Saturday, March 17, 2012

How Personal Development Saved My Life

Cover of "Think and Grow Rich, Original 1...Cover via AmazonBy Liz C Bradshaw

Ten years ago I was pregnant with my daughter, working as a receptionist in a center for disabled adults and children and married to an alcoholic.

We lived in Phoenix, Arizona, thousands of miles from my family, my friends and all the familiar comforts of my home in North Carolina. That made it easy to know I wanted more out of my life, but how I could make that happen felt impossible.

Now, as I find myself far along my journey of personal development, I can reflect upon all I have learned, the people and places that affected me along the way, and how I can build upon my past to continue moving forward.

Not long after the birth of my daughter, my husband at the time attended a seminar about becoming financially independent while working from home. Never before had I seen such excitement in his eyes when he came home that night.

He explained how he would work for the company as an independent contractor selling personal development tools. Some of the leading salesmen were averaging $50,000 a month recruiting others and selling their products. While we were both enticed by the income possibilities, I was also intrigued with the products. I wanted to know more about this personal development stuff, and how could it teach me to be successful and get everything I want out of life?

It was through this business opportunity that I was introduced to Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich. I had never heard of it but everyone said it was a must read, so I dove right in.

Reading that book was a pivotal event in my life, changing my pattern of thinking for the better. I truly believe this book is not only for the entrepreneurial minded individual who is involved in sales and/or coaching, but people who want to improve their lives and be empowered to believe that anything is possible if you just don't give up!

Life was no less challenging as the months passed. I was raising a baby and struggling to be a good wife to a man who dealt with his demons by tipping the bottle on a nightly basis instead of studying the personal development tools that he so aggressively pushed on his prospects.

He lacked the desire and the will power to make the necessary changes in his life in order to be successful and as a result, the business opportunity he so eagerly went after flopped. I mentally returned to Hill's book on a continual basis and knew that something better was in store for me if I just hung in there and believed that I deserved better.

By the time my daughter turned one I knew that my marriage would not last much longer. I could not endure the emotional and psychological abuse and decided to return to North Carolina to be closer to my family for the support I knew I would need for what proved to be a difficult and emotionally draining divorce.

Fast forward several years and my husband and I are divorced. Though I was glad to be free of my toxic marriage, I recall being in a state of despair and Googled something like "What can I do with my life?"

That single keyword search brought me to the website of personal development guru Steve Pavlina. Steve, after landing in jail charged with felony grand theft, knew that he had to change his life or he was going down fast. Thus began his journey of personal development.

While I did not agree with everything that Steve subscribed to, I studied him diligently, reading all of his articles and rebooting my own journey of self-improvement after neglecting it over the years when I needed it the most. That was five years ago and I have come so far since those days.

Applying the personal development tools I learned helped me get through some dark times in my life: dealing with PTSD after my ex-husband assaulted me in front of our daughter and her sister; trying to come to terms with the fact that he will never change; losing several jobs in a bad economy; being a single parent and having to pay a mortgage on unemployment with no child support. I could go on, but for brevity's sake I won't.

I don't know where I would be today if I had not stumbled upon Steve's blog. I learned about the Law of Attraction, limiting beliefs, how to find your life purpose and so much more.

I used the Law of Attraction to figure out exactly what I wanted in a partner and attracted my best friend, who is now my husband. I sometimes wonder how I got so lucky. Then I remember everything I have been through in the past decade, and all my work studying personal development. I realize the universe did exactly what it was supposed to: it gave me what I asked for!

I continue to study personal development on a daily basis. I love learning new skills and strategies for making my life better. Where I am far from perfect, I also understand that life is about the journey. I want to make the ride as smooth as possible and grab every moment that I have on this earth with a passion!

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