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The problem is that we tend to try to better ourselves all at once, rather than concentrate on one important thing at a time, allowing ourselves to build up momentum over months and years. One day at a time turns into a lifetime of change and getting better. We can eventually become a better overall person if we have a day to day plan and stick to it.
Here is how to better yourself, one day at a time.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
First, to better yourself on a consistent basis, you have to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you are awesome at working out or getting some exercise everyday, but your eating habits need a makeover. The idea here is to look at yourself realistically. Only from a realistic outlook can you create new habits and small changes in your life that will eventually stick.
Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. This will be a great list to use while you better yourself as well as something to look back on after months and years of life changes.
Pick a topic to work on
Now that you have a list of things that you are strong and weak at, go through the list and choose one simple thing you want to get better at. I suggest something that won’t take too much effort or time at first. This is because you want to set yourself up for success, at least initially, when it comes to bettering yourself.
A few good “starter” topics would be:
- Do a light workout 3 times a week for 20 minutes each
- Cut out one or two bad foods in your diet in the next 30 days
- Drink 8 cups of water every day
These topics are good because they don’t require too much effort and are trackable. Remember to only pick one. We will be working on this for some time, so you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew.
Wake up early
There is no better way to start the process of geting better at something than to wake up earlier. Getting up early has a ton of benefits. It’s quiet, dark, and peaceful. You can be by yourself and you can truly concentrate on the change you want to make one day at a time.
Become mindful and aware of your topic
The more mindful we are of what we are trying to change in our lives, the more stock and momentum go into changing it. To become aware of what you are trying to get better at you can make small reminders throughout your day with a few reminder apps or just post a few sticky notes in certain strategic places that will remind you of the thing that you want to change.
Shining light on the topic you want to get better at is the best way to become mindful of it and actually make the change.
Being accountable to yourself and others around you is a tactic that many miss when trying to better themselves. Let your friends and family, your social networks, and sometimes even your work buddies know about the change you are making.
This will help you become more serious about your daily change, and could even prove to be a benefit for others around you as they may decide to join you in the topic that you have chosen. It’s not a bad thing to have a workout buddy!
Track your time and actions
If you can’t track something, you can’t manage it. In the process of bettering yourself you should track the days, hours, or minutes spent on the life change that you are making. This gives you data to look at during your review that you can use to decided if you are
Write and review
The only way to become better at something, day-in and day-out, is to stay on track. And you can’t do that without some sort of daily or weekly review. If you are a GTDer, than this will fit in perfectly with your weekly review that is already in place. If not, just set a time every day or week where you can write about and review your successes in making the change that you have set out to make.
By doing this review, you will be able to tell where you need to improve as well as when you are actually “done” making the change.
Rinse and repeat
Now that you gotten better at something, there is no need to stop at just one thing. Take out your strength and weaknesses list and identify something else you want to get better at. Maybe this time you will choose something that is a little more difficult, like playing guitar, learning German, or running 10 miles. Whatever it is, you now have the framework in place to better yourself one day at a time.
(Photo credit: Man jump through the gap via Shutterstock)
Ken Mazaika, CTO and co-founder of thefirehoseproject.org, answered the question, “What can I do to make sure I am becoming the best version of myself?” on Quora.
I identified 21 actions that could help you become the best version of yourself.
#19 is the most actionable of them all.
1. Just show up. Say you want to run a marathon, but have no prior experience. The first step is lacing up you shoes and hitting the pavement. Even if you only make it half a mile on your first training run, you’ll be about 2% closer to your ultimate goal than if you didn’t put in any work at all.
2. Start from the beginning. You don’t just happen to stumble upon the best version of yourself. You need to start from the beginning and take a high number of small steps in order to become what you envision.
3. Recognize that the best version of yourself should be your vision, not anybody else’s. Don’t waste energy trying to live up to what somebody else wants you to be.
4. Stop looking for a secret trick. There is no miraculous shortcut to the better version of yourself.
5. Use Twitter to network. It’s never been easier to get in touch with influential and powerful people. Earlier in my career, I reached out a high-level executive of a company I was interested in. He was hosting an AMA session on Twitter. I asked him for advice about how to get hired for his company, and not only did he reply with some helpful tips, he also connected me with specific people at the company about an open position.
6. Don’t sweat the details. Just make sure that you’re moving in the right general direction. You probably don’t have the knowledge you need today to know the shortest path to your happiness five years from today. But you probably have some idea about how to move in the right direction. Take those steps.
7. Recognize the opportunity at hand. The Internet has fundamentally changed everything. Previously, knowledge was locked away in the minds of industry experts and in the pages of books that you needed to buy or check out from a library. But now, it’s easier than ever to learn new skills. This is essential to becoming the best version of yourself.
8. Write on Medium. Translating your thoughts into written narratives pushes you to think about the ideas in your head at a much deeper level.
9. Don’t count the hours. They don’t matter. Think about the last time you ran on a treadmill. If you looked down at the timer every few seconds, you probably didn’t enjoy your run. In turn, this made it far more difficult to run far.
But what if you took the opposite approach? You plugged in your headphones, lost yourself in the music, and took it one stride at a time….while resisting any temptation to look at the timer at all. If you did this, you probably discovered that you enjoyed the run and made it pretty far. Counting hours just slows you down from reaching your goal.
10. Accept help from other people. Don’t let your pride get in the way. Most successful people needed help along the way, too.
11. Launch a personal website. Maintaining an online presence of yourself pushes you to become the best possible version of you.
12. Write answers on Quora. Quora is an amazing place to help and inspire people at scale.
13. Ignore the social media scoreboard. People depict an extremely exaggerated version of life on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social platforms. We only share the good things, not the bad. So when you compare yourself to what you see on social media, you’re just hurting yourself.
14. Celebrate the small wins. Appreciating what you’re doing in the present gives you the motivation to keep making strides towards your ultimate goal.
15. Stop pretending to know things you don’t know. You’ll never learn anything if you pretend to already know everything.
16. Embrace failure. You can’t become the best version of yourself by playing it safe. Heck, getting fired could even be the best thing that ever happened to you, just look at Noah Kagan (employee 30 at Facebook).
17. Call your family. This is just the decent thing to do. But you can also learn lessons from your family that aren’t available through any Google search and aren’t accessible to pretty much anyone else in the world.
18. Exercise in the morning. Once I started doing this in the morning, I became far more focused and relaxed throughout the day. Science backs that up, too.
19. Create a side project. Doing something productive outside of work that makes you happy helps you become a better version of yourself. So, whatever it is…an app, film, album, whatever….start doing it on your nights and weekends. And who knows? It might just turn into a full-time job that you love.
20. Help other people become the best version of themselves. Pay it forward. Doing so keep you motivated on your own path, and you’ll find that the lasting connections you build from helping others will greatly benefit you moving forward.
21. Launch your MVP early. If you’re not satisfied with the current version of yourself, then the quickest way to solve the problem is to begin working towards the better version today. There is no “right time” to get started.
It can be tempting to think about the best version of yourself as some intangible point in the future. You know, the one where you are:
- More successful
- Doing what you love
- Existing as an overall happier person
You see your current self as the regular season, and you’re just waiting for the playoffs to start before giving it your all.
But if all you do is wait for the best version of yourself to happen, you’re forever going to be stuck with the current version.
So, how do you launch the best version of yourself? Start making progress today.
Sometimes, you need to make a big change in order to unleash the best version of yourself. If one thought recently entered your mind, then it’s time to do it.
How to Improve Yourself Infographic
These are some of the ways you can make yourself more valuable, whether you’re an employee or a business person.
- Expertise: Study and learn
- Productivity: Get more done
- Efficiency: Do it better
- Multiplication: Get others working for you / systemize / automate
- Influence: Learn persuasiveness skills
- Reputation: What others know and think of you
- Celebrity Status: How well known are you by your target audience?
- Vision: What can you see that others can’t?
- Personality: How you treat and connect with others
- Attitude: Towards yourself and others
- Awareness: Know your strengths
- Masterminding: Surround yourself with those from whom you can learn
Resolve to be deliberate about which of these areas you study and study it until it becomes part of your daily agenda before moving on. Ultimately, the only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. When YOU change, everything will change for you.
