Why Is Self Development Important?
Sometimes, when all our doubts, fears and insecurities overwhelm us, we
start thinking, “I wish I was somebody else.” It is very common to think
that some or most people are better than us, especially when we are
feeling low. The truth is often very different.
You might see a very pretty girl sitting by herself at a party, casually
sipping on a glass of Asti Spumanti. You think to yourself, “she looks so
perfectly calm and confident.” But if you could read her mind, you might
see a very different story. She might be thinking, “Are people talking
about why I am seated here alone? ... Why don’t guys find me attractive?
... I don’t like my ankles, they look too skinny ... I wish I was as
intelligent as my best friend.”
We look at a successful young business entrepreneur and say “Whoa ...
what else could he ask for?” He stares at himself at the mirror and says
to himself, “I hate that I still have acne ... I wonder why my friends
won’t talk to me any more ... I wish mom and dad could have worked things
Isn’t it funny? We look at other people, envy them for what seems to us
to be their perfect lives and wish we could trade places with them, while
they look at us and think the same thing. We are insecure about other
people who themselves are probably insecure about us. We suffer from low
self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and lose faith in self development
because we are enveloped in quiet desperation.
So it can happen that we can spend all our time obsessing about what seem
to us to be our negative points when they really don't matter to anybody
else. At the same time, we might have a seriously irritating habit that
we are not even aware of.
I have a friend who never gets tired of talking. And in most
conversations, she is the only one who seems to be interested in the
things she has to say. So people tend to avoid our circle whenever she’s
around. Not only is this a social handicap for her, but it also irritates
anybody who is with her, that they cannot speak to anybody else while she
One key to self improvement is to LISTEN and TALK to a trusted friend.
Find someone who you are comfortable about opening up with on even the
most sensitive topics you want to discuss. Ask questions in a way that
makes it possible for the other person to tell you what is really
happening. You could say, “Do you think I would get along better if I
were more polite to people?”, “Do I tend to sound argumentative?”, “Do
I talk too loud?”
This signals to the other person that you are interested in self
development. Usually, she will hesitate to tell the truth right away. She
will probably say "No," because she doesn't want you to feel bad. If you
just repeat that back to her as a question, "No?" she will probably
expand on it and then you may begin to get at the truth.
Of course it's important to accept any comments or criticisms that she
makes. You may feel hurt but try not to show it or she will not want to
tell you more. Then you may want to check out the results with other
people, because that person may not be seeing you clearly either.
One of Whitney Houston’s songs says “Learning to love yourself is the
greatest love of all.” True enough. In order to love others, you must
love yourself too. Remember, you cannot give what you do not have.
Before telling other people how to improve themselves, let them see that
you yourself are following the path of self development. Self improvement
makes us better people, more open to the world around us. We then inspire
other people, and eventually the rest of the world will follow.
It is vital to stop thinking of yourself as a second-rate being. Forget
the repetitive thought of “If only I was richer ... if only I was
thinner” and so on. Accepting your true self is the first step to self
improvement. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and accept
that everybody is valuable for the different contributions that they make
to the world.
We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had
better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not
to be perfect for people to be happy about themselves. Self development
and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that
you are perfect and you are the best. It’s the virtue of acceptance and
contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel
contented and happy.