It is one thing to have your moment of enlightenment on the self improvement path, but what I've discovered on my own journey is that you have to maintain that vision. I find I need to do this on a daily basis otherwise I start losing the ground I've achieved.
If you've decided to dedicate your life to continuing improvement, then maintenance is an essential basic. I look upon it as keeping myself topped up. It isn't enough simply to have had your moment of satori. The epiphany has to be maintained. It's the same with physical fitness. You decide to go to the gym and within a few weeks you start to see and feel an improvement. However, as you will know if you have a lapse and stop going, you quickly get out of shape again. You can liken it to car maintenance too. Forget to check the oil and one day you'll find yourself with a seized up engine. Fortunately in this case there is such a thing as a warning light on the dashboard.
To ensure that I keep myself maintained, there are certain rituals I do every day, like thinking positive thoughts and affirming. I find that I can very easily get tripped up with my buttons suddenly getting pressed and I find that I have gone into self sabotage or fallen into a hole of my own making. Because of my maintenance work I can quickly extricate myself from these feelings and situations and recover in less time than it used to take. More usually I can prevent the negative feelings taking a hold in the first place. It doesn't do to get smug though and think that you are now invincible.
The thing to do when negativity takes a hold, when you feel you've taken a backward step, is not to beat yourself up about it. Learn from the experience and move on. Don't berate yourself or tell yourself that you've failed, otherwise you'll just end up digging yourself into a bigger hole. Simply make the commitment to maintaining your daily good habits, your self help strategies and routines and feel yourself gradually getting stronger.
I'll be talking about many more techniques you can use in future posts, techniques that I have put into practice and made into daily habits or use frequently in order to keep myself functioning well.
One final thought. Don't feel that you have to have a moment of vision like the one I described in my first post. If you adopt some of the changes that I've suggested like using affirmations and the flipside technique then you will see changes in your life regardless of whether you've had a life changing insight or not.