Learning to “invest in myself” Part One

Recently, I was chatting with my friend Alex, and I mentioned that since leaving full-time university, for the first time, I’ve had time to reflect on myself and my personal development. As a full time student, I had been too busy to think about me, but now, circumstances allow me to review how I have developed as a thirty-six year old adult. I told Alex that I’m now busy ‘investing in myself.’ He asked, “So, how do you do that?” So, to answer his question, I’m writing this blog. I think sharing my experience will be useful to others too. Perhaps you can identify both with my struggle and methods to regain self confidence.

In 2016, I went through two experiences which led to a tipping point and prompted me to re-evaluate myself. Firstly, I went through intense isolation when I moved from Canada to S. Korea. I missed my friends in Canada and family in England, and found it challenging making new friends. Instead of seeking out new friends, I largely wallowed in loneliness.

Additionally, I found myself entangled in the most unhealthy romantic situation of my adult life. Due to some complexities, I couldn’t simply walk away from him. I allowed the situation to cause me excruciating emotional pain. Each day ground me down. I developed trouble sleeping, and for the first time, developed chest pains. I wondered if I was close to some kind of anxiety attack. I became a shell of the positive, funny and vivacious and person I’ve always been. I felt that happiness had been sucked out of my life! My close friends were incredibly worried, so something needed to change. I had to adapt to my new home and recover my self esteem asap.

As I began going through the process of loneliness as well as anxiety about my new romance, I began to watch vlogs on YouTube posted by an American fella based in Seattle called Clark Kegley (https://youtu.be/rh6MflkPPjQ). His blogs reach out to men in their twenties who want to improve themselves. Kegley focuses on two major themes: how to use journal writing to monitor your progress and reach for goals, as well as presentations reviewing books by authors like Tim Ferriss, Nathaniel Branden, Dale Carnegie, and Anthony Robbins to name a few. Kegley introduces many concepts in a manner easy to digest.

Through Kegley, I learned about Californian, Tony Robbins (https://youtu.be/IcSIzYIKAVo), and began listening to his live-recorded seminars. Many of the concepts that I will later talk about in Part Two, I heard from Tony Robbins. I’ve listened to hours of his seminars, particularly during my morning routines starting my day. Robbins helped me to rethink how I manage my own behaviour and take responsibility for my emotions, reactions, general happiness and the direction of where my life is headed. Listening to his seminars has been invaluable in equipping myself with knowledge about the psychology of human behaviour and understanding what I, and others, do, often without realizing.

Scrolling though Robbins’ YouTube videos, I discovered a fella called Evan Carmichael (https://youtu.be/uXfMe50bxuM). Carmichael produces frequent blogs that focus on building success by extracting pearls of wisdom from successful entrepreneurs, actors, famous personalities and so on, by compiling clips from interviews. This is akin to what Tony Robbins reported that he did prior to becoming a recognized lifestyle coach. That is, reading and learning from biographies. When I need I energy or motivation and am struggling to find it within myself, having access to and soaking in the advice of others is incredibly motivating. Carmichael also produces videos on goal setting, life style assessment and daily routines. I watch his videos almost daily.

In addition to watching videos from these three men, I also watch documentaries on Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, personalities like Virgin creator/director, Richard Branson, the late Steve Jobs, and Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerburg. I am interested to learn what drives successful people and what habits they cultivate. Finally, on the recommendation of my mother, I made a heart-felt plea to God to show me how to proceed. I believe that everything working together in tandem helped me break through my severe low point.

While recognizing I needed help, seeking out and equipping myself with knowledge was empowering, it all meant nothing if I didn’t take action. In Part Two, I will discuss the specific steps that I found most useful to regain my self esteem and put me on a path to unlimited self-development.

If you liked this blog, comment below and let me know one thing that you have done to seek external help! Who or what do you turn to to get advice? Please share, and standby for my follow-up blog, Part Two.








4 thoughts on “Learning to “invest in myself” Part One”

  1. I’m glad you are sharing your experiences, as I’m sure others have been in the same boat, feeling very alone! Now they know they are not alone.. Others feel the same.
    But you made it through it & didn’t give up & go home! Staying on your adventure & making the most of it! Whilst learning a great deal
    I think it’s crazy that when seeking positivity from the wrong person it can have the opposite effect on you, what appears to be posive turns out to be very negative… It’s one thing to definitely watch out for in the future.. Making sure that someone isn’t feeding off your energy & emotions, whilst you are under the impression that you need their “positive” energy..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an incredible and valuable source of inspiration for those who, much like yourself, have fallen into the trap of ignoring their mental, emotional and physical needs in the process of facing the numerous stressors of life. As a doctoral student amidst a department filled with its own conflicts and problems, in addition to placing unrealistic expectations on its graduate students, I find myself feeling as though I have been sucked into a dark hole of negativity. Things such as a drop in self-esteem, motivation and happiness are among my own drawbacks during this period in my career. Finding the means to gain back the person who you thought you lost within yourself takes a certain level of courage and strength. You are an inspiration not only for myself but for others in these circumstances. I’m looking forward to the second half of this blog!


  3. I’m very glad that you’re feeling much happier and more positive about where your life is going! That’s another good topic to tackle in your blog- loneliness in living abroad and ways to combat it. I’ve struggled a lot with it too in my 3 stints abroad. It really makes you question yourself. Throw in a toxic romance and you have a very dangerous brew. You got through it, and came out the better for it. Kudos to you for taking control of your own happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Beth. Yes, the combo of both loneliness and a toxic romance was pretty unbearable. I remember feeling that I just wanted to walk away from the situation and my job. I’m also so grateful for my supportive friends who stuck by me through this dark period.^^ Thank you, darling.


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