Photo by Annie Spratt
So, You Want to Be a Better You, If Only You Knew Where to Start?
Would you like to progress in your career? Your health and fitness? Or maybe you’d like to manage your emotions more productively? Or perhaps you’d like to improve your relationships with family and friends? Would you like to be a better you?
Given that we are all flawed creatures and no one can have it all, most of us would like to improve ourselves in some way. We read a lot of inspiring books and listen to hours upon hours of motivation speeches. But the process of becoming a better you is harder than it sounds.
The key to changing your life is changing your mindset and working on your goals. Often, we dismiss our dreams, telling ourselves it’s too late to make a change, or that it’s unrealistic to learn something new.
But to be a better you, you must let go of these negative and limiting thoughts. They create a self-fulfilling prophecy, making you believe that you’re unable to reach your goals.
Our thoughts have immense power in our everyday lives, contributing to our moods and behaviors. To develop a mindset that’s positive and helps you chase after your aspirations and dreams, our handy guide is here to help.
Here’s how to work on your self-development, be a better you and to achieve a success-orientated mindset.
What Is Self-Development?
First, let’s explain exactly what self-development is.
Self-development, otherwise known as personal development, self growth, self improvement, and personal improvement, is the movement towards self-actualization.
Self growth means enhancing your own value or both. You work to become the best version of yourself, which is a lifelong healing venture that must be consistently worked on as you grow older.
When you want to work on yourself and be a better you, you’re realizing that there’s room for growth and improvement within you. You acknowledge that there are tough obstacles on the way to reaching your goals, and you understand that you must set yourself objectives to reach them.
Many people fail to reach their goals because they don’t understand where they are or who they are as a person. Because of this, they set themselves wrong or unrealistic goals. Then they move in the incorrect direction and/or at the wrong speed. By the time it dawns on them that their actions won’t help them reach their goals as planned, they give up.
By the time it dawns on them that their actions won’t help them reach their goals as planned, they give up.
That’s why a clear and positive mindset is crucial to help you achieve these goals. That way you can understand where you are, know where you want to get to, and how to move in that direction. That’s the only proven path to become a better you.
So, how do you improve your mindset so you can work on your self improvement plans? Keep reading to learn how.
Ditch the Fixed Mindset
Let’s say you’re lagging behind at work. A fixed mindset will tell you that there’s nothing you can do to change that and that the situation is the way it is. You tell yourself that it won’t change, no matter what you do.
A fixed mindset clouds your vision and leads you to think you cannot be a better you.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, will tell you differently. A growth mindset says you can make changes and can plan on how to initiate such changes.
A growth mindset tells you to work hard, listen to feedback, and follow strategies to improve the way you work.
Of course, there’s no guess as to which types of people go further in their careers. It all comes down to choosing to limit your beliefs or empower them.
If you believe you’re unable to grow, then it’s unlikely that you will. But if you believe that you can improve as a person and achieve wonderful things, you’ll discover that your behaviors and habits lead to this.
Mind you, this mindset phenomenon happens in all areas of life – health, fitness, business, relationships, parenting – you name it.
The industrialist Henry Ford once summed it all up:
“If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, either way, you’re right.”
Stop Fearing Failure
The number one reason many people don’t succeed is that they’re terrified to fail. Often that fear alone is enough to stop people from starting something in the beginning.
Sure, you gain confidence by achieving and overcoming difficulties. But when you don’t put yourself in situations that you find scary because you’re too afraid the outcome will be negative, you’re preventing yourself from self growth.
To be a better you is to grow.
The truth is that we all fail at some point in our lives, and we need to accept that if we want to better ourselves and climb to the top. So, it’s beneficial to follow the philosophy WTF, short for willing to fail.
That’s because the only way to develop is to make mistakes, then move on. Taking risks is frightening, but stagnation is worse. Plus, the more you believe you’ll fail, the more likely it is that you will.
When you think about it, when you’re not progressing further then you’re failing anyway, so you might as well tackle whatever it is that you’re scared of and take that leap.
When you think of failure as a learning opportunity, it seems a whole lot less scary. In fact, if you find yourself succeeding consistently, it may be a sign that you’re not challenging yourself hard enough.
Work to develop a mindset that failure is a positive experience to learn from. By reframing the idea of failure, you’ll soon find it easier to take risks and tackle challenges. You’ll feel less anxious about your endeavors, which helps develop a winning and positive attitude. It’s a win-win situation!
Why not create a list of enthralling challenges you’d love to overcome. For example, it could include traveling to a foreign city and exploring by yourself or taking a new course at a local college.
In the words of the famous mythologist, Joseph Campbell:
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek!”
Create a Long-Term Vision
To be a better you means having aspirations and taking proactive actions. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know exactly where you want to be. Whether you want to find your dream job, or start a new business, lose 10, or 50 pounds, to get there you must vision where you want to be in the future and how you see yourself getting there.
