Like anything in life, there is always going to be the easy parts and struggles. Self-improvement is a case in point and self-improvement struggles have to be expected as a part of the process of growth.
The first self-improvement struggle
Understand that there is no magic pill for self-improvement. Self-improvement is a process that takes time, effort, and planning.
Because you’re on a quest for self-improvement it suggests you start from a point where you’re less than happy with things the way they are. There may be several issues to tackle in terms of personal barriers, but others, such as toxic or ‘difficult’ people may take quite a bit of work. Expect, setbacks and the need to compromise along the way.
Remember that self-improvement is not selfishness. You do need to focus on your needs but not to the cost of harming others or becoming so self-involved that you can’t see the effects of your actions
Disappointment: the second self-improvement struggle
Every year we make resolutions, only for most of us to give up on them before February rolls around. You start with all of the enthusiasm you can possibly have to support your optimistic belief that this will finally be the year you accomplish…
Only, in the end, you end up with disappointment as your enthusiasm fades, or you fail to end up where you wanted to be.
Understand that while the concept of self-improvement can turn into something of a rabbit hole for us, it can be a powerful tool.
One of the fundamental aspects of our humanity is that we feel a need for improvement. It’s possible that this comes from some archaic evolutionary survival tool for ancient men and women. While it is a useful tool, it can become toxic for those of us who see this need for improvement as a flaw.
Disappointment is our emotional reaction to things that haven’t gone the way we’d like. So it’s a case of recognizing it for what it is and readjusting our thinking to allow a bit more flexibility into the mix.
Growth: the third self-improvement struggle
Any literature on self-improvement will talk about goals. These need to be thought of as markers on a journey because self-improvement is a process, not a product. When you were growing up you used things like birthdays or Christmas as marking points in your development. Maybe you acquired badges and certificates along the way? As you got older you maybe ticked off the other things like a degree or some skilled qualification. But in and amongst all this you maybe left yourself behind?
This is very typical in people who can point to the trappings of success and who know at some level they have very little to complain about, yet they still feel unfulfilled. Goal setting can help to structure where you’d like to be in the short, medium or long-term, but growth never actually ends. With growth, think growing pains. It’s not necessarily smooth or without conflict or disruption, but in the end it’s all down to where you want to be.
As a side note, remember that you are always going to be your strongest critic. This doesn’t mean that you should judge yourself. The process of self-improvement requires honest assessment, not self-recrimination, and there is a big difference