• journal prompts for self growth
    Self Love

    30 Journal Prompts For Self-Growth (& Deeper Self-Love)

    Discover 30 profound journal prompts for self-growth and deeper self-love. Use these journal prompts to help you go within, peel back the layers of your innermost self, and unearth the truest, most authentic you. (Plus don’t forget to download your free printable journal prompts for self-growth below.)

    30 Journal Prompts For Self-Growth (& Deeper Self-Love)
    Pin this for later! 30 Journal Prompts For Self Growth (& Deeper Self-Love)

    Your Journey of Self-Growth

    One of my all-time favorite affirmations is this:

    “I love myself fully now as I continue to grow.”

    Growth is a never-ending process. For as long as you’re breathing, you’re continuing to transform, discover, and unearth the deepest parts of yourself. This means that you can’t wait until you’ve ended your journey of personal growth to finally show yourself real love and compassion.

    Because if you wait until you’re no longer growing, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.

    You are allowed to love yourself fully right now, exactly as you are. Even in your imperfections. Even when you make mistakes. Even when you’re still discovering yourself.

    At every stage of your journey, you are worthy of deep, unconditional love.

    Embrace the journey. Love the journey. And also embrace and love yourself as you navigate this path—even when (especially when) you lose sight of yourself. Sometimes, getting lost for a while is required in order to uncover your truest, most authentic self.

    Below, you’ll find 30 journal prompts for self-growth that will help you to go within and gently peel back the layers of your innermost self. As you answer these prompts, be sure to show yourself extra love and compassion. Don’t judge or criticize yourself for your answers. This journey of growth isn’t easy, and it’s something many of us avoid, so acknowledge the courage it requires to take this step.

    And for more self-growth journal prompts, be sure to check out these journal prompts for anxiety as well as these spirituality journal prompts to connect to your deepest self. (Plus, be sure to download your free printable journal prompts below.)

    Authentic Self: Self-Love Workbooks for Your Highest Self. Click to learn more.

    Journal Prompts For Self-Growth

    • What would I do today if I knew I could not fail?
    • What limiting beliefs or fears are holding me back from pursuing my dreams?
    • How have I grown in the past year? What led me to experiencing this type of growth?
    • How have I grown in the past ten years? What positive changes am I most grateful for?
    • What are some hardships I’ve experienced, and in what ways have these hardships helped me to grow?
    • What risks have I taken in my life that I’m really glad I took?
    • What risks do I want to take this year, and what’s holding me back?
    • What are my guiding principles and truths? How do I live by my guiding principles in my daily life?
    • How can I be kinder and more compassionate to myself? When my inner bully comes out, what can I do to show myself more kindness and love?
    • In what situations do I hold back from speaking my truth? Are there any situations in which I withdraw, even when I have something to say? What can I do to feel more confident in these situations?
    • What are some of the people, experiences, and/or things in my life that I sometimes take for granted? How can I cultivate more gratitude and appreciation in my daily life?
    • What does it mean to me to be stable, secure, and grounded? When I’m feeling off-balance, what can I do to help myself feel more grounded and centered?
    • What do I need more of in my life? How can I bring more of this to my life?
    • What do I need to release in my life? How can I let go of these things/experiences/people/beliefs to make space for something new?
    • What does success mean to me? How might my idea of success be different from someone else’s idea of success?
    • What tasks do I tend to avoid doing? Why do I avoid these tasks? How can I support myself in approaching these tasks with confidence?
    • Do I have any unhealthy habits? What steps can I take to release my unhealthy habits and create new, more positive ones?
    • What does forgiveness mean to me? Am I able to forgive easily?
    • Do I criticize myself often? How does it feel when I criticize myself?
    • What does self-compassion mean to me? Do I have a difficult time showing myself compassion?
    • What does my comfort zone look like? In what ways does this comfort zone support me, and in what ways does it hinder my growth? How can I begin to step outside of my comfort zone over the next three months?
    • What’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing but haven’t done yet? Can I make this dream come true this year?
    • What’s on my lifelong bucket list? Which of these things could I do or accomplish over the next year?
    • What kind of person do I want to be? How do I want to be remembered?
    • If I could go back in time and tell my younger self anything, what would I say?
    • What self-care practices can I do for myself to nourish my whole self? How can I take care of my mind, body, and spirit?
    • How can I show myself unconditional love in my daily life?
    • When do I feel happiest? What brings me true joy? How can I incorporate more joy into my daily life?
    • How can I love myself a little more today?
    • What will I do today to help my personal growth?

    journal prompts for self growth click to download
    Click to download your free printable journal prompts for self growth! And be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you can get a free affirmation calendar delivered to your inbox every month.

