The Gut-Check Part 2: Leaving the Church of Self-Improvement

I’m tired.

Are you tired?

I’m tired for you.

As the new year approaches, my inbox is bombarded with well-meaning authors and bloggers giving tips on how to make this your “best year ever”, how to hit the ground running, how to make you better, fitter, stronger, more stylish, less like the “you” you loathe right now…

…and I just want to sleep.

I should pause here for a moment. I know a post like this during a series like “New Year, Better Me” sounds a bit oxymoronic.  But my entire process is about assessing to make sure I am staying true to my core, making a few tweaks and getting off the hamster-wheel of self-improvement as quickly as possible.

Because, think about it…if you’re always doing something in the quest to be “better” and live your “best life”…when are you actually living life? When are you enough?

In the process of becoming more compassionate with myself I had to do a serious look at the tone of my inner voice and the “who” I was working to be “better” for. And it was not me. My work goals were to impress folk at happy hour. My weight-loss goals were to dispel the idea that I had “fallen off” since my pageant days. My educational goals were to make myself a more attractive mate choice. My blog goals were to “prove” myself a writer. Even my meditation had to be Instagram-worthy! My inner voice was harsh, unforgiving and a constant reminder that “if I didn’t___, I wouldn’t be___”. Ever.

So I decided to opt-out of the hamster-wheel of 24-7 self-improvement, stop trying to “be” and just exist, enough, as I am.

This is not defeat. I have not given up. I have simply made a conscious choice for self-discovery over self-improvement. And it’s been quite the revelation in peace. I found exercise and meditation for the purpose of being more connected to my body and discovering my strength has yielded better results that I ever got trying to “be” a certain size. Working for life goals instead of achievement goals has reduced my anxiety. If it took an impressive resume to convince you to date me I was probably better off not knowing you, anyway. And my inner voice has become more compassionate and reassuring now that it’s no longer assigned the task of reminding me how I was never going to “be” something.

This is by no means an insult to those on their grind. Or even a statement of what you “should” be doing. But I will say this-make sure you pause. Give yourself a chance to bask in your awesome, just as you are. And hopefully, 2016 will find you doing what works for you, just for you.

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