Self Improvement although self-explanatory, is an important aspect that we often choose to overlook. Based on recent surveys, it is the single most determining factor that gets sidelined in our pursuit of success.
Do you remember the time from childhood when we believed that we could be anyone we chose to be?
We wanted to be an actor, a sportsperson, a doctor even a superhero. Then we grew up. The realities started to settle in. Our financial situation, educational qualification, family commitments, etc. limited our aspirations.
We compromised and complied.
But if I ask you to look closely at the life of some of the people who made it big, you couldn’t help but notice that we indeed missed the very important art of self improvement.
Self improvement is the process of creating and crafting out the best version of yourself -against all odds.
It is a wonderful process of turning your desires into reality through discipline, commitment, and resolve.
Listed below are some of the self improvement ideas and tips that I have acquired through learning and mentoring.
These ideas if implemented will expedite you on your path of self improvement and help you become a person that you will respect and admire.
1. Self Improvement: Think Less, Act More
I have a close friend who often says, “Oh I had that business idea in my mind since last year.” When I ask what he did about that idea, he simply says that he talked himself out of it.
So many of us experience this on a daily basis.
The dreamer inside us that existed since our childhood wants us to do so many things.
He wants us to start a business or write a book or get in a better shape but each time it builds up courage and puts forward its desires, we beat that idea with our irrational limiting beliefs and ensure that the idea does not see the light of the day.
This is what we call as ‘acting like a grown- up.’
You have two great resources at your disposal.
Your heart which knows what you need to do and your subconscious which will guide you on how to do what you desire. Listen to your heart and seek guidance from the subconscious.
Just decide what you wish to achieve and let the subconscious work in its miraculous ways to conjure up the resources.
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea.Let the brain, muscles, nerve and bones be full of that idea and just leave every other thought alone. When you reach this stage, then you will have your success.
2. Challenge Fear and Self-Doubt
Fear and self-doubt have killed more ideas than any other factor. There are many destructive thoughts which leave us paralyzed and prevent us from taking action.
What if I fail? What if I end up making a fool of myself? What if I win and don’t know how to handle it?
Our subconscious has created a boundary which we call as the comfort zone. It will scare us to our death if we even think about moving out of our safe house.
It is imperative to understand that we have created our beliefs and hence we can destroy it.
Self improvement prepares us to take on our fear and pin it down.
Each day as you improve, you move a step closer to your dreams, and that which appeared distant, hazy and impossible starts looking achievable.
Tell your heart that fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself and no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream. – Paulo Coelho
3. Stretch your will power
You can motivate yourself to start the journey, to your success, but it is your will power that will take you there.
The journey to the peak will be through valleys, and if you do not have a strong will power, you will find a reason to quit and give up.
Why don’t I have the will power to complete my journey?
Every time you wanted to go to the gym but chose to binge on cookies, you sabotaged your will power.
Each day when you had decided to work on your project but went out to the party, you crippled your will power.
Then when you needed your will power to back you up through a tough time, it failed you. Consequently, you developed the belief that you are not capable enough.
Hence it is important to keep exercising your will power.
Take up a small task that you wish to do. Then against all the odds go ahead and complete it. Use that energy and confidence to take up bigger tasks and soon you would be doing the impossible.
Strength does not come from physical capacity but indomitable will.
4. Avoid Energy sucking Vampires
This point is very important especially during the formative stages when you are still building upon your will power.
You have to keep in mind that your subconscious is very susceptible to strong beliefs. So choose carefully to what you want to listen and pass it your subconscious.
People have this very interesting habit of giving their unsolicited opinion. They have an opinion about everything. They will go to any extent to convince you about the futility of your idea but keep in mind that no opinion ever changed the world, but the action did.
Think of your idea as the last seed on what has become a barren land. You have to nurture it, protect it from pests and rain and sun, day in and day out.
5. Keep Your Mind Positive
As you continue your journey to success, and focus on self improvement every day, you will realize that it is not easy.
