Ask Away Blog: How You Can Take Part in the Movement to Improve Yourself

How You Can Take Part in the Movement to Improve Yourself

Friday, March 16, 2018

It can seem that the world is constantly being inundated with self-help books and short lists of tips that will quickly help you reform your entire life. With all the noise made by these exciting ways to change your life, it can often seem that one voice is being drowned out: your own. When you attempt these life-transforming actions, it might often seem like an external activity rather than something you are truly embodying.

If you are really looking to make a major life change, it is incredibly important that you are invested fully: mind, body, and soul. That is the truth at the heart of any of these self-help books, and it is often skated over in lieu of the tasks that should be done. It is entirely possible to become fully involved in changing your life, and here are a few tips that will help you do just that!

1. Personalize Everything

Self-help books are written by people who have had personal success in changing their own lives. They have had this personal success because they recognized a problem they were having and found a personal way that helped them deal with it. While these books are written by very knowledgeable people and hold a lot of good information, the authors are uneducated on one very important piece of the puzzle: you.

If you want to be an active part in improving yourself, you need to do some serious soul searching. By doing this, you can discover what the major problems are in your life. From there, you will be able to more pointedly address your personal issues rather than wasting time on improvement-activities that focus on things you do not really need to improve.

Beyond that, you will be able to take the well-studied tips from the professionals (or the internet) and make them their own. Maybe a life coach suggests hitting up the gym, but you don’t enjoy running on a treadmill and watching TV. Instead of going to the gym though, you can buy gear and equipment for outdoor exercise. If you don’t want to improve in the way that’s recommended, don’t. Rather than trying to make any method work for you, find the essence of the activity and personalize it for yourself.

If you want to be an active part of your self-improvement, you need to make it about you.

2. What Calms You Down and Wakes You Up?

So much of self-improvement is dedicated to having a greater control and understanding of your state of mind. Everyone’s brain is different. That is what allows for the great diversity of the world. But if everyone’s mind is different, it is ridiculous to believe that everyone’s brain will be calmed down and woken up by the same things.

Monitor yourself and listen to yourself throughout your day to day life. Are there certain things that make you feel anxious or incredibly tired? Are there things that happen that make you feel like you could run a marathon?

Knowing what calms you down and wakes you up can also lead to better solutions for your personal situation. If you wake up groggy every morning from restless sleep, then it may be time to research reviews to find a better mattress. If you are perpetually stressed about being late to work or important events, then it may be time to look up reviews of the top watches to better track your time. If you are looking to go all natural—with your food, habits, and way of life—then start looking at behaviors you can change like cleaning your cutting board with a natural solutions or growing your own garden. If you’re trying to cut down on your waste output, look at the small things you do every day that impact your carbon footprint, like plastic razors, and make the switch to sustainable beard trimmers instead. Recognizing what gets you worked up versus what can work to further your self-improvement is incredibly important.

This understanding will vary from person to person. One person might enjoy meditation, whereas another considers it absolutely maddening and prefers to zone out and vent stress with online games instead. There is no correct way to rev up or wind down and having an understanding of what your personal means of accessing this are will allow you to have more control in improving yourself.

3. Don’t Talk About It

Your life is constantly impacted and influenced by the people you surround yourself with. It can be incredibly tempting to discuss your recent quest to change your life with the people around you. One of the most tangible pieces of self-help advice is do not do this.

Just like you wouldn’t go around bragging about getting an STD check to maintain your personal health, you don’t want to boast your other self-improvement goals. Your life and who you are is incredibly personal to you. If you are striving to take more ownership over your life and its overall improvement, why would you invite other people to take part in it?

By discussing it with the people in your life you do two things. Firstly, you have invited other people's’ opinions into the discussion. As well intentioned as their comments may be, advice that may work for them may distract you from fully coming to understand yourself and what you need. While advice may be very helpful, it is important that you have a fuller understanding of yourself before you seek it.

Secondly, by sharing your pursuit with others, you share the burden with them. While having friends who will help you carry life’s burdens is a wonderful part of life and the sign of a valuable friend, you should not share the responsibility that comes with improving and understanding yourself. By talking about it, you relinquish some of your control when your quest was to attain more control. Your motivation needs to come from within, and, when it does, you will be fully in charge of changing the trajectory of your life.
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  1. Thanks for sharing this. To be honest, I have never been too good with self help books mainly because of your first reason. The people who write these self helps were on their own journey and subject to a whole set of different circumstances. That's not to invalidate their experiences or their advice because most motivational writers are united by their determination and self belief, which I am learning to apply to my life, but I definitely think personalising what you read is a must. Keeping your goals to yourself is also key! In one fell swoop, all of your progress can be undone by sharing your business with the wrong person.


    1. No you have an amazing point tho! It's true. There's a lot of self help books that I passed over after reading the first chapter lol!


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