Be Challenged, Be Empowered, Blog

Love Your Neighbor, Change Yourself

This is a blog about personal development, if you don’t know, now you know. A site designed to hold articles and ideas that will help you to feel the power that you have to make positive changes in your life, and go after your goals. There are those who hear the terms “personal development” and “self-improvement” and equate them with pride, self-centeredness and entirely too much time spent on yourself. It’s easy to feel that way. This journey of growth is one that necessarily emphasizes and requires a significant amount of personal work and focus. However, this focus on self doesn’t end there.

From all of the research I have done, the books I’ve read, seminars I’ve attended, people I’ve met, teachers who’ve taught me and my personal experience, personal growth is as much a benefit to others as it is to the person doing it. This isn’t only when your goals are to become more patient with your kids and more caring toward your friends, all facets of your growth positively benefit others.

  • Dreaming big dreams inspires others to do the same.

You have considered your future and decided that facets of your life could be better, and that this improvement is worth the work that you have to put in to achieve it. That belief is not universal and many struggle to see that their lives could be different. When you believe in the possibility of a better situation, those around you begin to consider their own futures. Most of us lost our “anything is possible” belief sometime after we started school, and we need the people in our lives to remind us that it’s true. We think all sorts of things are impossible; losing weight with our genetics, eating healthy on our budget and time frame, travelling with a family, running faster, making more money, finding a partner. When others in our lives achieve these things, and even just start working in that direction, we begin to see the possibilities of our own lives.

  • Embracing your worth shows others that they are also worthy.

The average person in your life does not believe that they are worthy of having a great life. They might think that they deserve a pretty good life. That scraping by and “doing ok” are the best that they can do. The fact that you are living in a way that illustrates your high value of yourself and your belief that a wonderful, fulfilled, happy life is something that you can and should obtain challenges others to assess their own beliefs and worth. The respect you have for yourself, your body, your time and your attention encourages others to increase these things in themselves.

  • People who go after their goals inspire others.

I don’t care if it’s a movie of courageous and motivated characters, reading the story of a determined conqueror in a newspaper or one of those Visa commercials that plays during the Olympics, working against challenges to achieve an incredible goal is inspirational. We get choked up, the strength of the person becomes our own, we feel like we too could do anything! How much more true this is in real life!

A friend of mine runs a small business out of her home. In spite of the cost, the people who thought she was crazy, the people who honestly laughed at her for thinking that she could be successful, through challenges and a huge learning curve, she has persisted. She now runs a national company, with customers all over the country and she does it all from her own living room. Every time I talk with her about this endeavor I am inspired and motivated to continue on in my own goals.
We are naturally inspired by the people we see setting amazing goals for themselves and pursuing those goals! The things you do to work toward your goal become an example to others. Your discipline becomes a model. Your constant efforts shows others tenacity.

  • Working on yourself gives you the power to help others.

Let’s face it, there are some rough people in this world. Some angry, hurt, frustrating, hurtful people who would like nothing better than to pull us down to their level. Spread the misery around. The natural human reaction to these folks is to give back what they’re dishing out. Someone raises their voice at you? We want to yell back. You get cut off in traffic, we want to swerve around and edge them out of the lane. Disrespect begets disrespect. We get hurt, we want to hurt back.

One of the things that we are constantly talking about here at Audacious, is how to address those useless feelings and turn them around. As much as this is for you, to keep you from spending your days a miserable mess, developing skills to regulate emotions and decide on a different path has a huge impact on the world in which we live.

What happens to all those people when they’re angry and yelling and respond with calm compassion? Where does the hurt go when people say rude things to us, or attempt to offend, and we reply with kindness and understanding? I’m not naïve enough to think that those negative emotions just dry up and disappear, but neither do they continue. Developing your ability to manage the negativity and challenge of others equips you to help them to see that there is another way.

  • The only way to change someone else is to change yourself.

We all have those people in our lives that we would like to be able to change. The coworkers who bother us, the significant others who never seem to do what we need them to, family members who we struggle to be near without wanting to fight. The relationships that get strained, when we just wish the other person would get what’s going on and act differently. As much as we wish that our requests would be heeded, and the behaviors would change, changing someone else’s character is impossible unless you first change your own approach to the situation.

Building empathy allows you to understand the other person’s situation and expectations. Increasing your patience gives you the power to adjust your initial reaction and approach with a different attitude. If you want to change someone’s behavior to you, change your reaction to them. In order to change that reaction, you have to be working on developing your own strength and emotional intelligence.


 “A rising tide raises all ships”


The world, your world, will not get better on its own. Your world will improve only when its people improve. And you are one of its people…

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