7 Giant Steps to Self Development

 

This is the 7th and the last post of the series of posts I wrote on Self Development. I have started with simple and easy steps for Self Development in my first post and proceeded with various facets of it in the next few posts. If you intend to start working on it, I request you to begin with the 1st post.


When I began the series, I began with 7 Baby Steps to Self Development. Many of the readers told me how simple and time-saving they were. You need to warm up before you begin the actual work out. But if you do warm up alone, it will get you nowhere. It is time to take the plunge.

All the posts thereafter were about preparing ourselves mentally. If you really try following each post, you will find yourself preparing for today’s post and that, my friends, is the leap. These are big steps and you might have to drag yourself into doing it initially. If you get through the beginning stage, it gets easier. It begins with:

1. The Big Announcement

We know that social media is a time killer. Why don’t we put it to good use? For Self Development! Once you know what you want to work on, make an announcement on Facebook or Instagram about it, the date and your reasons to take it up. For instance, announce that you will start working on your fitness from the next day. You will start by going for a walk every morning.The benefits are twofold:

  • You put it out to the Universe and with that, you have already started it because there is 99% chance that you will begin it. Once begun, half done!
  • People might be willing to join you and nothing makes it more enjoyable than a company, be it to keep track of each other or to compete

2. Take the Plunge

Get into action. Do not wait at the end of the bank and dip your toe in the waters. You might rethink. Just take the plunge. If you were a 10 AM person and you have decided to wake up at 6 AM, do not try the, ‘Let me wake up at 9 AM this week, 8AM next week, 7 AM after that…’ technique. We know how that turns out to be. Keep the alarm for 6 AM.

 

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If you have decided to exercise, start it tomorrow. Not sometime next week. Do it asap before you change your mind.

3. Quit a Bad Habit

Ah… it is getting tougher, isn’t it? I am no one to point out your bad habits. You know them and you want to stop. As long as we are discussing self-development, this is the best time. Google ways to quit your bad habit and if it involves buying something, go buy it now. You googled it last time and put it off since you were lazy to buy it.

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Amidst your quitting resolve, if you have an urge to restart it, what will you do? Have that area covered too. Start a beneficial habit that will replace your bad habit if it involves time. If it is an involuntary bad habit like biting your nails, you get bitter solutions to dip your nails in that will definitely help you stop sticking them in your mouth. 😉

4. Enroll For a Class

Dance, Yoga, Gym, Zumba, Learning instruments, Languages, Cooking, Painting, Craftwork, Workshops, Calligraphy, name it and you have it. You might have wanted to excel in something similar. Instead of binge watching youtube tutorials one day and forgetting all about it, act on it and join a class.

The thing about enrolling for classes is that you would have spent money on it and that would give you a push. Once you reach there, your tutor will give a push. When there are many people involved, you will enjoy it too.

5. Reach Out to People who Despise you/You Despise

Think of the last person you want to meet and have a conversation with. Start with someone on the peer level. Imagine sitting with them over a cup of coffee?

Hard is it?

In most of the cases, this is a drill we could avoid. Not being in the good books of a single person isn’t a big deal. But what if you have to deal with them on a frequent basis? You could either try going out for a cup of coffee together. But if that would be weird, you could strike occasional conversation – about his/her home, the weather, ask for recommendations. If that would be weird, then go to point 2 and take the plunge. Tell them how you have noticed the friction and that you want to make things better. Trying doesn’t hurt. Does it?

6. Start a 30-day challenge (Or any such)

A person who failed in 4-5 challenges is telling you this. Yes. I found it immensely difficult. And so, take it up and challenge yourself. Being a writer, mine were all writing challenges. You could take up something that would help you grow. Fitness Challenge, Healthy Diet Challenge, Happiness Challenge, Photography challenge, Journal writing challenge, Self Development challenge and there are more such. Ensure that you keep a note of it somewhere so you keep track of it. Let me tell you how my challenges went:

  • My 30 days letter challenge ended in 4 days I think.
  • The 100 Happy Days Challenge was not only prolonged for two-three years it is incomplete even now.
  • The 10 Days, 4 Things challenge? Barely completed 4 days.
  • I did finish the 30 days Book Challenge but I skipped days. I didn’t follow it on the dot.
  • And then I took up #BarAThon. And here I am! Writing my last post. I am finally successful and this has given me the confidence to take up more challenges. The feeling is out of this world! 😀 Go for it guys! Go! Go!

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    Here is one example. Source

7. Start your Life Handbook/Journal

Our life from birth has been a blur. Do you have a record of those little moments in life? Life is made of little things. Those tiny but important details you thought you’ll never forget yet you find them slipping away from your memory. In another 10 years will you remember them? In your old age will your life seem to have been an empty slate?

