Fuck Self-Improvement. Try This First.

Noam Lightstone Self-Improvement 4 Comments

Searching self-improvement online comes with so many hits… Fitness, fashion, emotions, cooking, productivity, sex, happiness… but I feel that we miss the most important thing that needs to be done before doing ANY self-improvement.

And that is to accept.

Accept who you are as a person right now and who you will always be. Accept you are doing your best to change who you are in a positive way, but don’t be discouraged when you lapse. Just note it, and begin again.

This is what I both love and despise about the typical self-improvement community and the resources available to us. Can’t get a date? Buy a book and you’ll be getting laid. Overweight? Take these supplements and you’ll be great. Depressed? Take some pills that will make you be better and you’ll never be sad again.

No, it doesn’t work like that, sorry. Self-improvement is a long, tedious, arduous, complex, difficult, and never-ending process. Doing the same old thing is easy and change is painful, that’s why so many people stay in their comfort zones. You need to accept (and KEEP accepting) that you are taking steps to change, you’ll falter, and go back a few steps… But the important thing is if you keep working on it in a healthy way, you’ll come out ahead.

 

What happens if you don’t accept first?

 

I think the old adage of “if you can’t love yourself then how can anyone else” applies here, except that it can be extended to a very dark place of not loving yourself, and then seeking to get your needs met (love) through other people. That can be a scary path to walk. Not that I’m saying that you shouldn’t date, have friends and so on… but that you use them to make yourself feel worthy. You are unhappy and you use others for the sole purpose of pumping up how you feel about yourself.

There are many habitual items we can change with some effort. Things like getting up earlier, blocking web sites we waste time on, deleting video games, forcing ourselves to go to the gym… But deep psychological items, that’s a different story. The thing is as we instill better habits, the psychological items change…

Feeling lonely all the time? Make a decision to go out and play sports two times a week instead of going home first with a league. That’s changing a habit, but will impact the psychology. Same as per the gym and feeling lazy and sluggish. There are other methods to examine deeper issues, but that’s for another few posts.

 

All in all however, I just wish this is the first thing I EVER worked on before starting any self-improvement. It is still something I struggle with ever day. So please promise me you will do that right now, and do it everyday.

 

Be grateful for who you are, what you’ve accomplished in life, why your friends love you, and everything that you have to give.

Comments 4

  1. Max

    Hey dude congrats on your first post. I think that while you can change your surroundings you can’t directly change your core personality. But if your surroundings change enough your personality will follow.

    1. Post
      Author
      Noam

      Thanks man, and congrats on being the first to comment 😉

      I agree, but you can go even deeper: Combining some views in buddhism and psychology, you have the ego: the built up version of who you think you are and have to be and the child self, when you do whatever you want, act however you want, and be who you truly are. The more like the child self you are, the more you attract people and good things because you are not afraid to have your own opinions, speak your mind, and do what YOU want. You aren’t afraid to be you.

      Of course when you grow older, you still need to have limits and ensure you keep things under reasonable control, but if the ego is so built up you are too afraid to look stupid or do anything anyone else might find bad, there will be issues. Or, you value another person’s view of you WAY more than your own.

      So if you start working on yourself, hanging out with people who accept you no matter what (getting rid of toxic people in the process), doing things you love and so on… you realize you’ll be happier just being unequivocally you.

      And for people who don’t accept who you are? Well, you can’t please everyone. And if you live your life that way trying to please everyone, who’s life are you actually living? Yours, or some variant of a number of people’s wishes for you?

  2. Aaron Bell

    This is crucial. And it’s also crucial throughout the ENTIRE self-improvement process, because there’ll always be something going on that a person didn’t expect, and he needs to accept it.

    Same with accepting (objective) feedback.

    Thanks for this post,

    Aaron

    1. Post
      Author
      Noam

      Hey Aaron.

      Definitely agreed. If you are hard on yourself or a perfectionist (as I am), if you don’t remember this you’ll be heading down an extremely dark road. Hence why it’s always important to look back from where you came from, know you’re learning, and thank God you’re actually trying to change and do something different.

      Feedback/friends are the second most important part of self-improvement… the first I’ll be talking about in my next post ;). Friends also help and empathize with your struggle, and if you run into issues or problems, let you know about how they might have gone through THE EXACT SAME THING. Hey and guess what, it’s normal to feel/do that thing.

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