How Can We Improve & Develop Our Inner Selves?
We all always desire to progress in our lives and to grow in a more positive direction. There is always an opportunity to evolve and improve our habits and set new targets for ourselves. There are several ways to grow, be it for handling stress, struggles in relationships, or changing our own self. All the approaches work for various people, as there is no one approach that can work for all. Thus, it requires persistent effort to find the strategies that work for you. In those same moments, it is important to comprehend the components that are part of any self-improvement journey of any individual.
There are 10 components of self-improvement, which are as follows:
- Systematic speed: Improving self is not a short and fast process it is actually the total opposite. It actually requires a gradual pace to work on yourself, to increase the chances of success. It basically means that the individual needs to focus on one thing at that moment and they only move ahead on other things when they feel comfortable and secure with the first change. For example, going on a vegan diet to reduce weight and unhealthy food intake suddenly would be a big change and the probability that it will last is also not good. So, here it would be better to take small steps - choosing the unhealthy food that can be restricted in your everyday routine, then seeing healthier alternatives that give a similar taste, then choosing vegetarian food that you feel comfortable with, and so on. Another way to improve self can be to find the smallest way through which you can move in a positive direction. For example, if you desire to be a social being then initiate a conversation with anyone new every month. If you are not comfortable with doing such changes, then it is important to become a part of something that doesn't require a constant conscious effort on your part. Like, such as joining a group that can meet twice a month and meets new people without searching for new people to meet and converse with.
- Accountability: Being committed to the process of improving yourself is the most crucial and significant component of this journey. An ideal approach would be to either make a vow about your target to someone (like an accountability partner, etc) or to keep a track of yourself by writing it down.
- Task-Oriented: Without a target or a particular something that you want to improve in yourself, there won't be much of an opportunity to grow, but by deciding on a task or goal that not only motivates you but also feels relatable and achievable, improving yourself becomes easier. To do so, always see the bigger target that you want to acquire, then see for the set of small goals that you need to achieve your final goal. Achieving these small goals will give you a sense of accomplishment to move forward toward the bigger goal.
- Appreciating your Achievements: Besides the gift of improving yourself, many improvement strategies work on the reward for behavior approach. For example, if you are working on having better mental health and to do so you are following a self-care plan, you gift yourself something that holds significance for you (like a book, a favorite meal, etc).
- Research-Based: Mostly to improve yourself, it is necessary to see the strategies that have evidence in the research. Many time, people go for the approach that might have a miraculous impact but it is essential to find a plan that has some experience in a controlled atmosphere and have shown significant result. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies have a piece great research evidence as being beneficial in various scenarios.
- Strategies for Hurdles: Whenever you plan something there will always be an obstacle to limit your growth, and to stay on the path of improvement it is significant to acknowledge or address these obstacles by identifying the ones that might come in your way and to find strategies to handle them. The best way to improve yourself is to be aware or know that not every time things will be smooth and they will require you to adjust according to the obstacles that you face. There are various coping skills that will help you in facing those hurdles in a concrete manner.
- Personal Relevance: No matter how robust a certain strategy is, it is essential that the plan that you made for your journey is personalized for you. We all are different human beings and we all have our own unique ways that contribute to defining ourselves, and this uniqueness in us influences and impacts various areas of functioning ourselves. Thus, it is essential to pick the plan that works for you, because someone else's plan might not be the right plan for you. This can usually be resolved by an innate feeling that you feel will work for you. For example, if you are creative, artistic measures might work for you. This factor of improving yourself requires some trial and error to find the one plan for you.
- Action Plan: Knowing just about the strategies for improvement will not help will in achieving the final aim, you will need an action plan to execute the change. Therapists and other mental health professionals are the ones who can aid in creating an action plan for you with various techniques that benefit you in improving yourself.
- Being Self-Aware: If you are working towards self-improvement on your own, then this journey might be hard for you if you aren't self-aware about what needs to be improved and what you desire to modify. Being self-aware requires awareness in three areas: cognitive, emotional, and physical. For example, if you struggle with confidence, then before working on your self-improvement strategy, you need to be aware of: what thoughts arise in your mind (e.g.- I am so weak), how do they make you feel (e.g.- I feel so nervous all the time), how do they physically impact you (e.g.- I feel lethargic and numb to initiate anything).
- Being Optimistic: Pursuing a self-improvement plan might give you a sense of optimism, which can be great for achieving your goal. Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that provides various techniques that are oriented towards self-improvement and can help you in your journey.
Suggestion: In working on a plan for improving yourself it is necessary to understand that this is a process in which there might be some changes or adjustments based on your reflections on the path that you have traveled. So, always keep a scope for accommodating those changes or alterations. It is also essential to remind or being consciously aware of the fact that any growth or development in a positive direction is good no matter how much time it takes or how small it is.