Written by: Cynthia Jones, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Self-improvement is a personal journey. I have realized that we all are meant to grow but that growth will look different for everyone.
A good definition of self-development is a lifelong process of consciously improving one self’s various aspects of their life. You are constantly pursuing change. Knowing that the human potential is limitless, not the limits you place on yourself.
As they say, “As a Man Thinketh So is He”
Now you can see how imperative it is to think only good things of yourself. If not, you will find yourself someplace you didn’t intend.
Now think of some reasons why you want to improve your life.
Are you looking to improve on your negative habits? Are you looking to improve your relationships or become more productive?
You only need one reason why you want to improve yourself, and it’s enough to start the journey.
I can still remember when I wanted to improve my work schedule because we had just had our son. I was unwilling to work nights anymore as I wanted to be there for my family as it was growing.
Now 16 years later, we have a good son who is a great teenager and loves being around his family. I know that one decision has changed our lives for the better.
As a passionate growth advocate, I’ve compiled a shortlist of my best tips, which will help your personal growth journey.
1. Don’t stop learning.
Learning something new every day is one of the things you can do to improve yourself. As I am an avid reader, I learn a lot by reading self-help books. The more books I picked up, the more I exposed myself to wisdom. The five books that changed my life were:
Think and Grow Rich –Napoleon Hill
Feeling is the Secret –Neville Goodard
The Magic of Believing –Claude M. Bristol
7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness –Jim Rohn
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People –Stephen R. Convey
Aside from reading, you can also listen to a podcast about new skills and business ideas. Personal development will require time and dedication to do every day, but you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.
To be honest, learning is something I do daily but did not set out to do initially. After my master's, I thought I would never learn again! I am so glad I had second thoughts and started reading and learning again. This time it's different because I am doing it to please me and help me grow personally, not professionally it's no longer a means to an end. I pick a lot of things I find exciting and know will reap a great reward. My encouragement is never to stop growing positively!
2. Consider working with a coach.
Rather than doing it alone, talking to your family or friends and sharing your goals might help keep you motivated. Also, working with a coach has become quite the norm in today’s society.
In sports, you will not find an Olympic Athlete without a team of coaches working behind to assist or a successful CEO without its team members. So if most of the top successful people need coaches, why wouldn’t you. That is part of their success; receiving support and getting outside perspective in their goals.
Working with coaches has inspired me to new levels. What I normally look for in a coach is someone who is doing something I want to do on a higher level. The higher level should be mentally, intellectually, and financially. These three areas are a must for me. Coaches are a great resource to show you the way to developing your business. Coaches also support you in becoming comfortable in the unknown.
3. Being open with yourself and accepting that you have flaws.
You may be hard-wired to always create the best impression of yourself, which is why it is sometimes hard to accept that you have flaws.
One important thing to remember is that “you are enough. You may have flaws, but learn to accept them. True self-improvement is learning to accept yourself above all”.
Once you have recognized the thing you do not like, then begin to ask yourself what you can do to replace this thing? The brain is designed in such a way that you cannot take away a habit without replacing it with something new. Start with one and then more on to others if you wish.
Don’t think of this exercise as finding wrong things, rather things that you can improve on. Improvement should be something you are always working towards. I know this personally as I am always looking for ways I can improve daily. It can be as small as adding vegetables or fruits to every meal or making your bed when you wake up in the morning. When you are working in small steps, it won't be long before you have built a mountain!
4. Planning your goals and challenging yourself to accomplish them.
Write down your goals – and I like to use the phrase “I am so happy and grateful that now….” to make the goal present.
Also, make the goal very specific so that you know exactly what you are working towards. The best definition of a goal I heard is “the progressive realization toward a worthy idea.” It is something you get to set and the ways you would take to achieve those goals.
You are more likely to complete your goal when you track your progress. Even better, why not make it a challenge by trying to complete it within 30 days. It can be quitting a habit or developing a new one. If you do it 30 days in a row, then you’re likely to stick with it. Once you complete the challenge, it will inspire you to start new ones.
The journey to improving yourself can be challenging at times but will reap loads of rewards. You need to constantly work on yourself because as you create a better you, in turn, you will create a better life. It does take commitment and perseverance but take one step at a time.
I hope that these 4 ways can help jumpstart your self-improvement journey. You may fail multiple times, but don’t feel discouraged. Be kind to yourself and understand that improving yourself is an ongoing process. You’ve got to keep moving on and start again if necessary.
Also, remember to enjoy the journey.
Cynthia Jones, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
As a first-generation college student, Cynthia began her career in Cybersecurity with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a double masters in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Policy. She worked her way through college with limited support. Fortunately, she had her husband by her side as she completed her masters degrees. As she entered the male-dominated field of cybersecurity, Cynthia had to learn how to show up with confidence to avoid dismissal which many women struggle with. It was at this job she realized her ability to empower other women to become fearless in pursuing their purpose.
She now has accumulated 20 years of experience in mindset coaching and has helped many women on and offline pursue their goals with courage and continues to watch them succeed.