The key to Self Improvement

If you don’t train your dragon, self sabotage will smash all your self-improvement progress in no time. Your dragon is part of your inner self.

Self Improvement is improving oneself through one’s own efforts. Many improve the quality of their lives in various dimensions including finances, physical appearance, personal life, professional skillset etc. Self-improvement is the process of paying attention to our needs and attending to them with effort and discipline.

Have you had a streak of development which was interrupted by something unexpected and it derailed your progress. Did it demotivate you from making continued progress?

You are not alone.

Many of us engage in mindless self-sabotage that stop us from leaving our default state, our comfort zone if you want to call it that. Very few of us get lucky and make sustained progress. Self sabotage, is us getting on our own way, hindering our progress.

Self sabotage is the work of our dragon. Our dragon is within us, deep and comfortable. We leave it alone because disturbing the dragon disturbs us, the dragon is clumsy and reckless when it is woken, so we like it better when it is comfortably sleeping. No one likes clumsy and reckless including the dragon and it knows that it is such. Hence it is an amplifying feedback of clumsy and reckless unless we help the dragon get over its clumsiness. Its recklessness can be managed too.

Imagine a huge fire-breathing dragon. Not when it is angry, just when it is normal.

Red Dragon, a metaphor of our passion & talent.

Do you see how huge it is and it could use longer legs to walk more gracefully with balance? Of course with short stumpy legs it has to practice walking with grace, while flying comes more naturally as it has huge wings. So the dragon is comfortable flying or sleeping/resting; not so sexy when walking.

This dragon is your skills, your passions and your awesome abilities.

It has be nourished and trained sufficiently to be of use. Unless the dragon knows what it is doing, it won’t be comfortable. To get comfortable, it has to practice and practice involves making clumsy mistakes.

Overcoming clumsy mistakes takes encouragement and patience.

But the problem is we are trained for impatience and wrongly consoled from a very young age. We are not encouraged to improve but we are encouraged to give up. If a child is uncomfortable presenting a bad drawing or a poor performance, we appreciate the poor performance without giving constructive feedback. Or even worse, we reinforce to the child that they are not very good at it and advice the child to work on other things they are good at.

While working on strengths is a good idea, creating limiting beliefs is not.

We create so many limiting beliefs around ourselves which constrains the dragon. The dragon has little to no room to practice using its disproportionately small legs. So the dragon chooses to rest and relax. In other words, become used to the belief that it has nothing to do in the little place and believe that it is useless. While this belief irritates the dragon, it also takes comfort in the idea that it can rest.

The natural state of the dragon becomes the rest state, its comfort zone. The dragon is also irritable, reactive and defensive in this state because it feels confined. But we need the dragon’s fire to purse our goals and often it is about leaving the comfort zone.

We make a sincere effort when we are inspired, usually deep inspiration strikes once a year or so. Deep inspiration is rare and so are opportunities that allow that inspiration to fuel action. When we latch on to this inspiration and make progress, the dragon’s deep slumber is disturbed and it becomes increasingly aware that we are drawing more fire from it and it wakens. Instead of understanding the need of the hour, the dragon in its sleepy state, only thinks about going back into the comfort zone. So it swats away the need for more fire. The new need, asking for more of the dragon’s fire is our progress made with the the initial inspiration.

Self sabotage occurs.

The dragon uses its mighty tail to swat away the little pesky progress asking for more fire.

How to train the dragon to provide just enough fire when we need it? How can we get the dragon to walk and not fly? Because we are not ready to fly with the dragon yet, we only want it to walk. The time for flight is in the future. How can we get our dragon to walk with us and provide fire?

The answer is to give the dragon more space. By reducing the number of limiting beliefs that boxes the dragon in a tiny little dungeon. Imagine a dragon that is happy in an open space with waterfalls and trees and blue skies; as opposed to a dragon stuck in a dark dungeon.

Happy dragon listening gracefully

The happier dragon is confident of its abilities and is ready to provide. Its mind is free and relaxed, it is ready to listen to you.

Providing the dragon more space to walk, fly and sprawl is by developing your skills. A versatile skillset is the metaphor to the dragon’s space. The more skills you have under your belt, the more confident you are and more willing you are to pick up newer skills. The best part is, you don’t have to be a master in all your skills, just average is enough. Average ability in many skills is an under rated aspect much required for life. An average level of expertise in many kinds of skills is much more useful that an excellent ability in only one thing.

The world is ruled by average and the majority is average.

So, start training your dragon today for it to be ready to fuel your inspiration when it strikes. Don’t let the dragon’s self sabotage tail swat away your progress, dragging you back into the dungeon of comfort zone which you so want to leave behind.

Begin with understanding your dragon, your deep passions, buried skills and unrecognised or ignored talent. Discover your skills, enable the life within and feel at home within yourself. When you recognise your talent confidently, the world will follow your lead and reward your skills.

If you are inspired to make friends with your dragon, but are feeling unsure; use TooledUp.Quest to help you succeed and pursue opportunities.

TooledUp.Quest is your personal dashboard that helps you manage your mindset and enables your dragon by minimising limiting beliefs.

TooledUp.Quest like an accountability partner, helps you take a reality check of your beliefs versus your true abilities.

For more on self sabotage — listen to Steven Pressfield and Tim Ferriss.

For a comprehensive list of articles on self-improvement, head to James Clear’s article.

For a crispy ideas on self-improvement, read Tony Robbins.

For daily support enabled by technology, signup to TooledUp.Quest.



Im the founder of StableDragon, your Accountability Partner in a Dashboard.

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Lakshmi for Intentional Humans

Im the founder of StableDragon, your Accountability Partner in a Dashboard.