We all know the improving ourselves is not an instinct thing that we can cope with. We have this self-preservation or self-instinct so we cannot be driven by others changing us in one shot. However, sometimes when all our doubts, fears and insecurities wrap ourselves up, we always have the tendency to be somebody else. More often than not, we used to think and believe that some or most people are better than us—when in reality, most people are more fearful than us.
If one time you spotted a totally eye-catching girl sitting by herself at a party, sipping on a glass of cold drinks. You start thinking to yourself, “she looks so perfectly sexy, gorgeous and confident.” But if you could read her mind, you would see a bunch of clouds of thoughts. You might just be amazed that she’s thinking “are people talking about why I am seated here alone?… Why don’t guys find me attractive? …I don’t like my legs, they look too skinny… I wish I was as smart as my best friend.”
We looked at a young businessman and say “Wow… what else could he ask for?” He stares at himself in the mirror and murmured, “I hate my big nose… I wonder why my friends won’t talk to me… I hope my mom and dad would still work things out.”
Isn’t it funny? we glance at people, envy them for atrociously excellent and desires to trade places with them, without knowing that they also look at us and thinking almost the same thing. We have a lot of insecurities but other people are insecure of us. We may suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and have a tendency to lose hope in self-improvement because we are already covered with self-desperation. Then, you’ll notice that you are always irritated and fearful. You started to bite your fingernails, insecure with your own self-image and imagining what others might think about you.
I have a friend in my office who never gets tired of talking. And in most conversations, she is the only one who seems to be interested in the things she has to say. So all of our other friends tend to avoid the circles whenever she is around, and she doesn’t notice how badly she became socially handicapped – gradually affecting the people in her environment. People around her find it hard to give advice to her because she’s not a teachable person.
Now, what do you think is the key to self-improvement?
LISTEN & CONSULT TO A TRUSTED FRIEND
Find someone who you find comforts in opening up your concern with even the most serious topics you want to discuss. Ask yourself these questions like “do you think I am ill-mannered?”, “Do I always sound argumentative?”, “Do I talk too loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore you when were together?”. In this way, the other person will obviously know that you are interested in the process of self-improvement. Lend her your ears for comments and criticisms and don’t give her answers like “Don’t exaggerate! That’s just the way I am!” “Don’t teach me what I’m going to do!” Open up your mind and heart as well. And in return, you may want to help your friend with constructive criticism that will also help her to improve.
One of Whitney Houston’s songs says “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” True enough that in order to love others, you must love yourself too. But that is not what is happening right now. We don’t see the love for others as we love ourselves. People are born with self-love. No one is kind enough to love others since we are born in this world. We should learn to love God first before we can love others. If we could make it to the last our self-love then we may truly know how to love others. Loving is not an easy task but it’s a big effort that we must strive.
Before telling others some ways on how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself is a representation and an example of self-improvement. Self-improvement makes us better people, we then inspire others, then the rest of the world will follow.
DECISION FOR A CHANGE
You want to improve yourself but have you decided for a real change. Our mind and heart are sometimes playful. It’s so easy to claim for a change in mind but not in our hearts. Let’s take an example with a person who’s always uttered for losing weight. He may keep saying that he desires for a fit body but nothing has not been prepared for himself. Did you know exactly what is the problem surrounds to people who have been like that? One thing surely that I know, it is the “drive” that is not exercised within the mind and heart of a person. “If you have the drive for a change in your life, you have to make a real decision. The drive is the key factor for a change.”
ACT ON IT
Have you heard the statement that action speaks louder than words? This is true because people tend to be good in speaking with full of promises but without acting upon it. Even if you choose for a change but without stepping a step to do the preparation—it is futile. This is why some people fail to fulfill their dreams for a change. Action for a change needs a tremendous effort in physical, emotional and spiritual mind. The same as a religious person who always keeps praying, but without faith and action—it is still worthless. You don’t have that faith in your action would lead to immediate failure.
Stop thinking of yourselves as second-rate human beings. Forget the thought of “If only I was richer… if only I was thinner” and so on. Accepting your true self is the first step to self-improvement. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others only to find out at the end that we’ve got 10 more reasons to envy them. This is actually true. Why think what others might say to you while they actually have no time to think about you. Isn’t it? If there is a proposal to change yourself, don’t invite the statement to your system “I can’t do it” instead “I will do it”.
We all have our insecurities and fears. Nobody is perfect and no one is an island. We always wish we had better things, better futures, better body parts, etc. But life need not be perfect for people to be happy about themselves. Self-improvement and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect and you are the best. It’s the virtue of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy forever.
“Most experts and great leaders agree that leaders are made, not born, and that they are made through their own drive for learning and self-improvement.” Carol S. Dweck
Photo credited to Aliko Sunawang