Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.

This is written by James Clear in his book atomic habits. This line has stood out for me for so many reasons. When I think about self-improvement there is a part of me that feels motivated and eager to start NOW but then at the same time I feel a sense of scepticism because it means first identifying all those areas that need to be improved on and which areas require growth and development. The hard part about either one of these is that while growth is positive it is not necessarily a straight line or straight forward.

Self-improvement is a completely subjective journey and the details are so specific to each and every individual. However, what is objective and most likely to happen to all who seek this journey is that it involves effort, hard work and quite a large amount of discomfort. That is because any form of change is uncomfortable. As human beings we are wired for safety and security and that is what we find in the known, the usual, the comfort zone of what we have created in our worlds. But there is no room for self-improvement in our default setting! We ALL need to seek to improve ourselves. Yes it will involve stretching beyond our comfort zones and sitting with the discomfort but the best part about it is that it is part of the process toward becoming the best version of ourselves.

 

How do we start?

The book talks about the power of improving just 1% every day. What does improving ourselves mean? Well it can be a series of small habit changes for example taking five minutes of each day to be more mindful or it can be a more involved process like needing to overcome a fear.

The best part of self-improvement is that it impacts every single aspect of your life and every time you improve in one aspect of your life, you feel the benefits in all aspects of your life and the added bonus is that you can feel more fulfilled as you get a step closer to achieving your goals. Learning how to improve yourself is a valuable capability to have in a world where you must constantly adapt. Knowing that you have the capacity for change can make you more confident about the future and less afraid of discomfort.

 

Take a moment to reflect

You’ve been there before. You already have a history of successfully growing and improving yourself — you can do it again – now go and make a HABIT out of it.

Michal Zinman

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