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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

Why Constant Self-Improvement May Be Bad Sometimes

Why Constant Self-Improvement May Be Bad Sometimes

Our ability to grow into more than what we currently are is truly one of the defining traits of human existence. It is the foundation of most of our ambitions, dreams, and drives. Without it, the human race would never make significant steps forward. Learning how to engage in constant self-improvement and personal development is something that has enabled us to take ourselves and the entire human race to higher levels.

However, as with any activity, it can be overdone. There are downsides when you engage in too much personal development and constant self-improvement. That is what we’re going to discuss today—how constant self-improvement can, at times, harm us.

Where Does Our Need for Self-Improvement Come From?

Although self-improvement and personal development, in general, are excellent things to seek out in our lives, when overdone, they can begin to take a negative toll.

Think about why the vast majority of people engage in personal development. It’s often because they feel as though they aren’t currently enough, or that they could be more, or that something is wrong with them.

Whatever your reason is, it’s important to retain positive feelings towards yourself. This is because constant self-improvement can sometimes reinforce the idea that there are many things wrong with us or that we’re not good enough, so we need to force ourselves to improve.

And if you’re continually trying to improve simply because you believe something is wrong with you or because you’re not good enough, you may begin taking yourself down a negative road.

There is a massive difference between being realistic about yourself and saying, “I am not good at this particular thing, but I can get better if I keep trying” and saying “I need to get good at this thing because otherwise, I have no value.”

So, keep an eye on your mindset throughout this process. Because, yes, self-improvement is good in moderation while constant self-improvement can at times reinforce some negative mindsets.

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Don’t let your insecurities come into play, at least not too significantly. Don’t start saying things like, “when I accomplish this, then I’ll be good enough to have real value.” Those are dangerous phrases to include in your self-take in regards to your mental health.

This type of harsh and overly critical self-evaluation can form the foundation for many negative emotions and personal issues that we develop in our lives.

Don’t allow yourself to eventually dislike the person you see in the mirror because you’re constantly not meeting the increasingly higher standards that you’re setting for yourself. The scary part of constant self-improvement is that many of us do, at one point or another, fall into this trap.

You Always Have Potential

Here is something that I want you to take to heart.

When you begin to feel yourself falling into the trap of constant self-improvement because you’re not enough, repeat the phrase, “I may not be good enough, but I have the potential to get myself to where it is that I want to be.”

You should never feel unworthy. You always have value. You are always capable.

Remember that any change you want to make in your life is voluntary. You are in control of how your life goes. Very few changes we make to our lives are mandatory.

So, stop being overly harsh on yourself. Remember that we are human, and 100% of humans have flaws and make mistakes.

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It’s important here to make sure that engaging in constant self-improvement isn’t preventing you from accepting yourself.

It’s important to retain your self-care practices as that self-acceptance is one of the most valuable personal traits you can ever develop on your path to self-improvement.

Don’t Set Unrealistic Ideals and Live Your Own Life

Another trap you can find in a lot of personal development books is setting massive goals—the “if your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough” mentalities.

For some of us, this might be okay. However, if you constantly set massive goals, live up to unrealistic standards, and have unachievable expectations for yourself, chances are eventually your drive is not only going to fade, but it’s going to turn negative.

Don’t get into the trap of trying to lead an unattainable lifestyle. Because that is where constant self-improvement can get dangerous because inevitably, we will fall short of the mark.

That being said, don’t let anybody tell you what’s realistic and what isn’t. You have to take the time to reflect on what a realistically achievable and positive life means to you.

Don’t go out and try to live the ideals that some book or motivational speaker told you to do. They are paid to say those things—to say what is popular because that’s how they build audiences.

You need to live YOUR ideals, not theirs.

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Practice the Attitude of Gratitude

Here is something else that I’ve noticed in a lot of people who don’t fully understand personal development. When they are engaging in constant self-improvement because they believe there is something better out there, they get selfish, and obviously, that’s not a good thing.

Don’t let this practice devalue the amazing things that you’ve already done and accomplished with your life.

Sure, there is always more out there. You could be the more productive, smartest, and most efficient person that this world has ever seen and live that way for 100 years, and there would still be more out there when you die at the end of your life.

Don’t get so caught up “trying to get more” that you forget to appreciate the things you already have.

Don’t fall for the trap that just because your life or a situation isn’t perfect right now that means that it can never be fixed or improved and that you should abandon it entirely for something else.

Don’t become obsessed with the mentality that your life always has to be perfect and that you always need more because if you live that way, inevitably you’re going to end up disappointed.

It was Victor Frankl, psychiatrist and best-selling author of Man’s Search For Meaning who suggested that success should never be our sole goal, instead, he believes that:

“Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”

The Takeaway

If you want to engage in constant self-improvement, then be my guest. But be careful.

Make sure you never begin to adopt the mindset that you’re doing it to fix yourself or because you’re broken. Remember, you’ve done a lot of amazing things already and you’re simply looking to improve on some of the accomplishments you’ve already achieved.

