U For Upgrade
U For Upgrade
Nowadays, the moment you mention the word upgrade people think of gadgets; getting the latest iPhone or Samsung, getting the latest MacBook or Dell laptop; getting the latest home theatre with the best surround, or getting the last model of your favorite ride. That’s what people think about when the word upgrade is mentioned. You will hardly hear people talking of upgrading themselves, unless it is in relation to buying some fancy gadget to show off.
But speaking of upgrade, what does the word mean?
According to my usual online dictionary, it defines upgrade as: “to raise (something) to a higher standard, in particular improve (equipment or machinery) by adding or replacing components”. It also says, “an improved or more modern version of something”
With this definition in mind, then it suffices to say that self-upgrade means raising yourself to a higher stand, or having a more improved version of yourself. That last part there sounds like my favorite exit line in every one of my articles. i.e. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be. This simply means continuously upgrading yourself.
So, now that you are not a computer and neither are you a work or home station, how do you upgrade yourself?
I thought about this and came up with about 4 areas to consider when upgrading yourself as follows:
Your standards – You don't need to be ISO certified to upgrade your standards. Upgrading your standards simply means raising your expectations and demanding more from yourself and from those you choose to surround yourself with. This means making a decision to stop being average, and having zero tolerance for anything that resembles mediocrity – eg. Procrastination, unproductivity or "excusitis" – this is a syndrome where someone finds an excuse for everything. Some people are so good at giving excused you might think they have a PHD in excusitis. Anyway I digress...
So, how do you upgrade your standards? There is what you have to do!
1.List all the things (could be habits, beliefs, behaviors) that you will no longer accept from yourself.
2.List all the things you will no longer tolerate from others.
3.List all the things you desire to become.
For you to become those things you will list on your desire list, you have to work on list one and two. How do you do this?
For list one, put a personal development plan to work on the things you will no longer accept from yourself, and have a proper way of monitoring and measuring your progress. Remember, what's not monitored cannot be measured. One of the ways to effectively do this is by having a mentor. Pay the price of having a mentor and reap the benefits of transformation.
As for the things you will no longer tolerate from others, find a polite way of telling the people who have been doing those things so that they can know your stand. If they don’t take you seriously, then that’s your cue to determine how important those relationships are to you, which leads me to the other item on the upgrade list.
But before I move on to the next item on the list, I need to remind you that unless you believe you can upgrade your standards, you will never be able to do so. Believe and you shall become.
Your relationships – non-progressive, parasitic and toxic relationships will drain you faster than you can ever imagine. If you can disengage yourself from such please do so like your life depends on it; actually your life depends on it because your relationships can either make you or break you. I once wrote an article on this very blog about toxic relationships. Todate that article has been read close to 13,000 times. You can read it here.
If you are in a situation where you can do little about particular relationships, then find ways of giving those kind of people as little power as you can.
How do you limit their powers?
- Set firm boundaries with the people you work with or relate with.
- Refuse to accept negativity from anyone regardless of who they are or what role they play in your life.
- Disengage yourself from people and relationships that hold you back instead of propelling you forward.
- Avoid people who disrespect you in any way.
- Distance yourself from people who think they are God’s gift to mankind, you know those people who think and tell you that you can’t survive without them? Run away from such people.
I strongly believe that the people we surround ourselves with should always be excited about our progress, and so when they behave otherwise, that’s a cue to drop them like hot coals because figuratively speaking, they are hot coals that will burn you soon.
Your beliefs – I discovered that our belief system is like a set of commands that is inculcated in us that tells us how things should be. They even go to a point of telling us what is possible and what is not, what we can do and what we cannot do. Our beliefs are so powerful that they shape our every thought and every feeling we experience.
For instance, for several years I grew up being told that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, something that actually made me hate kitchens. But as I got older, I started questioning this belief and eventually concluded that it was completely misguided. Who said she can’t be a mean chef in the kitchen, an iron lady in the boardroom, then later sweet and tender in the bedroom? Why confine a woman to the kitchen? Sometimes I wonder what the person who came up with that belief system was thinking. Such beliefs have been very limiting especially to the African girl child.
