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"Self-Improvement" Culture: Journal Prompt
What is our relationship with self-improvement? Is it truly a pursuit of self-betterment or just a new way of trying to reach perfection?
Something I notice from in certain online spaces is a pressure for you to be a constantly evolving, changing, improving human robot. The expectation that we should constantly be leveling up is usually rooted in the fear of not being enough right now. So today, let’s explore the ways that it is supporting you and the ways that it is reinforcing your own version of perfectionism.
Grab a pen and paper, open the notes app on your phone, or go sit in a nice spot to do some reflecting. Find what works for you and let’s do this.
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What do you think about when you imagine self-improvement? Does a version of yourself come to mind?
How close are you to this person? Do the qualities resemble someone you admire or the traits that a person in your life values?
What skills, talents, qualities do you feel you lack today that you feel would improve who you are as a person?
Which of them are physical?
Which are mental?
Are any relational? Spiritual? Emotional?
What do you imagine would change in your life if you had these qualities?
Do you have proof that these things would change? Is it possible to see the same or similar outcomes if you instead were working on accepting yourself as you are today?
What do you think would happen if you accepted yourself as you are right now?
If some of these things seem “negative”, try to differentiate between fears of what could happen and disappointment for potentially missing out on a version of life that you desire. Look out for assumptions you are making about what life is like for a person who has x or does y.
Where does rest play into your experience? How do you show yourself compassion and care while pursuing your goals? Is self-compassion something you include as part of your pursuit of specific goals?
I encourage you to look deeper when there is something you feel you need to change about yourself. Sometimes what we are really seeking is more connection, feeling more loveable or acceptable, or thinking our experience in life will feel drastically different. Self-improvement isn’t a bad thing! We all have things we can work on, and it’s important to check in with ourselves about what we are really desiring when looking at change.