Self-improvement is a human obsession. At one point in time or another, all of us try to become better in various areas of our lives. And yet, studies show as many as 96 percent of us fail at our self-improvement efforts. A great example is New Year's resolutions. Studies show 80 percent of all New Year's resolutions are abandoned by February. Why is it so hard to improve ourselves?

Self-Improvement Gets Sabotaged By What Lies Behind The "Curtain Of Personal Invisibility"

It turns out, our egos can be quite sneaky and evil when we're trying to improve ourselves. Because ego sees us as separate from everything else, it tries to shape our perception accordingly. This means it acts as a filter for everything we are exposed to. Our version of reality is slanted by our ego's agendas. More importantly, when attempting to learn new things our egos become naturally self-protective, setting the stage for our self-improvement efforts to fail.

Want To Succeed With Self-Improvement? Science Says Make It A Team Sport

Now that you know your ego is a formidable foe in your self-improvement journey, the solution is to get reinforcements. The big mistake most people make is assuming individual development happens...individually. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite our common cultural notion of "self" improvement, studies now show the most successful efforts to self-improve have other people at their core.

In short, if you want to win the game of self-improvement, you have to live by the mantra:

There's no "I" in team.

In fact, researchers suggest five ways you should use teamwork to dramatically increase your chances of success:

  1. Get outside feedback. Asking a few trusted individuals to provide you with some honest insight as to what you're going to need to change or do to succeed is important. You have to clearly hear and understand what it's going to take to transform yourself.
  2. Identify people to be accountable to. Studies show when you we articulate our commitment to self-improvement to someone and are required to give them regular updates on our progress, we are more likely to persevere in times when we want to give up because we don't want to feel the embarrassment of saying we quit. It's our way of manufacturing the grit we need to succeed.
  3. Connect regularly with people on the same self-improvement track. Self-improvement shouldn't be lonely. By spending time with people pursuing similar goals, you can discuss your set-backs, milestones, and breakthroughs with people who will validate and encourage you to keep going when you need it most.
  4. Build in time and capacity to practice new skills. There's a saying, "what got you here today, won't get you there tomorrow." Self-improvement usually requires us to build new skills and habits. Giving ourselves the ability to train these skills is vital to transformation.
  5. Hire a coach. Investing our money in getting help from proven professionals can greatly reduce the time it takes us to succeed. It can also make the journey less stressful and more exciting. Having a coach makes us feel someone is equally invested in seeing us succeed.

In summary, if you want to master self-improvement, stop going it alone. Don't let your ego win. And once you do succeed, pay it forward and find someone who needs a teammate to help them reach their goals too!