Personal Development: Where to Start

personal development, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

What is personal development? It is developing you as a person. It’s all about learning, growth, and improvement. No one knows everything , has done everything and is everything. We as humans are imperfect but that only means we have room to improve. That’s where personal development comes in.

When you start delving into the realms of personal development it can get overwhelming. There is so much information out there and so many places to find it. Some is free and some costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s difficult to ascertain what’s worth it and what’s not.

Deciding where to start with personal development

1) Identify an area you want to improve and/or learn more about

2) Decide what you want to get from learning about this area

3) Find free or low cost ways to “dip your toe in” like podcasts or books

4) If you are still interested in this area then ask for recommendations on courses, coaches, conferences, etc… that you can learn more from

5) Implement what you’ve learned and discover another area of interest

If we aren’t growing we are dying. Studies have proven when people no longer have something to work towards they die sooner. That’s why we should always have something we are working towards. It doesn’t have to big or complicated. The more we know the better we do.

Set aside time every day to work on your personal development. This could be listening to podcasts while driving or reading a book before bed. It doesn’t have to be time consuming but as a little as 15 minutes a day can add up over time. If you want more guidance check out these resources: Podcast Episode & Blog post.  Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE WORTH & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

Finding Your Why

Finding Your Why, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

If you’ve been in the personal development world for any length of time at all you might have heard about finding your why. Every one has a why or the reason behind everything they do. The stronger your why the stronger the motivation for achieving your goals will be. Your why is really the fuel for your fire.

Sometimes we feel stumped when trying to discover our why. Our why might even come out without any oomph. We wonder where that passion everyone is talking is. We might scream to ourselves “I don’t know why?!?!” out of pure frustration. The problem is when we don’t have a solid why it can be really easy to give up on our goals and dreams.

finding your why:

1) Play the why game. Ask yourself why and when you answer ask yourself why for that answer. Keep doing this until you cannot answer the question anymore. 

2) Find a quiet place to journal. Just keep writing about this goal/dream until you have uncovered that deep why. 

3) Talk it out with someone. This might be your coach or your business bestie or someone else but someone who can ask you the right questions. 

4) Ask yourself if this is really something you want to do. If you are struggling to find a why then it may be because this isn’t what you really want. 

5) Revisit it. If you truly want this thing but are struggling to find that “why that makes you cry” then write down what answer you do have and revisit it later. 

There can be a lot of pressure to discover your why. Give yourself grace. Your why is a tool to help you stay motivated and connect with others. It is not a life or death sort of thing. It’s absolutely ok to say this is not my goal/dream or to say I just don’t know my why right now. Don’t let it be the thing that prevents you from moving forward.

Your why might also mold and change with time. Sometimes moms with young kids are motivated by being the best mom for their kids. When their kids grow up their why is likely to change. Change is not scary and is perfectly acceptable. Allow you why to grow with you and continue to reveal new layers of it to yourself and others.

Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING, & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

5 Ways to Show Respect to Your Fellow Humans

5 Ways to Show Respect to Your Fellow Humans, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

There is a lot of disrespect going on in the world today. I feel like we have lost sight of the one thing we all have in common… our humanness. Even though our beliefs, perceptions, and experiences are all different we all have the same internal make up. To be considered a living human we all need brain function and a heart beat.

Humans aren’t perfect. We all come with our own imperfections and we all make mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes we make is not respecting other peoples humanness. We often come from a place of striving for perfection and judging all those who aren’t doing so as well. We weren’t meant to be perfect. Instead of shaming each other for those imperfections we should be respecting each others differences.

5 ways to show respect for your fellow humans

1) Listen with an open mind and a closed mouth. Even if their perspective is different than yours. 

2) Stop discriminating against people because they are “different”.

3) Admit you don’t know everything and be willing to learn. 

4) Release the assumption that everyone needs to think, act, or look like you. 

5) Treat them how you would expect to be treated NO MATTER WHAT!

If we were just born in a different country, family, body or environment we could have different beliefs, perceptions and opinions. Who can say that the way we are or think is right way. Sometimes there can be many right answers to the same question. How many ways are there to be a good human? There is an infinite number of ways.