    For more resources on spirituality, meditation, manifestation, and all things self-love, be sure to connect with me on Instagram and Pinterest, where I’m posting positive affirmations and empowering messages daily.

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  • 30 Day Self-Care Challenge (Free Printable)
    Self Love

    30 Day Self-Care Challenge (Free Printable)

    Download your free 30-day self-care challenge and challenge tracker below, plus get tips for how to approach each activity to best serve your total well-being: mind, body, and soul.

    30 Day Self-Care Challenge (Free Printable)
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    What Is Self-Care?

    Self-care refers to the combination of practices you engage in to serve and support your physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being. When you stick to a sleep schedule, brush your teeth, schedule medical checkups, eat healthy foods, and take walks around your neighborhood, you’re practicing daily self-care.

    But self-care also goes a little deeper. Self-care means making space in your life for silence. Connecting with the innermost you. Asking your soul what it needs. And then, giving yourself that thing.

    And at an even deeper level, it means noticing the trending direction of your thoughts. Are you speaking to yourself with kindness? Do you constantly criticize yourself? Are your inner dialogues loving and compassionate or condescending and judgmental toward yourself?

    And when you notice that you’re being hard on yourself, you then have the option to choose differently—to be a little gentler, a little kinder. A little more understanding. (This is directly tied to mindfulness.)

    Self-care is a deeply personal practice. What looks and feels like self-care to you might not align with someone else’s definition of self-care. And that’s okay. What’s important is defining what self-care means to you—and then, prioritizing it not as an option but as an essential aspect of your health and well-being.

    To help you with this, I’ve created a 30-day self-care challenge filled with practices that you can personalize to fit your own needs.

    In many ways, this is also a self-love challenge. This challenge is designed to help cultivate a mindset of deep care, kindness, and compassion toward yourself. (Because if you’re anything like me, you’re likely your own harshest critic.)

    As you begin your self-care challenge, I want you to remember that this is your challenge. So if there’s anything on this list that doesn’t resonate with what feels right to you, feel free to change it to something that feels better.

    You’re also empowered to define what each activity means to you. Below, I provide you with suggestions for how to approach each self-care practice, but if you have different ideas, definitely go ahead and do what feels best to you.

    Don’t worry so much about being perfect. Rather, focus on what feels good, right, and aligned.

    Authentic Self: Self-Love Workbooks for Your Highest Self. Click to learn more.

    30-Day Self-Care Challenge

    Below, you’ll find some suggestions for how to approach each of the activities in this challenge. But remember, this is your self-care challenge. So if you have a different idea for how you want to proceed, or if you want to replace one of the challenge tasks altogether, go for it!

    30 Day Self-Care Challenge (Free Printable)
    Click the image above to download your free printable!

    Start A Gratitude Journal

    And don’t forget to download your free 30-day self-care challenge here. No newsletter signup is required to access this free printable, but I definitely encourage you to sign up for my newsletter, as I send a free printable affirmation calendar to my subscribers every month.

    You can use a notebook, journal, or even your preferred notes app on your phone. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for. Then, for the rest of the challenge, keep writing 3 things you feel grateful for every day. If you need help, check out my list of 500 things to be grateful for today.

    Write Down 10 Things You Love About Yourself

    This one can also be done in a notebook, journal, or digital document. Pick 10 things you really love about yourself and write them down. These can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual qualities—anything you want. If you’d like, you can add a “why” statement to each list item, diving deeper into why each of these things make you so incredible and unique.

    Recite 1 Positive Affirmation Every Hour

    A positive affirmation is an uplifting statement designed to boost your confidence and self-belief. I have thousands of positive affirmations across this website if you need help. Recite at least one positive affirmation to yourself every hour today. If it helps, you can set phone reminders or write these affirmations on post-it notes.

