Advice & Features Articles

Knowing Yourself in 2019

By Dr. Melanie Ross Mills | Contributor

Did you know that the average income for a motivational / inspirational speaker is upwards of six-figures? There’s a reason corporations, groups, and event planners pay top dollar for speakers to “motivate and inspire” the audience.

Personal stories from those who’ve been in the trenches, pioneered change, and experienced pipedreams becoming reality, well, they keep us going. Messages of hope and redemption remind us that there’s life after loss, pain, and disappointment. This is because we’re created to be renewed, transformed, and encouraged. We love being reminded that anything’s possible. SIGN ME UP! 

From podcasts to events. From YouTube videos to social media posts. We’re comfortable being spoon-fed as a listener in the audience. We love being entertained as we witness the life-impacting messages unfold. We’re filled up after we’ve pressed play and received our daily dose of encouragement. All of these are wonderful resources we’re given to learn and grow, for which I’m thankful (especially since I’m a motivational speaker with a podcast—Life Bonds podcast—shameless plug). But, sometimes in the midst of all the spoon-feeding, we can miss the opportunities to find ourselves, in our own way. 

For example, have you ever witnessed a dear friend mimicking the teacher, guru, or speaker without any desire to challenge their own opinion, thought, or belief? It’s as if they’ve become a “mini-version” of someone else instead of a genuine version of themselves. They miss getting to know who they truly are because they’re too busy studying other people. They “talk a good game,” but at the end of the day, they haven’t grown or matured. They’re wonderful at “regurgitating” information, but there’s little personal growth. This is because long-term transformation is only achieved through interweaving consistent “practices,” studying solid content, processing, and raising self-awareness, coupled with ongoing and repetitive dedication to understanding how you think, who you are, and where you’re going. 

Maybe this resonates with you personally? If so, and you’re up for the challenge of getting to know yourself a little better and thinking a little deeper in pursuit of transformation, then here’s a list of 7 questions to ponder each day. 

At the end of each day, for a week, begin with #1 and focus on one question a day using these 4 thoughts: Experience, Reflect, Act, Understand. Describe your EXPERIENCE. Take time to REFLECT. Identify how you felt, appeared, communicated, took ACTION. Seek to UNDERSTAND why you have answered as you’ve answered. 

Elaborate in as much detail as possible when responding to each question with comments, feelings, examples, and thoughts. No need to wait until your podcasts have been played, your guru’s left town, and your YouTube videos have been watched. Start today! 

1 What three choices have I made that have brought me closer to my goals, dreams, hopes, and/or destiny (for example: stayed on track with diet and exercise program)?

2  Are there areas in my life that I’ve compromised my mind, will, emotions, heart, and/or spiritual commitment (for example: staying in a toxic relationship that will not change)?  

3  Has a certain attitude supported or derailed my mood, responses, and/or choices (for example: entitlement, gratitude, excitement, fear)?

4  Do I assume responsibility to the best of my ability or make excuses for my mistakes, malfunctions, and mishaps (for example: apologizing for being short with your co-worker)? 

5  Do I utilize my strengths in appropriate and life-giving ways that fulfill me personally, as well as serve the greater good? 

6  What do I believe to be true about myself? Specify three truths (for example: I believe I am worthy of love.) 

7  What life choices can I make tomorrow that will change my previous 6 answers for the betterment of myself, as well as those around me, at the end of the next day? 

Editor’s Note: Dr. Melanie Ross Mills is a Life Strategist and Relationship Expert, as well as a licensed therapist. Her motivational work includes the Life Bonds podcast and Life Bonds books. For more information, you can reach Dr. Mills at www.melanierossmills.com. 

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