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The Incredible Impact of Self Improvement in Your Life
Self-improvement is a bit of a buzzword these days. Bookstores are always well stocked with self-help books. Internet is full of articles and videos with much the same. The truth is, self-improvement can impact every facet of your life. Below are ten amazing positive effects that self-improvement can have on your life.
It Encourages You to Build a Stronger Sense of Character.
For starters, the journey towards self-improvement is also an exercise in character-building. When you make a goal to improve some aspect of your life, you need discipline. You will need to see it through from start to finish. You have to be willing to ask for help and seek advice in areas that are unfamiliar to you. So it makes sense that strengthening these qualities will also help you improve.
Studies actually bear this out. For example, one study focused on school athletes who improved interpersonal communication. Surprisingly, this improvement resulted in better athletic performance. In fact, their improvement was even higher those focused only on athletic performance. The same can apply to you as an adult. When you focus on character improvement, you will improve in other areas of your life.
It Opens up New Opportunities.
When you decide to start a self-improvement project, you can’t stick to your same daily routine. You have to change your way of thinking. You need to learn new things by reading books or taking a class or just going online, and you have to try new things. Getting out of your routine helps changing your patterns of thinking. Doing new things expands your horizons. This can open you up to opportunities that you might never have dreamed of.
Learning new things can expose you to opportunities you never knew existed. Also, changing your way of thinking can make you more open to pursuing them. Enhancing your skill set can give you the tools to make that opportunity a reality rather than only a dream. The form that these opportunities take might surprise you. For example, you might try learning a new language with a goal of traveling somewhere new. But then your language skills open up a new job opportunity instead.
It Builds Your Self-Esteem.
Self-improvement can improve your self-esteem because it requires you to focus on yourself. After all, you wouldn’t try to improve yourself if you didn’t value yourself. But, it also requires getting out of your comfort zone. You can’t grow and change if you stay exactly where you are. You have to get uncomfortable and be open to trying new things. This can be difficult if you have a low self-esteem. After all, trying new things comes with risk of failure. You may also open yourself up to criticism from others.
Fortunately, your level of self-esteem isn’t set in stone from birth. As you focus on your own self-improvement, it will naturally improve. As you try new things and start to succeed, it will continue to improve. When your self-esteem grows, you aren’t afraid of trying new things and failing. After all, failure is just another opportunity to try again. Others’ remarks don’t bother you because you are happy with who you are. You are the only one whose approval you need.
It Makes You More Accepting of Constructive Feedback.
People who are committed to self-improvement are also more accepting of constructive feedback. You probably know someone who can’t receive criticism, even if it’s meant to help them improve. They deflect and defend themselves. They insist the critic is wrong, and they may even turn to insulting the person who tried to give them feedback. This can come from a sense of narcissism (everything I do is perfect). For some it’s an attempt to mask their own insecurities (if I defend myself, they won’t see how insecure I really am). Either way, the person who refuses to accept criticism can never improve.
People who seek self-improvement, don’t wait for constructive feedback. In fact, they willingly try new tasks in an attempt to seek out feedback. They understand that if they don’t make mistakes and receive feedback, they can never get better. As a result, those who value self-improvement have a higher self-esteem and self-confidence. They don’t take constructive feedback personally. They aren’t insulted, because they know the critiques help them meet their goals.
It Requires You to Be Kind to Yourself.
When talking about criticism, you should distinguish between constructive feedback and negative criticism. When friends offer constructive feedback, they are coming from a place of caring. They want to help you succeed. Negative criticism, on the other hand, is a mean-spirited attempt to cut you down. It may hurt you, and deliberately thwart you from being able to achieve your goals. The same principle applies in how you talk to yourself. You can give yourself constructive feedback. But always remember to be kind to yourself.
The truth is, people tend to be a lot kinder to their friends and loved ones than they are to themselves. When you blame and criticize yourself for your mistakes, you will lose your drive to improve. If you truly want to improve yourself, you must treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Even if you are normally critical of yourself, you can achieve self-compassion.
It Forces You to Prioritize Self-Care.
