A few years ago, I was completely unaware of where true personal fulfillment came from. I searched for happiness in physical objects, whether it was a cheeseburger from McDonald’s, a new boyfriend, or a new pair of shoes. I always wanted more, more, more.

My unhealthy search for happiness landed me in a poor relationship, in a body that was thirty pounds overweight, and in a closet full of items that surely weren’t adding to my happiness or general well-being.

I felt stuck and continued to settle for mediocrity for quite some time.

It wasn’t until I turned to self-help books for guidance, about two years ago, that I realized that everything I needed to be happy was already inside of me – I just had to manifest it!

I didn’t need to fill a void inside of me with food, buy more ‘stuff’, or depend on another’s praise for my self-worth. I needed a love for myself, an attitude of gratitude, and happiness that wasn’t dependent on outside circumstances.

CHANGING IT ALL..

I started eating healthy and excising on a regular basis, parted ways with my long-term boyfriend, and began doing activities that made me truly happy. I also started reading for hours on end about happiness, self-esteem, and personal fulfillment.

By making these positive changes, I began deeply loving my life. I discovered a new sense of peace and happiness deep within that had been untouched for far too long.

All of my reading and soul searching fuelled the fire inside of me and I suddenly felt compelled to share my insight with others. I decided to create a blog where I could write frequently and openly about happiness, attitude, self-love, personal success, and general well-being.

The positive feedback I received from my ponderings inspired me to pursue an even bigger project: to write a book to share my new-found insight with others.

ENTER “THE BOOK”

I began writing a self-help book for young women (teenage-adult) the day after I graduated college in May 2011. I self-published The Girl’s Guide to Loving Life on July 21, 2012.

It’s a practical guide for learning to love your life, despite the inevitable flaws you may find in it. With the help of over fifty women who were interviewed for this project, I share knowledge and wisdom on five main concepts: having a positive attitude, loving yourself, achieving your dreams, overcoming obstacles, and creating your legacy.

I share stories from my own journey to happiness, and how you can embark on your own journey. It’s a fun, easy-to-read, and thought-provoking book that can help you get from where you are in life to where you hope to be.

Although it took me a while to get here, I am now at a beautiful and exciting place in my life and want to help others reach this same point.

This is ultimately what inspired me to write a guide on helping other women love themselves and love their lives.

AND NOW?

Now, at 23 and pursuing a Master’s degree in Counseling & Guidance, I am on a quest to help inspire others. I hope to empower individuals to find the courage within to unleash their full potential; to embrace who they are and choose to make the most out of life.

By ditching my sour-apple attitude and by learning to enjoy the sweetness that life has to offer, my life has completely transformed.

Now that you know all about me and my personal journal, I want to take a few moments to help inspire YOU to keep moving forward on your journey of self-discovery, of happiness, of loving life, of whatever it may be that you are searching for.

BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND

So, here is my advice for you today: Be your own best friend and NOT your own worst enemy; lift yourself UP instead of bringing yourself down. May sound silly or fluffy, but that’s what has drastically changed my life for the better.

When you tell yourself that you are beautiful, strong, smart, independent, worthy, etc…you are just that. You are unstoppable. You go through life with an unbreakable confidence and love for yourself because you have thought yourself there.

On the other hand, when you tell yourself that you are unlovable, disgusting, worthless, stupid, etc…you have also thought yourself there.

So how do we unthink ourselves from somewhere dark? How do we escape from that insecure and lonely jail cell we have locked ourselves into? Well…we break free.

We release ourselves. We make a commitment that we will leave our negative labels behind us and instead adopt positive beliefs about ourselves. Work toward training your mind to replace discouraging, self-destructive thoughts with encouraging and positive thoughts.

This doesn’t exactly happen overnight, but it can happen over time if you make progress each and every day. Is this easy? Not necessarily. Is it possible with practice and effort? Absolutely.

USE I-AM STATEMENTS

One thing you can do right now, which will hopefully benefit you from here on out, is pick at least three words from the word list below. Write them on your hand, type them into a note on your cell phone, jot them down on a post-it note to stick in your wallet, or simply store them in your mind.

Anytime throughout your day today that you start to assign a negative label to yourself (old or new), whip out your note and repeat: “I am ____, _____, _____.”

Until you feel ready to let go of the mistake you made, the harsh judgment you have formed, the negativity you are feeling toward yourself, or the feeling that you don’t measure up in some way.

Positive labels: Beautiful. Smart. Strong. Wise. Learning. Growing. Encouraging. Helpful. Successful. Forgiving. Loved. Bold. Respectful. Confident. Fierce. Unstoppable. Unique. Energetic. Trustworthy. Sincere. Loyal.

CHALLENGE YOUR NEGATIVE BELIEFS

You can also start to challenge your negative beliefs. When you start to assign a negative label to yourself, ask yourself, “Am I really a (insert harsh or negative belief) or is this just something I’m creating in my head based on this one particular experience?”

Talk yourself through the situation, question your own thinking, and become more self-aware of the way in which you speak to yourself when difficulties or conflicts arise.

I could have never written a book at age 22 if I didn’t tell myself EVERY single day that I could (and would!) do it and be successful in my venture.

I constantly lifted myself up and motivated myself to keep going. I continue to challenge negative thoughts and chose to ride on the positive side of life. I suggest you do the same, lady. YOU are amazing, worthy, beautiful…Oh, I could go on and on.

But you gotta believe it, girl. Start working on the inside. Then watch as the miracles start to happen on the outside.

Guest post by Jordan Brown