The sneaky way self-improvement can actually be a form of self-abuse.
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Hello my friends. You know what? I'm starting to become allergic to the concept of self improvement. I am all for the evolution of myself and the evolution of the concept of myself. I am all for growing into new skills and awarenesses but I'm not all for doing it because I am bad or I need to do anything. I'm for doing it because I want to or because different versions of me will have different lives and maybe it is fun and interesting to evolve like that. but also, if I never evolved at all, it wouldn't be a problem. And this is an idea that I've been playing with because I've noticed something in myself. I've noticed that there will be something that I want, either it's a goal I want to achieve or it's a habit I want to stop doing. but I will feel a huge sense of impatience towards achieving that. Like I want it now and it's not happening fast enough. And then I get really frustrated and upset. And this kept happening over and over again. And so I was finally like, what is this? What is going on here? Why am I in such a giant hurry? And it was because in my mind, I imagined that my life would be better after I got there, wherever there was, right. And this is something that I do with my business all the time. I'm like, once I reach this certain milestone, then my life will be great. And I do it with my own fearful avoidant attachment patterns. I imagined that my life will be so much better if those were just gone and they weren't a thing anymore. And it was kind of like I was shitting on my current reality or on my current self. And of course that feels terrible. So instead of being like excited about creating results in my business or being compassionate for myself, in regards to my attachment patterns, I'm like Hurry the fuck up, bitch you're messing everything up here. And I was catching myself being mean to myself in regards to these areas of impatience. And that's when I realized that it would be better to stop trying to ever improve myself than it is to try and improve myself and use it as a means to abuse myself. I think in part that impatience was also coming out because I on some level was using these accomplishments, be it business milestones or the letting go of patterns, as a way to prove myself. As a way to finally feel good enough. Because I have the not good enough demon inside me. That never feels good enough. That constantly feels inadequate. And is always pushing to find the thing that will finally allow me to feel good enough. And now I've worked so much on self awareness and on mindset. I know this is false. I know there is no such thing as good enough that it's a completely arbitrary, made up, not even based in reality thing. but this demon is sneaky. If I am not paying attention, it will sneak these things in and it will be disguised as self improvement. Self improvement sounds so good. Our society praises self improvement. There's a whole industry built around it. My clients often come to me because they want to improve themselves. but improving ourselves so often is a subtle form of self abuse and self improvement, become self abuse when you are withholding self acceptance until you achieve the thing. It becomes self abuse when you hinge your self worth on that set improvement. Then it is no longer self improvement at all. Even the word improvement is problematic here for me because if you're improving yourself the premise behind that is that where you are at is bad. It feels like a judgment against where you're at or like a low key form of self hatred. I think a better word to use would be evolution, self evolution. Because things can evolve and there isn't an implied hierarchy that one evolution is better than another. There's less judgment inside of the word. And so I find myself needing to keep reminding myself that there isn't better than here. When I get there, I will not magically be a different person. I will not magically have no problems. There are no set of circumstances or achievements that could ever exclude us from the human experience. And the name for this constant chase of the next thing in psychology is called the hedonic treadmill and it is characterized by always feeling inadequate or unhappy with where you're at and always chasing the next thing promising that then you will be happy. But happiness is not a destination. It is a feeling that you create with the way that you think. And if you are always thinking about how there is better than here, you will never be happy. A mentor of mine likes to say that the destination feels like the journey. Whether you are building a business, losing weight, or letting go of old patterns, the way you feel while you are learning to do those things is the same way it will feel when you accomplish them. Because however you have conditioned your mind to behave is how it is still going to behave when you get there. And the way off of the treadmill is to take ownership of your mindset now. To recognize that happiness is available to you now. That happiness is a feeling produced by your thoughts and you do not need to wait until you have achieved x y z to feel happy. That you can achieve x y z and be happy while you are doing it. That you do not need x y z to be a worthy human being. You are already worthy. And you could do nothing for the rest of your life and still be a valuable part of our natural ecosystem just for existing. This is the path of peace. This is how to do self evolution without self abuse. Alright my friends, that's what I got for you this week. Until next time, be well