Self-Improvement Vs External Improvement

The first step to making your dream come true is that you’re willing, to be honest with yourself and stop lying on where you stand. For instance, I just remembered one of the many times I decided to be part of the whole fitfam movement. I actually sat down and did whole meal prep and researched on healthier options as a lifestyle. It was a lot of struggle and I kept telling myself I was doing the right thing even though I would always eat eggroll every now and then.

I asked several people and it turns out that I’m not the only one going through that and I can’t help but wonder why we lie to ourselves. It does not even have to be eating, just any aspect of life that you generally want to improve in and you’re not honest to yourself in order to know the extent to which you’ll put in work. It bothered me and led me to search about self-improvement and all that concerns it. Part of the research was to ask people to understand it from different perspectives. Here are some questions I asked and the replies I got from asking random people. 

  1. What is Self-improvement to you? 

Monica: The ability to make yourself a better person in whatever aspect of life. 

Akwe: To my mind, self-improvement basically means striving to continuously become better than my previous self. It may encompass reading a new book to improve my understanding of certain things or doing some exercises to improve my health 

Boni: For me, self-improvement means doing more than you did yesterday to get better results. 

Laura: For me, self-improvement means anything that wants to be improved is not perfect. And because no one is perfect, self-improvement is trying to be better at anything you’re not very good at or anything that you want to be better at. 

Ifeoma: Self-improvement to me means growth.  Setting and meeting goals.  

Omid al Fayed: Self-improvement to me means being better than I was yesterday. 

  1. When you hear the terms internal and external improvement, what comes to mind? 

Akwe: Both internal and external improvements are inextricably intertwined. This is because, in the grand scheme of things, they’re both important and necessary for an individual’s all-round growth. 

Internal improvement deals with intellect, emotions, level of positive thoughts which helps in our outlook about life in general. So, when these things are improved, it is said that internal improvement was carried out. 

On the other hand, external improvement largely deals with the exterior. Things people can mostly see. This may mean being physically fit, or perhaps improving on one’s dress sense. It all depends on what floats the person’s boat. 

Boni: Internal improvement to me means knowing and understanding oneself completely. “Man know thyself”. While external improvement means trying to get better outwardly, learning from people.  

Monica: Internal self-improvement means improving yourself psychologically, breaking bad habits, developing a healthy emotional intelligence and working on my confidence. 

While external self-improvement is all the outward focus on oneself. Involves getting rich, getting achievements. In general, I feel that internal improvement helps you to reach external self-improvement. 

Laura: Internal self-improvement refers to the struggle towards self-awareness and self-actualization 

External on the other hand is trying to be outwardly or externally better like trying to build your career and financial goals. 

Ifeoma: Internal improvement is the focus on my mind, heart and everything about me on the inside, my perspectives. 

External improvement means relating to the outside world. 

Omid al Fayed: Internal means when you’re trying to the best you can be by adding positive values to yourself. 

External means working on yourself externally. 

  1. Which one is of more value to you? 

Akwe: Like I pointed out above, they’re inextricably intertwined, and as such, it’s hard to place a price on either of the two because they’re extremely sacrosanct 

Boni: Internal improvement 

Monica: External self-improvement 

Laura: Internal improvement 

Ifeoma: Internal improvement 

Omid al Fayed: Internal Improvement 

  1. Why is it of more value? 

Boni: Internal improvement is of more value to me because that’s what I think of myself.  

Monica: I feel like, without gaols to achieve, you wouldn’t develop yourself and try to reach for the best 

Laura: Because for me, I believe that my state of mind determines everything. So, before anything can be done externally, it first has to start from within. 

Ifeoma: It is of more value to me because I can’t give what I don’t have. 

Omid al Fayed: It is of more value because, if your bad energy and negative vibe, you won’t actually be able to accomplish anything outside. 

  1. Do you think self-improvement is necessary? 

Monica: Yes, it is 

Boni: Yes, self-improvement is necessary 

Laura: Yes, it is. 

Ifeoma: It is very necessary 

Omid al Fayed: Truly necessary 

  1. Why? 

Monica: Self-improvement is necessary because nobody is perfect, new things always spring up and you can’t ever know It all. 

Boni: It is important because it makes you a better person in general with sufficient personality. 

        Laura: I believe that that there’s always space for improvement. 

       Ifeoma: Societies will never get better without trying to improve. 

      Omid al Fayed: Because it is always boring being the same person. Improvement makes you better. 

From the responses, we can see that the answers are quite similar. The summary of all this Is that improvement, in general, refers to becoming better at something or in a given field. 

 Sometimes when people talk about self-improvement, they’re really talking about acquiring some kind of success in the world. 

Maybe you keep doing what you’re doing, and you earn more money, make better friends, get in great shape and travel to exotic places. 

This kind of improvement is an improvement to what I’ll call your life situation. These are the assets you have that improve the quality of your life without necessarily changing who you are as an individual. That’s not self-improvement. It’s called external improvement. And a lot of times, we place all our attention to external improvement rather than on self-improvement.  

Although external improvement is important, self-improvement is the thing which is usually worth acting on. This is because any external improvement that doesn’t arise from self-improvement is from circumstances or factors outside your control. 

Winning the lottery may be great, but if you’re broke right now, that’s not a strategy to bank on. Instead, you need to put away more money, earn more and invest wisely, and that starts by changing your own behaviors, skills, and habits. 

If you want to be a CEO tomorrow, you don’t just wake up to that realization. You will need to put in work on yourself. Learning and unlearning habits and attitudes that are desirable or not. However, self-improvement involves being true to yourself. Hence, it is a gradual process.  

We all want to be rich and extremely successful. I’m certain everyone wants to be identified with winning and being the best at virtually everything. The challenge there is not the wish. Wishing is quite free. The main issue here is how hard you’re willing to work to become the person that deserves all that you wish for. Many times we completely ignore and forget the process and get to the endpoint. All that we want is possible if we’re willing to put in the work.