The End of Self-Improvement

The End of Self-Improvement

healing, loving

This is my New Year’s gift to you; part love letter, part kick in the pants. Please take what serves you and discard the rest. These are my truths, not necessarily yours.

You do not need to fix yourself. You are not broken. You are enough. You may not like everything about your life and self, but you have the essential goodness and tools inside yourself. You are worthy of love and kindness no matter what you do or don’t do. I spent far too many years chasing the idea of fixing and healing myself.

My real healing began when I stopped trying to fix and improve myself. Instead, I began focusing on loving and accepting myself.

There is no time when everything becomes OK because you have arrived at your goals or done the right things. Even when you get the job, girl, house, or money, happiness will be fleeting. Do not seek your happiness in externals. Contentment comes from self acceptance and living in alignment with your values.

Please go look in the mirror. You are the best expert, teacher, partner, and guru for you. The more books, workshops and other people that you consult, the more confused you will become. Each new book, has a slightly different formula for the best way to become successful, healthy, empowered, enlightened, etc. Spend time alone in nature or meditation, listening for your own answers. To be clear, I’m not saying spirit, friends, or teachers can’t help you. I’m simply saying your foundation is built with a marriage of feminine (love) and masculine (responsibility) energies. 

Self acceptance and self responsibility are the keys to open a new life. Make the choice to accept who you are and your current life situation. Your choices led to where you are. There is no need to endlessly unravel your beliefs, patterns, and ideas about how you arrived at where you are. Simply start where you are. Then accept it or decide to change it. If you want a new life, make new choices. And no matter what you choose, you are loveable and enough.

Loving yourself is the most important choice. 

Next, decide what are the most important things you want in your life; work, relationship, success, peace, enlightenment. Then, define how those values and priorities would look in your life. Finally, do the best you can to align your actions with your ideas. This is the key to success, peace, contentment, happiness, and even enlightenment. Or take a more Zen approach like Aisha suggests below.

Invest your energy in what is right in front of you and see how it can be cultivated into something meaningful. ~ Aisha Bowe

For me, enlightenment simply means to be awake and aware. Wake up to what is important to you and align your life with those values and you become enlightened. Take action in the new year toward what you want your life to be. And no, you can’t control everything or everyone in your life. You may not get what you want, but in each moment you have the power of choice. Your power lies in your responses (choices) to what life brings you. Choose well, love well, and you will have a meaningful and fulfilling life. You are worthy of love and kindness no matter what.

May you grow more love and compassion for 2021.

95 thoughts on “The End of Self-Improvement

  1. Wow, Brad this was a profound and inspiring post and yes I completely agree with you, everything is us and everything starts with us. Books are surely there to make us aware but it depends on us how we take teachings from them. It is really nice to reflect on ourselves and Who We Really Are. Happy New Year 2021 to you too. Have a great Year ahead.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I could not agree more Brad! Happy New Year and I hope you are successful with this venture. It’s a tough one when we are so well trained to ‘FIX’ everything because there is something wrong with everything. My goodness. Imagine if we taught our children why they are perfect just as they are…So much to be learned. I just hope humanity is seriously paying attention! I wish only the best for you. VK 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  3. You gave the most positive and uplifting kick really! And summarized the essence of all the learning, all the books and lessons that we have been seeking. Self-love, acceptance, being awake and aware, power of choice, taking responsibility – it is a package that would never fail but keep us aligned with our intentions. It was such joy to sit back and read your post.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Well said Brad… Mirror work was a prime healer within my own journey my friend… No one can do the work for us… And I looked in many a book, the main one who taught me mirror work was Louise Hays.. In you can Heal your life book…
    The time for Guru’s is no more…. We are each our own Guru.. We each have to face ourselves, for we are responsible for our thoughts and our actions… And realise we are responsible for the reactions to our actions..
    We are energy beings… What we send out, and create.. Will come right back to the source of its creation.. So we had better realise.. what goes around comes around..

    Loved that you said no matter what you choose.. Do it with love.. If we all took that one simple code for living.. The world would not be as we see it today…

    Thank you Brad… Always a delight when I read your indepth thoughts my friend…
    Have a wonderful New Year Brad…. You my friend… are more than worthy… 😀 🙏💛

    Liked by 6 people

  5. What a beautiful post Brad, part love letter and part kick in the pants, I love that! And I resonated with every word. We are indeed our own teacher and our own guru and it’s time we realised that and took back our own power. Everything is a choice isn’t it. Happy new year to you my friend. May it be filled with much love, light and compassion. xx

