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Personal Development: Learning to Like Myself

Personal Development: Learning to Like Myself

I had always heard that saying about no one else liking you if you aren't even someone who likes themselves. I had thought about it for some time, and I thought I liked myself pretty well. After all, how could you not like someone? Well, it turns out, about a year ago I discovered I didn't like myself at all.

It wasn't obvious. I seemed to have a good job, I had friends and I seemed like I was doing well. It was just a feeling inside. I am not sure how to describe how I was feeling, except to say that I knew I wasn't happy, and I was starting to feel disappointed in myself. I wasn't really the kind of person who went around patting themselves on the back, but I knew that something had to change.

As I kept thinking about it, I saw some symptoms that I was not a fan of myself. For starters, I realized how much I was drinking. I wasn't drinking every day, but I had one to two glasses of wine every day. That is supposed to be on the normal side of alcohol consumption, but when I noticed how my body was dependent on it when I didn't have wine, I knew I had to cut down. Soothing myself with wine, to me, meant that I had trouble dealing with my life.

I realized that whenever I thought about how I was feeling,I would always hear my mother's critical voice in my head. My mother, never satisfied with anything, was a big part of my life. Over time I started to see that I was living for her, and that my opinion of myself was based on her, not on me.

Now that I had some idea of what was going on with me, I made sure to put a plan in place to change some things. I knew I had to replace the negative thoughts from my mother with positive thoughts from myself, so that was where I started. Every time I thought something negative about myself, I would think the opposite.

I didn't jump straight to saying "I love myself!" because that would have felt fake. I just softened things a little bit. For instance, if I thought "I am terrible at my job" I would then think "but there are some things i do right". For the first time in my life, I started to look for things that I did right, and to acknowledge my own efforts. It was a strange thing to do, since I hadn't done it before, but as time went buy I started to feel better and better.

I also went out and got a makeover. A lot of people will say looks don't matter, but my looks matter to me, and I have to tell you that a new haircut and a few new outfits had me feeling very good about myself.

I feel much better about myself today, and I look forward to continuing to work on myself so that my confidence level goes up and I have a good outlook on life.


Personal Development: Learning How to Give to Others

Personal Development: Learning How to Give to Others

Personal development means developing aspects of your personal life that will enhance, or improve your life in positive ways. Personal development will give you a sense of purpose, fulfillment and pride in your accomplishments. Developing your personal life will improve your outlook, and give your existence a whole new meaning.

There are many paths you can take toward personal development. You can make your own plan, and include goals such as body image, financial independence, spiritual development and improving important relationships. One goal that can have a significant impact on your personal development is learning to give to others. Below, you will find some great ways to achieve this goal, and improve your life, as well as the lives of people around you.

Volunteer At a Hospital or Nursing Home
Maybe you have time to spare, or can use time you usually devote to meaningless activity, to enrich the lives of people confined to nursing homes or hospitals. Hospitals usually have a volunteer program, and welcome volunteers to do various tasks. These tasks may include delivering flowers to patients, keeping patients company and many things employees do not have the time to do. Nursing homes often have need of volunteers to help with patient activities, and welcome the help. All it takes is a phone call, or visit to ask about volunteer work.

Volunteer At a Soup Kitchen
Your life will be enriched by volunteering for services for the homeless, such as serving meals to families in need. You will gain a new understanding of needy people by giving your time, and serving people who have little or nothing. Not all homeless people are bums. There are many families who are homeless, due to job loss, or circumstances beyond their control. And, even a bum needs a smile and a hot meal. Develop your compassionate side, and find a volunteer position at a kitchen for the needy.

Home Visits

If you have a church, or know of a church in your area, you might inquire about visiting ailing church members either at home, or in the hospital. Someone who might otherwise be lonely, or have no one to visit them, may gain a new and positive outlook from a visit from a caring person. You can provide conversation, read to children or the elderly, or offer to do tasks, such as gathering mail, or making small trips to the grocery store. The most you will probably need to provide is a background check if you want to participate in this type of program.

Spend Time at a Safe House For Abused Women and Children

Women and their children in safe houses and shelters for the abused are scared, confused and afraid for their lives in many cases. Volunteers can offer help in gathering and distributing personal items to residents, such as shampoos, toothbrushes, soaps and other sundries that may help them to feel more at home. Items for children could include coloring books and crayons, games and books.

As you can see, there are many people in our world who are in need of a caring person, a smile or help with a special need. There is often no one there to help. Your personal development will grow by leaps and bounds with pride and a sense of peace that you can only achieve by giving to your fellow human beings.