At eLearning Infographics you can find the best education infographics based on a thriving community of 75,000+ online educators, teachers, instructional designers, professors, and in general, professionals that have a great passion about education.
How to answer: How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
Interviewers love to know everything about a candidate during an interview. They want to know not just what you currently represent, but what you will be in the future as well. This interview question falls into a complete series of questions that are aimed at unraveling a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. In this particular one, hiring managers want to know how you’re going to develop your character within a year. The following tips will help you successfully answer interview questions related to how you will improve yourself in the coming year.
Know beforehand about what your strengths and weaknesses are, regardless of the subject. Think about what you can do to improve academically, professionally, and personally. In this question, the interviewer is testing to see if you can provide a realistic growth spurt within a year . Note that they’re asking about your future goals in a limited timeframe, so your answers also need to be very specific. Therefore, saying that you will grow exponentially within a short time is not what the interviewer hopes to hear. Instead, say that you plan to overcome smaller obstacles before progressing onto bigger ones.
Example: “Since I’ve only started trekking on my career path, I plan to improve my career development by attending workshops and taking certification courses, I hope to complete within the next year.”
Mention Your Shortcomings
Despite this being a subbranch of being realistic, many candidates tend to overlook their weaknesses and focus on improving their strengths instead of the latter. The interviewer is aware that you have to have shortcomings. It’s a way for you to confess what those are and how you plan to better yourself in a short timeframe. Explaining thoroughly on how you plan to overcome your weaknesses is an excellent way to set yourself apart from other candidates who only speak of their strengths.
Example: “I’ve been told by my peers and mentors that I’m very disorganized, and I sometimes come to class late. I plan to correct this the best I can by maintaining a proper sleep schedule and a strict alarm system. I’ve already begun practicing being organized by tidying up my house every day, for a start.”
Keep It Short
Remember that an interviewer’s time is precious and that there are also other candidates interviewing for the same position. Though this question is pivotal, like all other interview questions, it’s not recommended to ramble on for this one. Future-oriented responses should be short and concise while targeting every point you want to make about yourself. It makes no sense to give an elaborate response on a time that hasn’t happened yet. By thoroughly explaining, you may be giving high hopes for your interviewer, or at worst, disinterest them for providing a detailed response. Some questions are meant to have short answers, and this one is one of them.
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- Medical Author: Shaziya Allarakha, MD
- Medical Reviewer: Pallavi Suyog Uttekar, MD
You are the most important person in your life. So it’s important to invest time in yourself. But how can you make sure you’re growing and learning each day?
Here are 15 practices that can help you become the best version of yourself.
15 tips for improving yourself each day
- Plan ahead. As with many things, self-improvement should start with a plan. Plan what you want to achieve in the next few days, weeks, or months. Write down to-do lists so that you don’t waste time remembering what you need to get done. Keeping a diary or journal can also help you see what you did well and what you could do better.
- Set goals. Make short-term and long-term goals for yourself, and set time limits so you can track your progress. The more you’re able to visualize where you want to go, the more motivation you’ll have to continue reaching that destination.
- Accept challenges. Getting out of your comfort zone can help you realize potential you never even knew you had. Don’t shy away from something just because it scares you (as long as it’s not illegal or risky, of course). It’s better to fail and grow from your mistakes than to never try at all.
- Learn something new. Whether it’s a new language, music, cooking, or a sport, learning a new skill can help you expand your wheelhouse and give you confidence to try more new things.
- Stop complaining. Letting off steam now and then can be healthy. But complaining can sometimes get you bogged down by negative thoughts. Try to focus on the positive, and don’t wallow in mistakes or setbacks.
- Practice mindfulness. It’s easy to get mired down in the stress and hustle of daily life. Try taking a few moments during your day to meditate, which can help you relieve stress and practice mindfulness.
- Have a good laugh. No matter how busy you get, don’t forget to have fun. Laughing is therapeutic. Spend time with friends and family who make you laugh or watch your favorite comedy show.
- Limit your screen time. Nowadays, it’s all too easy to go down the rabbit hole of social media, computer games, and TV. Too much time spent looking at your screen can be damaging to your health and take time away from other more productive activities.
- Learn to say no. As great as it can be to say yes to new experiences, you also need to learn how to say no. Don’t feel bad about protecting your own well-being when you’re overwhelmed, overworked, or overtired. Burnout can harm your health and peace of mind.
- Look to the future. Avoid brooding or getting stuck in the past. When you accept that what has happened has happened, it’s easier to move forward and continue growing.
- Get a mentor. If you feel like you need extra help, a mentor can help you set goals and make sure you hold yourself accountable for achieving them.
- Eat healthy. You are what you eat, as the saying goes. The food you put in your body has a huge impact on how you feel each day and can have long-lasting effects on your body and mind. Make it a goal to make healthy choices that energize and fuel you.
- Stay active. We all have the same limited number of hours in a day, but some get done more than others. Try to use your time to the fullest by waking up early or carving out time to exercise. Not only does getting your body moving help you stay physically healthy, but it also helps you stay focused, positive, and energized.
- Get enough sleep. Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night is essential, so don’t skimp on your sleep. Allow yourself to unwind, relax, and get enough rest so that you’re ready for the next day.
- Drink enough water. Staying hydrated is essential to maintaining your weight, mood, and health. Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day and skip the sugary drinks and sodas.
How dramatically we can change our results is largely a function of imagination.
In 1960, it was a technological impossibility for man to travel into outer space. However, within 10 years, the first man stepped out onto the surface of the moon. The miraculous process of converting that dream into reality began when one voice challenged the scientific community to do whatever was necessary to see to it that America “places a man on the moon by the end of this decade.” That challenge awakened the spirit of a nation by planting the seed of possible future achievement into the fertile soil of imagination.
With that one bold challenge, the impossible became a reality.
The same principle applies to every other area of our life.
Can a poor person become wealthy? Of course! The unique combination of desire, planning, effort and perseverance will always work its magic. The question is not whether the formula for success will work, but rather whether the person will work the formula. That is the unknown variable. That is the challenge that confronts us all.
We can all go from wherever we are to wherever we want to be. No dream is impossible provided we first have the courage to believe in it.
Here is how you can do that—13 ways to improve your life:
1. Face your fears.
That’s how you conquer them. Don’t dismiss them; face them. Say, Here’s what I’m afraid of. I wonder what I could do to change that. Face your fears today.
2. Exercise your willpower to change direction.
You don’t have to keep doing what you’ve been doing the last six years if it’s not yielding the benefits you want. Pick a new destination and go that way. Use your willpower to start the process. You don’t have to repeat last year. Clean up the errors. Invest it now in the next year. Watch it make the difference.
3. Admit your mistakes.
Sometimes you have to admit them to others. Here’s one of the best phrases in the English language: “I’m sorry.” Those words could start a whole new relationship. They could start two people going in a whole new direction. Admit your mistakes to yourself. You don’t have to babble about them to everyone in the neighborhood. But it doesn’t hurt you to sit down and have a conversation with yourself and say, There’s no use kidding myself. Here’s where I really am. I’ve got pennies in my pocket and I’ve got nothing in the bank. That’s what I said after a Girl Scout left my door. I had a conversation with myself and I said, I don’t want this to happen anymore.
4. Refine your goals.
Start the process. Set some higher goals. Reach for some higher purpose. Go for something beyond what you thought you could do.
5. Believe in yourself.
You’ve got to believe in the possibilities. You’ve got to believe that tomorrow can be better than today. Believe in yourself. There isn’t a skill you can’t learn; there isn’t a discipline you can’t try; there isn’t a class you can’t take; there isn’t a book you couldn’t read.
6. Ask for wisdom.
Ask for wisdom that creates answers. Ask for wisdom to deal with the challenges for today and tomorrow. Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better.
7. Conserve your time.
Sometimes we get faked out. Motivational speaker Bill Bailey says the average person says, “I’ve got 20 more years.” But Bill says you’ve got 20 more times. If you go fishing once a year, you’ve only got 20 more times to go fishing, not 20 years. That fakes you out.
8. Invest your profits.
Here’s one of the philosophies that my mentor, Earl Shoaff, gave me: Profits are better than wages. Wages make you a living, profits make you a fortune. Could we start earning profits while we make a living? The answer is yes.
