Take a Break from Self-improvement

Reviewed Mar 9, 2017

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Summary

Trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting yourself be just as you are, with no judging.

Look Younger! Lose Inches! Win Friends! Succeed at Work! Be a Better Parent! Get Smarter! These and countless other titles and topics assail you in the self-improvement aisle at most bookstores, don’t they? If such titles and others like them trigger feelings of guilt, anxiety, inadequacy, or discouragement in you, perhaps it’s time you took a break from a focus on self-improvement.

The real problem

There is nothing wrong with desiring change for the better in your life. The problem lies in the motivations behind your quest for that change, such as:

  • Self-judging and condemnation
  • Worry over others’ approval
  • Perfectionism
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Self-absorption  

David Mills, author of Overcoming Self-Esteem, equates “self-esteem” with self-rating, a constant judging of yourself as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, worthy or unworthy, etc. Mills maintains that we would all be happier and emotionally more stable if we would “surrender our compulsive drive for self-esteem.” Mills advises us to trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting ourselves be just as we are, with no judging.

Accepting self-acceptance

Do you question the value of self-acceptance? Some may perceive that self-acceptance is some kind of settling for “less than,” rather like resignation or giving up. But how motivated to change are you by self-judging that makes you feel miserable? What is the worst that could happen to you if you believed that you are OK, just as you are? If you gave yourself permission to be flawed in your personality, appearance, relationships, etc., would it be catastrophic?  

Certainly there are changes that are vital to our health or changes that protect others and ourselves from harm, but those aren’t typically the pesky desires that plague us. More often we surrender our happiness to self-absorbed longing for perfection, inside and out.

A good thing

Australian psychologist Steve Wells, co-author of Pocket Guide to Emotional Freedom, offers another mistaken concern that many have regarding self-acceptance—that it is “bad” or egomaniacal. But self-acceptance is not the denial that you have problems nor is it any kind of claim to be perfect or superior. Wells asserts that self-acceptance simply empowers you to separate your self from your problems. And Wells also maintains that the one constant underlying all of the various areas where you desire improvement is a lack of self-acceptance. In other words, the problem that is the root of obsessing on self-improvement is non-self-acceptance.

Wells counsels the non-self-accepter to adopt a new message to self: I fully and completely accept myself. Wells advises, “Catch yourself in non-acceptance as you go about your day, then at those moments focus on accepting yourself, despite the fact that you are doing whatever you are doing or feeling whatever you are feeling.” Here are other ways you can apply this healing mindset:

  • Frequently rehearse mentally or write in a journal, “Even though I have this problem (be specific), I fully and completely accept myself.”
  • Partner with a trusted friend who also struggles with a lack of self-acceptance but is willing to rewrite her mental script. Meet often to encourage each other in applying the new mindset.
  • Find a mentor who has learned to be self-accepting and is willing to share what has worked for him.  

Take a break from “self”

Try going through one day this week without seeking self-improvement, self-rating, self-condemnation—all the self stuff. Rehearse, “I fully and completely accept myself.” Unfortunately even this assignment hints at self-improvement in a way, but you are allowed that much.

Rehearsing positive affirmations—such as “I fully accept myself,” “People like me,” “I am a worthy human being,”—may help you counter self-judging thoughts. You could also give yourself a vacation from thoughts such as:

  • I can’t be happy until I __________ . (lose weight, get a promotion, get married …)
  • I’m not ___________ enough. (attractive, intelligent, popular …)
  • Something is wrong with me.
  • Other people agree with my self-judgments.  

Remember, desiring change is not really the problem. Improvements of many kinds can benefit us all. The break you need is from the self-defeating thoughts and self-absorption that aggravate you while you await change. So take that break—just one day, just as you are, no improvement in mind. Enjoy your day off. 

Resource

Radical Self-Forgiveness: How to Fully Accept Yourself and Embrace the Perfection of Every Experience by Colin C. Tipping. Sounds True, Incorporated, 2010. 

