A large part of personal growth is finding people to inspire and motivate you along the way. This includes the social circles you surround yourself with, but also influencers and teachers through books, podcasts, blogs or other social avenues. As you progress through the journey of self-development, you’ll eventually find that it will be helpful to expand who you associate with. Deeply connecting and learning from those you are surrounded by has the highest impact on your growth, but finding people you don’t personally know to learn from is a great supplement. It is what changed my life.
I’ve always been interested in self-development, but had my most powerful breakthroughs this past year (2016). During that time, many of my well-intentioned family members and friends weren’t on the same path as I was or didn’t hold the same level of thinking. So I ended up developing simulated relationships with certain authors, podcasters, and other digital social influencers who I felt I could learn from and relate to.
Over 2016, here are the ones that influenced me most.
Natalie Jill is a fitness and nutrition social media star. She is a personal favorite of mine, not because of her health and fitness routines (even though her short workouts are awesome), but more because of her story. She was in a corporate career until the age of 40, and that’s when she discovered her dream life. She became a multi-millionaire and successful entrepreneur doing what she loved after being miserable and fed up with a life she didn’t. The reason I love her so much is because she was a corporate 9-5er in the medical device industry, which is exactly where I was. She actually worked for a company I once interviewed with and know a lot about. Being this closely related to someone’s path and knowing she broke out at age 40 gave me so much confidence that it’s possible for me, and for anyone.
Natalie Jill may not influence you in the same way she does me, but definitely find someone who can. Finding people who you can relate to on that level is huge for motivation and confidence. When I would listen to her interviews and story of how she got where she is today (in ear buds from my corporate desk) I would get so excited and motivated that I can do the same. Her dream stumbled upon her, and her influence stumbled upon me. I still follow her to this day and feel proud and inspired by her journey.
I discovered The Law of Attraction years ago, and have been actively trying to practice it since. One of the most famous Law of Attraction author and influencers is Bob Doyle.
The Secret is what first exposed me to the law of attraction. I took so many positive things away from that book, but can understand it’s a little too fairy tale, unicorn fantasy dream land for most people. What I mean by this: a lot of readers don’t “buy into” the law of attraction because in the Secret it is portrayed as this magic, fantasy, miracle that can get you anything you want in life overnight, instead of a universal law that can be understood and mastered overtime to enhance your life.
Bob Doyle wrote a book called Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power: Everything You Need to Know about the Law of Attraction that really resonated with me. He explains the law of attraction in a more down to earth and useful way than in The Secret. Reading this book reinforced my confidence in the Law of Attraction and transformed my understanding of it on a more spiritual and universal level.
I began practicing the Law of Attraction in a new way after reading this book and can say it helped get me where I am today. (I still am actively growing my understanding of this, so if anyone has any other law of attraction books to recommend, I’m all ears!)
Gabby Bernstein is a modern day spiritual guru. She pushes the status quo on the stereotype of what a spiritual person is, and on top of that she is a boss lady entrepreneur (which I aspire to be!).
During 2016 I began looking up to Gabby and getting inspired by her entrepreneurial journey, and also by her spiritual one. Her spiritual guidance helped me stay centered during a time I was going insane in my mind, but also gave me the motivation to go after a life I wanted. Also cool that she is a fellow IINer (the nutrition school I’m studying in), and I stumbled upon her right around the time I enrolled. Check out her most recent book, The Universe Has Your Back, which was one of the most popular wellness reads of last year.
It’s clear that the people who influence me the most are either on the side of self-development or entrepreneurship. (The two are synonymous in my mind). Andy tells a true work hard for success and then live to talk about it story. I started listening to his podcast, the MFCEO project (that is: motherfucking CEO project) last summer. He gives real advice about owning your life and the decisions you make.
While having spiritual teachers keeps me balanced and centered, people like Andy remind me that it is hard work above all that will get us where we want to go. Believing in “The Secret”, but doing minimal each day to change your life is what average, victim minded people do. In order to live the life your desire you need to work hard to get there. It’s that simple.
Andy worked hard on a low income to pursue his dreams of having a successful nutritional supplement business. His journey starts at making just $700 a month and sleeping on a “piss stained mattress” at the back of his store to finally becoming a multi-millionaire. After 10 years of business he took home $45,000 a year, but still never gave up on living the life he desired.
I love his no bullshit approach to hard work and taking ownership of your life. He has no time for the victim mentality and believes the only person in charge of the status of your life is you. He also teaches patience for success and letting go of the need for instant gratification.
This is a refreshing podcast for me because most people in my life do what they’re told instead of doing what they want. How could you complain about your career, finances, hobbies and free time when you’re the one in control of them? Listening to this podcast really amplified my entrepreneurial spirit and reminds me there is not time to blame others for the state of my life.
The Steve Pavlina blog is centered around all things personal growth and self-development. He actually calls it “Personal Development for Smart People” and I consider myself a part of his target audience 🙂
I can get lost for hours (really) looking through his past posts because I can relate to his state of mind and value the perspective he brings. As a writer on a mission for personal growth, I am inspired by how he eloquently teaches and inspires through his writing. (He also posted a blog back in 2006 about how to make money blogging that I read once a week.)
This last one is kind of the black sheep of the bunch, but none the less equally as influential to me. Your Mate Tom is a YouTube channel I found one year ago when searching “Ayahuasca” on YouTube. If you don’t know what Ayahuasca is, you can learn more here or by a simple google search. The first video I watched was about Tom’s fist Ayahuasca experience. But once I fished through more on his channel, I found a deep connection to Tom’s videos.
If you’re offended by illegal things and challenging societal norms, this channel may not be for you.
A lot of his videos are about psychedelics and how they benefit our mind and personal progress. He is highly educated on what he talks about and I like how he puts an unconventional topic in a spiritual light. I’ve always been unconventional in my thinking and questioned societal norms (even though for most of my life I put those thoughts aside in order to “fit in” or appease my family and friends who think differently, sigh) So I am happy to see someone putting himself out there about something people judge so strongly. Most people who judge these things have no idea what they’re even talking about anyway.
I don’t believe you need to take psychedelics for personal transformation, but I do believe they can be extreme conduits for getting you there. If you take these “drugs” as part of your journey for personal growth instead of recreationally for fun, you will be catapulted to new levels of self-discovery. With the right intentions, they work as plant medicines instead of drugs to get you high.
I wish more people knew about the wonders and power of these plants, so I love seeing people like Tom put it out there in an educational and spiritual way. Again, if you don’t feel called to take psychedelics for personal growth it absolutely isn’t necessary, but having an open mind about it just makes sense for everyone.
The people listed above each helped me in a way I needed and were brought into my life at different times. They may not connect with you as they do me, so try to find your own social influencers if the people above aren’t inspiring you. I’m aware they may not be the ultimate influencers of 2016 but they were for me!
Looking back, it’s crazy to think that people I don’t even know helped me so much in my life. I’m grateful to live in the internet age where inspiration like this is available at our fingertips. To this day I still follow and value the teachings of each of these influencers, but there are TONS more I follow and learn from as well. I LOVE finding new people to learn from, so please share with me some of your favorite books, podcasts, motivators or social influencers. We constantly evolve, so our teachers should too. 🙂