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2018 was a big year for me. It was the year that the over 9 years of working in my field started to pay off. Opportunities I’ve waited for 9 years finally started to present themselves. I got my mental house in order and FIIIINALLY started to live my best life- regardless of my bank account, my weight or my marital (or lack thereof) status.
2017 was the year that set 2018 into motion. I moved to Toronto, I was forced to prove to myself to myself and really show me what I’m made of.
But HOW? People say all the time “it’s all about personal development” but what does this mean? I remember in 2016 when I was having some very blue “I-don’t-know-what-the-f*ck” days and personal development to me was spending THOUSANDS I didn’t have to be told to buck the f*ck up. And then I read something that inspired me and it lead me to another book and then another…and as the reading progressed I started to develop- personally lol.
My thinking patterns began to change, I started to challenge my own beliefs – about myself, the world, etc.- and sloooowly I became a person I’m so proud to have become.
What Are Personal Development Activities
Books. Books changed my life.
Not money. Not a guru. Me. Reading books. AND- this is an important “and”– doing the work. Here’s the thing about personal development, it hurts sometimes, because you have to look at yourself honestly. Are you a d*ckhead? Are you complacent? Are you an excuse maker? It’s hard to admit that we aren’t being our best, but it’s crucial to becoming our best selves. TRUST ME, the first few months (like 8 lol) I felt so sh*t about myself because I realized that I had been making excuses and being bailed out my whole life; no lie, I spiraled, but I bucked up and continued to do the work. And if you want to make something of your life, you need to do the same thing.
I want to share the books that helped me rise from- or what felt like – the ashes of my former life to become the woman I am proud to say I am.
What Are Personal Development Books?
This book is/was ALL THE RAGE and the hype is worth it. What makes this book stand out from the rest is that the author writes for the 21st century, using language that resonates. She also swears and I LOVE well placed profanity. Each chapter highlights examples of how negative thoughts thwart our success, and then the opportunity to work through exercises to understand what you REALLY want in life; because it’s amazing how many of us walk through life without taking the time to map out where we want to go.
This is the follow-up to the first book (above) and focuses squarely on money. Now, will you be a millionaire by the last chapter- no; but having over 100 pages of unpacking all my money bullsh*t was exactly what I needed. Growing up where my mother was essentially carrying the financial load until my stepdad entered the picture is something that imprinted on me as child. I knew about money- and our lack of it- from a very young age and this very much affected my money mindset.
NO JOKE whenever I would make money or be gifted money I would be awash with panic.
“When will this run out?”
“Will I be able to make more?”
“Is there enough?”
“Will I spend it correctly?”
“Do I deserve to possess it?”
No joke, EVERY (bloody) TIME. And when a fear of abundance is present, the subconscious works overtime to remove the trigger- the cash- thus leaving me broke. This is where I had A LOT of work to do. Because even if I had money I would behave like a broke person. This was where a lot of work went in for me, and, truthfully, the work will need to continue as I rise in my life and income level. Which is the crux of all of this…the work is ongoing FOR LIFE.
DADDY ISSUES…anyone?! Having a well packed suitcase of daddy baggage meant that I made SO MANY wrong dating moves. Giving away my power, allowing myself to get used, not sticking to my boundaries and behaving in a myriad of low value ways. And I was doing it without realizing or comprehending how to change. Understanding the brain and the mechanics of dating from a science perspective was EYE. OPENING. This book does an amazing job of articulating different scenarios based on how someone is wired for dating. If 2019 is the year of love for you, this read is A MUST!
LIFE CHANGING BOOK. This book came into my life years ago, but I wasn’t ready for the lessons; because no one could change my life but me. And I firmly believe this book should be required reading for everyone who wants to ascend to their best life.
1st Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word
I used to have very real problems being honest- with myself and others- and thus my word didn’t mean much. Understanding what comes out of my mouth and the following actions or inactions is what integrity is made of.
2nd Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
As a softy cancerian I am wont to take things to heart- and then hold it against you for the rest of your life lol; but when I decided to give people the benefit of the doubt and not take on their energy was the most freeing decision of my life. Today if someone is a cow to me I’m inclined to think they are having a bad day and I don’t take it personally. SIDE NOTE a quick way to change the energy of an exchange is, if someone is being particularly salty to you, simply ask “is everything okay?” because most people never get asked that and often they need it.
3rd Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
Don’t assume, it makes an ass of u and me. Life hack, instead of assuming, ASK. Period.
4th Agreement: Always Do Your Best
Remember in junior high when it was cool to look unaffected and not care? Those days are dead. Show up and do your best, which isn’t to be mistaken for perfection; do your best, whatever that looks like.
This book- when I was ready- was one of the most transformative reads of my life.
This book was talking woo-woo universe for YEARS before it become cool to be internet spiritual. The universe conspires to help you get what you want BUT only if you step into it fully. This book tells the story of universal law through the story of young Shepherd boy and this is a book about destiny that I read about once or twice a year. Again, this is a book that came into my life and didn’t make an impact until I was ready to truly hear the words.
This is a book about a gang of desert women who are so damn badass. I needed this book because I live in a world where women are subconsciously disempowered in so many ways and I was noticing the disempowering showing up in many areas of my life- being afraid to ask for help, being afraid to articulate my needs and guilt- MEGA GUILT- for a sh*t ton of things. This book is about bad-ass women who step fully into their feminine power, which isn’t to be confused with wearing pink and and being demure; true feminine energy is rooted in deep womb power, the confidence and competence to give life and the task of carrying the human race lol. It’s not that deep for you, maybe, but if you need to feel like the empowered woman that you are, this read will help you claim her!
Lastly, this book is about gratitude for living. As I mentioned before, I had some really dark days, and this book is about woman who decides to die and then the realizes that life is worth living- this isn’t a spoiler btw. When I say I needed this- I NEEDED this. Full disclosure, there was a time where I thought I’d be better off dead- hard times- but this literally fell off the shelf at the bookstore as though it knew I needed to read it. Nonetheless, this book helped me decide to LIVE.
A NOTE ABOUT PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
You are going to change- for the better- but there may be people in your life who don’t want you to change and they will do the MOST to keep you where you are.
It will look like this…
Making fun of your new efforts
Guilting you for taking time for yourself
Trying to be “realistic” with you
Getting in the way of your process etc.
And this is where the decisions can get REALLY hard. Here’s my advice, if someone demeans your efforts, set a boundary ie. “I will not gossip with you anymore”, if they continue then aurevoir (Canadian for bye felicia). If it’s a friend, it’s bye until they can get their act together; family gets compartmentalized into the “need to know” bucket. It might seem harsh, but this is YOUR life and you cannot let anyone get in the way of you realizing your best.
2019 WILL be your year if you decide it is so. No matter where you start, you- and only you- have the power to make the ABSOLUTE MOST of your existence. If I can do it, BELIEVE YOU ME, you can too!