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"Self-Appreciation" vs. "Self-Improvement"

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While reading a magazine, I came across a tragic article about young women who committed suicide, despite being accomplished & successful. These women were highly driven and goal-oriented, with big dreams and great expectations. However, the constant desire for self-improvement left them feeling stressed, disillusioned, isolated, worthless, and disappointed that they could never be “good enough”.

This article struck me; I’ve always been a fanatic for self-improvement (I’ve read all the self-help books and started this blog for that reason) — but now I realize the danger of constant “self-improvement“ without “self-appreciation.”

So let me lay it down for you, straight & clear: There is no point trying to improve yourself, if you cannot appreciate yourself first (flaws & all).

We often say, “I’ll appreciate myself after I improve this …” BUT NO. The problem is that this offers a conditional self-love, one that depends on our circumstances. But the truth is that there will ALWAYS be something imperfect about ourselves & our lives, and we cannot wait until these things shape up before learning to love ourselves.

There is great power & beauty in learning to love yourself AS YOU ARE, in the current moment, in your current state, no matter how imperfect your life is. Self-improvement can be enriching for self-growth, fulfillment, & purpose, but you must be willing to appreciate yourself first. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in a spiral of constant dissatisfaction.

So this New Year, as you make a list of resolutions and ways to improve yourself and your life, first ask yourself: “Do I appreciate myself enough?”

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