“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”-Ernest Hemingway
I used to have a distorted view on self-improvement. It was never truly about becoming a better version of myself, a lot of times it was to look better to everyone else. In my mind I always felt I had something to prove, like I was being judged or criticized.
But in growing and maturing, I came to the realization that the real definition of self-improvement is to better yourself for you. You would think I would’ve known that already seeing as how the word is self explanatory. But in actuality, we as humans tend to think this way. We have a tendency to want to improve so that way we can “look good” to someone else or society as a whole. We don’t always have the mindset of improving because we actually need to upgrade to a better version of ourselves.
I’m reminded of a friend of mine, who is amazing at his particular talent by the way, I mean, he is great. Great to the point where I would pay good money to view him showcasing his talent. But recently, he participated in an event where there were other individuals with the same talent as him and he was able to witness and take notes of these other individuals. In speaking with him afterwards he proclaimed, “watching those individuals makes me want to do better.” And it wasn’t in a sense where he wanted to do better just to show off or try to make himself feel superior to the next person but he knew he could be better and wanted to improve. He knew there was extra room for improvement on a talent that he has been praised for and has perfected his whole life.
How amazing is it that you know you’re already great at a skill, talent or task but in your mind, you say to yourself “I love doing this and I’m great at doing this, but I want to be better at it?”
How awesome is it to come to the realization that you’re not the only person out there who is great at a skill, talent or task but instead of cowering or criticizing yourself, you make the decision to possibly learn from other people and upgrade yourself?
You see, humans have a tendency to compare themselves to the next person. We have a tendency to automatically “shame” ourselves when we see someone who is “better” than us at something. I know I’ve done that before.
We have to stop doing that. We have to stop blocking ourselves from improving. We have to stop comparing ourselves to the next person. We have to stop shaming ourselves for not being where we want to be at this moment in time.
Self-improvement takes time but it is also beneficial. It’s beneficial to take a step back and re-evaluate yourself in becoming a better version of who you are and what you’re striving to be.
“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”-Zen Shin