Thinking of making 2023 your best year yet by working on improving your self? You are not alone. No matter what age you are, where you are in life, what kind of past you have, self-improvement is always a significant part of personal growth.
According to Merriam-Webster, self-improvement is the act or process of improving oneself by one’s own actions, or it is an instance or result of such improvement. It is both a process and a product, and it starts the moment you realize the need to make yourself better in various aspects of your life either by changing your habits, learning a new skill, acquiring more knowledge, or simply redirecting your thoughts.
Although self-improvement may look different for all of us, in this article we’ll discuss some of science-backed and practical ways on how you can start working on your self-improvement.
1. Realize That You Matter
Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses through self-reflection is one of the ways you can start your self-improvement journey. Take time to list down the things that you are good at, and the things that you want to improve on. Here are some ways to do just that:
A. Keep A Journal
By keeping a journal, you are able to write and organize your thoughts. You may write a bulleted list of the things or areas that you want to improve on in every aspect of your life, whether it’s on relationships, career, finance, or just new things that you want to try.
B. Share Your Story
If you are not keen on keeping a journal, you may use the internet to do so. You may use social media platforms like Instagram to chronicle your journey towards #self-improvement. Who knows you might meet others who also share the same journey as yours?
2. Develop A Growth Mindset
Gowth mindset is a mindset where we believe that we can grow and improve our abilities (Dweck, 2015). If you keep a mindset that you can improve, then you are more likely to put in the effort required to learn and grow. When you commit to improving yourself, it is necessary that you adopt a growth mindset. By doing so, you become more accountable and determined to make a positive change in your life. To develop this, here are some tips that you can try:
A. Reflect & Respect
Self reflection is like looking into a mirror and describing what you see. It is a way of assessing yourself. It means to think about something, which can help you understand the areas of yourself that you might want to improve and how to improve these areas.
By doing this, you get a clearer picture of what you want to achieve and how you are going to make them happen. You also respect your limits and weaknesses, and acknowledge that you cannot make change happen at once. With self-reflection comes respect for yourself, all the good and seemingly bad parts of it.
Meditation, according to Cleveland Clinic, is a practice that involves focusing or clearing your mind using a combination of mental and physical techniques. You can meditate to relax, reduce anxiety, stress, or simply to have a quiet moment to gather and organize your thoughts. It helps you to be calm, be more conscious, be more productive, and be more focused on your goals. So if you want to improve on yourself, you may want to consider having meditations to have a clearer focus of the steps and the added motivation to make changes in your life that will drive you towards that goal.
C. Affirm Your Progress
Celebrate your small wins by recognizing the efforts that you have put to achieve progress. It is not only a healthy habit but a way of breathing in self-growth affirmations that can keep yourself motivated and on track to success.
3. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Cliche as it may seem, getting out of your comfort zone allows you to grow, flourish, and realize what you are capable of. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you gain the ability to step up to challenges and changes that may come along your way. The following tips will help you successfully navigate the unknown and will allow you to rediscover yourself:
A. Accept What You Cannot Change
While going out of the uberly familiar territory that is your comfort zone is encouraged, so is accepting what you cannot change.
Realize that while you are working on changing for the better, there are some things that is out of your control, such as other people’s opinion and beliefs. You have to learn to accept it, but not actually mind them. Keeping a healthy balance of whose opinions you value and you find meaningful to your journey, and those that are just mere distractions is essential in working toward self-growth and improvement.
B. Learn A New Skill Or Hobby
Whether it’s finishing a book, learning a new language, venturing into a business, or taking on a challenge to conquer one of your biggest fears, the process of opening up yourself to new learning is one way of starting self-improvement. Just the mere thought of admitting that you are infallible is one huge step towards improving oneself. It requires you to begin again and start at zero emotionally, intellectually, or physically.
C. Surround Yourself With The Right People
Being with the right people is as crucial as admitting your flaws. The right people will support you in your journey no matter how long it takes, while the wrong ones will always see the negative and often belittle you and your efforts. Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you is vital in fulfilling your self-improvement journey. Negative people suck out the energy out of you, and try to drain you, but people who cheer on you, no matter the struggles you are facing. Treasure them.
Undeniably, self-growth and self-improvement are important because once in our lives, there is at least one attitude, behavior, or habit that we’d like to change to make us better employees, partners, parents, children, or friends. Remember that the journey towards self-improvement is not easy, but when you commit to do so, it is always great to start somewhere, no matter how difficult it may seem at first.