Improving

I think I’ve figured out what the hardest thing about improving yourself is.

It’s not the effort involved. It’s not the challenge of learning or doing something new, it’s not the risk of failure, and it’s not the time you spend on it. It’s not the self-doubt or anxiety about success. None of those are the biggest obstacles to starting a journey of self-improvement.

It’s admitting that we need to improve.

Whether it’s to yourself, to your inner circle, or to the world, we so often fall into a way of thinking that tells us that we have to already have it all figured out. “We should have all of our ducks in a row by now,” we tell ourselves, regardless of whether “now” in this context is age 25 or 60. Admitting we don’t have everything down perfectly yet is like admitting we’ve failed, as if somehow not being perfect represents a failure on our part.

We think this way, despite the fact that it’s obviously absurd. There’s no age where you get it all right. You never get it all right.

When you think about a journey, sometimes we fall into a trap where we don’t judge ourselves on the destination or even the journey itself, we judge ourselves based on the origin point!

We want to start a health journey, but we think “if I admit that I want to get healthier, that’s like admitting that I’m overweight and unhealthy now. I don’t want to do that.”

Think about every time you’ve ever seen someone do that, though. Hasn’t the result always been an outpouring of support and encouragement? People shouting “good for you!” and “you can do it!”

I don’t mean to downplay the emotional risk. It’s hard. But you absolutely can do it. If you’re ashamed of the starting line you’re on now, just remember – the very second you say “I need to improve,” you’ve taken a step off that starting line, and you’re no longer there. And every new step takes you farther away from it.

And you’ll already have done the hardest part.

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