Self-development

How to be Happy for Other People + 3 Deep Questions You Need to Ask in Order to Ditch Jealousy

“Jealousy is the root of all evil”

Have you heard that expression before? Maybe you’ve experienced the backstab (or frontstab) by a jealousy-fueled person… or, maybe you’ve been the dealer of similar jealousy-fueled actions…

Worry about you and no one else!

In talking with people since starting my blog, a question I often get asked is, why the f*** can’t people just be happy for other people?

It’s funny, I ask myself that question a lot too.

Why is it so hard for some to see a person happy in a career, a relationship, or any life circumstance and just say “congrats”? Why is it so easy for some to see a person happy then deliberately make that person miserable? …And what I think is the most frustrating question: Why is it so hard to NOT communicate the reason for being bitter toward the happy person? …I thought we were all adults here?

Are you green with envy?

Well, I think the reason some can’t be happy for others is jealousy.

And I know what some of you are thinking “wow Ella, who are you to say other people are mean as a result of jealousy?”

Well I can say that because (1) it’s my opinion and (2) I can actually recall times I’ve been jealous in the past (yes I will admit I have flaws) and noticed how it changed my view of other people’s success.

So that said, I’ve come-up with 3 questions you need to ask yourself if you’re having trouble being happy for other people:

#1 Are you in competition with that person?

Unless that person is in a life competition with you (doubtful), their is LITERALLY zero reason for you to be jealous of them. For example, let’s say you want to lose weight but you are having some trouble reaching your goal. One weekend you go to the beach with Sally and notice her shredded abs. You both go for lunch afterward and Sally orders a salad. You immediately tell her she is a boring friend for eating “rabbit food” for lunch. …Now, instead of poking fun at Sally for being healthy, try reconsidering your own decision to eat fries and a coke for lunch.

Now let’s say you’re looking for a long-term relationship. Then one day Sally tells you she found a man to share the rest of her life with. (…I know, it seems like Sally has it all. Don’t be jealous 😉 )

Anyways… after hearing about Sally’s relationship, you immediately cut her out of your life and start talking behind her back. Now, instead of being bitter, maybe you should just reconsider why you can’t find a happy relationship yourself.

So… if you are confused as to why I want you to ask yourself question #1, let me clear things up: YOU ARE NOT IN A LIFE COMPETITION WITH ANYBODY ELSE. The only person you should seriously be competing with is who you were yesterday. You can not control anyone’s life but your own so why bother exerting negative jealous energy towards other people, as if they should change their situation for you? The only energy you should exert is the kind it will take you to improve your own life.

Here’s an anecdote to help you understand better:

Top athletes like Lional Messi and Wayne Gretzky probably never made dirty, jealousy-fueled fouls against other athletes as kids. Instead, those athletes decided to improve their own tactical skills and techniques; they improved their personal talents so that they could be happy with themselves and become personally successful. They might’ve been jealous of other athletes at times, BUT they clearly manifested their jealousy in ways that never negatively affected those athletes.

Remember, you’ll never win the game by tearing-down people around you – you have to do things honorably and honestly. And the fact is, nobody is trying to go after the trophy of your life, so worry about your own trophy and be happy when someone else gets theirs.

#2 What about yourself are you not happy with?

Do you have any flaws to improve or insecurities to stop worrying about? Maybe you do…and maybe those flaws and insecurities are inhibiting you from getting what you want.

Furthermore, maybe you’re being ignorant to the fact that you do have flaws and insecurities (although I will admit, self-awareness is NOT an easy task). And yes, self-awareness requires effort and a break-down of your ego. I know what you’re thinking… it is unfortunate that you need to eat healthy and workout to get shredded abs, and it is inconvenient that you need to be a decent person if you want to be in any sort of friendship or romantic relationship. So just because someone else decided to put in that effort and you did not, that is no reason to NOT be happy for them.

#3 Can you clearly articulate the logical reason you cannot be happy for someone?

