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Self-improvement is using your own efforts to make yourself a better person and this includes developing your character, raising your status, and gain vast knowledge. It is a life-long process. It is anything you do that requires physical and mental effort on your part for yourself, to better yourself. Your improvement can only come from within you. There is no one or nothing outside of yourself that can directly improve you in any way. Outside sources merely provide you with essential aids to learning how to improve yourself. It’s you who will have to learn.

Many are under the mistaken belief that merely reading books, listening to inspirational tapes and motivational talks, and attending seminars will bring solutions to their improvement problems. This will not happen. They need to put in their efforts to effect the desired changes in them. They have to apply and practise regularly what they have learned. Most people do not follow up with consistent practice from what they have learned. As a result, they revert to their old ways of thinking or doing things.

Bringing about positive changes in yourself will be a lot easier if you change your undesirable habits and beliefs that have resulted from your childhood and subsequent years of conditioning. Unless this is diligently undertaken, whatever means you have devised of overcoming your personal problems will not work. If they work, they will last for only a short while. It will not endure.

You have to identify the unpleasant aspects of your personality that need self-improvement. But it’s not so easy for you to know all about yourself. Other people can be a better judge. They know you more than you know yourself. Even if you know you have a fault, you may not admit it. You may regard it as normal, or necessary to survive in this world. How other people respond to you at times provide useful clues. For example, other people find you aloof and unfriendly. But because you are not aware of it, you cannot comprehend their cool and distant attitude towards you.

A common problem is when you find you have areas of your personality to work on. But you keep putting it off with one flimsy excuse after another. It’s obvious that you have a terrible fear of change. Your procrastination is itself a major fault that needs correction before you can initiate beneficial change in yourself.

Who you are and what you are now is the direct consequence of what you did or did not do in your past. Regret and remorse do not help. Think of the past mistakes you made and their consequences. Analyze what caused you to act the way you did. Look for feedback from close ones and learn from them. Take corrective measures so that you do not repeat the same mistakes. Honest self-criticism is a useful tool for self-improvement, but it has to be constructive. Otherwise, it would adversely affect your self-image and thus your self-esteem.

Before you embark on the unending journey of self-improvement, it is of paramount importance that you are well prepared to change your mental attitude. You have to admit that you have faults, accept that you are the cause of your faults which you are determined to rectify, and believe that you will succeed in bringing about continuous improvement in yourself. Unless you fully realize all this, no amount of sweat will make it possible to help you. If you do, progress in improving yourself is assured.