9. Live with intensity
You might as well turn it up a notch or two. Invest more of you in whatever you do. Be a little stronger; be a little wiser. Step up your vitality contribution. Put everything you’ve got into everything you do and then ask for more vitality, more strength and more vigor, more heart and more soul.
10. Find your place.
If you just work at a job, find the best place you can serve well, and sure enough they’ll ask you to occupy a better place. Keep doing a job well; do the very best you can. That’s your best way out.
11. Demand integrity from yourself.
Integrity is like loyalty. You can’t demand it of someone else; you can only demand it of yourself. Be the best example of loyalty and you’ll get loyal followers. Be the best example of integrity and you’ll have people around you who have integrity. Lead the way.
12. Welcome the disciplines.
I can’t give you much better advice than that because disciplines create reality. Disciplines build cities. A well-disciplined activity creates abundance, uniqueness and productivity.
13. Fight for what’s right.
It’s extraordinary to be able to say: “I fought for my kids; I fought for what was right; I fought for good health; I fought to protect my company; I fought for a good career that would bless my family. I fought a good fight.” It’s good to fight the encroachment. Opposites are in conflict and you’re in the middle. If you want something valuable, you’ve got to fight for it.
Don’t get insulted, deal with your fears, and keep going.
- Dismissing negative thoughts and staying open to other ideas can help guide one’s life in a positive direction.
- To handle disappointment, it’s helpful to learn to process one’s feelings, then take some kind of action.
- Humans will always bump heads. The key is to respond instead of react.
Some days are better than others. On those days that go less well, we usually end up being hard on ourselves. Here are some tools to avoid doing so.
1. Keep going. Don’t let life’s changes throw you off track, but remember that most extenuating circumstances are temporary. Gain more clarity by staying the course and channeling your energy in a positive direction.
2. Trust yourself. Believe in your inner resources, no matter what, and you’ll grow from the experience. I believe that the answers usually lie within and you are probably smart enough to figure out what you need to do. Give yourself a little time and have patience.
3. Be friends with life. Remember that the world is not out to get you and it does not punish you. You do that to yourself. Learning to focus on other opportunities or in another direction can give you some perspective.
4. Watch your thoughts. Your thinking will never be 100 percent positive. You must learn to dismiss the negative thoughts and stay open to other ideas that will help you move in a positive direction. Start recognizing negative thoughts and use your mind to quell them.
5. Summon the strength you have inside. Learn to access and direct your strengths to the highest good for all concerned. Believe that your strength and intelligence can help you deal with anything. Remember that you have survived worse.
6. Learn to love yourself. You do not have to be who you are today, and your life is not scripted. Changing how you feel about yourself means creating a strategy, gathering some new tools, and making yourself into the person you want to be. A good way to start is to stop doing things that hurt.
7. Don’t want too much. Desire can be a powerful motivating tool, but wanting something too much can be very painful and very expensive, so don’t live beyond your means or covet the unattainable. Seek your desire, but keep your integrity.
8. Don’t get insulted. It is wise to be dispassionate about critical comments. Humans will always bump heads, but consider the source, and if it’s the other person’s issue, ignore it. Learn to respond instead of react, and don’t show your ire.
9. Recognize that disappointment is part of life. Even the most successful people have to deal with disappointment, but they’ve learned how to use it to get to the next level of life. The trick is to process your feelings, then take some kind of action.
10. Deal with your fears. Overcoming fear makes you stronger, and being a little scared can make you better. You want to have butterflies; you just want them flying in formation. It helps to understand and admit your fears. Then you can kick them to the curb.
Feel good about yourself, no matter what life brings. Know that each time you wake up, you have another chance to make things better. Don’t waste it.
Nine ways to bring your A-game.
Committing to self-improvement is an important part of bringing your best self to work.
- Welcome negative feedback without being reactive. Assess your weaknesses, and then take steps to change career-limiting behaviors.
- Set realistic goals for yourself by figuring out what you want to accomplish, prioritizing effectively, motivating yourself, and tracking your progress.
- Always look for opportunities to learn by reading, listening, watching, or asking questions that will help you grow.
- Focus on your physical and mental health — get enough sleep, exercise, and try to avoid burnout. Learn to say “no” to additional work if you’re not actually able to take it on.
- Avoid multitasking, which can actually decrease your productivity, and find simple ways to limit distractions.
Nine ways to bring your A-game.
Where your work meets your life. See more from Ascend here.
Do you sit back and wait for an annual performance review to think about your work performance? It does feel easier to wait for another person to tell you about how you can improve yourself. But how can you do a better job every day without waiting for an annual feedback? The trick here is to work on yourself, not the job. Your work reflects you, so begin by making yourself better, and success will follow. Here are nine ways to help you get better at what you do and become the best version of yourself.
1) Turn weaknesses into strengths. Research shows that 97% of people can readily identify a career-limiting habit they have. However, managers reported only 10% of employees showed a change a year after a performance review. Most of us assess our weaknesses but don’t always take steps to rectify our career-limiting behaviors. Use this 3-step guide to get actually change your behavior.
- Identify moments of anxiety and pay attention to them. For instance, when you’re dreading making an important presentation at work and are constantly checking your email, you’re not just distracted, you’re playing out a habitual response to anxiety and stress.
- When you’re in such a moment, stay with it. Consciously replace that ineffective behavior with a deliberate, thought-out alternative action. Drink a glass of water to give yourself time to breathe.
- Then, recognize what you can do instead. Ask yourself, “What do I really want now?” and take your time to figure out how to get there.
2) Set goals and track them. Setting goals for yourself doesn’t just give you a sense of purpose in life but also makes you accountable for your decisions and actions. To set realistic goals, follow this 4-step process:
- Figure out what you can want to accomplish in a day, a week, and a year. If possible, write it down somewhere or keep a digital diary. Keep your goals SMART and focused. They key is to avoid setting too many goals for yourself.
- Prioritize your goals and focus on the most critical ones first.
- Motivate yourself to stick to the plan
- Finally, make sure you track your goals religiously.
There’s no point in setting goals if you don’t follow through with it. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, figure out simple motivational moves to get yourself to implement your plan of action. For instance, if you want to switch jobs, give yourself a couple of months to make the move, then make a list of the short and long-term actions you need to take to and the timeline to achieve that goal. Spend a couple of weeks shortlisting companies you’d like to apply to, then spend them doing the actual research, reach out to your network for opportunities, and start the interviewing process.
3) Find opportunities to learn. Learning should always be a top priority while factoring in your day-to-day activities. Spare 10 minutes each day to read, listen or watch something that can help you work smarter. You can try to learn a new skill every month, or see if you can learn something from your colleagues. For instance, if you see a colleague with a strong work ethic who gets work done faster, talk to them and learn from their habits.
4) Believe in the power of asking questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions that matter at work. Asking the right questions can impact the outcomes of our decisions. It shows that you are present and participative. So don’t hold back those questions; ask away!
5) Don’t ignore your health. If your work demands your constant and undivided attention, you could feel overwhelmed and feel like most of your worth resides in your work. Remember, a job is just a job. Refocus your attention and think about what really matters to you. Re-prioritize your work-life and find ways to get help without burning out. You can reach out to colleagues for help with work, take vacations regularly and most importantly, look after your body. Get a good night’s sleep and avoid spending the wee hours of the night on a work email. Make sure you’re physically, mentally and emotionally fit to avoid getting addicted to work.
6) Dig critical or negative feedback. While receiving negative feedback well can be a hard skill to master, it is an important component to advance your career. The key to dealing with negative or harsh feedback is to emotionally detach from the information and then take action. Avoid being reactive and take a pause while you’re in the moment. Later, break down the feedback into specifics. For instance, feedback such as, “Your presentation lacked conviction” should be rephrased as, “I can become more convincing.”
7) Don’t multitask. Did you know doing several things at once can decrease your productivity by about 40 percent? Research shows that most multitasking is unproductive because we don’t really multitask. We switch-tasks rapidly, making us more distracted and less focused. So, stop the loop of constantly interrupting yourself because there are really no downsides. Tackle one task at a time because you don’t lose anything by not multitasking!
