Category Archives: Personal Development

Archive of my personal development blogs that allows me to express what is on my mind and record my personal development.

Building Self Esteem: Losing Weight and Gaining Fitness

Long gone are the days when I kept myself active, I was constantly out playing football with friends, running around for hours and it was something that I loved doing. Over time things began to change, football wasn’t being organised the same and for a lengthy period of time I found myself inactive. Looking back I wish I took more action to have done something about that knowing what the past ten years have been like of my life. Things started to go downhill when I turned 22 as being less active, eating unhealthily and drinking occasionally, especially stout, this took its toll. I found my fitness level had dramatically decreased, any time there was football which was few and far between I found myself struggling for breath and began noticing the increase in my weight.

5755877-L-6I had suffered much depression in the past, during and prior to that period in my youth. I never quite understood the true meaning of concentrating on oneself, my self esteem had already taken a battering from the trials and tribulations I went through in the past in my younger years, however at least back then I had strong self belief, back then I could speak confidently of my ability, strengths and weaknesses, as well as my appearance, I felt good about myself in that regard despite the rough times I went through. Losing my fitness was the beginning of something that destroyed a large part of me.

I have great memory of many of my younger days when I went camping and hiking. When I was 18 years old and climbed Ben Nevis in October, 2002 I can remember climbing up Ben Nevis at a relatively quick pace and only began to tire by three quarters the way up, even then I managed to reach the summit with a lot more energy. It would be four years later in 2006 when I climbed Ben Nevis for the second time with friends, I noticed a considerable difference then, I still managed to reach the summit but was struggling at the best of times to catch my breath. Being fair to myself there was one point where two friends took a different route to the summit and myself and a few of my other friends headed back down the mountain path by about 30 odd minutes to see if we could find them, they had walkie talkies so once we found out they were at the summit we turned back up. With that being said however I knew I wasn’t as fit as I once was.
The change in my lifestyle being inactive took its toll on me, I let myself go and the drink didn’t help. I ate unhealthily and was binge drinking alcohol on the occasion with friends, part of me in the back of my mind was not pleased with the direction I went regarding my fitness and wished to do campus
something about it, I never had the same willpower which I wish I did. Too much of my own personal love life or lack thereof was deteriorating my self-confidence and once I lost the fitness and gained the weight it was a long road of endless pain and suffering.

It was around 2007 and 2008 that my weight greatly increased and knew I wasn’t best pleased with myself. Prior to the weight increase the only thing that truly affected me appearance wise was my eye astigmatism, I was never truly confident for that reason when having my picture taken, as my mum once pointed out that my eye wanders when I begin to tire. I always reminded myself however that nobody is perfect and if I stared myself in the mirror I could smile knowing I felt good about my appearance, the weight gain destroyed that in me and only now I’m beginning to turn things around. The weight gain itself took away my confidence to smile when having my picture taken. When I look back I’ve felt that way ever since and that was over 10 years.

My first ex-girlfriend was short lived, she came into my life so fast and was gone so fast after the sexual relationship I had with her, that emotionally destroyed me, part of the saying goes that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone and at that time it certainly lived up to that. My head was all over the place during that time period, part of me felt happy but I was also lost and once she kicked me out of her life it took me a long time to get over that. I never had the strength or belief in myself after that, it was soul destroying because I faced depression many years in the past and that horrible experience took everything out of me, I began to feel truly worthless, I didn’t have the energy nor did it cross my mind about getting myself fit again, at least not to the same level. I believed that time would be the healer but that proved to be a big mistake and one which I wish I could turn back the hands of time and change.

When I look back and realise time is not the only healer I can see a big part of what went wrong and the worst thing I did for so many years was thinking time would take care of itself and instead of truly understanding the meaning of concentrating on oneself to build self-confidence, I never did. I knew I was unhappy with myself but never crossed
IMG_0620my mind as such to properly do anything about it. Part of myself at that point convinced myself that someone would accept me for the way I was and I became too co-dependent without realising what I was doing. I was depending on others for happiness, to feel better about myself and all that led to was disappointment, after disappointment.

