried about the clothes I wore, the shoes I bought and kept procrastinating on chasing my dreams because of fear. 

I want to tell you though, this type of anxiety is not felt by everyone as this is an extreme case of worrying about other people’s judgment. But I wrote about it,  in case it could help someone who is suffering but is not aware of the problem. I thought I was born this way and was meant to suffer my whole life because I couldn’t live like others. Until I came across some resources that explained social anxiety and I realized I have it. 

That’s the power of learning and keeping on educating yourself.

Not everyone has social anxiety. But we all have the need to feel approved. It’s normal, but when we give it more importance than required, we start worrying about other people’s opinion. 

The solution is, to know yourself. You should know your personality type(introvert, extrovert, ambivert, etc), your values, how you want to live and your goals. 

Knowing your personality type is important because a lot of times introvert (more research on extrovert ) traits are labeled as negative or antisocial when it’s not. 

Know your values. And stand firm for the values, no matter what. If you have a set of rules that you have set for your life, let them guide you. Let them guide you on when to neglect other people’s opinion because you know your rules. 

For example, I value honesty and transparency in my life. And I have decided I will my life in a way I don’t have to lie and cheat. So when the time comes when I have to lie about something so that I can impress others, I refuse to do that. I remember my principles and stand by it. 

If you are confident about your values, you don’t need to impress others.

woman smiling- how to stop worrying about what people think of you

2. Most people think about themselves all the time

No, you are not holding the center stage and the spotlight is not focused on you. But since you are important in your own eyes and you think about yourself all the time, you feel others are watching you too. 

But the irony is, they think the same thing. Like you, they are thinking about their lives and how others view them. They are thinking about how to make money, what to make for dinner, notes for the next meeting, etc.  

See, everyone has a lot of things on their plate and that occupies their minds most of the time in a day. 

But what about people who say opinions on what you do?

Most of the people who say opinions on your life don’t know you thoroughly. They don’t know your plans, or dreams or your values as much as you know.

So when they say an opinion they might be saying it without knowing your story. Only you know your story. Then why should you value what someone says when they don’t even know you?

They might be expressing a passing thought.  Learn to ignore such opinions and stay indifferent to them.

3. The differences in perspective

Each one of us sees the world differently. We all have different perspectives on life. Some have a broader perspective and a non-judgemental attitude, while some people like to judge anything and everything that others do.

Before you get obsessed with what others think and say, know that perspectives differ. When people pass an opinion, it’s usually based on their life experiences and their perspectives which may not always be true.  And perspectives change all the time. They might not say the same thing after 10 years. 

That’s why I said you should know your true self. If you know who you are and what you want, you do not get swayed by what people say.

I used to let a lot of negative comments affect me and rule my days. But now I am connected to my true self more than ever, and I imagine having a protective shield around me that doesn’t let in any kind of negativity. The shield may not always be strong, but now I know how to shed a few tears and get back up without letting it tear me down. Feel through the emotions and let go.

I just entered my thirties, and I enjoy aging. You know why?

 The life lessons!

As you get older, you have earned more experiences under your belt and start to see things from different perspectives. Now you know what will matter in a few years of time and what will not. You learn what should you cry for and what not. And more importantly you learn who you are and that’s wonderful. 

Dig deep and uncover yourself from the society’s judgments and your own false beliefs and you learn you were not that bad, after all. But you get to reach there only if you invest in learning and personal growth.

And in the process, you automatically learn to not worry about what people think.

So, keep learning and keep growing.

Related: How to start your personal growth journey: A guide for beginners

woman reading book- how to stop worrying about what people think of you

4. Don’t try to please everyone

No matter how much you try, everyone is not gonna like you. And THAT’S OK. Say that to yourself over and over again. 

It doesn’t matter if everyone doesn’t like me. I am happy with who I am. 

And say this to yourself when you start worrying about what people think. And don’t make your success rely on the opinions of other people. Don’t choose a profession that others want you to be in.