The real problem

There is nothing wrong with desiring change for the better in your life. The problem lies in the motivations behind your quest for that change, such as:

  • self-judging and condemnation
  • worry over others’ approval
  • perfectionism
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • self-absorption  

David Mills, author of Overcoming Self-Esteem, equates “self-esteem” with self-rating, a constant judging of yourself as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, worthy or unworthy, etc. Mills maintains that we would all be happier and emotionally more stable if we would “surrender our compulsive drive for self-esteem.” Mills advises us to trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting ourselves be just as we are, with no judging.

Accepting self-acceptance

Do you question the value of self-acceptance? Some may perceive that self-acceptance is some kind of settling for “less than,” rather like resignation or giving up. But how motivated to change are you by self-judging that makes you feel miserable? What is the worst that could happen to you if you believed that you are OK, just as you are? If you gave yourself permission to be flawed in your personality, appearance, relationships, etc., would it be catastrophic?  

Certainly there are changes that are vital to our health or changes that protect others and ourselves from harm, but those aren’t typically the pesky desires that plague us. More often we surrender our happiness to self-absorbed longing for perfection, inside and out.

A good thing

Australian psychologist Steve Wells, co-author of Pocket Guide to Emotional Freedom, offers another mistaken concern that many have regarding self-acceptance—that it is “bad” or egomaniacal. But self-acceptance is not the denial that you have problems nor is it any kind of claim to be perfect or superior. Wells asserts that self-acceptance simply empowers you to separate your self from your problems. And Wells also maintains that the one constant underlying all of the various areas where you desire improvement is a lack of self-acceptance. In other words, the problem that is the root of obsessing on self-improvement is non-self-acceptance.

Wells counsels the non-self-accepter to adopt a new message to self: I fully and completely accept myself. Wells advises, “Catch yourself in non-acceptance as you go about your day, then at those moments focus on accepting yourself, despite the fact that you are doing whatever you are doing or feeling whatever you are feeling.” Here are other ways you can apply this healing mindset:

  • Frequently rehearse mentally or write in a journal, “Even though I have this problem (be specific), I fully and completely accept myself.”
  • Partner with a trusted friend who also struggles with a lack of self-acceptance but is willing to rewrite her mental script. Meet often to encourage each other in applying the new mindset.
  • Find a mentor who has learned to be self-accepting and is willing to share what has worked for him.  

Take a break from “self”

Try going through 1 day this week without seeking self-improvement, self-rating, self-condemnation—all the self stuff. Rehearse, “I fully and completely accept myself.” Unfortunately even this assignment hints at self-improvement in a way, but you are allowed that much.

Rehearsing positive affirmations—such as “I fully accept myself,” “People like me,” “I am a worthy human being,”—may help you counter self-judging thoughts. You could also give yourself a vacation from thoughts such as:

  • I can’t be happy until I __________ . (lose weight, get a promotion, get married …)
  • I’m not ___________ enough. (attractive, intelligent, popular …)
  • Something is wrong with me.
  • Other people agree with my self-judgments.  

Remember, desiring change is not really the problem. Improvements of many kinds can benefit us all. The break you need is from the self-defeating thoughts and self-absorption that aggravate you while you await change. So take that break—just 1 day, just as you are, no improvement in mind. Enjoy your day off. 

Resource

Radical Self-Forgiveness: How to Fully Accept Yourself and Embrace the Perfection of Every Experience by Colin C. Tipping. Sounds True, Incorporated, 2010. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Steve Wells, psychologist, professional speaker and peak performance consultant, Perth, Western Australia, www.eftdownunder.com; Mills, David “Self-esteem vs. Self-acceptance” CounselingCEUsOnline; Wells, Steve “EFT and Self-Acceptance” Mercola Optimal Wellness Center, www.mercola.com; Hautman, Jennifer “Self Acceptance,” www.selfcreation.com

Summary

Trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting yourself be just as you are, with no judging.

