Self-improvement can take place in a number of ways—emotional, spiritual, physical and financial. Your efforts can affect your mind, body and behavior. Ongoing improvement or personal development is necessary for increasing and maintaining self-confidence, self-esteem and self-image, key factors in a healthy personal evaluation.
Why is building self-esteem important?
The need for building self-esteem and confidence starts in childhood. Healthy self- esteem is a balance of feeling capable and feeling loved, according to kidshealth.org.
• Children with a healthy self-esteem tend to be more well-adjusted as adults
• Healthy self-esteem increases the ability to handle stressors in life
• It’s a necessary component in forming and maintaining healthy relationships
Ways to build self-esteem in kids:
• Suggest involvement in sports and activities
• Help them discover their strengths
• Encourage them to spend time with friends who are positive influences and who make them feel good about themselves
• Show them they are loved for who they are, not what they achieve
According to Academic Pediatrics, www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov, risk factors for low self-esteem include:
• Eating disorders
• Violent behavior
• Earlier initiation of sexual activity (in girls)
• Substance abuse
Clearly, developing a positive self-esteem is essential in childhood. But the need for self-improvement shouldn’t stop after adolescence. In fact, self-esteem, confidence and personal growth are important factors to consider throughout your lifetime, especially during times of transition, such as:
• After a loss—a job, business or relationship.
• At a crossroad in life—those recently retired or empty nesters, for example. Visit www.aarp.com for more information.
• Ongoing personal growth benefits everyone!
Ideas for self-improvement or personal development:
• Take a class: Learn painting, photography or another art form.
• Start an exercise routine: Walking is a great form of exercise and it’s inexpensive. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes.
• Learn a new language: Tapes, books and local classes are available.
• Take up a hobby: Knitting or wood working projects can make great gifts.
• Join a new group: Book clubs or car enthusiasts share similar interests.
• Volunteer your time: Read to the blind or work with animals.
Remember, self-improvement or personal development doesn’t have to be costly. The focus is on doing something to improve your life and your feelings of self-worth, one day at a time.
Benefits of personal development include:
• Improvement of existing skills or acquiring new ones
• Continued/improved chance of success and happiness
• Better quality of life and health
• Stronger relationships
• Better self image
Steps to Self-Improvement:
The Personal Growth Studio suggests the following:
1. Patience—Give change the necessary time to become a part of your lifestyle.
2. Persistence—Stay the course.
3. Perseverance—Overcome setbacks in your quest to self-improvement.
Whether your self-improvement objectives include a weight-loss plan, financial goals or spiritual aspirations, September is the month to institute a plan. What’s standing in your way?