A year after the first ex-girlfriend I had a second relationship, this time it lasted a year. I am not proud of the things that happened and I blame having neglected myself for this reason. I tried to at least do some fitness stuff back then but nothing like how I feel today, I was still eating the wrong types of food etc and didn’t have the same willpower. The relationship was on and off and eventually when it came to an abrupt end it tore me apart, I found myself lonely and constantly guilt tripping myself over everything that happened and this really didn’t help the way I thought about myself.

When you go through a long sustaining period of self-doubt you begin to believe everything of it, it became a habit, something I expected like it’s part of me. A recent video I watched made me think and realise that it wasn’t me, that we as human beings can change, we’re not fixated and the only reason I was destined to that was the lack of self esteem.

I always had it in the back of my mind that I wasn’t pleased about how I looked, therefore unsure of myself feeling I wasn’t good enough for anyone whom I liked. Depression and anxiety would take over and cause me to S1050005do and say things I didn’t mean and each time a lassie showed interest in me, my lack of self esteem sadly scared them away. You could imagine what that would have felt like to have that happen persistently over so many years and not feeling good about yourself, you begin to feel debilitated. The neglect I left myself left me with co-dependence on others and convincing myself each time that it was just the wrong person, to have belief there would be someone. This wasn’t the case and only till now have I realised that.

I used to read certain self-help articles and blogs online looking for answers, however I realise a big part of my problem was the inability to stop punishing myself looking into the past. All positive thought of myself was put to the back of my head and disappeared. When I think back to the stuff I read it was a means to try and improve how I felt to give me something, although unaware I wasn’t truly concentrating on myself. Last year alone was debilitating, hurtful, soul destroying and took so much out of me, felt myself constantly crying inside to just end the suffering and finally coming across a lassie I really liked only to have scared her away start of this year, 2017.

Although I still get my sad moments as I am very empathic and negative thoughts try to creep into my head, once I began reading a book called ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ it opened up a whole new world to me, made me question things I hadn’t thought of before. An example of this was when I looked into the past all I saw was pain and hurt, all the negatives that dragged me down and that’s the only thing I thought of the past. However, as one of the tasks I came across it got me thinking back in the past of things which made me feel good about myself and to only think of those things. That completely blew my mind because in the past I neglected all of that by believing I’m not worth it.
One of the things it taught me was that we are goal striving people and made me realise that when I lost direction career wise start of 2012 and felt depressed, I felt better once I began pursuing something I found interesting; I did a test to find something and eventually after trying the travel and tourism thing I pursued TV operations with photography and since then I’WeightLossBeforeAfterve been hooked. Understanding that we’re goal striving people changed my perspective, it made me realise that when we have goals we feel good about yourselves, when that disappears we lose purpose. One question I came across for self-help was to look into the past and think about what things made me feel low about myself, what was it that brought me down.

Something dawned on me, I knew I wasn’t happy at all about my weight and when I began asking myself that question and pin pointing the things that made me feel low about myself, I began properly setting a goal to tackle that problem once and for all. Although I get some flashes in my head of negative thoughts I battle with those thoughts by telling myself they’re not true and this was something I learned to do from the ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ book I had read. Despite that within the course of a month from February 6th, 2017 to this date I have managed to lose a good bit of weight in noticeable difference. I’m still progressing towards my target and feeling better for that already. I wish I could have taught my younger self this years ago, had I understood this back then I perhaps would have been in a different frame of mind and regained fitness a lot quicker.