Once you’ve panned your long-term vision of success and achievement, then you can create short-term goals and a route to get there.
In many cases, it isn’t about blindly placing one foot in front of the other and hoping you’ll miraculously end up in a great position. It’s about seeing yourself in your dream situation in the future and working backward to plan how you’re going to get there.
Think of it as a crystal-clear snapshot of how your future looks and feels every five years. By looking ahead, you can help keep your mindset aligned and motivated to succeed.
If you’re not used to setting goals and creating long term vision, start off by creating time-bound goals that you know are achievable.
When you reach those goals, your confidence will be listed which will help reshape your positive thinking. However, remember that eventually, you’ll need to set yourself harder goals and that you must accept failure too.
Break the Rules
When you’ve developed the confidence to accept failure, you may be ready to break the rules. While we don’t mean to the extent of breaking the law, remember that some of the best entrepreneurs were willing to break the rules to reach their goals. For example, maybe they offered an innovative and different approach to what society is used to.
Like those that are frightened to fail, those that stay in their comfort zones and are afraid to break the rules rarely lead the pack or succeed in a big way.
To be a better you is to think and act outside the box.
It’s the individuals that move fast and challenge the convention that makes a mark and change the world. So, if you want to progress in your missions, get ready to color outside the lines.
Listen to Your Gut
Your gut is a powerful asset to self improvement, so use it.
Sure, we all overthink things every now and then, and that’s normal. But if you’re constantly second-guessing every little decision you make, you’ll never make movement and progress.
Overthinking also leads to rumination and stagnation, preventing you from moving forward in reaching your goals. While it may sound scary, making decisions – even the tough ones – quickly can help prevent unproductive indecisiveness.
Listen to your gut, take charge, and act on instinct. You’ll find that in most cases, your gut will make the right decision for you.
And when it doesn’t? Well, at least you didn’t waste too much time making a decision.
Part of growing a positive and winning mindset is believing in your instincts. Having confidence in your intuition is an important part of success.
Of course, in an ideal situation, you’ll rely on research and data to make solid decisions. But when evidence like this is unavailable, it’s time to make a gut decision.
With time, you’ll become more comfortable in trusting your gut as you learn that you can rely on it. Likewise, making decisions will become quicker and easier, which is more productive in the long run.
Let Positivity Flow
If you only make one change on improving your mindset and be a better you, welcoming positivity is the one you should aim for.
As long as they’re realistic about their goals, optimists are happier and more successful than pessimists. To keep your mindset healthy and to help you achieve your goals, it’s important to think positively.
This is similar to our first point in ditching the fixed mindset. If you believe that you’ll reach a goal, you’re far more likely to achieve it than if you have negative feelings towards it.
To be a better you requires that you look on the bright side of things.
If you think positively towards a goal, your actions will contribute towards reaching it. And if you think negatively, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. This ideology is otherwise known as the law of attraction.
If you’re naturally a pessimist, try to look for the good in every situation. If you’re struggling at work, don’t seem it as impending doom. Instead, think of how you can better yourself and improve.
The great thing is that positivity breeds positivity. When you have an optimistic attitude, you’ll notice that it guides everything you do.
Success doesn’t automatically introduce happiness into your life, but a positive mindset will welcome success into your life.
The Road to Personal Development Is Difficult
Let’s face it, your journey to be a better you will not be easy. As the belief goes, if achieving success were easy, everyone would do it. And as we all know very few people succeed in achieving their dream lives and lifestyles.
Just because you’ve become excited about developing your character and working towards self development, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.
Life is difficult and painful, and becoming a better version of yourself won’t happen overnight. In fact, as mentioned, it’s an ongoing process that you’ll have to maintain throughout your life. But as most successful people will tell you, the journey is worth it.
As you start or continue your ongoing journey of self growth and to be a better you, remember that the only person that can help you grow and change is looking right back at you in the mirror – it’s you.
You should also know that personal growth is exactly that – it’s personal. The journey will look, feel, and sound different for everyone. So, if your best friend is on a journey towards self growth and it feels like he or she is achieving so much more than you at a quicker pace, don’t let this put you off.
Everybody’s journey is different, and that’s the beauty of the process. Keep in mind that the self you’re moving towards won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, and you must accept that. Many people are against change and aren’t happy to see people moving forwards, even if it is in a positive way. To be a better you means being ready to lose some friends along the way.
Are You Ready to Be a Better You?
Remember, this self is yours to grapple with, and the experience of personal development is all yours.
Trust your gut instinct and embark on this journey to a healthier mindset so you can achieve both your long- and short-term goals. You’ll be surprised that by altering your mindset, a whole new world of success is opened up to you.
Want to learn more about personal development and how you can be a better you?
We’ve got tons more content to help you on your path. Check out our guide to achieving success through self discovery.