I dedicated 7 days to self-development and it has changed my life.
It sounds like a dramatic statement to make, right? But it’s true.
Two weeks ago I took part in a 7 day reading challenge for Kick Ass Talks. I love reading, that’s no secret, I’m an author! However this was a challenge with a difference: participants had to read a self-development book that focused on a weakness we wanted to improve. Sounds simple enough, right? But this wasn’t a genre I usually ready, I prefer fiction to write and to read, so this presented something new to try.
I selected Dr. Wayne Dyer’s ‘Your Erroneous Zones because I had identified that I self sabotage a lot and I knew that in order to progress I needed to address it. So I opened it up, ignoring my judgemental thoughts that told me it looked really old and had nothing new to offer, and I decided that I would complete it.
It wasn’t easy! It’s not the kind of book I am used to reading and I will be honest I had to force myself to focus and read it because I am so easily distracted. It wasn’t the kind of book I get lost in like I do with fiction, and because there was so much knowledge shared it was important that I take my time and soak it all in.
I would say at the start of the week I was sceptical about the impact it would make, if any at all. I thought I would read the book but it wouldn’t teach me anything new. And for the most part, I was right because it didn’t tell me anything I hadn’t already know. Instead it did something much more powerful; it offered an alternative perspective.
I managed to read 6 days out of 7, some days more than others. I took it everywhere with me and persevered because I wanted to finish the challenge. I wanted to see if I could benefit from stepping outside of my comfort zone and addressing an area that I knew I needed to improve.
At the end of that week two things happened:
- I gave the best (and longest) talk of my life so far, about self belief and achieving dreams.
- I held an event for #HelpAQueenOut and it was an absolute success.
I believe the book had a large part to play in my lack of nerves, improved confidence and general amazing weekend because self-doubt was absent the whole time. It just made things make sense and my talk topic was in alignment with what I had been reading, which meant I delivered it with confidence and conviction.
I usually feel quite nervous and constantly criticise myself, but I overcame it in a bigger way than usual and owned the space I was standing in. I am finding it difficult to describe but after sitting down after that talk, I knew I had entered a completely new level and it could only be because I had committed myself to my self-development that week.
The following Monday I woke up with a new confidence and began addressing areas of my life I had been neglecting. I took action and got instant results! I ordered myself two more books on self sabotaging and began reading as soon as they arrived. I’ve since then taken a greater responsibility for my learning; just because I’m not at uni right now, it doesn’t me I stop trying to expand my knowledge.
I think it’s so easy to assume you know everything about everything, but really there is so much more we can learn and will learn if we choose to be open to it. I think I’ve done well on building myself a name and reputation, and I can only get better especially if I read more books that will make me better.
So I promise to read more books with purpose because they can only serve me well, right? Right.