I Am Happiest When [No.37]

Posted by Jill Chivers in Happy

I’ve stopped trying to improve myself

The self improvement industry is humungous.  It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, spreading its tentacles into every corner of the globe.  There’s even a new religion based on the idea and central principle of never-ending self improvement.

I myself have been a big user of the self improvement industry.  I’ve spent more than my fair share of hard earned money on improving myself, in one way or another, over the years.

And now I’m done.

I don’t mean done as in finished, perfect, not a single blemish or corner of my psyche that requires any further developing or improving.  Not that kind of done.

But done in the sense that I don’t want to live my life thinking I need constant, ongoing improvement.

When you live your life that way — believing there’s always a part of yourself that must be improved — you are telling yourself you aren’t okay as you are now.  You aren’t enough.  You are such a work-in-progress that you’re unacceptable.  After all, who needs to improve something if it isn’t flawed in some essential way?

Like a house that is in constant need of renovation, when you are always on the improvement path, you’re focusing on the flaws.  On what’s missing. On what’s not right.  On what is wrong.  You can’t fully and truly enjoy living in such a house – after all, look at all these things that need fixing!

And I don’t want to live that way anymore: constantly believing I’m flawed and wrong and so imperfect that I couldn’t possibly just relax and enjoy my life.

Because that’s what I want to do:  enjoy my life.  Truly live it.  Breathe it, relish in it, soak in it, LOVE it.

I want to love my life!

And I want to love my imperfect self as well.

And that can’t be done if my attention is constantly focused on the next self improvement project.

So I’m done improving myself.

I’m living my life, fully and richly and happily, instead.

[for more on the problems with the self improvement industry, you might find this article by Mark Manson (author, thinker, life enthusiast) an intriguing read]

I am happiest when (#37)

I’m connecting with people.  When I created the Shop Your Wardrobe program in 2010, my goal was to meet, work with, inspire, help and connect with other women who were struggling with the same issue I was – overshopping.  I knew there were many other women (millions, in fact!) who were suffering from the same affliction I was – a compulsion to shop too much and a heavy heart (and possibly a bloated credit card bill) as a result of all that shopping.  And I knew the power of community, of sharing, of being sisters in arms, when it comes to understanding and managing an issue like this.  It makes a huge difference to your emotional and psychological well-being to know you aren’t alone, you’re not a freak, and that others understand — truly understand – because they’ve been through it, or are living with it right now.   Here I am with Rachael, an alumni of the My Year Without Clothes Shopping program – what a balm to the soul to meet in person, when we had connected for so long only online!

With the stylish and expressive Rachael, an alumni of the My Year Without Clothes Shopping program

With the stylish and expressive Rachael, an alumni of the My Year Without Clothes Shopping program

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