When you do not speak your mind, you put yourselves through stress and anxiety that you can’t handle. You become the ultimate go-to person for everything because you want to please people and are scared to displease anyone as you are afraid to say NO. 

It is okay to speak your mind. And you should set boundaries for what you can do and what you don’t want to do. Remember, how much ever you do, people are not going to be pleased with you completely.  

5. Get out of your head

Those who worry about others too much have a wonderful imagination. Or in general, people who have anxiety tend to imagine unreal things about every situation.

For example, if you are at a party and you feel someone ignored you, your brain starts to draw different kinds of worst-case scenarios. You think you are not well-dressed like the other person or you are boring etc. But in reality, the other person may not have even thought about your dress.

They might have moved on to get a drink or to look for something. Over analyzing situations leads to believing unreal facts about yourself. 

Realize these are just thoughts and thinking them over and over makes it look like a fact by your brain. And then you start acting upon these beliefs by avoiding people. But where did it all start? In your head. And you don’t even know if that’s true. 

So when the thoughts come, try to acknowledge it and let them go. Detach yourself from the negative thinking pattern.

woman drinking coffee- how to stop worrying about what people think of you

6. Practice self-love

Love yourself for who you are. When you constantly seek the approval of other people to feel good, you develop a lack of self-confidence. It makes it impossible for you to do something on your own because you are worried about what others would think.

But when you realize who you are, you get to identify your strong and weak points. Love yourself unconditionally with all your flaws and accept yourself for who you are.

Don’t bang your head against the wall thinking about your inadequacies, because God (or the Universe, insert whatever you believe in) never makes mistakes. You were born here as the exact person who you were supposed to be. You are unique and there is no one else with the same characteristics as you in the whole world.

Through self-acceptance comes self-confidence. After a while, you realize you don’t need so and so’s approval to live your life your way. I have gone through it all, so I know how liberating it is to finally able to love yourself for who you are.

Related: What is self-care? The ultimate beginners guide for self-care

7. Worrying is just a waste of time

My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes; most of which never happened.

– Michel De Montagne

You might feel like the days are long, but have you observed how years fly by? Yes, life is too short to worry about what your neighbor thinks. And worrying is just imagining things that seldom happens. 

We all have to die one day even if we have enjoyed life or not. Then why make it miserable while you are it? Enjoy each day and when the unnecessary worries start to cloud your mind, practice mindfulness. Enjoy the present moment and let everything else go.

I hope you were able to shed at least some worries by reading this. I would love to hear your thoughts, please comment below.

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woman walking on the beach- how to stop worrying about what others think

 

Negative energy affects all of us and more often than we realize. Because for many of us, negative thinking comes easier than positive. 

On a bright sunny day when everything in life your seems to go smoothly, do you find yourself expecting a worst case scenario? I am guilty of feeling like this, and it comes from the negative belief I have had all my life. That is, life should not be perfect and that something is supposed to go wrong all the time.

Surely, life comes with ups and downs. But actively expecting a down when everything is going right in your life can create unnecessary worries. It is said that we are wired to expect danger because our ancestors who lived in the wild had to be alert all the time, to stay safe. 

But since we don’t live in that age and there is no potential danger anymore, we don’t need to live with this stress.

So how do we release this negative energy, these negative thoughts that serve no good?

Glad you asked. 

how to remove negative energy from your life

1. Watch your feelings

Your feelings can tell you if you are emanating positive or negative energy right now. If you feel good, happy, excited or content, then you are emitting negative energy.

If you feel sad, jealous, unworthy or angry you are emitting negative energy. But feeling these negative emotions don’t make you negative. These emotions are necessary and it is important to have them too since that makes us human. Because if you don’t know what sadness is, you can’t fully experience joy.

But it is essential to note whether these are your dominant feelings on any day of your life.

Do you feel constantly angry or sad? If so, you have to find ways to release them. Here is an article on how to release negative emotions in a positive way.

And also please check if the emotional imbalance is due to any medical condition.

2. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones

You experience negative feelings due to internal or external circumstances. You feel angry because someone did wrong to you or you had some negative thoughts in your mind. Whatever be the circumstance you can always control the reaction. 

You can, and should, acknowledge you are angry. But you should also release it instead of living with it. When you let anger or resentment or grief to live inside you for prolonged periods, you become a bitter person. 

And who wants to live as a negative person? And nobody likes to hang out with a person who sends out negative vibes constantly. So feel through your negative emotion when it comes and release it after some time. Don’t bottle it up.

smile-how to remove negative energy from your life

3. Do deep breathing: a game changer

I have accumulated a lot of emotional garbage and feelings of low self-worth in my mind over the years. Therefore, I have been doing some spiritual cleansing for the past few weeks. It is really helping and my mindset has improved. I don’t feel unworthy anymore and my confidence has doubled.

Recently I came across Britt and Tara of elevatetheglobe.com. They teach people how to increase their energy and vibration through Kundalini yoga practices. I can’t speak about Kundalini yoga now because I haven’t yet practiced it. 

But I did some deep breathing techniques they teach and it has really helped me to increase my energy and feel happier. I feel instantly uplifted after the meditation session which takes only 3 minutes. Now I start my mornings with it because I crave for that positive energy and vibes. In case you want to know, I bought this 21-day challenge workbook (link below) and do the meditation they teach as part of the challenge. 

I was truly amazed to experience such a shift in energy by doing only deep breathing so I looked up how deep conscious breathing helps us.

Here is what I found:

  • Breathing helps to release anxiety and calms you down. Have you noticed how you breathe when you are stressed? You take short breaths through your chest. Your heart rate and your blood pressure increases. Now think about how you breathe when you are relaxed. You take slow breaths. So when you do deep breathing meditation you are signaling your brain to relax, because that’s how you breathe when you are relaxed. And you really feel relaxed. 
  • It oxygenates your body. When you breathe deeply, your lungs are filled to their full capacity and it helps to oxygenate your entire body. It helps to increase immunity and prevent diseases.  It’s no wonder we feel more energetic after a deep breathing session because it is providing more oxygen to all our cells and improving our circulation providing more energy.

And there are tons of other benefits to deep breathing, but I am not going to dive into them, because here we are talking about how to bring more positive energy into your life by getting rid of negative energy.

And during deep breathing, it helps to imagine you are inhaling all the positive things like happiness and abundance and exhaling anxiety, worries, negativity, lack, etc.

Related: How to start personal development and improve your life

4. Avoid gossiping and gossipers

Energy is contagious. Avoid people who spread negative energy. Gossiping is a big stealer of positive energy. When you gossip, you focus on the negatives of others. You focus on lack and you judge others when you are not perfect yourself. 

When you constantly think about the faults of others, you are filling your mind with negative energy. 

And you never know how you are impacting the lives of the person you are gossiping about. Gossips spread like wildfire and often gets distorted by the time it gets passed through ten people. You don’t want to bring such negativity in this world, do you?

Gossiping is also the result of the deep unhappiness you have inside you. You try to bring the frustration out by blaming others. But the truth is, it only brings more negativity to your mind. Find out the root cause of your unhappiness and try to solve it. Try to improve your own negative traits rather than focusing on other people. Becoming a happier person requires you to look on the brighter side that helps you to look at the positives of other people too. 

It is important to avoid people who spread negativity and more important is to not become one.

But it mightn’t be always easy to avoid people especially if the concerned person is a loved one. In such situations, what I have found helpful is to shield yourself from the negativity by simply deciding not to let it affect you. If you do your spiritual work daily(meditation, affirmation, etc), especially as part of your morning routine, you are more empowered. And as it becomes a habit, the outer circumstances don’t bother you much. Your inner world is so strong that you can instantly identify negativity when it comes your way and defend it. 

Meditation is a powerful practice. When you meditate, you learn to acknowledge your feelings and let them go without letting it affect you. Mediation is basically observe-acknowledge-letting go. And that’s what you do when dealing with negativity too. Acknowledge it’s negative and let it go as you are just a passive observer.

