Even experts seek to improve themselves; perhaps this is why they are experts. We can all be better versions of ourselves, better in our relationships, better at our job, and better at our hobbies. Yet all too often, we plateau, reach an adequate level, and stop striving.
When we strive to be better, we invite happiness, fulfillment, and purpose into our lives. Making yourself better looks different for everyone. For some people, this means working less and paying more attention to friends and family. For others, it means engaging in mindfulness and embarking on a healing journey.
This article will outline what it means to be better and what benefits it may bring. It will then provide 5 tips on how you can make yourself better.
What does it mean to be better?
Consider what the best version of yourself looks like. How close are you to this? Being better is simply about making small improvements to ourselves.
Bettering yourself is associated with a conscious effort to invite positive traits and emotions into our lives and reject negative emotions and feelings.
When I worked on being a better friend, I became more open, honest, vulnerable, and authentic.
And when I focused on being a better partner in my romantic relationship, I became a better communicator and more patient.
The benefits of being better
When we focus on one area we want to improve in, this often transcends to other parts of our life.
As we have already highlighted, making yourself better can look like many different things. But no matter what you do, trying to be a better version of yourself always has a positive outcome.
Did you know that there are many mental health benefits associated with learning a new skill and then improving on this skill?
According to this article, there are 4 primary benefits of learning new skills and improving ourselves:
- Improving brain health and memory.
- Increase in mental well-being and happiness.
- Fosters a connection with others.
- It keeps you relevant.
That last one, in particular, resonates with me. We all want to feel like we belong and that we matter. Feeling irrelevant is a horrible position to be in.
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5 ways to make yourself better
We benefit from bettering ourselves, but how do we start the process? It can be daunting to introduce changes into your life.
Here are 5 suggestions for how you can start to make yourself better.
1. Embrace learning
We’ve already discussed the benefits of learning. A significant part of bettering yourself involves learning or re-learning. Perhaps even a re-wiring of how your brain functions.
Many of us reach a “that will do” point where life is average or slightly above average. But you deserve more! You deserve a viscerally extraordinary life.
When we plateau, we cage ourselves into our comfort zone. Being trapped in a comfort zone is oppressive and detrimental to our joy.
The most interesting people I know are those who are always learning. Luckilly, you don’t need to be academic to be a student of the world. Here are some options for you to keep learning, no matter where you are in life:
- University courses.
- Night school.
- Online courses.
- Personal reading.
- Journal reading.
- Specialist publications.
- Watch documentaries.
- Join groups or organizations of interest.
- Learn from those around you.
Aristotle once said, “the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.” We have a whole lifetime to soak in the information all around us.
So if you don’t know how to do something, maybe it is time to learn!
2. Seek professional help
The most successful sportspeople have professionals helping them with their mastery. Politicians have advisors, and students of the world have teachers.
If you want to be accountable for bettering yourself, consider seeking professional help.
You may want to improve your running; coaches can help with this. If you want to learn a new language, an evening class will be available to you.
Over the last few years, I have journeyed toward inner healing. There was only so much I could do by myself. To improve myself, I recruited the help of a good therapist to draw out a better version of myself.
If you’re interested in how a therapist can help you become happier even when you don’t find a need for it, here’s an interesting article of ours that covers this topic!
3. Practice, practice, practice
You know what you need to do; now it’s just a case of putting it into action.
Yes, it can be tedious, but improvement does not come from simply wishing for it. It is essential to show up every day to practice.
The legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan, says:
Practice like you’ve never won. Play like you’ve never lost.Michael Jordan
This quote translates into both a physical skill and a mental attribute.
Don’t worry; the old notion of requiring 10,000 hours to master a skill is arbitrary and was debunked long ago. But ultimately, bettering yourself still requires an enormous amount of time investment for practice and fine-tuning yourself.
If you want to better yourself by being kinder, you must act with kindness. One act is inadequate; you must allow kindness to be a thread that weaves through your life and touches everything you do. You must use kindness as a filter, to base your decisions through.
Bettering yourself is not something you do in a single day. It’s a constant journey without a destination.
4. Be committed and consistent
If you want to make yourself better, you must incorporate your goals into your daily habits. This habit-building means you must show consistency and be committed every day.
Think about it, if you are striving to be a better athlete, every decision you make contributes to this. If you choose to stay out partying into the early hours of the morning, this will have a detrimental impact on your ability to train.
If you want to reach the highest level as a pianist, how you look after your hands and schedule daily practice with no excuses will dictate your success.
When you commit to how you want to better yourself, you must be consistent in your approach to maximize your success.
Make your intention, commit and take action. This is a crucial part of bettering yourself.
5. Patience is a virtue
Jaw-dropping abs aren’t sculpted with one gym session. Change does not happen overnight. Every tip I’ve discussed so far takes time.
A lesser person may get bored and quit. But not you; you will recognize you need to be patient and tap into your mindful resources.
The habits you build today will benefit you tomorrow. So each time you consider breaking your commitment to yourself, ask yourself why you are willing to betray and dishonor your future self.
Give yourself time to improve, and don’t set unrealistic deadlines. Recognize how far you have come and permit yourself downtime to prevent burnout. Athletes require rest days; scholars need holidays. Remember to take time to breathe to help energize you to continue your mission to improve yourself.
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When we identify ways we want to improve and set about making ourselves a better person, we invite happiness into our lives. Absolutely everybody on planet Earth has areas they can improve upon. But you must realize that this is not something you can do in a single day. Bettering yourself is a journey without a destination.
What do you do to make yourself better? What’s your favorite tip? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!