When you are kind to yourself, you are also able to focus on taking care of yourself. Society tells us that ignoring our own needs in favor of prioritizing the needs of others is a virtue. Indeed, compassion and kindness are fundamental human values. But, the old adage still rings true: You can’t help others unless you first help yourself. In a literal real-world example, you can’t help others from drowning, until you save yourself first. If you don’t make sure that you are safe and secure before you extend a hand, then you will both drown.
The same principle applies to self-improvement. Self-improvement doesn’t just refer to learning new skills, after all. It is also about taking charge of your mental and physical health. First of all, you acknowledge the fact that you are a human being with mental and physical needs. Only then, you can start respecting your own right to take care of those needs. When you are meeting your own needs, you can become a better person and you are better able to help others.
It Helps You Recover from Difficult Life Events.
Prioritizing self-care and meeting your needs has consequences beyond day-to-day life. It also means you are better equipped to deal with life upsets and trauma. In fact, studies show that people who engage in self-reflection after an upsetting event experience a quicker emotional recovery. Some would consider self-reflection as a form of meditation. Self-reflection means taking the time to analyze your thoughts and emotions. It’s about studying their root causes, and whether they are healthy or unhealthy. If your thoughts are unhealthy, an honest analysis can lead to actionable steps. This may involve seeing a counselor or reaching out to a trusted friend. And it will result in return to a healthier, more balanced frame of mind.
A common alternative to self-reflection is to just ignore the problem and pretend that nothing is wrong. But burying unpleasant emotions isn’t the path to self-improvement. When you can’t acknowledge that something is wrong, then you can never improve. At best, you stagnate. At worst, you self-destruct. Meditation and self-reflection aren’t always easy. But, in the long run, they can get you on track towards a healthier frame of mind. In short, self-improvement can help you heal from life’s stressors and painful events. As a result, it makes you grow.
It Emphasizes Action.
Many articles that talk about self-improvement focus on the power of positive thinking. Just imagine yourself where you want to be. Visualize what it will be like to have a perfect life, and it will naturally be drawn to you. Real life doesn’t work that way, and as a result, self-improvement gets a negative reputation. Many consider those who pursue self-improvement as “dreamers”. They think of them as being “out of touch” with the real world. The uncomfortable, often unspoken truth is that dreaming doesn’t accomplish real change. Often times, it’s an excuse for the dreamer to stay within their own comfort zone.
For self-improvement to be effective, dreaming and visualizing is merely the first step. The next and most important step is to take action on those dreams. Many who want to improve their lives make the mistake of waiting on the motivation. If that motivation never comes, they will never take action. They never make the changes they dream about. Self-improvement requires that you take action now, regardless of if you feel like it or not. For example, it’s about going to the gym even if you don’t feel like it or applying for your dream job even if you feel afraid. The motivation will come with doing. The more you take action steps, the more proactive you become in other areas of your life.
It Makes You a Better You.
The goal of improvement is to become better version of yourself. You become a better you when you:
- Work on building your character
- Chase down new opportunities
- Build your self-esteem
- Accept feedback
- Are kind to yourself
- Take care of your needs
- Act on your dreams
You become stronger and healthier both mentally and physically. You become a better person, employee, and member of your family.
Working on self-improvement can benefit all areas of your life. Even if you start with just one goal (i.e. exercising for 5 days a week), achieving that goal can inspire you to set new goals. As you gain more confidence in your ability to meet your goals, your goals can become more ambitious. When you believe in yourself and take action, your improvement constantly grows.
It Helps You Help Others.
Some criticize self-improvement as being selfish. The reality is once you improve yourself, you become a stronger member of society. The strength of character and skill sets you have improved are tools you can use to give back to your community. When you are no longer plagued by self-doubt and insecurity, you can better help the community. When you can take constructive feedback without lashing out or feeling hurt, your interpersonal communication skills improves. As a result. people will realize that they can trust you and confide in you more.
Ultimately, self-improvement is inspiring and infectious. If you have children or nieces and nephews or are in a leadership position over young people (such as a teacher), you can provide a role model for them to look up to. Adult family members and friends may decide to take on their own personal improvement projects as well and can come to you for advice on how to get started or overcome setbacks. If more people take on self-improvement as a personal goal, society could work together to make the world into a better place for all.