8) Avoid distraction. The average person is distracted or interrupted every 40 seconds when working in front of their computer. We can’t even work for a full minute without getting distracted! To get better at the work you do, find simple ways to overcome everyday self-sabotaging practices. If you’re having a hard time getting some data sorted, leave the work for some time and take a walk. Or, move to a different space. Similarly, put your phone face-down so you don’t get distracted with constant notifications. Make room for some solitude in your workday so you don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed by your small losses.
9) Don’t overcommit. Before you take on additional work, pause and check if you’re able to take on that work. Learn to say “no” at work more frequently, delegate the work to your team members if possible, and don’t shy away from asking for help, when it’s needed. Before you take on a project, map out what you know and make an estimate of the time you’d need to complete the task.
Do you have ideas you’re trying to convey to others, and you just can’t seem to express yourself?
Do you ever feel like you can’t even tell a story? You could be in the middle of telling a story, and you keep overexplaining and using way too many words. Or you never can get to the end, and you already forgot the moral?
Sometimes you’re in the middle of expressing yourself, it’s going awry, and then someone cuts you off to express their views? “What the heck?! I’ve just been interrupted while telling my rambling story. Oh, well, I guess I got saved.”
Do you know people who seem to be able to express themselves well in any situation?
Then there are those folks who can express themselves quite well.
You know people who can express themselves to a fare-thee-well. They speak clearly and confidently. It takes them almost no time to get to the point. And they can change your views quickly.
These folks have executive presence and an incredible verbal brand. They’re assertive, yet warm. They can tell stories, answer difficult questions, and know how to say “no” without hurting anyone’s feelings. They can express themselves during tense meetings, interviews, and on stage.
Don’t worry; they don’t have an extra gene that you don’t. People who express themselves well have the essential techniques necessary to get their point across well.
We’ll start with the basic techniques, and then we’ll delve deeper.
How to Express Yourself Better
People who can express themselves well don’t have a different gene; they have the techniques.
- Formulate your ideas in advance until you don’t need to anymore.
- Don’t overexplain & avoid redundancies.
- Speak in bullets.
- Don’t be afraid of the pause while speaking.
- Start with the bottom line & don’t use too many details.
- Be relaxed.
- Use a voice that’s warm & authoritative (not aggressive.)
These are the steps you’ll want to practice to get people loving your ideas and following your suggestions. Read on to learn how to implement these steps when you’re expressing yourself.
Many people have trouble expressing themselves.
How to implement these techniques:
Formulate your ideas in advance until you don’t have to anymore. My suggestion is to record yourself or at least talk to yourself in the mirror.
The advantage of recording yourself is you can hear when you make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to become aware of your mistakes. It’s the only way you can get better.
You wouldn’t tell your tennis pro not to video record you because you don’t want to see your swing. You want to see your swing! You know that doing so will improve your game! And unless you have sponsors for your tennis games, improving your tennis won’t make you any money. But learning to express yourself better will. So let’s get back to it, shall we? Don’t make me come over there!
Learning to express yourself better is well worth the effort.
Right now, you’re cringing listening to yourself talk (Best to not be subjective but like a scientist.) But in a couple of weeks, people will be loving your ideas and following your suggestions.
You’ll love listening to yourself on a recording!
How well you talk to yourself will impact on how you feel and, subsequently, how well you will perform. Research has shown that how you talk to yourself can affect your persistence, concentration and stress levels. This blog looks at six simple and straightforward techniques that can help you, your students, or your athletes improve self talk.
Say Stop – Researchers have found that by saying ‘Stop’ straight after a negative thought has helped people to manage frustration, overcome nerves, sleep better and stop dwelling on worst case scenarios. You may not be able to control the first thing that pops into your head, but you can control the second. Saying ‘stop’ is a good strategy that allows you to proceed with more helpful thoughts.
Ask Yourself Questions – In a study on anagrams, participants who asked themselves questions (“Will I do well?”) solved significantly more than those who had declared they would succeed (“I will do well”). One possible reason why this strategy is effective is because by asking yourself questions, your brain automatically starts searching for answers, acting as a call to action.
It is thought that asking yourself questions is especially effective for when adopting a new behaviour or when in an unfamiliar scenario. Asking yourself questions can also help you develop metacognitive skills, which research suggests can enhance learning, especially for disadvantaged students.
‘You’ is Better Than ‘I’ – Getting people to talk to themselves in the second person (i.e. ‘You can do this’) may be more effective than if they did it in the first person (i.e. ‘I can do this’). Researcher Ethan Kross and his team stressed out participants by telling them they had to give a public speech in front of judges in order to win their ideal job. Half of the participants were instructed to talk to themselves in the first person (‘I’) and the other half with either the word ‘you’ or their name. The results? Those that used the word ‘you’ or their name at the start of their advice to themselves reported feeling more confident and less nervous. Interestingly, the judges also viewed them as having made a better first impression.
An interesting example of someone talking in the second person came when Arsenal football manager asked a young Zlatan Ibrahimovic to trial with Arsenal. His reply? “Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.”
Tell Yourself What To Do – Giving yourself instructions has been demonstrated to help athletes improve their attention and how successfully they perform under pressure. Away from sport, there is also evidence to suggest that teaching students to talk to themselves in this way can improve their performance in the classroom by improving their self-control as well as their ability to plan and prepare. Clearly telling yourself what to do, instead of just saying that you are going to do well, can be a very effective way to talk to yourself.
Energising Language – Talking to yourself in an upbeat manner can increase your motivation (an approach adopted by many when they tell themselves to ‘keep going’ when running on a treadmill). This type of self-talk can also help block out potentially distracting thoughts and aid self-control, especially when large amounts of effort and endurance are required.
Surround yourself with positive people – How other people talk about you may impact how you talk to yourself. Researchers have found that negative statements made by teachers were predictive of how girls viewed their maths ability and were linked to an increase in negative self-talk in boys. Clearly, how you talk to yourself makes a difference, but so does how you talk to others.
For more info, take a look at our guide page ” How to Develop a Growth Mindset” , where you’ll find links to blogs and research.
By Unwritten — Written on Sep 20, 2021
Self-development and growth are not luxuries; they’re a necessity for success.
It actually benefits your entire life.
There is no magic pill or single formula to create the absolute best “you” possible.
There is no switch you can press to instantly become a different person.
No one can do it for you.
If you want to do your personal growth then only you have to do the heavy lifting.
There are some good habits, techniques, and attitudes that you can put into practice to be more like the person you want to be.
Of course, to be the best version of yourself is not necessarily easy.
It takes time and continuous effort. It is an ongoing process.
Everyone is born with the capability to be a better version of themselves.
Once a person accepts that he/she has the power to change herself/himself, he/she is ready to start creating a successful and amazing self.
Each of the following personal growth tips can be used to relate to your life.
These 10 tips help you in knowing who you are as a person and the type of self-improvement you seek.
1. Failure is not the end of the world
If you constantly think about what other people will think about you when you fail, then stop yourself immediately.
Failure is a natural process and it is not the signal of the world ending. Realize this truth.
Extremely successful people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael Jordan have all failed at some point in their lives.
Failure always helps us to learn valuable insights which can drive positivity to become highly successful in life.
So, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.
2. Live to please yourself rather than others
Always live in the present moment and celebrate your small wins.
Live your life to the fullest to please yourself rather than others.
Your people-pleaser role will lead you to depression, stress, and health issues.
So quit pleasing people. It will help you in regaining your self-confidence.
3. Surround yourself with positivity
Positivity plays an important role in self-improvement.
So always surround yourself with positive self-talk.
We all do self-talk.
It is a normal process but when it includes negativity, it creates a problem.
Eliminate some negative vocabulary from your life dictionary such as but, can’t, try, should, and won’t.
4. Learn to trust yourself and take risks
Have trust in your abilities.
Sometimes it’s good to take risks such as if you have a fear of facing interviews then go for it, face it.
Take a class, learn a new skill, and challenge whatever it is that is holding you back.
Take a risk and have faith in yourself.
Positivity can open doors to success for you.
5. Learn something creative every day
When is the last time you did something creative or something that you actually love to do?
Do it. It will create a positive impact on your life.
Also, try to learn something that can help you in becoming a better version of yourself and would have an optimistic effect on your work, life, or study
6. Understand the importance of positive association with great people
Always surround yourself with positive great people.
