page title icon Using Personal Development To Conquer Your Inner Demons

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I’m going to get really vulnerable and personal in this post. Recently I interviewed someone on the Morning Upgrade Podcast and asked why they think so many people are into personal development. His theory is that a lot of people get into personal development either because of their desire for personal achievement or they are battling inner demons. 

I’d say that both of these reasons to dive into personal development are true for me. Getting 1% better every day is something that really drives me…but there’s also this little part of me that’s still “broken” from things I dealt with as a child and into my teen years. 

Don’t get me wrong, I had a good family upbringing…yes, we had the normal issues most families deal with. But even with being raised in a good home, I battled with self-confidence issues and an eating disorder for a little while. 

And I still have light self-esteem issues that linger today in certain situations. Sure, I’m in a better spot and I’m generally confident…but I’m realizing that my personal growth journey will be a lifetime journey…and I’m OK with that.

My Personal Inner Demons

I’ll go ahead and tell you that I never planned to share this story on the blog, but as I’ve created content here, it’s become more and more personal…because I believe to truly serve, you need to be vulnerable. The Morning Upgrade is my (Ryan Cote’s) journey of personal development mixed in with tips on how you can inject personal development into your life and business.

But what kind of help would I be to you if I didn’t let you behind the curtain to see the things I have struggled with and continue to deal with? On the quest to build a great life, we’re all going to deal with internal and external challenges…and I believe sharing the good and the bad is a key ingredient to a recipe of impact.  

My Personal Battle With an Eating Disorder 

The biggest challenges I’ve dealt with in my life have been between my ears. It started when I was in the 5th grade when a few kids called me fat. They didn’t mean any harm by it (malicious harm at least), but it stuck with me. Once that seed was planted, I couldn’t keep it from taking root. 

At the time those kids said I was fat, I was definitely slightly chubby…but from that moment, in my head, I was fat. Not slightly chubby…fat. So in the 6th grade, I began to develop an eating disorder. I got very thin and looked sick. Through the 8th grade, I would have considered myself to be anorexic.  

In 9th grade, I started eating more and putting weight back on, but I transitioned to becoming very militant with what I ate. I wouldn’t eat any junk food, not even pretzels. There was one time that sticks in my mind when my friends challenged me to eat a Skittle and I just wouldn’t do it. I literally had 3 or 4 of my friends trying to force a Skittle into my mouth and I refused to eat it. I was so focused on being fit that I wouldn’t change my diet for any reason. 

Now some might argue this is a good thing, but it really controlled my life and my mind.

During that period, I was also quite uncomfortable in my own skin and super self-conscious. For example, even from 17 to 22 years old when I was in killer shape from my obsessive exercising and nutrition, I HATED taking off my shirt.

Even now, I dread going to the beach or pool where I have to take off my shirt. I envy one of my brothers because he can go to the beach and has no problems taking his shirt off even though he has a belly…he walks around like he doesn’t have a care in the world (sorry bro…this is actually meant as a compliment, lol). He looks the way he looks and he’s OK with it. I still struggle a bit with feeling awkward and uncomfortable in my own skin…it’s definitely better than it used to be, but I still feel that inner demon trying to say hello from time to time. As a result, I will continue to work on myself because it’s a fight worth fighting!

Use Personal Development to Conquer Your Inner Demons

Over the years, I’ve really dug into personal development and mindset training partly to work on my inner demons. There are just some battles that will never fully go away…but you can do things each day that will keep them at bay. 

Everything that I work on each day with my morning routine, mindset training, health and fitness habits…all of this is helping me be a better version of myself. I’m not striving for perfection, because nothing will ever be perfect. But they can be 1% better than they are right now. 

If you are someone who’s battling inner demons, I want to encourage you to take responsibility for your own personal growth. Maybe that looks like going to see a therapist, developing a morning routine, listening to personal development gurus…whatever it takes for you to shift your identity and become a better version of who you are right now. 

Don’t let your inner demons consume you. Instead, fight against them and put in the daily work needed to be healthier. It’s really easy to let the things that happened to you beat you down. If I had been taught when I was a kid to invest in my mindset, I know I’d be further along now. But I can’t erase the past, and neither can you. I encourage you to focus on what you can do today…meaning, right now…and go from there. 

Lastly, I started Morning Upgrade because I wanted to help others…and also help myself. Writing about my personal development journey, my experiences, and my ways of thinking have helped me stay passionate about my journey. And I hope what I’m doing here is making a difference in the world…starting with you!

Key Takeaways

  • Recognize your inner demons for what they are. They aren’t truths, but lies. 
  • Focus on getting 1% better every day. 
  • Invest in yourself because it’s the best investment you can make.
  • Make mindset training a big part of your personal development journey. 

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