A research done by Andreas Steimer and Andre Mata on human psychology on Personality showed that people believe that they can change their weaknesses more than their strengths.
With this perception in mind, people tend to focus more on improving their weaknesses while expecting their strengths to remain constant. As a result, people find it very difficult to improve themselves, where they either quit self-improvement completely or stagnate not knowing what to do next. So here is a guide on what Self-improvement is, and how you can approach it correctly.
What is Self-Improvement?
Self-improvement is the act or process of improving oneself by one’s own effort through actions and processes of making you better and a more knowledgeable person.
Self-improvement can be applied in different disciplines such as Personal development in terms of goal setting, time management, leadership skills, organisational skills, management skills, visualization and mind power. Learning new language and doing exercise for attain fitness is another form of self-improvement.
The Paradox of Self-Improvement.
Self-improvement is not about reaching a point that you are self-actualised and you no longer need to grow and stretch yourself. It’s not about creating happiness that you never think about pursuing happiness, or, growing to be productive that you will never think about being productive.
It is never about reaching the top and celebrating that you will no longer have to put intentional effort to improve and progress. Mark Manson, in his article, about ‘What the Point of Self Improvement Anyway?’, explained the two types of approaches to Self-improvement and how to have the correct approach to it.
Self-improvement is about continuous growth, becoming better than you were yesterday and being valuable to the world. It is more about building new positive habits and changing one’s behaviour and attitude. It is a way to make ourselves better and happier.
To some extent our happiness influences our success, because happy people are successful and not the other way round. You can also read, What is The Meaning of Success in Life, where you will get to learn how Success and happiness are related.
The Process of Self Improvement.
Self-improvement can help us make positive changes in all aspects of our lives such as improved skills, healthy relationships and also overall health. It usually starts with self-awareness where we get to realize our behaviours and cultivate a desire to improve and transform ourselves and habits.
Self-improvement helps us to overcome negative thoughts that limit us and it teaches us to create positive thoughts that empowers and inspires us to a better future.
In his article on ‘What is Self-Improvement?’ Scott H. Young said that, Your total life strategy is a collection of every habit, behaviour and thought pattern, conscious and unconscious, that you use to solve the problems you have in life, meet your needs and stay alive.
Best Approach to Self-Improvement.
The best approach to Self-improvement is the approach where you work towards improving on your strengths. Gary Vaynerchuk explains that, “We need to work on what we are good at and be the best in those things, then staff on your weaknesses.”
This basically means that we work more on our strengths to be the best in them, and then partner with people who are the best in what we are not.
In John Maxwell’s article on, ‘Going Beyond Your Talents: 4 Points of Focus.’ He explained that, “Focusing on weaknesses instead of strengths is like having a handful of coins – a few made of pure gold and the rest of tarnished copper – and setting aside the gold coins to spend all your time cleaning and shining the copper ones in the hopes of making them look more valuable. No matter how long you spend on them, they will never be worth what the gold ones are. Go with your greatest assets; don’t waste your time.”
His advice is to focus on what we do well and capitalize on them.
Self-Improvement is a Continuous Process.
Self-improvement is a continuous process without an end; you can liken it to a journey and not a destination. We strive to progress and get better not to reach a destination and be fulfilled. Don’t be caught in the self-improvement junkie mentality where you pursue knowledge to satisfy thirst for new knowledge.
Don’t be the kind of person who reads all the books, attends all the seminars, buys all sorts of resources but they are still stuck and stagnant.
Be the kind of person who takes action on new knowledge acquired and makes use of it. Jim Rohn, a Personal development trainer, once said in his speech that, ‘You need to read a book and master it. Don’t go to the next book if you have not mastered the previous one.’ Execution makes the difference, if you don’t take action, nothing happens.
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