Has the person you aren’t happy for done anything to hurt you? Have they purposely done anything to make you upset? If the answer is “no”, but you still cannot articulate why you cannot be happy for them, my guess is you don’t want to admit the answer…And that’s because jealousy is nothing to be proud of.

If you find jealousy has boiled up inside you, IT IS OKAY because jealous is a human emotion felt by all of us. What is NOT OKAY, is allowing that jealousy to control your actions.

So please people, let’s all start practicing self-awareness. Why wouldn’t you want to be happy for others and why wouldn’t you want to be happy for yourself?

It might take a little hard work, but at the end of the day, you can win your personal life trophy and not have to worry about anyone else’s.

At the the end of the day, all you can do is focus on making the next 365 days the #YearOfYOU.

As always, have a very happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

Why You Should 🛑Stop🛑 Concerning Yourself with Self-Esteem

Give me ’til the end of of this 5 minute read to get you thinking differently about self-esteem.

Let’s start by looking at the definition of esteem:

Esteem ➡️ v. regard highly or favourably; regard with respect or admiration

Now hold that thought. And let’s look at the history of the word esteem:

“Esteem” comes from the Latin word aestimare and the Old French word estimer, meaning to estimate value or appraise (1) (2).

Now take the meaning of “esteem” and apply it to the way YOU perceive YOURSELF. Do you admire yourself? What sort of value you do you place on yourself?

High self-esteem; esteemed King.

If you value yourself highly, why is that? Do you have certain qualities that rank higher on the “esteem scale” than, say, your good friend?

And how about your friend … would you esteem the qualities of your good friend in the same way they would esteem them?

If you’re seriously thinking about those questions but not sure how to answer them, we are starting to get somewhere.

Do you esteem yourself?

Think about the intrinsic value of a human being (and yes, I said “intrinsic”). The intrinsic value of a human being (A.K.A. YOUR VALUE) is infinite.

So if the value of your being – your existence – is infinite, then why bother dissecting your being into qualities that you do or do not esteem?

When you describe the way you think about yourself, instead of saying “high or low self-esteem”, just use the term “self-worth”. Accepting the existence of your human-ness is preferable to a self-diagnosis of high or low self-esteem.

“But Ella, you’re over-thinking this. I am SUPPOSED to have high self-esteem! Having high self-esteem is good for my mental health!”

I SOOOO disagree.

First, I’m not over-thinking, I just like to use words properly. If words didn’t matter, I would start calling an apple and orange, and a house a car.

On that note, if you believe your humanness has value or purpose, then why use the word “esteem”? If you aren’t appraising yourself based on anything but your existence, then there’s nothing to appraise. You simply have worth as a human because you exist. Which leads me to my second point …

Neither appraising your qualities and placing yourself higher along the esteem scale NOR regarding yourself with esteem for no apparent reason are beneficial to your mental health. As I explained earlier, you have nothing to appraise – there is no scale of intrinsic human worth. And to the second point, your humanness alone leaves you capable of personal development and therefore capable of improving your life. You should not esteem yourself for no reason, but instead give your intrinsic worth meaning by improving your extrinsic qualities. It is always better to try to improving extrinsic qualities instead of lowering the value you place on yourself because of them.

Stacks of money represents not lowering your instrinsic value based on your extrinsic qualities

But most importantly, recognizing your worth does not mean you get life a participation trophy. Thinking you’re the bomb.com for no apparent reason is called narcissism. So instead, give yourself a reason to be confident in life. As a human you are COMPLETELY CAPABLE of giving yourself a good life by working hard for something that gives your worth, meaning. Take advantage of your humanness and give yourself a reason to keep living.

For example, both the alcoholic and brain surgeon have infinite worth. But only the brain surgeon has taken advantage of his humanness to give his worth, meaning.

And as you were probably expecting, here’s a nifty analogy to help you understand:

Let’s say you’re a soccer player. Your team never practices so they come in last place in the league. Your team should not get a trophy for simply participating. BUT just because you came in last place, that DOES NOT mean you or anyone on your team are no longer soccer players.

