How To Better Yourself: 7 Essential Steps  

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I want to start this post by telling you that regardless of where you are in life right now, you still have the chance to improve your life and better yourself.  Please know that your current situation is not your final destination. With perseverance, patience, and a positive mindset, you can learn how to better yourself and live the life you’ve always imagined.  

I have always assumed that for me to start improving myself, everything in life needs to be perfect and aligned just right. However, I was proven wrong when I discovered that growth can still happen even amid chaos and tough times. When I hit rock bottom, I found out that’s when I’m actually most open to change.  

It’s when things are hard that we have the most to gain by pushing through but honestly, this doesn’t always come easily. Often, bettering ourselves and improving our lives can be overwhelming and even daunting. Especially when we are just barely making it through each day.  

We start believing that maybe we are just not capable of leading better lives. Maybe our problems are just too big for us to overcome and bettering ourselves and changing our lives for the best is just not in the cards for us.  

One of the lessons that i’ve learned when I was struggling in life is that our greatest struggles can be the source of our strongest growth. Please know that you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for.  

I’ve realized that choosing to better ourselves while we are navigating difficult times is not going to take our focus away from the problems we’re facing. It actually helps us deal with them better. By working on ourselves, we get stronger and wiser about handling tough situations. We learn to keep going, even when life is hard.

Every small step we take to improve ourselves adds up, making us more capable of overcoming what’s in front of us. In this post, I will be sharing with you the key habits that’ll help you better yourself and drastically improve your life even amidst adversities and challenges.  

How To Better Yourself   1

How To Better Yourself  

1. Practice Positive Self Talk  

I used to believe that by being overly critical of myself, I would somehow push myself to be better. I thought that if I continued to beat myself up for every little mistake and failure then I would be less likely to repeat them in the future.  

But that certainly wasn’t the case. Constant self-criticism and being our own harshest critic do so much more harm than good. This approach not only made me more stressed and anxious but also negatively impacted my confidence and self-esteem.  

Constantly beating ourselves up does not make us better, in fact, it only prevents us from truly reaching our full potential because we become too afraid to take risks or step out of our comfort zone. We end up missing out on opportunities for growth because the fear of failure and the sting of self-criticism hold us back.  

To better ourselves, we need to replace self criticism with positive self talk and self compassion. We have to learn to be kinder to ourselves, to allow ourselves a safe space to make mistakes, fail, and learn from them without any judgment or harsh criticisms. We have to stop beating ourselves up and start treating ourselves with the care, understanding, and respect that we deserve.  

I’ve learned that practicing positive self talk and offering ourselves self compassion does not mean that we are being self indulgent or that we are avoiding accountability. It means that we are actually creating a supportive environment within ourselves that will not only encourage growth and learning but also help fuel our motivation and determination to keep going even when things don’t go as planned.  

So please, every time that you feel like criticizing yourself or beating yourself up, try to shift your perspective. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation.  

Recognize your effort, understand your intentions, and remember that one setback does not define your journey. Offer yourself words of encouragement, just as you would to a friend facing a similar challenge.  

2. Practice Active Listening  

Learning how to better yourself involves being an effective listener. Some of us are guilty of barely concentrating on what others are saying. We are often too caught up thinking about our next response or too distracted by our own thoughts.  

To genuinely better ourselves, we must cultivate the habit of active listening. This means fully engaging with the person talking, understanding their perspective, and responding thoughtfully. It’s about listening to understand, not just to reply.  

Honestly, I often struggle with this myself. I often find myself too focused on formulating a response even when the other person is still talking. Doing this only makes it more difficult for me to truly grasp what they are trying to convey. Instead of actually providing them with a response that reflects their needs or concerns, I risk missing the point entirely.  

One of the things that really helped me improve myself in this area is practicing mindfulness during conversations. This means giving the person talking my full attention until they have finished their thought. This involves not just listening to their words but also noticing how they say them, their tone, pace, and emotion.  

We have to remind ourselves that being better listeners is crucial in building stronger relationships and making connections on a much deeper level. Being effective listeners not only gives us the chance to become better friends, partners, and colleagues but also enriches our own lives through the deeper connections and understanding we cultivate.  

