One of the most important tools you have at your disposal to renew yourself as a human is definitely Self Improving. The problem is that the majority of people misuse it and they make it become something different, they turn this incredible ability to change one’s self in their downfall.
How come? And how do you do “self improving the right way”? Let me explain.
I’ve previously mentioned and (briefly) talked about self improving in a post recognizing the trap that is fake improvement , that made you aware of the staleness that could come with it, but today the focus lies in HOW to correctly use this weapon you have at your disposal, because it’s a double-edged sword after all.
Self Improving Is NOT The End Goal
This is one of the most common mistakes that people make while going on the journey to better themselves, yet it is the easiest to avoid as well. What they’ll do is that they become so centered on the self-help culture and the task to “be better every day” that they end up forgetting the very reason they started to improve themselves in the first place, just for the sake of improving.
How useless is that? they lose sight of the thing that made them want to be better, and just fall into a zombie state that (in their eyes) justifies the countless hours and years they’re spending into perfecting sides of themselves that may not need improving anymore – they’re missing the point, self-improvement should be used to achieve self-mastery , which is a VERY different thing than just smoothing off edges of your current self you don’t need, for an extended period of time (since that by doing exactly this you’ll be a jack of all trades and master of none).
Keep the goal in sight, while actively self improving, don’t become a passive zombie on autopilot!
Progress Or Regress
There are actually TWO DIRECTIONS which this adventure of yours can take:
It either brings you fruits and results, or it makes your efforts wither away, there is no way in between. Remember, if you find yourself wavering between these two things it means that you are doing something wrong, DO NOT TRUST people who says something like this with the sake of imposing a fake positivity on you: “It doesn’t matter as long as you are doing your best”
Because if you’re doing your best but still not seeing any semblance of results, YOU ARE NOT IMPROVING, therefore, you’re doing something wrong. Do your best while not using your current limits as a facade to not achieve results.
The Right Way
So how do you finally do self improving the right way?
Ok, let’s understand the basic concept first: you start self improving because there is something that you currently do not like about yourself OR because you need to be better in some aspects in order to get to a certain place in life, these two are the most common reasons.
Now, somewhere in between this all, you messed up your approach, but worry not, you can still get back on the horse, but before we move to the right way to do self improving…understand that:
You May Have a Bias You’re Not Willing To Let Go
And this bias can come in different shapes and it can wear different masks so it can be tricky to spot, now this comparison is not mine but i’ve first read it in Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and i think is a very good comparison to make in this case, it goes somewhat like: “If you’re trying to get out of a maze without the right map how are you ever supposed to reach the end of it?”
Sure, you can eventually find the exit from the maze even without it but it’ll have consumed the hell out of you in terms of pain and wasted time to do so, wouldn’t you rather have that map at your disposal?
The map in this case is your perception of things, your personal way and convictions you have and use to navigate life. So you need to continuosly challenge those convictions and beliefs before you can use the right way, which consists in constantly breaking your current way of seeing things in order to make space for an increasingly larger awareness of reality, of how things really are.
The rule of thumb here is to discard that which is no longer needed and of no use, without letting go of the good you’ve found to be working for YOU. See your self improving journey, see yourself as a statue in need of chipping here and there before is finally completed.
Remember, if you find yourself unable to let go of whatever thing (bias) you’ve picked up along the road, be it a mindset, an opinion, a rigid way of doing things, a habit or an emotional archetype… you’re doomed to fail. Correct self improving requires you to be an adaptable, flexible human being in every aspect you can think of…and every aspect you CANNOT think of, the most.
That’s why so many people give up halfway, because in all honesty, not everyone is suited to really let go of their figurative luggage, it’s hard and it involves A LOT of change and uncertainty- to the point that one person might even start questioning if this is really the way to go- since he or she changed so much that became unrecognizable.
I hope this helped you clear some doubts you were currently going through, take care now.