Are you familiar with the term Self-Improvement a.k.a Personal Development? If not, let me start by defining it for you:
According to Merriam-Webster self-improvement is the act or process of improving oneself through one's own actions.
According to Wikipedia personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.
The reason I wanted to define it is that when most people hear the term self-improvement, their assumptions are usually wrong or distorted, which is understandable since it’s such a broad term.
A significant factor in improving yourself is to stop thinking that you’re a second-rate person. Forget repetitive thoughts such as “If only I was richer… if only I was thinner” and so on. Accepting your true self is the first step to self-improvement. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others only to find out in the end that we’ve got 10 more reasons to envy them.
We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not be perfect for you to be happy.
Self-improvement and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect and you are the best. It’s the virtue of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy.
Now that you know what self-improvement means, I’m going to share 20 Tips For Self-Improvement.
Let’s unpack this…
1)) Know Your Purpose
Are you wandering through life with little direction hoping that you'll find happiness, health, and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.
This may seem tricky at first when you see yourself to be on a tight or even dead end. But there's always that little loophole to turn things around and you can make a big difference to yourself.
2)) Know Your Values
What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, and learning. As you set your goals for the year check them against your values. If the goal doesn't align with any of your top five values, you may want to reconsider it or revise it.
The number shouldn't discourage you, instead, it should motivate you to do more than you can ever dream of.
3)) Know Your Needs
Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? There are so many people who lived their lives without realizing their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or even depressed for that matter. List your top four needs and get them met before it's too late!
The worst advice that someone can give another is telling them they have time because none of us knows how much time we have left on this planet.
Therefore, if there are goals that you want to accomplish, try your best to work towards achieving them every day.
I know that this is usually easier said than done, but what’s the alternative?
Giving up, and I doubt that’s an option you want to settle for.
I’m pretty sure you’re aware of the fact that unmet wants and needs can lead to stress, which can cause you to develop health-related problems, with some as severe as strokes and heart attacks.
Yes, it can be that serious!
4)) Know Your Passions
You know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life. Obstacles like doubt and lack of enthusiasm will only hinder you, but will not derail your chance to become the person you ought to be.
Express yourself and honor the people who have inspired you to become the very person you wanted to be.
Passion is a major driver in momentum and provides you with an almost unlimited amount of hunger to pursue your dreams.
One of Tony Robbins' favorite phrases is, “Live With Passion, Today and Every Day!”
5)) Live From the Inside Out
Increase the awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind. For most of us, it's hard to find the peace and quiet we want even in our own homes. In my case, I often just sit in a dimly lit room and play some smooth jazz music. There's sound, yes, but music does soothe the soul.
6)) Honor Your Strengths
What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three and if you get stuck, ask those closest to you for help in identifying them. Are you imaginative, witty, and good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you can share what you know with others.
7)) Serve Others
When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to whom you are, living your purpose, and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others, which is in essence, your spirit.
The rewards for sharing your gifts with those close to you are indeed rewarding, much more if it were to be seen from the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what you have done to them.
Self-improvement is absolutely worth every effort that you put into it. It shouldn't always be within the confines of an office building, or maybe in the four corners of your own room. The difference lies within ourselves and how much we want to change for the better.
8)) To Grow Spiritually Is To Look Inward
Introspection goes beyond recalling the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations.
Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights into your life goals, the good traits you must sustain, and the bad traits you have to discard.
Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation. Like any skill, introspection can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you.
Here are some pointers when you introspect:
- Be objective
- Be forgiving of yourself
- Focus on your areas for improvement
9)) Other People’s Behavior
There’s no secret that brown nosers, gossipmongers, whiners, backstabbers, snipers, people walking wounded, controllers, naggers, complainers, exploders, patronizers, and suffers are the kinds of people that will pose bad vibes for your self-esteem, as well as to your self-improvement goals.
I highly advise you to either stay away from or limit your interaction with negative people, because they’ll eventually, over time drag you down into their unhappy worlds.
I’m not saying to become arrogant and believe that you’re better than others, but you may become the company that you keep, and that’s no good if your goal is to improve yourself.
10)) Handling a Negative Work Environment
Beware of the “dog eat dog” theory, where everyone is fighting just to get ahead. This is where non-appreciative people usually thrive. No one appreciates your contributions even if you miss lunch and dinner, and stay up late. Most of the time you work too much without getting help from people on your team.
Try your best to not get caught up in stepping on your co-worker's toes or backstabbing them just to get ahead.
I know that in some work environments, it’s difficult to avoid shady co-workers because you have to work on projects together.
Being a snake in the grass to one-up others is not the definition of self-improvement.
Unless you have no conscious or decency, being an untrustworthy backstabber will have just the opposite effect on your personal development efforts.
Instead, you should get involved with healthy competitions at every opportunity you get, because this will boost your self-improvement profoundly.
11)) Changing Environment
You can’t be a green bug on a brown field. Changes challenge our paradigms. It tests our flexibility, and adaptability and alters the way we think. Changes will make life difficult temporarily, it may cause stress, but it can help you find ways to improve yourself. The change will be there forever, you must be susceptible to it.
