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by Debra Morrison | January 9, 2017

What is Personal Development — How to Improve Yourself

H4444ave you ever accepted the hard-to-swallow fact that there may be an area in your life that is not where you want it to be? Maybe, you see weakness or emptiness and want to improve upon it.

Whether you want to improve your relationship with other people, get in shape, manage your anger or stress, change the status quo and become the best that you can be, you MUST enter the realm of self-help to achieve these goals.

The aim here is all about self-discovery without giving up and then using the knowledge to improve your life through the art of personal development in order to live positively, enduring peace and most importantly unconditional love.

 The Realm of Self-Help and Art of Personal Development

Most of us spent a lot of time thinking about our present condition. We ponder and even have negative thoughts about our situations, our inability to achieve results, and our difficulty in establishing a positive change.

Consequently, we spend months even years thinking before we take action. The longer we think, the more we fix our minds in those negative thoughts which prevent us from taking action!

Here comes the most basic yet most important question you must ask yourself in order to move forward.

“Do you know you can put your problems in perspective?”

A lot of problems and challenges always beset life on a daily basis, presenting you with unpleasant and unexpected surprises which relegate you to the background to a life of unhappiness and mediocrity.

Have you ever experienced such for yourself?

Well, the fact remains that it is not what happens to you that matters most, rather it is what you do with what happens to you that determines your ultimate destination and how you will be changed by the lessons you learn or refuse to learn from such experiences.

  1. In this article, we will, first of all, identify the various problems, challenges, and obstacles that face you on a daily basis.
  1. Also, we will take a critical look at the reasons behind these obstacles, what they really mean to your life and why you always need to be improving yourself without looking back.
  1. Additionally, we will work on building a resilient mindset that will help to propel you through any of these challenges life presents to you.
  1. Finally, we will discuss how to create non-stop energy that will drive you into the realm of self-help and through towards the attainment of your most passionate goals thereby providing you with the means of getting through these lowest moments of your existence.

The Challenges Standing in Your Way

It is very easy to work towards achieving your goals when everything is moving smoothly, and no obstacles appear to be standing in your way. However, the moment events begin to unfold in negative directions and hit you from every side, the resultant effect will be panic and fear, especially if you are not mentally prepared to handle such situation.

As a result, you will begin to see these problems as bigger than you are as well as way beyond your capacities.

Can you figure out the effects of such challenges to your entire life?

These events may overwhelm you, causing big headache and heartache which will eventually force you to throw in the towel of defeat and quit. The reason being that you have never decided to be strong enough to conquer such burden that now surrounds your pathway to achieving your goals.

Here come the possible challenges that may stand in your way as you take a quantum leap towards the path of fulfilling your heart desires. These challenges come in the following forms:

1. From Within Yourself

The obstacles coming from within yourself are probably the toughest and extremely difficult to overcome owing to the fact that you hardly understand that these obstacles exist.

Therefore, your first step to overcoming them is to identify them as well as know how they affect your existence; then learn how to effectively deal with them in order to move in the right direction.

  • Lack of desire and emotion to take action. For instance, this can be seen when you lack the strength to resist sleep and study your book in the night even when you know that taking a stroll and a few minutes workout when you are feeling sleepy can put that sleep in perspective giving you the chance to study.
  • Lack of belief in yourself. You have a very little hope of succeeding when belief is lacking in your life. This makes it easy for you to succumb when an obstacle hits you because of your weak belief system. For example, an inability to move forward after a failure has struck your last big idea stems from a lack of belief in yourself.
  • Being occupied with negative emotions, fears, and excuses. The negative emotions of worry, anxiety, doubt, anger, guilt; all work together to create a great self-inflicting pain which will put you into a state of self-pity, thereby preventing you from achieving your goals.

With time, these negative emotions result into fear, and fear begins to direct and paddle the wheel of your life, decision-making, and actions. The fears of rejection, success, responsibility and failure will rob you the opportunity of attaining your goals.

These sabotaging negative emotions, as well as fears, will feed the excuses which will build up within you over time and begin to direct your life.

2. From Your Actions

There are obstacles that arise naturally through your actions and decisions. These challenges come as a result of lack of insight, understanding, sense of judgment, and experience.

Your job is to identify these challenges and create firm strategic plans that will allow you to put your right course-of-action and set you on track towards personal development and improving yourself

  • Making hasty decisions. Rushing your decision-making process because of lack of time and other external pressures will only create unnecessary bottleneck in your path of success.
  • Making decisions that are not right. When you actually take time to carefully consider your decision-making process and come up with projections and conclusions that you feel will help to improve yourself but lack understanding, experience, and judgment about the whole situation, you are bound to succumb when an obstacle comes your way.
  • Self-inflicted negative habits. These are the decisions you make daily and the actions you implement which manifest in the results you experience in your life. Habits such as procrastination and laziness are deeply ingrained in your memory to the extent that you fight against them daily to overcome with little or no success.