Don’t just fill it up with lovely moments, keep a record of them. I can’t emphasize enough on its importance which is why I wrote an entire post on it.

You don’t have to start with all these at once. You can work on them one or two at a time but make up your mind to reach to the bottom of it. We don’t have much time. The earlier we master one thing, the earlier we can move on to the next. With this ends my Self Development Series. So did you like them? Do you think you can take up one of these? Is there anything else you would like to add to this list?

Featured Image Courtesy – Here

7 Ways to Love Yourself

This is the 6th post of the series of posts I wrote on Self Development. I have started with simple and easy steps for Self Development in my first post and proceeded with various facets of it in the next few posts. If you intend to start working on it, I request you to begin with the 1st post.


Do you love yourself? To this question, most of the people would say yes but some would secretly ask themselves again, do I? I did not love myself at one point of time. It was evident in my behavior and looks. But I overcame that with much difficulty and now if you know me, you will know that I am very confident about myself and I absolutely adore me :D. I had to include this post for those who couldn’t overcome the self doubt.

1. Acknowledge your ‘flaws’

All of us have our ‘flaws’. I am talking about the insecurities here – too thin, too fat, too dark, too pale, too short, too tall, too shy, stammers, not very sociable and so on. Firstly, these aren’t flaws. You are merely different from the others and they consider anything different from themselves, a flaw. You need to realize it with conviction. For that, you need to acknowledge and embrace these flaws.

Me? I am dark complexioned. I used to spend years crying over it when my relatives and friends pointed it out. I hadn’t accepted the fact that I am dusky. I overcame it after lots of struggles and now when someone asks me to do something about my color, I tell them I like it. The truth is, I am dusky and I don’t want to change anything about me.

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My Favorite Quote

2. ‘Reasons I Love Myself’ List

Erm… yes I do have a thing with lists :P.

You are lovable. There is some feature of yours that you like. You just have to find it. Looks aren’t everything. But in order to survive on this Earth, you need to love yourself. You are your companion and if you don’t like your own company, life will be difficult till the end. Write down 3 things you love about yourself with reasons. Without the reasons you won’t convince yourself. Try adding a new reason every few days.  Every day for 30 days and beyond if possible.

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3. Find Your Confident Look

Are looks important? Yes and No. During some days, when you get ready to leave your house, you feel you look wonderful. While on other days, you don’t seem up to the mark. Different types of clothes & hairstyles affect your mood and confidence.  Observe the connection between your mood and your clothes/dressing style. In a month’s time, you will be able to tell which clothes make you anxious, comfortable or confident. Find the dress that makes you feel like you rule the world. Buy more of similar stuff and soon this newfound confidence will permanently make you feel good about yourself.

4. Experiment on yourself

One body, one life, so little time. Would you rather be the same or would you try out new things to explore your limits? Try new food, new clothes, new styles, new things, a cocky outfit, people’s reaction and how you feel about it.

Due to my complexion complex, I used to wear clothes that made me close to invisible. Thanks to a bunch of good friends, I started feeling better about myself and began to wear things I liked. It was experimental for me since I had never worn them. I was greeted with mockery and I persisted. The thing with mockery is that it stops being funny after the third time ;). Now I am known for the new styles I embrace and my friends love that about me.

I love myself more now since I wear what I want. If I hadn’t experimented, I’d still have been trying to be invisible.

5. Exercising Self Love

This is an activity I came across through the site 30 Days of Self-Love. Nothing too difficult. Every day, you need to make a video saying I Love you to yourself. Practice this for 30 days. This practice came about after watching Dr. Masaru Emoto’s rice experiment. To know more, watch this video:

6. Go easy on yourself

If you had complexes, you were hard on yourself. It wasn’t your fault. You just need to work on it like I mentioned above. If you made mistakes in the past, realized and repented, it is over. You are not the same person now. Why should the new you worry over something the old you did? Go easy on yourself. Let it go. Embrace the lesson and your renewed self. Stop blaming or torturing yourself with your past.

7. Pamper Yourself – Once in a week, pamper yourself. Treat your body and mind. Get a spa, binge watch a series or a movie you wanted to watch, go on a trip, eat what you crave for. No one knows you better than yourself. Save for something you have wanted for a long time and buy it.

My friend bought a polaroid camera because she had been yearning to own one for years. Her relatives and friends accused her of wasting money. I thought it was okay. She is not the type to buy unnecessary things every other day. She was earning and she decided to own something she had always wanted. If you can’t own what you want, then what is the whole point of working and earning money?

You have saved enough. You have put others’ comfort first long enough. Once in a while, buy something for yourself even if it isn’t a necessity. Just know where to draw the line.