What your team decides to do is take advantage of their “soccer player-ness” and hold weekly practices. The more your team practices, the more your team gives itself a reason to keep competing.

So no matter your race, ability or disability, career, social economic status, etc., your existence as a human being has infinite worth.

You have self-worth because you are human.

Next time you say you have high or low self-esteem, remember that esteem doesn’t actually matter; what matters is the fact you exist and you can make your existence more meaningful everyday, and that alone is enough ❤

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Selfcare Tips

🤔 How to be Happy On a Monday

Happy Monday! … Right?

*insert awkward silence*

… What?

You mean you’re not happy? You’re telling me you’re miserable because you have 5 days left of work before you can relax again?

Damn…

Ok, well I really want you to be happy! And before you start questioning whether I’m oblivious to life’s problems, I’ll straight-up tell you I DO NOT THINK happiness is a 24/7 state of mind. I think happiness is something we choose to feel or find so that we can more easily be resilient in the face of adversity. This means you can be sad, anxious, stressed, or have any other negative reaction but you still decide to learn from experience, find positive aspects of your experience, and figure out how the hell you can keep moving forward.

You can find the key to happiness. I think I found it. Finding it was incredibly hard, but so incredibly worth it. Remember inner peace, positive mind.

That said, I need you to learn the key to happiness for the betterment of your health, your relationships, and your productivity. And as you may have guessed, I am going to tell you that key using this nifty analogy:

Think about the lightbulb in your kitchen. You know, the one you turned on this morning to make a cup of coffee before heading out the door.

That light works because a small wire inside the lightbulb creates a circuit of electricity, and that electricity is drawn-in from whatever source the lightbulb is plugged in to. So when you turn the light on…BOOM, HAPPINESS…wait no, I mean LIGHT! Hmmm… they are quite similar, don’t you think?

A lightbulb shines from within. Just like the lightbulb, you can find true happiness and shine from within.

Imagine yourself as that lightbulb.

If you want to shine, the little wire circuit inside of you has to (1) create a closed circuit, and (2) be plugged into a source of electricity.

So just like the light, happiness comes from within you; it is a decision you make to regard at least some part of an experience as positive (even if that just means learning from something shitty). HOWEVER you can’t forget about “plugging-in” to good sources of electricity like family, friends, content such as books and films, work, hobbies, etc.

But… remember that even if you’re plugged-in to the right things, you can’t find true happiness unless the wire circuit inside you is complete.

To find true happiness, you have to follow the personal development loop. What this means, is you have to give yourself the right doses of self-care, self-development, and self-discipline in order to live a balanced life.

Stressed from work? Use your lunch break to assess why that is.

Concerned about money? Take 2 hours on a weekend to set-up a budget.

Want to wake up earlier? Work on getting more restful sleeps then accept that you need to wake up when your alarm goes off EVEN THOUGH that will be hard.

You can do it. But that “it” you’re looking for can only come from you.

And to clarify again, I am NOT telling you to become happy 24/7 and therefore oblivious to the challenges of life. I AM telling you it is possible to learn how to manage shitty circumstances. Because the quicker you can bounce back from a tough time or pull through a struggle, the quicker you will get back to happiness.

So why is happiness important?

1) Your relationships will improve because others will enjoy being around you.

2) Your outlook on life will improve, therefore bettering your mental health.

3) Most importantly, happiness will motivate you to continue developing yourself.

And speaking from personal experience, my focus on happiness has VASTLY reduced my stress, improved my patience, and even improved my general attitude towards life.

Because I’ve trained myself to see the positive aspects of life while also learning from the negative aspects, there’s nothing that can stop me from moving forward.

So in conclusion…

… remember to be like that lightbulb in your kitchen. Because once you are, you’ll shine bright for everyone around you….once you are, you’ll be happy.

Shine bright like a lightbulb, bright with happiness.