When interacting with this world that is sometimes full of hate and negativity try not to forget our shared humanness. Don’t be that person that feels like they know everything, are always right, and refuse to learn anything new. Learning and growing is a part of being human. There will never be a day that we say “I made it! I’m perfect! I know everything I could ever need to and I make no mistakes.”

Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!! Your fellow humans are too.

XoXo

Megan Hall

How to Support Someone With Mental Illness

Mental Illness, Megan Hall, Life Coach. Motivational Speaker

Two weeks ago social media was in a stir over the death of two celebrities, Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain, via suicide. During that week I saw some incredible support for those with mental illness. I also saw some very inconsiderate and ignorant comments about suicide and mental illness. Some of those comments even came from people in the wellness space. It’s as if mental wellness did not fit in the physical wellness space.

It’s hard to understand what it’s like to be in a place where suicide seems like the only option until you are there. I remember when I was younger thinking that suicide was selfish and that I could never do that. As I share in Suicide Awareness episode of The Inspired Women Podcast my first suicidal ideation came when I was 13 years old. Even after that I didn’t quite understand what brings someone to make that ultimate decision because I didn’t act on my ideation. It wasn’t until the time that I was acting on it that I could really understand.

How to support someone With Mental Illness

1) Check on them. Don’t just assume that because they seem ok that they are really ok.

2) Be a listening ear. You are most likely not a therapist so don’t try to diagnosis just listen. 

3) Encourage them to seek out a mental health professional. Diagnosis should come from a mental health professional not a friend or a primary care physician. 

4) Validate their feelings. Nothing is worse than having someone tell us that our feelings are invalid. 

5) Educate yourself. Learn more about signs of mental illness and suicide. Be a willing student. 

If you have never experiences mental illness or suicidal ideation it can be difficult to understand. It’s important we set aside our inherent biases and judgement so we can support those around us who are struggling. It’s not up to you to “save” someone with mental illness but it is important to support them. Each person has to make their own decisions when it comes to their mental health. When we are informed and supportive we can help with those decisions.

Just because someone may seem “happy” or “successful” that does not mean they aren’t struggling. Many of us have spent years learning how to fake being “ok”. That doesn’t mean the signs won’t be there just that we need to look a little closer to see them. Many times today’s society is too busy to see those signs. If you lose someone to suicide know it’s not your fault. It’s not that they didn’t love you or they thought you were awful. They were struggling and probably thought the world would be better off without them in it.

Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

If you want more information on the subject of suicide prevention please listen to Episode 73 of The Inspired Women Podcast.

32 Lessons I’ve Learned

32 Lessons I've Learned, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

This week I will celebrate my 32nd trip around the sun. Looking back there are so many lessons I’ve learned but in honor of this birthday I am going to share 32! Many of these things I’ve shared over time in The Inspired Women Community or on The Inspired Women Podcast but this is a consolidation of all of that. Will these lessons always be true? Maybe! In the next year I will probably learn new & different ones.

32 lessons I’ve learned in 32 years

1) Life isn’t always fair. 

Yes I believe in karma. I also believe that sometimes shitty things happen to good people. Adversity does not discriminate.

2) Just because someone is family doesn’t mean they are good people. 

We have to set those boundaries with family. Just because someone is blood or pushed you out their vagina it does not mean they have the right to a spot in your life.

3) It only takes one decision to change the trajectory of your life. 

This can be good or bad. I’ve made decisions that changed my trajectory for the worse then later made decisions that changed my trajectory towards the better.

4) Profanity does not mean someone has a limited vocabulary or that they are not intelligent. 

Y’all some of the most intelligent people I know swear and they believe that profanity just adds to their vocabulary. I mean sometimes we just need a shit added in there for emphasis.

5) Change isn’t always a bad thing. 

In most cases change is good. As we age we learn and grow in new and amazing ways. In order to do that change is necessary.

6) We need friends. 

Friendships are necessary for our physical, mental & emotional health. Not any friendships though. Those friends who lift you up and support you.

7) Forgiveness is necessary. 

When we don’t forgive we drag that shit around with us forever. It’s not hurting the other person it’s only hurting us. By doing this we are allowing that person to continue to hurt us long after the initial hurt. That’s no way to live.