 

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Pic Courtesy: Here

 

Love yourself so much that you don’t need anyone else to tell you how lovable you are. I know I am awesome. So are you.

7 Ways of People Planning

We are the shadows of the people around us. Our thoughts, actions, and behavioral patterns are reflections of our parents, teachers, and friends. People play very important roles in our lives and so if we are to grow, we need people who support our growth. If we have negative people around pulling us down, if people we love stop responding to us, or if we stop responding to them, there could be conflicts.

How do we grow when our mind is not sane, free and healthy? Focus on people around you, set things right and you will find things falling into place.

1. Let Go

All of us have been here. We have seen our close ones gradually slip away, some of us watched, some of us were confused, some of us threw tantrums but people who left, they just left! There is only so much you can do.

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When you feel someone is drifting apart, do your best to hold them back. But remember do not beg for a place. If they want you in their life, they will try to sort it out seeing your efforts. If they don’t, your begging will only make it worse. You will either give them a sense of superiority or you will be a mere annoyance to them. Learn to let go after a point.

 

2. Cutting People off

If someone is adversely affecting your life, bossing you around, making jokes at your cost, mocking your beliefs and thought processes, putting you down, cut them off asap! You don’t need that kind of negativity. Love could make you so blind that you even lose your self-respect to save a relationship. I am talking any relationship here.

 

Do this. It will be hard in the beginning. Very hard! But in a few months’ time, you will experience a kind of freedom you never knew existed until then.

3. Embracing your Home group

Your home group – The ones who watched you grow, who love you as you are, your closest circle of friends who know you raw.

Many times we chase people who don’t care and spend time with people who don’t need us. Meanwhile, there are others chasing us, sometimes waiting patiently for a word of love, for some time with us. We don’t have to go that far. There will be someone in every house yearning for our time. Bask in the love you already have rather than chasing the one you may never have. Spend more time with your loved ones. It will be time wisely spent and you’ll never regret it.

Reach out to reach within yourself

4. Talk it out

If he/she was sucking the happiness out of you or he/she just left you for better friends, the story is over. But if you just drifted apart over a silly fight or misunderstanding and if it still pains you, isn’t it high time that you tried to be friends again? We already have so many things bothering us without all the ‘ifs’ adding to them. What if you had apologized? What if you had talked it out? Is it too late?

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You wouldn’t know unless you try. Try talking things out and if it doesn’t work out, you know it is the end. You can learn to put it behind you. If not, you just got back your old buddy! 🙂

5. Mingling With Underprivileged People

When Privilege is love and care…

“I cried for shoes until I saw a child without legs” To value what you have, you should either lose it or be in touch with someone who doesn’t have it. Ever went to an old-age home?

A bunch of old and frail people hoping and waiting for their children to come back and take them home. Some of them know it may never happen, yet a ray of hope remains. Being with them will open our eyes to many things – to count our blessings, to know how they feel, to learn empathy, to realize this could be us some day.

Mingling with under-privileged people will open us to suffering, will make us more kind and compassionate, will remind us to live to the fullest as long as we can.

6. Getting in touch

Do you remember that teacher who contributed so much to your growth? That mentor whom you ran to whenever your life was a mess? Those friends you had coffee with and felt at home every single time? There are so many people we weren’t very close to but we felt a strange happiness when we were with them. They helped us grow mentally and emotionally. They were our support systems. What happened to them?

Get in touch with people who have always been there, no questions asked, even after you vanished for a long time. Go on. Pick up your phone right now and call them. I have to make a call to my LKG class teacher.

7. Forgiving

“You don’t know how strong you are until you have to accept an apology you will never get.” Life isn’t a movie where everyone realizes their mistakes in the end and apologizes. No. In life people leave you hanging amidst your troubles, never to look back. It ends there. You wait for a backward glance, an apology that you may or may not get. What do you do? Grieve the rest of your life over what happened? You need to move on. You don’t have to forget, but you need to forgive. Not for anyone else, but you.

 You might wonder how any of this relates to Self Development. I had a rough phase during the end of last year and earlier this year. I had to cut off negative people from my life, I lost a very close friend for no reason and I was very much depressed. All I did was hole up in my room and whine away a whole lot of days that could have been otherwise productive. In a while, I realised I had to get past it. If people are causing problems in life, you deal with people in order to solve it right? That is all this is about.

I did that and felt a lot better. It cleared my head tremendously and a day became more tolerable to me that I focussed on other aspects of Self Development including taking up this BarAThon! I am happy now.

Bonus tip – We often underestimate the power of little and stupid acts 😉 I may write a post on it some day if I remember to.

 

Featured Image Courtesy: Here