So as always, I hope you have a very happy Monday ❤✌

“Outside, winter’s darkness closes in. Inside, you have found your own Light.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

New Beginnings, Selfcare Tips

Why I Don’t Want You to Kill Yourself … and Neither Should You 🙏❤

“It gets better,” they say.

And if you think they are lying, I will tell you first hand, they aren’t.

I’ll tell you it get’s better. From the absolute bottom of my heart I will tell you it gets better. But most importantly, I need you to believe that’s true.

You need to hear the whole truth:

For the rest of your life, you will continue to experience hard times, people will continue to hurt you, and you will occasionally fail. But the game changer is, YOU ARE going to learn how to deal with it all. So if you hang in there and put in a good fight, it WILL get better.

The whole truth is, you are going to learn how to find good friends. You are going to find and practice something you are good at. You are going to learn how to love yourself for who you are.

So maybe the whole truth is not that it gets better, but that YOU get a hell of a lot better at dealing with it. 💪🧠

You might need help to get your feet off the ground – that’s ok. Help comes in many different forms: from reading to journalling, social workers to doctors, from family to friends, from yoga to prayer, and even from medicine to weekly counseling. You might need to take a weekend off and spend it with yourself. And you might need to learn how to say “no” to people you love. But I promise, the small sacrifices you make will be worth it in the end. Because in the end you’ll be happy to be alive.

And if you still aren’t buying my plead for your life, let me tell you my “life got better” story:

Every single night for as long as I can remember, I’ve said my prayers before bed. And every single night for as long as I can remember, I asked God to “please bless every person around the world with a long, happy, and healthy life.” And then the kicker — after asking for the best for others, I’d always ask him to let me fall asleep and never wake up. [FYI, I still say my prayers every night. And FYI I dropped the second part from my nightly prayers last year.]

Sad (and slightly embarrassing) to say, I spent a lot of years hoping the worst for myself. And after 23 years of life, I’d still wake up in the morning and ask myself why I was still f***ing living. I started to think, what the hell was so wrong with me that (1) I didn’t know how to live happily and (2) I was still living …?

It took me until age 23 to finally ask somebody for some help. And even though most of me was miserable, a tiny incremental part of me was saying “YOU CAN DO IT”.

I had lots of friends, a great education, a superb family, a sick job, and basically a sweet friggin life. I recognized all of that! So why the hell was I still unhappy?

It was only when I started researching about the brain that I realized I was missing a major ingredient: I never believed it could get better.

I never believed it. Yes, I put in the work to have a sweet life…that helped. But I didn’t believe it was reality. I always thought, “well it’s been a great week. That means a bad day is right around the corner.”

I was not doing myself any favours.

It was like this:

Imagine you have a delicious plate of food in front of you. You have not taken a bite yet, but the food was prepared by a famous chef. Everyone knows it will taste good, including the chef. But you tell yourself it will taste horrible, so you refuse to eat it.

Why? … It’s because you primed your brain with negativity which stopped you from trying the food with an open and objective mind.

How many times have you primed your brain with something negative, which in turn altered your behaviour? You know, like if your friend tells you, “I don’t like that person”. Then you meet the person for the first time and you already dislike them. Or you read a bad review on a movie, so you go into the theatre already assuming you won’t like the movie.

Or in my case, I assumed I life was never going to get better so my attitude towards my life never changed.

Habits often begin with a simple belief – a simple daily prime of your brain to help you believe life will get better. If you believe it will never get better, it will never get better. But if you believe it will get better because you will try to make it better, you’re golden.

Now, when I look back at my sad years, I’m not sure what to make of them. Maybe I’m just an extra sensitive or emotional person. Maybe I have issues with serotonin and other hormones. But regardless, I’ve come to learn that my über emotional personality is not a bad thing.

Just like I did and many others have, you will have to work hard to be happy. But one day you’ll realize the hard work paid off.

I want you to live, work hard, find meaning, and learn to love existence. I want you to do all those things. And I want you to want all those things too.