8) Even though we have come a long way we still have a long way to go.

Seriously though! The fact that there still is some very racist, homophobic, bigoted people out there on the planet means we still have a long way to go.

9) What you want today may not be what you want five years from now. 

What I wanted at 27 is no where near what I want today. I had full plans to be a personal trainer and make my own work out videos.

10) Everything we put in our bodies effects our bodies. 

Whether that’s what we are eating, what we are listening to, the air we breathe, etc… It all makes a difference.

11) There is no such thing as perfect. 

There’s just not. Embrace those imperfections because we all have them.

12) Technology is helping and hurting us at the same time. 

Look at how much we are on our phones or computers in a day. It’s addictive.

13) Our physical, mental & emotional health are all important. 

If your mental health is shit eventually your physical health will be and vice versa.

14) There will never be a point where we look and say “I made it.”

It’s human nature to keep striving towards something new. There’s never a time that we know everything and have done everything we want to.

15) Mental illness does not discriminate. 

It doesn’t matter what race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background someone is we are all susceptible.

16) Being you is the best person you can be. 

No one else can be you except you. Trying to be someone else is just being a second rate version of them.

17) Every human is equal. 

We all have a brain, a heart, & lungs. We all bleed. There’s is nothing that makes one of us better than another. If we were born in a different environment or had different experiences we might be someone else entirely.

18) Your experience in a situation will be different then someone in the same situation. 

Our beliefs, perceptions, opinions & past experiences taint our current experiences. That doesn’t make anyone right or wrong.

19) No one is safe from adversity. 

We all experience it in our lifetimes. Adversity doesn’t discriminate.

20) Hard is hard. 

Who really wants to win the game of who has it harder. I know I don’t.

21) No one can tell you how you feel or how you are suppose to feel. 

Our feelings are ours alone. No one has the right to dictate that.

22) Success is individual. 

Your definition of success and my definition of success are two different things. Don’t let anyone dictate that for you.

23) There can be more than one right answer. 

So many times we see things in black and white when actually there is a whole spectrum of color out there. Sometimes there can be more than one right answer for the same question.

24) Your intuition is one of the most valuable tools you have. 

Trust it!

25) You can never say what you would do until you’ve been in that exact situation under those exact circumstance. 

Today I saw someone say “I would never take my own life.” This is someone who stated they have also never experienced mental illness. You don’t know until you are there.

26) It is never to late to pursue your dreams. 

I know women who have pursued a new career later in life. They are rocking it too!

27) Just because someone’s life choice isn’t your own doesn’t mean they are wrong. 

We just naturally want to be right but leave it be. Just because you do something doesn’t make it right. It would be so boring if we were all alike.

28) Our experiences shape who we are but that doesn’t mean we are stuck that way. 

At any point in time we can decide this is not how our story ends.

29) Someone’s opinion about you has very little to do with you and everything to do with them. 

It’s all about their beliefs, perceptions, and insecurities. Their judgments about you have so much to do with that. Until they work through those it won’t matter what you do.

30) Apologies are absolutely necessary. 

If you do something wrong apologize. If you hurt someone’s feelings unintentionally apologize for hurting their feelings but don’t apologize for what you did not say/do.

31) You don’t need another person to complete you. 

You are more than enough just as you are. Don’t put that kind of expectation on someone else.

32) It’s 100% acceptable to ask for help when you need it. 

Whether it’s seeking out a therapist or asking you spouse to help more around the house or asking your friend to watch your cats. The worst thing that they can do is say no.

That’s it! I’m sure there are more things I have learned but I’ll keep it to 32. I would love to hear what lessons you’ve learned just comment below. Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING, & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

 

Nothing Is Unforgivable

Forgiveness, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

You probably saw the title of this article and thought OH HELL NAW! Hear me out for a second. Forgiveness is not about the other person. It is not about forgetting or saying what someone did was ok. It’s not even about wishing them the best on their life’s endeavors. What it’s really about is you releasing the burden that you are carrying around and allowing yourself the opportunity to heal.