They will help you in all ways to bring out your best.
It is one of the most important steps that you can take for your personal growth and improvement.
Commit to surrounding yourself with only amazing people that help you in a constructive way.
7. Say “yes” to life
When life gives you an amazing opportunity, go for it.
Don’t wait for other people to say “yes” to life with you.
Start living your own.
Sometimes you feel like quitting while working on your dream.
But, remind yourself of all the great things that you already have and all the great things that are coming into your life.
Keep that excitement level high about your work and life.
Always be thankful for the amazing life that you have.
8. Fall in love with yourself
Love yourself just as you are.
This self-love will only support your procedure of becoming the best version of yourself.
Always remember no one in the world is perfect and will never be.
So, take a deep breath and say “I love myself” and see how that feels.
We can never do our personal growth if we constantly put ourselves down.
So, be thankful, learn to forgive, and love yourself.
It doesn’t make you selfish. It makes you indestructible.
9. Keep in mind that strength grows out of weakness
For many people, smoking is a weakness and a comfort.
If you are one of them then quit smoking.
Related Stories From YourTango:
Smoking is costly and bad for your health.
But, if you have an addiction to it you can switch to alternatives like vaping.
It is considerably less harmful than smoking and an effective way to kick the smoking addiction.
Quitting smoking is a transformational procedure that will change your confidence in yourself, your health, and your life.
If you work on quitting your weakness then ultimately you are opening new ways for your self-improvement and personal growth.
10. Dress for attention and confidence
Wearing the right attire elevates your self-confidence and helps you in gaining the attention of others.
Confidence is the key to success and it helps you in putting your best foot forward.
If appropriate dressing can build your confidence level and lead you to success, then what you are waiting for?
You can read every day about how to be a better version of yourself, but it’s no alternative for actually doing the work.
If you want to be a better person in some way, don’t waste your time.
Start it right away!
Nobody else can do it for you.
The effort has to come within you and you have to stick with it.
The fact is that there is no “best” version of yourself: only “better.”
So, follow the above-discussed tips and keep getting better – your future self will definitely thank you for it.
The GT Scholars Programme
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Many students will find themselves underachieving academically at some point. Studying for a qualification or degree was never meant to be easy. If you’re looking to improve yourself academically then below are seven ways, which might help.
- Positive attitude
Poor results can trigger a number of things. From depression to feeling defeated, it can be hard to look on the bright side. Adopting a positive mental attitude beats most challenges in life. Going into that exam for example, with a can-do attitude will go a long way to achieving the results you want.
- Where are you falling short?
Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Address those areas where you’re struggling and set out a plan on how you can improve. Look at your grades over the last few months and try to find patterns. Do you have one subject that is always a problem? You may already have an idea yourself, but by writing things down you’ll be able to see more clearly.
- Ask questions
Never be afraid to ask questions if there is something you don’t understand. Asking questions is something we’re all taught to do at a young age. Teachers and parents are there to help you, and their assistance shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored if you need clarification on something.
- Improve your writing skills
Not everyone possesses proficient writing skills, and some may struggle with the ability to construct sentences. It can be frustrating if you know what you want to say but are unable to get it onto paper. Understanding what makes up a good essay-writing technique will do wonders. Techniques such as writing a great opening paragraph, grammar and proofreading are all important skills to have.
- Don’t procrastinate
This is a problem for most people, not just students. Sometimes it can be hard to focus on a particular task if there are too many distractions. By procrastinating you’re only delaying the inevitable, the work is still going to be there waiting. A good way to beat procrastination is to set yourself small goals. When these goals are achieved reward yourself.
- Time management
At the start of the academic year you’re going to know when assignments need to be handed in or when the exams are. Plan your time efficiently and whatever you do don’t leave everything until the last minute. The best way to address time management is to create work calendar. This should list dates and times of exams, etc. You can also use it to break down revision times for each subject. Make sure to plan in time for yourself.
- Private tuition
Finally there is the option of private tuition or after-school tuition. If you still find yourself struggling, then a private tutor may be able to help you improve your grades for a difficult subject. A little bit of extra tuition might just be what you need to give you that final push towards the end goal.
If you would like to register for the GT scholars programme you can do so here .
What is Self-Improvement?
Let’s define self-improvement. The definition of self-improvement is pretty self-explanatory: Self-improvement is the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts. It’s the quest to make ourselves better in any and every facet of life.
Best Self-Improvement Articles to Start With
Self-improvement almost always starts with self-awareness and the ability to transform your habits. If you’re serious about transforming your life and improving yourself, you should start with these two articles:
- How to Stop Lying to Ourselves: A Call for Self-Awareness: If you’re serious about getting better at something, then one of the first steps is to know—in black-and-white terms—where you stand. You need self-awareness before you can achieve self-improvement.
- Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead: For most of us, the path to self-improvement starts by setting a specific and actionable goal. What I’m starting to realize, however, is that when it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are important to you, there is a much better way to do things. It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems.
Common Self-Improvement Topics
I discuss almost every aspect of smart, science-backed self-improvement on this website. You can explore some of the sub-topics of self-improvement with the links below:
More Examples of Smart Self-Improvement
- The Scientific Argument for Mastering One Thing at a Time
- How to Use Military Strategy to Build Better Habits
- How to Read More: The Simple System I’m Using to Read 30+ Books Per Year
Best Self-Improvement Books
- Manual for Living by Epictetus
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Want more books on self-improvement? Browse my full list of the best self-help books.
Some people go their entire lives without examining or understanding their true selves. They let others tell them who they are. They let society determine their goals and dreams. It’s the easy way out.
You’re not one of those people. You want to dig deep and learn how to be yourself – your true self. Once you do, you’ll reveal a life filled with possibility and fulfillment.
Discover how to start being yourself at Unleash the Power Within event
1. Know yourself
Our beliefs about who we are go all the way to childhood. We’re born as sponges, and we soak up our environment without even realizing it. We form an opinion of ourselves that we think is true – but it’s actually how others want us to be. These opinions become our limiting beliefs , and before you can answer the question “ How can I be myself ?” you must strip them away. Your true self is underneath.
2. Let go of negative self-talk
Limiting beliefs manifest as negative self-talk . To overcome limiting beliefs and learn how to start being yourself , listen to your inner monologue. You may tell yourself things like, “I’ve always been this way” or “I’m just not good at this.” Perhaps you tell yourself that you need to be perfect to be worthy of love. Catch this self-talk and question it. Is it masking who you really are?
3. Focus on your strengths
Your negative traits are not who you are. Replace negative self-talk with positive thoughts that empower you to be yourself . When you focus on your strengths, you build yourself up instead of tear yourself down. Not sure what your strengths are? Think of the times in your life when you’ve felt the most “in your element.” You felt that way because you were finally discovering how to start being yourself .
4. Stop living in the past
Your past does not equal your future. Everyone has made mistakes. They don’t have to define who you are, and you don’t need to spend your life atoning for them. Learn how to let go of guilt and stop living in the past. Your life can be anything you want it to be – so make it extraordinary .
5. Stop caring about what others think
For many of us, not caring what others think is easier said than done. It’s human nature to want to fit in, but our fear of what other people think only holds us back. Remember that what people think of you is actually a reflection of them, not you. You can’t control other people’s opinions. All you can do is learn how to be yourself – and how to be happy with that .
6. Be open to change
The human brain is complex. We are the product of hundreds of experiences and pieces of information that our brains process every day. The brain is always learning and changing, so how can we expect ourselves to stay the same? Realize that you can change your opinions and preferences while still fundamentally knowing how to be yourself . To be yourself, you must actually allow yourself to change.
7. Be vulnerable
It’s easy to show off the good parts of ourselves. But to be yourself, you have to be your whole self. That means being willing to be vulnerable. If you’re wondering “ How can I be myself ?,” the answer is to step into your pain and face your fears head on. Be open and honest with your partner and your friends. Tell them how you really feel. Share your deepest fears. You might be surprised how it strengthens your relationships.
8. Express yourself
Expressing yourself can help you determine what you enjoy, how your experiences affect you and how to start being yourself . Keep a journal and record what you did well each day and what you enjoyed, as well as things you could have done better. Express yourself through art, writing, music or even gardening. It’s while we’re engaged in things we love that we feel most ourselves.
9. Get out of your comfort zone
People crave certainty – it’s one of the Six Human Needs . Yet we also need growth and variety. Tony tells us that “All growth starts at the end of your comfort zone.” The journey to learning how to be yourself starts there, too. Experience new things and notice how they make you feel. You’ll learn more about yourself by leaving your comfort zone than you ever thought possible.
10. Find your community
You’ve done the internal work. Now it’s time to seek support and acceptance for the new you. When you surround yourself with the right people , they’ll elevate your best traits and build you up, instead of holding you back. You’ll finally feel like you can stop searching for how to be yourself – because you’re in a place where everyone already knows who you really are and loves you for it.
Ready to unlock your true self?
Challenge your limiting beliefs, develop your strengths and discover how to start being yourself at Unleash the Power Within.
Content Manager and Career Expert
During the interview process, you could easily get hit with this question: ‘How do you want to improve in the next year?’ How you choose to answer this could play a major part in your interview success.
So, to ensure you have the perfect answers up your sleeve, we are going to walk you through the ways that you can tackle this query and give an ideal answer.
Without further ado, here is how to answer this somewhat tricky interview question.
Why interviewers ask this question
Interviewers generally ask this question to evaluate your self-awareness and ambition. They don’t want to see a list of weaknesses here. Instead, they want an insight into what improvements you want to make within your professional life over the coming year.
By reviewing how you want to improve, the interviewer can decide if you’ll be a good cultural fit and will also be able to assess whether they can help you achieve your goals. For example, if you want to learn a new skill, they may offer a training scheme that can help you reach that goal.
How to prepare a response
Although you can’t prepare a single response for all types of interviews, there are ways that you can get ready to answer this curveball interview question.
To help you form the ideal answer, we’ve listed some key tips that you shouldn’t overlook:
1. Align your goals to those of the company
When answering any interview question, it’s important to align your goals to those of the company that you’re interviewing for. For example, if you’re interviewing for a marketing company, you could say that you’d like to enhance your SEO skills and learn more about digital marketing over the next year. This goal aligns perfectly to the role that you’re applying for and shows that you’re ambitious and keen to enhance and develop your skills further.
2. Be honest
While your main goal is to impress the hiring manager, you also want to be honest. If you’re not, you’ll eventually get found out and will lose the trust of your peers. Therefore, it’s important to select a goal that you actually have in mind, rather than something that will get you a few brownie points. This could be something like becoming a member of the social committee and focusing on giving to a particular charity. While this doesn’t necessarily align with the job you’re applying for, it showcases some of your life goals.
3. Share your weaknesses
It’s likely that you’ve already answered the interview question ‘Tell me about some of your weaknesses?’. If you have, you can tie your answer into this question. Use your weaknesses as a starting point and explain how you plan to improve them. For example, if a lack of time management is a big weakness of yours, share how you plan to improve this skill by using various apps and tools to help you.
4. Explain your yearly plan
If you have a yearly plan, now is your time to explain what it is. List your goals and what you intend to do to achieve them. For example, you could say that in the first quarter, you plan on enhancing your cognitive skills, while in the second quarter, you want to focus on learning new skills. By the time you get to the fourth quarter of the year, you could be aiming for additional responsibilities at work.
5. Be confident
No matter what your answer is, make sure you say it with confidence – even if it is one that highlights a few weaknesses. The point of your answer is to show that you plan on progressing and improving your personal and professional life over the course of the year.
6. Keep it short
Don’t forget that an interviewer’s time is precious, so instead of embarking on a long monologue, offer a clear and concise answer that targets all of your points. If you don’t, the hiring manager will lose interest.
7. Steer clear of job titles
Try to avoid mentioning any job titles in your answer. You don’t want the hiring manager thinking that you’re out to get someone else’s job before you’ve even stepped foot through the door and proved your worth.
8. Don’t mention finances
As with job titles, it’s important not to discuss finances, including pay raises and promotions before you’ve been offered the role. Instead, focus on professional goals that will naturally include an increase in pay.
9. Avoid being vague
Interviewers want to hear long-term goals and ambition, so don’t neglect to offer a few valid points that you want to discuss. Your answer here relies on precision and long-term thinking and planning.
If you still don’t know how to answer this question, here are a few examples of what you could say to ensure you get the job, and some hints of what you definitely shouldn’t during the interview!
- ‘At the moment, I work closely with an international team (with the majority of them located in Spain). So, to help improve our communication, I plan on learning Spanish over the coming year. Since I know that one of your largest markets is in Spain, too, I believe this additional language skill will benefit your company if I’m successful in this interview.’
- ‘At the moment, I don’t really have a great work-life balance. I spend a lot of time in the office trying to finalise projects and feel like my personal life is suffering. In the new year, I plan on learning how to take more frequent breaks to ensure that I don’t feel burnt out, and so that my creativity doesn’t suffer.’
- ‘Although my work as a content writer isn’t directly related to social media, I’d like to learn more about how to market myself via personal branding. So, in the new year, I have signed up for an online social media and marketing course that will increase my overall knowledge of the industry and current trends.’
- ‘Over the next year, my main goal is to get more money. I’ve been working in this industry for over eight years now and feel that I am worth a lot more than what I’m currently paid based on my experience.’
- ‘I’d ideally like to get a promotion within the next year to show that I’ve progressed on my CV because it’s looking a little stagnant at the moment.’
- ‘There’s a lot of goals that I’d like to focus on like industry learning and time management, but it’s difficult finding the time with family and home life. My kids take priority, and I find that my work occasionally suffers.’
Like any other interview question, it’s important to prepare your answer in advance, always ensuring that you align it to the role that you’re applying for. If you fail to do so, one small hiccup could cost you the job.
Have you ever had to answer this question during an interview? What was your response? Let us know in the comments section below!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 1 February 2015.
Transformational Life Coach
Over the years I’ve dove deep to understand my relationship with myself.
It is the only constant relationship I will ever have in my life AND everything is a reflection of the relationship I have with myself.
The relationship with myself determines everything. Why? Life is experienced through me, not outside of me. My perception of myself will greatly determine the experience I have of my life. If we want a freakin’ good life, then we better have a freakin’ good relationship with ourselves.
Here are 11 ways you can begin:
1. Create self-love habits
These habits will help you stay grounded in loving energy, which will support your well-being. A few examples of self-love habits could be: thanking yourself for making your bed, going on a weekly date with yourself, spending time tuning into how you’re feeling daily, checking in with your heart, affirmations said out loud each morning, complimenting yourself, etc.
2. Turn off social media
It sucks you into a comparison game! Take a day off from social media every week to actually live your life in realtime, not through a box. It’ll help you become more present and increase joy!
3. Practice forgiveness
When you don’t forgive, you hold onto a burden. You don’t do it for them, you do it for you. To forgive yourself is release and let go of the energy that is not serving you. When we forgive, we make peace. Practice forgiveness by using this mantra : Peace is my power.
4. Walk barefoot on the Earth
This neutralizes our energy and allows us to release any negative energy directly into the earth. You will feel lighter, happier and calm. Do this daily if you can.
5. Eat for your well-being not your tastebuds
Ask yourself: is the food I am eating nourishing me? If not, then you don’t need to eat because you’ll only feel bad afterwards. Think from the end. How do you want the food you eat to make you feel?
6. Help someone else
When you feel helpless, help another. This shifts your energy away from wallowing in self-pity to being of service, which will only uplift your mood!
7. Write it out
If something is bothering you or on your mind, let it out. Give it to the paper, let your thoughts free flow, then read back to experience clarity in your thinking. It’s a truly magical experience to understand how you process thoughts.
8. Mirror Work
Look at yourself in the mirror. Stare deep into your eyes and say: I deeply love and accept you . Some part of you heals every time you look at your reflection in the mirror and affirm love! You realize that you also deserve love and acceptance. Do this daily.
9. Be easy
This means be easy-going, don’t take everything so seriously. Stop playing victim of your life and ease up on yourself! Don’t look so deeply into everything, let it be. Bless what happened and affirm that you will only allow it to grow and expand you.
This is a time to be totally present with yourself. As you sit in stillness, taking long deep breathes become aware of your thinking. Your thoughts are things and what you think you become. Let yourself fully be embraced by the stillness – allow it guide you into a higher experience of yourself.
