Saturday, 5 June 2021

Self-development will take you places nothing else can, it can also save your life | Editor's Letter



The first time someone looked me dead in the eye and told me through their caring gaze that I desperately needed to work on my self-development was my therapist.

At first, I wanted to do a Pablo Escobar and turn that room upside down. I could sense she saw the rage behind my eyes at her blunt, yet much-needed remark of my character and at the time, my ego couldn't take it.

However, she was right. There was no argument or debate to be had so I let the temper dim from my eyes and nodded in agreement. 

She quizzed me on the woman I dream of becoming, the life I want to live and then she asked if my current patterns and behaviours would get me there. I shamefully answered no to every question after that and it hit me, I had to do a 360 and set 98% of myself on fire to make way for who I want to be and who I truly am.

Many conversations with my therapist regarding suicide made me realise, I didn't actually want to die. I just wanted to kill off parts of me. So we did, together and now I do it alone and alive. 

However, that's a terrifying realisation and a lot of work to do, and it is exactly why so many people choose to stay in comfort zones - not doing anything they're scared to do, but knowing deep down it's worth it (intuition, but we will get to that later this month). 

It is also why we must be kind to those who didn't feel strong enough to carry on. You can not judge unless you yourself have been there and you will never ever be able to be in their exact state of mind so start listening to people, start bigging them up, start reminding them how they're not alone.

While sitting in her exquisite yet unapologetically uncomfortable chair during that intense and awkward conversation two things were going through my mind: 1, 'That sounds like too much work just carry on in your comforts nothing matters', and 2, 'You will live every day with regret if you don't do this now for you'.

That first of many discussions was just over three years ago and I have never given up on myself since - and believe me, I've wanted to countless times.

The prime reason for keeping going is because I took my therapists advice and I worked on my self-development like my life depended on it because it did and always will. 

I was at the other end of the tunnel, I couldn't see any light anymore until that light bulb moment switched in my head. It's me, I'm the root of a lot of my problems and therefore, I can solve it all if I just do the work for my sake.  

So, after a decade of depression, I booked in countless sessions to learn all the skills, ordered every book I could get my little hands on and I truly hoped that I could indeed, save myself from myself.

Because that's what self-development is, that's why it's so important and that's why I feel it's such a must that I and the team spend the whole of June talking about it.

It's not about vanity, getting hotter or even increasing your income, it is about being happy with yourself and your world because you do create it.

Therefore self-development can save your damn life.

Working on yourself so you can become stronger, smarter, healthier, happier, is what will stop the repeated toxic habits we all fall victim to. 

During the last three years, I've changed my mindset, lost a lot of weight sure, started a business, increased everything from my income to the quality of my relationships etc but most importantly the journey of character development has well and truly turned me into a warrior against my own mental health.

I've been open before in Editor's Letters that I suffer from intense intrusive thoughts (towards myself, the curse of a deep-thinker, aye) and an eating disorder and its self-development work which has kept me here today through those wars and continues to do so.

You see, once you start working on it, you gather up a little toolbox of knowledge and tricks to better yourself and therefore, you start to learn how to shift the negative thoughts - a toolbox you have with you at all times in your mind. 

After a while, that box becomes a crate in your brain, then two, then three and before you know it your mind is an extensive library full of tools that you can use in battle at your leisure.

Self-development, it's a journey worth taking. Ignore anyone who tells you it's a load of crap, they're stuck in a negative mindset and this means, they're speaking from it...

The thing is, and from what I have gathered from my research on this conversation, people get turned off from the conversation (like I almost did) down to the sheer fact it sounds bloody terrifying and too good to be true.

For some people, it's the agonising realisation that you have to change almost everything about yourself. You have to unlearn everything and start again, that's scary as fuck and I will never blame or look down at anyone who does not feel strong enough to take this road.

I've personally wanted to get out of this lane of development many times because it is constantly working progress it's hard, nonetheless, I've been in the slow lane and that nearly killed me, the fast lane has only ever kept me alive.

Because I won't ever bullshit you here, it's not fucking easy but it's worth it. The rewards and self-gratification will keep your spirit present happy and alive - even if just by doing very small things at first.

I promise you, as soon as you put your foot down on the gas, as soon as you start doing it for yourself and to help/save yourself the game changes. No comparing to others. Just you v you. Today v yesterday. 

But it's where to start, right? Not everyone can afford therapy (which is wrongly still a luxury in our bizarre society) so where do you even begin?

You begin by getting into a self-belief mindset. 

In this mindset, you believe you can do things so if you don't already believe in yourself, this is why you likely get thrown off when you don't see fast results - it's the belief in yourself that keeps you going until you get/see results.

Sadly you will never see rapid results while working on yourself as it does take time and patience, that time is going to pass regardless so stay patient with yourself.

By the end of June we promise you, VavaViolet Magazine will have you believing you can do this as we have an array of content to get you into 1, a positive mindset, 2, a self-belief mindset and 3, a motivated state of consciousness fuelled by the lessons of discipline etc.

And then, well, then you will have a crate of tools to play with...



Written by VavaViolet's Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Sophie Blackman


PS: Me again, hey, I just want to add while following our articles will teach you a thing or two, it's important to remember we are not experts - we are journalists and writers writing from our own emotional intelligence and experiences. With the occasional expert taking over for us. Nonetheless, if you are seriously struggling with your mental health please do speak to a professional about your individual needs. Below are some hotlines if you don't know where to start. I've called them before and it helped promise. There's no shame in needing help.

Samaritans open 24 hours, call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org


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