Gossiping-how to get rid of negative energy from your life

5. look for solutions rather than complain.

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

Complaining leads to more complaining, and stress. We all like to vent about the bad weather or the angry boss.

 When you complain you are acting from a place of ingratitude. It feeds the negativity inside you. And you are left with only feelings of lack and worry. Complaining also produces stress hormones in your body resulting in ailments like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. 

Become more solution-oriented. When you feel like complaining, ask yourself,

“Does my complaining solve this problem?”

If yes, 

“Am I complaining to the right person who has the authority to solve my problem?” 

If yes, good.

If not, you are just wasting time and energy by complaining to random people. Think about what you can do to solve the problem. Or if it is something you can’t find a solution right now, try to be grateful.

No matter how many issues you have in life to complain about, there are so many other things that you can be grateful about. It immediately shifts your attention from negativity to positivity and you feel an immediate release of negative energy.

Next time when you feel like complaining, make a forced shift in your perspective. And make it a habit whenever you start to complain. Over time you will become a more positive person and your life will change for the better.

For example, when you start to complain about the traffic, think about how lucky you are to be able to drive that car. Not everyone has the luxury to buy a car or not everyone is healthy enough to drive. Gratitude has the power to shift your mood immediately from a poor mindset to an abundant one. 

There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.

Related: A guide to hygge: The Danish secret to happiness

6. Journal your negative thoughts

As I said, it is essential for your health to feel through negative emotions. But after that, you have to release them effectively so that those thoughts don’t circle in your mind again and again. 

Journaling is an effective way to dump your thoughts somewhere ( I mean paper) and clear them from your head. Once you release them from your head, you get better clarity and feel good to move forward as you are no more stuck with the negative energy. 

So if you had kept a diary during your teenage years to express your frustrations, don’t leave that habit yet. It works well for any age and for people of any profession (journaling is not just for writers and nerds). It doesn’t make you uncool either. 

In fact, many doctors recommend journaling for depression, anxiety and mental health. If you feel you are stuck with a negative thought brewing in your mind, get a journal and start writing. It helps you find what exactly is bothering you and confront those emotions. 

journaling- how to get rid of negative energy from your life

7. Declutter to remove negativity 

Physical clutter causes mental clutter. How do you feel when you go to a home where all the objects are neatly kept in their place and fresh air is coming in through the windows?

And how do you feel when you go to a house where all objects are strewn around and you can’t even sit on a sofa without the fear of something poking on your rear. 

Even though you might think you are okay with the clutter, it affects you. You get the negative vibes and it impacts your mood. 

To get rid of negative energy, start decluttering your home. Go through your stuff and get rid of the ones that you haven’t used in a year. It is said that if you haven’t used it in a year, you probably won’t use it anymore. 

But we cling onto our possessions fearing, “What if I need it in the future?”. And thus we accumulate things and clutter our houses. Many times, I have found that I don’t even remember the object for a long time I had a hard time giving up. 

According to Feng Shui, clutter blocks positive energy from entering your home. Clutter, be it physical or mental, draws energy from you. Some studies show that it is difficult for our brains to stay focused in a cluttered environment. 

8. Walk in nature

 Studies show that a walk in nature can reduce your negative thoughts. And it also helps to improve immunity, to lower blood pressure, to boost mood, to enhance creativity, etc. It is also the reason many people grow indoor plants like cactus, lucky bamboo, etc. Plants purify the air by neutralizing toxic indoor gasses and releasing oxygen into space. They make sure there is a better flow of positive energy into space. 

conclusion

I hope these tips will help you to become more aware of the negative energy in your life. Awareness is the first step to solving a problem. When you put these tips into action, you will be slowly able to become a more positive person and protect yourself from negativity easily.

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I have been passionate about personal development as long as I can remember.

And since you are reading this, I know you are too. You want to improve your life as a whole or at least some aspect of it. 

So, what is personal development?