Also, remember to be realistic. No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be good at everything. But just because you aren’t good at something right now doesn’t mean that you don’t have the potential to get good at it.

And more than anything, remember that you need to accept yourself. Never let this constant self-improvement lower your opinion of yourself. You’re doing this so you can be more impactful in your everyday life and so that you can develop a stronger understanding of yourself.

Best of luck!

More About Proper Self-Improvement

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

When you apply what you’ve learned about yourself in your day-to-day, you’re setting yourself up for achieving success. There are many ways to develop and grow as a human.

Personal growth is a divine transcendence involving the physical, mental and emotional aspects of ourselves. To me, challenges act as a passageway or path toward greater awareness and a better understanding of your self — the self which is multilayered, dynamic and complex and demands (but resists) change.

Personal growth, however, is bigger than simply changing. If you’ve ever experienced losses or setbacks in your life which forced you to rebuild, that is one way to identify and evaluate the inner workings your self.

You don’t have to go through a major devastation to begin the process of personal growth. All you need to do is take the time to identify where you’re at, especially mentally, which can open many doors you might never have thought were possible to open.

A family member sent me a three-minute and thirty-five-second video on YouTube that changed the way I think, perceive, and respond to life situations. In the video, you’ll learn how to locate yourself mentally by asking the question: “where am I?” It might sound silly, but really, if you think about where you are, you’ll get a sense of how you’ve been navigating in the world and perhaps why you’re not making the progress you’d like, whether in your personal life or career.

Many people are wired to thrive on ego and reject anything that threatens their ego. In fact, our brains often struggle to detect a real threat from a threat to our ego (which you’d know already if you watched the quick video). If you are close-minded or functioning below the line, you’re not allowing personal growth to manifest. Instead, you may think, well, I don’t need personal development or growth. I’m perfect and everything is figured out.

What you might not realize is that personal growth is happening on a daily basis. Each day, things are unraveling and unleashing all around you for the sole purpose of teaching you something or to make you take (healthy) action.

As of recently, I underwent a life-altering mindset shift after I assessed where I was at. I recognized bad habits and things that I needed to work toward and shift. The way we think, whether you accept this or not, influences our actions which thus becomes our behaviors. These behaviors may even induce our daily habits, good, bad or indifferent.

Identifying where you’re at mentally is even more important than asking the question, “what do I want?” You won’t likely get what you want out of life if you’re too close-minded and not willing to improve areas in your life. The biggest challenge I faced was recognizing and being mindful of the ways I was functioning on a mental and emotional level.

This year has been, I thought, an awful year; the worst of my life. Six months ago, I felt that I’d lost everything. In recent weeks, this mindset shift occurred when I began painting again for the first time in quite a few years. I’d concluded that in life, what’s meant to come apart will and if something isn’t meant to manifest, it won’t.

Life can often feel like a series of chaotic events that you can’t control. But in this chaos, something is trying to take a new shape. And that something is you.

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The only control we have is how we think and respond to the things happening around us. Our actions are an extension of our thoughts. How we think determines more than you may realize.

I put to the test, on myself, to try and be more open-minded to new things and experiences. This experiment led me to finally finish yet another novel I’d written and produce the kind of artwork I’d always dreamed of producing. And, this new openness also directed me towards getting the job of my dreams.

So, here are the 10 ways to step up your personal growth for success.

1. Establish an Effective Morning Routine

Morning routines are a great way to develop new and healthy habits. The most successful people wake up way before 8:00 in the morning. If you want you to start your day off on the right foot, sleeping in until the eleventh hour won’t help.

Beginning your day with ease and moving slowly will guarantee smoother transitions throughout the day. Even if you have a chaotic job, how you greet a new day determines a lot.

Statistics now say that a morning routine, which may involve accomplishing personal goals like making your bed or doing an exercise regimen, improves your mental and emotional health immensely, by a large percentage.

Create the ultimate morning routine to accelerate your personal growth and you will see greatness unfolding all around you.

Take reference of this Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day.

2. Establish an Enriching Evening Routine

Evening routines are just as important. My evening routines consist of journaling, meditating or doing some meditative artwork while listening to interesting music.

At the end of every day, after dinner, I write out what I accomplished and what still needs attention. Doing this increased my success because it inspired me to do more, create more and always be engaged in something positive.

After three weeks, I found myself producing about forty paintings, finishing edits on a book project, and completing some overdue tasks.

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Here’s a guideline on how to build a night routine: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

3. Spend at Least 15 to 20 Minutes a Day Reorganizing and Cleaning

A clean office, workspace, or home is the best way to achieve self-efficiency.

A video on Netlix I watched about minimalism influenced me to implement that in my home and work. Minimalism is extremely beneficial for your mental, emotional and even physical health and well-being. A tidy space allows one to move freely and accomplish a lot. It can even be inspiring.

As an artist, a polished space inspires me and promotes calmness. In turn, this mental clarity allows me to work without distractions and interruptions, ensuring a nice flow.