Another belief is that as long as someone is a man you command respect. Wow! Newsflash – respect is earned dude not deserved. You want anyone’s respect, and especially my respect, then prove to me you deserve it. You don’t behave like a nincompoop in my view and expect respect from me. Regardless of how many levels above me you are, or how advantaged you are in comparison to me, show me how to treat you, and I’ll treat you that way. You want my respect? Earn it. It’s that simple, otherwise a relationship upgrade is in the offing.
Your mindset – I think I should have started with this one. I believe it is the foundation of everything. Remember yesterday when I talked about Transformation and I said transformation has to start from the mind? Today I am giving you tips on how to transform your mind by transforming your mindset.
I have come up with 6 important things you need to address if you will ever change your mindset:
- Change your self-talk – the stuff you say to and about yourself is a direct reflection of your state of mind. If you keep thinking to yourself, “I don’t deserve this; I am slow; I’ll never change my circumstances” and many such things, then you need a quick upgrade. It is so important to be mindful of what you think about yourself because your inner you is listening! What you probably don’t realize is that your thoughts become your words and your own words are more dangerous than anything negative anyone might ever have said to you. You need to learn to talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you deeply love. Be gentle and kind to yourself. If you are wondering how, please listen to this episode on self love or read the full article on the same topic here.
- Mind your language – then there’s what you say and confess with your own mouth. My favorite book says, “you shall eat the fruit of your mouth”, meaning what you say is a seed you are sowing, which you will eventually reap. Question is, what kind of fruit will you reap? Stop confessing negative stuff about yourself and start using your mouth wisely by confessing positive stuff only. You can create a list of positive affirmations to start with, those will help you learn how to mind your language.
- Break all your personal mental blocks – remember the beliefs I talked about earlier? Those beliefs create unseen mental blocks that stop us from being the best we can. For instance, even if it is true that you come from a poor family, who said that you must be poor yourself? You can choose to break that mental block and actually rescue your family from poverty. You can choose to reset your family’s financial situation by breaking the scarcity mentality in your mind. That scarcity mentality is a mental block.
- Surround yourself with people that match your desired mindset – If you want to change your financial situation, then keep the company of people who are financially free and savvy. If you want to change your mindset about health and wellness, surround yourself with people whose lifestyles depict this. Surrounding yourself with people who have what you desire will help you learn practically what you need to do in order to attain what you want, which is basically what they already have. You want to fly like an eagle? Then stop hanging out with chicken.
- Create habits that align with your desired mindset – if you continue doing what you have been doing, then you will only get the results you have been getting. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you don’t want us to think you are insane, then change what you are doing so that you can get the results you desire. If you want to lose weight, then create habits that align with losing weight. If you want to be financially free, then create habits that align with financial freedom. A new mindset can only be created through new habits.
- Become uncomfortable in your comfort zone – if you want to change your mindset, you need to step out of where you are comfortable. Stretch yourself. Challenge yourself. For instance if you can only plank for 30 seconds, try adding 15 seconds the next time you plank. If you can only wall-sit for 60 seconds, try pushing yourself to 120 seconds. I actually tried this yesterday and I managed to do it. It felt great being able to do that because now I know my limit is no longer 60 seconds.
And there you have it. I believe if you were to do all the things I have shared here today, your upgrade will be amazing. Re-read this article as many times as you can. Download and listen to its episode on my podcast as many times as you can.
I am convinced that if we all took the initiative to upgrade ourselves as often as we upgrade our gadgets, we would have better minds, better bodies, better hearts and better lives. I also believe the world would be a better place to live in, a world without pandemics like covid-19.
It is my sincere hope that you will choose to upgrade yourself today.
Be ignited. Be inspired. Be influenced. Upgrade yourself to become the best version of yourself you can ever be. God bless you. Stay safe and stay sane.