Has 2014 been a year of personal growth and learning for you?
At the end of a year, I like to reflect back on the previous year and think about what I've learned, how I've changed, and how I've evolved into a more emotionally intelligent, self-aware person. I think life is a process of “becoming” — every year reaching new milestones and insights that further my understanding of myself, my psyche, and the world around me.
I hope you'll take the time this week to do some self-reflection yourself and consider how you've grown as a person this year. Maybe it's been in a relationship (the perfect breeding ground for inner growth and awareness). Or maybe you've had a big life change or transition that's has forced you into a new way of experiencing the world. Perhaps you've read something enlightening that has resonated deeply with you, making you see a situation or belief in an entirely new light.
When we acknowledge the areas of life where we've grown and evolved, as well as the places where we remain stuck and confused, we invite more openness and vulnerability, which in turn facilitates deeper insight and awareness. Your mind and your inner life are endlessly fascinating and provide the framework for making shifts and uncovering “aha” moments that can be life-altering. Don't race headfirst into 2015 without acknowledging how you've evolved in the last year and considering the ways you want to grow in 2015.
In the spirit of self-awareness and personal development, I've put together a list of my favorite posts for 2014. Hopefully they will inspire you as you conduct your “life review” for the past year and look forward to a happy, successful, and fulfilling 2015.
Here are my top 14 personal development posts of 2014:
This list of encouraging quotes must have really struck a chord. It was viewed more times than any other post on my site all year. I think we all need a boost of encouragement every now and then — maybe even every day. Words of wisdom from thought leaders, writers, and other well-known people can inspire us to push past our pain, worries, and limitations and move forward in life toward positivity and achievement.
Confidence is a topic I cover extensively here at Live Bold and Bloom because so many people suffer with some sort of low confidence issue. When you're trying to boost your confidence, it's good to look at people around you whom you know to be confident and try to emulate them. I turned the tables on this idea and listed out the behaviors you don't see in confident people. These are the thoughts and habits you want to drop in order to become more confident.
This post really resonated with hundreds of people. If you are an empath — a highly sensitive person — you might believe there's something wrong with you. Maybe people have accused you of being too sensitive all of your life. Well, it's encouraging to learn there is nothing wrong with you. Being an empath is perfectly normal, but it's something you must understand and manage in a world of less empathic people. Becoming aware of these traits is the first step in accepting yourself and learning how to navigate as an empath.
I love writing about the power of positive habits because I know how life changing good habits can be. There's a set of skills you need to know in order to form sustainable habits, and I teach these skills in my Sticky Habits course. In this post, I've created a mega-list of positive actions that you can use as a reference guide when deciding which habits to form for yourself. Don't let the number of habits throw you — you may already be doing many of these habits. If so, bravo for you!
We all have a past, and sometimes our past is filled with pain, regret, shame, and trauma. It takes time to heal those wounds and move on to a healthy, happy life that's free from those limiting feelings and beliefs. However, some people get stuck in the past and use it to manipulate, make excuses, or hold themselves back from their potential. If you have a “victim mentality,” you are using your pain in harmful and non-productive ways that undermine your relationships and your ability to grow as a person.
The suicide this year of comedian and actor Robin Williams put the spotlight on the illness of depression and how dangerous it can be. Depression is a serious disorder that shouldn't go untreated. In this post, I talk about the main misconceptions people have around depression and what you need to learn in order to protect yourself or a loved one who might be suffering with depression.
In your marriage or love relationship, there is one problem that often occurs before the relationship is about to fall apart. This problem is worse than arguing, dishonesty, or even sexual issues. Can you guess what it is? If you want a strong, healthy relationship that can stand the test of time, be sure you read this post and learn the warning signs of this relationship problem.
Our thoughts create our experience of life. What you think may or may not be the truth, but it certainly feels like the truth and can foster powerful emotions that can liberate us or destroy us. Negative thinking is pervasive, and these thoughts hold us back from living fully and experiencing happiness. In this post, I outline 15 specific thinking patterns known to make your life more difficult and painful — and I show you how to break the pattern of negative thinking.
Since this is the start of a New Year, and you're likely to create a resolution around getting healthier and losing weight, I thought you'd like to revisit this post on some great ways to jumpstart your weight loss goals. I include some of my personal favorite activities, especially for the colder months. If you need some help sticking to a new habit, be sure to check out my Sticky Habits Course opening on January 20.
I've recently written a bestselling Amazon book on mindfulness and can attest to the amazing benefits of the practice. You can practice mindfulness easily in your daily life, in virtually every activity of your day. If you aren't familiar with mindfulness practices and don't know what it can do for you, please read this post and start a practice in your own life.
Fear of failure is one of the most debilitating fears because it keeps us from fully experiencing life and living to our potential. When we don't challenge ourselves or step out of our comfort zones, we remain stuck in small and empty lives. But what if you could see failure as a gift and an invaluable stepping stone to success? In this guest post, writer James Johnson shows us how to use failure to our advantage.
I've found the school of life and experience is the best teacher, and I've certainly learned many valuable lessons during my years on this planet. I've created a list of the lessons that have impacted me the most and share them in this post in hopes you will find value and truth in them as well.
There are certain positive habits that seem to have a triggering effect on other good behaviors in your life. Keystone habits are habits that unleash a cascade of positive choices and actions. In this post, I outline 7 valuable keystone habits that you'll want to adopt in your life
So many people have a problem with self-esteem because they simply can't love themselves. They see themselves as lacking in some way and have only negative, disparaging thoughts about themselves. When you can't love yourself, it makes it very difficult to have healthy relationships and to be successful in your career or life in general. You can learn how to change your mindset about yourself and begin the actions of self-love, even before you feel it. Check out this post if you find yourself dealing with a lack of self-love.
So those are my top 14 favorite posts from 2014. What have you learned about yourself this year and how have you grown or experienced more self-awareness? Please share your insights in the comments below, and if you have any favorite personal development posts from Live Bold and Bloom, please add them to my list.