Choosing The Path To Self-Improvement

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, September 27, 2017
By Michelle Gonzalez, PSY.D., LMHC

What is self-improvement? According to Webster’s Dictionary, it is “improvement of oneself by one’s own actions.”  It is an inner process that requires inner change. Why is it important to self-improve? Because by improving ourselves, we get the most of life. And when we improve ourselves we achieve personal growth and a sense of fulfillment in all aspects (emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually).

So lets start by asking ourselves this question…How can I improve myself? If you are one of those who believes that you have nothing to change about yourself, you are wrong. There is always something that we can improve on. Nobody is perfect. However, it is a choice and by choosing the path to self-improvement, we are also creating the best version of ourselves because we know what we want and we are willing to learn how to change.

Below is a list of the things I have found to be most effective in obtaining self-improvement.

1) Communicate
Communication is important. We communicate with each other daily. However, when we talk about self-improvement, we may not want to hear what someone else thinks about us. This is why it is important to find someone that you are comfortable talking to. Whether it be a family member, friend, life coach or even a therapist…Talk to someone that you trust. Begin by asking that person questions that will give you answers about who you are. Listen to that person and take in his/her comments and criticism. By doing this, you are enabling yourself to grow and change in order to be the “best you.”

2) Have a growing mindset
Age and gender can affect self-improvement. Those with a growing mindset welcome feedback and change. Thus, they can improve and learn. Those with a fixed mindset rely on their inborn talents and avoid feedback. These individuals do not change because they fixate on trying to prove themselves.

3) Read a book
Books provide wisdom. Books can give you power, help you to grow, and inspire you. Books can even give you the confidence to deal with real life situations by helping you to cope with certain problems.  The more books you read, the more knowledge you gain. It doesn’t matter what you read as long as it is meaningful to you.

4) Overcome fears and think positive
How many times have you been afraid to admit what scares you? Being fearful causes us to be unhappy. When we think about overcoming our fears there are many emotions that surface. For example, perhaps we are afraid of showing others our true weaknesses. Feelings like this may cause people to alienate themselves. Feelings like this may also cause people to shut down. We may think that we are handling things fine, but in reality we are only bringing out the worst in us. By overcoming our fears we become stronger and this all starts with positive thinking. Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

5) Exercise
Believe it or not, just 20 minutes of exercise can help fuel success. Exercise trains your body and your brain. It also boosts your self-esteem, energy, and mood. When we exercise, we build confidence and when we have confidence we can take on challenges. These challenges we take on can help us succeed and become better individuals.

6) Journal
I personally love to journal. It is one of the best ways to self-reflect because it can provide insight and healing to one’s life. Journaling enables you to look at what you have written and by rereading what you wrote, you can see how you have changed or you can decide on things that need to change.

Remember that when we decide to go on this journey, it will not happen in one day. It will take time, so be patient with yourself. It’s okay to have some setbacks. It’s okay to feel like you can’t do it. Nobody said that it would be easy. However, when you feel like giving up, refocus on the goal. Focus on what you want. Focus on being the best version of yourself. Visualize it and believe it and you will achieve it.