I have felt caged by a ceaseless desire to make others happy, and I was mortified by upsetting anyone else. However, quarantine sparked a moment of personal growth. This constant pressure from myself nearly drove me into depression. I did not feel like I was advancing myself, as my energy was directed towards others. I felt regret and constant criticism around me. The isolation of quarantine allowed me to focus on myself. Reading self-help literature assisted me in developing goals and strategies to grow. The book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, in particular, supported my self-development. The Four Agreements taught me to be self-aware, to withstand criticism, avoid assumptions, and to do my best, and as a result, I can genuinely focus on self-development.
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The quarantine time inspired me to be more self-aware, and my new code is motivated by the book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. The first agreement suggests being impeccable with my word, which means being mindful when I speak (Ruiz, 1997). I realized that being honest when I express myself in conversation is helpful to my mental health, as lying to myself and others is leading to unnecessary negativity in life. The second agreement advises not to take anything too personally as people who criticize others might do it because of their insecurities (Ruiz, 1997). Understanding this helped me to evaluate criticism in my life, as it often is not constructive or helpful. Overall, these two agreements enabled me to be more mindful of my own words and understand the reasons behind the criticism.
The third agreement encourages readers not to make assumptions, meaning that healthy communication is essential for long-lasting and durable relationships with others. Therefore, asking additional questions and expressing personal feelings to loved ones can positively influence people’s interactions and make them healthier over time because it helps to avoid possible misunderstandings. The last agreement inspired me always to do my best because this way of living contributes to avoiding self-criticism, self-destruction, and regret (Ruiz, 1997). Overall, the book made me reconsider the ways I am communicating with my friends and family, as well as my personal view of self.
The Four Agreements have altered my worldview. I can set goals for myself that are not limited by my previous need to always put others first. I can spend time enjoying and digging into literature. I can develop myself free from the self-imposed pressure of my pre-quarantine life. Criticism no longer overwhelmed me, and I can accept the useful parts of constructive and supportive comments while rejecting an evaluation that I feel is unwarranted. My communication has improved; I am more purposeful and self-aware when conversing with others. The Four Agreements were vital for allowing me to self-develop.
To conclude, the time I was able to spend in quarantine sparked a moment of self-growth, which enabled me to focus more on myself and my relationship with others. I learned that being dependant on approval from other people was extremely limiting my personal development; therefore, I decided to work on this problem by educating myself and being more mindful. Overall, it is crucial to have an opportunity to discover new paths to grow as an individual and to focus on resolving potential discomforts, working on insecurities, and finding new hobbies.
Ruiz, M. (1997). The four agreements: A practical guide to personal freedom. Amber-Allen.