Top 10 Practical & Efficient ways to improve yourself
For as long as I can remember, I was told to excel in academics, focus on getting good grades and also top the exams. The things I study at school or even college were directed towards my academic courses, but what about my personal growth? I think self-improvement is more important than teaching how to improve yourself in academics.
A lot of people would not agree with me if I said that these things are really important.
I understand that is hard to face the fact that you need to bring a change in yourself. In this case, I give you two choices- it’s either you continue being happy by ignoring these things or you could accept the fact that you cannot run away from yourself. Even if you try to run and you think you got successful by ignoring things then let me tell you that these emotions you are trying to bury deep inside will come to the surface one day and that too unresolved which eventually leaves you unhappy.
Self-improvement comes with a lot of benefits, more than you can imagine. Here are a few benefits that you receive from self-development-
- The best advantage you receive through self-development is that you can evolve. Self-development lets you identify your personal strengths and weaknesses. Nurturing your strengths will give you the path to success while working on weaknesses removes all the unnecessary obstacles in life.
- By following the self-improvement tips, you have a reason to look forward to the next day with hope and enthusiasm. This is because each day provides you new learning.
- Self-improvement gives you an opportunity to realize your full potential, which gives you a reason to feel better about yourself every day.
Self-improvement strategies sure bring you a lot of benefits. But how should you carry out this personal improvement plan? How can you improve yourself? Here’s how-
1.Read every day to Improve Yourself:
Books are a man’s best friend and we all know that. They are a concentrated source of wisdom and that my friend is very important as a part of your daily self-improvement plan. When you read every day, you feed knowledge to your brain every day. Invest your precious time in reading self-development articles or personal development articles. Search for the same on Google and you will find a lot of interesting and informative articles.
One more thing you can do is try reading motivating books after all books provide the best knowledge. Here are a few personal recommendations-
- 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- How to Win Friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
- Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Now let’s just say you are the kind of person who thinks that reading things is boring. In that case, pick out something that you find interesting. Think of a topic and Google it and you will find lots of articles and books and varieties of other things like quotes or stories in that vast ocean of knowledge.
2. Stretch out of your comfort zone.
A comfort zone is a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress. When you are in your comfort zone, your brain doesn’t want anything to change, you feel content. All your needs are met, you have zero stress.
So if you make an effort to step out of your comfort zone, your brain is going to make an extra effort to get that thing done thereby improving its performance. Stepping out of your comfort zone creates good focus, enhances your creativity, and increases your pace.
The real question that arises here is that how will you step out of your comfort zone as a major step to your personal area of self-development.
i) Switch up your routine.
Routines scream comfort zone like nothing else and trust me if you want self-improvement tips, you should start by flexing your routine up a bit. It could be something as small as taking a new route to work or taking stairs instead of an elevator. Small changes help you look at things differently and gain a different perspective thereby getting you a fresh batch of creative ideas.
ii) Move towards your fears.
Sometimes the things that we are afraid of have the greatest potential to help you on how to grow in life. Now I am not talking about spider phobia or anything but something like stage fright or facing problems in talking to new people. I had to overcome both of these fears because I knew how many benefits I am going to get by using them in my career. Now when I feel fear, it’s usually an indicator that I need to do that thing I’m afraid of. Making a commitment to lean into that each day has been really uncomfortable at times, but it has also been responsible for a lot of great memories and a deep level of personal satisfaction.
iii) Try something new.
Make a list of everything that makes you uncomfortable. Now pick any random thing from that list.
Try a different approach until you are no longer scared of that particular thing. You need to be uncomfortable to get over and it and feel comfortable. Repeat this cycle with all the things you listed.
iv) Agree to something you normally wouldn’t.
Surprise yourself by saying yes to something that you normally wouldn’t consider. It could be related to your business like changing your strategy or something related to your personal life like going to a sports meet. Even if things don’t go your way, you will gain experience from it.
These tips can also help you with your question – how to improve yourself or how to develop myself.
3. Make your needs a priority.
“You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” ~Tony Gaskins
If you think doing so makes you selfish then no, you are not selfish if it helps you on – how to work on yourself. I agree that being selfless is a good thing but what about your needs? Who will make them a priority if not you? How will I improve myself if I am neglecting myself because of others and end up getting hurt? How will you get rid of the stress if you don’t consider the things that are causing stress in the first place? What will you give others if you yourself are depleted?
So, rather than draining yourself of energy and desire by prioritizing other’s needs before yours, focus on yourself first and give time to yourself. This helps a lot in your personal growth and development. You can follow these simple steps if you are confused as to how to explore yourself or your needs-
1. Notice who you spend your precious time with and how do they make you feel.
I am not saying to stop spending time with people but yes you should avoid doing so with people who make you uncomfortable or those who make you feel deflated. Invest your time in those who bring joy to you and a smile on your face.
2. Take out time to reflect your needs and desires.
Do you make time for activities that you enjoy? Do you feel satisfied with your work, home life, health, or other areas that you value? Commit to making a conscious effort to start prioritizing these areas more in your life.