After years upon years of not thinking I could do it, I actually did it. And you can do it too. I swear on my life that i love so much, YOU CAN F***ING DO IT.

I don’t want you to kill yourself. And neither should you❤.

[If you like this post and know someone who needs this message, please share it with them. And if you need to talk, I am only a message away! All my social accounts are listed at the bottom of this page if you want to get in contact. And my email is ellasssofia@gmail.com]

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-development

Can Suffering Heal the Soul?

Do things that make you happy … right?

But do you think that should always be the case? I guess it depends how you define “happy”. If you ask me, I prefer to alter the statement altogether to say, “do things that make you happy in the long run“. Or, “do things that are good for your soul.”

Let me explain why:

Think about the last time you lied to yourself. To be clear here, I am talking about “feel-good lies”. You know, the lies that make you feel more successful or more caring or more positive in any sense, than you actually are… Why did you tell that lie? Did it make you happy? Did you recieve that incremental spike in your ego you were hoping for?

I find lying quite interesting. Even the most honest people I know sneak a feel-good lie into conversation every now and again. However, I think the explanation for lying is not as complicated as it seems.

There’s a comfort in lying.

How peachy.

But if you know anything about my blog, you’ll know that comfort is of zero advantage to personal development. If we bypass the comfort in lying and, instead, embrace the suffering, the obstacles in our personal development paths will be minimized. If we learn to swallow the difficult truth, we can actually spend time figuring out why exactly the truth hurts.

The truth might hurt or it might not be as lavish as we’d like. But the truth is never an obstacle.

Think about these would-be lies:

“I can’t lose weight no matter how hard I try. My weight is purely genetic.”

“My Instagram content is amazing but my account isn’t growing because of the algorithm.”

“I am innocent in this argument. I never gossip or talk behind peoples’ backs.”

There’s a pattern there.

It’s called lack of accountability.

To start taking accountability, we need to stop telling ourselves lies and start analyzing occurrences objectively. If you want to lose weight but it seems your attempts aren’t effective, start writing down EVERYTHING you eat and EVERYTIME you are active.

If you want to grow your Instagram account but it seems your daily posts aren’t doing the job, start RESEARCHING social media marketing and get to KNOW the Instagram algorithm.

If you start analyzing your routines objectively, you can determine what parts of your routines need to change. Or, you can determine whether you need a new routine altogether.

Alternatively, if you continuing puffing-up your ego with lies, you’ll remain exactly where you are in life. You won’t grow. You won’t change. You won’t learn.

So ladies and gents, let’s seriously cut the bulls*** and start taking accountability for our decisions.

Let’s start taking the blame for things that are our fault. Let’s start embracing the shitty truth. Let’s start remaining objective in our criticisms.

Lying and excuse-making are easy jobs. Putting in work is hard.

So instead of crafting false tales or exaggerating the truth for short term pleasure, let’s embrace the suffering to achieve happiness in the long run.

And one last thing for today:

Remember this sentence from the beginning of my post? “Even the most honest people I know sneak a feel-good lie into conversation every now and again.

… Who did you think of when you read it?

Remember, there’s always ALWAYS room for personal development.

Have a happy and productive Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-Discipline

Are You Ready to Reach Your Goals in 2019? (Part 3 of 3)

Think about this … “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” That couldn’t be more true … but I bet you’ve never considered this before:

“When the going gets easy and we forget to make it tough again, nothing goes.”

So what happens when nothing goes?

Easy: we lose. We stopping growing. We stop developing. We stop moving forward along the path toward success.

Part 3 – Self-Dicispline

Let’s begin our anecdote from where it ended last week: You began to water your seed and gave it proper sunlight; as a result you now have a little sprout. Maybe you even started to see a flower bud. Good enough, right? Wrong. The flower will eventually get old and die, so you need to plant new seeds and water them daily. We want to grow a entire garden. And to do that, you have to give your little sprouts the proper amount of water and sunshine each and every day. No excuses, no complaining. If you want a garden, you have to put in work.