    Set Phone Reminders With Uplifting Words

    Set phone notifications to go off throughout the day filled with words to uplift, inspire, and motivate you. You can be your own biggest cheerleader here, reminding yourself that you’ve got this, you’re worthy, you’re incredible, you’re more than enough—whatever you most need to hear throughout the day. Fill the screen with positive, loving words. You can also write affirmations or your favorite quotes here if you’d like.

    Compliment Yourself & Others Throughout The Day

    How often do you tell yourself what a good job you’re doing? How often do you spend time simply being proud of yourself? How often do you look in the mirror and smile into your own eyes? Compliment yourself throughout the day. Then, spread these good vibes and compliment the people you interact with. Make someone’s day today.

    Journal & Reflect On The Past Year

    In the busyness of daily life, we can often forget to spend time reflecting on how far we’ve come. Take some time today to reflect. Journal your thoughts and feelings. If you encountered difficult moments, make sure to honor your own resilience and strength. Acknowledge both the good and the bad. Be kind, honest, and compassionate.

    Do Something That Makes You Happy

    This one’s pretty broad. Simply do something that makes you happy.

    Does buying yourself a special coffee make you happy? Does reading a good book or watching your favorite movie make you happy? Does time spent in nature make you happy?

    You’re not limited to doing just one thing. If possible, you can do one thing that makes you happy in the morning, one things that makes you happy in the afternoon, and one thing that makes you happy in the evening.

    Follow A Guided Meditation

    If you already meditate, this one should be pretty straightforward. Don’t meditate? That’s okay! I personally use the Insight Timer app for guided meditations. There, you’ll find thousands of free meditations you can listen to. See if you can find one that appeals to you. You don’t have to sit in a special posture or try to clear your mind of thoughts. Just sit comfortably, close your eyes, and listen.

    Express Your Creativity

    Draw. Paint. Write. Play with chalk. Make paper snowflakes. Color in an adult coloring book. Or a children’s one. Whatever feels good to you.

    Spend Time In Nature

    This can be as simple as going out for a walk around your neighborhood. You might also go out on a hike or spend some time near a lake or the ocean. Whatever you do, turn off your phone and unplug for a bit. Notice the moment using all of your senses. Inhale peace. Exhale anything that doesn’t serve your mind, body, and soul.

    Cook A Special Meal For Yourself

    You can cook your favorite breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (Or all three.) You might also try cooking one of your favorite recipes from childhood. And if cooking sounds more like self-torture than self-care, order out from your favorite takeout spot.

    Practice Yoga Or Do Some Light Stretching

    If you don’t feel super comfortable with yoga but are willing to try, there are tons of great yoga routines for beginners on YouTube. You can also find a light stretching routine to try out!

    Write A Letter To Your Younger Self

    I’d definitely recommend doing this practice when you have some uninterrupted time to yourself. You can grab a notebook, lined paper, stationary, or open up a blank digital document. Visualize yourself at a certain age, whether it’s when you were 8, 11, 16—whatever feels right to you. What do you want to say to this version of you? Is there something you think they really needed to hear? Write these things down. There’s a good chance your present-day self needs to hear these things, too.

    Read A Book You Genuinely Enjoy

    Do you have a favorite feel-good fiction book? Is non-fiction more your thing? Is there a new book you’ve been dying to read? Make time for some reading today. I’d recommend reading at least for an hour, but this is completely up to you.

    Spoil Yourself – You Choose How

    What does spoiling yourself mean to you? For some, spoiling themselves means buying a special coffee or meal. For others, spoiling themselves looks like candles and bubble baths. Try to find at least one way to spoil yourself today. (But it’s completely okay to pick more than one thing—encouraged, even.)

    Try An Artistic Endeavor

    You don’t have to be a poet to write poetry, and you don’t have to be a painter to paint. Even if you’re a creative person already, see if you can try something you wouldn’t normally do. Don’t judge your work. Just have fun with it.

    Make A Music Playlist Of Old & New Favorites

    See if you can remember your favorite songs from childhood. Add in some of your current favorites. Fill your ears with sounds you love.

    Write Down 10 Self-Promises

    A self-promise is a commitment you’re willing to make to yourself about your life and your future. For help here, you can check out my article, 100 Wholehearted Promises To Make To Yourself Today.