Look Younger! Lose Inches! Win Friends! Succeed at Work! Be a Better Parent! Get Smarter! These and countless other titles and topics assail you in the self-improvement aisle at most bookstores, don’t they? If such titles and others like them trigger feelings of guilt, anxiety, inadequacy, or discouragement in you, perhaps it’s time you took a break from a focus on self-improvement.

The real problem

There is nothing wrong with desiring change for the better in your life. The problem lies in the motivations behind your quest for that change, such as:

  • Self-judging and condemnation
  • Worry over others’ approval
  • Perfectionism
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Self-absorption  

David Mills, author of Overcoming Self-Esteem, equates “self-esteem” with self-rating, a constant judging of yourself as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, worthy or unworthy, etc. Mills maintains that we would all be happier and emotionally more stable if we would “surrender our compulsive drive for self-esteem.” Mills advises us to trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting ourselves be just as we are, with no judging.

Accepting self-acceptance

Do you question the value of self-acceptance? Some may perceive that self-acceptance is some kind of settling for “less than,” rather like resignation or giving up. But how motivated to change are you by self-judging that makes you feel miserable? What is the worst that could happen to you if you believed that you are OK, just as you are? If you gave yourself permission to be flawed in your personality, appearance, relationships, etc., would it be catastrophic?  

Certainly there are changes that are vital to our health or changes that protect others and ourselves from harm, but those aren’t typically the pesky desires that plague us. More often we surrender our happiness to self-absorbed longing for perfection, inside and out.

A good thing

Australian psychologist Steve Wells, co-author of Pocket Guide to Emotional Freedom, offers another mistaken concern that many have regarding self-acceptance—that it is “bad” or egomaniacal. But self-acceptance is not the denial that you have problems nor is it any kind of claim to be perfect or superior. Wells asserts that self-acceptance simply empowers you to separate your self from your problems. And Wells also maintains that the one constant underlying all of the various areas where you desire improvement is a lack of self-acceptance. In other words, the problem that is the root of obsessing on self-improvement is non-self-acceptance.

Wells counsels the non-self-accepter to adopt a new message to self: I fully and completely accept myself. Wells advises, “Catch yourself in non-acceptance as you go about your day, then at those moments focus on accepting yourself, despite the fact that you are doing whatever you are doing or feeling whatever you are feeling.” Here are other ways you can apply this healing mindset:

  • Frequently rehearse mentally or write in a journal, “Even though I have this problem (be specific), I fully and completely accept myself.”
  • Partner with a trusted friend who also struggles with a lack of self-acceptance but is willing to rewrite her mental script. Meet often to encourage each other in applying the new mindset.
  • Find a mentor who has learned to be self-accepting and is willing to share what has worked for him.  

Take a break from “self”

Try going through one day this week without seeking self-improvement, self-rating, self-condemnation—all the self stuff. Rehearse, “I fully and completely accept myself.” Unfortunately even this assignment hints at self-improvement in a way, but you are allowed that much.

Rehearsing positive affirmations—such as “I fully accept myself,” “People like me,” “I am a worthy human being,”—may help you counter self-judging thoughts. You could also give yourself a vacation from thoughts such as:

  • I can’t be happy until I __________ . (lose weight, get a promotion, get married …)
  • I’m not ___________ enough. (attractive, intelligent, popular …)
  • Something is wrong with me.
  • Other people agree with my self-judgments.  

Remember, desiring change is not really the problem. Improvements of many kinds can benefit us all. The break you need is from the self-defeating thoughts and self-absorption that aggravate you while you await change. So take that break—just one day, just as you are, no improvement in mind. Enjoy your day off. 

Resource

Radical Self-Forgiveness: How to Fully Accept Yourself and Embrace the Perfection of Every Experience by Colin C. Tipping. Sounds True, Incorporated, 2010. 

