I have not met a single person that does not desire better for themselves. We are created with great potential to achieve great things. Everyone wants to succeed but then not everyone is willing to do what it takes to get there. All people that have had success in various areas of their lives will tell you that success does not come by accident. They will tell you that they had to change a number of things like how they talk, where they go, people they surround themselves with, what they consume and more. But how do you create change that lasts longer than a few days or weeks, when toxic or detrimental actions have become so habitual for you?

1. Invest in yourself

The best investment you will ever make is in yourself. It has the highest returns and you cannot put a price on it. Work harder on yourself more than anything else. I heard this quote that if you work hard on your job, you will make a living, but when you work harder on yourself, you can make a fortune. One way of looking at it is that growth is not an isolated period in your life, it is a way of life. So invest in reading material that will enhance your knowledge in whatever area, listen to audio material that teaches or encourages you, invest in healthy relationships, go to places that enrich you and find more and more ways of investing in yourself. Do this without fail and you will begin to see changes in various areas of your life. There is no finish line to personal growth so invest in yourself every opportunity you get.

2. Commit to building your confidence

Confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. If you are to attempt a risky venture or even go after your dreams, you will require confidence. Confidence is built over time. Little wins over time build your confidence and make you realize that you can indeed perform well in big tasks. However of you don’t commit to doing the little things, you will not trust yourself to do the big things. It is repeated little wins that give one the courage to go after the big things. Another thing that have been proven to raise people’s confidence is the way of dressing. Sloppy dressing is associated with lack of confidence. However you’d be surprised how making an effort in your physical appearance can boost your confidence. That quote by Marilyn Monroe that if you give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world is absolutely true for everyone. How you present yourself to the world affects how you feel about yourself which in turn determines how the world treats you. Also, develop positive self-talk and avoid at all costs talking down on yourself. Accept compliments and kind gestures when they are offered to you and believe that you deserve them.

3. Be grateful, consistently

I talk about cultivating the habit of gratefulness a lot. Have you been around people that constantly complain and highlight all the negative things about themselves, other people and various situations? Being around such people can be unbearable. Complaining is a huge marker in lack of confidence. Confident people will identify the most positive things about themselves, others and circumstances. This does not mean that they are ignorant of the setbacks but they have trained themselves to see the very best in people and situations. The act of giving thanks consistently has even been shown to relieve people of underlying psychological conditions because they developed a positive mindset. Persons who undertook various experiments on gratefulness also reported being happier and having great opportunities present themselves to them. Be intentional about being grateful and you will see the effects ripple into every area of your life.

4. Always Give

Giving is the act transferring something to someone else, from your possession to theirs. Giving not only benefits the person you are giving to, but can also be deeply rewarding for you too. People give to charity on a regular basis to support causes they believe in as well as for the positive effect it has in their own lives. After knowing that they have helped others, people who gave reported being hugely empowered, were happier and felt more fulfilled. Giving can be deeply gratifying. It makes you feel good and is a major mood-booster. It doesn’t just include material possessions but also intangible ones like kindness, compassion, support and more. Instead of seeing what you can get from others, see what you can give or offer to them. Look keenly and you will find that there are numerous opportunities that present themselves to you to give.

Lasting change is created through a shift in mindset and repetition. I hope these tips offer some guidance on how to begin creating change in your life and consequently the lives of others.

By Wanjiru Muhoro | Writer

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