11. Know your thinking
“Here is a new spiritual practice for you: don’t take your thoughts so seriously.”
— Eckhart Tolle
Everything you think , doesn’t need your attention. Get really picky with the thoughts you give your attention to. What you give attention to, you declare it in your experience. I like to think of my thoughts as currency. If I go around buying things I don’t want with my thoughts then, I will live in a house with things I don’t want wondering why they are here. I bought them with my thought currency.
Everything we do in life is a testimony to us and our relationship with ourselves. The decisions you make or don’t, the people you love or don’t, the money you give or don’t, the job you love or don’t is all a created by the relationship we have with ourselves. To change the outside, begin by committing to change the inside — because the internal condition, environment reflects the external experiences.
What have you done to improve yourself in the past year?
Similar interview questions:
Have you undertaken any areas of self-improvement in your career?
What are you doing to improve your work skills?
Have you taken any training recently?
Tell me about areas where you need to improve and what you have done to address these areas.
Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer is probing your willingness to grow and improve. This question can also be posed in a way to differentiate employer-led (or even mandated) training versus training taking on your own personal initiative, so be careful in listening closely to how the question is phrased. The answer gives the interviewer a behavioral indicator into your willingness to invest in yourself to grow and expand your skill set into the future.
The best approach to answering this question:
Discuss a recent example of training which has directly had an impact on your ability to do the job for which you are interviewing. If you do not have an example directly tied to the job, use one that is the most closely associated and/or make a connection in how it has been or can be used in your work. And if you are reading this question and have not completed any training over the course of the past year, start now by pursuing online training in advance of your interviews.
An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
“I wanted to expand my technical skills in working with the Microsoft Office Suite, specifically in developing better skills working with Excel. However, there were no courses offered at my university which covered anything beyond the basics. So I enrolled in an online Microsoft certification course, which I have already completed. I’m also adding in other technical skills including programming classes which I’m working on currently. I noted that these are important skills for this job and I want to make sure I am prepared to be productive on day one…”
An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
“I’m currently studying for my certification exam for my industry. I have completed all of the online coursework and have already passed two of the required four exams. I am scheduled to take the third exam next week and the fourth and final exam next month. This will coincide with my completion of the industry experience requirements, so within a month I expect to be certified…”
An example of how you should not answer this question:
“I did take some courses through my work since they were offered for free and I was required to take at least one. I chose a course that was taught in Vegas, since I thought it would be fun to party at night while doing the classes during the day…”
Further review: know the answers to these 100 Common Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!
At the core of our desires is living a life of purpose and meaning.
At the core of a life of purpose and meaning is being of service to others.
At the core of being of service to others is finding peace and happiness.
At the core of finding peace and happiness, we discover who we are.
And to do that, we must get over a little irony, that most of us hardly know – much less, know well – the single person we have spent every second of our existence with, our own selves.
Think you’re the exception? Let me ask you then: how well do you know yourself?
We are not talking about taking a personality test or learning about your family history. Neither are we talking about your favorite colors, your best childhood friend or your high school prom experience (thank goodness about the last one ;)).
We are talking about something much greater and of higher consequence. We are talking about who you are at your core, what most matters to you, what makes you come alive, what feeds your soul and what drains your spirit, and how to know the difference so you choose well as you move forward in life.
If you don’t know yourself all that well, you may still live a life in alignment with who you are but only by accident or some sheer stroke of luck.
And that, my darling, is too big a risk to take, so shall we eliminate the risk altogether?
Make it a certainty that you live in alignment with who you are not by accident or luck, but rather on purpose, by intention, by design.
How? By getting to know yourself really really well. One way to do that is to learn your values, passions and goals. Another is to ask the right questions.
Reminder: You can still grab The Positive Affirmations for Life program with more than 4 hours of audio affirmations for 7 life situations that impact your happiness and success the most.
How to Get to Know Yourself: 29 Questions to Self-Discovery
Here are just 29 questions that open the door to having a real conversation with yourself. I want to ask you to answer these questions honestly for yourself.
When you are ready to do this, copy these questions into a text document, quiet all outside distractions, take a few deep relaxing breaths, make a great cuppa tea, clear your mind of noise and clutter and dive in.
Know that there are no right or wrong answers. There is only you uncovering the process of building a closer relationship with the person within.
- What activity in your life lights you up with joy?
- What is something you always love doing, even when you are tired or rushed? Why?
- If a relationship or job makes you unhappy, do you choose to stay or leave?
- What do you fear about leaving a bad job or a bad relationship?
- What do you believe is possible for you?
- What have you done in your life that you are most proud of?
- What is the thing that you are second most proud of?
- What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
- How does your being here in the universe change humanity for the better?
- If you could have one single wish granted, what would it be?
- How comfortable are you with your own mortality?
- What is your highest core value?
- To your best knowledge, how do other people perceive you?
- How would you like others to perceive you?
- How confident are you in your abilities to make decisions for yourself?
- What is your biggest self-limiting belief?
- Who is the most important person in your life?
- Who is your greatest role model?
- Who is a person that you don’t like yet you spend time with?
- What is something that is true for you no matter what?
- What is your moral compass in making difficult decisions?
- What is one failure that you have turned into your greatest lesson?
- What role does gratitude play in your life?
- How do you feel about your parents?
- How is your relationship with money?
- How do you feel about growing old someday?
- What role has formal education played in your life and how do you feel about it?
- Do you believe your destiny is pre-determined or in your hands to shape however you wish?
- What do you believe is the meaning of your life?
What If You Don’t Like the Questions Above?
I know. These questions are not meant to be easy or comfortable, but they are important to ask and to know. As you ask yourself questions, the process of self-inquiry begins, and at first, it is uncomfortable and unfamiliar – especially if you have never done it – yet in time, it becomes easier. Even fun.
Because here’s what you may not know. Or be afraid to believe.
You are a unique child of this world. You are brilliant, smart and wise. You are deep and fascinating. You are gifted and talented. You are beyond capable to do what you dream. You are loved, loving and lovable.
You are not too old or too fat or too poor. You are not too slow or too boring. You are simply none of the terrible things you tell yourself. You’re quite the opposite.
You are more than enough.
So while it’s up to you to decide if this self-discovery process is worthwhile, I would say trust me on this. Getting to know yourself IS worthwhile. Just do it!
How to Accept Yourself: Start Here
Repeat after me: I accept myself. I love myself. I forgive myself for what I didn’t know until I learned it.
Did you do it? How do you feel? Maybe a tad bit lighter and happier?
Or maybe not. I hope you don’t fall into this category but I know some of my readers do. You may be so deeply rooted into self-criticism that you have grown a thick layer of cynicism, one that you may mistakenly think of as self-protection. How do I know this? Well, experience, of course. A few years ago, I was as negative, cynical and pessimistic as they come – and what’s funny, I didn’t even see myself that way. I saw myself as “realistic”!!
I used to think to myself, “I’m protecting myself against all the new-age positive hoopla that is going around, because everyone knows that’s not real, the reality is that life is hard, and I need to be harsh on myself to get ahead, to improve, and to show the world what I have.”
I was constantly busy proving myself, getting approval from parents, bosses, colleagues, professors, teachers, friends, and strangers before I ever gave myself any approval – and even at the height of praise and approval, I would find a hundred faults with myself.
Reminder: You can still grab The Positive Affirmations for Life program with more than 4 hours of audio affirmations for 7 life situations that impact your happiness and success the most.
My friend Jen Gresham would call me an overachiever, but I thought of myself as an underachiever who would have liked to be an overachiever, like those people to whom I compared myself day and night. Well, I was disillusioned beyond belief – but not beyond hope.
Before we go on, again, repeat after me: I accept myself. I love myself. I forgive myself for what I didn’t know until I learned it.
This new belief system, simple as it seems, once it took form, saved me. It saved me from deep unhappiness and the pit of depression. It saved me from obsession with comparing myself to others – strangers who didn’t even know I existed. It saved me from loneliness and hopelessness.
Because I learned to accept myself, to love myself and to forgive myself. And you can too.
At first, I was just saying the words, just to see if this “actually works”. It was when I had first come into contact with the work of Louise Hay and positive affirmations – and fast forward to today, affirmations are the foundation of my happiness and success.
