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Self-improvement & Success – Stretch Yourself Challenge

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Everything that happens to us happens on purpose. And sometimes, one thing leads to another. Instead of locking yourself up in your cage of fears and crying over past heartaches, embarrassment and failures, treat them as your teachers and they will become your tools in both self-improvement and success.

Adversity helps self-improvements. A funny doctor makes laugh a sick child

Remember watching Patch Adams?

I watched it first because Robin Williams was one of my favourite actors. It’s one great film that will help you improve yourself. Hunter “Patch” Adams was a medical student who failed to make it through the board exams. After months of suffering in melancholy, depression and suicidal attempts – he decided to seek medical attention and voluntarily admitted himself in a psychiatric ward. His months of stay in the hospital led him to meet different kinds of sick people.

Patch met a catatonic, a mentally retarded, a person with schizophrenia, and so on. Patch found ways of treating his ailment and finally realised he had to get back on track. He woke up one morning realising that after all the failures and pains he has gone through, he still wanted to become a doctor. Adam carried with himself a positive attitude that brought him self-improvement and success. He didn’t only improve himself, but also the life of the people around him and the quality of life. Did he succeed? He became the best damn doctor his country has ever known.

When does self-improvement become synonymous with success? Where do we start?

  • Stop thinking and feeling as if you’re a failure because you’re not. How can others accept you if YOU can’t accept YOU?
  • When you see hunks and models on TV, think more on self-improvement, not self-pitying. Self-acceptance is not just about having nice slender legs, or great abs. Concentrate on inner beauty.
  • When people feel so down and low about themselves, help them move up. Don’t go down with them. They’ll pull you down further, and both of you will end up feeling inferior.
  • The world is a large room for lessons, not mistakes. Don’t feel stupid and doomed forever just because you failed on a science quiz. There’s always a next time. Make rooms for self-improvement.
  • Take things one at a time. You don’t expect black sheep to be goody-two-shoes in just a snap of a finger. Self-improvement is one day at a time process.
  • Self-improvement results in inner stability, personality development and SUCCESS. It comes from self-confidence, self-appreciation and self-esteem.
  • Little things mean BIG to other people. Sometimes, we don’t realise that the little things that we do like a pat on the back, saying “hi” or “hello”, greeting someone “good day” or telling Mr Smith something like “hey, I love your tie!” are simple things that mean so much to other people. When we’re appreciative about beautiful things around us and other people, we also become attractive to them.
  • When you’re willing to accept change and go through the process of self-improvement, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is. The world is a place where people of different values and attitude hang out.
Overnight success doesn't exist! Self-improvement will help it 

Image of a sign in the middle of the grass

What to remember?

Sometimes, even if you think you and your best friend always like to do the same thing together at the same time, she would most likely decline an invitation for self-improvement.
We should always remember that there’s no such thing as an ‘overnight success’. It’s ever a wonderful feeling to hold on to the things that you already have now.

A very nice quote says that,

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

― Tao Te Ching

We are all here to learn our lessons. Our parents, school teachers, friends, colleagues, officemates, neighbours are our teachers. When we open our doors for self-improvement, we increase our chances to head to the road of success.

One of the best ways to self-improve is to accomplish your goals. This can lead to pride, to self-respect and a better sense of responsibility.

There are a few tips to help you:

Recognise your path

When it comes to reaching your goals and improving your life, you need to be the leader. You are in control of what you want, and your goals should come down to you and you alone. Just because your Dad wants you to be a lawyer and your Mom wants you to have five children does not mean this is what you have to do- it’s your life, and thus, you are the boss.

Disassociate yourself from negativity

Positive thoughts lead to positive results; negative thoughts lead to negative outcomes. Negativity may be all around you- bitchy co-workers; unhappy neighbours; a depressing partner. Disassociate yourself from those types of people. You are in a happy, positive place- no negativity allowed.

Define your goals clearly

Goals are what make life worth living. Think long and hard about what you want to accomplish and how you are going to get there. Make steps, including financial costs and put in as much detail as possible- the more defined your goals are, the more comfortable they will be to achieve (and the more rewarding when you get there).

Use visual reminders as boosters

Being able to clearly see your goal can help motivate you and keep you focused on your game plan. Many people will post a picture of their’ dream body’ on the fridge when they are trying to lose weight. Others will use their ‘dream car’ as their computer screen saver at work when those tough days get them down. A visual reminder can boost your motivation and drive to succeed.

See yourself at the end- as mentioned above, visualisation is vital to reach your goal and improve yourself. Therefore, it’s important to visualise yourself there. See yourself fitting into that size 10. Feel the breeze on your cheeks as you drive that sports car. Seeing is believing.

Push jealously aside

When you watch someone on a parallel path reaching their goals a lot sooner, it can be hard to sit back and be happy for them. But this is what you will have to do. Getting rid of this envy and resentment is a big hurdle in improving yourself. But, once you overcome these feelings, you are a lot closer to reaching a state of Zen-like success.