    Write Down & Release 1 Limiting Belief

    A limiting belief is a deep-seated belief that holds you back from realizing your limitless potential and living the life that you know you’re truly meant to live. It’s the thing that’s preventing you from moving forward: your fears, your worries, your doubts about your own potential.

    Take some time to identify what beliefs you carry that aren’t serving you. Write at least one down. Then, create a new, reframed belief. So if your limiting belief is that you don’t have what it takes to succeed in your chosen career path, you can create a new belief that you’re more than capable of succeeding and thriving.

    For more guidance, I’ve created a digital workbook for releasing limiting beliefs to help you begin releasing your old, limiting beliefs (and creating new, empowering beliefs) today.

    Unplug For At Least 2 Hours

    What makes you feel good when you’re not on your phone or devices? Do that thing.

    Brainstorm Ways You Can Destress Your Life

    What are the biggest stressors in your life? Write them down. Then, write down some ways you can remove some of your daily stress.

    Ideas include going to bed on a set schedule, meditating first thing in the morning, meal prepping at the beginning of the week, organizing your office, decluttering your email inbox, and anything else that might remove a little bit of the daily stress you often experience.

    Write A Letter To Your Future Self

    Choose a specific age in the future: one year from now, five years from now, ten years from now—whatever feels best to you. Sit down and write a letter to this version of you.

    You can write about what’s happening in your life right now and share some funny or heartfelt stories that will make your future self smile. You can write about your hopes and dreams. You can write your favorite quotes and/or something you heard recently that’s especially meaningful to you.

    When you’re done, place your letter in an envelope, address it to yourself with a date on the front, and stash it somewhere for safekeeping.

    Write Down Your Goals For The Next Year

    I’d recommend writing down five to ten big and small goals. Then, pick a goal and write an action plan for it. What’s the next step you need to take to achieve this goal? You can write next steps and action plans for as many goals as you’d like.

    Treat Yourself – You Choose How

    This one’s just like the spoil yourself day—you get to define what treating yourself means to you. Maybe it means a spa day. Maybe it means treating yourself to a couple hours of uninterrupted you time. Maybe it’s buying your favorite dessert from a bakery or going to the bookstore and picking out some books. Whatever it is, just make sure it feels special and good to you.

    Make Space For Fun & Play

    What’s fun to you? What feels like play to you? Engage in activities that make you feel good. Play video games. Have a crafting day. Build a blanket fort. Create your own Lego masterpiece. Go to the beach. Dance like no one’s watching. Connect with your inner child and let yourself come alive in pure, unadulterated joy.

    Connect To The Earth & Nature

    My favorite way to connect to the earth is to stand with my bare feet against the dirt and close my eyes. You can also do this while watching the night sky. Gardening is also a profound way to connect to the earth. What can you do today to connect to the trees, sun, stars, ocean, wind, and all parts of nature?

    Compliment Yourself When You Look In The Mirror

    Every time you look in the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say either internally or aloud something really kind to yourself. Offer yourself sincere compliments. Speak with loving kindness.

    Declutter Your Social Media Accounts

    Go through your most-used social media accounts and unfollow/unfriend anyone who may cause you to feel negative energy within. Keep the ones that uplift your spirit, inspire your dreams, and/or make you laugh. If they feel like positive energy, keep them on your list. If they feel like negative energy, send them love and gently distance yourself from them.

    Try 1 Thing You’ve Never Done Before

    It’s easy to get in a rut in your daily life, so this is a chance to do something new. It doesn’t have to be a really big thing like skydiving or traveling to a new country. Maybe there’s a restaurant you’ve never tried or a dish you’ve never cooked. Maybe there’s a crafting activity that’s been hanging out on your Pinterest boards for a while that you’ve been meaning to get to. Maybe there’s a park you’ve never been to that you can go visit. This can be as big or as small of an activity as you want.

    Repeat Your Favorite Activity From The Challenge

    This is the equivalent of the free space in bingo. What activity did you really love doing over the past 30 days? Do it again! You can also repeat multiple activities if you want. For instance, you can recite positive affirmations once per hour throughout the day while also making time in the evening to read a good book.

    For more resources on spirituality, meditation, manifestation, and all things self-love, connect with me on Instagram and Pinterest, where I’m posting positive affirmations and empowering messages daily.

