They say that the best, most successful of us are the ones who continually look to improve themselves. A phrase successful people often use is – “the harder you work, the luckier you get.” True in a way, but are you actually becoming lucky, or are you simply improving yourself due to your hard-work and efforts? We believe in the latter, and what that means for us and you is that we can all improve and get ‘luckier’ in the meantime. But that requires learning self-improvement techniques to help you grow within your working life.
There are plenty of self-help coaches and books, or online journals, but the truth is, in order to see any real self-improvement, you need to learn and understand what your strengths and weaknesses are and what the solutions are to help you improve in your every-day life and working performance. By knowing your weaknesses, you can understand what you need to learn or train to help you improve yourself.
You can improve yourself by yourself without the need of a life coach or integral figure to keep you on track. All you need to help you improve is the initiative and desire to learn, and some initial guidance on how to improve yourself. Once you have the desire, you will find the ways to improve yourself that you require.
With that in mind, we recommend the following ways of thinking/techniques to start improving yourself on a day-to-day basis.
practising makes perfect
It’s believed that you need to do something for 10,000 days to master it. Now doing that for multiple skills will require an extremely large amount of time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use this principle. Becoming the best, or an expert requires training and persistence in the belief that you’re going to achieve your goal. David Beckham would practise dead-ball situations daily, before and after training in order to perfect his free-kick and crossing technique. To this day, he is considered one of, if not, the best free-kick taker that ever played football. He earned this status because he practised to make perfect and he improved along the way!
It takes doing something for 21 days to make it become a habit, so if you’re serious about improving yourself, day one starts now…
How to get into a habit:
1 – Set up timely reminders for parts of the day that you can do the habit.
2 – Turn guilt for not doing the habit into the drive to do the habit twice as often/hard next time.
3 – Record every day you consistently do your habit.
4 – Record the positive feelings you had after completing the habit.
5 – Do it again and again.
acknowledging your successes
What might feel like an obvious technique, spoken about frequently by blogs, influencers and entrepreneurs are perhaps one of the hardest things to do. We often find it awkward to acknowledge our successes, and perhaps we suffer from a slight form of Impostor Syndrome? It might be that we just don’t have the time to sit back and admire our successes… but we should. It’s known universally that even the smallest acknowledgement of your achievements increases happiness and self-respect. In a study in 2014, it was found that 89% of people are motivated when their work is positively acknowledged by their manager. The positive impact acknowledging success has to help improve yourself is exponential and should be considered at the end of every day!
How to acknowledge success
1 – Find somewhere to write your successes down.
2 – Start your day remembering the previous day’s successes and thinking about today’s successes.
3 – Do a weekly round-up of your top three successes for the week.
4 – Treat yourself when you achieve major successes. You deserve rewards!
5 – Get into the habit of acknowledging others success too.
don’t fear opportunities, take them!
It can be scary trying something new, or seeing an opportunity and worrying whether you have the skills or experience to deliver. Ask yourself how far you’ve got in life using that approach? Are you disappointed with where you are now? You could, and probably would be further if you took a positive and open-minded approach to new opportunities. When we take the leap of faith, we often realise we can do much more than we ever dreamed, and that we wasted so much time deliberating, worrying and rejecting the opportunity to try something new and grow.
Additionally, taking opportunities will help you to grow your career by taking on more responsibilities, learning new skills and building stronger relationships with your colleagues.
How to take on more opportunities:
1 – Adopt a ‘yes’ mind-set – task yourself with saying yes to people for an hour or two, then build to a day and then a week.
2 – Use the acknowledging success principles to acknowledge how you improved and what you did well.
3 – Record what you said yes to that you enjoyed doing the most.
4 – Say yes, again.
become open about mistakes, but learn from them.
It’s so easy to fear mistakes – it’s often why we don’t take on new responsibilities or opportunities. A fear of failure hinders us from achieving so much more and improving ourselves along the way. With that in mind, it’s important to be open about mistakes and failures. Otherwise, how do we learn?
In order to succeed and improve, you need to taste failure. You need to learn what works and what doesn’t, and as long as you’re improving along the way, failure is OK!
We must also not be afraid to discuss this among peers. We are human, we will make mistakes, and by not reaching out to others, we restrict the possibility to fix problems and learn. That being said, the communication around mistakes or failures must be sensitive, looking to acquire positive resolutions. It’s no good admitting something didn’t work if the conversation revolves around who was wrong and why they were wrong. We need to positively approach the situation and help grow each other in the process.
how to become open about mistakes
1 – Recognise that you don’t know or understand everything.
2 – Be curious – use trial and error methodologies to find out what works and what doesn’t.
3 – Run regular tests and record findings.
4 – Be open in conversation with others around failures and mistakes, request help and advice.
5 – Learn from your findings.
Combining these self-improvement techniques will help you to grow over-time and improve your performance. From here on, it’s down to you to show the initiative and drive to use these techniques and improve.