Practice makes perfect. We often hear this cliché day to day. However, a famous motivational speaker Les Brown believes that perfection in human pursuit is not possible. Only practice makes the improvement. A matter of making the best version of yourself better. Let us tackle self-improvement in the relation to our goals, priorities and human potentials. How do we wake up every day knowing that we have made a conscious and deliberate effort to improve ourselves?
As humans, few of us look forward to difficult conversations that cause us emotional stress. — Julie K. Jones, Ph.D., LPC
First and foremost, we must identify our strengths and weaknesses. By being aware of our strengths, we are able to choose our niche and passion. Are you an effective speaker that you can easily offer motivational speech and inspiration to others in their daily struggles? Do you have an artful mind and can show you talents in this field? Or simply, able to cook sumptuous meals and make this as your source of family income. The potential list can go on once you embark on your self-reflection and even self-discovery on what are your strengths.
On the other hand, by being able to identify our weaknesses we can ask ourselves some of these things: Do we let our weakness consume us? Is this weak trait I possess necessary of my focus in order to achieve my goals? Let’s say, for example, your weakness is developing the habit of studying. Learning by studying is an essential tool to equip ourselves with knowledge. Therefore, this weakness is worth your time and effort to develop. On the other hand, you realized that you are weak when it comes to your skills in swimming. Despite diligent practice, you’ve noticed that you do not improve and do not gain fulfillment but rather feel more tired by doing so. Then maybe you can ask yourself: how passionate or important is the skill of swimming in your life? Do you plan to pursue a swimming career? Probably, it is more worth it to discover sports and hobbies that you enjoy rather than the feeling of being punished by doing a hobby you do not enjoy.
You can’t fix what you don’t know. — John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Second, the smart use of time. All of us are given twenty-four hours a day, but how should we spend it wisely so we can gain self-improvement? If your plans and goals are crystal clear to you, keeping a planner or a notebook where you list your daily activities can be helpful. It will serve as a reminder of the little things that you must accomplish every day towards your goals. Keeping a diary or a journal where you list your vision, beliefs and ideals can also be helpful.
In a larger scale, try using a visual chart or board. Successful persons such as Ophrah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres have openly endorsed the use of vision charts or boards in attaining their goals and dreams. This will serve as your inspiration towards fulfilling those goals and a daily reminder that you need to work hard for it.
Practice healthy lifestyle
Third, invest in yourself especially your health. It is said that all our dreams, sacrifices, aspirations and any form of preparations are useless if you do not have a healthy body and sound mind. Thus, keeping a healthy lifestyle and being cautious with what we put in and eat is very important as this impacts our overall well-being. Be an active participant of your own growth and develop the skills necessary for you to achieve your goals.
Lastly, evaluate yourself and reward yourself. To avoid feelings of being burned out, you must pause once in a while to reassess how far you’ve come from where you started. It is also beneficial that you reward yourself with something you can enjoy. May it be a trip or anything that delights your spirit and gives you satisfaction.
The truth of the matter is, life does not come with a manual like our gadgets or any devices. We go through it spending our whole journey. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as humans, we go through a journey of attaining self-actualization. A continuous process of victory and losing, of learning and failing. If there is anybody who knows yourself better, it will only be you.
Where self-esteem used to promote well-being and has often been delivered as undeserved praise that can give people unrealistic beliefs and expectations about their abilities – which can undermine their self-worth – self-acceptance is inherently unconditional may and not attached to unrealistic outcomes. — Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT