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Should Your Self-Improvement Start With You?

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Should Your Self-Improvement Start With You

The world’s perception of human psychology has changed and evolved a lot during the last couple of decades.

However, in spite of all this knowledge, a lot of people still mistakenly believe that self-improvement means reading a few books and then starting to change your life on your own. But the truth is that the discussion is a lot more nuanced than that.

Personal development can be pursued in a variety of ways, from joining support groups to following positive examples from your peers and so on. There are as many alternatives as there are people in the world, and we all have some sort of untapped potential just waiting to be explored.

 

The Reality of Being a Better You

It’s no secret that popular culture has been promoting the ‘better you’ concept for so long, it has now become a cliché of sorts.

And according to common myths on the topic, being the ultimate version of yourself means always performing bigger and better than others, and doing it constantly. However, such misconceptions are more of a drawback than anything else.

Buying into the generalizations and stereotypes sold by many self-proclaimed self-help experts can lead to massive burnouts caused by an excessive drive to always best other in everything.

In reality, self-improvement doesn’t imply anything of the sort. In order to not allow this way of thinking to harm your progress, you need to come to terms with the actual facts.

Although it is mostly true that any change, no matter how small, should come from inside you, it shouldn’t become a ‘me against the rest of the world’ type of endeavor.

This is a widely-encountered misconception that is, unfortunately, a clear recipe for disaster in most cases, and here’s why.

Constant rivalry brings nothing but trouble. Thus, instead of competing with others and constantly comparing yourself to them, you should try to learn from them. Other people who are in a similar position as yourself should be your allies, not your enemies. It’s easy to forget this when you’re faced with a challenge, so make a mental note of it right now.

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Self-Improvement and Mental Illness

Although just about anyone can benefit from the positive effects of personal growth, it’s no secret that mental illness patients are one of the risk groups who need it most.

Regardless of whether you’re dealing with anxiety, clinical depression or even borderline schizophrenia symptoms, taking control of the situation on your own is a great source of comfort.

Due to this, self-improvement can be truly beneficial for those trying to come to terms with their disorders, especially when said disorders pertain to matters of the mind. And the first step lies in identifying your problems. What drives your negative behaviors and patterns of thought?

After you discover that, it’s a lot easier to pursue change.

Although medical resources in this area are scarce at the moment, there are still some out there that you can try. For example, Mental Health America has plenty of self-help tools readily available for those who struggle with poor mental health and want to pursue change on their own terms.  They come in the form of worksheets, actionable plans and so on.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t need to start with you, and you don’t have to go at it alone.

While it’s important that you keep the personal focus on this journey, there are external factors which can help you go through such a major development. In fact, studies show that joining self-help groups can be an important ally for anyone in this battle.

Participants’ tendencies for substance abuse and overall symptoms reduced in intensity over time thanks to this type of therapy, and so did the rate of hospitalization among them. This goes to show that self-improvement is something that can be externally motivated as well, and said motivation can be anyone: a friend, a family member, a partner or another group member.

 

How It Improves Your Life

So far, we’ve established how important taking control of your life can be when you struggle with mental illness, but also in general.

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There are many ways in which self-improvement truly does a lot to change your life and pave your way towards success. Here are the most important three benefits of undertaking such an endeavor.

 

1. Self-Esteem Boost

When you’ve become determined to believe in yourself and your goals, beautiful things can happen. One of them is the fact that your self-esteem will grow before your very eyes. And motivation can come from anything: a book, a colleague or even your favorite TV show.

Use your surroundings as an example worth following and your dreams will become attainable.

 

2. Stability and Success

Setting yourself up for success every day from the moment you wake up until you go back to sleep is a classic and essential approach, but it’s also one that becomes impossible when your ambitions are low.

To begin following a steady route in life, you will need to welcome the power of self-improvement and accept that there are a lot of things that lead to it.

 

3. New Opportunities

When you’re stuck in a toxic loop, good things tend to avoid you because of your mindset. But when you open yourself to change and allow your mind to flourish and expand past its previous limitations, that’s when new opportunities appear as well.

Once they do, don’t be afraid to take them. It will be scary at first, but it will also be worth it in the long run.

Being brave enough to seize the day is one of the most important qualities a successful person can have. So, if that’s your goal, then you need to work hard for it and not let any sort of adversity bring you down.

The path towards becoming a better you is a rocky one, but the final destination will take your breath away.

 

Summary

Self-improvement has the potential to make you more confident, stable and successful, as well as open up a new world of amazing possibilities in front of your very eyes. But in order for this to happen, you will need to find the proper motivation to regain control of your life.

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And while this certainly won’t be easy, the end results will be worth it.

Alex Moore is a psychology undergraduate with a penchant for motivation and self-improvement. You can contact him on Twitter or just have fun reading his work – he’ll be happy either way as long as he helped you better yourself.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lauren

    Apr 4, 2018 at 2:03 am

    It’s interesting that people who are pursuing a better version of their current self are trying to compete against others. You’re competing against your current self, tomorrow trying to the better version of you that you are today.

    I think in order to really dedicate yourself to your own personal development and self-impovement you have to first throw your ego out the window. It doesn’t really seem like that’s happening when we’re competing against one another. The most successful people have figured this out and understand that the only time others are involved in our quest for self-improvement is to either a) learn from them or b) help them.

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