How much of your daily self-talk is made up of statements like…
If I could only..
- be more confident
- become more productive
- procrastinate less
- feel happier
- be healthier
- stop being scared or anxious
- attract more (or better) people into my life
- respect and love myself more
Indeed, for many of us the prospect of self improvement is something we strive to fix or change in life – a future state we hope we can achieve leading us to a better place than we are today.
You Are Not All Bad!
Just like the news tends to focus on 99% of the bad stories ignoring the millions of good things that happen each day, we tend to pick out all of our negatives that we do not currently like about our life and set goals around improving those things in the future.
In doing so we further bury the positives in our life right now that can actually lead to future growth and improvement.
In this sense, the very notion of self-improvement and personal development must first be cultivated within through a fundamental understanding, belief and thought process of knowing and feeling what we are good at today.
Self-improvement then becomes a growth from existing positive thoughts and beliefs, a journey from one exciting and accepted place in your life to other places that can hold even better chances to live in congruency with your life's purpose and values.
A house requires a solid foundation, a plant requires a seed, oxygen and water, you as a human can only grow optimally if you are internally at balance. For the vast majority of us that means considerably increasing our own internal awareness, especially of those things that are positive and good since we tend to spend most of our time finding the bad.
How Can We Achieve Greater Balance?
Of course, bringing the good into balance with those things in our life we are not satisfied with is challenging since we have so much that most of us are unsatisfied with.
It's interesting, when we interviewed people struggling to change their life for Attracting Greatness, asking them to list everything they liked about themselves versus those things that they wanted to improve in their life…on average there were 3X more things that people listed (and with greater clarity) about what they wanted improve in their lives than what they liked about themselves.
If we can flip that equation and have a more balanced list, then we have a more solid foundation from which to grow and improve.
Believing you are bad, undeserved, a failure or not worth the time to be with is cancerous thinking from which we cannot move forward until we remove that cancer.
How can we change our thinking and improve our current starting point for achieving greater self improvement?
1. Attention Toward Today
We all tend to live in the future, what you want to do is make sure you dedicate at least 10-15 minutes in the morning and in the evening (before bed) going over your list of what you are today…what things you like about yourself, what things you do well, and what things you have done well in the past. You should have at least 5-6 of these to review and if you cannot immediately think of them…make them up for now – seriously! You make up many bad things, so making up some good things balances it all out
2. Affirmations For Today
I've always been a big believer (and practice regularly) affirmations…many of those affirmations are around growth and future desires, but make some of your affirmations about today…have them clearly articulate things about today that you are or would like to believe are true. For example, "My friendship to X,Y or Z is a gift" or "I am a honest, dependable person to family, friends and strangers" "I value my own feelings, thoughts and talents and enjoy spending time with myself"
Many people see meditation as some sort of an escape, a way to improve their future when really anyone who practices meditation knows that it improves the immediate moment as well as improving your future skills for handling anything in your life. Being able to instantly quiet your mind and focus objectively (without overwhelm and without subjectively worrying or being anxious) on your life is an incredibly effective way for becoming grounded, instantly being more grateful, respectful and happy in your life setting the foundation for future personal improvement.
As you can see, self improvement is highly dependent on changing the foundation of your life, re-categorizing your life today, setting the stage for future development.
So, before you continue down the path of being unsatisfied with your life today and put all of your bets on the future, try re-focusing your effort on finding the greatness in today so you can become even greater tomorrow.
Does this focus on today make sense to you? Leave us your comments and let us know.