Operation Supervixen: Why Is Personal Development So Important?


Operation Supervixen is my own personal transformation programme. In July 2014, I decided I was utterly fed up of being miserable, unwell and feeling like I wasn't reaching my full potential in life. To combat this, I decided I was going to radically transform my diet, maintain an exercise routine and centre my leisure activities around personal development. To keep me accountable and help others in the process, I started Operation Supervixen.

Since around 2009-ish, I started getting interested in self help and personal development. Around the age of 17, I started finding life quite difficult. I hated sixth form with a passion, I felt like I had no friends, I was tricked and trapped into a nasty relationship and I was generally a miserable girl. Looking back, it was probably the start of depression for me, but at the time I either wouldn't accept that, or even when I did think about it, I was far too shy and scared to go to a doctor and do anything about it. 

Instead, I turned to self help. I started reading lots of blogs all about loving yourself, being happy with what you have and generally positive material. I'd see people I admired recommending self help books, but it made me cringe. Unfortunately, we seem to live in a culture where there's a bit of stigma surround personal development. People thinks it's silly or assume you're getting up on your high horse. But that's not what it's about.

Thankfully, as I get older, I've realised I don't care what other people think about my journey towards self-acceptance and happiness. Sure, anti-depressants are great, but I won't be taking them forever and I want to be equipped for when they're gone. That's where a bit of self-help comes in.

Why I Recommend Self Help and Personal Development:
  • There is a remarkable difference between the Emily who makes no effort to better herself and the Emily who reads personal development every day. It's the latter Emily that is happy, sucessful and gets shit DONE.
  • Reading self help material puts it at the forefront of your mind everyday. Only when you are truly conscious of your behaviour can you begin to change it. 
  • It's not all hippy hippy love peace woo woo stuff. Try The Chimp Paradox. That's full of real, applicable and totally understandable psychology. 
  • But hey, if you like believing in the magic of the Universe, there's books like The Secret - that one changed my life. 
  • It's motivational. When I read consistently, I am the Emily I like very much. As soon as I stop making time for reading, I start falling back into old habits. This shit works if you dedicate yourself to it
  • It brings new ideas to the table. I'm going to mention The Chimp Paradox again here. Before I read that book, the chaos inside my head made no sense to me. I had NO understanding of why I behaved the way I do and I felt like I never had a hope in hell of controlling myself. That book gave me a model of the human mind I can work with and slowly but surely, I'm reigning in that part of my personality that causes me so much grief. 
  • If you don't want to read a whole book, there's other alternatives. Blogs are free, easy and quick to digest and plenty out there offer advice just as sound as things you can purchase in books. I personally love doing online courses as there's a nice social aspect to them and it gives me a way to work through things in an organised systematic manner, which if you read last week's Operation Supervixen post, you'll realise I like it very much. 
  • Who doesn't want to better themselves, seriously?