I’ll be the first to admit that I used to approach personal development books with a roll of my eyes, before abruptly turning away. Somewhere along the way however I have found myself more intrigued by this area of literature. Over the past several months in fact I find myself looking more closely at the motivational books the world has to offer. I think for me it started when I read Candace Cameron Bure’s book Kind is the New Classy. I literally bought the book last year because it was an opportunity to meet the actress/author when she came through town on her book tour. I’ve adored her for literally years! When I actually read the book though, as cliché as this sounds, I felt a sort of spark ignite inside of me. It was like this moment of clarity where I was pushed to be really real with myself and admit I’m way too self-depreciating. Perhaps that’s a default from a lifetime of battling depression and anxiety. Either way, I felt that inspirational spark that I really needed to be more aware and mindful of how I was living and viewing life.
Since Bure’s book I have found myself also checking out Be Your Own #Goals by Kristen Martin, The Secret by Rhonde Byrne, The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga, and most recently You are a Badass by Jen Sincero.
One thing that has consistently stood out through these books is positivity. Life is better when we choose to think happier thoughts, do happier kinder things, and so forth. Trust me that is much easier said than done, but not impossible to accomplish. Not that I’m suddenly a pro at this, I’m still working on it myself, but I’m choosing to be more mindful of my thought process and kindly correcting myself when I find I’m feeling way too negatively. Granted I still have my fair share of “f— this” kind of moments where I perhaps throw a mini private temper tantrum. However, I really find that I’m working hard for myself to lift up from the negativity and think a bit more clearly when life hands me a stressful situation.
Believe it or not, when I have actually put into practice some of the lessons learned from the books I’ve read thus far I find myself approaching life with a bit more ease. No seriously. When I’ve allowed myself to push away the negativity, embrace a more positive outlook, and emerge into a happier place I can already see life getting better. I have as well found myself getting stronger in my life long mental health battle. Again here, I’m still learning to be more positive than negative, but I do have faith in myself now that I can continue to grow and accomplish this.
Why is this so important to me? Because I’ve pretty much lived my whole life a natural pessimist and I’m sick of it. Battling depression and anxiety has not exactly been an easy journey – even if I feel I’m a pro at handling those things for myself now. I’ve allowed myself to go to some pretty dark places in the past and while I’d like to think I didn’t go there entirely on purpose, I know that right now in my life with as much as I’m driven to do – I need to change my mindset for nobody else other than myself. I need to get away from being this grumpy negative monster on the inside that nobody sees. I need to assure myself that it’s okay to find happiness even when life is throwing some major curve balls.
I’m not striving to become a robot that goes through life with a smile permanently formed on her face. I’m striving to find a better way to think and feel about myself, give myself a bit more confidence as I continue to move forward on my goals, and just really enjoy life. Life is short, why allow myself to just remain a miserable soul? Why not better myself to embrace what is truly around me and enjoy that? Live a bit happier and healthier.
Have you read any good personal development books? Please feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments below. If you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned please feel free to also tell me what you thought of those for yourself.
XOXO, Jane Ridgewood
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