 

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Cutting Ties: Understanding Self-Worth

The past few months has been very difficult for me and unfortunate as it is to say I’ve had to let some people go from my life out of dignity and self-pride. Someone whom I considered somewhat a friend who insulted me behind my back, disheartens me, whilst I’m on the road to recovery that part of my strength and self-pride is there and I will get stronger. With a build up of misfortune over many years, the disappointments having my self-esteem hammered into the ground the past month was the final straw of putting myself down. There is only so much someone can take and knowing deep down I’m better than what I’ve made myself out to be for so long. I began by targeting something that has made me feel low about myself for a long time and although it is early days I’m beginning to take a lot more pride in myself.

I am a loyal hearted person, a very good hearted person and someone real, genuine and caring and above all else I am not a person to stand back and let anyone run me down, that is not a friend. I sadly lost friends several years ago but I can safely say that I would rather be without than stick around made to feel as if I’m some punch bag or mentally ill. Those who are worth your time are those who truthfully appreciate you for being who you are, they don’t attempt to run you down. However, regardless of what is thought of me as a person I don’t need that in my life to validate my self-worth, I’m far above and beyond that.

Perhaps that has been a problem of mine for so long, not thinking about me, too battered and bruised to think about myself only to allow others to bring me down. I feel this is a turning point in my life and it is sad to say that I had to let some of them go because I’m worth more than that.

Who knows what is in front of me, I cannot predict the future but at least I feel my self-pride returning. If anyone thinks they can use you, speak to you anyway they wish and does not appreciate you genuinely, they’re not good enough to be a part of your life.

Psycho-Cybernetics: Road to Recovery

Having been through countless years of depression a large part of that I can really only blame on myself. I can sit there wishing that my older wiser self could turn back the hands of time and change things, even to tell my younger self what I know now. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and my recent downfall was largely due to my lack of self-esteem by putting myself down thinking negative thoughts that triggered anxiety, only one thing can result from negativity and that is failure.

The past 10 years of my life have perhaps been some of the toughest periods I have gone through, although if there is anything I can take from those bad experiences is that I learned a valuable lesson and experience I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Over that period there were certain things that made me think negatively of myself but never quite had it in me to acknowledge those problems, instead they fell wayside to the back of my mind, perhaps it was a belief that I never felt good enough or I just hadn’t found the right person, although deep down those certain things were niggling away at me at the back of my mind and instead of putting myself first, I put others before me. Subconsciously I never quite realised what I was doing, I was too caught up in feelings to acknowledge it, that feeling when you feel you’re not worthy enough, subconsciously seeking validation of another to make you feel content.

The bad experiences I went through that caused me a lot of hurt and pain caused me grief, not having the ability to see much of the value in myself as others may have, my mind was too over clouded by negative thoughts, I suppose after a while you get used to it and think s1100015that this is just the way things are meant to be, you are aware that you are the problem but you never stop to think of change, subconsciously you’re unaware that you’re not tackling the real problem and that is by setting goals to put straight what has been killing you.

Last year was a very difficult year, it was more or less the final straw of a chapter in my life. Unfortunately I allowed my mind to run rampant and with the slight manipulative behaviour I was facing from that girl I stupidly fell for it, this is what happens when you are vulnerable after so many years and already have self-doubt in your mind. After telling her I liked her to facing rejection on several occasions I tried remaining friends with that person from February, 2016 right up till October, 2016. The friendship came to an abrupt end and all of this because of my depression and anxiety, when I look back and reflect over my behaviour I feel ashamed of myself for having stooped so low, I know that if I had my self-esteem I wouldn’t have given them an inch over me.

In my head the meaning of concentrating on yourself wasn’t clear, I never truly understood, therefore I never had the direction. When you are subconsciously trapped by your negative thoughts and feelings you don’t realise what you are doing. Before the meaning of concentrating on myself was letting time be the healer and just accepting myself for the way I was despite thinking low of myself, the trouble was subconsciously being co-dependent of others validating to lift my self-confidence. This is also something I am very much ashamed of myself for because I pride myself in being someone who stands out from the crowd and speaks my own mind and does my own thing, I guess however when you become vulnerable after so many years of pain you fall short of your potential and end up down that slippery slope.

