What is Self Improvement?
Being the best person you can be and living a life that you are happy with is important. Self improvement allows you to identify those areas in your life where you aren’t doing your best so that you can make changes. In the end, you are the only one that can do so. There can be challenges and obstacles in your way, but you have to decide not to allow them to conquer you.
Self improvement doesn’t mean you aren’t content with who you are in many ways though. You may just need some fine tuning. For others, it could result in a complete change of lifestyle. Identifying what you want to change, why you wish to change it, and then coming up with a plan of action is important. It isn’t enough to talk about changes; you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to see changes occur.
One of the best ways to do that is to write down your goals for self improvement. Then make a plan of action of how you will accomplish those goals. Make sure you include rewards too. More information on how to take action will be covered in module #7.
The umbrella of time management is huge, so it makes sense to break it down into several categories. The information shared here will break it down into the following sections:
- Time Management
What is Self Improvement?
Most of the efforts regarding self improvement are physiologically based. Even when you talk about losing weight which is physical, there is a mental aspect of it that has to be followed through in order for lifestyle changes to occur. Mentally, you have to prepare for changing how you eat and your level of physical activity.
Ironically, the term self help is one that doesn’t have to mean you do it all on your own. Rely on resources, learning, support groups, and more to help you get through the process. The self improvement title really means that you make a direct effort to go beyond where you are right now in your life.
The ability to change yourself for the better is much more than just the natural process of maturing. No one is perfect, and no one is ever going to be. Yet that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to be positive and to focus on being the very best person you can be. If you know what your overall goals are, you can measure the gap between where you are right now and where you would like to be.
By changing behaviors and developing new skills, you can improve yourself. It all starts with the motivation to do it! You can’t make the decision to change based on what someone else would like you to do or what they would like you to be. Positive changes can help you to be successful both in your career and in your personal life.
Do you often feel like you are stuck in the same old rut? The scene changes but not the outcome? Perhaps your life isn’t bad but you feel like you are in a comfort zone that is very predictable and robotic. If you want to be successful, you have to work on improving yourself. Not just today, but continually over the course of your life.
Initially, the bigger steps have to be taken in order to make self improvement. Once those are achieved, it is really just a matter of identifying additional changes over time, modifying your game plan, and re-evaluating your goals and direction. With the right mindset, self improvement becomes an inner challenge that is personally rewarding and very beneficial.
The pace for self improvement depends on what you need to change and other factors in your life. Some changes can occur quickly and others will need to happen over time. For example, going to back to college to earn a degree or losing a substantial amount of weight are going to take much longer than taking action to stop procrastinating.
Your self improvement strategy can be the key to success that has been missing. It does take courage though to make such changes. When we do something different than what we are used to, it can stir up a bunch of emotions so be ready for them.
Fear can keep us frozen in place, doing the same things over and over, even though we aren’t happy with them. Don’t let doubt or fear prevent you from realizing the goals you have put into motion. You will never know how far you can make it if you don’t try. What is the worst that can happen? You will have some roadblocks and barriers to overcome.
Those hurdles can be tough, but you can tackle them piece by piece, one by one. You can continue to move forward with positive change. As long as you don’t give in, you will always be moving along and that is definitely better than never leaving that starting line.
Eliminate all of the excuses if you want to make changes. Anyone can say that they would like to change, but you have to go the distance to make it work out. You can’t blame those around you, society, or a lack of time for not making it happen. The bottom line is that if making the changes is something you really want to do, you will find a way to make it happen.
If you experience fear, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What you have to do is identify the fear and get a grasp on the source of it. Break down that fear and use it to motivate you. Remember, the only person you are up against with self improvement is yourself. So you can choose to be your best cheerleader or you can be your worst enemy. Self sabotage doesn’t have to win if you make the decision to be in complete control.
In order to successfully move forward with self improvement, you need to have some essential elements in the mix. They include:
- Identify what you would like to improve
- Set goals for when you will have the improvement done
- Identify a strategy to tackle the issue that works well for you
- Be able to measure your progress along the way
Learn from your past mistakes, and allow them to be a key part of your desire for self improvement. For example, you may realize that you have had some problems in the past in relationships due to not openly communicating. Before you dive into another intimate relationship, take the time to make such improvements. The learning process from the past can encourage you to change the future.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes either when it comes to self improvement. They are going to happen. If you expect nothing but perfection, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. We are all human and we all make errors and mistakes along the way. It is how we choose to recover from them that truly makes the difference.
Self improvement is a learned behavior, it isn’t genetic. No matter what your experiences have been growing up or what you have been exposed to culturally, it can be turned around. Some efforts at self improvement are small but still good changes. Others are huge changes and the significantly impact overall quality of life.
The world around us constantly changes and gives us new factors to work with. It adds in more variables than you may have imagined. Yet it also gives us more ability to make positive changes through modern medicine, psychology, and even technology. Embrace the many tools and methods out there that can make your concepts of self improvement a reality.
Why is Self Improvement Important?
When we look back on our lives, we want to be proud of who we are and what we have accomplished. We don’t want to look back and wish we had done this or done that. We don’t want to grow old and wish we had better relationships or that we had more money put aside for retirement.
No matter how old you are right now or what is going on in your life, self improvement can make it better. It can prevent you from being on a path that doesn’t serve you well in the end. Too often, we focus on the here and now and we don’t see the long term repercussions.
Time slips through our fingers like grains of sand, and before you know it, things have completely changed in your life. One day at a time, one week, one month, one year, and a group of years. The challenge is to make time now for self improvement so that the years you have left are the best in your life. Otherwise, you may look back with regrets rather than found memories.