You have to start doing things that are hard. You have to start challenging yourself. Every. Single. Day.

10 second exercise: Get a pen & paper and start making a list of things that are difficult but should be done. What’s on your list? Here’s a fraction of mine: Start reading 6-7 times a week, stop eating sweets during the day, stop following social accounts that don’t provide me with value, start making weekly YouTube videos.

Got your list? Good. Now start repeating the items on your list 24/7 in your head. Seriously – that is exactly how I stay on track. Don’t fall off your path and don’t let your thoughts talk you out of anything.

According to Elbert Green Hubbard, self-discipline is defined as “the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not”. So, when your alarm clock goes off at 5 AM tomorrow and you’re too tired to go water your sprouts, you get out of bed anyways and go water them. And when the temperature drops to 15°C and you need to bring your sprouts indoors, you go pot them and bring them in. These disciplinary actions repeated over time will eventually create habits. And when you create habits out of actions that are hard but necessary, success will become inevitable.

I know you’re capable of living your best life. So go get ‘er done and make your success inevitable.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

PS: For the ultimate self-discipline coaching, I highly recommend you watch this entire interview with David Goggins on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

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Selfcare Tips

Bonus! My Top 5 (+1) Books for Self-development

Here’s another bonus for my lovely readers! As a follow-up to Monday’s blog post, here is my compilation of the top 5 (+1) books I read in 2018 for self-development.

If you read any, let me know what you think in the comment section below!

Please note that some of the links are affiliate links which means I will make a small commission off each purchase. Any commission I receive helps me to continue to create free content.

1) The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy

Why I love it: This book emphasizes that baby steps is all it takes to reach your goals. It breaks down what we may believe as hard work, into easy steps to stay committed and accountable!

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2LKwE68

2) The Tipping Point: How Little Things can make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Why I love it: I read this book for the first time about 10 years ago. and picked it up for the second time this past year. This book gives you a new perspective on persistence and dedication; it will make you realize that sometimes a small yet calculated nudge is all it takes to move mountains.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2Arjk22

3) Crushing it: How Great Entrepreneurs Build their Business and Influence — and how you can too! By Gary Vaynerchuck

Why I love it: This book is an expansion of Vaynerchuck’s 2009 book called “Crush It”. It offers real life examples of those who applied the Crush It principles. Although this book is directed toward entrepreneurs, Vaynerchuck’s “no regrets” and “stop overthinking” attitude will put anyone in the right frame of mind to start putting in the work required to achieve their goals.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2LQL1WU

4) 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

Why I love it: Yes, I know, this book is also in my list of the top books I read for self-care … but if you already read it, you know why I also added it to this list! Every sentence in this book is written so well, it quickly became one of my favourite of all time. It literally offers the steps you should take to start improving your life. It also proves why meaning and fulfillment are more important than anything.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2BYjLkJ

5) Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill

Why I love it: This is another hands-down favourite. I read it for the second time this past year and boy was it ever worth it. It made me have more hope in the world as well as in myself. In the book, Hill recounts an alleged interview he had with the devil – every question & answer is so analytical, I guarantee it will make you want to become the best version of yourself.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2SwtA0b

BONUS BOOK (side note, is a bonus book inside of a bonus blog post a bonus inception?): Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim

Why I love it: First off, I have to admit I did not read this entire book (which is why it is a bonus). However the bits and pieces I listened to of the audiobook was enough to make me recommend it. This book is directed toward entrepreneurs. It helps you align your personal development with your business development so you can create an authentic and successful business model.

Purchase here: https://amzn.to/2F4FUkm

I hope you enjoyed my list! Again, if you read any of the books I mentioned, let me know what you think in the comments. Happy Friday!

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Selfcare Tips

Are You Ready to Reach Your Goals in 2019? (Part 2 of 3)

Faster. Tougher. Stronger.

Better.

We want that, don’t we? It certainly sounds good. But it also sounds daunting.

Why?

