Self improvement is an umbrella term that covers any method you might use to try and 'improve' yourself. Some might argue that self improvement then is by necessity a very subjective concept – whether a change is 'improvement' or not simply depends on your own definitions. However there are many things that we would almost universally consider improvement – such as for example becoming more productive, more confident, healthier, fitter, or better at specific skills such as public speaking or organisation. All of these things are aspects that can help us to get more out of our lives and be more successful in terms of our relationships, finances and careers. Even where it is subjective however, any attempt to improve yourself by your own definition is really self improvement. But why take the time out to make yourself better? What could it gain you if you are already happy with your career and your love life? Well the reality is that there are many reasons to improve yourself and you will achieve a lot more than you might realise and benefit many people other than yourself too. Here we will look at some reasons to put in the time and effort to make yourself into what you perceive to be a better person.
You will be more confident: Many people who aren't confident in life or who 'don't like themselves' will blame their disposition, their upbringing or other things. They will then engage in positive self talk and dress better and use other psychological techniques etc to make themselves feel better. However one sure fire way to feel better about yourself is to improve yourself. You identify your weaknesses and your insecurities – and then just train or take the time to turn those into strengths. In some ways this is more proactive than just learning to replace the doubt.
It will inspire others: If you take the time out to improve yourself then you become an inspiration and a role model to other people. It's a great feeling to feel as though you've helped someone to become better than they were before and to get more out of their life. Meanwhile if you have children, this way you can set a better example for them in how they can be whoever they want to be.
You can support others: When someone is scathing or negative about you, or when they are excessively bitchy, this almost without fail comes from their own insecurities. Here, they feel insecure or uneasy about an aspect of themselves, so rather than doing something about it they try to bring others down to make themselves feel better. Likewise they tell them they can't do things or be who they want to be because in their experience that's what life is like. The people who are happy in their lives though, and who are confident and feel happy with the way they are – thus they can be self deprecating without worrying that it will damage their ego or their reputation. Likewise then they can use this to make other people feel better about themselves with compliments and encouraging comments. Confidence in this sense is infectious.
It's fun: Believe it or not, self improvement is both fun and addicting. Like anything where you see gradual improvement as a result of your hard work and input, self improvement is very rewarding and you can end up getting a kick out of reading up on new techniques and impressive friends and colleagues with your new abilities, appearance and outlooks.
You are moving somewhere: If you are trying to improve yourself then you have a goal and a mission and you are doing something worthwhile. This gives you a great sense of purpose of achievement and means you will be constantly moving forward in your life and improving in things rather than stagnating.
You won't deteriorate: And if you do stagnate, then chances are that you won't just stay the same either – you'll deteriorate. If you don't use it, you lose it, and the more you get behind on things like fitness, confidence and self esteem, the more difficult it will be to improve yourself again. For example, if you stop exercising you don't just stop improving you start gaining weight and losing muscle definition and this continues exponentially until you decide to do something about it. However the longer you've let this go on for and the worse you've let it become, the more difficult it will prove to get back into shape.
You improve society: Think about it – if everyone took time out to improve themselves then we would live in a world of people with higher IQs, better health, and confidence. The best way to improve the world is to start by improving yourself.
You achieve more: What we achieve and how our lives turn out depend on a lot of factors including some outside of our control, such as the family and area we were born into, the support of our parents and a bit of luck. However more than anything, it comes down to the amount of work you put in and your own abilities. If you make yourself smarter, more driven, better spoken and healthier – of course this is going to positively impact your career, your love life and every other measure of success we tend to use to decide if someone is a high achiever or a failure.
You gain more freedom: Self improvement essentially leads to your having more power in that you are capable of achieving more, and in that you are more impervious to psychological or physical attacks. What this means is that you can achieve more in more different fields, and you don't have to bend to the will of others. Literally if you improve your physical ability you can run further, climb and jump and this will increase your freedom and your ability to travel to new places and explore new things. At the same time if you earn more money through being better at your job, then you will have the freedom to go more places and try more things. People won't be able to tell you what to do either once you become physically imposing and financially independent.
You are prepared: By improving yourself you are also preparing for the worst. You never know what life has in store for you just around the corner and it could be anything from the death of a relative, to financial hardship, to injury, to something more Earth shattering such as a global epidemic, depression or war. If you are the best you can possibly be, then you will be the best prepared to cope with these trials, and you will also be the best prepared for helping others to do the same.