Friday, 8 January 2016

The Best Damn Self-Improvement Websites You'll Ever Need

Friday, 8 January 2016

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self" -Ernest Hemingway

A late night this month of January, I began to think about the past. Let's say, around two or three years ago when I had just started going back to college evening classes. For those who don't know, I had previously dropped out when I was 17 for a variety of reasons, the major one being depression. And the reason I started thinking about this time of my life was because I had found myself repeating some of my old destructive patterns and bad habits.

When I dropped out of college and gave up on the idea of university, I slipped into a deep, dark depression that I had to pull myself out of by the tooth and nail. It was the most challenging era of my life to date, but I made it. 
I decided to make things better for myself by taking control. I focused on self-improvement and taught myself many useful things just by researching and reading up on a variety of articles online, all related to improving yourself, your confidence, and your life.

I really put my all into it. It's why I started this blog, to push myself to do something I never thought I had a chance at. I worked hard, and worked hard at maintaining a positive attitude - in everything. I decided to consider trying my hand at getting into university again. I gave college another go. 

And I'm so glad I did. Because now, I'm finally here.

However, that's not to say it's been a smooth-sailing ride the whole time. Unfortunately I've found myself repeating some of my old mistakes: those of self-loathing, low self-esteem etc. Due to many different circumstances that life threw at me, and what life tends to do to all of us, I lost my way slightly. I lost sight of my long-term goals and why I was doing all of this to begin with. I let my difficulties and stress with workloads at university and the build-up to university get to my head and tell me things like:

"I'm not good enough"
"I'm not smart enough"
"I'm not talented enough".

Family conflicts, temporary failures, relationships, friendships and fall outs: things happen. Unforeseen things happen to us all, that can cause us to fall off track from time to time.

But, that's normal. And it's okay. 

The problem lies in when we let what happens to us (or the mistakes we make), keep us down. That's exactly what happened to me. 
Over the past year, I stopped caring about my fitness and health. I drank perhaps a bit too much trying to fill in voids in my life, and escape from my thoughts. I started relying on other people to validate my feelings of worthiness. My confidence became almost non-existent. I started to hate who I was and how I looked. I started to really believe that I did not have the abilities or talent to follow my dreams and do what I want to do. My work at university suffered as a result, as I've been less motivated and more distracted. I've shifted in and out of jobs feeling unsatisfied with most of them. I've had to deal with the reality of having little to no money, and having to rely on others for support. 
And you can bet that I've been beating myself up every day since, thinking, "what is wrong with me?".

When I was doing well, I was doing great. After I eliminated my first, and worst, bout of depression, I started taking care of myself. I started going running. I didn't let setbacks and rejections from jobs get me down for too long. I ended up staying in the same job for over a year and being happy there for the most part. I signed up for a gym membership and actually went, almost daily. I blogged every day and networked, making friends in the process. I was getting excellent feedback in college: all A's in my work for the first year. I started developing my interests, learning how to code and made an attempt at baking. I started to like myself more. I felt more confident with who I was and my appearance. I beat my eating disorder. I still had to deal with feelings of loneliness, but I dealt with it in the most productive ways: using my time alone to better myself. I broke most of my bad habits. I stopped sleeping in until 4 pm and developed a relatively normal sleeping pattern. I started waking up earlier and feeling more refreshed every day. My shyness when interacting with others diminished considerably. I was organised. I completed work as soon as I was assigned it and was never last-minute with deadlines. I taught myself efficient time-management. I stopped procrastinating and fixating on perfectionism. Despite my impulsive spending tendencies, I was more or less financially stable. I became a version of myself that I liked. 

I know she's still there somewhere; she just needs reviving!

Obviously, I didn't achieve all of these things overnight, and it was far from easy. 
I had to start from scratch and teach myself the basics. Over the course of  time I found some amazingly insightful and helpful tips, as well as inspiring stories. I added the ones I loved to a bookmark folder called 'Life Tips'. When I made this, I knew in my gut I was keeping them for a reason and that they would come in handy someday. Now I need them more than ever, and I am going to read them religiously over the next few months. I'm going to apply what I learnt once again, and develop the positive state of mind I lost a long time ago.

I do believe that things happen for a reason, and all of what's happened has maintained a purpose. Even if that purpose is unclear to me right now, sometimes we all need a wake-up call to make necessary changes to our life. And I strongly believe this is mine.

So, here is the list of websites I found particularly special. I won't add any descriptions, just to encourage you to at least click on them and see for yourself, but you can pick and choose for whatever you need help with in your life at this moment in time and you can use the categories to navigate to your particular interest. Or you can start from the beginning and work your way through. 

Note: Some of the titles may sound similar, but the articles can very in content and quality. So be sure to find the ones most suitable to you.

Good luck!

