Why you should start your self-development journey in 2021

This guest feature has been written by Zoë Cykosky, founder of ‘Zoë’s Two Dots on Life’ (which can be found on Instagram and YouTube). Zoë’s piece is for those who want to adopt a more positive approach to life and start taking steps towards working on themselves, but perhaps aren’t sure where to begin. If that’s you then look no further – Zoë’s here to help!

I want to help others realize the power they truly hold

I have been a tennis player since third grade, and I discovered my interest in positive thinking through the sport. Tennis is all about the mental game. (My coach once told me it is 30% physical and 70% mental!) You have to be in the moment when playing; if you are upset about the past or anxious about the future, it will show in the present point you are in. It is only you on that court, so you have to make sure you are staying positive and confident to succeed. 

Because tennis is such a mental game, my tennis coach gave me his copy of the book The Secret by Rhonda Bryne during my junior year of high school. After that, I never looked back. I started realizing the importance of my thoughts and my unlimited potential. I harnessed the power of visualization in all of my tennis matches to succeed.  I read so many other self-development books such as The Four Agreements, The Power, A New Earth, Atomic Habits… the list goes on and on.

Image by Zoë Cykosky from Instagram

I also have a passion for public speaking, and I realized that it is my purpose to inspire others through motivational speaking (combining my passion of self-development with speaking). I want to help others realize the power they truly hold if they open themselves to it.

The switch hit me when I read these books. They all opened my eyes up to a totally new perspective. They helped me start going all in for my goals and dreams, and I believe they have been part of the reason I have been successful through my college journey. They have taught me motivation, optimism, and positivity. 

“…what if we tried to find some positives in light of everything happening around us?”

When 2020 fell into shambles, there were so many emotions. Confusion. Grief. Anger. Loneliness. Rage. Hurt. Frustration. The list goes on and on… 

I noticed that people were being pulled into a stream of negativity in every area of their life. This would spread throughout the country like wildfire. The events that have occurred (and are still occurring) are absolutely horrific. However, what if we tried to find some positives in light of everything happening around us? 

This was a time we all needed to turn inwards. We were not able to thrive off of external things anymore, such as hanging out with friends, concerts, and sporting events. Instead, our inner happiness needed to arise intrinsically through activities such as journaling, reading, and other self-care activities.

Image by Zoë Cykosky from Instagram

This is what fueled me to create my motivational Instagram and YouTube channel. I always wanted to do this to follow my dream of being a motivational speaker. I also love video editing, so YouTube was a perfect platform to begin. I committed myself to posting 1 video a week over the summer and growing my Instagram. I soon was getting messages every day from people expressing how much my page was helping them get through these times. 

When my senior year of college came this fall, I was not as consistent with the page due to the responsibilities I held at school. However, I have a longer break at home and have created a regular schedule to keep inspiring others out there. Even if my post or video reaches 1 person out there, I know I am creating some sort of positive change in a world filled with uncertainty. As this second wave of the pandemic approaches, I hope to live my purpose by trying to spread the power of positivity during a time that is hard to find.

“Instead of letting [the pandemic] be your excuse to not work on yourself, make it the reason that you are”

My message to those who are reading this is to start. Even if the road ahead looks daunting, just start taking the first steps towards a more positive approach to life. If you do something small each day, such as reading a book, writing in a journal, exercising, etc., then the results will compound over time (read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear to learn more about habits).

The effects of the pandemic are sure to last into this year ahead. Instead of letting that be your excuse to not work on yourself, make it the reason that you are. If you can find your inner peace in a time of uncertainty, you will come out stronger on the other side of all of this and realize what is most important in your life. Just start so that you can get some momentum going, because I guarantee you won’t be able to stop once you do! Your time and energy are valuable, so make sure you are aware of where you are putting it!

“This too shall pass” – Persian adage

Thank you Zoë, for sharing your experiences and motivating those around you! You can connect with her on Instagram and YouTube – here’s the trailer:

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