You Don't Have To Dislike Yourself To Motivate Change

You Don't Have to Dislike Yourself to Motivate Change

Self-improvement is a positive thing. But it's often motivated by self-loathing, and that can get in the way of lasting change. Approach your growth with a more optimistic mindset.

Picture: Kristina Alexanderson/Flickr

When your desire to change comes from an pessimistic place, you might be more likely to create roadblocks for yourself. Zen Habits explains:

I know what many people will immediately say: "But what's wrong with wanting to improve, with seeing things that need to be improved? Doesn't feeling bad about ourselves motivate us to change?" Yes, it can be a motivator. But feeling bad about yourself can also be an obstacle: people who feel that they are fat, for example, are more likely to eat poorly and not exercise, because they see themselves as fat. They are likely to feel bad about themselves and to comfort themselves with food, alcohol, cigarettes, TV, Internet addictions.

The question they ask is: Does your change come from a place of self-loathing, or does it come from a place of acceptance? They go on to explain that acceptance doesn't mean stagnation. Accepting who you are can actually help you to change, because you know what you're working with, instead of being in denial and working against yourself.

It all sounds very heady, but it makes sense. For many of us, it's easier to accomplish something when we feel good about it. Pressure and stress and feeling out of control often don't do much to establish lasting change.

Whether or not this works for you, it serves as a good reminder: you don't have to hate yourself to make a change. To check out the full post, click the link below.

Unconditional Acceptance of Yourself [Zen Habits]


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