I guess you can say I've been on a constant quest to better myself in any way possible. I guess, in my opinion, that's kind of the point of life.. to constantly strive to do better. Not that I'm a perfectionist in anyway, I just know that I can do everything better.
Through the years my focus has shifted many times. Most of the time I want to be a better mom and wife. Sometimes I want to be a better cook. Other times I want to be better at managing my finances. I enrolled in college to better myself, and now I have my Associate's degree. I went to work to better myself, and left work to better myself.. just in a different way.
I'm now back to focusing on just being a better wife and mom, as that's my #1 job in life. Without the support of my family I can't hope to achieve anything else. They helped me reach my goal of being a college graduate. They helped me when I was trying to work. They're supporting me in my decision to leave work. Now I owe it to them to be the best mom and wife I can be.
There are a lot of ways I try to achieve this goal of bettering myself. Right now I am seeing a therapist. Though generally I have tried to make changes on my own through the help of information.
I think a lot of times we get stuck in a habit or mind frame and we don't always realize it's wrong. We might place blame on others for our problems without seeing how we've contributed to those problems ourselves through our habits or negativity. The only way to change this is to change ourselves by becoming aware of what we're doing and making a conscious effort to change the behavior.
To do this, I've used my local library and a slew of self-help books. Unfortunately there is a lot of information out there, and it's not always right for us. Finding the right information is key to making these difficult changes that can bring about better circumstances.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the books and information that has helped me along the way, in case there are others out there who also want to recognize and change their own behaviors in hopes of bettering themselves and their lives.
So here are a few of the books I've read that have helped me in some way:
"Bad Childhood, Good Life" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. As the title states, if you had a difficult childhood, this book helps to overcome the resulting scars and pain to allow you to live a better adult life. Has tips for dealing with resulting emotions towards parents as well as how to change behaviors in current relationships.
"Stop Whining, Start Living" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Similar to the above book but does not focus on childhood hurts. More or less focuses on negativity and how to stop it.
(Yes I am a big Dr. Laura fan, I don't necessarily agree with all of her views, but I've read most of her books and agree with the message she sends.. I definitely recommend all of her books depending on where you are in life and what sort of guidance you need).
"Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus" by John Gray, Ph. D. When my husband and I read this book we thought it was written specifically for us. We recognized ourselves and many of our problems in this book. It is an excellent guide for understanding the opposite sex and how to have a healthy relationship without becoming hurt by misinterpreting each other's actions.
"The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Explains that different people view loving acts in different ways.. such as through gifts, words, or actions. If you or your partner feel like the other isn't showing you love in the proper way, this book may be a huge benefit!
"Fight Less, Love More" by Laurie Puhn. Another relationship guide, helps to discover minor problems arising in a relationship and how to correct them.