Personal development is getting in touch with your inner self and achieving self-actualization, which, is the process of maximizing your potential. In other words, personal development is improving yourself by bringing out your skills and constantly expanding your comfort zone, thus creating more from life.

When you undertake the journey of life, you are in it for all the successes and failures. And you need to work on your skills as a person to deal with both. Personal development is, learning to face your fears and expanding your comfort zone and making more use of your capabilities. To live a fulfilled life, you need to grow as a person. It happens when you work on your weaknesses. When you do that, you emerge as a more successful and confident person on the other side.

Fixed mindset vs growth mindset

Carol Dweck, a researcher at Stanford University, is known for her work on mindset. 

According to her, people can have two types of mindset according to their beliefs: fixed mindset and growth mindset.

People with a fixed mindset believe that their talents and innate abilities are fixed. If you don’t have it, then you can’t do anything about it. They never want to look like a failure, so they are not open to learning and new things.

On the other hand, in a growth mindset, people believe you can develop your skills and abilities. They understand you can grow your abilities if you put in the effort and stay persistent. 

When getting started with personal development, it is important to have a growth mindset. Because those with a fixed mindset are never open to change, as they believe their traits are unchangeable and therefore do not try. But studies show that you can develop any skill you want if you are willing to put in the practice for a consistent period of time.

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. It helps me run this website and create useful content for you. Thank you for supporting my blog :-)**

Does it mean you should always be unhappy with yourself?

What is personal development? A guide on how to get started with your personal development journey.

If you are always fixing yourself, doesn’t it lead to dissatisfaction with self? You might get the idea ‘I’m not good enough’ because you are always trying to improve.

It can seem so. 

But it’s counter-intuitive.

A desire to change occurs when you acknowledge your weaknesses and you feel there is a better way to live. When you strive for more, you learn more and you know that you are improving. In fact, personal development makes you happier and more confident and you begin to see it spreading onto other areas of your life.

It’s because to develop the personality you need to seek knowledge. When you learn new things, the new knowledge changes your outlook. And you start seeing the world and your experiences in a new light. You are not unhappy with yourself but you are growing and gaining more confidence. The constant aspiration to growth gives you something to look forward to in life.

Because you die when you stop learning and growing.

If you are happy with who you are, that’s great. Personal development is simply acknowledging your weaknesses and understanding your true potential and trying to explore it.

I will give you an example.

Suppose you are a person for whom forgiving others is hard. People wrong you all the time knowingly or unknowingly, especially your loved ones. But as you can imagine, life will get hard for you if you don’t forgive easily and hold onto grudges for a long time. 

In this scenario, you can do two things. 

  1. Live the same way for the rest of your life and be known as a bitter person. Or,
  2. Learn to forgive.

If you choose #2, you have a growth mindset. You’re acknowledging it’s a problem that is making your life hard and stealing your happiness. So, you search for ways to solve it by working on yourself.

 And in your search, you found a book that talks about forgiveness. You read it and suddenly you learn new things you never knew about. You find out why it has been hard for you to forgive, and what to do about it. So now you become a happier person because you know how to deal with the weakness you have.

I hope now you get why personal development is important. There are many things you could achieve in life if you overcome your fears. I have many fears left to overcome in my life. But I am not dissatisfied with my life. I am happy where I am now because I know I am growing. And the road ahead to more growth makes me only happier because of the results it will give me. It makes life exciting to live.

At the same time, I never forget to live each day. Constantly thinking about tomorrow is bad. Today, you think about how far you have come and how you are better than yesterday, even for a tiny bit. That’s how you improve yourself over time.

Let’s see how you can get started with personal development.

Analyze what areas of your life you need to work on

When starting a personal development plan, you need to evaluate what areas of your personality or life need improvement. 

It can be some aspect of physical health or your mental health, or career or relationships. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 and write down what you want to improve in each area. Brainstorm how you are going to improve each area of your life. For example, if you want to improve your fitness, you can write suggestions like

  • Exercise at least 3x a week
  • Include more fruits and veggies in your daily diet
  • Reduce the intake of junk food

You can do that for each area of your life. Here is a list of a few areas that you can work on.