Because all these things, all these improvements, come at a cost: hard work.

If you read my blog post from last week, you hopefully started doing things that make you happy. You started taking care of yourself so you can take the second step toward achieving your goals.

Step 2- Self-Development.

Now that you are confident you can achieve your goals, you have to start taking the steps that will lead you there even though that will be hard. Sometimes that means achieving little wins, and other times that means taking 1 step backward so you can take 2 steps forward.

Let’s continue my anecdote from last week:

I took a break from life so I could learn to love my life.

Then … back to work, back to school, back to sports, and back to volunteering – 4 things I was dreading but knew I had to do. I started small, and then step-by-step I found a rhythm. Once that rhythm became easy to maintain, I knew I needed to challenge myself again — I needed to develop myself further.

I started doing things I wasn’t doing before, knowing that I could not grow until I planted some seeds. I am now trying to give my seeds the proper amounts of water and sunlight so they can successfully sprout.

I know I will eventually find another rhythm easy for me to maintain; my seeds will begin to sprout and I’ll be ready to challenge myself again.

Now it’s your turn to develop yourself. Decide to plant a seed. Maybe its public speaking, getting fit, or learning how to cook. No matter what type of seed you plant, just plant it and start watering. You won’t grow a flower in a day, but little-by-little, step-by-step, you will start to sprout. And if you keep at it long enough, you will grow more than a flower, you will grow an entire garden.

You will be ready for step 3, self-discipline. [Stay tuned for next week’s blog where I talk about self-discipline!]

As always, Happy Monday … and Happy New Year!!

PS: Do you want to learn how to stick to your new year’s resolution and stay accountable to your goals? Well consider joining my FREE 10 Day Personal Development program!

With the program you’ll get:

– Three 1:1 coaching sessions with me

– A habit tracker

– Access to my private Facebook community

– Motivation

– The self confidence you’re looking for to make 2019 the year of you!

So if you’re seriously ready to jumpstart the new year, email me at ellasssofia@gmail.com to let me know you’re in! I’ll be in touch asap with all the info!

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Selfcare Tips

Bonus: My Top 8 Books for Self-care

Bonus blog!

If you read my most recent blog post, you know I did a lot of reading during 2018. Most of the books I read were all about being introspective, attempting to understanding the universe we live in, and ultimately how to be happy and fulfilled in life.

So I decided to compile my top 8 books for self-care. If you read any of them, please let me know what you think in the comment section below 🙂

Please note that some of the links are affiliate links which means I will make a small commission off each purchase. Any commission I receive helps me to continue creating free content.

1. The Book of Afformations: Discovering the Missing Piece to Abundance, Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness by Noah St. John
Why I love it: This book changed the way I think about creating success habits. Unlike anything I’ve ever read, this book presents easy questions which automatically result in authentic answers to improve life and well-being!

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BIg4iM

2. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
Why I love it: This book is written in such a way that is is IMpossible to NOT realize where you need to improve your life. Learn why creating meaning in life is more important than anything else, and how meaning acn lead to happiness and fulfillment.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BI06p1

3. You are the Answer by Michael J. Tamura
Why I love it: This book allowed me to connect with myself on a spiritual level. After reading this, I realized exactly what the title suggests: I am the answer to my difficulties in life, and only I can create the path toward the solutions.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2SnZNXn

4. Resilience: Navigating Life, Loss, and the Road to Success by Lisa Lisson
Why I love it: Wow. Just wow. Reading Lisa Lisson’s account of hardship as well as personal success made me incredibly grateful for my life; I realized I must stop taking things (and time) for granted as I pursue my life goals.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2BIgGFi

5. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha
Why I love it: I realized success does not equal happiness. You must find harmony in what you say, think, and do.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2Vb6z4A

6. Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred by Mark Nepo
Why I love it: Introspective and Poetic. This book allowed me to find hope in the world and hope in my life.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2CAq0MP

7. Top Brain Bottom Brain: Harnessing the Power of the Four Cognitive Modes by Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn and G. Wayne Miller
Why I love it: This book provided me with a new understanding of how the brain works. Forget the limiting idea of left brain versus right brain, and instead open yourself up to multiple functions of your top brain and bottom brain!

