We all want to be the best versions of ourselves, but self-improvement can be hard. Where do you even start to make it happen? How do you go about it? What if something’s holding you back that you aren’t aware of?
As with all matters of personal growth, this all begins with you. You need to be aware of your behaviors and take steps to improve them in order to achieve what you desire. Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done.
5 Promises To Make Yourself Before You Go to Bed Tonight
1. To Think Well Of Yourself
Many of us drown in our own negativity. We remember words from nay-sayers more than words from supporters. Unfortunately, that means you may fall into a destructive pattern of negative self-talk and dark, gloomy thoughts.
The problem with this is that your brain, which controls literally every aspect of your actions, is influenced by them. Negativity can cause you to fail at many things you could have done well at if you’d only been more positive. At best, it can still cause you to respond badly to and beat yourself up over tiny mistakes.
While we’re at it, the same goes for negative jokes. With the rise of self-deprecating jests centering around neo-nihilism and neo-dadaism, it’s not surprising that it’s easier to fall into a habit of making jokes at your own expense. But there’s a difference between making self-aware quips and draining yourself down into the ground.
You may think that your self-deprecating jokes are harmless, but they’re still subliminally affecting you in ways you may not be aware of. We understand that these types of gags are a coping mechanism, but it’s time you try and adopt healthier ones.
Luckily, it’s possible to train your brain to be more positive using affirmations.
It’s difficult at first, but do it often enough and it will become natural. Take your negative thoughts and turn them over. For example:
- Negative Thought: “I will never succeed in life!”
- Positive Response: “I know I am trying my hardest and that my efforts will pay off.”
- Negative Thought: “I always mess up.”
- Positive Response: “I am capable of learning from mistakes and becoming a better person.”
- Negative Thought: “I’m ugly and fat.”
- Positive Response: “I am a beautiful and unique person, and my worth is not determined by my looks.”
- Negative Thought: “No one likes me.”
- Positive Response: “I am an interesting individual and a good person. I can make new friends and lead an active social life.”
You can also try to make it a habit to repeat affirmations to yourself daily as part of your morning routine to boost positive thinking. Here are some examples of simple positive affirmations to try.
- I have confidence in myself.
- I am worthy of happiness.
- My experiences help me grow.
- I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.
- My life is a good balance of business and pleasure.
- Today will be an amazing day.
2. To Stop Judging Others
Everyone is unique and different; as such, we all have different approaches to life, different paths to follow, and different stories behind us. This is why understanding, tolerance, and compassion is so important when you’re living your life.
If you find yourself automatically criticizing and judging those around you, even if you only do so in your mind and never out loud, make a promise to yourself to stop this behavior. These thoughts are negative, unproductive, and hateful, and they’re stopping you from being who you could be.
Here are some examples of judgmental thoughts or statements that you may think or say without realizing it:
- “What is that person even wearing?”
- “They must be so lazy since they won’t (insert activity here).”
- “That person looks awful.”
- “Ugh, what a bum, they don’t even have a job.”
- “They only (insert activity here), they must be (judgment).”
- “They’re just way too sensitive to be here.”
It’s important to remember that what works for you may not work for everyone else. In addition, your personal experiences and perspectives aren’t universal; you don’t know how other people think, feel, or what they’ve been through. Having opinions is totally fine, but be wary of crossing the line into unwarranted judgemental territory.
But why is this bad for you? Well, the negativity you project isn’t just random. It’s your own negative energy, stopping you from going forward in a positive way. You’re adding to the world’s bad energy, all on your own, and potentially harming someone else’s life and self-esteem.
Remember, not everything is about you and what you believe. Respect others, practice compassion and try to be understanding of others.
3. To Learn To Prioritize
It’s crucial to know what’s most important in your life. If not, you’ll be spreading yourself much too thin, exhausting yourself, and eventually not bringing your A-game to your everyday life. This will render you tired, unhappy, and feeling unfulfilled overall.
- Being a yes-man isn’t the ideal solution to a busy schedule.
- Instead, learn to say no to things that will wear you out.
- Decline the invitation to the wedding of someone you barely know.
- Quit the club that’s about something you’re not really into.
- Focus on days out with people you truly care about.
In addition, you need to be able to take note of things that truly are the best for you. Choose to prioritize friendships with people who make you happy. Choose to participate in activities you enjoy. Fill your free time with what you really like. Don’t be afraid to cut off things that aren’t working for you.
You should also make sure you have enough time for yourself. Don’t overwork yourself or cloud your calendar with so many commitments that you can’t have a warm relaxing bath, watch your favorite TV shows, or treat yourself.
It can be hard to let go of things, but a cluttered life doesn’t do anyone any favors, and neither does one filled with things that make you miserable. Learn to prioritize what really matters to you, and learn to let go of things that don’t.
4. To Stop Fearing Failure And Success
Fear of Failure
It’s fairly common to fear failure. In fact, it has a name: atychiphobia. It can stem from conditions like anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and eating disorders. Essentially, it’s not just a lack of positive thinking – it can be crippling and even stop you from progressing in life.
Maybe your worry about failure stems from worries about what others will think of you, about fears for your future, or even about your own self-worth if you fail. Whatever the cause, these fears might cause you to never take any risks, sticking to very safe positions where you cannot possibly be harmed. Unfortunately, this puts a limit on yourself and stops you from truly being the best version of yourself that you can be.
- Failure is part and parcel of life.
- Without failure, no one would ever succeed.
- You have to make mistakes and fail in order to learn lessons that will serve as the stepping stones to your success.
- Every single smart and successful person you know has likely had their fair share of failures – and that’s what made them who they are!
Fear of Success
Some people also fear success. You might worry that, when things go well, it’s only a matter of time before everything crashes and burns. Perhaps you fear the change that will come with success. You might fear heavier expectations, or that your identity will be lost, or that you can’t handle new responsibilities.
All these things are valid, and they’re hard to shake. They’re also the only thing standing between you and that long sought-after success that you need to reach. You deserve to be happy, you deserve success, and you deserve to achieve your dreams – remember that! Don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars, and don’t be afraid to prioritize your growth.
We could tell you to just think positive in order to overcome these fears of failure or success, but that may not always be possible. If you need professional help, there is no shame in seeking out a therapist or similar mental health professional to guide you through these issues.
5. To Be Responsible For Yourself And Who You Are
Many people think they know themselves, but reflection is important for continued growth. The ability to look back on the past and reflect on it, considering your failures, successes, and traits, is a very crucial skill in life.
Reflecting will help you to see how you’ve changed, how far you’ve come, and who you truly are. Chances are that you’re not the same person you were 10 or 20 years ago, or even one year ago. Take note of the way you’ve changed. What life events have influenced those changes? Are you learning from your experiences, or failing to apply them and therefore repeating destructive habits?
Some examples of questions you can ask yourself to aid in your reflections are:
- Who do you surround yourself with?
- What is your approach to work?
- What do you like to do?
- Which big life decisions have you made? How did you make them?
- What approach do you usually take to solve problems?
- How do you react to mistakes?
- In what ways are you open with others?
Asking yourself other simple questions that give you insight into who you are can help you achieve a more effective reflection. It’s important to be critical but kind in your reflections and to be honest with yourself about them. Acknowledge shortcomings, because that’s the only way you’ll ever learn to overcome them.
You will always change, evolve, and grow with the years. That’s part of life. What remains the same is the fact that you are responsible for your actions and for the person you’ve become. Do you like who you’ve become? Do you like how you behave? Think about it, and learn to own errors and successes and learn from them in turn.