We can’t always choose certain things in our life and how they will play out. For example, the family we are born into. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to allow negative elements of your life to hold you back from your true potential. It doesn’t mean you have to live your life the way that others around you do either. Breakout out from a mold and really reaching for what you want to be as an individual is going to give you the personal freedom that you deserve.
Self help is also important because it helps you accept and come to terms with things you can’t change. For example, maybe you were born without an arm. You can’t change that but there is so much you can continue to strive for in spite of it. While that is an extreme example, there are people out there that have accepted such a challenge and have the life they want regardless of the physical limitation.
Since self help is personalized to you and your unique needs, wants, and abilities, it is the best gift you can give yourself. Too often, we spend out life contributing to the well being of our spouse, children, and even those that we do work for. However, it should all start with doing what is best for us. Only then can we give the very best to others.
After all, if you can’t make a vested interest in your future, how can you expect anyone else to do so? By making yourself a priority, you will be happier and you will contribute more to your personal and professional relationships than you were able to in the past. As a result, success will come your way and there will plenty of new opportunities for you to explore.
Becoming a new version of yourself and opening up to new thoughts and ideas are benefits from self improvement. They saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks isn’t true. Some people are just stubborn or they are so afraid of change that they never give it a chance.
Take the opportunity to create a better version of yourself and to be who you really want. We all have faults, but why spend time and energy trying to hide them? You can use that same time and energy to modify them so that you are really happy with the person you are inside and out.
Part of who you are may have been lost some time ago due to changes in your life. Through self improvement, you may find that you are able to get that piece back. For example, maybe you enjoyed being involved with social groups but your spouse didn’t like it. Eventually, you stopped being involved in them and stayed at home. Now that you are divorced, you can look at things differently and start bringing back those fun activities you enjoyed.
Many people simply perceive that they don’t deserve the best to happen to them. They don’t deserve a great spouse, an advanced position at work, or to live in a nice home or drive a nice vehicle. You have to assign your own self worth in order for self improvement to matter. Realize why you are good enough to have such elements in your life. Then you won’t feel guilty for reaching for them.
Self Help Industry
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the various methods and tools available. The self help industry has really taken off, and not all of the discipline or approaches are the same. Too often, a person uses the wrong method for their needs or learning style.
When they fail to find value in the program, they feel like they have failed. The reality is that just didn’t have the right program for their need and they weren’t in the right frame of mind to make it happen. Approximately $11 billion is spent annually on such products.
Many of the changes you will need to make in your own life though you can do without spending very much money. In fact, some of them will help you to save money. For example, if you stop smoking or stop consuming alcohol you will no longer have the expense of paying for those items. The money you save can add up quickly.
Self improvement offers us the chance to feel self fulfilled and successful. We all have the desire to feel that our efforts have been meaningful and that they have contributed to our desire to live a great life to the fullest. Our days on Earth are numbered so the way in which we life them is very important. Success comes with self improvement, and that can increase overall happiness.
Self confidence also gets a huge boost when someone feels good about the improvements they have made. It is a great feeling to know you have enough money to take care of yourself now and into retirement. It is wonderful to feel good when you look in the mirror and that the reflection you see makes you smile.
Being confident in personal relationships often stems from knowing you are doing well physically, emotionally, and financially. When you have that core foundation in place, self doubt is going to have a hard time being able to sabotage the efforts you make within those relationships. You will know you have plenty of value to offer others.
Your own feelings of value and self worth will set bar high. This can determine how other people treat you, the level of responsibility you are given at work, and so much more. It also means that you are less likely to allow people to take advantage of you in relationships because you know your own worth.
Don’t let labels get in the way of who you are or who you want to be. The need for self improvement doesn’t mean that you are lazy or that you are dysfunctional. It isn’t an admission that what you have been doing wasn’t the right thing to do. Instead, it means that you are taking positive actions to improve yourself now for the future.
At different times in our lives, we have different outlooks and priorities. Self improvement can help with making the changes a person identifies to be better balanced. For example, at a young age the value of relationships may not be as apparent to you as it is 20 years down the line. It is never too late to make changes and for self improvement to be part of your goals.
It does take hard work, a commitment, and time for the changes to occur. Yet that time is certainly going to pass regardless. When you look at who you are 6 months from now, you will feel great knowing that the efforts you put forth and the methods you incorporated have helped you to get closer to living the life you want at that particular point in your life.
There is no right or wrong method when it comes to getting results either. You have to do what works best for you. We all have our own goals, our own motivators, and our own desires for the life we would like to live. Take some time to really think about the changes you would like to see in the following modules. It can be helpful to make a list as you go so that you have ideas to work from when you get to the action steps.
You may feel like life hasn’t given you the best hand. Maybe your upbringing wasn’t the best or you didn’t get to go to the college you wanted. Those things you can’t change but you can decide how the future plays out for you. Not everyone is born with wealth but that just means you have to work harder for financial freedom.
Everyone out there has obstacles but those that don’t allow those issues to hold them back are the happiest and the most successful. They have worked hard to self improve and it has given them joy and accomplishment that comes from within. They have identified the barriers and instead of walking away took the time to face them head on.
Procrastination is the biggest barrier when it comes to self improvement. Once you identify changes to make, don’t put it off. Make it a priority and at the top of your list of daily things to work on. The more focused you are on that particular area of your life, the better the outcome will be.
You can’t work on everything at once and you have to be patient. A plan of action will help you to see how to get where you would like to be. A way to measure success will help you get through the tough times when you lack motivation and when you feel like you can’t continue to move forward.
What you want has to be worth the investment of time, energy, and dedication to make it happen. During times when the going gets tough, think about why you need to reach that goal and why that particular self improvement matters so much in your life.