I've used, interchangeably, all the terms for this: self-help, self-improvement, the more professional sounding personal development.
It’s not self-improvement in the sense that anything about you is broken. Sometimes it might seem or feel like there’s something broken, or not right. But whatever those things are, they aren’t you. They are behaviors, expressions, identities you have, habits, or unresolved problems.
The key, the real key, is that everything you want to be, or do, is inside you. Peace, happiness, challenges and successes are all here - right now- inside yourself.
All you really have to do is set yourself free.
In which case, why even read this? Right?
Because you may not remember how to set yourself free. Or you may not know how to find what's inside you. If we consider this from the point of view of an eternal soul, it may be that you just need to remember. Not learn, nor discover. Or we could be on the "spiritual development" path and the need is to learn and discover. Or something else. What you do about it looks that same in any case.
Do exercises, and keep doing them.
Some parts might seem easy, some part might seem hard. You have probably been programmed, as with so many of us, to think that difficulty equates to importance. This isn't necessarily so, but that's okay. No need to conquer that first.
But if something does seem easy and success comes quickly, you might be tempted to assign it little importance. That programming we have, that it must be hard to be worth anything, strikes again.
Don't fall for it. Celebrate the easy successes as much as the difficult ones.
I do a lot of my writing in a coffee shop. Quite a few people who get into self-help reading groups or spiritual cooperative counseling use a coffee shop. In fact, in many personal development groups, the "coffee shop meetings" are where most of the real work gets done.
The coffee shop is a pretty free and stable space. It's also fast and a bit casual. We can lose our entire life be being too formal or regimented- especially with personal development. I'd rather do something casual and imperfect (but useful) than spend another 7 years preparing for the formalized academic adventure.
And so we have the Coffee Shop series on personal development. A bit more practical, a bit faster, and a bit less formal.