Inspiration and influence drive creativity and working in a dreadfully messy and chaotic environment will hinder and impede your ability to finish tasks. Organization is a big part of personal growth and will set you up for success and achieving a great deal of work.

4. Consider Time-Blocking

Time-blocking is the best time management tool out there.

I am a creative individual and enjoy doing many things including painting, drawing, sewing, photography, and writing. These activities are my lifestyle and passions. Without them, I feel like something is missing. And yes, I do a lot each day. So, time-blocking keeps me in check and disciplined. If I set aside three hours in the morning to write, I stick to it and do nothing else.

Time-blocking can also prepare you for the workforce if you plan to get a job in the future. In a job, you must be punctual and spend a set amount of hours. Even time-blocking your hobbies and wellness activities is a great way to set up personal growth for success.

Learn more about time-blocking here: Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks

5. Make an Appoint to Check-In with Yourself Each Day

Daily self-check-ins have a wide array of benefits. I spend only fifteen to twenty minutes each morning or afternoon to evaluate how I’m feeling and where I am mentally and emotionally.

Taking the time to identify where you are mentally can also improve your ability to manage stress and anxiety. You might use these check-ins to journal and empty your mind of useless thoughts or worries. I call this ‘brain dumping.’ A clearer mind makes more room for you to focus on what truly NEEDS focus.

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Have you ever found yourself obsessing over something silly, something that you later realized doesn’t need so much attention? This is one reason these check-ins are so empowering. You’re in control of the inner workings of your thoughts and perceptions.

6. Cut Those Bad Habits Out

We are habitual creatures and our minds are hardwired to thrive on habits. Unfortunately, bad habits are easier to cultivate than good ones. Stepping up personal growth means leaving those bad habits behind so you can stop sabotaging yourself or getting in your own way.

Bad habits can force us to miss out on great things. If there are bad habits you’re having a difficult time scrapping, use journaling to identify them and work through them. Writing is a great tool for getting to the bottom of and resolving issues.

7. Practice Self-Love Regularly

At a meditation group I’ve been going to lately, a poster on the wall in the room caught my attention. It said that if you’re peaceful with yourself, the world will be peaceful too. This is so true. Inner peace promotes peaceful responses and actions. Practicing self-love fosters this peace and promotes inner growth.

Meditation is one way I implement self-love in my life. Doing so has resulted in a calmer and quieter mind devoid of useless nonsense.

There are many ways you can implement self-love into your life: 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself

Just do what feels good to you, what enriches and moves you.

8. Give Back, for No Reason at All

When I began giving back, either to my community or supporting organizations, this gave me new insights. Everyone experiences similar struggles and setbacks and we’re always trying to overcome something and better ourselves.

Volunteering is a great way to step up personal growth. You’re giving your time and attention to other people (instead of yourself) and spreading goodness. That’s one thing the world needs right now: goodness.

Volunteering also creates peace in environments that may otherwise be chaotic and in disarray. Invest your time in helping others and you’ll be surprised by how this changes you.

9. Strive for Simplicity

We can’t always avoid complicated situations in life. Again, it’s imperative to be mindful of how you’re responding to the things that happen to and around you.

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Simplicity is the key to happiness, less stress, worry, and negativity. If you’re living in an environment that is utter chaos and in shambles, you’ll find yourself functioning at an extremely unsatisfying level.

We don’t always realize the sources of our stress. Something as small as a disorganized and messy house can have such an unforeseen and monumental impact on our mental sorting and functioning.

Strive to apply simplicity in as many areas of your life as you can. This will set you up for success down the road.

10. Practice Mindfulness as Often as You Can

At a conference I attended a while ago, the speaker introduced mindfulness by telling the audience to sit with feet planted on the floor, eyes closed and focus on breathing. But mindfulness is so much more than that. You can find joy in the mundane by simply being fully aware and in tune with your inner self and outer environment.

Even if you’re someone who is leading a rushed, jet-set lifestyle, no one is too busy for practicing mindfulness. Move slowly, breathe normally, and be completely aware of everything around you.

Being mindful increases your chances of success and will help you achieve tasks in a calm and peaceful manner. And, you’ll accomplish more! You’ll make fewer mistakes and the likelihood of causing further stress in your work or personal life will hugely reduce.

Final Thoughts

If you want to step up your personal growth and achieve success in life, it all begins with you. Stress has detrimental effects on all aspects of health. We might not realize that that is the reason we’re self-sabotaging or remaining stagnant.

Personal growth means you’re willing to truly grow and expand mentally, emotionally and physically. How you navigate life has a ripple effect–good or bad. It’s important to recognize that sometimes we all make things bigger or worse than they actually are, which only can interfere in relationships and friendships.

Asking yourself the fundamental question, “where am I at” and actually doing what you can to be more open-minded will change your life. Because knowing where you are will put you on the path towards achieving your long and short-term goals.

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Featured photo credit: Stanislav Kondratiev via unsplash.com

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