-Health & Fitness

-Relationships

-Mental health and behavior

-Career

-Finance

-Education (learning new things/developing new skills)

Make a plan

Now that you know what you want to improve, planning comes next. Without planning or scheduling, you never get things done and you waste each day wishing away. So don’t skip this step.

You can use different tools for planning. Even though you can do it even on a piece of paper, I recommend getting a journal or planner so that you get serious about it and what you write remains with you for future reference and you can record your progress too.

Some questions you can ask while planning:

  1. How much time do I need to accomplish this goal?
  2. What should I do in one month to accomplish this goal in ___ months?
  3. How can I work for this goal daily? 
  4. What changes should I make in my daily schedule?
  5. What changes to make in my beliefs to become the person I want to be?
  6. What’s blocking me from achieving this goal?
  7. How to solve it?

There are so many questions you can ask yourself while you plan. I will go into detail about it in the future on this blog. Have a brainstorming session with yourself and make a personal development plan.

Related: 10 reasons journaling will transform your life

What is personal development? A guide on how to get started with your personal development journey.

Schedule it

Put it on your calendar.

This step is important too. I always say that my secret to getting things done and making new habits is, scheduling.

For years, I told myself I want to do this and that but never got anything done until I started planning and scheduling.

Right now, I use a bullet journal for all my scheduling and that’s the system that keeps me sane and organized. 

Therefore, make time for personal development in your schedule. 

Related: How to start a bullet journal when you’re not artistic (step-by-step method)

Be consistent

In order to see growth, you have to put in consistent efforts. Nothing worth having in life comes easily and quickly. So be present and do the work every day.

To stay consistent you can look for accountability partners. Or announcing your goal in public or saying about it to the people who matter to you is a good idea. It’s a proven fact that we perform better when we are held accountable by others as we like to prove ourselves and others that we are not failures. That’s human nature.

Another idea is to track your progress daily using habit trackers. I use habit trackers in my bullet journal to keep me accountable. At the end of each month, I evaluate where do I need improvement and set new goals for next month.

You should review your goals and analyze your mistakes on a consistent basis. Having a review system will keep you on track.

Related: 25 bullet journal habit trackers to help you build better habits

Resources to get you started with personal development

 1. Books

Books are my number one choice to learn about personal development. My love for self-improvement content started years ago. And I have read a ton of books on personal development. 

Books have played a big role in shaping my character and thoughts. Often, after reading a good self-help book, I get a new outlook on life. My thinking is changed and I start to view the world with a fresh pair of eyes. 

You know, it’s a relief to break free from old limiting beliefs and expand your thought process. It frees your mind and makes you a better person. Now, I can go on and on about reading can influence your life. But, I think you got the idea. 

Here are some personal development books that  I have read and loved.


2. Youtube videos

If you love watching videos, Youtube has many personal development channels that can check out. They provide quick inspiration and knowledge. Though I doubt whether you would get in-depth knowledge like reading a book, you can get quick motivation from there.

Here are some personal development Youtube channels that you can subscribe to.

3. Blogs

Blogs are a great way to learn new things. Today, there are blogs on literally every topic. And there are great personal development blogs too.

Here are some of the personal development blogs that I love       

4. Podcasts

Podcasts are an amazing way to turn your time you spend for daily chores like driving, cooking, exercise etc. into something useful and knowledgeable. 

Here are some of the personal development podcasts you can start with

What is personal development? A guide on how to get started with your personal development journey.

The best personal development advice I ever heard that can transform your life

As I said, I read many personal development books and one such book I have loved is Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles”. The book talks about many principles that can help you to take you from where you are to where you want to be. 

The first principle is “taking responsibility”. Yes, that’s the first step you should take towards changing your life. Life will throw you curveballs and when you take responsibility for whatever that happens to you, you start the mastery of personal development. 

