The Self-improvement addiction I believe is one of the biggest challenges we face in today’s society. We are told so often that the way we are is not enough, you have to look better, go to the gym, you have to improve, you have to be better. And the whole goal of life becomes “self-improvement” and I actually disagree with this idea or premise that we have to “improve” in order to be worthy of our dreams and goals. For example, if you look at some of the biographies of people who have been able to succeed in life they are not the ideal sense perfection nor do they model this acquired place of self-mastery.
There is a whole self-esteem movement and the idea that if you have success or these amazing things in life it is because you feel good about yourself or have confidence. And then you will be able to achieve all of these things and fly high. You would think that looking at the people who have succeeded and or are in these places we can see so clearly they have not necessarily obtained some kind of self-improvement, Mariah Carrrey will often talk about how insecure she is, David Bowe talks about his own flaws and accepts he can just be himself, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga- so many of them have struggled with one thing or another and not just musicians, Steve Jobs, Robin Williams, just to name a few.
But if you are on this channel most likely you are thinking something is wrong with you and or you need to improve in order to become or obtain your dreams and goals. And we are consistently going out there and looking for the next thing and the next thing after thing. And of course all I have studied and the ways I have improved and grown I am beyond grateful for, but at what point do you just be. This addiction of continuing to have to move forward and keeping improving is a never ending road. This is so sad, because you don’t just find a method or model that works and keep working it, you get to one and then keep moving forward and learning and continuing to grow and this keeps you into a place of doing and learning instead of living your life.
The truth is it doesn’t really matter what you think of yourself in terms of creating or success. Look at the people mentioned above, all they did was show up and actually create- the idea you have to fix yourself and improve is just not true. The idea or rule that “of course I have to grow” “of course I have to improve”- what if that just weren’t true. What if the truth was you just get to be you and show up and create from who you are.
I have a bunch of ideas with this- and the initial belief is coming to terms with the fact that you don’t have to be or change anything about yourself- you just get to be who you are! Doesn’t that feel like a huge relief? I can just be me, I was born good enough, I am good enough. If we can get to that place and realize success isn’t about how “perfect” we can get ourselves, or how “worthy” we can become- in fact success isn’t even about you. Success is not about how you feel or how you act, it has nothing to do with that.
A lot of us are trying to justify our existence by trying to be someone, by our existence, by doing “good” things, it is as if we have to justify and qualify who we are. And then in doing that or doing so we will be better and then we will reap all the benefits.
What is really true is that success or life is just not about that. It is about creating, it is about being. It doesn’t matter what you think about yourself- the truth is success is just about being you and expanding there. It doesn’t actually matter what you think about yourself- look at Lady Gaga right before she went out on stage at a sold out Madison Square Garden was crying in the corner about how much a failure she felt like and a loser.
Phil Knight who developed Nike shoes still worked as an accountant 9-5 for years even though he was making millions of dollars with his company, he felt afraid to leave and insecure and that did not get in the way of him putting out shoes that people needed for running- he didn’t have to fix himself in order to create and have more. The whole idea of having to be positive, or be confident- it all is just not true. Think about all the time lost in self-improvement rather than just stepping in making it happen, be yourself live your life. It doesn’t justify you.
Creation has nothing to do with what you think of yourself. I fell into the trap of self-improvement also but think about it, on your tombstone will it say “Chris Duncan improved himself”? It is ok do have doubt, or fear or feel vulnerable about putting yourself out there, most likely those feelings will continue to happen and follow you regardless it is just human to feel like doing something or learning something new is vulnerable and feels a little scary the first time.
Of course in the process of creation you miss things, you make mistakes, there is fear, there is doubt there is all of these things- but if you just go for it and move forward in creation you come to a place of figuring it out- you are not perfecting yourself but you will learn.