The term self-improvement usually refers to activities that improve awareness and understanding of one’s character and behavior, to develop one’s personality in a manner deemed to be more productive.
Process of self-improvement:
The process of self-improvement is also referred to as “self-betterment” or “personal growth”. It could involve learning new behaviors, skills, attitudes, and knowledge. Self-improvement may focus on being physically healthy by practicing sports or taking up yoga, getting to know new people, exploring one’s creative side of learning a new language. The meaning of self-improvement is different for each individual as it involves the improvement of conscious and unconscious aspects of an individual’s life.
Self-improvement has been studied in various ways. Psychologists have attempted to understand the process of self-change, sometimes by looking at what leads individuals to undergo particular changes in behavior. Research has mostly been focused on change in specific areas such as social skills and performance (e.g., how does one improve their social skills).
There are many books written about self-improvement; some titles include: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. These books list various self-improvement activities.
In some cases, the term “self-help” has been used as a synonym for self-improvement. However, many authors make a distinction between the two terms, based on their approach to self-help. The term “self-help” is often associated with those providing advice or guidance, as opposed to a structured method or process for individuals trying to help themselves. In this sense, self-help refers to a specific philosophy of human treatment, whereas self-improvement refers to methods or processes that can be applied to one’s own life.
The first recorded use of the phrase “self-help” comes from an 1859 newspaper article found in “The Cornishman”, where it is described as “a very good thing for those who want to help themselves”. The initial concept behind this idea was to “help the helpers”. A person who was trying to get help from another would not only be able to get that but also learn how to better help himself.
There are various ways through which self-improvement is achieved. These include:
The process of self-improvement can involve improving one’s relationships with others. There are many strategies that one can take to improve interpersonal relationships. For example, there has been researching done on ways of coping with being a part of a group. In the study, leaders from different groups were asked to lead their meetings and also evaluate them afterwords by standardizing questionnaires.
Leaders who were more cognitively complex were able to gain respect from their group members because of their intelligence and ability to look at things in an unbiased way. They would engage in active listening which gave all participants a chance to voice their opinions. This was important for the other members because it helped them see that their leader was not just listening, but also comprehending what they were saying.