Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Work on Yourself

What does it mean to "work on yourself?" Working on yourself involves getting down to the truth about who you are, what motivates you and what is really going on inside. Working on yourself is about facing reality, being open to learning about things that may be unpleasant about yourself. Being willing to look at your flaws, weaknesses and faults objectively--without hiding behind psychological defenses such as repression, denial or projection.

Working on yourself is not easy; it's hard and sometimes painful, but it is only by working on yourself that you can grow and become a complete whole person on this planet.

No one is born fully developed. As adults, we have work to do on ourselves. Life is like a classroom. We learn lessons and mature and develop, or we don't. We either take time to get to know ourselves and correct our wrong assumptions and beliefs, or we waste our lives busy with distractions such as work, alcohol, kids, hobbies, people... anything that keeps our mind off what's going on inside.

Working on yourself involves getting to know who you are and what makes you tick. It means you don't medicate your pain, but instead, you meet it head on with courage and concern. Working on yourself is the ultimate form of self love and self nurture. And it works! There is nothing more satisfying and healing than to know that you have overcome a life-long problem, pain or negative core belief. Watching yourself operate from a higher level is a beautiful thing to behold. Watching yourself handle things with finesse that used to trip you up gives you a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

Once you work on yourself and your life improves, the process becomes easier and easier. Eventually you get to the place where you see the true purpose in everything in your life. You know there is a lesson in every day, every interaction, every moment. You know you are in control of yourself and that your feelings, thoughts and behaviors are under your own command. You realize that you have the power at any moment to turn things around for yourself. Working on yourself empowers you to be a strong person who is able to will, to be and to do anything within your power to do. The rewards are incredible.

What Does Working On Yourself Look Like?

You grow and mature when you work on yourself. That is, when you take time out of your daily life to reflect and consider your thoughts, feelings and actions. When you take time to ask yourself, "Why did I do that?" and similar questions. You don't brush over pains you feel in your heart. You don't push emotional issues under a rug and deny it. You don't take a swig of vodka, wine or beer when you hit a problem in your life--no. You FACE YOUR PROBLEMS with courage and strength.

If you are someone who works on yourself you are not perfect. In fact, learning to be perfectly imperfect is a great lesson you learn along the way when you stand by your own side during painful moments. That's just one of the many lessons you learn that strengthens you for bigger lessons to come.

Those who work on themselves are not afraid of imperfections and weaknesses. They don't feel ashamed to be who they are (this one requires work too). They freely share their pains with trusted others and get help when things are too confusing. Therapy is a tool for helping you to increase your strength and ability to see the truth of what's really going on inside your heart, mind, body and soul.

Journaling, writing, artistic endeavors are all ways of getting in touch with your inner child, your true self inside. These activities are common for people who are getting in touch with who they are and who wish to grow beyond the confines of the roles placed on them during their development or by the culture and society at large.

The Truth You are Facing

There is so much to face! So many ideals and fantasies that must be torn down if you are to grow as a person and become a whole individuated person who operates out of your own truth. Childhood mindsets must be shed. Defenses that we erected to avoid pain must be demolished. Resistance to growth must be climbed over. Maladaptive behaviors must be corrected. Negative thoughts must be turned-around. Old beliefs that helped you survive in childhood must be negated. There is a whole host of work to do! Every person has falseness within. It is the job of your inner adult to pull the weeds and plant new seeds. This is what consciousness is all about.

A List of Things You Must Work On...
  • Coming to terms with the truth about your childhood. Chances are things were not as perfect as they may have seemed. If you think you had a perfect childhood, you may need to look again.
  • Looking directly at any abuses that may have occurred in childhood which causes wounds
    which never go away until they are healed by our Inner Adult later in life. Many people refuse to go back and look at what happened out of fear that it will hurt too much. It is only by facing what happened--no matter how bad or how seemingly trivial--that you can move beyond your current level and grow.
  • Reconsider your self esteem. How do you feel about yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you put yourself down? Are you overly grandiose and narcissistic? Are you lowly thinking about yourself in some ways and overly pompous in others? Working on yourself means pulling down strongholds. Rethinking who you are and discovering your worth and value for yourself. 
  • Examine your relationships. Are your relationships authentic, deep and satisfying? Are you confident in your ability to relate with others? Do you look down on others? Do you idealize others while putting yourself low? Are your relationships equal? Why or why not?
  • How do people treat you & how do you treat others? Do you feel good around your friends, loved-ones, spouse? Do you feel like people put you down? How do you interact with others? Do you stand up for yourself? Are you a doormat? All of these issues should be addressed because there are ways to repair so much about yourself just by being around the right people who treat you well and removing those people from your life who treat you poorly.
There is so much work to do! It's time to roll up your sleeves and get busy! Get out your journal. Take time to reflect and figure out who you are and why you do what you do. Seek support in your effort to become more conscious and deliberate in your life. Get a therapist. Find a support group. Make new friends. Start talking about what you're working on with trusted others. The journey is long and difficult, but the person you become will shine like the brightest star.

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