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    30 Day Self-Care Challenge (Free Printable)
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  • personal growth journal prompts
    Self Love

    45 Personal Growth Journal Prompts To Be Your Best Self

    In this article, discover 45 personal growth journal prompts to connect with your innermost self and cultivate a deeper connection with the truest, most authentic you.

    45 Personal Growth Journal Prompts to Be Your Best Self
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    Your Journey to Your True Self

    Who is your truest, most authentic self? When you close your eyes and try to picture yourself, who do you see? What qualities would you use to describe yourself? How have past experiences shaped you into the person you are today?

    These are just some of the questions you can begin to ask yourself as you walk forward on your personal growth journey.

    But first, what exactly does that mean? “Your personal growth journey.”

    Personal growth entails getting in touch with your innermost self and looking into who you truly are: beyond appearances, beyond what’s expected of you, beyond even what you expect of yourself.

    When you get past labels and preconceived notions, who is your authentic self?

    It also requires you to ask important questions and respond with complete honesty. What does your heart really want? What limiting beliefs are preventing you from going after your dreams? What’s holding you back from living the life that was truly meant for you?

    And as you ask these questions of yourself, you must then go beyond just asking. You must do.

    What self-care practices will help you to align with your best self? Start those today.

    What positive habits will serve and support your mind, body, and spirit? Start adding them into your daily routine this month.

    What does your soul need? Let it in.

    Below, you’ll find 45 personal growth journal prompts to support you in your journey. As you go through these questions, you might find that some take up pages of writing, while others can be answered quickly. There’s no right or wrong amount of time or space to use for these questions. Just keep digging for the truth.

    And that’s the key, really: truth. Authenticity. Being honest with yourself.

    Don’t simply tell yourself what you want to hear; tell yourself what you need to hear. But do so with love and compassion. If you find yourself judging or criticizing yourself for your answers, step back and gently assert that criticism has no place here.

    Know that you are always, always worthy of kindness and compassion, even when you’re writing about your own perceived imperfections or mistakes you’ve made in the past.

    Know that all experiences have supported your growth and have led you to where you are right now.

    I hope these personal growth journal prompts support you in your journey and help you to align with the person you were always meant to be: the real and true you.

    Personal Growth Journal Prompts

    • Who is my truest, most authentic self?
    • In what ways am I aligned with my most authentic self in my daily life?
    • What causes me to become misaligned with my most authentic self?
    • What simple daily practices can I do to align with my truest self?
    • How have I grown in the past year?
    • How have I grown in the past five years?
    • What hardships have I experienced that have served my growth?
    • Where do I see myself in one year?
    • Where do I see myself in five years?
    • What weaknesses do I perceive in myself? In what ways could these perceived weaknesses actually be strengths?
    • What makes me feel the happiest? How can I incorporate this joy in my daily life?
    • What would I say to the person I was ten years ago?
    • What would I say to the person I will be ten years from now?
    • Am I able to ask for help and lean on others? Can I trust others?
    • Am I resourceful and able to count on myself? Can I trust myself?
    • Do I consider myself intuitive? Do I trust my intuition when making decisions?
    • How much do I use my logic and reason versus how much do I rely on my intuition and heart? Do I believe one is more important than the other? What’s my ideal balance between these sides of me?
    • When I’m feeling overwhelmed, what practices can I do for myself to feel centered, grounded, and stable?
    • What does my soul need in this moment, and how can I give myself what I need?
    • What limiting beliefs do I possess that keep me from going after my dreams?
    • How can I begin to release these limiting beliefs? Is it worth it for me to try to release them?
    • What does success mean to me?
    • If I could do anything with my life, what would it be?
    • What holds me back from living the life I imagine?
    • How can I cultivate more self-confidence and self-belief?
    • What positive habits do I currently practice in my daily life?
    • What positive habits do I want to add to my daily routine? How can I start adding these habits throughout the next month?
    • Are there any emotions I tend to avoid feeling? Why do I avoid feeling these emotions? What would happen if I allow myself to feel these emotions more often?
    • Am I still holding onto any negative energy from past experiences?
    • How can I begin to gently work through any negative energy I’m holding onto?
    • When I’m working on a project, do I get easily distracted? If so, how can I limit distractions that hinder my productivity?
    • What does anxiety feel like physically, mentally, and emotionally for me?
    • In what types of situations do I often experience anxiety?
    • What practices help me to alleviate anxiety? When I’m experiencing anxiety, what do my mind, body, and spirit need the most?
    • What’s the best compliment I’ve ever been given? Why is this compliment so special to me?
    • What compliment do I wish someone would give me? Can I give this compliment to myself, right now?
    • Am I holding onto any grudges from past experiences? What’s stopping me from releasing these grudges?
    • What does forgiveness mean to me? Am I able to forgive easily?
    • Do I criticize myself often? How does it feel when I criticize myself?
    • What does self-compassion mean to me? Do I have a difficult time showing myself compassion?
    • How can I cultivate more self-compassion in my daily life?
    • What does my self-care routine look like? What do I want my self-care routine to look like?
    • How can I make more space for self-care in my daily life?
    • Why am I always, always deserving of unconditional love?
    • What can I do every single day to show myself the love I deserve?

