Personal development is the big thing right now!
You know, bettering yourself, becoming a better wife, mom, leader.. the list goes on.
Basically, focusing on you and chasing your dreams for the overall health of not only your own life, your spouses, your children's, your coworkers', and so forth.
Two of my favorite PD (personal development) books I have read recently, is of course, "Girl, Wash Your Face" and "Girl, Stop Apologizing"! It is also, almost every other woman on my social medias' favorites, too.
I try to be the type that doesn't follow that "status quo", but I purchased the first book on a whim (read it easily in three days), and then had to know what the follow up was all about (also, couldn't put it down!).
Hollis has a unique way of motivating you. Mainly because, she has been right where you are. Yes, it is her job to motivate us, and she is good at it, but she wouldn't be as passionate about it, if she didn't care.
I read a blog last week asking if Hollis' books were Biblical based, and while I don't want to get into that, because I honestly don't enough about Hollis to judge that. I do know, she claims to be a Christian, she is a church go-er, and like I said, she has a sincere passion for helping others reach their potential, someone had to set that on fire, for her. Her husband seems great, but, I really think someone more powerful, you know, the "Big Man Upstairs" did.
Anyways, back to the topic at hand.
The issue isn't with the author, it is with PD
It was not until this morning that I realized that the blogger's (who's blog I mentioned earlier) problem was not with the author, or authors of personal development, it was with how the message was delivered.
The power in any book, PD books, fiction, historic books, even the Bible, is the text is left up to the reader's mind to interpret. Meaning, me and you could read the same verse in the Bible, but we may interpret it two different ways.
I know firsthand, that PD is very empowering. It can be almost too empowering, if we were to allow it. I fell victim to that and that green monster called, jealousy.
I became so obsessed on advancing my career, I lost sight of a bigger picture. I was so motivated from PD I had recently read or listened to. I was so envious (though I didn't know it at the time) of my work friends pursuing great opportunities. I forgot that one of those great PD books I recently read, had a chapter devoted to basically telling you to not be envious of other's success or opportunities, because their time is not your time!
Let me repeat that a little louder for me and the other stubborn readers, THEIR TIME IS NOT YOUR TIME!
My eyes and heart were looking for happiness in the world and in myself.
I lost sight of something that had been pulling on my heart for weeks. A few long term goals that need my attention now, if I want to see the fruits of their labor at any point. These things I truly feel are put on my heart by God, and I know He will make a way.
So, what does this have to do with the blogger's view on PD?
Her point was that PD books can put the focus on creating our minds and hearts to be selfish, envious, and looking for happiness in all the wrong places. That sounds like an old country song, "Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places". Remember that one?
After weeks, of inner distress and acute, temporary depression, my own mother slapped me in the face with a wake up call, that I desperately needed. I was venting to her, which was so non-constructive for me to do on her (thank God for my mama's patience!), and she laid a question on me, "Who are you trying to compete with?".
BAM. It all hit me. I felt my jaw drop.
It made sense why I was so upset, that morning especially. It made sense why I had been so stressed out, anxiety ridden, and slightly depressed for weeks. I mean weeks. And can we just talk about "stress bloat"? Girl, that is some real stuff that I do not care to have!! It also made sense as to why I have been feeling like I was "pulling at strings" to try to find happiness and success.
While I thought I was competing against myself, I was inadvertently competing against my coworkers, not that I wanted what they were getting (because I am literally so proud of them), but I wanted my chance to better myself, to grow. I didn't want to be left behind. Figuratively and literally!
I was competing against myself in a not healthy way. I was putting the focus on myself. I was looking for myself to make me happy. I was so focused on growing my career, I lost sight of the fact that I can grow my career in other ways. Someone wise once told me, "Growth is not always about moving up, it can be about moving outward. Meaning, you can expand your success where your at."
I was ruining relationships with my coworkers, and putting my mom and whoever would listen to me vent in a position to have my negativity sprinkled onto their lives. I was so toxic.
Most importantly, I was not focusing on God and what He has called me to do.
If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God, you'll be at rest. -Corrie Ten Boom