Self-Improvement: Looking Back at My 10-Year Journey as a Professional
What is self-improvement? Well, here is a simple definition by the Oxford Learner's dictionary that rings true with me:
It is short and sweet but says it all. Significantly, two words jump out of it: "process" and "efforts." I am a massive believer in self-improvement, but it is a process that needs long-term commitment and deliberate actions and efforts.
Here is why I think self-improvement, for private and professional uses, is worth the effort and the process:
Raise your standards - And inspire others by doing this.
Develop and explore your principles - Know who you are and show it to others.
Live an authentic life - Live a life of meaning and fulfillment.
My self-improvement journey has been long, and I don't end it anytime soon. I started self-improvement as an early career starter around 10 years ago, and to me, this is the reason why I got promoted regularly and finally made it into management.
Over the past ten years, I have experienced many different aspects of professional life. I have worked hard to improve myself and my skillset so that I can be the best possible leader for those around me. I want to share some of the things that I have learned with you so that you can benefit from my experience.
Self-Improvement Tips for Busy Professionals
1. Make the Time
I believe that making time for personal growth is one of the most important things a professional can do. Always be working to improve yourself, and you can better serve the people in your life. You don't have to be a genius to make these improvements, but you do need to be willing to invest time and effort.
I often struggle with this, even many years into the journey. I aim for at least 15 minutes every day, which can come in many different shapes, such as reading a book, researching a topic I am interested in, or having a meaningful conversation. Every little helps!
2. Start Small and Keep Moving
I would recommend that anyone who wants to improve themselves professionally should take small steps and make consistent gains.
While it is possible to make giant leaps, I don't believe that is always the best place to start. Of course, I, too, want to make significant changes and see results immediately; however, I found that it leads to fatigue and disappointment because seeing the results, even if you put in a lot of effort, takes time.
The reality is that change is often uncomfortable. It might lead to challenging yourself over things out of your control and even regret about actions in the past.
I struggle with regret often for not making enough progress or not being quick enough. This is especially strong if I knew about improvement areas and methods for a long time but never acted on them. In these moments, I think about the saying, "" There can be many reasons I didn't act, often because I didn't have the correct beliefs or other priorities at that point in time.
3. Surround Yourself with Positive People
Have your heard of Jim Rohn's famous statement: "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." If not, you have heard it here first, and you are welcome.
Our environment and, most importantly, the people in it influence us through their actions, the dialogue we have with them, and the advice they give us. You can use this to your advantage by finding people with goals similar to your own, or even better, who have already achieved what you want.
This works because this will influence your conversations and encouragement, and unconsciously through this, your beliefs and behaviors.
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