Finding ways to feel like you are always moving forward can be difficult. Sometimes it may seem like you can never change your situation. You may feel stuck in the same routine, destined to make the same choices or the same mistakes over and over again.
Here are some ways to let yourself know that you are making baby steps towards self-improvement. Constantly aiming towards small advances will help you progress to meet your goals.
1) Always do your best.
At the end of the day, regardless of how things turn out, as long as you know you did your best, you cannot fault yourself for not doing more.
2) Recognize you are not perfect, you sometimes make mistakes.
As confident as you may feel in your ability to make the right choices or the best decision, sometimes you might not make the right decision. You are not at fault for being human, or for not seeing the perfect solution.
If you have done the best you can, then even if a decision does not turn out well, take some comfort in knowing no one can be right all the time.
3) Challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone.
There is comfort in keeping to the same choices, the same routine and the same predictable path. Sometimes we are forced to step outside our safe situation due to health issues, or a job change involving a move across the country.
Tell yourself that it will be okay even if you fail or it doesn’t go well. You will never know if you can do something different if you don’t try.
4) Learn to do things alone.
The rhythm of doing activities with other people is really different than when you go it alone. This is true whether you're traveling to another country or going to the movies or a restaurant without someone else to rely on.
Being in this type of situation can actually be quite calming in a backwards kind of a way, as you must rely on your own inner voice to direct you on how you want to do things.
Putting other’s needs first is something we as women and moms tend to do. You will find that you will do more to please and reward yourself instead of doing things to please others.
5) Learn when to say “no thank you” and when to say “thank you.”
It is so easy to just say, “Sure, I’ll take on that extra project, errand or responsibility,” when asked. Learn to know your limits and the line you must stop before you become overwhelmed.
At the same time, if we are given a compliment for a job well done, or if someone notices we are wearing a new dress or new hair style, its okay to just “thank-you.” Allow yourself that momentary surge of pride or confidence.
6) Write a letter to your future self.
Imagine what you will be doing one year from now and write to that future person the questions, concerns and excitements you have about how life will be for you then. Seal the letter, then open it in one year and compare what you thought life might be like to how it turned out.
7) Avoid negative people.
There is no quicker way to feel stuck and negative about your future than by listening to people who always are the naysayers of any event. They find all the reasons why things won’t work, will be too hard to do, too risky, or too expensive.
Keep exposure to those folks to a minimum and instead surround yourself with those who make you feel uplifted and positive about your future.
8) Be a mentor to someone else.
Sharing your special knowledge and expertise with others will affirm that you have unique and important skills to offer.
The other day I was in a shoe store and the young man helping me told me he was interested in pursuing the same major my son who just graduated from college had chosen.
I started asking him questions about his classes and what schools he was interested in applying to. I then asked him how helpful the counselors were in high school in getting organized for college.
He shrugged and said, “They’re okay, I guess.”
Before we left the store I wrote my name, phone number and email address on a piece of paper. I told him, “Call me. I helped my son when he applied to college, I would be happy to help you.”
He took the paper and looked up at me with a grin and thanked me.
Mentoring others to enable them to better achieve their success helps you achieve your own success.
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in women’s health care and quality of care issues.
Edited by Jody Smith
8 Promises Every Woman Should Make to Herself. Health.com. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
8 Things Every Woman Should Do For Herself. Mariashriver.com. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself. LIfehack.org. Retrieved September 24, 2016.