We all have this dream self we want to be. Not even that, we have this picture in our head of the dream life; one where we have everything we have always wanted and are living happily. For you, it could be that you imagine hopping in and out of airplanes as you see the beauty in the world, for another is it is living in a big mansion with the cars they have always wanted and for someone else, it is the dream of having a family and being happy. However, at the end of the day, we long to be successful and become happy. What does it take to become a success at self-improvement and gradually build yourself to that person you have always wanted?
I don’t know if this has happened to you but are there moments when you feel lost and demotivated? You almost don’t see anything to appreciate and everything looks so difficult. That time when your dreams begin to fade away and look distant. This is the moment you don’t even understand what is happening to you. It is during this period you realize that you need to listen to yourself.
Sometimes you’ve got to be able to listen to yourself and be okay with no one else understanding.Christopher Barzak
Basics of self-improvement
Self-improvement revolves around us feeling accomplished and having achieved our dreams. However, it is very rare for somebody to get your dreams and aspiration and therefore you should not expect anybody to understand them. Similarly, it is hard for people to support you in your dreams and if you have somebody who supports you, take this minute to tell him/her thank you.
Despite all this, we go through life expecting that somebody will support us or somebody will share in your dreams and aspirations. Instead of tasking yourself to build the person you dream of, you rely on other people to help you to improve yourself to be the person you have always dreamed of.
That is the reason why we feel destroyed when other people do not share in our dreams. The truth, however, is that you and only you are fully responsible for your self-improvement journey and the person who you become. It does not matter whether or not somebody appreciates or recognizes your dreams, it is your duty to pursue them.
Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?Charles Bukowski
Other times, we believe that something is impossible or that it is just but a dream. I take my dreams very seriously regardless of how impossible I think they are. For me it does not matter how achievable I think it is, once in a while I will imagine how it would feel like to accomplish that dream and I get a dose of inspiration.
Some of the things we dream of may not make sense to a lot of people – myself included. Likewise, if I told you some of my dreams; your first reaction would be, ‘You’re kidding, aren’t you?’. Those words have a way of making us feel inferior and crazy but I have learned not to be bothered. As I edge closer to my dreams, I have some tips that can make you become a success in your self-improvement journey.
These are tips that I use in my life and they have helped me to improve myself and slowly I have started feeling happier and more accomplished with the life I live.
Becoming a success at self-improvement
What does it take to be successful at self-improvement? It is not rocket science. You can try out each of the tips and see which ones work out and which ones don’t. Most importantly, enjoy the process of transforming yourself.
1. Have goals and take action
Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.Napoleon Hill
Like it or not, goals need to be set. Without goals, dreams will remain dreams. Action needs to be taken in order to succeed at self-improvement and for action to be taken there needs to be goals. Assess the state of your life now and see what one thing you can do to build yourself and your life to something better. Realize that I used ‘one’ thing? Yes, ONE just ONE. There is a quote I really love especially when I feel overwhelmed by goal setting:
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
I love the quote because it encourages me to take action. Being a perfectionist, I tend to delay a lot of things because I cannot see the full picture. From this quote, I recognize that I need to do the one thing which is first defining a goal for myself and working towards it. With these little tiny steps, I am building myself to be who I want to be. Likewise for you, when you set goals and take action, you are building yourself to the person you dream to be.
I have provided worksheets that you can use to set your annual and monthly personal goals. I love the worksheets and I am currently using them. It was extremely fun filling out my goals! They are available for free in the Free Goodies section. Subscribe to get access.
2. Be patient
Lack of patience can delay success (and this is how). I had a discussion with someone quite older than me and he told me that in our world of today, we expect results for every little thing we do. Thinking about it, I find it very true. Most of the time, I perceive that I have worked so hard for this not to work. As I result, I give up. Then later I realize I should have been a little patient.
So, I can’t blame you for not being patient either or not realizing that you are not patient enough. This is something that I am personally working on especially after seeing that lack of it is driving me further from my dreams and goals. Beware of the effects of instant gratification and never forget that patience pays.
From my personal experience, if something is not working keep trying harder. Stop doing it for the results and focus on doing it because you love it and want to do it. Learn to enjoy the process and just keep trying. This and many more things I learned from my one-year blogging experience where I almost quit but it is because I just wasn’t being patient enough.
3. Learn to overcome failure
Dealing with failure is not an easy task but it is part of the job of self-improvement. The reality is that we will not always pass the test. When we don’t pass, we fail. What everybody should get from failing is a lesson, not a self-pity party. I have failed and I know what it feels to put hard work and not bear the fruits you were expecting. Over time, I have had to teach myself how to go about failure and most importantly not to let failure define me.
Since we will not always pass then I think dealing with failure is an important tool for building ourselves to become better. So, get up and do what you have to do. Muniba Mazari (you should really listen to her story) says that failure should be an option but giving up should never be an option.
4. Build habits
You know those habits that you have always admired and you wish to try out? The right time is now. I made a mistake when I wanted to start a million habits at the same time. This failed terribly and therefore I am telling you to do one habit at a time. The first habit I worked on is forming habits! Ha! How? I do one habit for three days consecutively before I start another.
