How Can I Improve Myself?
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Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.
~ Leo Tolstoy
Have you ever contemplated improving yourself, but just don’t know how to do it? If so, you are not alone. Most people, at one time or another, in their lives identify something that they would like to change or improve. Some people want to change their appearance (i.e. breast/buttock enhancements, lip enhancements, Botox for fine lines, haircut or color, weight, fashion style, skin tone, etc.), while others want to change their jobs (i.e. entering a new career field, going back to school, moving to a new location, seeking job promotions and pay raises, etc.). It is important to note that self-improvement is not all about earning more money, making more friends, or gaining fame and/or popularity. The goal of “bettering” yourself is to help you feel good about who you are, improve your situation (i.e. relationships and career), and provide you a greater insight on what you want and need to be truly happy and satisfied.
It is not, however, to help you gain more sexual conquests, compliments, praise, or recognition. Although it is always nice to garner approval and admiration, it should not be the sole reason that you decide to improve yourself. If you decide to improve yourself, do it because you want to, not because you feel you need to or because someone else is pressuring you to change. The most effective way to accomplish self-improvement is to block out outside noise (i.e. societal ideals and expectations). The key is to discover your own personal truth (i.e. what makes you tick). And, truthfully, the only way you will accomplish this goal is to put in serious work. In other words, you will need to manifest your truth in every breath that you take and every move that you make. If you are wondering how to improve yourself, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you how to improve yourself, so that you can reach your full potential.
Stop trying? Yes, one of the best ways to improve yourself is simply to stop trying. I know this sounds odd and contradictory, but it makes a lot of sense when you really think about it. Although self-improvement is normally associated with the accomplishment of a goal, trying too hard to achieve things is often the very thing that holds people back from actually achieving their goals. Trying too hard also prevents you from real personal growth and development. It is only when you stop and listen that you fully realize your potential. Furthermore, when you stop reaching for the unattainable and/or unrealistic, you are able to acknowledge and accept your true destiny. Stop striving to be better than others, and better than yourself. Be who you are, and reinforce your strong areas and improve your weak ones, but don’t change your inner core (the real person inside).
Take Baby Steps
Next, you will need to take baby steps. In other words, break down larger, more complex goals into smaller tasks. Then, start with the smallest, simplest tasks and work your way down the list. All actions matter. All actions are beneficial, and each step, regardless of how small, can help you improve yourself and fulfill your dreams. What baby steps can I take to move towards my goals? What is the first step, second one, third one, and so on? How can I become the person I want to be? It is common to believe that a person’s personality is only demonstrated when he or she performs certain actions, says certain things, and/or behaves in a certain way, but that is not entirely true, in fact, a person’s true personality comes out through his or her personal successes and failures. More specifically, it is important to remember that everything that you undertake either helps you accomplish goals, or distracts you from them. Following every interaction, ask yourself, “Is there something I can learn from the situation that will help improve my life?”
One of the most neglected, but highly effective ways to improve yourself is to be objective. In other words, don’t be so judgmental and/or critical towards yourself and others. Look at yourself and the world around you with an objective eye, and if possible, lean towards positivity. Accept yourself as is – do not try to be something or someone you are not. Just be yourself – good and bad. It is not uncommon to feel as if you are “ordinary” “humdrum,” “boring” and “insignificant,” but guess what? You are none of those things. You don’t need to be a model, an Olympic athlete and/or the most amazing person on the planet – you just need to be you. You are important, and when you devalue yourself because you don’t fit into a tidy, neat box, you allow your ego to drive your life. You may not hear this often, but it is ok to be average. In other words, you don’t have to be exceptional to deserve love, happiness and respect. Evaluate your successes and failures with an objective eye. And, refrain from inserting your biases and/or the biases of others into your life. Furthermore, do not beat yourself up about trivial things. On the flip side, do not allow yourself to become conceited. Find that happy medium and your life will improve.
One of the best ways to improve yourself is to love yourself. You are not “perfect” and no one really expects you to be “perfect” except for you, perhaps. Do not envy what others have because you don’t really know what they are facing behind closed doors. Find happiness in your own life, and turn your flaws and imperfections into assets. In other words, make lemonade out of lemons. Your “quirks,” regardless of whether they are physical or mental make you special and unique. Embrace all parts of you because they make you the person you are today, and the person you will become in the future. If people make fun of you or bully you because you are different – pity them. Yes, pity them. Why? Well, because they more than likely have a low self-esteem and/or self-confidence, and that is why they are judgmental and critical towards you. Most of the bullies and negative people in the world are unhappy, and the people who bully you are probably envious of your life. I bet you never thought of it this way, but it is true. Stay away from jealous and envious people because they will destroy you with their toxicity. Stay true to yourself – even when it is difficult and you will come out on top. Do what makes you happy, and do not place too much value on what others are doing. Be your own leader. Just like expensive wine, you will become more confident and improve with time. Self-improvement does not happen in one night. It takes time, effort, persistence and dedication.
Ask For Help
Lastly, ask for help when you feel yourself slipping into depression. Key symptoms of depression are: self-doubt and a low self-esteem. If you start to experience these feelings, but don’t know how or can’t pull yourself out of it - ask for help. There is nothing wrong with needing some guidance while navigating through life. There is also nothing wrong with needing a swift kick in the bottom to push you over a hump. If you aren’t ready to share your issues, concerns and goals with someone else – purchase self-help guides and instructional videos, or document your goals and feelings in a diary. Once you are ready to talk to someone, reach out to the people who love you – friends and family members, join a support group, and/or schedule a consultation with a qualified mental health professional. Furthermore, ask for help, if you can’t figure out how to accomplish your goals – there are people who can set you on the right path.
- Dr. R. Y. Langham
Inspirational Quotes. (2015). Self-improvement quotations. Retrieved from http://www.inspirational-quotes.info/self-improvement.html
Mayo Clinic. (2015). Self-esteem: Take steps to feel better about yourself. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/self-esteem/art-20045374
Self-Improvement-Advice. (2015). Self-improvement. Retrieved from http://www.self-improvement-advice.org/