Who said self-improvement is easy?

February 27, 2012

Self-esteem, Self-improvement

To make changes on a deeply personal level, you need to do an inspection through introspection, and this needs to be done from a neutral perspective.

by Irene Conlan — 

Who said self-improvement is easy? Well, it is and it is not. If your improvement program consists of losing five pounds or getting a new hair style, it is easy. But making those deep inner changes that draw you nearer to happiness, contentment and success may be more of a challenge.

To make changes on a deeply personal level, you need to do an inspection through introspection, and this needs to be done from a neutral perspective. It is important to drop the labels and the old programs that you run about yourself in order to see what is truly there. This can be particularly difficult if you have the self-esteem of a gnat, as you are likely to only see your negatives, then pile up so many things to improve that change looks nearly impossible.

Digging deep to find everything you believe is wrong with you is never wise and should be done only with the help of someone who has the skills to help you stay balanced during the process. No improvement will occur if the introspection process leaves you discouraged and depressed. If your intention to improve is sincere and serious, you will be able to find the starting place and go about it gently and steadily.

My suggestion is to start by improving the things that are already strengths for you. If you have an artistic flair, for example, develop it. Take art lessons, visit art galleries to see what others have done or take a class at your local community college or from an art teacher. If you have a gift for speaking, join a Toastmaster’s group, develop some presentations and make local organizations aware of your availability. Have someone videotape your speech, and as you watch it, make notes for areas to improve upon. Keep practicing until you are pleased with your next video.

If you are a good cook, take cooking classes to improve your technique. Learn all you can about food preparation and presentation. Invite friends over to give you feedback on your cooking. If you like to write and want to improve your writing, try submitting articles online to Web sites like www.ezinearticles.com and www.helium.com. Helium allows contributors to evaluate each other’s writing and gives you tips on how to improve.

Also you can enter writing and poetry contests on the Internet. Start a blog and post to it on a daily basis.

Beginning with your good traits and fine-tuning them will give you confidence, increase your self-esteem, help you meet new people, give you satisfaction in your improvements and gently open up some of those deeper and more personal areas that need to be improved.

Self-improvement is not for sissies, but it is for those who sincerely want to change for the better. It does not have to be a process that opens all the old wounds and brings emotional pain. Be gentle, but persistent. Start with the good stuff and make it better. We are holistic. What improves in one area improves the whole.

I will see you later. I am going for a walk — my starting place for physical self-improvement.


Irene Conlan has a master’s degree in nursing, is a certified hypnotherapist and a certified past-life regression therapist in Scottsdale, Ariz. www.theselfimprovementblog.com or iconlan@cox.net.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2010.

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