Every time we don’t forgive we add another brick on our backs. Over time this burden can be too heavy to bear. It can cause us emotional and mental pain. Instead of “getting back at” the person who hurt us we are only continuing to hurt ourselves. If anything we are allowing these people the opportunity to continue to hurt us for years after they are done.

How can we practice FORGIVENESS

1) Identify the hurt or wrong this person has committed

2) Feel the feelings that come up around this hurt

3) Try identify why the person may have done this

4) Think of the hurt and say “I love you, I’m sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank you.” This is towards you not them 

5) Seek out a therapist if this wound is so deep that you cannot release it

One of the best ways I’ve found to help me heal besides therapy is empathy. That’s why #3 is so important. Having empathy does not mean we think what the person did was acceptable but we can now understand why they did it. For example with my ex fiance who abused me and shot off a gun in my house. When I looked at his childhood and how he was raised I can see where his hurt stems from. As a victim of abuse himself and growing up seeing his mom be abused as well he became a very hurt, confused individual. Instead of dealing with that hurt in a healthy manner he took it out on those around him… like me.

I have forgiven my ex for what he did for me. Does that mean I will allow him back into my life? Absolutely not. Does it erase what he did? HELL NAW! Is my anxiety around our daughter going to visit him diminished? NOPE! But instead of having hate fester inside of me and allowing me to weigh me down I am free of it. For years I allowed my fear and hate to control me but no more. Forgiveness does not mean you continue to allow someone to hurt you or be part of your life. Instead it means you are not going to carry them and that pain with you any longer. This is for you not for them.

Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING, & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

 

5 Things To Do Instead of Mom Shaming

Mom Shaming, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

It’s not only moms who are guilty of mom shaming it’s people without children too. I have to start with if you don’t have children you certainly should not be shaming moms. Like it or not as a mom this is one of my biggest pet peeves. As with most anything else it’s difficult to understand what it’s like to be a mom until you are one.

The worst mom shaming is when it comes from other moms. Momming is difficult every mom knows it. Every child, family situation, mom, etc… is different. What works for one mom might not work for another mom. There is no one perfect way to be a mom. Are there bad ways? Absolutely! But there is so much gray area where things aren’t necessarily right or necessarily wrong. None of us are perfect.

What We Can Do Instead of Mom Shaming

1) Work on ourselves. Unless we are the epitome of perfection don’t throw stones. 

2) Offer to help. If you see a mom that’s struggling instead of pointing fingers offer to help out. 

3) Be a listening ear. Sometimes we just want someone to listen to us bitch without judgement. 

4) Ask before giving advice. Maybe I do want a mom who has been there and done that to guide me or maybe I don’t. Ask first.

5) Keep in mind we don’t know everything and we don’t know their whole story. 

It’s tough to be a parent in today’s society of highlight reels and gurus. Let’s be honest with all the resources our there we learned the most from our parents. Unfortunately they too were flawed human beings. We tend to either mimic their parenting style or do the exact opposite of it. Being a mom is a learning journey. Sometimes we have things handled and sometimes we are a hot mess.

I’ve been a working mom, a stay at home mom, and a work from home mom… all have their difficulties. My children were both breast and bottle fed… some by choice and some not. The only age range I haven’t dealt  with my children yet  is adulthood. Guess what? After 15 years of being a mom I still don’t have this shit figured out. What I will tell you is none of it is a cake walk.

So whether you are a mom or not let’s stop the mom shame. No matter what your parenting choices remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

 

Social Anxiety is Real

Social Anxiety is real, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

I know it’s hard for anyone who has met me to believe but I have social anxiety. What is social anxiety? Social anxiety is what it sounds like, it’s nervousness in social situations. Sometimes this is quite severe where people cannot even be in social situations without a full on panic attack. Other times people can function in social situations but those situations make them very anxious.

I have more moderate social anxiety. Most of my nervousness is more internal.  I can hold conversations and even speak publicly but my whole insides are a mess. When I was younger it was so much worse but now it’s only bad when I am around a lot of people who I don’t know. Through out the years there have been many things that help to minimize my social anxiety.

