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What Makes Self-Improvement So Hard?Not our usual blog.

This past week we had a reader write in and ask us, "what makes self-improvement so hard”? Now, this is not going to be a typical blog where we give you tips, advice, strategies, and help on how to work towards this goal. Instead, we're going to answer our readers' questions and have an open and honest dialogue about why self-improvement can be so hard. Speaking from personal experience, there have been many things that I've needed to improve upon but it's hard to look at yourself in the mirror and admit to every single one of your flaws. Also, in an already overly critical world, it's discouraging to realize all of the things that you either lack or need some serious work on. This is not an excuse for not working towards improving yourself for the better, but this is a realistic interpretation of what makes it so hard.

Self-improvement can be a huge undertaking, and you need to ensure you’re in the right mental space for it. It is critically analyzing yourself, and being honest that you are more flawed than you may think. This deep self-reflection is intimidating at first because you feel that you are reducing yourself to only your shortcomings, and it can be hard to see the positives about yourself. I mean, we are our own worst critics most of the time. And that’s not the only part. Once you identify these flaws, you have to unlearn tendencies and behaviors you’ve adapted throughout the years and retrain yourself. It can feel like an uphill battle, with some days being better than others.

I’ll give you a story about my own experience climbing uphill. I have always been extremely vocal, ever since I was a child, and while that can be a good trait, it can also backfire on you as well. I was always the type who was ready to pop off at the drop of a pin, letting my feelings and opinions be known. In my mind, I would be like “Hell yeah, I totally just put someone in their place”, or “ Bet they won’t try that again”, but as I got older, I realized this method would not serve me for the long-run. I began to push away friends, peers, and even family members because even if they said something harmless, I would interpret it as rude and let my mind be heard. People began to see me as argumentative and toxic, looking for problems that weren't there. One day my mom told me, “If multiple people have a problem with you, maybe you’re the problem”, and boy did that set me over the edge. But deep down, I knew she had a valid point.

I began to seek out counseling to understand why I reacted the way I did, and learned ways to change this behavior, and TRUST ME, it was hard. Biting my tongue when I really wanted to go off was a challenge, but I did it slowly and surely.

The initial process of it all though is terrifying. What if we fail? What if we still aren’t the person we want to be? These questions are all valid questions and can cause hesitation when taking the initial leap. Self-improvement is hard, but not impossible. When these questions go through your mind, and they will remember we have all been there, and nothing tried, nothing gained.

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