The end of that friendship last year was something much needed and was somewhat thankful over time that it was over, it was painful for several months but sadly I hadn’t realised that I was falling into the same trap with someone I became friends with and thought she really liked myself. The anxiety stemming from self-doubt and all the negative thoughts sadly led to the demise and sad to say she probably hates myself now,
that was the tipping point, something told me ‘enough is enough, gone through too much it’s time to tackle the roots of this problem and kill it once and for all.’ It is for this reason that despite all the trials and tribulations I have been through I can look on the brighter side and say that if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be as resilient as I am now.

One night I decided to post some random things on Facebook, one relating to my personal issues and a friend from the United States recommended me to a book called ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ by Maxwell Maltz, I was already researching videos on YouTube seeking for answers and reading articles and blog posts on Google like I usually do, a means to try and put an end to the suffering however it didn’t quite give me the answers I was really needing. As soon as my friend recommended the book I immediately went on Amazon UK img_5245and ordered the book for next day delivery. As soon as the book came through the door the next day I immediately sat down and began reading, there was this new spark in me of determination, I suppose because once you’ve went through too much you desperately want to put a stop to it and get to a stage where you can feel great about yourself again.

Having read more than half the book now I can safely say that the book ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ was worth every penny. There were a lot of things of common sense in the book that you perhaps may not have sat and thought about to yourself, but when you read over such things it strikes you and gives you an insight into how your mind works and where you are going wrong. An example of this was the explanation that we have the power to control our minds and the reason we feel the way we do is because of the thoughts in our heads. In other words it is those thoughts that trigger the feelings, not the other way around. Another example of that simple common sense that is explained that really gives you an insight are the thoughts themselves, if they are negative thoughts, who is to say those thoughts are true? In fact most often the case the thoughts and ideas in our heads are merely made up, they’re false, it’s not the reality.

This dawned on me, I sat and thought long and hard about that, I thought about the things I was told but my negative thoughts created a blockade refusing to accept that as truth, instead it built up false images only to cause negative behaviour that triggered negative feelings. Having read a great deal of Psycho-Cybernetics thus far I now find myself battling with those negative thoughts that occasionally prop up and instead of accepting my thoughts as gospel like it’s the truth, that reminder from the book questions those negative thoughts and feelings.

I won’t lie, I still have a hard time sometimes from day to day where the occasional thought may prop up and cause hurt, but it is now down to myself to sit and reframe my mind.

One notable thing I picked up from one of the earliest chapters of the book was a task to think back of periods in the past where I felt good about myself as the positive thoughts trigger good feelings. Also I read somewhere a question of what specific things were that make you feel low about yourself, it wasn’t until I took the time to ask myself that question, grabbed pen and a notebook and began scribbling and listing down those very things, one thing stood out and that was my appearance, not feeling good about my weight that has been a burden on me for the past 10 years. As soon as I identified one of the main problems I put IMG_4783.JPGthe book down and immediately set my mind on my target and that was to get my gym membership and make it my goal to get fit again. I have never felt so determined as I do now including eating healthier foods, cutting out the sugar, eating low calorie foods and watching and limiting my portion sizes.

Is it a coincidence that I gained weight in 2007 and now finally have that determination to get back fit and lose weight in 2017 a whole 10 years later?

My ultimate goal is to reach the stage where I can feel great about myself and say I love myself and instead of wallowing in the past from failures I now feel more determined than ever to bounce back and prove I’m worth of very high value, for that I not only couldn’t recommend that book ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ enough, I have a lot to thank the author as it has given me new light to changing my life. It is also thanks to the many great minds out there on YouTube who have covered specific topics that opened my mind and helped so greatly such as Leo of Actualized.org who has provided amazing content, without all that resource I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Now I am on the road to recovery with every belief I’m bouncing back stronger than ever.