Every conversation has the potential to teach us something new, whether it’s gaining insights into different ways of thinking, understanding new concepts, or simply learning more about the experiences and lives of others. By fully engaging and listening, we make ourselves available to these opportunities for growth.  

How To Better Yourself  

3. Embrace Failure  

For years, I have been guilty of wearing perfectionism like it was a badge of honor. At a young age, I was taught that failure was a bad thing and that every failure that I experienced was a direct reflection of my worth and capabilities.  

So, I did everything that I could to avoid them. I thought that by constantly chasing perfection I was not only improving myself but I was also pushing myself to achieve higher standards. Yet, this relentless pursuit of perfection led to an endless cycle of stress and disappointment.  

It not only took a significant toll on my mental health but it also prevented me from saying yes to so many opportunities that I really wanted because I was afraid of failing and not being good enough.

Constantly aiming for perfection and avoiding failures is not going to lead to growth and improvement. It will only keep us stuck and prevent us from unlocking our fullest potential.  

Now, I honestly believe that perfection is nothing but an illusion and that failure is not a bad thing. Human as we are, we are all bound to fail and make mistakes but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from them and move forward.

We have to keep reminding ourselves that every setback and every failure is a chance to grow, refine our strategies, and to better understand our weaknesses and strengths.  

Instead of avoiding failure, we should learn to embrace it and accept that it is an integral part of our journey towards success. By doing so, we transform our relationship with failure, seeing it not as an obstacle but as a stepping stone.

Doing this doesn’t mean that we are no longer striving for excellence or that we are only settling for mediocrity.  

This simply means that we’re learning to be okay with not getting everything right the first time. It’s about understanding that making mistakes is part of getting better at something.

Each time we fail, we’re actually learning what doesn’t work, which gets us one step closer to finding out what does. This way, we keep improving, keep trying, and keep moving forward.  

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4. Prioritize Self Care  

Learning how to better yourself is not only about chasing your goals, but also about learning how to prioritize yourself and take care of your needs. Are you also guilty of taking self care for granted and constantly putting your needs on the back burner?  

You’re certainly not alone. Honestly, for the longest time, I have always believed that self care was nothing but a waste of time. It’s easy to make time for it when everything in our lives is going smoothly but when we are going through so many problems, self care just seems like a luxury we can’t afford.  

However, I’ve come to realize that it’s during these challenging times that self-care is most crucial. It’s not about indulgence or neglecting responsibilities. It’s about giving ourselves the necessary care and attention to stay mentally and physically healthy.  

Self care is not just about treating ourselves. It’s also about doing things for ourselves that’ll help us recharge, step back from the chaos and noise of life, and just breathe. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing or mindfulness to center ourselves. It’s about finding those small pockets of peace where we can reset and refocus, even during overwhelming and difficult times.  

Prioritizing self care not only helps improve our mental health and overall well-being but it also helps us better ourselves by building resilience and coping skills.  

By making self-care a priority, we strengthen our ability to handle stress, recover from setbacks, and adapt to change. This resilience empowers us to face life’s challenges with confidence, knowing we have the mindset and strength to manage whatever comes our way.  

So, please don’t ever feel guilty for making time for self care. Know that you deserve to take care of your needs too. Remember, self-care doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive.  

It can be as simple as spending a few quiet moments alone, enjoying a hobby, or getting enough sleep. The key is to do what feels right for you and what contributes to your overall well-being.  

Take this 30 day self care challenge now to help you be healthier and happier.

5. Practice Patience  

When my life was falling apart, I wanted to turn my life around as quickly as possible. I thought that if I just continued to push myself every single day then I would see immediate results.  

I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I would end up being so frustrated and disappointed when my progress didn’t meet my expectations. It made me feel so defeated and hopeless. Honestly, it often made me start questioning if what I was doing was even worth the effort.  

I’ve learned that it’s best to constantly remind ourselves that meaningful change is often slow and gradual. Just because we are not seeing immediate results with everything that we are doing doesn’t mean that we are failing or not making any progress. We have to remember that every effort contributes to our growth even when it’s not immediately visible.  

Just because someone else has achieved something in a shorter time frame doesn’t mean that our journey is any less valid or that we won’t reach our goals. We all have our own timelines.  

The best thing that we can do is to stay focused on our path, keep putting in the work, and trust the process. It’s about embracing where we are at the moment, learning from each experience, and understanding that our efforts will lead to growth in time.