Tackling Depression & Cultivating Happiness
  1. 100 Things To Do When You're Upset
  2. 7 Common Habits of Unhappy People
  3. 39 Ways To Live And Not Merely Exist
  4. Personal Goals For A Happy Life
  5. 3 Tips For Dealing With A Really Lousy Day
  6. 7 Tips For Making You Happier In The Next Hour
  7. Quotes About Letting Go
  8. 6 Practical And Powerful Ways To Overcome Depression
  9. Depression Do's & Dont's
  10. Make The Decision To Be Happy
  11. Happiness Is Simple: Why Too Many Choices Make Us Miserable & 5 Ways To Improve Your Life
  12. 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity
  13. 10 Things You Need To Stop Doing Today To Be Happier
  14. How To Stop Obsessing Over Things You Want
  15. 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy
  16. How To Find Happiness Within Yourself
  17. 20 Things Happy People Do Everyday
  18. Simple Technique To Control Your Thoughts
  19. The Power Of Letting Go
  20. Stop Feeling Sad (For No Reason)
  21. How To Feel Better When You're Depressed
  22. 10 Tools For Instant Happiness
  23. Depression Self-Help Guide
  24. Can You Heal Yourself With Your Thoughts?
  25. Changing Core Beliefs
  26. How To Stop The Negative Voice In Our Heads
  27. Positive Thinking
  28. 10 All Natural Ways To Stop Feeling Depressed
  29. 75 Simple Ways To Brighten Your Day
  30. It's All About Perspective: Ways To Turn A Negative Into A Positive
  31. MoodGym
  32. How To Turn Off Negative Thoughts
  33. I do not define myself by...
  34. How To Stop Negative Self-Talk
  35. 22 Things Happy People Do Differently
  36. 4 Shortcuts To Happiness That Actually Work
  37. The 21-Day Smile Diet
  38. 15 Common Cognitive Distortions
  39. Four Steps To Be More Carefree & Happy In The New Year
  40. 10 Tips To Let Go Of The Past & Embrace The Future

Relationships & Social Life
  1. How To Let Go Of A Past Relationship: 10 Steps To Move On Peacefully
  2. 7 Tips To Overcome The Fear Of Rejection
  3. How To Use Loneliness As Your Guide
  4. How To Deal With Loneliness 
  5. How To Break Approval-Seeking Habits
  6. Attracting Love
  7. You Are Lovable Whether You Are In A Relationship Or Not
  8. How To Deal With Rejection
  9. Want To Make Friends? Eight Tips For Making Yourself More Likable
  10. Choose Your Battles: Fighting Less In Relationships
  11. Relationships That Hurt: When Enough Is Enough
  12. After A Break-Up
  13. 6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal
  14. Attracting Positive People In Your Life
  15. Releasing Resentment & Healing
  16. Set The Standard
Anxiety & Stress

  1. How To Stop Worrying & Start Living
  2. 5 Anti-Stress Relaxation Techniques
  3. Eliminating Excessive Worry
  4. How To Enjoy A Lazy Day
  5. How To Relax All Day
  6. Mindfulness Exercises & Techniques That Work

Productivity & Life Improvement
  1. A Walk On The Beach
  2. 7 Ways To Spring Clean Yourself
  3. 100 Tips To Improve Your Life
  4. How To Motivate Yourself
  5. 50 Habits Of Highly Successful People
  6. 100 Things To Do Instead Of Procrastinating On The Internet
  7. 22 Reasons To Never Give Up
  8. The Starting Point For A Better Life
  9. Goal-Setting Success: Setting Goals So You Actually Accomplish Them
  10. Get It Done, Girl! Lessons Learned From Daddy Darling
  11. How To Manifest The Life You Want
  12. 5 Ways To Live The Life You Want
  13. Are You Ready To Discover Your True Meaning In Life?
  14. Living In The World You Want: Creating Your Own Subjective Reality
  15. An 18-Minute Plan For Managing Time
  16. The Simple Way To Really Get Things Done
  17. 9 Tips To Help You Overcome Tired Feelings When Chasing Your Dreams/Working
  18. Motivation Tips
  19. Better Sleep & A Bigger Smile: These 10 Apps Will Change Your Life
  20. 30 Accomplishments To Be Proud Of
  21. What 10 Things Should You Do Everyday To Improve Your Life?
  22. How To Figure Out What To Do With Your Life
  23. Hassle Me
  24. 20 Life Lessons A Wise Man Would Share
  25. How To Deal With Procrastination
  26. 6 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose
  27. 20 Instructions For Life
  28. The Law Of Attraction
  29. 30 Challenges For 30 Days
  30. 50 Life Secrets & Tips

Self-Image & Confidence
  1. 10 Ways To Instantly Build Self-Confidence
  2. Tips To Make A Good First Impression
  3. 63 Ways To Build Self-Confidence
  4. Life's Enough: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
  5. How To Build Self-Confidence: 6 Essential And Timeless Tips
  6. Self-Esteem
  7. 10 Affirmations To Boost Your Self-Esteem
  8. How To Be Confident
  9. 10 Ways To Feel Better About Your Body
  10. How To Overcome Shyness With Emotional Autosuggestion
  11. Overcoming Jealousy
  12. Overcoming Insecurity & Low Self-Esteem
  13. 7 Techniques For Overcoming Social Phobia
  14. How To Stop Worrying What Other People Think
  15. The Pressure To Be Perfect: Accepting Yourself And Your Life
  16. 20 Ways To Overcome Shyness
  17. Love Yourself: The 90/10 Principle
  18. The Secret To Self-Loving
  19. 13 Tips To Building Self-Esteem
  20. How To Come To Terms With Feeling Ugly
  21. Another inspiring quote
  22. Qualities Of An Attractive Personality
  23. How To Keep Loving Yourself No Matter What You Weigh

So there you have it! There is plenty here to read in just one sitting so feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you're ready to read the next article and visit the next website :-)

Again, I wish you the best of luck in your self-improvement journey. Go forth and do us proud because we are all in this together! xo

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