nixing self-improvement

Over the weekend I read a fantastic post via Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth. In the post she explains that her self-improvement methods over the years have been based on incorrect intentions. As she states,

“Rather than doing whatever it is that you do to ease, mitigate and transform those states of being as acts of “self improvement” and “getting fixed” or “making better”, what if you approached those rituals and remedies as ways of getting to your power?”

– Danielle LaPorte

I have taken a day or two to marinate on this idea and have realized that I’ve been doing this quite a bit myself. I’m all about designing a life with intention, and a lot of times my intentions (read more, exercise more consistently, eat more veggies, save more, etc.) are actually “improvements” or “fixes.” Instead, I should think about these actions as ways to draw from my innate resources and powers. It’s the same as a makeunder; removing the unnecessary in order to reveal the potential already within oneself.

I know that I have unlimited potential and my best self lies underneath layers of unneeded clutter and ineffective habits. But when I’ve tried to tap into that potential, it’s become easy to forget the real motivation, uncovering what a great person I already am, and just focus on “fixing myself.”

I think this is something that my ego whispers to me over time. I’m not good enough. I need to change who I am. But in my gut I know that I have all the skills I want to develop, it’s just a matter of flexing those muscles with consistent practice.

Thanks, Danielle.

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  1. Natalie

    I just got a fortune in a fortune cookie at lunch that read:
    “Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.”

    I definitely suffer from this “fixing myself” problem when it comes to self-improvement. I think it tends to make me too hard on myself when I don’t succeed in my intentions. It’s like, if I failed to fix myself, then that means I am still “broken”, and that’s no way to think of oneself!

    But if you look at it from the perspective of the quote you mentioned, I’m not broken, just.. passive I guess is a way to describe it? My potential is still just that, potential. And I just haven’t been able to uncover and access it yet. But it’s there and ready and waiting for me to try again! That’s a much more positive outlook! Thanks for the enlightenment =)

  2. good points. i often “self improve” myself into a frustrated mess.

    i’m all for dreaming, but sometimes i think my aspirations skew my appreciation for what i have. i spend a lot of time envying others’ experiences and making over my own. although i lead a pretty swell existence, i can’t seem to accept it as good enough. i strive for perfection and have trouble escaping the guilt of “imperfection.” i want to be okay with my choices. i want to stop trying to master so many things at once. i want to experience my day. more importantly than living the life i want, i want to want the life i live. i’m optimistic the two will sync.

    does that make sense?

  3. Dawn

    Thank you for this post Jess. This quote really spoke to me today. I get into this mode of “fixing” myself and constantly trying to be better. This was a gentle reminder that I don’t need to be “fixed” I just need fine tune some habits LOL! If I am living intentionally and simply I can avoid the clutter and be my true authentic self.

  4. Jess

    @ Natalie: Thanks so much for your comment :). I think you are right, it’s not good or bad if we don’t tap into the potential it is just passive. And without putting labels on ourselves like good or bad for doing or not doing things will help us to not make too big of a deal about making changes.

    @ SE: Yes, I love the idea of wanting to want the life we have :). That is so true, yet so easy to forget when we loose sight of what is important and real for us.

    @ Dawn: I’m glad you liked the post and are working to fine tune some habits :).

  5. Alexa

    I think this is a great realization! It’s certainly going to help me move forward and figure out my own life. Tapping into potentials I already have is all a part of my plan.

  6. Tim

    Good Points about your own potential and the echos of self doubt that can take away your good intention you started with. The Key is You

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