At some point, you have to decide to be okay with who you are.
This past weekend, I was watching a video and the woman said, “there is no amount of personal development that will change you from being you.”
As she explained it deeper, I found myself lost in thought. I am always on a self-help journey. On a daily basis, I indulge in videos on YouTube designed to condition my thinking. I read self-help and non-fiction books. I find articles that are interesting and inform me about the world around me. My timelines on social media are full of inspirational memes.
In my past, I found myself in toxic environments which led me to face anxiety and depression. For the past 10 years, I have been vigilant in trying to emotionally develop myself as well as monitor my mental health. While I think everything I am doing is a good thing that will ultimately benefit me.
When I read that quote, I realized that there was a dark side to what I was doing.
There is no problem with continuously improving yourself. I think everyone should. Some people graduate from school and think they are done learning. Personally, I don’t believe that is healthy.
But, her point wasn’t about continuous learning.
Her point was about thinking that you are developing yourself into a completely different person than you are.
As I considered it, I think there was a part of me that was trying to fix aspects of myself and thinking that would transform me into someone completely different than the self that exists on this earth.
Even if I am able to make significant changes to myself, I am only changing my coping mechanisms which I developed through childhood and adolescent years. I am still fundamentally, the child I was born with a mixture of inherited DNA from two parents. The characteristics that make up who I am will not morph and change, they will only be refined and I will consciously use them to navigate the world.
What I determined from this realization was that I had to refocus my goal. I had to look at myself through new eyes. I was already everything I was going to be. I wasn’t erasing and rebuilding. I was upgrading, refining and enhancing what was already an amazing being.
I stopped looking at myself as rubble that had to be reconstructed. I felt better seeing myself as someone with a strong foundation.
Perhaps, I was addicted to self-improvement.
Self-improvement is a never-ending project. You never really know where the end could be and you can always find something else that needs to be changed. At some point, you have to decide to be okay with who you are.
Addiction to self-improvement can become a welcome distraction. It’s a great excuse not to try something until you feel that you are at the “right level.”
Before I started writing regularly, I would scrutinize my writing until I had rewritten the whole thing so many times it didn’t even sound like my original piece. I could critique my grammar for days. I could revise and revise myself into paralysis and talk myself out of ever showing anyone my work.
I had to stop myself and then use courage to send out my work for judgment.
This same type of procrastination can lead to using anything to prevent you from moving forward in your life. You may tell yourself you don’t have enough money. You will do it when you lose enough weight. You will do it when you have enough time. You will do it when you have an empty house.
Whatever the marker you place on it, it’s some distant date in the future when you magically achieve what you are striving for.
This could be called, “Destination Addiction”. It’s where we think your happiness lies in the finally reaching the destination instead of in the journey itself.
There are no guarantees of reaching that destination. How many people don’t wake up for their plans the following day? The reality is you are enough to do the things you want to do right now. You just have to make the decision.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t still plan for the future or continue to improve your situation. It means that you allow yourself to be happy now. And, when you finally reach your destination, it will be one more thing to be proud of.