The world has become a self-help sphere full of information for people that are looking to improve their lives. Something about self-improvement has people hooked on to it (including myself). Who doesn’t want to improve their lives and become the best person that they can possibly be?
At times, it feels like the whole self-help movement is a scam. No matter how many things you try out, nothing seems to have the power to actually change your life around. Maybe it’s all perspective, to some people they may feel like their lives are improving daily but to others, it may feel like they’re back to exactly where they started.
No matter how you look at it, if you’re constantly living a life dedicated to self-improvement, you’ve probably learned many things about yourself. Everyone has their own definition of self-improvement just like how everyone has their own definition of happiness or success. The world is filled with ideas that will always seem odd to many people and perfectly fine to others.
Over time, personal development begins to become a bit dull. The initial spark that you had for it goes away due to overexposing yourself to it or not seeing any progress. We were never guaranteed anything in this life, for you to think that trying out one new life hack will somehow change everything is a bit selfish.
Your love for self-improvement became what it is because you felt like there were or are areas in your life that need improving. It applies differently to everyone, you just have to find your preferred method. You need to figure out a way to properly apply some of the things that you learn to your life.
There’s no official blueprint, it’s all about trial and error. During my journey with self-improvement I’ve learned a few things to help me stay on track, let’s see how these methods can help you as well.
Go back to the basics
Do you remember reading your fist self-improvement article or seeing the “personal development” section in your local bookstore for the first time? This was the moment where you decided you were going to make a change in your life.
You probably didn't know that your addiction to life hacking was about to begin. This addiction didn’t feel stressful though, you didn't feel like you had to get rid of it right away. As a matter of fact, it’s the only healthy addiction that you had at the time.
As you’re living your life now, you should always remind yourself to keep things simple. Simple as in going back to some of the first self-help books you read or some of the blogging websites you used to follow. Basically, you should strive to always be inspired by the idea of “self-improvement.”
You will come across people who may put hate towards the whole self-improvement movement, they have a right to think what they want but don’t let them stop you from your journey. Keeping some of the basic quotes that you’ve learned in the back of your mind for moments like these will help you to stay focused.
One quote that I like to say to myself from time to time is “every situation in life is temporary.” This helps me to avoid ongoing arguments or moments of frustration when dealing with my work from school.
Remember to always ask yourself why you started your self-improvement journey in the first place. Think about how if you were to improve your life, you would also have a higher chance of improving somebody else's.
Maybe there were some basic habits that you started to apply but fell through with, if those skills had a positive impact on you in the past then you might want to revisit them for when you’re feeling lost in your self-improvement journey.
Analyze what’s working and what’s not
Did you know that all of the self-help advice you hear may not be meant for you because of the position you are in now? I know “but all self-help advice should be applicable no matter where I am in life.” Sounds good but is not true, how many times have you found yourself doing something because somebody told you to. You’re not going to enjoy that task 100% of the time because it wasn't meant for you to do.
So, what advice should you be listening to? Well, the one that keeps you in a good mood and is having a positive impact on your life. Rarely does this happen consistently, but when it does you will feel like you’re on cloud nine. Take a step back and look at what’s working in your life and what’s not.
Which self-improvement book is giving you a rubric that is actually helping you in life?
Again, keep things simple. Although you should be willing to try new things, it’s sometimes best for you to stick to the things that you know will help or have helped.
There’s a misconception about mediation out there in the self-help universe, many gurus and life coaches will say that meditation is something that everyone should do. Some of the world’s most successful people don’t meditate because they just don't find it helpful.
You don’t want to be suffering on your journey to personal development, you want to be able to keep your head up and know that something is working. There will be times where you will be uncomfortable when trying new things but you should still have some comfortability within yourself that will keep you content and happy.
Give yourself a period to try uninteresting techniques
We’ve all heard of different techniques that sound too difficult to do or too crazy to try. When it comes to developing a proper self-improvement routine, you should try to do these things at least once in a while.
Have you ever wanted to try yoga but it just looks too hard to do? Spend about 2 weeks to a month doing it consistently and see if it has any impact on your body. If it doesn't do anything for you and you found it difficult to build into a habit then you’re more than welcome to leave it behind. If it has the exact opposite effect on you then you should keep doing it and add it to your self-help toolkit.
One of the most iconic life-advice quotes that you may know is “to be open to trying new things.” This is not only good for your overall health but it also makes your self-improvement journey a lot more interesting. This can include doing things like walking up to strangers and having a conversation to even trying out a genre of a book that you don’t usually get.
You'll be surprised by the number of new techniques that will actually be helpful to you. Remember to give yourself a long enough time period to where you can try the technique to its full effect.
Many times we steer away from trying new things because we don’t think that giving them a chance will be worth our time. If you still feel like these new potential skills are overrated then look at some people who have already tried them and see how it has helped their lives.
Most of the time when I’m looking to read a new book that I'm a little skeptical about I’ll look online to see if any of the people I look up to have read it and see what they think about it.
At the end of the day, self-improvement is just a concept. The term gives you hope for a better life, only you can decide how you want your life to turn out. I’ll leave you with a quote from T.D. Jakes that says
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.”