The Journey of Personal Growth

I am pleased to present this guest post by Julie Morris, a life and career coach. She blogs regularly at juliemorris.org.

Before you begin your own quest for personal growth and development, you must define what that is for yourself. What is “self-improvement”? This depends on where you are now and where you want to be in the future. Make no mistake: personal growth is just that—personal. Nobody else, not even Tony Robbins or Dr. Phil, can define that for you.

Once you have defined self-improvement goals for yourself, there are several strategies available that can guide you to becoming who you want to be.

Meditation and Prayer

Practicing meditation is an excellent first step toward personal growth. Contrary to popular conception, meditation does not require the lotus position, mantras, incense, candles or other such accouterments. The only purpose of meditation is to empty your mind of distracting thoughts that may be holding you back. An easy and effective way to meditate is to sit in a comfortable chair with the room darkened and focus on some kind of white noise, like a hiss or a fan. There are many white noise generators available as apps and on YouTube.

The practice of prayer, whether alone or in community, can also be a useful means of personal growth. Whether you are praying for guidance or in appreciation for what you have accomplished, prayer can help you focus on those things of greatest importance.

Self-Care

Here is a radical, yet valid idea: it’s okay to be selfish. In fact, you should. Not in the obnoxious and demanding sense, but rather in prioritizing your own needs before the desires and demands of others. The reason is that if you are not satisfied and happy with yourself, you will be of little help to those around you. Take time to eat right, exercise, nourish your mind, and get rest when you need it. A healthy psyche and a healthy body go hand-in-hand—and the people around you will appreciate it and benefit.

Push the Boundaries

How long have you been doing the same things in the same manner? How is it working out for you? If the answer is “Very well,” then, by all means, continue. If not, it’s time to try something new. That may be a new career, which may involve returning to school for a new degree. Or, it may be something that builds on skills and knowledge you already have.

Either way, it will be time for you to dust off and update your resume. While this may seem daunting, the task will be made easier by using a free template online. Most of these are available at no charge and come in a vast variety of professional designs. Customizing these by adding your own content and elements is easily done.

Launching a Business

A common personal goal is to start a business, but it can be an intimidating task. Part of growing means seeking assistance when necessary to achieve one’s goals. If you’re wondering how to get an LLC, a formation service can guide you through the process so you can more effectively accomplish your goals of business ownership. And it will save you both time and money in the process.

Need Guidance?

Depending on your own personal development goals, it may be helpful to hire a coach or mentor. The advantage here is objectivity; sometimes, it is difficult to see the barriers we inadvertently place in front of ourselves. Furthermore, a life coach or mentor has valuable experience and knowledge that can help you on your journey.

Eye on the Prize

One way in which people sabotage themselves is by focusing on the bad news of the day, especially headlines. As grim as the global and national news may seem these days, it’s important to understand that very little of it can affect you personally. There are also uplifting and positive stories out there, even if the corporate media chooses to spin it into something else. By focusing on the beauty in the world, you can easily change your mindset into a more positive one over time—and this will manifest into positive change in virtually all areas of your life.

Whether you’re beginning a meditation practice, starting a business, or prioritizing your self-care, the tips above will help you become who you want to be.

Many people find coloring to be a wonderful way to relax and experience harmony in their lives. Is that you? Join my Email List to subscribe to this blog and receive your free Harmony coloring book (and more).

River of Grace Audio book with soundtrack music available now on Bandcamp. Listen to the preface of the book, and all the songs.

Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and Twitter
Read my other blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

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How to Get a Spiritual Boost After a Tough Work Week

I am pleased to present this guest post by Julie Morris, a life and career coach. She blogs regularly at juliemorris.org. I have a feeling her post is not just helpful for us who feel overworked but also for those of us who just feel that life is one crashing wave after another with no relief. Julie offers some wonderful practical advice. Let us know what you think with your comments!

Photo by jarmoluk
Photo by jarmoluk

Many Americans feel overworked and underpaid. We work 50+ hour weeks, hardly ever use up our vacation days, and never seem satisfied with the success we’re able to receive. All of this hard work makes for stressful work weeks, especially when your work day is spilling over into your time away from the office via constant email checking. If this is the way you’re working and living, chances are you’re exhausted. So, what can you do to boost your spirits? Here are a few tips:

Get some rest.

yoppy sleep, Flickr Creative Commons
yoppy sleep, Flickr Creative Commons

This may sound pretty basic, but the reality is many of us get far fewer than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. When you get on a healthy sleep schedule, you’ll feel less fatigued and more focused, and a more focused brain means you’ll obsess over negative thoughts less often.

Change your surroundings.

A little change in scenery can go a long way toward replenishing your spiritual self after a tough week. Go camping. The fresh air and time away from home will work wonders for your mood. Or if camping isn’t your style, get a room for the weekend at a hotel. Even if it’s in your own town, the time away from home can help you get unstuck from the rut you’re in. And if you have a four-legged family member, not to worry. Many of today’s hotels are dog-friendly. Here’s a great selection:

Embrace gratitude.

Viewminder Gratitude, Flickr Creative Commons
Viewminder Gratitude, Flickr Creative Commons

When your job is making you stressed and exhausted, it can be difficult to be grateful, but do make some time for gratitude. If you pray, say a little prayer offering your thanks for having a job that helps you provide for yourself and your family. If you don’t pray, spend a quiet moment thinking about what your job enables you to do. Spending a little time on gratitude can provide some much-needed perspective when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Find a spot for outdoor yoga.

Yoga is great for your physical and mental health. It’s also a great excuse to get outside. No, you don’t have to practice yoga outdoors to get its amazing benefits, but when you do, you’ll probably find that you get an extra energy boost. For example, outdoor yoga will allow you to get some much-needed vitamin D. If you spend most of your day sequestered away in your cubicle chances are you probably don’t get much time in the sun, especially in winter. By going outdoors for some end-of-the-week yoga, you’ll get some vitamin D and the mental health boost that comes with it.

Don’t let your work deplete your spiritual self. When that happens, you’ll be more stressed, less innovative, and most likely less productive. Remember, working more doesn’t necessarily make you a better employee. If you aren’t able to do your best work, then you aren’t doing yourself or your employer any favors. Make time to replenish your spirit. When you do, you’ll also be refilling your passion for your work.

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Susan’s latest CD, “Mater Dei” is now available!
Purchase here.

Many people find coloring to be a wonderful way to relax and experience harmony in their lives. Is that you? Join my Email List to subscribe to this blog and receive your free Harmony coloring book (and more).

River of Grace Audio book with soundtrack music available now on Bandcamp. Listen to the preface of the book, and all the songs.

Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and Twitter
Read my other blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

 

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