And the first affirmation that I still remember vividly from the teachings of Louise Hay is this:
I love and approve of myself.
The first time I read that out loud, it sounded foreign. I had never said those words to myself. Ever. The powerful simplicity of this phrase baffled me because it had an enormous impact on me.
Why Is It So Hard to Accept Yourself?
The easiest answer I can think of is that we confuse approving of ourselves with never changing, never improving and never getting better or getting what we want in life. That’s just preposterous. What do they have to do with each other? Nothing.
Repeat and see for yourself: I accept myself. I love myself. I forgive myself for what I didn’t know until I learned it.
So I began to experiment with a different approach to life: One that comes from a place of love and approval for myself first. One that does not allow for pessimism, criticism, negative thinking and toxic relationships. One that opens me to possibilities and expands the horizon instead of closing in the curtains and blocking the abundance.
The One Simple Rule You Must Know to Learn to Accept Yourself
The rule to self-acceptance is simple. No matter what you need to do to accomplish your goals, achieve your dreams, or heck, just get through the day, you do it by approving of yourself first and last. Easy? I don’t know about you but it was one of the hardest shifts in mindset that I have had to cultivate.
So you start and end your phrases with “I accept myself” or “I approve of myself” – in effect, you sandwich your thoughts, whatever they may be, in between two powerful phrases that begin to train your mind to think differently about yourself – perhaps with more compassion and even, dare we say, love?
Remember that you are not taking away the hard work, the overcoming of difficulties, the realities of your life, and even the fact that you can improve and get better and grow stronger and wiser and happier, you are simply supporting it all with the power of self-approval and self-acceptance, instead of self-criticism.
Positive Affirmations for Self-Acceptance
Here are some examples of positive affirmations that incorporate self-approval and self-acceptance. You are free to replace “I approve of myself” with “I accept myself” – whichever comes more naturally to you:
- I approve of myself, I work hard every day to achieve my goals – I approve of myself.
- I accept myself, I create opportunities for growth in my business – I accept myself.
- I approve of myself, I have made mistakes that cost me money and time – I approve of myself.
- I accept myself, I improve by learning and self-educating myself – I accept myself.
- I approve of myself, I have a challenge that needs my complete focus and attention and I approve of myself.
- I accept myself, I ask for help and guidance because I don’t know the answers and I accept myself.
- I accept myself, I face disagreement and criticism from the outside world and I approve of myself.
In essence, whatever is happening in your day, as you talk to yourself, start and end it with the phrase “I approve of myself.” Or if you like, “I accept myself.”
Decide Now: Do You or Do You Not Believe in Affirmations?
Before you start this experiment, you have to decide whether you believe in positive thinking, whether positive affirmations even work. You will find no shortage of attack on affirmations, and some do it just to get attention and others go through unnecessary trouble to “prove” that affirmations don’t work – well, you could totally join that camp.
So long as you are combining the power of positive affirmations with the necessary actions to achieve your goals, they work miracles.
But that’s for you to decide.
If you happen to decide to believe in them, then I’m thrilled for the possibilities that are in front of you.
And if you want to play, your challenge is this: do the exercise above for just seven days and come back and tell me if you don’t feel better.
Between us, you will begin to feel better after the first day once you realize just how often you criticize and blame and degrade yourself, but let’s just say a week for good measure.
Now go! Go do this right now, go change that negative toxic self-talk in your head and learn one of the most powerful lessons that they should’ve taught us in kindergarten:
Approve of yourself.
But they didn’t. So let us learn it now. Shall we?
2020 was challenging for a lot of us, in a lot of ways. Maybe there was a moment you lost your temper. Maybe you sent a heated email from the home office, criticized a friend’s pandemic precautions, or beat yourself up over another day spent struggling to keep your head above water. Maybe there was a moment you wish you would have been a better partner, colleague, friend or version of yourself.
Maybe there have been a lot of those moments.
Psychologists aren’t surprised. Some people have spent way more time than usual with their partners, family or housemates this year — and some people have spent a lot more time than usual with only themselves and their own thoughts and feelings, Dr. Kruti Patel, a licensed clinical psychologist in Austin, Texas, told TODAY. “2020 may have been very eye-opening.”
If this past year has prompted you to want to get better in terms of how you show up in your relationships with those you care about, you’re not alone. Relationships (either with others or the one you have with yourself) are some of the most common reasons people come to therapy, Patel said.
The good news: It’s something you can work on and get better at. Here’s some expert advice of steps you can start taking right now to do just that.
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Your relationship with yourself is foundational. Don’t neglect it
Your relationship with yourself — how you speak to yourself, how you listen to your emotions and how you respond to your needs — is the base that any other relationship you have builds upon, Patel explained. “If you’re not responding to your needs, it will also impact your health and overall wellbeing,” she said.
If, for example, you’re taking on too much and you don’t listen to your need to slow down and rest, you’re going to start to feel overwhelmed. You may find yourself burning out. You may get sick. You’re also going to bring all of that weariness, stress and burden to the table when it comes to a tough conversation with a friend or a disagreement with a partner.
To improve your relationship with yourself:
- Tune into your own thoughts and feelings regularly, Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, a psychotherapist and assistant professor of social work at Utah Valley University, told TODAY. Start by making a point to stop at least once a day to ask yourself: “How am I feeling?”
- Treat yourself with kindness and compassion when it comes to listening to your emotions and responding to your needs, Hanks said. Talk to yourself about your own worries, fears and concerns the same way you would talk to a friend, she said. “We often tell ourselves things in our own head that we would never say out loud to someone else.”
- Make time for self-care, Kelly Nguyen, a San Francisco-based marriage and family therapist, told TODAY. Remember, self-care includes all of the things that help you meet your personal needs.
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For couples, communication and respect breed strong partnerships
A healthy relationship with a partner doesn’t mean that you agree 100% of the time. It’s about respecting one another and being able to communicate in healthy ways to work through disagreements, handle conflict and navigate tough times, Patel said. Being in a healthy relationship means you feel emotionally safe to let your partner know when you’re struggling or upset, she added.
Research published by the University of Georgia investigated how the pandemic is affecting romantic relationships. They found that people who reported having a partner who understands, validates and cares for them were less likely to be as negatively impacted by stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic (like social isolation, financial strain and stress) compared with people in relationships who felt less connected to their partners in this way.
To work on your relationship with your partner:
- Turn toward one another when you’re upset or you’re in disagreement, Hanks said. Talk about it. Work together to solve the problem by coming to a consensus that you’re both OK with.
- But give one another space when you need it. Our pre-pandemic routines likely included more time physically apart from our partners, Nguyen said, “we used to go to work or school; meet up with friends.” That time and space gives us the opportunity to take care of our individual needs. Now, it might mean going for a walk or finding some time to yourself for a hobby or an activity you like to do.
- Be intimate — both physically and emotionally, Hanks said. When you’re emotionally intimate, you feel safe opening up and being vulnerable with your partner when it comes to talking about emotions and needs. You can get better at this by listening to your partner — and acknowledging, respecting and caring about what he or she says, according to Hanks.
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To stay close with friends and family outside your household, put in the effort
All relationships require time, energy and attention, including those with friends and family members you don’t live with. Maybe that time and attention had been a little easier before the pandemic when you could meet up for dinner regularly or do an activity together you both enjoyed. Now it’s important to find new ways to stay connected (phone calls, emails, letters, video calls) to maintain contact and closeness, Hanks said.
To bolster connection with friends and family:
- Pay attention to and remember the details, Hanks said. It demonstrates that you care about that person’s life, she added.
- Just reach out. Don’t take it as a personal attack or slight if someone hasn’t been in touch; you have no idea what they’re going through, Patel said. Don’t overthink reaching out to friends and family you want to stay close with. “A lot of us are craving more connection than ever this year,” Patel said.
- Be consistent. Repeated and regular contact is how you stay up-to-date on what’s going on with people, Hanks said. It builds closeness.
Sarah DiGiulio is a New York City-based writer and editor who covers psychology, mental health, fitness and sleep, among other health and wellness topics. She’s written for Prevention, Good Housekeeping, HuffPost, Real Simple, Health Magazine and more.