3. Practice the art of saying “NO”.
Put a stop to the automatic “yes machine” and learn to decline when you feel that the thing will get in between your time or boundaries. Sure it is going to take time to say no but practice makes a man perfect. Be there for others when they need you but never yourself behind in this process.
4. Improve your skills.
Knowledge can be acquired while skills can be learned and improved. Period. To do your best in life at something, you don’t need an IQ of a genius. It does take a lot of willpower, persistence, and deliberate practices.
Here are few ways by which you can invest your time in improving your skills which eventually help you on your path to self-development-
- Take action. Learning a new skill does require an active amount of practice. So working on a skill can help you understand the principles of skill development and get a deeper understanding of the process of learning.
- Always look for improvement. Have you ever come across a restaurant that serves mediocre food even after decades of existence. They never look for ways to improve. Only by searching for and experimenting with new ways of doing things, you can improve. It requires a lot of effort and attention but the result is outstanding.
- Don’t fear challenges. Shying away from new opportunities to learn new things is something you should avoid. Consider this as a very important self-development tip. Something that feels easy to do doesn’t bring you new experiences as you already know how to do it. Be willing to take risks and face challenges in life even if that means you have to go through an embarrassing period in your life.
- Never stop practicing. Practice makes a man perfect and we all know how important it is to grow in life. Professionals plan their day around their practice and set the time for practice when they are most attentive.
5. Stop Procrastinating.
Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into. But it is often confused with laziness. Procrastination is an active process where you chose to do something else instead of the task that you know you should be doing.
Here are a few ways you can follow to avoid procrastination-
Recognize that you are putting off things for some other day. Prioritize your tasks.
Find out why you are procrastinating. Is the task boring? If yes then follow steps to get out of it as quickly as possible. Keep everything organized.
Keep to-do lists. A personal tip I would like to give you is that keep small treats or punishments for yourself. If you complete the list, you get a treat otherwise you suffer the punishment. This will motivate you to get things done.
6. Discover your blind spots.
What is a blind spot- Something that cannot be seen by the naked eye. It is basically things about ourselves that we are unaware of. Identify your blind spots. They will help you discover your areas of improvement. There are many stories of leaders who should be able to see these blind spots that are obvious to everyone, but they don’t.
Blind spots affect us all. We have certain persistent traits that shroud our insecurities, and these make us oblivious to reason. Instead, we let our emotions drive us.
Now the question that comes here to your mind would be how would you identify your blind spots?
One easy way to do this is by asking others for feedback. Ask them what they think about your strengths and weaknesses. This is because our close ones see things that we miss or are not able to observe about ourselves.
7. Quit a bad habit, cultivate a new one.
Oversleeping? Being lazy? Not being punctual at your job? Smoking? Drinking? Do you have any such kind of bad habit that you want to lose?
Habits can be hard to control and have the biggest impact on your daily lives.
Bad habits help you cope up with complicated emotions such as sadness, feeling bad about yourself, being sick or dealing with a crisis, etc. they interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. So what do you do?
Well first of all the habits you have – good or bad – are there for a reason. The truth being told, bad habits can never be destroyed so you need to replace them with a good ones. For example, if you smoke when you are stressed, then quitting abruptly isn’t an option. Instead, look for a healthier alternative that helps you to deal with the stress. Follow these steps to quit your bad habit-
Look for a good substitute.
Cut out triggering options.
Surround yourself with like-minded people.
Visualize yourself succeeding to get a constant supply of motivation.
8. Avoid negative people.
You need to be very careful about your associate in your life personally or professionally. Negative people affect your attitude as they discourage you and try to drag you down just like themselves. They damage your positive energy and at some point in time, you start thinking negatively under their influence. It is often very difficult to get rid of them. Positive and optimistic people on the other hand give out good vibes, they encourage you and help you grow more rather than holding you back.
So, in the end, it is up to you to decide what kind of people you’re going to be friends with, and the kinds of people you’re going to spend your time with.
My advice would be to stay away from negative people, as far as possible. Learn how to deal with difficult people if you cannot avoid them.
9. Learn from people who inspire you.
At some point, we all need suggestions and advice from people we see as our role models or our loved ones. Finding a mentor is a great way to give your career and your life a boost.
The right mentor can help set you up for success by introducing you to people, suggesting the next steps in terms of training or projects you should undertake, being encouraging, and showing you that it’s possible to get where you want to be.
Therefore, always endeavor to seek the opinions of your friends and love ones who truly care. And learn from them!
10. Ask for feedback.
Getting feedback from people gives you an additional perspective. It may even lead to a promotion or to other opportunities. Your self-confidence will grow, and it demonstrates to your boss that you truly care about your work.
On the other hand, not getting any feedback can make you think that your contributions aren’t valued or noticed. This can make you question the importance of the work that you’re doing and your overall competency. It can also damage your morale and self-esteem.
This is why it’s important for you to take the initiative in asking for feedback, especially if the people you need it from aren’t offering it regularly. (For instance, some managers may only provide detailed feedback during annual performance reviews.)
Also Read: How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking
In the end, I just want to say that here are a few ways in which you can improve yourself, follow these up for a successful life.
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