I’ve been thinking long and hard for a few days about how to progress with this self-improvement journey on the blog. I came up with a few topics for new lessons, but after assessing them, I think they can all fit in to this conclusive post on self-improvement lessons. That isn’t to say I won’t be posting more tips and advice that has worked for me to improve my life, but I will probably do it in a slightly different context rather than straight up self-improvement lessons.
Self-improvement hurts a lot.
I will compare it to a blister. Starting your private journal is a bit like taking a huge needle and puncturing it. The hurt, anger and self-addressing that will inevitably happen, is like that disgusting liquid that comes out when the blister is punctured… Like a blister, the puncturing and the cleaning out of the wound are likely to be extremely painful and uncomfortable. But just like the relief you feel when the blister is gone and everything cleaned up, you will feel better for addressing what needs to be addressed. You will get that fresh clean mental slate you need to start rebuilding whatever it is that you need to rebuild in your life. Keeping the journal going is like maintenance work, so that if everything starts to blister up, it won’t become as bad.
When you self-improve, you will lose people.
Not everyone is going to like the new you. Losing friends or in some cases family from your life can be a relief, especially if they’re holding you back from who you want to be, or it can be very painful. People appear in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. So rest assured that the lifetime people will find their way back to you. It may just be that they’re behind you in their development journey. But don’t wait for anyone to catch up with you. Keep going, because stopping or regressing in your journey will not get you where you want to be.
Improving yourself has the potential to make you very powerful.
When you are in a good place where your thoughts are more positive, less cluttered, your inner monologue strengthens you and you genuinely love yourself, you are gonna be on fire! This doesn’t mean that life will be perfect and you’ll wake up on a natural high every day. But your sense of general mental wellbeing will make it easier to go through those shitty days we all get from time to time. And when your self-development journey has taken you far enough, you will probably be able to see the beauty in the bad emotions. For example I had a very awful break-up three years ago that left me out of bounce for a very long time. But thinking back to that break-up I remember a lot of beautiful things about that time that I didn’t see then. For instance I spent a lot of time alone thinking and that developed me into a better version of myself. Had I been where I am now, I probably would have been able to take comfort in the things that weren’t so bad a lot quicker than I did back then. I’m by no means trying to glorify bad days or grief of any kind. But being in a good place mentally can help you turn the sadness into usefulness. When I feel down now, I journal and then do some songwriting. It helps.
Believe in yourself.
I have met religious people who put all their trust in God, who are puzzled at how they are not progressing while their atheist counterpart is doing swimmingly. Dig a little deeper into those people and the issue become clear. They feel unconfident in themselves and their abilities while the atheist has a lot of self-belief. What I’m trying to say is that whatever you may believe in, you can’t reap the benefits of your own abilities unless you actively decide to believe in yourself. “God will do it for me while I just tag along,” isn’t a good attitude. If you believe that God created you in his image and that he has a plan for your life, the least you can do to honour God, is to speak positivity into your life and take the necessary action to achieve what you want to achieve. Prayer, meditation or self-reflection, depending on what you believe in, is also a necessary step to achieve what you want. Because what they all essentially are, is your mind focusing on one issue. That alone, won’t get you where you need to be, but together with actions, it’s powerful and keeps your thoughts tidier.
It’s ok to be a little selfish
Not in that negative me first, me all the time, kind of way. But taking timeouts or making sacrifices in order to achieve your goals is something every expert encourages. Your friends might not understand why you choose to be at home on a Friday night, or why you don’t use social media or drink alcohol. It’s important not to be discouraged by this though. In order for you to become the best you, your need for space or new healthy practices should be high priorities. Self-development happens differently for everyone and in different phases. So it might just be that you need a short timeout from what you used to do. But don’t let anybody pressure you. As a friend who might not be going through this process now because you’ve either done it, or you aren’t there yet, encourage your friend to take the time they need for themselves. As long as it’s a positive withdrawal that doesn’t seem to stem in mental health issues, you have nothing to worry about.
Finally, have fun along the way.
Are you ready to take the step and improve your life? Enjoy your journey and all the blessings and good things that will follow. Take as big or as small steps as you need and share it with as few or as many as you like, though don’t exhaust yourself. Choosing 1 thing to focus on each month and achieve it is better than choosing ten things and achieving only a couple, so bare that in mind. As much as it can be painful and serious, it’s also fun and joyful.
Write down a list of what you do, then a list of what makes you happy and adjust accordingly where you can. You deserve to be happy and have the best life you possibly can have.