Six Things To Know About Personal Improvement
You can call it self-help, self-improvement or personal improvement. They all help you
Not long ago I read an article that said we shouldn’t worry about self-improvement because it could be detrimental. You know what? Anything can be detrimental if misused or over used—including personal improvement.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Eating, sleeping, exercising and getting fresh air and sunshine are considered healthy activities. But think about it. Eating too much leads to obesity. Too much sleep can be harmful, even leading to heart disease and diabetes. Over-exercising can damage your joints and muscles. Breathing polluted air can lead to lung disease, and too much sunshine leads to sunburn which can be a precursor to skin cancer.
Get it? Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. So, what about personal improvement? Can you get “too improved?” Here are some thoughts about that
Balance is the key.
If you are obsessing about being good enough, thin enough, smart enough or any other “enough,” you may need to assess whether your efforts are helping or hindering your progress. To begin this process, ask yourself if your self-improvement efforts are making you happier. Are they making you more peaceful, more joyful, more motivated? Do you feel more satisfied with yourself? If you can’t answer these questions with a “yes” you may need to re-evaluate what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Personal Improvement is an “inside job.”
You can hire a coach or see a counselor or a therapist, but only you can make the changes you want/need to make. If you get stuck it’s always nice to have someone to turn to for help—sometimes a best friend is a great choice. If no one is available, you can also read Self-help books. For example, if you search Amazon for books on self-improvement, you will get over 335,521 results. Search as well for self-help (704-333) and personal improvement (217,906), and you will find even more. Only you can decide if any of them are meaningful to you. Not all self-improvement books are equal, and all are not for you. Be discerning. If it doesn’t feel right or it makes you uneasy, put it down. Improvement requires self-assessment and self-awareness. Only you can do that for you.
Personal Improvement covers a wide range
Personal improvement ranges from improving physical appearance to reaching enlightenment with a lot in between. ( I have listed some of the topics on the page available for those who want to submit an article) There is no “one size fits all,” and there is no guru or expert who has all the answers for you. You are the expert on you. Pick an area you want to improve and focus on that until you are satisfied with the results. Notice, I didn’t say focus on that until you achieve perfection. We’re talking about improvement, not sainthood.
Trying to become like someone else is not true self-improvement.
Trying to be like someone else is like climbing the ladder to success only to find when you get to the top that the ladder was against the wrong wall. To avoid this, spend time learning who YOU are, what your strengths are (and, yes, even your weaknesses). In addition, learn what makes you happy and what does not. Discover who you enjoy being with and what you like to do. Make a list of what you want. Determine how you want your life to look. Sort out what you believe as opposed to what you were taught you HAD to believe. You are unique. You are supposed to be unique. So find your uniqueness and build on it. Spend time getting to know yourself.
Like everything else, personal improvement has tools.
Meditation, brain wave entrainment, books and videos, journaling, podcasts and radio shows are a few of them of the tools available for personal development. For a detailed list of resources for most areas of self-improvement, click here. Once you have identified them, use the ones that work for you. As you grow and change, the tools you need will also change. Don’t be afraid to try new things. The two most essential tools for most improvers are meditation and journaling. They both take discipline and practice. Be patient with yourself and don’t give up just because it’s difficult. They both have big payoffs regarding insight and measurement of your progress. Search the Internet for blog posts and videos that give you instruction and guidance. There are a lot of them. Find those that work for you.
Self-improvement should be fun.
Personal development can and should be a delightful experience. Period. Keep your mind and your options open. Enjoy who you are and how you are improving. Even if your successes seem small, you can declare on a daily basis with Émile Coué “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better, better and better.”