If you are anything like the rest of the population, there are times when you feel like you need to improve yourself.  While it's best to always strive to be better than we were the day before, we don't always live up to that ideal.  These tips on self improvement will not only help to get you out of a quick emotional rut, they can help you maintain a long-term positive outlook on every day life.

Avoid Shame-Causing Behavior

What is the single most contributing emotion to acting out?  Guilt, and it is driven by shame.  In order to keep from carrying guilt, refrain from doing things that cause you shame.  Inevitably, you will just be reacting to a previous outburst, and it will spiral from there.  If you are already caught in a downward spiral of self inflicted tirades, flip the script real quick.  There's an easy way to gain back  your self esteem, and it brings us to the next avenue you will travel to improve yourself.

To Get Self Esteem, Commit Estimable Acts

One of the best ways to recover from guilt (especially if it is a result of my having hurt another person) is to do something of kindness, and keeping it a secret.  All too often we do something nice for somebody and announce it for praise.  Doing something for somebody for the sheer purpose of doing something nice for somebody is a great source of nutrition for the soul.

Change Your Point of View from You to I

One of the largest motivating factors to the fueling of a heated debate is the use of attacking phrases like:  “You always...”

By changing the way we communicate, we are able to own our behaviors and actions, and leave others to be responsible for theirs.  By assuming responsibility for your actions, you are becoming a person with whom you would feel safe communicating.  That is very powerful, and it opens up a door for more avenues through which to gain self respect.

Establish Boundaries and Keep Them

You don't have to wait until you are completely 'fixed' before you put this rule into effect.  You have the right to decide what you will tolerate and that which you will not.  Having a high level of respect for yourself manifests positive outcomes in your own behavior, your relationships, and your professional success.

Say Thank You

It's not only polite to say , “Thank you,” in an exchange with another human being, it works wonders for the soul when used as a mode of gratitude.  Upon awakening, before bed, and at random times in the day.  Take time to look around and find out what you have that others don't.  Whether you believe in a higher power or not – or pray or not – makes no difference; because this isn't that.  Saying, “Thank you,” out loud in appreciation for the things that you have has a way of adding a new perspective to your outlook on your own life; thus adding more power in your quest to improve yourself.