Regaining Self Confidence: Out With the Old In With the New

Throughout my life I have faced many trials and tribulations, everyone faces their problems in life, some more so than others. Through much of my youth I wrongly got hung up on one girl I really liked who didn’t like me back, it was a very difficult thing to handle and I’m sure many people know what it feels like. Unfortunately this would remain the story of my life. If there is one thing I have learned more recently when I look back throughout all the years of those tried and testing times is that time maybe a healer but you mustn’t let that be the only healer. Being young and inexperienced wasn’t so much a bad thing, in fact if it hadn’t been for all the tribulations I had gone through I wouldn’t be as wise as I am today.

Having gone through those years of tribulation in my youth leading up to my late teens the biggest mistake I made was seeking solace in another girl, this unfortunately didn’t go down too well, I was told distance was an issue I let the negativity take over my mind and unfortunately lost it through depression and anxiety. If I could only turn back the hands of time to tell my younger self what I know now I would have saved myself a lot of bother. It was painful to accept because it played on my mind blaming myself, thinking negatively which was tough. At that time being told by others around me “you’ll find someone and when she finds you she’ll be a lucky girl.” I don’t know what to think of that, it’s a nice compliment of course but sometimes I was left questioning that.PDI_0011.JPG

Again, I’m left thinking why on earth did I seek solace by trying to find another? Unfortunately I was left vulnerable after all that, one girl played on that, showed a great deal of interest in me, or so I thought, I sat thinking ‘finally someone likes me for who I am as a person’ only to have my world crash down before me a year later discovering that to her it was all one big joke. At least the previous girl had the moral decency to tell me straight and honestly of her situation. The actions of that one girl left me hurt and somewhat angry as all she could do was laugh it off.

Time was certainly a healer, it took me time to get over that of the past, I was in my late teens and perhaps this was the only rest bite I had. I had gotten over those of the past and there was the certain feeling of emptiness and perhaps loneliness, although I knew one thing for sure, I was happier than where I was.

I was always a very active person, out playing football at every given opportunity with friends, doing things I enjoyed and that short period of my life was perhaps the opportune moment to change my life, although from that experience the loneliness got the better of myself. There was always the constant reminder of ‘so and so’ in a relationship, I always thought “what is it about them that makes them so special and what is wrong with me?” Strangely enough I asked myself that question because when I looked in the mirror that small part of me had strong self assurance of my character, I knew my strengths and weaknesses and was able to speak pridefully of it genuinely despite what I had been through and only till after leaving school had I began to change appearance and felt good about the way I look.

Time should not be the only healer and although I still had a certain level of self-assurance and confidence in me it wasn’t enough as the past experiences left me with distrust and a certain level of self-doubt. In 2003 I fell for someone whom I could never have, no different to the times before left lying in my own bed crying my heart out wishing for all the pain and thoughts to disappear. I always quietly prayed to God to put an end to all of what went through my head, but now when I think about it, if it had not been for what I went through I wouldn’t be as wise as I am today. I felt 2003 was one of the hardest times

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Prior to 2006.

in my life because I felt it was a never ending cycle and the constant reminders of her didn’t help me in the slightest. Back then I had flashes in my head of wanting to kill myself, taking a knife to my own throat or hanging myself, but the other side of me knowing I’m a fighter I refused to give in.

I was not knowledgeable but kept the belief within me that it was just my misfortune and kept the belief that I would eventually find someone. As you will see there is a repetition, I could sit and sulk and blame myself for it but I rise above it. It was around this time my head started to wander, dreams that perhaps my love interest maybe elsewhere in this world, always had admiration for foreign girls, especially American. The hope I had was unrealistic, one whom I thought liked me I fell for, but my mind wasn’t all there, she lived across the other end of the world in Washington state and then shortly thereafter once having gotten over that I fell for another American from Ohio. My fault was letting my imagination run wild and unable to see the bigger picture that she was unfortunately the other end of the world and was all wishful thinking that it just wasn’t to be. The close chance of meeting her in person with the hope of making things go somewhere I began to realise these unrealistic chances aren’t healthy.