If you are interested in forming habits, I have a free habit tracker that shows you how to form a habit and also track the habit. I have also been using this one and so far I am acing it. You can try it out and see if it works.
Everything you need to build yourself requires you to build a habit. Habits help you learn and also give you a chance to try out new things. Currently, I’m obsessed with trying out a lot of self-help activities and challenges and it is fun when they work and when they don’t I learn a better way of doing it. You will always be proud of yourself when you form a habit and it helps you become better and draws you closer to your dreams.
5. Believe in yourself
Confidence is a requirement for success. We are all aiming towards success, right? There is power in believing in yourself. I said before that others may not believe in your dreams and therefore it is your role to believe in them and yourself that you can make it happen.
Don’t ever allow yourself to feel trapped by your choices. Take a look at yourself. You are a unique person created for a specific purpose. Your gifts matter, your story matters, and your dreams matter. You matter.Michael Oher
If you do not believe in yourself others cannot believe in you. Likewise, if you are confident then the world has no choice but to believe in you as well. You choose.
A good way to start believing in yourself is to confront your fears. If you fear public speaking, next time volunteer to do something that involves public speaking. When you come face to face with that which you fear, you begin to build the confident and courageous person in you.
6. Do more with less
On the day I was writing this post, this was the quote of the day: “Do more with less”. I chose to take one message from the quote and that is to stop giving excuses. Do you find yourself saying that you are not happy because you don’t have one thing or another? Or do you have this feeling that if you had something your life would be better? I know and I have had such moments.
Whenever somebody asked why I wasn’t doing something, the answer would be because I don’t have this. Now I have learned to make it work with what I have. I look for all possible ways to use what I have to achieve what I want.
If something is not working, I ask what is not working. After that, I ask what can I do with what I have to make it work?
7. Practice gratitude
Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.Joel Osteen
I did not know why people kept gratitude journals until very recently when I realized that I need to be grateful. It is very easy to take a lot for granted and to think that you are not good enough. The world is so fast-paced, trends are changing and there is so much happening. In such a condition, it is easy to feel as though you are not lucky enough or you lack what it takes to become successful.
Gratitude is easy and hard. Why? There is a lot to be grateful for e.g. you are reading this now, you are alive etc. but when you think of somebody who did you wrong, what can you appreciate? Think about the relationships you have, you may have gotten so used to somebody that you no longer see anything to say thank you for.
When you start to appreciate even the little things, you will win at self-improvement. You see everything as a gift and you are able to appreciate yourself as a gift that is able to do what you want when you decide.
8. Learn and learn more
There could be skills you need to become your dream you. Maybe you need to take a course or learn something new or advance your education. If you really want to succeed at self-improvement, you have to keep learning.
Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.Socrates
Socrates puts it very well. Whether it is reading a book, reading blogs and articles, listening to podcasts or taking an online course, just go for it. There are free online courses you can take and you can as well borrow books from a friend. Just aim to increase your knowledge and to challenge yourself to learn something new.
9. Treat yourself well
“Treat yourself like somebody you loved”, these are words that I will never forget. Take care of yourself. Don’t be too critical of yourself and learn how to forgive yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are, how confident you are, how amazing you are and that you can be whomever you want to be.
Always know that you are good enough. You never have to prove to anybody other than yourself that you have what it takes to get you to your dream.
10. Don’t compare your struggles
Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to the person from yesterday.Anonymous
Our struggles are all different and unique. If you want to kill dreams, start comparing your life to somebody else. Likewise, if you want to lose at self-improvement, just try and compare yourself to others. Everybody has gone through something to be where they are. Some struggles look more difficult than others. Similarly, some achievements will look greater than others.
However, we are not in a race. We are chasing and catching our dreams and our dreams are not the same. So stop worrying about everybody else and focus on your dreams, goals, and achievements. Don’t bother comparing yourself to anybody.
11. Say no
If you do not learn to say no then people will take advantage of that. It comes a time you need to set time apart for yourself. You will need a breath of fresh air. Saying no shows that you value yourself and your time. If you don’t know how to implement that, this is how to say no without breaking a sweat.
People who always say ‘yes’ want to always please others. For you to succeed at self-improvement, saying no has to become a part of you. You will be saying no to activities that are not inline with your dreams, no to negative people, and no to other negative and ‘not useful’ things in life.
Learn to prioritize yourself or someone else will do it for you. If you are not a priority to yourself, do you think you will be a priority to anybody else? We give priority to things and people we love, therefore because you love yourself, you need to be a priority to yourself.
Prioritizing yourself means having time to rest, to reignite the fire in you, to feed, to sleep well, to spend time with family and to do the things you love. Enjoy life because you cannot rewind it and this very moment cannot be repeated. Always create time to do the things that matter most to you.
There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.Anonymous
I hope you now know what it takes to succeed at self-improvement. It does not matter what your dream or goal is; all you need is to try out these tips and see which ones are drawing you closer to your dreams and those that don’t work. Check out the Free Goodies section for free resources that contribute towards loving your life more. Subscribe in order to get access.