Why You Should Stop Self-Improving All of the Time

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When Being Better Isn't Always Best

by Alisa Hetrick

These days, I'm just so tired.

I'm tired, yet full. Tired, yet happy. Tired, yet inspired.

My life is pretty great. I have a busy, well-paying job that's fun and flexible, an apartment in a hip neighborhood, a social life, a travel life, parents who love me, a boyfriend who's also my best friend. I'm smart, naturally athletic (though not naturally coordinated,) artistic, sometimes a good singer, and as of this month, I can now add skiing to my resume. 

That's not to brag. Believe me, there are plenty of things I have not yet mastered, traits I do not have, and in fact, all of those v e r y  m a n y  t h i n g s consume so much of my time and energy. Yes I am confident in myself, but perhaps I'm a little too confident in myself and my future abilities, because my mornings and nights are filled with self-improvement hacks, body-boosting-body-saving foods, evening meditations, essential oils, super soul conversations, brain puzzles, books about spirituality, books about productivity, podcasts about being a woman, podcasts about being a woman in business, and so many other god damn helpful and inspiring garbage I can't even stand it. I love it. But I'm tired of it.

It's all well intentioned. I know that, and that's why I'm such an avid consumer. I love the idea of being my ultimate self, the best ever version of me, learning from others climbing their own mountains on this destination-less journey. Sometimes, it's fun and challenging in all the best of ways, but sometimes, I'm just over it. I'm over trying to be constantly better, smarter, fitter, more spiritual, more artful, more holistic, more feminine, more masculine, more enlightened, and wish I could just BE. Not be less, but just be nothing for a moment. Just stand and enjoy the April snowflakes falling on my face in all their poorly-timed beauty. Just sip the cold brewed coffee I made because I make good cold brewed coffee dammit! I just want to stop being better for an entire two minutes. Maybe even five minutes.

I won't stop the self-improvement train entirely, but will make a few stops here and there. Just to breathe it in and be. To do something unproductive and carefree and playful. To be mindless and bodyful.

Striving for better in each and every moment is exhausting and perhaps not all that good for us anyway. Maybe the only way to be our best selves is if we stop and just be ourselves. If even for just a few minutes.

Moon Magazine