Use timelines

Tracking your success can help you put your goal into perspective and see how far you’ve already come. It’s essential for self-improvement that you recognise your feats and be proud of what you have done, or are planning to do.

Reward yourself on the way

Be happy with your progress. Whether your goal will take you twenty days or twenty years doesn’t matter- the important thing is that you are doing it. You are getting there. To keep yourself motivated every step of the way, you need to reward yourself with small treats. Be proud of how far you have come and prepared for the journey ahead.

Look for role models

Look to those who are on the same path as you for inspiration. Perhaps this is the CEO of the company; maybe this is your father. Try to immerse yourself in their life and ask questions. Their positive energy may rub off on you. And, if not, at least you are learning from the experts how to get where you want to go.

Make room for failure

It can’t be a smooth road all the time- there has to be plenty of bumps along the way. It is these bumps that make the path worth travelling. Failure is a big part of our lives, and we need to learn to live, love and laugh at failure rather than give in to it. Henry Ford once said that every failed attempt is just another opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Failure is experience and experience is power.

So, now I hope all will help you with your self-improvement and reach your success. But, what if I tell you that I have one more simple things that can help you? Yes, something that will definitively change everything?

Kelly McCausey is the owner of Love People + Make Money. She is a blogger, podcaster, designer and much more. Every year, she helps people just like you and me to reach our goals, improve ourself one step at the time.

I dare you to join in the Stretch Yourself Challenge today! You will have the choice to pick one challenge or more to move your business forward. I promise that you won’t be left asides, there are 15 challenges on offer!

With a little work, in 30 days, you will feel a different person! Just click the picture below right now!
The challenge is with FB live every year in September. You can do it in your own space for the rest of the year. If you need someone to support you, let me know and book a free call here.

Do you think your friends would receive value from this article? Please share it! I also made it easy for you to pin it!

Woman jumping in the air - Self-improvement


With over 17 years of experience, Sabrina Viot delivers confidence and clarity to her clients with digital strategies that are best suited for them and their business goals. These strategies are cherry-picked for them to help them increase revenue and reduce workload on “autopilot”. She is specialised in creating automated systems that generate leads and sales for service providers, digital products, and course creators. While she can work her magic with any industry, she’s especially great with coaching, wellness, health & fitness, and food industries.

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Kristin Lohmeyer

    How can others accept you, if you can’t accept you….oh so true!! We are so hard on ourselves when we mess up or fail but we really need to see it as a chance to start all over again, and be even better than before 🙂

    And making room for failure…..yes! We need those failures to teach us and move us forward and prepare us for future success 🙂

    Love love love your post Sabrina! Good luck on the rest of the challenge!

  2. Rosie Battista

    YES! Overnite success take years and years. Your post is full of wonderful nuggets of inspiration. Thank you Sabrina!

  3. Meredith Eisenberg

    Yes – I remember Patch Adams (it has been a LONG time!) – what a great movie about growth mindset. As a fellow challenger in the Stretch Yourself challenge – I think your tips (especially about working through the “failure” are very helpful. Good luck this month!

  4. Teresa Miller

    So much good stuff in this post! I really like the way you break down the goals process, with mindset and attitude issuse as well as ways to find incremental successes along the way. And the Tao Te Ching quote is one of my favorites. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Kelly

    You have shared great insights Sabrina! I have rarely felt truly jealous but sometimes it has come up when I see what someone else is doing – and yes, I push it aside and look for ways to be inspired by them!

    I’m so glad you’re part of the Stretch Yourself Challenge – I hope you inspire many to STRETCH!

  6. Sabrina

    Thank you, Teresa! I believe that we are all close to our successes. Our teacher is right around the corner.

  7. Sabrina

    Thank you, Meredith! Working on our failures to learn and grow is a fantastic way to measure our progress without feeling ashamed.

  8. Sabrina

    Thank you, Rosie!! Glad you found this post helpful!

  9. Sabrina

    Thank you, Kristin.
    All the best for the challenge to you too and more to come after it. Its years of successes!!

  10. Shannon Smith

    I love how you expanded on the idea of stretching with great advice and tips.

  11. Sabrina

    Thank you, Shannon 🙂 Glad you found some inspiration.

  12. Sabrina

    Thank you, Kelly. I much appreciate your comments.
    Jealousy is a hard internal fire to extinguish; being able to use his power to move forward, and get inspired is a great victory

  13. Tara

    This is an excellent post — very rich with content. Great tips and ideas to help us tackle anything we have ahead for us. Very inspirational to me!

  14. Benecia Ponder

    This post is power packed with so many amazing nuggets. I love it! I’m looking forward to seeing your accomplishments this September!

  15. Stephanie Watson

    Lots of good stuff in your post. It’s true that if you cannot toot your own horn or think of yourself as a success it’s going to be hard to get others to see you that way. Part of these challenges, that makes them so awesome is you can see how your gift to the world is not something to hide or be ashamed of but to talk about it and not be afraid to sell it. I think this post really sells it and puts it all together very well.

