Why Your Effort at Self-Improvement is Failing

By Augustine ChuaApr 25, 2017

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Self improvement is such a vague term. What would you want to improve on? Your looks – some people go for plastic surgeries to enhance their looks and physique. Your body – people go to the gym to workout. Soft skills is the buzzword when it comes to self-improvement. A lot of us take courses to become better public speakers, learn to network, cooking and the list goes on and on.

You see what those mentioned above have in common? It’s the focus on ‘how to improve myself’. There are many answers to the question “how”. How to improve your attractiveness in 7 days, how to become a master of insert any skill here. The world is not short on techniques to become a successful and a better person. However, many people jump into “Self improvement” without understanding a very fundamental and crucial part of it.

The question to ask before the “How”, is “Why”.

Why do you want to improve yourself?

Without knowing your main motivation to start learning a skill, then you will most likely fail. What drives human behaviour is often due to a need to compensate. The best thing to do is to understand where this compensation originates from and clear the root of the problem.

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Here is an example we can all relate to: going to the gym. If your motivation workout is because you were teased about your body, then going to the gym will not be an enjoyable activity for you. Every moment there reminds you of the teasing. Only with a very strong discipline to accomplish a task, can you complete it. Otherwise, you are most likely to give up because the gym is a representation of your traumatic past.

If you want to succeed in self-improvement, enjoying the process of it is a MUST. If improving is simply but a means to an end, what one really wants is the end itself. There are many people who truly enjoy going to the gym. To them, the toned physique they get out of it is just one of the many aspects they love about exercising.

So before you sign up for a course to learn photoshop or excel skills, ask yourself, why do you want to improve? Understanding that inner motivation is just the first step.

Enjoy the process. Have fun!

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