How Can I Make Real Self-Improvement?
Do you like yourself? Those four little words are loaded. Most people will scoff and say “Of course”.
But the answer isn’t always that easy. Just like we tend to judge others, we also judge ourselves. Some people notice other’s flaws while naively ignoring their own…smh. Others put people on a pedestal and tear themselves to shreds…ugh!
I hope most of us fall in the middle. While we shouldn’t judge others, we do need to take stock of people’s behaviors, morals, and virtues to see if they are a good fit in our lives.
The same is true for judging ourselves. We need to access what we like about ourselves, and what we don’t.we do need to take stock of people's behaviors, morals, and virtues to see if they are a good fit in our lives Click To Tweet
Self-Improvement is Continual Character Building.
I love kids in the 3-5 age range. You wanna know why? They are brutally honest. Sometimes it’s super funny and other times just flat embarrassing, but you have to admire that trait of just telling it like it is.
Think about your favorite person who is now an adult. Usually, our favorite people are kind, honest, generous, funny, etc. And not on the surface or for show. They are GENUINE. That’s the word I was looking for.
But guess what, just like you and me, these people go through thick and thin. Their relationships are tested, their trust frayed, hearts broken, and mental well-being is pushed.
Some think of self-improvement as always learning new skills, or advancing in their jobs, or competing at the highest level. And to some degree this is self-improvement and it counts towards a higher objective. But real self-improvement is about advancing your character.
Character Is Better Than Competition.
As an athlete, I was told numerous times that competition would build character. I recognize this as a half-truth. Sure winning with mercy and losing with grace are great traits built during competition but not competition alone. We absorb the character of our coaches and peers.I was told numerous times that competition would build character. I recognize this as a half-truth. Click To Tweet
A good coach can teach us how to win fair and lose without losing hope. A bad coach can teach us how to brag, whine, and care only about annihilating the competition.
So yes competition does build character but the kind of character is usually influenced by our peers, upbringing, and virtues. I’m sure you can see how this applies to all areas of life and not just sports.
How Can I Improve My Self-Worth?
So I’ll ask you again, do you like yourself? We need to take stock our own behaviors, morals, and virtues to see if they are a good fit in our lives. We should strive for a genuine, authentic, and kind character. Feel free to add as many of the traits you value to that list.
None of us are perfect or ever will be in this lifetime. Striving for perfection can drive people crazy. But self-improvement of character isn’t all that difficult if you make it a habit and stick with it.
You may not have the most beautiful lawn, nicest car, shiniest hair, or fattest wallet. But guess what, character traits only cost you time and devotion. If you want to see improvement on your dancing skills you might need lessons. You want to advance at work, you may need to take some continuing education. But advancing and self-improvement of your character are FREE.Kindness is free. Optimism is free. Positivity is free....etc. Click To Tweet
Some people choose to leave a legacy of dollar signs. Some people choose to leave a legacy of character. Usually, the latter has drawn enough positivity into their lives to leave a legacy of both.
5 Ways to Self-Improve Our Character
- Forgive Others and Yourself. Grudges are self-improvement saboteurs. No way you can build good character while harboring ill will toward your own mistakes or other’s bad choices. Forgiving others is not always easy, and part of that is people misconstruing what forgiveness truly is. But learning how forgiveness works and how it ultimately serves your best interest is key.
- Take Inventory. Of your values that is. What are your best character traits? Are you exceptionally kind, charismatic, or compassionate? Figure out where your strengths are character-wise. This list is great for finding the right words. If you struggle with this ask a close friend or two to describe you in a few words. I like to keep a few of my favorites on my fridge to remind myself of my positive character.
- Self-Reflect. Be honest with yourself. Are you impatient? Moody, shy, obnoxious? Pick three traits that you may be struggling with and put them on a sticky note. I used to keep mine in my car. I didn’t do this to punish myself. It’s just a reminder to work on my weaknesses. And friends, you are not alone. We all have them.
- Journal. Journaling allows us to do a few things that we may not otherwise do. It allows us to vent without hurting others. Go ahead, journal away about how annoyed you are with that work meeting or how embarrassed you were by your two-year-old throwing a fit in the grocery store this morning. It allows us to reflect on our self-improvement in a safe, judgment-free zone. It allows us to dream and plan our dreams before executing them in full grandeur.
How Others Impact Our Self-Improvement
- Meet and Do New. I aim to meet at least one new person every three months and travel to one new place at least twice a year. This doesn’t have to be a full vacation. Could be something as simple as hiking up a new trail you’ve never been on. Need to meet a new person? Sign up for a guitar lesson or volunteer at a soup kitchen next week. These don’t have to be long-term commits. Just get out and about. New people and experiences teach us that all people are unique and have something to contribute.
Remember the athletes and coaches? Well, some people will teach you all about the negative. When this happens, especially if it is in our adolescence, we tend to withdraw and assume all relationships will be negative.
But those really great coaches and players, they’re out there too. In all walks of life. You have to experience life to find them. So go. Meet and Do New to continue to grow character and self-improve you.
Related Post: Core Confidence-Changing the I’m Not Good Enough Lie
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