    Do you have a journaling practice? Share your best journaling tips in the comment box below!

    And for more resources on spirituality, meditation, manifestation, and all things self-love, be sure to connect with me on Instagram and Pinterest, where I’m posting positive affirmations and empowering messages daily.

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    45 Personal Growth Journal Prompts to Be Your Best Self
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  • life lessons from running
    Self Love

    5 Powerful Life Lessons Learned from Running

    Below, I share five life lessons I learned from running, some that took me many years to learn. These life lessons transcend running, so even if you’re not a runner, you can apply these universal life lessons to all areas of your life.

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    Lessons I’ve Learned from Running

    I never planned on writing a blog post about running. While it’s a big part of my life, I don’t generally fall under the category of “Health and Fitness” bloggers, and I don’t want anyone who isn’t a runner to feel like my words aren’t for them, too.

    So why am I posting this blog post now?

    The idea hit me while I was, maybe unsurprisingly, on a run.

    I was taking in the stunning scenery surrounding me and feeling extra grateful for the gorgeous weather that morning, and I thought about how much I enjoy just running. Running is my sanctuary. It’s my “me” time. It’s that sacred hour (sometimes less, sometimes more) when I don’t worry about to-do lists or any other nagging worries that might be nipping at the edges of my mind. Everything kind of just fades away.

    I don’t actually have to do anything when I’m running, except just be.

    As I thought about all of these things, it hit me that when I’m running, even though I might have a specific mileage goal in mind, it’s never really about the destination.

    It’s always the journey that I savor and appreciate.

    And that’s when it clicked. Over this past year, I’ve set an intention to just enjoy the journey in life. To be present. To embrace this moment right now and not get so hung up on where I’m going. And when I think about that intention in terms of running, it makes perfect sense. In fact, it even becomes easy.

    Of course the journey is the most important part.

    That’s what this is all about.

    But this wasn’t the first time I’d made a connection between running and bigger, more universal life lessons. There have been many times when I’ve been out on a run, and I’d take a lesson that I was currently in the middle of learning and connect it to running, and then suddenly, it would make sense. Running has allowed me to see things from a different perspective.

    When I use running as a metaphor for life, I suddenly can see everything more clearly.

    Life Lesson #1: Nobody else’s accomplishments and achievements can take away from your own (and vice versa)

    It doesn’t matter if another person runs faster than me. It doesn’t matter if another person runs farther than I run. It doesn’t matter if someone climbs an elevation that’s higher than what I climb. And it doesn’t matter if a person has more medals than me, or if they got theirs first.

    Never, under any circumstances, does another person’s ability to run take away from my own.

    I cross paths with other runners all the time. Sometimes, we’re going in different directions. Other times, another runner might come up and pass me from behind, or vice versa. Often, in any of these scenarios, we might smile and wave, and then we continue along our way, each focused on the individual path before us.

    You want to know what I’ve never, not once, thought on any of the hundreds (thousands?) of runs I’ve completed?

    • “Great, there’s another runner on the path. I guess I can’t run now.”
    • “Oh no. That girl is running, too. I better go faster because there’s only room for one of us.”
    • “If I’m the slowest, they’ll all beat me and then I’ll never be able to run again.”
    • “What if all these other runners shun me from the path?”

    This all sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it?

    Yet, how many times in our lives do we have these kinds of thoughts about other things that matter to us?

    Have you ever felt a slight twinge of envy when you saw someone succeeding at something that you want?

    Have you ever thought that if someone else gets that job, that relationship, that pay raise, or anything else you desire, there will now be less to go around for you?

    Have you ever had a dream but decided not to even try because you figured there were already too many people doing that thing and that there wouldn’t be room for you?

    None of that’s true. None of it.

    If there’s a dream in your heart that you’re feeling called to, it’s there for a reason. And maybe others have similar dreams, but their paths will all be different from yours, and as long as you follow your inner knowing and trust your heart’s calling, there will always be room for you.

    Your dream might change along the way. It might take different shapes. Maybe something in the distance will catch your eye and inspire you to shift your direction.

    Whatever happens, it’s your journey and your dream, and no one else can ever take what’s meant for you.

    Life Lesson #2: Small and consistent improvements over time are more important and valuable than trying to go from 0 to 100 at once

    I love creating training plans.

    It’s the first thing I do when I commit to running in a long-distance event. I count how many weeks I have until the event and decide how many weeks I need for training. Then I carefully build a training schedule in which I plan out every single run from now until the event, slowly increasing the total distance and overall weekly mileage.

    When I signed up for my first half marathon, my longest-ever run previously had been about 8 miles (12.9 km). I created a plan in which I ran four times a week with Sundays being my long-run days. My first long-run day was 6 miles. Then, 6.5. The next week, it was 7, then 7.5, 8 . . . slowly increasing just a half of a mile every week until I reached 12. The day of the event was the first time I’d run a full 13.1 miles (21.08 km).

    I followed a similar strategy when I trained for my first full marathon, steadily increasing the distance of my long runs as well as my overall weekly mileage until I finally ran the full 26.2 miles (42.16 km) the day of the race.

    So why am I going into the minute and kind of boring details about my training plans?

    To show that when I train for an event, I don’t get frustrated that I can’t run the full distance Week 1. I have no expectations of this. When I create a training plan for myself, my goal is to make small improvements over time. Maybe I can’t run 26.2 miles today, but in fourteen weeks, I can, and it’s all because of consistent effort and trusting the process.

    When I step back and look at other aspects of my life, though, I can see many times when I’ve tried rushing the process to get to the finish line faster. This can be especially tempting when it comes to writing. I’ve tried rushing my writing process before to get something done and published, and it never produces a good result.

    But when I actually take time to explore my writing and don’t rush the process, then I actually like what I end up publishing.

    I know how hard it is to wait for something you really want. I know how tempting it is to skip right past the period of learning and growing and building your skills so you can get to the finish line. And I know that “small and consistent improvements over time” isn’t exactly a phrase that’s going to ignite a fire in anyone’s heart.

    But if I had tried to run 26.2 miles that first week of training, I would’ve given up. The time would’ve passed anyway, and I wouldn’t have reached my dream.

    Now, I’m not saying reaching your dream has to take a long time. It really doesn’t. Fourteen weeks of training to run a full marathon really wasn’t that much time at all. If you trust the process, the time it takes to reach your dream will fly by faster than you can ever imagine.

    Life Lesson #3: Just because I’m not the best at something doesn’t have to stop me from doing it anyway

    I am not a particularly fast runner. In fact, I’m pretty slow. My average mile is about 9 1/2 minutes. I finished my marathon in 4 hours 32 minutes. That’s an average of 10 minutes 23 seconds per mile.

    Not exactly breaking any speed records over here.

    And while 26.2 miles isn’t anything to sneeze at, there are people running longer distances that I will likely never reach.

    And that’s okay. I didn’t start running because I expected to be the best runner. Thank goodness, too, because I would’ve quit a long time ago if I had.

    Most people who start running (or take up a different type of exercise) don’t expect to be the best. When I run, I’m not obsessively comparing my time to that person down the road. I don’t fret about who’s going faster or farther. None of that matters. Ever.

    Instead, I focus on my individual achievements. My goals. My improvements. My personal records. My experiences. Just because there are a ton of runners who can run faster and farther than me doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of running. It would be silly to use that as a reason not to run.

    But how many times have I stopped myself from doing something because I knew there were people out there who were better than me?

    The short answer: too many.