So, if you feel like you are not getting anywhere with your efforts right now, please be patient with yourself.  

Allow yourself the space to grow at your own pace, recognizing that everyone’s journey is different and there’s no set timeline for achieving personal or professional milestones.  

Remember, being patient with yourself doesn’t mean you’re giving up or being complacent. It simply means you’re committed to your long-term success and well-being. Practicing patience allows you to maintain your mental health and stay motivated, even when progress feels slow.  

6. Practice Forgiveness  

Practicing forgiveness to others and even to yourself is one of the key steps in learning how to better yourself. I think it’s safe to say that often, forgiveness is not easy. Sometimes it’s so much easier to hold on to all the anger and hatred than it is to let go.  

I certainly understand what you feel. For the longest time, I’ve held on to so much anger from my past, thinking that doing this would somehow protect me. I thought that if I continued to hold on to my anger for them, it would serve as a reminder not to let myself be hurt in the same way again.  

But over time, I realized that clinging to this anger and resentment was doing more harm than good. It was like carrying a heavy weight that only I could feel, one that was holding me back from truly moving forward and finding peace.

By holding on to my anger, I was actually allowing them to hurt me over and over again in my mind. Every time I revisited those memories and feelings, I relived the pain, giving those past events power over my present.  

I’ve learned that for us to truly heal, grow and progress, we have to learn to let go of the anger and the resentment, not for the sake of those who had wronged us, but for our own well-being. We have to remind ourselves that forgiveness is not about minimizing the wrong that they have done or invalidating the pain that they have caused.  

It is about choosing to set yourself free from the pain of the past and finally allow yourself the space to heal and move forward. It’s about not letting the pain of the past have power over us anymore.  

Also, please know that forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others. I know that many of us carry guilt, shame, or regret for our own past actions or decisions. But it’s crucial to remember that we are all human, capable of making mistakes.

What matters most is our ability to learn from these mistakes and grow. Holding onto self-blame only hinders this growth and keeps us from moving forward.  

Know that this process isn’t about excusing your actions but about giving yourself permission to move past them. Remember, the journey towards forgiveness, both of others and of yourself, is a process that takes time. So please, be patient and gentle with yourself along the way.

7. Practice Gratitude  

Practicing gratitude is one of the most beneficial things that you can do to improve your mental and emotional well-being. Truth be told, I used to believe that practicing gratitude was nothing but toxic positivity.  

Sure, it’s easy to be grateful when everything in our lives is going right but when life gets hard, being grateful just seems impossible. When I was navigating a difficult period in my life, I thought that the best thing to do was to focus all my attention on my problems and everything that was going wrong in my life, no matter how small they may seem.  

I thought that doing this would somehow push me to find solutions faster, but instead, it only pulled me deeper into a cycle of negativity and stress. Honestly, it just made me feel more hopeless. It was at that moment, that I realized how important it is to practice gratitude even when it feels like everything is falling apart.  

I’ve realized that being grateful is not about pretending that everything is okay. It’s not about ignoring our problems or the pain that we are going through. It’s about choosing to recognize the good, no matter how small it may seem, amidst the bad. It’s about finding those moments of light in the darkness, which can help guide us through our toughest days.  

It can serve as a reminder that we are stronger than we think and that there is always something to hold onto, even in the midst of turmoil. It does not only help give us hope but it also encourages us to see the potential for growth and learning within our challenges.  

You can start by writing down three things you’re thankful for each evening. Remember that those things don’t have to be grand or life-changing. They can be simple, everyday joys. Over time, this practice will transform not just your mindset, but your entire approach to life, guiding you towards a more fulfilled and meaningful existence.  

Final Thoughts  

It’s important to remember that the process of learning how to better yourself is ongoing and ever-evolving. It’s about embracing the journey, with all its ups and downs, and committing to continual growth and self-discovery.  

As you work on bettering yourself, please be patient and compassionate with yourself. Change takes time, and setbacks are a natural part of the process. Instead of getting discouraged by them, see setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow stronger.  

Don’t forget to celebrate your progress along the way, no matter how small it might seem. Know that every small step you take towards improvement matters. Keep going and remember that I’m always rooting for you!  

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