The real problem

There is nothing wrong with desiring change for the better in your life. The problem lies in the motivations behind your quest for that change, such as:

  • self-judging and condemnation
  • worry over others’ approval
  • perfectionism
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • self-absorption  

David Mills, author of Overcoming Self-Esteem, equates “self-esteem” with self-rating, a constant judging of yourself as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, worthy or unworthy, etc. Mills maintains that we would all be happier and emotionally more stable if we would “surrender our compulsive drive for self-esteem.” Mills advises us to trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting ourselves be just as we are, with no judging.

Accepting self-acceptance

Do you question the value of self-acceptance? Some may perceive that self-acceptance is some kind of settling for “less than,” rather like resignation or giving up. But how motivated to change are you by self-judging that makes you feel miserable? What is the worst that could happen to you if you believed that you are OK, just as you are? If you gave yourself permission to be flawed in your personality, appearance, relationships, etc., would it be catastrophic?  

Certainly there are changes that are vital to our health or changes that protect others and ourselves from harm, but those aren’t typically the pesky desires that plague us. More often we surrender our happiness to self-absorbed longing for perfection, inside and out.

A good thing

Australian psychologist Steve Wells, co-author of Pocket Guide to Emotional Freedom, offers another mistaken concern that many have regarding self-acceptance—that it is “bad” or egomaniacal. But self-acceptance is not the denial that you have problems nor is it any kind of claim to be perfect or superior. Wells asserts that self-acceptance simply empowers you to separate your self from your problems. And Wells also maintains that the one constant underlying all of the various areas where you desire improvement is a lack of self-acceptance. In other words, the problem that is the root of obsessing on self-improvement is non-self-acceptance.

Wells counsels the non-self-accepter to adopt a new message to self: I fully and completely accept myself. Wells advises, “Catch yourself in non-acceptance as you go about your day, then at those moments focus on accepting yourself, despite the fact that you are doing whatever you are doing or feeling whatever you are feeling.” Here are other ways you can apply this healing mindset:

  • Frequently rehearse mentally or write in a journal, “Even though I have this problem (be specific), I fully and completely accept myself.”
  • Partner with a trusted friend who also struggles with a lack of self-acceptance but is willing to rewrite her mental script. Meet often to encourage each other in applying the new mindset.
  • Find a mentor who has learned to be self-accepting and is willing to share what has worked for him.  

Take a break from “self”

Try going through 1 day this week without seeking self-improvement, self-rating, self-condemnation—all the self stuff. Rehearse, “I fully and completely accept myself.” Unfortunately even this assignment hints at self-improvement in a way, but you are allowed that much.

Rehearsing positive affirmations—such as “I fully accept myself,” “People like me,” “I am a worthy human being,”—may help you counter self-judging thoughts. You could also give yourself a vacation from thoughts such as:

  • I can’t be happy until I __________ . (lose weight, get a promotion, get married …)
  • I’m not ___________ enough. (attractive, intelligent, popular …)
  • Something is wrong with me.
  • Other people agree with my self-judgments.  

Remember, desiring change is not really the problem. Improvements of many kinds can benefit us all. The break you need is from the self-defeating thoughts and self-absorption that aggravate you while you await change. So take that break—just 1 day, just as you are, no improvement in mind. Enjoy your day off. 

Resource

Radical Self-Forgiveness: How to Fully Accept Yourself and Embrace the Perfection of Every Experience by Colin C. Tipping. Sounds True, Incorporated, 2010. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Steve Wells, psychologist, professional speaker and peak performance consultant, Perth, Western Australia, www.eftdownunder.com; Mills, David “Self-esteem vs. Self-acceptance” CounselingCEUsOnline; Wells, Steve “EFT and Self-Acceptance” Mercola Optimal Wellness Center, www.mercola.com; Hautman, Jennifer “Self Acceptance,” www.selfcreation.com

Summary

Trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting yourself be just as you are, with no judging.