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2LCy1np

8. Ten Messages Your Angel’s Want You to Know by Doreen Virtue
Why I love it: This book provided me with the realization I am not alone, as well as the courage to take my first step toward self-development.

To purchase: https://amzn.to/2VeMuKA

Check-out my entire book list on Goodreads @ ellasssofia 🙂

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Selfcare Tips

Are You Ready to Reach Your Goals in 2019? (Part 1 of 3)

Do you have a new year’s resolution?

Better yet, is your new year’s resolution the same as last year’s resolution? Maybe it’s the same as the year before too.

I find most people (guilty as charged) make resolutions for the new year and rarely stick to them. I thought hard about why that is, and I realized that people think productivity is simply about putting in the work. But what we often forget is that the worker can’t work without the proper tools.

“So how do I get these tools, Ella?”

I’m glad you asked! Here are the three steps to do just that:

Self-care, self-development, and self-discipline. In that order.

Let me break it down.

Step 1 – Self-Care

Let’s be realistic, challenging yourself is hard. If you want to lose weight, it’s going to be hard. If you want to learn a new language, it’s going to be hard. If you want to expand your vocabulary … you guessed it … it is going to be hard!

So before you start straining yourself and committing to a bunch of work, let’s take step 1 and make challenging ourselves easier.

“Work smarter not harder”, that is a popular saying for a reason.

Take care of yourself. Don’t worry about the work yet. Give yourself time to do things you enjoy. Period.

Maybe that means painting. Or meditating. Or taking a bath every Sunday. Or playing a sport you love. Whatever it is, PLEASE just do it because it makes you happy.

If you need to take a life break to be more introspective, read about spirituality or religion, and connect with yourself on a deeper level, do that. Once you get into the habit of waking up each morning happy, you’ll be ready to take on the work.

Here is an anecdote to help put things in perspective: Quite recently, I went through an extended period where I never wanted to get out of bed or even live to the next day (not trying to be dramatic, just tellin’ it like it was). I decided to see a psychologist.

One of the things my psychologist said during conversation was, “thoughts repeated become beliefs”. Since I was committed to improving my life, I took that tid-bit of information and decided that every night before going to sleep, I would say out loud, “I am happy and I love my life”… hoping that I would one day believe that. I repeated that phrase for about 2 weeks, but it just wasn’t working – I felt like I was lying to myself.

What I then realized (with the help of my lovely psychologist) was that I needed to actually DO things that made me happy which would therefore lead me to love my life. So long story short, I took a short leave from school and work to focus on meditating, reading, drawing, painting, and spending time with family. All the things that made me happy.

Then amazingly, after a 3-4 months of living a self-care lifestyle, I hopped into bed one night and randomly said to myself, “I love my life”. WOAH! Did I just say that?! It turns out, all the things I was doing to make me happy, actually made me happy! I wanted to get out of bed each morning and set goals! I started dreaming big again and was excited for the next chapter of my life! I realized I was fully capable of living an amazing life, and I wanted to get started!

I was ready for step 2 – self-development. [Stay tuned for next week’s blog where I talk about self-development!]

As always, Happy Monday 🙂

PS: Do you want to learn how to stick to your new year’s resolution and stay accountable to your goals? Well consider joining my FREE 10 Day Personal Development program!

With the program you’ll get:

– Three 1:1 coaching sessions with me

– A habit tracker

– Access to my private Facebook community

– Motivation

– The self confidence you’re looking for to make 2019 the year of you!

So if you’re seriously ready to jumpstart the new year, email me at ellasssofia@gmail.com to let me know you’re in! I’ll be in touch asap with all the info!

[Like this post? Then don’t forget to follow my blog by typing in your email below. And consider sharing it with your friends and family on social media!]