What Is Self Growth Or Self Improvement?
Arguably Self growth or self improvement is the best journey you can set off in your entire life. However, the road won’t be easy. But the rewards will definitely give you not only a sense of peace and purpose but also happiness and success. Which every human craves by nature.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, defining self improvement has been added in a mold. Whenever this term is on the table we start thinking of building skills that can help us get quick solutions. But this is only getting us even farther from the actual meaning of it.
For example, you can see;
*People who are highly successful in their career but not happy in their personal life.
*People who seem to be having stable homes and jobs but not close to inner peace or happiness.
*People following diet instructions and then fizzling after a while.
*People who have all the necessary skills to succeed but their work relationships are not thriving.
These are all examples that can show you how the meaning behind self growth is irrelevant to outward productivity or improvement techniques.
Self Improvement is about digging deeper into every atom of your blood to understand yourself. To understand your habits. To understand the lenses you are seeing the world from. It starts with addressing your wrong behaviors and what changes you want to make in your life. Thus when you become self aware of all your actions and habits, you will be able of integrating principles and habits that are authentic and coincide with your truest self.
In other words, a self growth journey starts with reflecting on your deepest beliefs and perceptions then questioning them.
The Importance Of Personal Growth And Why We Need It.
Too often we don’t know in which direction we should go. We keep pushing ourselves, build stronger skills and become better versions of ourselves. But if you pay close attention you can see that the more we are pushing the less happy we become.
This is why it is fundamental that we stop seeking self improvement in the means of modernity. Because yes you can improve yourself by using secondary means. Like work more, fit more, fake the smile, build time management skills, or maximize your productivity. But this can’t stand the test of time. When hard times come, it is only the real and authentic characteristics that you integrate within yourself that will make you withstand life storms.
How To Start Personal Growth
Before we move on to talk about self improvement habits, goals and plans. There are six steps that will help you make real and better improvement to your life.
1- Become Self Aware
Self awareness is your very first step in a self growth journey.
Being self aware means you build self knowledge. In other words, you observe your patterns and how they are affecting your behavior and life.
This is essential because when you learn about your weaknesses, strengths, values and your why, you start measuring your actions according to your values without worrying about conforming to society or comparing yourself to others.
Why is having self awareness the first step?
Because we always think that we are doing enough. But if we track our actions or progress, we see that we haven’t changed much actually.
Take for example:
1- When people want to lose weight, they claim that they started eating healthy. But in reality their eating habits haven’t changed much.
2- If you want to get a better job, you might be thinking that you have put enough effort. It is just not happening because you are not lucky enough. But with actual measurement, you will see that you haven’t really improved your skills or devoted enough of your time for what it takes to get a better job.
Being self aware comes before self improvement. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on your behavior and beliefs. And thus you can start making changes to improve yourself and life.
2- Take responsibility
Your second step towards self growth is to stop victimizing or blaming others for your circumstances. This means you take responsibility for your life. We all know that some external factors can happen to us, like losing a partner or losing a job. But adapting this mentality will help you increase your ability to overcome such intense situations.
You can start doing this by shifting your focus. Pay attention to the things that you can change, instead of focusing on situations that you have no control whatsoever on.
And by practicing this you will be able to stick to commitments you set to yourself. For example; instead of lingering in depression because you lost your job, you hold yourself accountable to find yourself even a better opportunity.
But it doesn’t end here, this habit will gain you clarity and focus, that will allow you to start choosing to serve what matters the most according to your values.
3- What Experiences Are You Leaving Behind You
Usually, in most relationships, our biggest concern is about what people are giving us rather than what we are giving to them. I am not suggesting here that you become a 100% giver.
What I am suggesting is that you build relationships in which you meet the other person halfway. Instead of continuously demanding things from others, pause and think about what kind of experience you are leaving behind you. How will these people remember you? And what kind of feelings you helped integrate into their hearts?
We humans always see things not as they are but according to our fears and previous experiences. But when we react from a place of fear or anger we harm our relationships with others and even with ourselves.
Live with the idea that you want to add something beautiful to every human you interact with. This will make you humble and kind. Planting good seeds wherever you go. But this doesn’t mean you allow people to cross boundaries with you. Learning how to say no to leverage your life, is definitely a must.
In a nutshell, our relationships quality play a huge role in our happiness and overall mental health. The more damage we leave behind us the worse we feel even if we managed to bury it deep inside us. This is why living with this concept is essential to your self growth.
4- Your Life Vision
The first three steps are the scariest. It feels as if you are standing naked in the face of the world. And on top of it, you are holding full responsibility. It is scary, bloody scary, I know.
But they are fundamental for your self growth journey.
The next step will be for you to define what kind of person you want to be and what you want to do to serve that. As well as to define the values in which both of these things are based upon.
When you make your values and principles the center of your life, you give yourself a solid foundation. Then in tough times when the earth beneath you starts shaking, your deep principles will be your compass and will ground you well.
5- Self Management
Where all self improvement sources give guidelines to how to time management or how to increase productivity. I want to state that these are skills that you develop after the foundation is set properly.
Self management is acknowledging that you have the willpower to make decisions and act on them. The more you train yourself to act according to your independence will, the more you will be able to achieve your goals.
Managing yourself means, you start saying no to anything that doesn’t serve your values. It means, you prioritize your goals and commit to them. And you keep track of your performance.
Cultivating this mentality will help you commit to developing the required skills. As I explained earlier, building habits and skills is secondary, it should come after your vision and purpose is well defined.
6- Take Care Of Yourself
In order to improve yourself and life you have to take care of each aspect that fuels you with energy.
- Caring for your physical body: exercise regularly, eat well and get enough sleep.
- Caring for your mental health: keep reading and learning and avoid stimuli such as negative effects of social media or news.
- Caring for your emotions: by cultivating honest relationships and having empathy towards yourself and others.
- Caring for your spirituality: focusing on this area in your life will get you closer to your inner self. It can be through meditation or prayer.
These factors are what fuels you with a healthy mind and body. This is why you can’t neglect one part and overindulge in another. A balance is required. Over and above that, these factors interrelate with each other, by working on one factor you will gain a positive effect on the other. For example, by exercising you will get physical and mental health.
Why Self Growth Can Be Painful
Usually self growth occurs when people have witnessed the results of their repeated wrong behavior, especially if it has affected other people. At this point, people feel huge pain. However, some people find relief in being the victim. Others, choose to face themselves and commit to making changes.
It is a painful journey because sometimes we have attributed a lot of pain to others or even to ourselves. Facing this and knowing that specific actions or inactions we took caused a lot of negativity, can be quite painful and discomforting.
But what makes it ok, is the desire to change. You see, we humans -especially in our current world- we are composed of many many layers. That made us so far from our authentic selves.
Removing these layers and investigating them one by one, is not easy, but it will allow us to come closer to the rightful version of ourselves.
Benefits Of Self Growth
Facing yourself and choosing your own ground is not easy, but it is absolutely promising.
Committing to self growth will allow you to live life on your own terms and draw out a meaning of your life.
However, once you start applying the above mentioned self growth essential, you will start witnessing benefits such as:
– Better relationships
– Finding peace in things that you can’t change
– Use your energy and time wisely
– You will learn how to not let random thoughts or feelings affect you
– You will see yourself developing a growth mindset
– Overcoming laziness
– A sense of happiness and delight in day to day life
– A sense of purpose and achievement.
Self improvement and growth must be practiced day in day out. Unless you show full commitment to it you will fall behind.
Needless to say that everything you read in this guide is your beginning point. But along with that you should feed your brain and soul. And also give purpose to your life through your daily small actions and habits.