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Personal Development: What, Why & How

Personal Development. WTF does that even mean, right? Anytime I mention PD, someone tells me, "that sounds so millennial." Well, maybe, but in my opinion everyone should be doing it. So what is it?

"Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations." -Source Wikipedia

The idea of self development sounds amazing. Work on yourself, your mind and in return live a better life. What isn't included in that definition is exactly how to perform self development in order to enhance your quality of life. I never knew what self development was until 2 years ago. On a whim, I joined an MLM (no longer a part of) and one of the items they preached for you to do daily was self development. While that venture never panned out, it was one of the best decisions I ever made because self development changed my life and became a part of my every day routine. There's a million things you can do to work on your self love and work your mind, but these are the three activities I found work best for me.

1. Reading a book or listening to a podcast that is about self development.

Topics will vary depending on what type of self development you are looking for. This will change based on current events in your life, relationships or even past trauma. I'm currently going through a huge soul finding stage and coping with a, even though mutual, emotional separation from my husband. Due to the current climate in my life, I tend to lead towards self empowerment, womens empowerment and relationship geared content.

One of my absolute FAVORITE podcasts is "The Brendon Show" by Brendon Burchard. He's one of the worlds leading high performance coaches and one of the top 100 most followed public figures in the world. I share A LOT of his quotes and Instagram posts in my stories and you can follow him as well at @createthelove.

If you're short on time and looking for some motivational words to start your day, try out "7 Good Minutes Daily". There's different topics daily, but the powerful words spoken by those featured give me a pep in my step when I get out of bed.

I've listed some of my favorite self development books if you're more of a reader below.

"Girl, Wash Your Face" - Rachel Hollis (really, anything by Rach is AMAZEBALLS and super motivating)

"Rising Strong" - Brene Brown

"The She Book" - Tanya Markul (This is a good one for powerful and spiritual affirmations)

2. Working out and moving your body!

Yes, this is another self development practice I learned from my MLM, but it is SO important. I will preface this by saying losing weight is no longer the main reason I workout and the number on the scale doesn't define your worth. I workout for my own mental health, because without that release of oxytocin and relieving pent up stress through physical activity, I turn into a straight up B. Recently, I went a week without working out and my mental health plummeted to a depth I hadn't been to in a LONG time. At the end of that week I felt like I was slipping back into PPD, so I started working out again. Low and behold, those intrusive thoughts disappeared and I felt like myself again.

Regular exercise has been shown to have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. Working out also relieves stress, improves memory (lol, all us mothers need this one) and helps you sleep better (unless you have an infant that teeths and wakes up every 2 seconds to nurse).

While I'm no longer a coach, I love the Beachbody programs. There's something for everyone and you can do them right in your living room with little to no equipment. I am planning on joining a crossfit style gym here again soon, more for the community aspect, but I want to challenge myself more than I ever have.

3. Positive Affirmations/Quotes

I'm not sure if it's the 90's once emo child in me, but I've always been a sucker for a good quote. You'll often see me share quotes on my stories that I either love or feel like they relate to me a lot at the moment. If I write the word "MOOD", just know that the quote I shared hit hard and I'm preaching "yesssss HUNNY" on the other side of my phone.

Pinterest is your best place for quotes or affirmations, but there's also some amazing pages on IG that share quality content DAILY.

@moonomens - I am not a religious person, I consider myself along the lines of spiritual. I believe the energy you receive is a direct result of the energy you put into yourself and the world, if that makes any sense whatsoever. This page shares daily insights that always seem to be ON POINT for events in my life.

@themichelledempsey - her content is not strictly quotes, but when she shares one it is FIRE. I found her page while trying to find coparenting pages on IG. If you're going through a separation, divorce or are coparenting, follow her immediately.

@the.holistic.psychologist - I stumbled upon this page from another woman I follow on IG. This page has helped me discover trauma I compartmentalized and stashed away deeeeep inside, which has in return allowed me to cope and heal.

If you've gotten this far and have never completed any personal development before, you have some tools to help get you started. PD looks different for everyone and can also consist of meditating, practicing breathwork, eating healthy... it doesn't matter the activity, what matters is that you are improving yourself while doing it.

Do you practice any type of self development? Tell me below.

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