You will experience pain and discomfort when you get up every day and work on your craft. You will feel stupid when you say no to a party and choose to grind.
It is in these moments of self-doubt that your true mettle will be tested.
It is imperative that you develop a positive mindset which focuses on the progress that you make every day rather than your discomfort.
Once you have a positive mindset, it becomes easy to realize that the short-term pain and hardship is nothing in comparison to the pleasure and sense of accomplishment that you get once you fulfill your desires.
Train your subconscious by filling in the thoughts of realization of your goals for it will strengthen your resolve to continue your journey.
6. Self Improvement by expanding your comfort zone
As I recall, it was not until my 25th birthday that I could enter a swimming pool. I watched everyone play and party while I held onto my life by the poolside. I remember I got so frustrated once that I decided not to come out of the pool till I learned to float.
Then in that evening with a little help, I learned at least how not to die in the pool. Swimming now is an integral part of my routine that supplements my physical activity and helps relieve stress.
When my resolve of learning overcame my fear of drowning, I succeeded.
When we work on stretching our comfort zone, we allow new experiences to come and better our lives.
Your subconscious creates your comfort zone, and that is why you feel a sense of discomfort and uneasiness when you try to do something new. It is because your subconscious does not have a recorded pattern for the new activity and hence deems it hard or unsafe.
Convince your subconscious of the importance of the new behavior, and then you will see that instead of pulling you back, the subconscious will push you forward.
The thing about comfort zone is that it sounds, well too comfortable. I call it a comfort pit because a pit is somewhere you want to get out of as soon as possible – Bear Grylls.
7. Find a role model
When you start your journey to realize your goals, you step into the unknown. There are far too many variables, and you will fumble; which is fine because you learn in the process.
But if you have a role model to guide you then he/she can prevent you from investing your time and energy to reinvent the wheel.
They help you discover the best in you and prepare you to take decisions. They help you come out of your rut and guide you towards the light.
This world with all the social media connection has turned into a knowledge society, and you no longer need your mentor to be physically present with you.
Pick someone who you want to become. Observe their thoughts, actions, strategies and behavior.
Learn, Connect and Grow.
8. Read a positive article daily and a book monthly
In your pursuit of self improvement, you will need a constant dosage of motivation to keep your spirits high.
When you have enough references of people who are making it big in their lives, your subconscious accepts the same for you.
Read positive, motivating articles. Learn about the ways in which different people overcame their challenges and created a life of abundance.
Sometimes we lose ourselves in the book, and sometimes we find ourselves.
9. Experience the power of gratitude
Self improvement is not complete till you learn, understand and inculcate the power of gratitude.
Gratitude is being thankful for what you have achieved.
Be grateful to your willpower, your subconscious, your body, the Books and people who helped you achieve the results of today. This will give you strength, confidence, and energy for your upcoming battles.
When you practice Gratitude, you pass on the thoughts of abundance, achievement, and success to your subconscious and as a result, you get more of what you are grateful for.
It is not the happy people who are thankful but the thankful people who are happy.
10. Soak in the power of Positive Affirmation
Positive affirmations are facilitators of self improvement.
These are auto suggestions that stimulate your mind to take actions.
Thoughts and words which we repeat with full conviction impregnates our subconscious, and then the subconscious responds with the appropriate change in our actions and behavior.
Positive affirmations for the desired results will rewire your brain and help you achieve remarkable feats.
11.Put your knowledge into action
All the knowledge in the world without actually implementing it amounts to nothing.
When you read about the different strategies for self improvement, then make it a point to act on those ideas.
These small tidbits of wisdom may sound very trivial and often common sense, but if you look at the lives of some of the greatest people, you will realize that they have taken these small ideas, implemented them in their lives and have produced amazing results.
Have a look at Success.com take on this topic in this article
Learn, practice and improve daily. Self improvement is a constant process and there is no other shortcut to success. Do let us know what you think of this article and please share any strategies that you have for yourself.