Self Discovery

Self-Improvement Burnout: Theres No Shame in Taking Time To Breathe

Just as you clean a home by focusing on one room at a time, you must do the same with parts of yourself.

If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly searching for the next avenue of improvement. However this isn’t how life should be lived. Yes, growth is necessary, but enjoying the fruition of our work in self-improvement thus far is just as imperative.

Improving For What

Along my journey of continued self-help, I grew very tired. It felt as though I had just run an emotional triathlon everyday for the past several months. As I took a sigh of relief in my ever-bustling headspace, I questioned the intention of this constant quest.

If we live day in and day out with the only motivation to move forward rooted in changing ourselves, is that really living?

In a twisted way, sometimes this journey to improve one’s self is self-loathing in disguise. In order to avoid other substantial, looming issues, we attempt fine-tuning the other aspects of our being.

You can draw over something as many times as you want, but, at the end of the day, it’s still the first layer of the page. Rather than trying to ignore or suppress its presence, build upon it. Create a new work of art entirely.

Through this routine of denial, we forget the actual improvement we’ve made thus far in our lives. We ignore all that we’ve endured and overcome.

The Power of You Now

Some periods of our life call for rest. This means something different for everyone, but overall it indicates a sense of satisfaction. Growth is important, yes, however we also must allow time to ruminate in the space of the person we’ve become.

Take time, however much you need, to fully realize the person sitting here today. Think of the highs and lows. Remember the dreams of yesterday. A path of constant dissatisfaction and improvement discredits your current strength and all of the incredible moments that brought you here.

Once you feel truly satisfied and rested, then perhaps venture on to see what parts of you could use attention.

Growing When You’re Ready

Just as you clean a home by focusing on one room at a time, you must do the same with parts of yourself. You can’t tackle every issue you’ve ever faced or each of your downfalls all at once and expect progress. You’re walking in circles.

Tackle things as they arise, don’t seek out negativities. If you notice something within your disposition that you wish to alter, simply observe it. Don’t judge. See the action or thought and identify how you wish to act the next time a similar situation arises.

Growth shouldn’t be a ceaseless trudge through your inherent baggage. It should be a gentle reminder to be a better for you and all those you love. Release the pressure to make this process into a single step. Rushing growth is counter-productive.

Reaping the Benefits

When you observe that you’ve grown a bit or improved in the area you were aiming to, enjoy it. Don’t fall victim to the “what’s next.” There’s no shame in remaining the same for a bit.

Fully experience the benefit of this new positive mindset, thought process, or whatever you’ve altered brings to your life. See how it effects others. Take note of these small moments.

Inherently, we all know in some capacity where we can improve. But, it will arise when it’s meant to. Don’t unnecessarily dig through all your flaws. Simply express awareness of your current and desired state and never forget that this life is to live in, not live through.

Cover image via Medium

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Sarah is a junior studying journalism at the University of Miami. She...