    Have you ever not applied for a job that really called to you because you figured there were people more qualified than you? Have you ever not joined that class you really wanted to try because you worried everyone else would be better than you? Did you not start your blog or offer to teach that online class because you figured there were already thousands of blogs and online classes better than yours?

    For most of us, we’ll probably never be the best at everything. And actually, in many scenarios, the people who are the best aren’t always the most successful. You know who is successful?

    The people who start. The people who try. The people who set an intention and take inspired action. Those are the people who succeed.

    So don’t worry about being the best.

    Instead, just start. Just try. Focus on your individual journey. That’s where the magic happens.

    Life Lesson #4: It’s about the journey, not the destination

    My “why” for running is pretty simple: because I enjoy it and know that I’m doing something good for my body. When I go outside and hit the pavement, I get to breathe in fresh air while surrounding myself with beautiful nature. My average run lately has been about 6 miles, which means I get a whole hour to myself. Sometimes, I listen to a podcast. Other times, I listen to music. Every once in a while, I listen to nothing but my own breathing.

    On any given run, I’m not thinking about how great it’ll feel when I’m finished. I’m just enjoying the present moment, one step at a time.

    The journey is always more important than the destination.

    I also learned this lesson on a different scale after training for my first half marathon.

    I had trained for that half marathon for 12 weeks. Every week, for four days a week, I committed hours of my time to running. Because most of my training was right in the middle of summer, I woke up early most days to get my run in. I had a goal and committed to that goal, and I never missed a single training run.

    After I finished that half marathon, I remember feeling really proud of the fact that I had just accomplished this amazing feat. I’d just run 13.1 miles for the first time, and it felt really good. But I also remember having a funny realization that I hadn’t anticipated:

    As much as I was proud of accomplishing my goal, I was even more proud of the training that had gotten me there.

    I was proud of my commitment. I was proud that I continually showed up, day after day, even when I didn’t feel like it. I was proud of my perseverance. I was proud of all the good runs and the bad runs that led me to that moment.

    Of all these life lessons, this might be the biggest of them all.

    You have big goals and dreams for yourself. And one day, you’re going to reach those goals. You’re going to make your dream come true. And you’re going to feel really, really proud of yourself.

    But you know what you’ll be even more proud of? This moment, right now. For showing up, even when you didn’t feel like it. For sticking with it, even when it was hard. For not being deterred when you had a bad day. For continuing to push through.

    What you’re doing right now matters. So love this moment. Embrace it. You are on a beautiful journey, and it deserves to be celebrated.

    Life Lesson #5: If it’s something you really want, and you know it could be really good for you, then one bad experience should never stop you from going back out there and trying again

    I’ve had a lot of bad runs.

    How do I define a bad run? It’s one in which I don’t feel good during or after.

    I don’t have many of these anymore, but that’s only because I’ve learned from my mistakes. Historically, most of my bad runs have stemmed from a couple different contributors:

    • It was too hot outside
    • I hadn’t eaten enough and had little energy
    • I wasn’t listening to my body and honoring its need for rest

    Here’s the thing: I can have bad runs, and that’s okay. Expected, really. But I have never and will never let one bad run stop me from tying up my shoelaces and going back out there the next time.


    • Because I am not my mistakes
    • Because the good days far outweigh the bad
    • Because I treat bad runs as learning experiences, not as failures
    • Because I know there’s a much higher likelihood that I’ll regret not going back out there and trying again than vice versa
    • And finally, because I love to run, and a bad day doesn’t detract from that

    So what I’m saying is, please—if you have a passion and feel called to do something, then bad experiences are not meant to make you just give up and quit.

    They’re meant to help you learn and grow. They may even lead to unexpected breakthroughs and realizations that can help you progress even further.

    None of us get everything right the first time. I make plenty of mistakes in my life. But instead of letting those moments discourage me, I allow myself the grace of being beautifully imperfect, and I search for the lesson. If I fall twice on a run, I’m not going to hang up my running shoes and refuse to run again. I’m going to look both within and around me until I find the source of my falling, and then I’m going to learn and adjust so I don’t fall a third time.

    We were made for resilience. And when we learn to embrace and trust our resilience, then the “bad days” and “negative experiences” become a lot less scary, because we know that we have the ability to overcome anything.

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