how to up your personal development game

Before I get into some more detailed content on how you can start your own business or blog, I wanted to chat about a little something called personal development, because it is a critical component to blogging, running a business, and just your overall life.

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Wondering what personal development is? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s all about working on yourself, usually through reading, listening to podcasts, or watching motivational videos. Think the self-help section at Barnes + Noble.

I learned about personal development when I tried my hand at being a Beachbody coach. While I am not a Beachbody coach anymore (I’ll get into that another time), I walked away from that experience with a newfound love for this genre of reading and listening material. As I dove further into my own business, I realized I needed personal development more than ever.

The first book I ever purchased on personal development was The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. From there, my collection started to grow and I soon found myself heading to the book store or perusing Amazon to find more books to add to my bookshelf. Even if you’re not a blogger or business owner, I encourage you to find something that speaks to you and benefits you in some way (I’ll have a full list below of some of my recommendations).

As I’ve mentioned many times already, personal development is crucial before and during your new business or blog venture. How can you provide valuable and quality content, services or products for others if you are not working on and taking care of yourself? Same goes for anyone who isn’t a blogger or business owner — how can you stay on top of everything and tackle all the challenges that will inevitably come your way if you don’t have the tools to mentally deal with difficult situations? You can’t. Trust me. Whether your a blogger, business owner, or working a 9-5, we all have moments where we feel the walls closing in on us. Stressful deadlines, difficult co-workers, jobs we aren’t fulfilled by…it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own thoughts and emotions during challenging times. This is where personal development comes to the rescue.

I’m not saying it’s going to be the antidote for all that ails you, but if you truly take the time to read it (or watch/listen to it), absorb it, and actually apply it, you will start to notice its benefits. See that word that’s italicized there? Apply. It won’t work for you if you don’t actually apply what you’ve read, watched or listen to. You can read all the things, but unless you take action, nothing is going to change. You have to do the work. It’s already written or recorded there for you, you just have to actually do what these authors and speakers are telling you to do. Once you apply what you’ve read, or heard, or seen, not only will it nourish your mind and soul, but it will have a domino effect in all aspects of your life.

That’s not to say you’ll love everything you read or hear. There might be things you disagree with or don’t care for; things that seem a little “out there” or difficult to understand…that being said, I truly believe there is something to take away from every one of these books listed below. While I haven’t read every single one of them cover to cover just yet, I have found such valuable information in all of them, even just in the first few chapters, that have helped me shift my mindset.

In addition to the list of reading material, there are several YouTube videos and podcasts that I turn to for some serious pep talks. I’ll add those in at another time, but for now, here are my MUST-HAVE personal development books. Even if you pick just one of these on the list, you will find something worthwhile:

By Darren Hardy
By Jen Sincero
By Eckhart Tolle
By Eckhart Tolle
By Gary Vaynerchuk
By Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
By Tony Robbins
By Mark Manson
By Kelly Brogan M.D., Kristin Loberg
By Stephen R. Covey
By Gabrielle Bernstein

So really, what have you got to lose? I have yet to regret a single penny that I’ve spent on these books, and find that especially in times of high stress or anxiety, I find comfort. I find peace. I find new information that I can apply directly to my life, my business, my blog. Even if I’ve read it before, I read it again to remind myself of the important messages these authors and successful individuals have taken their time to tell their readers. I urge you to find something in this list that speaks to you. Read the descriptions, or be influenced by a title to start your own personal development journey. Even if it’s something not on this list, find something that works for you.

Do you have a favorite personal development book? I’m always looking for more to add to my list. Stay tuned for a post about my favorite YouTube videos and podcasts I listen to to up my game!