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How To Do Self-Improvement Without Driving Yourself Crazy

Self-Improvement is… well… the art of improving yourself.

It’s a personal process that involves self-reflection, humility, and the courage to look at the things that aren’t working in your life. 

Some of you have made such a decision. You’ve decided, say, that you need to be more assertive, more understanding, more loving, more open.. Or that you need to look for ways to care for yourself, be your own strong person, create happiness and well-being in your life….etc

That’s all great. And I’ve been on this path long enough to know about the pitfalls too.

It gets lonely. And even dark at times. Because you’re doing something nobody can do for you.

Self-improvement implies seeing yourself in an honest light. And sometimes, what you see does not seem “improvable”. Like: You’re this way, and couldn’t possibly expect to be a different way!

But see when that happens, the whole process is essentially turned upside down.

Because now, you’re not dealing with the inherently positive and invigorating challenge that is personal growth.

Now you’re fighting what you perceive as being a losing battle. And that’s when self-improvement is more exhausting/depressing than anything.  

That’s why I want to share with you an understanding, of what it takes to complete self-improvement projects. To find the answers you heart yearns for, and move on with your life.

Without feeling like a lone ranger on an impossible mission. 🙂

Self-improvement is a noble endeavor that is as rewarding as it is challenging, and that’s what makes it worth it. 

Now, a couple of years ago, I actually found myself in a situation where I needed help with certain things I was going through. Being away from home for the first time, having to deal with loss, novelty, and just the harsh realities of adult life, all in the same motion. 

Basically life was coming at me in a way that I wasn’t necessarily used to, or even adequately prepared for to be honest. A lot of the coping strategies I’d developed growing up (that we all develop) just… simply failed.

Like finding out the pedestrian button you’ve been using for years isn’t actually hooked up. 

And for a long time (like 4 months) my productivity went sky-diving.

 

It's only funny in retrospect. :)
It’s only funny in retrospect. 🙂

 

Until I was able to recover by taking a series of strategic actions.

Relationship breakdown, insecurities, self-doubt, demotivation, lackluster performance, disengagement … All of those things feed into each-other. And it’s why you want to understand how to steel yourself, and keep one little thing from effectively wrecking your life. 

So here’s what you do:

 

Seek professional help

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By far the safest (and often most effective) way to help yourself through a transitory period in life. You might have friends or family members that will listen to you, but it’s not always the case that your relationship with these people allows you to have the kind of conversation and exchange that you really need at a particular time.

I write in my bio about how the first action I took back in the day is I went to see a Reiki Master.

Now, this might seem odd at first, but really only you can know what type of intervention you need. I happen to have some experience seeing psychologists, and I didn’t feel like that’s what I needed.

What I wanted was some time to just cool down, relax, and get my focus back. And this particular intervention did exactly that for me. 

So if you’re looking to make a significant change of direction in your life, I couldn’t recommend this course of action more. Educate yourself on what kinds of services are available in your area, and definitely lean on those people whose job it is to actually help you work things out.

Provided you’re dealing with a qualified professional, it’s hands down the best way to pull through quickly, and safely.  

 

 

Lean on friends and family

 

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If you can. And I’d say that’s a big if. I certainly wish I could have done that more, but the more I think about what I was dealing with at the time, the more I am compassionate with myself in the realization that I just didn’t feel quite comfortable with that.

And for you it might be different. And if it is, I’d say go for it.

It’s going to depend on your individual situation, with what you’re doing and who these people are. So it’s definitely not a cookie-cutter answer. 

I say watch how you feel about taking this path, and if all else fails refer to (1).

This is important. What you absolutely don’t want to do, is take on a self-improvement project or personal challenge, on your lonesome.

I’d say at the very least pick up a book on what you’re going through. It does feel good to read through something you can connect to, and be able to relate to the author. Because you can be sure that no matter what it is, somebody has been there, done that, and gotten the T-shirt.

So that’s maybe a bonus tip to consider.

 

 

Get clear

 

See original image

 

So what is it you’re looking for, specifically?

Why?

And what’s that going to do for you?

How so?

In my line of work, these are questions I ask to help people assign a clear vision and purpose to their projects. Doing this kind of groundwork is important because it’s what’s going to keep you from hitting a shallow bottom.  

You know, sinking months (perhaps years) into something just to realize it’s not really what you wanted. 

When you’re looking for something, going on a wild-goose chase that turns out to be fruitless can be one of the most emotionally devastating things.

But if you’re perfectly clear on what you’re (really) looking for, where it might be found, and why you believe it could be found there, of course then your chances of actually finding it improve considerably. 

So that’s all I wanted to say. 

The bottom line is this: No matter what it is you’re wrestling with, there’s people out there who’ve either done it, or are ready to help you do it.

And that’s #facts.

-Alex


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