after all, the best investment you can make is in fact in yourself!! This is an idea that seems like it should be commonsense but for whatever reason it is something that took me until really this past year to understand. I wanted to write about this today because I just returned from a long weekend away in Savannah, GA where I was attending a leadership conference. I have been thinking a lot about how to become a better version of myself after having put so much effort into improving my health and wellness it seemed time to try to better myself in other areas as well.
First of all, if you have never been to Savannah, do yourself a favor and GO! While I had passed through it a few times before, this was the fist time I had some time to stop and see some of the city. Not only is it a beautiful place where it almost feels like you step back in to history when you arrive, but the southern hospitality is alive and well in it’s residents! Everyone was very polite, welcoming and the over all feel was just pleasant. Now coming from the Northeast (DC area) the south in itself always seems like a much calmer more laid back place to me but Savannah really was amazing. The food was unbelievable as well (check out some pics below)!
Back to the reason I was actually in Savannah, I attended a 2-day, pretty intensive, leadership conference that basically focused on how to become an authentic leader. I was a little skeptical going in, as I have always sort of felt that leaders are more or less just born to lead and have a certain personality that allows them to rise to the top. I also, truth be told, have never really thought of myself as a leader. I always have felt more like I naturally fell into the work horse sort of role, not the captain of the ship if you will. I told myself this year though that I would try to push myself out of my comfort zone every chance I got and this conference certainly provided me that chance. I have wanted to work on my ability to lead and mentor/coach people ever since I started on this journey mostly because I have made my life so much better just by making small changes that I want to pay it forward and help other people do the same if possible!
So I marched myself right on in to that conference and told myself I would participate fully and get everything out of it I possibly could. Wow, you guys, I am so happy I did! There were many points over the two days when I was uncomfortable, whether it be speaking in front of the group, or sharing parts of my life with complete strangers that I had not shared with too many other people like EVER! At the end of it, though, I walked away with a greater understanding of myself, why I have the leadership style I do, how to use both my strengths and weaknesses to be better and on top of all that a bunch of new friends who I have no doubt I will stay in touch with! In short, I am really happy I made myself do it!
Personal development is something that I am now starting to really embrace. I know I know, I am probably a little late to the game, but hey better late than never right?? I have always been someone who really enjoys learning. I was one of those kids that couldn’t wait to go back to school shopping for all the pencils, pens and notebooks (yep, I am geeky like that!) and still as an adult would go back to school for fun it if wasn’t so dang expensive! But up until very recently I didn’t put enough stock into the importance of continuing to develop myself as a human being. While I have long since graduated high school and college, for as long as we are on this earth we all continue to be students in the school of life, don’t we?
Becoming the best version of myself shouldn’t just stop at getting physically fit or achieving the body type I am working toward but should really include making sure I am emotionally, mentally, intellectually and even spiritually healthy as well. I want to develop my whole self and then be able to give back as much as I can through sharing my experiences. Part of the reason I started this blog was in hopes it would help even just one other person who may have been in the same position I was 8 or 9 months ago.
I am constantly amazed at how many positive changes have come about in my own life since starting on this journey and I like I mentioned earlier they really have come about due to very minor changes I made in the beginning. I know for sure that had I not decided I needed to get myself in better physical shape all those months ago I would not be here today talking about a leadership conference I just attended. This desire to better other parts of my life directly stems from seeing the positive changes happening to my body and overall health. It’s incredible to me how much more I value myself now that I am on this journey, and I have even learned that this is not a selfish thing! Working on yourself to become a better version of you can benefit everyone in the world around you. Becoming a more whole person to me means there is more of me to give in a positive way. I am more motivated, harder working, have more energy and focus to put into both my professional and personal life and I have to think I am just a more pleasant/positive person to be around!
I truly think in striving to work on myself as a person I have gained a greater understanding of the world around me as well. I have become less self-centered and more aware of how my actions and energy affect everyone I encounter. I have a renewed sense of motivation each day when I wake up and am eager to figure out how to translate that into being a positive force in the world. The world needs all the positivity it can get, especially right now. I am hoping that by continuing on this journey I can contribute my share in some small way.
Pics from Savannah below….enjoy and Happy Friday y’all!!!