The term self improvement is a bit misleading and is sometimes erroneously interpreted.
What do you actually improve? You don’t improve your “self” and you don’t improve your “spirit”.
What you do is develop certain skills to help you cope better with everyday life, and improve your habits, behavior and reactions. You learn to look at things from a different, broader viewpoint, and you teach yourself to forego limiting thoughts and habits.
You don’t improve something that does not exist in you. You improve and develop some skills that are already in you, but are weak, in a dormant state, or negatively expressed.
Self improvement is actually not “Improving yourself”, so much as changing your point of view, changing the way you look at yourself and the world, building new positive habits, and developing certain skills.
Self Improvement Can Be about Developing:
- Stronger willpower.
- Better self discipline.
- Better concentration.
- More patience.
- More tolerance.
- Getting rid of negative or weakening habits and developing new ones.
- Learning to think more positively.
- Learning to be more kind and loving.
This is a partial list of the aims of self improvement.
Self Improvement Requires Inner Work
The important point to remember is that everything worthwhile in life needs some effort and time to gain. There is no instant improvement or development of any skill.
You might have read books and participated in programs that promise immediate success. People who buy them, believe that they will immediately change their life. People expect and look for some kind of a miracle to change their life instantly, and often get disappointed when this does not happen.
There are many you buy books, but never read them. Some start practicing a certain technique or program and then stop after a short while.
If you wish to get results from self improvement books, programs and techniques, you need to practice what they teach, day after day. You have to study, work and train yourself, the same way a doctor, a pilot, an engineer or an Olympic athlete train themselves. This is something most people won’t do, because they consider it too much work.
You might ask, “Will my life improve, if I practice some “self improvement” techniques?” Anything you do to develop positive habits and skills will help you handle your life and circumstances in a better and more successful way.
Sometimes, when people finally decide to be more practical, and not just read a book and expect miracles, they find that there are obstacles on their path, and if they don’t posses enough inner strength, they might drop the whole idea.
When starting anything new, one often becomes aware of problems and obstacles. These problems and obstacles are not new. They were there all the time, but you were not aware of them. Now, that you want to make changes your awareness of them becomes greater.
Don’t let anything daunt your spirit. Persevere and do not give up, and you will notice that they are getting weaker. In time, you will be able to get rid of them, or at least ignore them.
Pay attention to your behavior, how you act in various situations and how you react. Are you satisfied? If you are not, you need to take steps to make the necessary change.
You don’t improve your “self”. You improve your behavior, your habits, how react and how you treat people. You learn to get rid of negative habits and build up better ones.