September’s come, which means that the Self-Improvement Month is here! The online community dedicated this month to self-improvement tips for improving our skills, being our best selves, and just enhancing our careers.
We at .ME are fortunate to have dozens of success stories which we can learn from. People whose lucrative careers are great examples for all of us.
So here are some self-improvement tips that you can use.
Let’s get started.
Self-Improvement Tip #1: Stop Being Your Worst Enemy
Sometimes we become our own greatest obstacle to achieving our dreams. Our own personal doubts, insecurities and negative thoughts hold us back more than any other type of negativity. Things like unrealistic standards only contribute to this.
What you should know at any moment in your life is that you’re in control. You’re in charge of your own life. So the chances are, that barrier standing between you and your dreams is simply you. And this is nothing unusual – it happens to all of us.
The thing is, being too self-demanding can take away the fervour we all need in order to work on ourselves. And guilt-tripping our own selves due to the mistakes we made is counterproductive. As Alvaro from aparra.me explained:
“In order to learn, you always need to fail and make mistakes. It is part of the learning process.”
Really, all of this just speaks to the fact that self-improvement isn’t as easy as acquiring a new skill. Or learning a new language. Or finishing up a few courses. (Even though these things are important). Self-improvement is about changing our own selves. No wonder it’s hard!
Now let’s talk about the major obstacle we put in front of ourselves – fear of failure.
Self-Improvement Tip #2: Find The Courage Hidden Inside
One of the greatest obstacles we can overcome in life is fear of failure. But to really conquer fear you must first know that courage isn’t the absence of it. On the contrary, it is the presence of fear, yet the will to go on. But to succeed in this, you have to believe in yourself. And you must be ready to get out of your comfort zone.
As Gerry (another awesome .MEr) told us:
“Without a doubt, courage is always 100% within us. … I found out that we’re all a lot braver and stronger than we think, and we can make life how we want it. I believe we have the power to reinvent ourselves, transform our lives, and achieve anything we dream of. We just need to believe in our own abilities, work hard for our dreams and never give up.”
Gerry then adds:
“Once we step out of our comfort zone, we’ll be able to conquer our greatest fears, and by doing so there won’t be anything else standing in our way when it comes to fulfilling our dreams.”
And don’t forget – every single change you decide to make is one more opportunity to grow. And we all agree with Rose Lin from roselin.me when she says that:
“Changes are not only challenges but also opportunities.”
Self-Improvement Tip #3: When In Doubt, Ask For Feedback
It’s no secret that self-improvement happens gradually. Tiny step by tiny step. The changes that take place are minuscule. Really, often you don’t even notice any changes. The result? It can be unnerving and frustrating. You start doubting whether all of your efforts were in vain and whether you should just give up.
Unfortunately, we are blind to our own selves. The best thing we can do then is to open up to people we trust and ask them for feedback. Ask the people who’ve known you for a long time. The answers might surprise you!
Open up about your thoughts and hear what they have to say. Just hearing a different perspective is refreshing in and of itself, and the encouragement you can get from that is precious.
Self-Improvement Tip #4: Embrace Your Inner Creative
If you’re reading this article, chances are you want to make the most out of your career. Not just that, you want to be the most productive person in the neighborhood.
Productivity, no matter how valuable it is, shouldn’t be our sole focus. Especially not when productivity doesn’t simply mean “doing things” but “doing things at all costs.” And really, there is no limit to that – more is always better.
What’s ignored is the value of creativity, art, and just being yourself. Luckily, our .ME community proves just how precious creativity and authenticity can be.
The Importance Of Creativity And Art
Take Gabriel as an example.
Gabriel Arreola of gabearr.me is a talented software engineer who’s majored in computer science. Yet art was always a passion for him and he really adored the process of creation. Gabriel always dreamed of becoming an artist and he was preparing for that as well.
The result? Today, Gabriel is a superb computer engineer whom we can all admire. And he considers his technology-art dualism to be one of his greatest advantages. He explains:
“I always liked that part about me because I felt like it gave me a different viewpoint and personality than other people in the sciences, which I thought was cool. I felt like I could relate to different groups of people.”
And who knows. Your art may as well impact the whole world itself. But as long as it’s something you’re passionate about – it’s not a waste of time.
As Gabriel put it:
“I feel like for most people art is just like passion. Don’t give it up, and don’t feel like it’s a waste of time. It’s important to you if you’re really passionate about it. So don’t stop.”
So there’s a self-improvement tip – embrace your inner artist! We mean it!
Self-Improvement Tip #5: Learn How To Be Your Authentic Self
One thing that our precious .MErs remind us time and time again is the importance of authenticity. Being personal, connecting with your audience, and just building your personal brand is something our community is great at. That’s why they choose the .ME domain!
Gabriel Marino, a Berlin-based film director, is one of them. He talked us about the importance of connecting with others and being true to ourselves:
“I believe that my necessity to convey feelings through images is a vital part of connecting to other people. Now more than ever, we need to build empathy”.
And he gave this advice for those starting out:
“To anyone starting, I will say that they have to be true to themselves … The relationship you create through your work with the audience needs to be one of constant intention – the intention of transferring the emotion and idea, but also the intention of exposure of views in your work.”
Self-Improvement Tip #6: Adopt A Long-Term Perspective
Self-improvement really takes time. It’s not a one-time thing, nor does it take just a couple of weeks or months. It takes a lifetime.
When you decide to improve yourself, there’s the danger of just being way too optimistic about it. You expect results right there and then. But then they don’t happen the way you thought they would. Does that sound familiar to you?
And don’t get me wrong – sudden, abrupt changes do happen. But when it comes to self-improvement, most changes take time. Unrealistic expectations will only discourage us when we see that we haven’t achieved them. Distinguishing between feasible and infeasible goals is crucial.
.MErs understand this, too. Anita from alfianita.me talked to us about just what her plans for the future are, and she said:
“My plans in the future are to block more time for improving myself every day little by little, keeping track of my work, and pivot in times of change. The plan in the future is to be more kind to myself as I am quite self-demanding and a multi-passionate person. It’s important to set time aside for favourite things and also prioritizing what one wants to learn.”
One way or another, all of us here are on a path to self-improvement. And while it takes time and effort, things like these personal stories from .MErs prove just how much it pays off.
We hope that some of these tips help you improve yourself, set new goals, and eliminate the negative things in your life that are holding you back. And who knows, next time we may be using some words of encouragement and advice that came from you!