You can’t control many circumstances that happen to you like diseases, accidents, traffic jam, the behavior of other people etc. But you can choose how you respond to them. 

When you are diagnosed by a chronic disease, you can either wallow in self-pity thinking ‘why me?’ or react to it positively. Take responsibility by identifying the cause if any, and do what’s in your power to combat it by making the necessary lifestyle changes. 

When you are met with an accident that makes you bedridden for a month, it might not be your fault that it happened. Instead of cursing the driver,  you can choose to respond to it by using the new free time effectively.

When you blame your circumstances and others, you are playing a victim. When you portray yourself as a victim, you can never achieve anything concrete in life. Because you tend to blame others for everything and you act as if nothing is in your hands. 

When you choose to respond to the events in your life as if you are fully responsible, your life begins to change.

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What is personal development? A guide on how to get started with your personal development journey.

 

 

 

We all come empty handed to this world. We all will leave so.

But when we go, most of us hope to leave something behind. A life well lived. A rich legacy. Not in terms of money, but in terms of character and service.

How do you define success in life?

I think the answer depends on those who are asked. Success means different things to different people.

But to achieve success in life, you must make sure to not waste the precious days, and the resources given to you. 

Your days are your life in miniature. As you live your days so you craft your life.

Robin Sharma.

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Read on to find in what ways you are wasting your life.

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7 common things you do that waste your life

1. Wasting time on distractions

Today, we are all distracted more than ever. Yes, we used to have screens in the 90s too. But our way of life is different.

The increasing dependence on smartphones has dramatically changed our lives. It has affected especially our ability to focus on our work. Or even simply the ability to wait patiently.

Have you noticed how we don’t let ourselves be bored for even a minute? We have to fill even a ten-minute wait in a restaurant with our phones checking notifications.

We can’t stand in a queue waiting patiently because our brains demand for constant stimulation from social media.

Ever wondered what is it doing to our capabilities? We are becoming a generation who can’t lift our heads to notice what’s happening around us, or worse, can’t focus on one task deeply to complete it. It affects our productivity badly. 

I recommend reading Cal Newport’s book, “Deep Work” to understand better. He writes about a concept called ‘attention residue’. 

Every time we switch from Task A to Task B, our attention doesn’t immediately flow. A residue of our attention gets stuck in the first task.

This residue gets especially thick if your work on Task A was unbounded and of low intensity before you switched, but even if you finish Task A before moving on, your attention remains divided for a while.”

This happens when we check notifications every once in a while. Our attention switches from current task to the email we just received, and if it’s something that requires to take action or do some thinking, it can really take away our focus from what we are doing.

This produces shallow work.

So, being distracted hurts your productivity and even your career growth more than you think. 

What you can do is, schedule time in your day to check emails. I do mine twice a day. And practice controlled use of social media. Like login only once or twice a week to stay updated.

success in life Wasting life distractions social media2. By not chasing your dreams

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.

-Jim Rohn

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This thought is deep. When you reach the end of your life, you don’t want to regret, because you are leaving with the song still inside you. Let it come out. Sing your song. It doesn’t matter even if nobody thinks it is good. What matters is whether YOU enjoyed it.

You are wasting your life when you live other’s dreams. Whatever is it that you want in life, take time to do them. 

For me, my life is successful, if I could do the things I love and I could be who I want to be. I am constantly trying to evolve and grow. And I can tell you as scary as it may be, it is worth all the fears and roadblocks. Because at the end of it, I know that I did exactly what I wanted or at least I tried. 

3. Not disciplining yourself

Self-discipline means controlling yourself to your will. It is important to succeed in life because it is what gives you the power to stick to your goals.

You don’t become successful in life by working on your craft for a few days. Or working for it only when motivation strikes. You need to hustle consistently. 

Every successful person has routines or habits that help them stick with their vision. You need the self-discipline to form new habits and routines. 

And developing self-discipline helps you by not giving into temptations and deviate from your path. 

Self-discipline is what will give your days, a structure. You know how to spend your days to maximize your potential. If you lack self-control, you waste your days, and your life because you give into whatever comes your way.

