Biggest Things I’ve Learned Over The Last Decade

If you know me well, you know that one of my biggest passions is self-development! I could talk for hours and hours about goat setting, and planning and becoming better.


Since today is the beginning of a new decade, I thought it would be fun to list all the guiding principles and ideas I’ve learned and followed over the last ten years.  (It was about 9 years ago that I started to really learn about Self Development, but you get the idea..)


I hope these are helpful as you start to think of how you’d like to grow in the new year.

And if you want more resources, Classic psychology education, Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo, Cloe Madanes and TED talks and Danielle Laporte have been my pillars of learning through the years.

Progress really is the joy of life.


Biggest things I’ve learned about Self Development this decade:

-Raise your standards.

Your standards are who you are. Always be looking to be your best self. Hold yourself accountable.


-Compete only with yourself.

You are the measure of success in your life. It doesn’t matter if you are “better” or “worse” at something than someone else. Your success is measured along your own finish line, not another persons.


-Who you think you are, is who you will become.

If you think of yourself as weak, you will not be surprised when you are defeated. The way you think of yourself and talk about yourself determined what you expect of yourself and who you shape and mold yourself into.


-The space outside of your comfort, where you are stretched and pulled, and feel uncomfortable is where you will grow the most.


-We often fear the things we don’t understand, and hate the things we fear.

Most of the problems of the world revolve around this simple idea. If you don’t understand something it might scare you, and you don’t want to be scared so you dislike that thing and don’t want to face it. This is where a lot of intolerance and judgment comes from.


-Your limiting beliefs are probably incorrect.

The things you tell yourself you “could never do” or “aren’t good enough for” are what is holding you back. Believing you are a certain fixed way and can’t change is holding you back.


-Getting things or accomplishing goals won’t feel good unless you grow as you get there.

Winning 100$ doesn’t feel nearly as good as earning it.


-You are not your feelings.

Learning this 9 years ago, changed my entire life. You are a human with feelings, but you are not a “sad” “mad” “happy” or “anxious” person. You are a person with feelings that flow through and around you.


-You are not your thoughts either.

Having a judging thought doesn’t make you a judgmental person, just a human, with a variety of thoughts that you filter.


-Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your own tiny little precious baby.

You deserve to be told you are loved, and are important, and matter. You deserve to treat yourself kindly and with respect.


-Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

We all need help with things from time to time. Asking someone to hold the other end of your heavy box is a sign that you are strong enough in yourself to let others help you.


-Learn to love all the parts of yourself.

Including the parts you don’t think are perfect, and even more so, your past self. Give love to the young you that say bad things and wasn’t grown up yet, love and respect who you have been as much as who you are now. We are the combination of everything we have ever been before, even the teenage years you can’t relate to now.


-Confidence is linked to so many things, and controls the way you navigate the world and how the world reacts to you.

You deserve to stand tall, and to be proud (we all do!)


-Ego is often linked to hurt and fear.

Try to listen and see beyond others you have a hard time getting along with, we all need to be accepted and understood, even under a tough shell.


-Big goals and intentions, especially around new year, are most likely to stick if you make yourself clear why you need the change.

Imagine how you’ll feel after another year of not going to the gym, really sit with that feeling. Remind yourself of that when you feel tired or lazy. Make it clear why you want what you want.


-Forgive others and let go of your past pain, even when it is hard and might require you ask for help. Go see a counselor, or journal, talk to a trusting friend: you owe it to yourself to let go of the big burdens and past pain you carry.


-Reading is the best thing you can do to become smarter.

Stay curious, fall into fantasy worlds, learn new vocabulary. There are so many things a book can teach you that nothing else can.


-When you find yourself angry, ask yourself why.

Examine what brings up strong emotions. Find the roots. Know what triggers you and creates those feelings. Learning why we react how we do, is learning about ourselves.


-You have no control over the actions of others, but you have complete control over your reaction. This is where your power is.

How you react is who you are, it is what you show others. Whether you engage or walk away. Whether you fight back or try to find compassion for others.


-Always say you are sorry if you have hurt someone.

Don’t expect things to go away, or feelings to fade. Take time to really apologize and mean it. We all misstep and stumble sometimes, how we resolve is the lasting word.


-Find the things that make you happy and make you excited, and shape your whole life around them. There is always time to be made for the things that fill you up and make you feel alive.


-You will never change unless you decide you have to.

If something is a “should do” and not a “must do”, don’t expect that you will do it consistently.


-Always keep your word.

Keep your expectations of yourself and your word higher than anyone could ever expect of you. If you say something do it, mean it. Live with intention.


-The things you are doing right now, today, are how you are spending your life. Be intentional with your time.


-The best way to make changes is through clear, daily action. Set small tasks and rituals that bring you closer to your big goal.


-Learn something new everyday. Everyday is a gift and you owe it to yourself to learn something, to use your time for good and to record what you learn. To be curious and treat each day like the amazing gift it is.


-Life is a moving target. You will never really “arrive”. You don’t sit one day and realize everything is perfect and nothing needs to change. Changing and growing is what makes you more whole and fulfilled.


-And lastly, give.

Life has the most meaning when we can share it with others, and contribute and give back. Ask others what they need. Be the one to raise your hand when they ask for a volunteer. Think of what others might like. Shift outside of yourself and find the best reward of all.


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