    Liked by 4 people

  6. absolutely love and resonate this post brad…maybe my fav, as it lays out quite simply the state of where we are now in this accelerated state of being, and truly how simple things can be. we just make it harder than it is because that’s how we were taught things had to be – hard, involved, complex, and needing to fit into these glorified niches. i agree that self love and self responsibility are the game changers. and i love what you said here: “Simply start where you are. Then accept it or decide to change it. If you want a new life, make new choices. And no matter what you choose, you are loveable and enough.” great way to kick off 2021! big love and hugs to you! thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Thank you Brad for this wonderful post. I will print this out and keep. You have hit on so many important issues….’The more books, workshops and other people you consult, the more confused you become……..’ So true. ‘Spend time along in nature and meditation – listen to your own answers/gut….’
    ‘Accept who you are or make new choices and change……’ All of it such good and positive advice.
    And most of all – it is so important to love and nurture ourselves.
    I wish you a beautiful 2021 filled with joy and inspiration. Janet :)XX

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Oh wow, Brad, I’m loving what I am hearing from you!! This is excellent!! Every word is smack right on! It really truly does begin with self-love for without that, we’ll not ever experience contentment or happiness. I put away the self-help books long ago. I KNOW the more I read the worse I felt and the more confused I became. Listening to our Inner Guidance and also to Mother Nature, that is my way to connect to a Higher Consciousness. What is good and right for one person may not necessarily be so for another. You make me just want to shout and dance for joy!! YOU GET IT!! Darn it, Brad!! Your Self-Realization is at hand. Of course we can always improve and grow …. that is life without stagnation. But to honestly like where one is at in the moment now that is impressive and so important. Bless you for the wisdom you are passing on. I said to someone just the other day, I do not care what anyone thinks anymore of me and THAT is freedom! Welcome to heaven!! SMILE!!! xo

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Yep, the problem with self-improvement literature is that it suggests we are in a constant state of ‘defect’, in need of perfecting. Better to see us as perfect just as we are (as Zen would say). And yet, paradoxically, I have found some self-improvement lit. quite useful. Such is life.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. So much truth in your words, Brad. I’ve often wondered if the gurus who say they have the magic formula really practice it in their own lives. It really does begin with self-love and acceptance, and, most importantly, shutting off the chatter (both external and internal) and listening to that calm inner voice that knows better than anyone. May your 2021 be filled with love and magic.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. A great introduction, Brad. You definitely caught my attention. And, then, tears brimming when I read your paragraph “….you are enough…” You remind me how sometimes the teacher appears when the student is ready. ‘Start where you are’ shares a formula to move forward. This is an exceptional post, Brad. I have bookmarked it to reread and digest, yet, not necessarily to self-improve. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I especially loved reading this post, Brad, and the comments it has (so far…) inspired. Thank you for articulating this wisdom for all of us to read and re-read. This is my favorite chunk: “You do not need to fix yourself. You are not broken. You are enough. You may not like everything about your life and self, but you have the essential goodness and tools inside yourself. You are worthy of love and kindness no matter what you do or don’t do.” I think what you are describing is partly what has finally led me to start releasing songs via Spotify, Apple Music, etc. The songs and performances may not be perfect. But they are enough. And waiting for (and/or endlessly pursuing) perfection can certainly be a fruitless and disappointing endeavor… I am going to re-read this post many times in the days and weeks and months ahead. THANK YOU, wise prince.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. This is great! I believe we can accept ourselves and also acknowledge areas we can improve. Be grateful for what you have, but also be aware of what you can do better. Always love yourself and realize that YOU are enough. YOU can do anything you put your mind to. Just start.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Ya live long enough, ya stop buying self-improvement books. Mind you, I stopped a long time ago.
    Thanks for this wise post, Brad. You make excellent points. And yes, loving and accepting ourselves is vital – yet likely as difficult as always doing what we say we believe in.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. This post had so much love and gentleness within it 💕 that on its own is to be celebrated! I’ve never heard anyone say these things before. There has always been a goal: to reach the highest self or to be better than one is at the moment. But for someone, You, to say that we are already enough and worthy right now, is more beautiful than words can express.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you Ashley. I’m grateful my words could help you. I remember how impactful they were the first time I heard them 20 years ago. And still to this day, I need the reminder that I (we) are worthy and enough as we are. May your year be full of love and compassion.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I contest Mr Superego in my head. My dad’s gift, I think, as he got it from his father. They both belonged to the “Old School.” Dad would’ve been comfy in 15th Century Poland listening to the bishops and priests and carrying out their will. Oh! “Priests in black gowns / Were walking their rounds, / And binding with briars / My joys and desires” (Blake).

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Really love this, I feel that people get so caught up in their lives and lost in there own minds that they forget to just stop, breath and enjoy themselves!

    Liked by 3 people

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