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The Simplest Ways To Improve Yourself Constantly

The Simplest Ways To Improve Yourself Constantly

Every single one of us has something we want to be better at. Maybe you want to grow in your career (or start a new one). Or perhaps you’d like to get healthier and get in better shape. Or maybe you want to be more productive with your time.

I have good news for you: there’s something you can do to accomplish all these things and more. Keep reading to find out seven ways to improve yourself and your life starting today.

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1. Roll with the punches.

One thing’s certain in this life: you’re gonna get hit. So brace yourself, take the punch, and move on. Stop sweating the small stuff. All the bad things in your life happened for a reason. Use them for motivation. Let go of the past because what happened to you yesterday doesn’t affect who you are today. Accept that this is exactly where you’re supposed to be at this very moment and everything that has happened to you is part of your journey.

2. Be a student of life.

Want to improve yourself today? You’re already doing it. Learning something new and seeking knowledge and wisdom is a key part of constantly improving. So keep seeking new knowledge and inspiration every day. Read books. Visit websites. Have conversations with smart friends and learn new stuff. Take up a new hobby. Never, ever stop learning and you’ll always keep improving yourself.

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3. Take tiny steps.

Small steps often don’t seem like they’re getting you anywhere. But “small wins” are a proven way to accomplish all your goals in life. Let’s look at a common example: weight loss. The first steps are the hardest. Most overweight and obese people don’t take those all-important steps because the end goal seems so daunting. Yes, it’s going to be a lot of work. But if you never start, you’ll never get anywhere. To keep improving, you need to take small steps toward your goals every day—no matter how tiny those steps are. Just keep moving forward.

4. Choose a mentor.

There are countless ways to improve yourself by yourself, but getting a little help along the way can help you get better faster. Think about the people who have influenced your life. Maybe it’s your parents, a coach, or a boss. If you already have a mentor you talk to regularly for advice about your goals, that’s great. If not, make a list of the people you respect who have accomplished the things you want to accomplish and ask if you can pick their brain over coffee. Most successful people will be humbled and happy you asked for their advice.

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5. Learn from your stumbles.

We all stumble and fall down. It’s what you do after you get up that determines how you progress in life. Failure sucks, but it’s absolutely necessary to creating valuable learning experiences. Stop playing it safe. Take risks, fail often and learn something every time you stumble. You’ll soon realize that these “failures” lead to some of the greatest achievements in life.

6. Be honest.

Self-improvement starts with telling the truth—to yourself and to others. The truth hurts sometimes but lies always end up hurting way worse. The people who are best at improving themselves on a consistent basis are the ones who are honest all the time. Lying creates a huge emotional burden on you. It leads to guilt, negativity, and more lies. It’s a never ending perpetual cycle. So always tell the truth. That’s the only way to keep growing.

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7. Give thanks.

Think of everyone in your life you’re grateful for, not just once in a while—every day. Being thankful keeps us humble and gives us perspective. Focus on the good things in your life and express gratitude for them. The fact that you’re alive and reading this means you’re more fortunate than most people in this world.

Featured photo credit: kevin dooley via flickr.com

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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