Give a cheer if this sounds familiar:
You found yourself in a rut! Maybe you know how you got there or maybe things got a little crazy and you still can’t figure out just how you found yourself in that place. The walls were closing in when you realized that something had to change. Perhaps the realization was quick or perhaps it happened slowly, until change was poking you right in the chest, telling you that there was no way out but through it. So you decided. You decided that it was time to be a better you.
Are you saying “hoorah”?
Now here you are. Changing. Except it’s not so easy, is it? You wish it could be. You wish that by virtue of wanting to improve, the fractured pieces of your life will magically come together and voila, you’re the better you you’ve always dreamed of! But it’s a wish that won’t come true.
If you are in the midst of making changes in your life – whether these changes are about your personal life, your relationships or your career – and you are finding that these improvements are challenging then this post is for you!
“If you try anything, if you try to lose weight, or to improve yourself, or to love, or to make the world a better place, you have already achieved something wonderful, before you even begin. Forget failure. If things don’t work out the way you want, hold your head up high and be proud. And try again. And again. And again!” – Sarah Dessen
The important thing is to remember that by correctly deducing that you had to make changes, you made the biggest and most important step in becoming a better you. You need to be immensely proud of that. By admitting you need to step up your “life game”, you made a tremendous shift in perspective that will vastly improve your life if you follow through. But you also need to remember that the path to self-improvement is not smooth.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you take on self-improvement:
1. Be Patient with yourself.
Change does not happen over night. You are a product of conditioning. Through the years, you and your surroundings have taught you to be the not-optimal person you are trying to ascend from. You need to remember this! It isn’t a cop-out and it’s not an excuse. It’s reality.
Now, all those bad behaviours and patterns of thought you have? You can’t will them away! You’re going to have to work at being better. While you figure out how to do that, you need to be patient. You have to give yourself room to grow. Pressuring yourself might feel like it will get results faster but what you’re actually doing is setting yourself up for failures. You will inevitably feel as if your efforts to get on the right path are feeble and that they are not enough to help you become better.
You don’t need to bully yourself into becoming a better person. Instead, give yourself time to make the right course correction for the person you want to be.
2. It’s okay to make mistakes
Your self-destructive tendencies are habitual. Just as we all know that at some point in their road to recovery, an addict will relapse, we should also be very aware that people who are trying to improve themselves hit their own walls. Something will happen that throws you back into the person you’re trying very hard to move away from being.
When that something happens and you find yourself thrust back to your old not-optimal self, you need to remember that this phenomena is a natural part of your journey.
If it all came easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. When you make a mistake, acknowledge and use it as a chance to grow. It’s not about the fall, after all, it’s all about getting back up!
3. It will get better
Think back to a time when you accomplished something but the path to your accomplishment was full of complications and strife.
What sticks out more? All the troubles you went through or the accomplishment itself? Here’s the thing about struggle – however intensely it weighs on you as it is happening, it passes. I promise you that. You know what will always stick with you? The fact that you did it! You achieved something!
I know that it’s hard right now. Maybe you even feel like you’re wasting your time or that you are actually incapable of redirecting your life in a meaningful way. You have to remember that the better you that is waiting is absolutely worth it. You will be so proud of not giving up; of staying strong and working for it even when it didn’t feel easy.
Remember these things as you commit to the changes you know you need to make. Work hard and stay strong. Your better you will thank you.