In 2007 at the age of 23 I began to put on weight and this badly affected me and my self-confidence. I guess after so many years of pain and disappointment you begin to lose faith and hope. I eventually got over that and finally came across someone who took great interest in me, someone I would wake up smiling knowing I had someone I liked and into a relationship. Everything happened so fast and was a sexual relationship, however it came to an end over something stupid online over an argument. When she left me it devastated me and it took me a long time to get over her. The saying goes ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ remains so true.

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December 30, 2006.

My self-confidence crashed through the roof, felt so low about myself and I would argue 2007 was the beginning of what really beat me down. A year after the breakup I met someone else interested in me, the belief that my life and luck was beginning to change but that unfortunately was not the case.

I entered a relationship with the girl I met however it was sadly an on off relationship due to her lack of trust, she herself faced too many problems in life from suffering bipolar depression, anorexia and post traumatic stress disorder from an ex who raped her, I didn’t realise how tough things would be. One thing I can take pride from is the good in my heart, she was 6 stone 7 pounds when I first met her, her doctor, friends and family over 10 years couldn’t get her above 7 stone and with the 1 year I was with her I managed to get her to 9 stone just through showing her care and love. It was very difficult when the relationship finally drew to an end and left with floods of tears and depression not only for my fear of what she may do to herself and blame myself for that, but it was the end of a relationship and chance of me settling with someone I loved.

I could go on about the years afterward such as the one girl I became friends with who I admired and respected but thought nothing other than friends whom I met through a documentary film we were both in ‘We Are Northern Lights’, but I lost the plot and when she blocked me it was a cold hard reminder of my past, this was sadly to repeat itself a few times more and sadly the one girl whom I liked was from another country who was heavily interested in me, the problem being, she couldn’t accept me for being who I am, I wanted her to so badly.

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Last year was the tipping point, the end of a chapter in my life that led to destruction. If I had my self-confidence I would have removed her from my life with ease, but instead having been manipulated and led on to believe of her interest, as soon as the rejection began I should’ve ended the friendship there, I sadly never and it led to months of nothing other than torture. I sit here thinking ‘why did I do that to myself?’ Then again I wasn’t in the same mindset.

After all those years of doubt, I am sad to say that the following girl I met end of last year at meetings turned resentful of me and blocked me from her life all because of my own anxiety and depression that allowed negative thoughts to destroy at least the friendship I had with her. If only I took the action after the months of torture to begin concentrating on myself things were too sudden with the girl I met recently whom I thought liked me in

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October 13, 2015

some way, I was vulnerable and only have myself to blame.

After losing contact with that person I was growing friendship with whom I really liked I decided enough was enough, there has been too much I’ve let myself down and for too many years now, I lost a large part of my self-confidence when I gained weight in 2007 and only till now 10 years onward that I finally feel driven to put an end to it all and finally lift myself back up to the stage where I feel great about myself again.

I began reading a book a friend recommended to me from the United States called Psycho-Cybernetics, much of which I will cover separately for another post, but the little things I picked up on it began to make sense to me, to realise the power we have over our mind. As I mentioned, time cannot be the only healer, I now know the true meaning of what it means to properly concentrate on yourself and without realising it before hand things were muddy, my mind wasn’t so clear. What I can say is, when you look back into your past and target what exactly it is that makes you feel down about yourself, it is then when you set goals to put an end to it you feel resilient and that is precisely what I aim to achieve this year getting my fitness levels back to where I should be to be able to feel content with myself again.

I could sit and wallow over all the trials and tribulations of my past or I can stand and fight and prove, not to others but myself that I am worth it, maybe, just maybe then my life will change dramatically.