By: Leah Hovey
This month the Conscious Counselling team is exploring the theme of self-improvement. A lot of you know the concepts of self-improvement, but the problem is a lot of us can’t tell when we need improvement for ourselves. It is all so easy to blame the world, those around you or even a higher power for the negative aspects in your life. I know many of us have the tendency to deflect away from our own actions and blame anyone or anything else. “There is nothing wrong with me so why should I change?”
“Why should I change?” is a simple question yet it holds a lot of power. Saying this phrase is admitting that what you are doing, have been doing, and will do is sufficient. This implies that there is nothing wrong with your actions and it is those around you that need to evaluate themselves.
This may be true in certain aspects but we all hold a responsibility for the events that surround us. How we respond, how we analyze the situation and how we continue to think about what has happened afterwards is all in our control. We have the ability to make certain changes within ourselves and changes in our perception to better our lives (Prochaska et al., 1994).
So how do we know when change needs to occur? There can be certain signs exhibited that can show you that you may need to take a step back and start on the road to self-improvement. Here are some of the biggest signs:
1. Small things bother you and anger you.
2. Everyone else around you is “doing it wrong”.
3. You have immediate anger when someone gives you constructive criticism.
4. You dwell on the past and hold bitter feelings about events that happened a long time ago.
5. You have many expectations of the people around you and they are not being met.
6. You put yourself down (not just alone but in front of others).
7. You compare yourself to the people around you.
8. You feel the need to brag or boast about successes in your life to validate them to others.
9. You feel as though your dreams are impossible to achieve so you don’t try.
10. You are afraid you will be alone forever.
11. You find yourself talking poorly about your friends behind their backs or insulting their successes.
12. You hold onto certain beliefs/values and refuse to acknowledge other points of view.
13. You wonder “is this it?”
These little signs may be an indicator that you need to change your life, change your ideals or attempt to better yourself. Take the time to read through these signs and truly analyze yourself. It could also be beneficial to seek the knowledge and expertise of a counsellor who can help make sense of these thoughts and help alter your perception and create positive change. Acknowledgment is the first step to a better you!
Prochaska, J. O., Norcross, J. C., & DiClemente, C. C. (1994). Changing for good (pp. 40-56). New York: Avon Books.