Look Younger! Lose Inches! Win Friends! Succeed at Work! Be a Better Parent! Get Smarter! These and countless other titles and topics assail you in the self-improvement aisle at most bookstores, don’t they? If such titles and others like them trigger feelings of guilt, anxiety, inadequacy, or discouragement in you, perhaps it’s time you took a break from a focus on self-improvement.

The real problem

There is nothing wrong with desiring change for the better in your life. The problem lies in the motivations behind your quest for that change, such as:

  • Self-judging and condemnation
  • Worry over others’ approval
  • Perfectionism
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Self-absorption  

David Mills, author of Overcoming Self-Esteem, equates “self-esteem” with self-rating, a constant judging of yourself as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, worthy or unworthy, etc. Mills maintains that we would all be happier and emotionally more stable if we would “surrender our compulsive drive for self-esteem.” Mills advises us to trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting ourselves be just as we are, with no judging.

Accepting self-acceptance

Do you question the value of self-acceptance? Some may perceive that self-acceptance is some kind of settling for “less than,” rather like resignation or giving up. But how motivated to change are you by self-judging that makes you feel miserable? What is the worst that could happen to you if you believed that you are OK, just as you are? If you gave yourself permission to be flawed in your personality, appearance, relationships, etc., would it be catastrophic?  

Certainly there are changes that are vital to our health or changes that protect others and ourselves from harm, but those aren’t typically the pesky desires that plague us. More often we surrender our happiness to self-absorbed longing for perfection, inside and out.

A good thing

Australian psychologist Steve Wells, co-author of Pocket Guide to Emotional Freedom, offers another mistaken concern that many have regarding self-acceptance—that it is “bad” or egomaniacal. But self-acceptance is not the denial that you have problems nor is it any kind of claim to be perfect or superior. Wells asserts that self-acceptance simply empowers you to separate your self from your problems. And Wells also maintains that the one constant underlying all of the various areas where you desire improvement is a lack of self-acceptance. In other words, the problem that is the root of obsessing on self-improvement is non-self-acceptance.

Wells counsels the non-self-accepter to adopt a new message to self: I fully and completely accept myself. Wells advises, “Catch yourself in non-acceptance as you go about your day, then at those moments focus on accepting yourself, despite the fact that you are doing whatever you are doing or feeling whatever you are feeling.” Here are other ways you can apply this healing mindset:

  • Frequently rehearse mentally or write in a journal, “Even though I have this problem (be specific), I fully and completely accept myself.”
  • Partner with a trusted friend who also struggles with a lack of self-acceptance but is willing to rewrite her mental script. Meet often to encourage each other in applying the new mindset.
  • Find a mentor who has learned to be self-accepting and is willing to share what has worked for him.  

Take a break from “self”

Try going through one day this week without seeking self-improvement, self-rating, self-condemnation—all the self stuff. Rehearse, “I fully and completely accept myself.” Unfortunately even this assignment hints at self-improvement in a way, but you are allowed that much.

Rehearsing positive affirmations—such as “I fully accept myself,” “People like me,” “I am a worthy human being,”—may help you counter self-judging thoughts. You could also give yourself a vacation from thoughts such as:

  • I can’t be happy until I __________ . (lose weight, get a promotion, get married …)
  • I’m not ___________ enough. (attractive, intelligent, popular …)
  • Something is wrong with me.
  • Other people agree with my self-judgments.  

Remember, desiring change is not really the problem. Improvements of many kinds can benefit us all. The break you need is from the self-defeating thoughts and self-absorption that aggravate you while you await change. So take that break—just one day, just as you are, no improvement in mind. Enjoy your day off. 

Resource

Radical Self-Forgiveness: How to Fully Accept Yourself and Embrace the Perfection of Every Experience by Colin C. Tipping. Sounds True, Incorporated, 2010. 