  16. Sabrina

    Hey, Stephanie
    Thank you for your nice feedback. Yes, our gifts are awesome, and just waiting to be shared!

  17. Sabrina

    Thank you, Benecia!
    Im glad you found useful nuggets. Im looking forward to your accomplishments too!

  18. Sabrina

    Thank you, Tara!
    I’m glad you found this post inspirational! Wishing you lots of successes to come.

  19. Joyce Dias

    Your post is loaded with so much good advice that I will want to ponder on and return to again and again. Thank you Sabrina! You are a Gooood Witch!

  20. Kat Sturtz

    Hi Sabrina! Enjoyed reading your post. Greased my thinking wheels. 🙂

  21. Tish Lee

    I really enjoyed your post, Sabrina. So many things you said resonated with me, but I loved this:

    “Stop thinking and feeling as if you’re a failure because you’re not. How can others accept you if YOU can’t accept YOU?”

    Amazing what positive things start happening once YOU accept YOURSELF. For me, it drastically changed my life and my biz!

    The one thing, in your post, I struggle most with is the define your goals clearly. I have a basic idea of what my goals are but I don’t put a lot of time or effort into breaking it down into smaller bite size goals… would really like to change this.

  22. Melissa Brown

    Great post with lots of true nuggets of inspiration here, Sabrina. I love the Patch Adams reference. As a retired physician, I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine and Patch brought that to his patients and the world. Thank you for your post and for sharing your wisdom.

  23. Sabrina

    Hi, Melissa
    Thank you very much!! Laughter has always been a great friend to me in many situations!

  24. Sabrina

    Hey, Trish
    Happy to hear that you started to accept yourself and it worked out for you.
    About defining goals, I believe that most of people struggles, included me because we don’t look at them in the way our brain will focus adequately.
    Most of the time, we focus on the outcome, like losing weight, when the real brain motivator should be the value that is attached to it. We also miss creating a process that will move us to reach the goal.

  25. Sabrina

    Thank you, Kat!! Glad it helps you.

  26. Sabrina

    Hahaha, thank you, Joyce!!
    You’re welcome to come back any time!

  27. Brook Packard

    This is such a great post, Sabrina! Thank you. The “bullet points” would make for a fantastic infographic or a separate PDF download. They are truth bombs!

  28. Sabrina

    Thank you, Brook. This is such a great idea. Thanks a million for that.

  29. Loretta

    Thank you for sharing the journey and the inspiration here. I’m really enjoying seeing what everyone is doing for the SYC, so much excitement and joy and creativity happening in the Facebook group and on everyone’s blogs 🙂

  30. Sabrina

    Thank you, Loretta. The energy in the NYC group is amazing!

  31. Rena Tucker

    WOW, what a helpful post, Sabrina! You provided SO much value! I feel like I just got a private coaching session from a guru! Seriously, as a seeker of inner peace, I appreciate that you took the time to provide us practical advice on how to improve ourselves and become healthier, happier, more successful people. You ROCK!!!

  32. Sabrina

    Thank you very much, Rena. I greatly appreciate your feedback;and truly glad that it’s helpful to you. All the best with your September challenges.

  33. Lynn Leusch

    So many great insights shared here. Thank you for some validating ways to help us stretch and challenge ourselves. Lot’s of wisdom here.

  34. Karin Crompton

    Man, what a meaty post! SO much great info in here. Also, I need to watch Patch Adams again; it’s been years! I also love the idea of zen-like success. So many ways to use that, whether it’s watching what others do (for me it’s been more about comparison than jealousy … I think), or to stay chill when we accomplish something ourselves. Not too high, not too low. Anyway, I’m looking forward to doing the challenge with you this month! Best of luck!

  35. Wow, so many words of wisdom here! I haven’t seen Patch Adams, but not I feel that I should. It is so true that when we STRETCH ourselves out of our comfort zone, we have the ability to impact others in a positive way. I have to remember that I deprive others of my gifts when I don’t stretch myself. Here’s to rocking this challenge and beyond!

  36. Renee Cohn Jones (aka Jalapena the Clown)

    Oh my goodness! I was so pleased to see the first picture (Robin Williams) – I went to Russia with the real Patch Adams! You wrote a wonderful post and provided so much value and so much to think about! It’s true – overnight success takes years!
    Thank you for sharing ALL of this and for taking me down memory lane with smiles! 🙂

  37. Sabrina

    Lynn, I’m glad that this post will help you to stretch! Thank you for reading.

  38. Sabrina

    Thank you for passing by, Karin! This month is going so beneficial for so many of us!

  39. Sabrina

    Thank you for your kind words, Julie. Positively impact someone’s else life is powerful! One thing I try to keep in mind all the time: if at least one person benefits of my sharing, it’s a win!

  40. Sabrina

    It’s so awesome to meet someone who works with the real Patch Adam and to accomplish such a great impact on children’s life. I’m very grateful you shared this experience with me. All the best with #SYC.

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