The Most Important Step in your Personal Development Journey

Adriane Nicol
3 min readJan 21, 2021
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Often when someone begins their personal development journey it is the result of a catalyst such as the need to lose weight, get over a relationship, or get out of a perceived rut in life. Since this journey starts with the need to overcome a specific obstacle often that’s where all the energy is focused. For example: I need to start exercising, let me read a million things about how to transform my body or I need to find a new partner, I should work on building my self confidence. However this can lead to a quick failure in any transformation, by just focusing on the most immediate and often most difficult task at hand the key building blocks required to make a lasting change get missed.

The most important indicator of success in your journey is if you have the building blocks to make a lasting change. A key building block is optimism. Once you start to shift your attention to the things that are going right for you then you will begin to see more things going right in your life. If you face a setback and can realize that it’s temporary and be optimistic about the future it will make all the difference in your journey.

It’s all well and good to say shift your attention, think positive, be optimistic but the reality is we all need a little help to get there. A couple of quick strategies you can employ to shift your thinking are:

Having a Mantra

I know it sounds cheesy but when something bad happens taking a minute to say a comforting phrase or words to yourself can really help. For example the phrase “Everything is always working out for me” has helped me alot when I encounter an unexpected obstacle or problem. Just realizing that maybe it happened for a reason and thinking it will all work out really helps. Another example that really suits all occasions is “Everything has always been, always will be and is now fine”, it’s just a reminder to ourselves that we’ve faced obstacles before and we’ve always found a way through.

Deep Breathing Techniques

A study published by Frontiers in Neuroscience concluded that slow breathing techniques had both a psychological and neurological effect on patients. Slow breathing was shown to increase comfort, relaxation and alertness and decrease anxiety, depression and anger. I recommend taking 6 very deep breaths anytime you need to calm down, get some mental clarity or just need a reset.

The most important thing you can do daily in any personal development journey is to stay positive and keep things in perspective. Realize that you will face obstacles along the way and maybe even setbacks but that doesn’t have to derail everything you’ve done before and will do in the future.

Find more strategies for staying positive, changing your outlook and creating a happier, healthier and longer life in my book The Path to Positivity. Check out the first chapter for free on Amazon.



Adriane Nicol

Bestselling Udemy course creator, writer and spreadsheet geek. Writes about earning outside your 9-5, finance, and personal development.