3. From Other People

Sometimes, the actions and decisions of others present great challenges to you.

Looking deeply at the whole scenario, you will find out that these people are not to be blamed but rather your approach and the way you deal with others that show the reality of what you experience.

Looking at these interpersonal challenges, we will consider the following:

  • Lack of interpersonal cooperation. Arguments and resourceful time can be wasted on trying to convince people that your ideas and objectives are worthwhile and should be applied especially when they do not see things from your own perspective. So, you MUST cooperate first with other people in life in order for them to cooperate with you.
  • People intentionally preventing your progress. Most times, people may intentionally try to work against your progress in life by taking actions that will throw you off balance in order to achieve their own selfish interests. So, you need to have adequate experience to understand psychological behaviors of human character in order to overcome such difficult challenge.
  • People negatively influencing your actions and decisions. The opinions of some people may not seem to be the best in your life despite the fact that they may be very dear to your heart. Others may not have the right knowledge of a situation to influence your decision-making process; hence, if you take their suggestions to heart, you may end up creating more troubles beyond what you can handle. You ought to be wise in taking peoples’ advice.

4. From Changing Situations of Life

The changing circumstances of life have the capacity to produce some challenges that can hinder your own persona growth.

Challenges can come in any of the following forms:

  • When events do not unfold as you planned. You may have incubated a well thought-out plan, ready to be implemented in order to improve yourself but all of a sudden your plans begin to fall apart due to one reason or the other which eventually brings anguish and pain.
  • When problems increase. Having successfully overcome the many challenges that are standing in your way, you discover that another set of problems crop up creating a great deal of uncertainty. The scenario here is this: the more you try to successfully put your challenges to perspective, the more problems increase which appear to have no end.

The Reasons Behind These Challenges

Challenges are really temporary hindrances in your pathway to success. They are there to teach you important lessons as well as help you understand your situation, yourself, other people and the world around you. In fact, challenges are interpretation you make out of events, circumstances, and people around you.

Do you know that every challenge you face has hidden but strong REASONS for appearing in your life, and there should be every reason to always improve yourself against all odds?

Let’s examine these reasons and identify what they really mean to your personal development.

– Life itself is a beautiful adventure.

Life has proven to be a journey of self-discovery, not just a mere aggregation of small destinations but an unending adventure with many unexpected twists, turns, and even surprises that make it worthwhile and fun all through.

When you are facing challenges in your life, it is vital you understand that you are on a journey, and no single event has the capacity to determine the outcome of that journey, rather what is required is continuous improvement (or kaizen) on yourself in order to be the best.

Challenges are required to build strength of character.

Life is filled with challenges and presents to you constant uncertainties in order to build strength of character.

So take a moment to reflect on the past to identify the challenges you successfully overcame. As a guide, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How did these challenges change you as a person?
  • How have they molded, built and shaped your character?
  • How have your immediate decisions and actions changed owing to these challenges?

– Life challenges move through cycles of changes.

Naturally, life goes through cycles of change. The fact remains that summer must end just as winter will not last forever. The road towards self-improvement also moves through periods of changes.

This means that you are indeed moving through a cycle and no matter what cycle you are in, understand the fact that such a season will not last forever.

No matter how challenging your current predicament may seem, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel, all you have to do is to PERSIST.

– Life is an adventure of surprises wrapped in every corner.

As long as life is concerned, you really do not know the wonders wrapped in every corner. It presents with it overwhelming challenges which are only temporal.

If you persist in such situations, you will find tremendous opportunities and surprises awaiting for you just in every corner. You must wait patiently for these surprises.

Life, after all, is like a wrapped box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.

– Life is an adventure of opportunities hidden in problems.

Isn’t it ironic that life presents great opportunities as unimaginable problems without solution?

Remember that your reality is simply what you places your attention on. If you are always preoccupied with problems and things you do not want in life, then they become your reality. However, if focus your mind on searching for solutions and answers, then you can conquer your challenges.

Therefore, you must train yourself to effectively search for opportunities in every problem that comes your way. In doing this, you will create a strong habit that will detect solutions in problems as well as what other people fail to see.

– The journey of life teaches you fresh experiences and new learnings.

As a living being, you are here to learn, acquire knowledge, and come of age as a productive and wiser person, not just existing for the sake existing. Every challenge coming your way is presented to you for the sole purpose of teaching you lessons that will give you a clear picture of how to become better in your lifetime.

With that said, this is the time to learn from those challenges in order to expand your thinking and improve yourself instead of frowning at them.

Discover the ‘WHY’ Improve Yourself

– Other people are looking up to you

As a matter of command (MUST), you can NEITHER give up nor quit because…there are a lot of persons who are depending on you to excel, improve their lives, and succeed.

Think about your friends, relations, kids, colleagues, and even siblings; they are greatly relying on you to become a better person.