Related: 10 best habits to have to take your life to the next level

4. Not spending time with family

7 common things you do that waste your life

Nurses can confirm one of the top regrets of people lying on the deathbed is “I wish I had spent more time with my family”.

And many people regret “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard”. Yes, you must work in life to earn a living and fulfill your dreams. But life is not all about it. 

Life is also about creating strong bonds with the people you love. It helps to create a sense of belonging in your kids and develop strong ties and a sense of security within the family members.

At the end of the day, you want people in life who are there for you no matter what. When you spend more time with family you also get to share your day, your joys and disappointments with them, and that builds strong ties.

In the quest for making more money or creating empires, always find time to spend time with your family. Because in the end, what matters is not how much you earned, but how much love you gave away.

5. By not expanding your comfort zone

The sooner you step away from your comfort zone you’ll realize that it really wasn’t all that comfortable.

-Eddie Harris Jr.

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If you want to be successful in life, it means stepping outside of your comfort zone consistently.

A comfort zone is where you feel the safest and you have the least anxiety there. Anything that asks you to face your fears and feel terrified is asking you to leave your comfort zone. 

And once you do it, you naturally feel less fear next time. And that’s how you expand your comfort zone.

All my life, I have been terrified of many things. But the ‘burning desire’ in me led to face many fears, and I have never been happier or more confident.

Though I am not quite there yet, I have been conquering each of my fears slowly and I can see the wonderful changes it has brought in my life.

Nothing worth having in life comes to you by staying where you are. So don’t stay stagnant and live the same days again and again till you die. Try to grow yourself constantly and say “yes” to more opportunities even though it scares you. 

You don’t have to do everything at once, but tiny steps will do.

Related: 10 life lessons that will change your life in a year

6. wasting life By worrying constantly

Success in life worrying is waste of life

Worrying is another life waster. Often we worry about what happened in the past or we regret the mistakes we made. 

And we constantly worry about our future too. In the process, we forget to enjoy the present moment that life has gifted us. 

I used to be a constant worrier. I would agonize over what happened and let myself wallow in self-pity. And I would keep thinking about what could go wrong in the future. What if I were to lose whatever I have?

But it all changed once I learned about the “Law of Attraction”. After I read the book ‘The Secret’, I understood my constant worrying was bringing me more things to worry about. I had to stop that habit.

I began to overcome worrying by practicing gratitude and mindfulness. Gratitude can change your life. When you express genuine gratitude to even the smallest blessing you have, you become naturally happy. You are so content you don’t have space for worries.

I practice gratitude in my bullet journal. But you can practice it anywhere. Even now, as you are reading this. 

Close your eyes and think about everything you love in your life right now. Think deeply about each blessing and each person and how they bring value to your life. Focus only on the positives. It is when we focus on the negatives, we become unhappy. 

Tell yourself how happy you are to have your home, your parents, your job etc. Thank the universe or the God you believe in for giving you all these. You will instantly feel lighter.

Mindfulness is, focusing your mind on the present moment. You don’t think about the past or the future. Just be present and aware of what you do. Be aware of your breath and how you are feeling. And do not judge any thought that comes to your mind.

Practicing mindfulness gives you more patience and the ability to stay more connected to yourself. Here is an article I wrote on how to practice mindfulness.

Related:

7. Living to please others

There are many people who regret not taking action to pursue their dreams. They care too much about other people’s opinion and try hard to impress others. Not only you don’t get to live your life on your own terms, but you live a dissatisfied life.

You always wonder about “what would have been”. Because there is nothing worse than living with regret. Always give your dreams a chance. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to follow your dreams. And it is better to die being happy that you tried even if you succeed or not.

If you are not enjoying your life, it’s time to make a change. Let’s not waste our one and only shot on this planet. 

Related: How to stop worrying about what people think and live freely

What would you add to the list? I am interested to learn. Please comment below!

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7 common things you do that waste your life

7 common things you do that waste your life