12)) Learn from Past Experiences
It’s okay to cry and say “ouch!” when we experience pain. But don’t let pain transform itself into fear. It might grab you by the tail and swing you around. Treat each failure and mistake as a lesson learned.
13)) Negative World View
Focus on what’s right in front of you. Don’t wrap yourself up in all the negativity of the planet.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Don’t Carry The Weight Of The World On Your Shoulders?”
You shouldn’t allow yourself to be consumed by all the problems of the world, because you alone can’t solve them.
So, you must do the best you can on a personal level first, and then realistically pick and choose the battles you’d like to fight to make the world a better place.
14)) Determination Theory
The way you are and your behavioral traits are said to be a mixed end product of your inherited traits (genetics), your upbringing (psychic), and your environmental surroundings such as your significant other, the company, the economy, or your circle of friends.
You have your own identity. For example; If your father is a failure, it doesn’t mean you have to be a failure too. Learn from other people’s experiences, so you’ll never have to encounter the same mistakes.
This is called, “Modeling Success.”
Why waste 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years of your life attempting to learn something through trial and error, when you could simply learn from those who already made all of the mistakes and are willing to hand their knowledge to you on a silver platter?
Modeling is the ultimate shortcut to success in anything you’re trying to accomplish.
15)) Stop Thinking You’re A Failure
No matter how many times you fail at something, you should never call yourself a failure, because you’re not.
If you try one way and it doesn’t work, then try another way until you have success.
As I already mentioned, you should model success in order to minimize failure.
Remember, if you say that you can, you will and if you say that you can’t, you won’t.
Besides, how do you expect others to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself?
16)) Never View Yourself As Being Stupid
Just like you shouldn’t think you’re a failure when something doesn’t work out, you must not feel stupid and doomed forever because you failed at something. Keep in mind at all times that there’s most likely going to be a next time.
17)) Take Things One Day at A Time
Since self-improvement is a process, you must learn to take it one day at a time. If the results were instant, everyone would be in a much better place mentally, physically, and financially.
So, make a decision that you’re going to improve all areas of your life and you’re going to stick with the process until you get the results you desire.
18)) Be Genuine
Hypocrisy will just bring you all the way down. Be genuinely nice and interested in people. Once they label you a hypocrite with selfish intentions, you might as well say goodbye to self-empowerment.
Your life experiences with interacting with others have probably shown you how people are naturally drawn to those who are authentic or genuine, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same.
19)) Do Random Acts of Kindness
Little gestures can mean BIG to other people. Sometimes, we don’t realize that the little things that we do like a pat on the back, saying “hi” or “hello”, greeting someone “good day” or telling Mr. Smith something like “hey, I love your tie!” are simple things that mean so much to other people. When we’re being appreciative of beautiful things around us and other people, we also become beautiful to them.
20)) Don’t Force Self-Improvement onto Others
When you’re willing to accept change and go through the process of self-improvement, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is. The world is a place where people of different values and attitudes hang out.
Sometimes, even if you think you and your best friend always like to do the same things together at the same time, he or she would most likely decline an invitation for self-improvement.
If your family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers aren’t interested in personal development, don’t attempt to force it on them, because you’ll only push them away.
Instead, focus on improving yourself and they’ll eventually notice the positive changes in the major areas of your life and may ask you for your advice on what you’re doing to achieve them.
Then you can introduce them to the world of self-improvement.
Painful experiences in life can be great lesson tools depending on how we look at them or can destroy us.
We finally see the warning signs and signals when things get rough and tough. When do we realize that we need to change diets? When none of our clothes fit. When do we stop eating candies and chocolates? When we develop painful cavities. When do we realize that we need to stop smoking? When our lungs have gone bad. When do we pray and ask for help? When we realize that we’re on our deathbeds.
The only time most of us ever learn about unlocking our self-improvement power is when the whole world is crashing and falling apart. We think and feel this way because it is not easy to change. But change becomes more painful when we ignore it.
The change will happen, like it or hate it. At one point or another, we are all going to experience different turning points in our life, and we are all going to eventually unlock our self-improvement power, not because the world says so, not because our friends are nagging us, but because we realized it’s for our own good.
Happy people don’t just accept change, they embrace it. Now, you don’t have to feel a tremendous heat before realizing the need for self-improvement. Not unlocking your self-improvement power means locking yourself up in the cage of thought that “it’s just the way I am.” It is such a poor excuse for people who fear and resist change. Most of us program our minds like computers.
Self-improvement is not the sexiest word and those who don’t fully understand its meaning may even think the process is boring.
Personal development requires discipline and discipline equals freedom because it keeps you on track with following the process.
If you look at things from a different viewpoint, you could actually enjoy the process, instead of counting the days until you start seeing improvement.
The key to self-improvement is to be proactive instead of reactive.
The best time to get life insurance is before you pass away, right?
Well, getting healthy is a great way to be proactive in preventing health problems.
Meditating is a proactive way to reduce your stress levels.
Paying your bills on time is the best way to keep and build your credit.
Starting an online business is a terrific way to make extra income so that you can pay your bills on time, pay down debt, and possibly become wealthy.
Do you see how being proactive can help you improve all areas of your life?
You don’t have to wait for a crisis to take action on self-improvement.
The more that you improve yourself and other aspects of your life, the happier you’ll be!