Similarly to Teacher Bloggers, who impacted me, these personal growth bloggers connected with me at just the right time on my journey. I know I”ve learned something special if I find myself going back to the lesson or takeaways from a book or a post. Or if I share it with others. I recommend you get to know these individuals if you haven’t already. Read their books, watch their TED talks, take in their greatness.
Brene Brown is a hoot to listen to and she is so smart. Hers was one of the first messages I received in my journey and it was a powerful one. Listening to her TED talk about vulnerability and reading her book Daring Greatly was to understand the underpinnings of why I wasn’t happy at work. I wasn’t being me–my authentic self. I was living in some version of thinking I was not good enough. I was being the version of me I thought others wanted. believed being vulnerable was a weakness when all along it was the opposite. All that from a book and a TED talk.
HOW IT IMPACTED MY TEACHING: I realized that my issue with being a chameleon for everyone else was not just a teacher problem, but a personal one. So as a person, I stopped doing so much of what I thought others wanted me to do and started to speak my mind more.
Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook and author of Lean In for Graduates was another lady who I expected nothing from but got one very large wake-up call. Another shift in attitude. Her words helped me realize that one of the reasons that I wasn’t happy at work was because with all of my actions I was diminishing my own accomplishments and that many of my decisions(or lack thereof) were coming from a place of fear. If I wanted to have a different relationship with work, I had to make this mental shift to be fearless and to stop selling myself short. I have a sign that hangs above my desk to remind me of how far I’ve come. It reads. ” Sit At the Table ” a phrase she often repeats in her TED Talks, interviews and books.
HOW IT IMPACTED MY TEACHING: I stopped being afraid of whether or not I was good enough and just started diving into things I wanted to do. I started taking part in things that before I wouldn’t have. I applied to the GMWP and was accepted into the year-long cohort. I co-lead PD sessions. Overall, I feel more comfortable making mistakes or not have everything go perfectly in front of students. Which makes me more human. More real.
Gretchen is a writer, blogger, and podcaster who’s own research has really helped me gain a lot of knowledge about myself. She’s studied activities and behaviors that promote happiness. like really dug into studies and work that’s been done. Her books The Happiness Project, Better Than Before, and The Four Tendencies have really helped me visualize her ideas. They have helped me embrace my nature rather than fight it, and to create habits for my life that can work with my nature. One of the things I appreciate most about Gretchen is her process. She’s trying to figure out her own life and in doing that she’s asked and answered important questions. We can all benefit from what she’s learned.
HOW IT IMPACTED MY TEACHING: Her information has helped me understand more deeply how we all behave and why. I understand better my own personality and why others who have different personality styles do what they do. Understanding these differences supports better communication with others. Especially kids. When you know where to push, when to back off, and when you need to go for a different strategy altogether, you are ahead of the game.
Jen Sincero is a success coach and the author of You are a Badass. This book is a great example of how a person can be funny and send out a powerful message. Any goal in your life can be reached if you navigate the situation right. It’s half having the right mindset and half, taking the necessary actions to get where you want to go.
HOW IT IMPACTED MY TEACHING: Jen’s words were motivational for me. I get now the power of mindset in transforming your dreams into reality. I can see this for myself and I can use this in my work with students. I set goals now that I want to reach, I figure out actionable steps I can take, and I don’t quit until I’m there. No matter how hard it may get.
Greg McKeown wrote Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. The lessons from this book helped me to focus my intention. If you are too busy doing everything, you aren’t going to be half as successful as if you focus your time and energy on a few things that you do better than anyone else.
HOW THIS CHANGED MY TEACHING: I don’t focus on every new initiative that I hear about or every new good idea. I don’t have time and I can’t truly be good at everything anyway, so I’ve stopped overwhelming myself with all the things and I don’t feel one bit bad about it anymore. The good news is that other people care about the things I don’t so between us all, things will get done.
Mark wrote The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’ll be honest, I read this book just because the title was kind of vulgar. I didn’t keep reading because of the title though. His message is similar to Brene Brown. Know and accept who you are, the good and the bad and stop caring about things that don’t really matter. Life is too short to care about absolutely everything that happens. It’s important to prioritize what is and isn’t important in your life. Care about the things that matter. Everything else? Let it go.
HOW THIS CHANGED MY TEACHING: Similar to Greg McKeown, the takeaway for me was to focus my energy. Having clear intentions about what I will care about and focus on and let the rest go. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I model this for students as well as my peers.
That’s my list. I’m sure there are others out there who are just as inspiring. Which authors bloggers inspire you?