If you do not improve yourself for your personal good, just do it for the sake of others who are relying on you and are observing your daily decisions and actions.

– Challenges make way for personal growth

You can only achieve your goal of personal improvement if you are capable of learning from the challenges life throw your way. In fact, you can only get close to achieving personal development if every time problems and challenges come your way, you stand your ground and counter it (even when you are failing) instead of quitting or looking the other way.

Life is a process of learning and a journey of personal growth which is filled with challenges, but these challenges are meant to test your resolve and help you achieve your goals.

From this moment on, begin to view your challenges as great opportunities for personal growth.

– Time is required to conquer your challenges

In today’s world, instant gratification is all that matters. You want everything to translate into instant success – money, food, love and even progress. However, these goodies of life only materialize with time.

Therefore, you must consider the essence of additional time for things to fall into place before you ever decide to give up – just develop a little patience.

To achieve your aim of personal development, you need time:

  • To establish a solid support network by relying on other people both directly and indirectly, and vice versa.
  • To gather resources by making research to determine the resources you will need to overcome your challenges and gather them together.
  • To build skills, strategies, techniques, and acquire tools needed to move into the realms of personal success.

Develop Resilient Mindset Hinged on Determination

Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are all important but they are not simply enough to take you into self-discovery. You must build a mindset grounded in determination and develop a killer instinct that will create unlimited energy to help you overcome any setbacks that will impede improvement in your life.

Now then in order to speak the language the word determination understands, you need to implement the following steps outlined below:

1. Speak positively. The words you speak to yourself and the people around you should be of positive nature that it will elicit passion, strength, and willpower. It must be based on motivation so as to create the emotion needed to overcome your challenges.

2. Ask questions based on solutions. You must teach yourself to ask questions based on finding solutions, answers, and fuel the desire to overcome your problems in order to achieve the desired result. These questions will unlock the hidden potentials that you may never know existed.

3. Cultivate unstoppable attributes and traits. The following attributes and traits are what you need to cultivate into your personality to enable you to develop an uncommon mindset hinged on determination:

  • Desire to succeed – Individuals who never quit always cultivate a burning desire to succeed despite how critical their circumstances may seem to be. Their desire to succeed is very strong due to the fact that they have developed effective master plans to keep them motivated even when the going gets tough.
  • Cultivate unwavering commitment – Commitment naturally comes from your empowering belief system and to create it, you need to set clear goals and work towards them.
  • Build complete determination – To be determined means to see opportunities where others see challenges and make the most out of every circumstance. It means being optimistic about any situation you find yourself even when the chips are down.
  • Develop self-reliance – Your ability to be responsible to yourself, your goals, and your most sought-out plans is what self-reliance is all about. Self-reliance will make you more resourceful than others while you take responsibility for your losses and gains.

Create Non-Stop Energy through Action

Having built a resilient mindset anchored on determination, the final step it to create an unstoppable force through actions and decisions that will eventually drive you into the realms of perfect self-development…and we certainly hope you are ready!

  • Use proactive approach. The way you approach obstacles standing in your way to achieving self-improvement will essentially dictate how efficient and effective you are. The obstacle of life can become overwhelming, and unless you physically confront them in a specific fashion, then you risk discouraging yourself and thus destroying your future plans.
  • Set smart goals. This involves manifesting your dreams and aspirations into reality. Since your dreams and aspirations are pleasant ideas that are borne in the mind, they have no physical reality. Therefore, it is only when you set smart goals through unwavering commitment and motivation that these ideas will come to fruition.
  • Acquire new beneficial habits. These are the new positive habits that push you toward your goals. These habits could be taking your time to do your homework before performing other actions, waking up the same time each day to perform a particular assignment, and any other habit that leads you to improving yourself.
  • Build foresight. In order to stay as well as succeed in the realms of self-improvement, you must develop your foresight and use it to identify the possibilities that lie along your path. Also, you need to have the requisite knowledge and skills to master the art of personal development in order to reduce the resistance future challenges may bring.

Lastly, if there is one thing you can gain from all this discussion, know that life is not about what happens to you, but rather how you understand and what you do with what happens to you – that is self-improvement!

by Debra Morrison

It’s not easy finding useful information on the internet, but Instafo aims to change the unfortunate truth. Instafo is a one-stop collection of countless articles and informational posts on just about every topic under the sun—so long as these articles and posts relate to enhancing one’s abilities, life quality, and/or knowledge. What separates Instafo from other, similar websites is rather simple: Instafo is free to use, Instafo is comprised entirely of useful knowledge, and Instafo is accessible and carefully designed. The culmination of these points is a resource of an unparalleled quality. A resource that’s changing the way information is accessed. Browse the site, click around, and prepare to learn more than you have in quite a while. As a final disclaimer, Instafo is not responsible for time lost to browsing information and useful posts. Time spent browsing so much awesome content can undoubtedly add up.

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