Personal Development: How I Learned to Deal With Stress

Personal Development: How I Learned to Deal With Stress

Stress is something that everyone experiences at one time or another. I knew that I had to make some changes when I started getting panic attacks. I was taken to the hospital because I thought I was having chest pains, and I thought I was going to die. After being taken to the emergency room and examined, the doctors were convinced that my heart was fine and that I had been having a panic attack.

I could not believe that. It felt much, much worse than a panic attack, which always seemed to me as if that was for people who were "nervous Nellies". But a few weeks later I started having the same symptoms and went to my own doctor, and he said the same thing. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. When he offered me anxiety medication I chose not to take it, because I wanted to see how I could do on my own, now that I knew what was going on.

The first thing I did was to give up coffee and caffeine. That was one of the hardest things I have done in my life, and I still miss it. But I did some reading and found information that suggested that, while it probably wasn't causing my panic attacks, it was definitely making my anxiety worse. I do feel much calmer since I stopped drinking coffee.

Next, I stopped hanging around negative people. I knew a lot of negative people at my job. None of us really liked the work we did, so it was easy to be negative--and that's what most people did. I realized that if I wanted to stop feeling so stressed out, I needed to hang around people who weren't as negative as the stress they were going through. Some people didn't understand why I was distancing myself, but I definitely am glad I did.

Then, I looked for a daily practice I could do in order to calm myself throughout the day. I tried yoga, and I tried deep breathing exercises. I tried doing a lot of different things. The only thing that seems to helped me is guided meditation. I find that if I meditate in the morning, I feel much better in the morning, which means I get more things done. And then, I can be happier in the afternoon and evening too.

I also started exercising so I could decrease the stress in my life. Not too much, just a few days a week at aerobics.

I'm taking steps to leave my job right now, as a matter of fact. While I'm feeling much better, that will probably do the trick. As I mentioned, I don't like my job at all, and I can now see that it is making me ill. I can always find another job.

I know that I still have some work to do, but since making the above changes I feel much better with my life.


Personal Development: Developing a New You

Personal Development: Developing a New You

Personal development can mean many things. You can develop better interpersonal relationships, new talents or even a new career. One aspect of personal development is one that many people desire-the development of improved health, fitness and looks. Below, you will find tips that will help you get started toward a healthier, fabulous you!

If you are one of the many people who put off medical visits, or physical exams, your first step in getting healthier is to make an appointment with your physician. You will need a complete physical exam, including bloodwork. Your doctor can also recommend any age-appropriate health screenings you may need, including mammogram, diabetes screening and colonoscopy. These things are tedious, to be sure, but you cannot become the healthy person you want to be without first getting a clean bill of health.

Once you have that clean bill of health, take a look at your body. Do you need to lose a few pounds, or even 50? Extra weight can put you at risk for many dangerous health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and sleep apnea. You can reduce these risks by adopting healthier eating habits. You do not have to follow a diet plan to lose weight. Simply switch unhealthy carbs, like white bread, white rice and pasta, for whole grain options. Eat plenty of salad and vegetables, and stick to lean proteins fish, legumes and beans. Instead of unhealthy fats, such as butter and margarine, opt for olive oil and avocados instead. As you improve your diet, the pounds will come off easily, and painlessly.

You cannot achieve total fitness without implementing some type of exercise plan. If you are very overweight, you should begin by taking long, brisk walks, one of the best exercises available. As you gain strength, stamina and weight loss, you may wish to join a gym, or exercise class where you can get fitter. Finding a buddy, or workout partner can eliminate some of the drudgery of exercising alone.

Your Look
After you have lost some weight, and are in better physical condition, it is time to focus on your outward appearance. If you are like most people, you may be in a rut, wearing the same hairstyle and clothes that you have for years. Make an appointment with a good stylist, and ask what would look best on you. Then, let them have their way with  your hair. Try a make-up consultant to give you ideas for a new, modern look. While you are out, a manicure and massage will get your spirits up.

Take a look in your closet. Are your clothes modern and stylish, or are they old, outdated and the wrong size? It may be time to go on a fun shopping spree with a friend, or even a daughter, to create a new wardrobe that will complement your new look. Be brave, trying bold colors, and trendy styles. You may even be surprised that you now fit into smaller sizes!

Creating a new look for yourself can be an important phase in your personal development plan.  When you are self-confident, and pleased with the way you look and feel, you will be ready to tackle new goals and achievements in your life!