For many people, improvements in confidence and self-esteem come directly from learning. As we learn, as we succeed and even as we fail, we grow. During a period of recovery, there’s a unique opportunity for new beginnings: to accept new challenges with an open mind, to meet new people and to become a stronger person. Naturally, it can be daunting to leave our comfort zones and try something new. But once the first step is taken, the improvements to our confidence and character can last the rest of our lives.
The Benefits of Learning New Skills
When we learn new skills, no matter how specific they are, it’s easy to undervalue the broader impact they have on our lives. As you hone your talent to reach a particular goal, you’re also learning other valuable skills along the way. Take the example of joining a woodworking class, with the aim of creating a wooden table. It may feel like you’re only going to learn about carpentry, but there’s a lot more to it than practicing with a hammer and saw. You’re also improving hand/eye coordination, practicing focus and perseverance, developing teamwork skills and even using math and geometry. You need these skills to build the table, but they’re also assets that will benefit you in life now and in the future.
Setting and Achieving Goals
A common trait of successful people is that they set goals. Whether it’s a small goal in the short-term or something much more ambitious, goals help us to focus our energy in a positive direction. Without a target to aim for, it’s easy to lose direction. In fact, it can be very hard to even begin the journey. We’ve all fallen into the trap of saying, “I’d like to do that one day” without ever committing to a goal. Making a phone call, attending an info night or even circling a date on your calendar can be the important first steps in your self-improvement.
The journey towards a goal is often more important than the final outcome. Whenever you move forward, even if it’s slowly, you are improving, growing and learning along the way.
If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds in an exercise class, you’re still a much healthier version of yourself by the time you’ve lost 20 pounds. If you take up further education, you may not pass every test, but the knowledge you’re gaining is still invaluable. It’s important to focus on the finish line, but to understand that every step is also moving you forward from where you started.
Social Interaction and the Value of New Relationships
When we reflect on how we first met our friends, it was often the result of joining a new social group. Whether it’s a job, a class, a sporting team or a hobby club, a common cause always helps to build new relationships. As human beings, we are social by nature. Through interaction and cooperation, we learn and draw strength from one another.
Joining new groups allows us to meet new people, improve our self-confidence and make new friendships that can last a lifetime.
It can be uncomfortable to join a new group. Perhaps you know a few people in the group or maybe you don’t know anyone at all. It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous trying something new in an unfamiliar setting. But self-improvement involves requires taking a step of faith into the unknown. As your confidence grows, there’s a wonderful sense of satisfaction waiting for you.
If you’re seeking some new direction in your life, think about something you’ve always wanted to do or get better at. Take a moment to ignore any self-doubt and focus purely on what it would feel like to achieve that goal. If you’ve been able to do that, you’ve already taken the very first step in a new journey.