The real problem

There is nothing wrong with desiring change for the better in your life. The problem lies in the motivations behind your quest for that change, such as:

  • self-judging and condemnation
  • worry over others’ approval
  • perfectionism
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • self-absorption  

David Mills, author of Overcoming Self-Esteem, equates “self-esteem” with self-rating, a constant judging of yourself as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, worthy or unworthy, etc. Mills maintains that we would all be happier and emotionally more stable if we would “surrender our compulsive drive for self-esteem.” Mills advises us to trade self-rating for self-acceptance—letting ourselves be just as we are, with no judging.

Accepting self-acceptance

Do you question the value of self-acceptance? Some may perceive that self-acceptance is some kind of settling for “less than,” rather like resignation or giving up. But how motivated to change are you by self-judging that makes you feel miserable? What is the worst that could happen to you if you believed that you are OK, just as you are? If you gave yourself permission to be flawed in your personality, appearance, relationships, etc., would it be catastrophic?  

Certainly there are changes that are vital to our health or changes that protect others and ourselves from harm, but those aren’t typically the pesky desires that plague us. More often we surrender our happiness to self-absorbed longing for perfection, inside and out.

A good thing

Australian psychologist Steve Wells, co-author of Pocket Guide to Emotional Freedom, offers another mistaken concern that many have regarding self-acceptance—that it is “bad” or egomaniacal. But self-acceptance is not the denial that you have problems nor is it any kind of claim to be perfect or superior. Wells asserts that self-acceptance simply empowers you to separate your self from your problems. And Wells also maintains that the one constant underlying all of the various areas where you desire improvement is a lack of self-acceptance. In other words, the problem that is the root of obsessing on self-improvement is non-self-acceptance.

Wells counsels the non-self-accepter to adopt a new message to self: I fully and completely accept myself. Wells advises, “Catch yourself in non-acceptance as you go about your day, then at those moments focus on accepting yourself, despite the fact that you are doing whatever you are doing or feeling whatever you are feeling.” Here are other ways you can apply this healing mindset:

  • Frequently rehearse mentally or write in a journal, “Even though I have this problem (be specific), I fully and completely accept myself.”
  • Partner with a trusted friend who also struggles with a lack of self-acceptance but is willing to rewrite her mental script. Meet often to encourage each other in applying the new mindset.
  • Find a mentor who has learned to be self-accepting and is willing to share what has worked for him.  

Take a break from “self”

Try going through 1 day this week without seeking self-improvement, self-rating, self-condemnation—all the self stuff. Rehearse, “I fully and completely accept myself.” Unfortunately even this assignment hints at self-improvement in a way, but you are allowed that much.

Rehearsing positive affirmations—such as “I fully accept myself,” “People like me,” “I am a worthy human being,”—may help you counter self-judging thoughts. You could also give yourself a vacation from thoughts such as:

  • I can’t be happy until I __________ . (lose weight, get a promotion, get married …)
  • I’m not ___________ enough. (attractive, intelligent, popular …)
  • Something is wrong with me.
  • Other people agree with my self-judgments.  

Remember, desiring change is not really the problem. Improvements of many kinds can benefit us all. The break you need is from the self-defeating thoughts and self-absorption that aggravate you while you await change. So take that break—just 1 day, just as you are, no improvement in mind. Enjoy your day off. 

Resource

Radical Self-Forgiveness: How to Fully Accept Yourself and Embrace the Perfection of Every Experience by Colin C. Tipping. Sounds True, Incorporated, 2010. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Steve Wells, psychologist, professional speaker and peak performance consultant, Perth, Western Australia, www.eftdownunder.com; Mills, David “Self-esteem vs. Self-acceptance” CounselingCEUsOnline; Wells, Steve “EFT and Self-Acceptance” Mercola Optimal Wellness Center, www.mercola.com; Hautman, Jennifer “Self Acceptance,” www.selfcreation.com

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