How I Manage My Social Anxiety

1) Saying no to attending things that I know I won’t feel comfortable at

2) Making sure I am in a good place emotionally when I attend social functions

3) Leaving early if I am starting to feel drained 

4) Taking a bathroom break or break outside for some deep breathing when I start to feel nervous

5) Minimizing my alcohol intake in uncomfortable social situation

Sometimes social anxiety requires therapy. Either way being really mindful of how we feel in social situations is very important. We can’t be afraid to say no or leave when we don’t feel comfortable. With social anxiety you may not always feel 100% comfortable so choose the situations that won’t drain you in five minutes. Maybe these are the things that you can make it two hours before you have to go home.

Don’t let this stop you from being social and making new friends or connections. Just make sure you have ample time to rejuvenate afterwards. Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING, & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

Ending the Stigma

Ending the Stigma, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

I remember when the first time I saw a therapist. My husband had to ask his work to leave early so I could go to my appointments every week. I remember being so worried that other people would find out and judge me. Over my life time I had heard so many people make cruel comments about people who were in therapy. That stigma is part of the reason I didn’t want to go in the first place.

Fast forward five years and I will tell anyone who will listen that I see a therapist. Why? It changed my life! So much so that I am pursuing a degree in psychology so I can help others as well. I openly share my story to help dismantle the stigma around mental health. Each time I share I hope that it will encourage others to go seek out therapy as well.

How we can help end the stigma around mental health

1) Seek out therapy ourselves. Others won’t learn just by hearing but by seeing. 

2) Share our mental health struggles openly. This doesn’t have to be with strangers but with those closest to us. 

3) Support others who are struggling by being empathetic not judgmental.

4) Speak out when we hear someone making ignorant comments about mental health. 

5) Surround ourselves with mental health advocates who are willing to talk about mental health. 

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Society doesn’t see a problem with seeking out a doctor when we have problems with physical health. It is ludicrous to think that it’s not also just as acceptable to seek out a therapist when we have problems with our emotional health. If we want to make total body health acceptable we must start here.

I am going to keep sharing my story and I hope you will as well. Let’s work towards ending the stigma around mental health together. Then perhaps more people will seek the help they need before it’s too late. If you want to hear more about my mental health journey you can tune into The Inspired Women Podcast or read Dealing With Depression and What I Learned From Being Clinically Depressed.

Remember you are beautiful, you are brave, you are amazing, and YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

 

Stop Tolerating Other People’s Bullshit

Stop tolerating other people's bullshit, Megan Hall, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

Can I be real with you for a second? We tolerate way too much bullshit. Many times we do it because we don’t want to be mean or we can’t imagine what someone will say if we don’t. Guess what? We aren’t being mean and what people say about us is none of our business. That’s all about them not us. Stop tolerating other people’s bullshit.

When I was in college the first time around we read a book on bullshit. Yes there is a book on bullshit. It’s short, sweet and you can get it where ever books are sold. I haven’t read the book in awhile, like 12 years, but what I remember most about the book is how it points out that we tolerate to much bullshit. It’s not untrue. We, as a society, are so polite that sometimes we become too polite. During the process we fail to set boundaries with other people.

How to stop tolerating other People’s Bullshit

1) Learn to say no. Without excuse, without reason, without anything… No is a complete sentence. 

2) Stop spending time with people who drain you. Just cut them loose.

3) Be you unapologetic-ally. Stop pretending to be someone your not just to impress the bullshitters. 

4) Find your limit. We each can only tolerate so much bullshit in a day. Some times bullshit is unavoidable so know your limit.

5) Get real with your soul. Is this path really the one your suppose to be on?

That last tip might have thrown you for a loop. Why does the path I’m on really matter? We often tolerate other people’s bullshit because we think we have to in order to get where we want to be. Once we get there we realize this is not where we wanted to be at all! That’s because we don’t take the time to check in with ourselves and get real about where we are going.

No matter what your goals and dreams are you shouldn’t have to tolerate other people’s bullshit. It doesn’t make you polite. Instead it emotionally drains you or mentally exhausts you. That’s just not a life to live. Be merciless about setting boundaries. You only get one life, might as well make it a good one.

Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING, and YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

PS You can check out these resources on boundaries: Creating BoundariesBoundary Basics, & What’s in Your Space.