Self-improvement or Self-acceptance?

Jen at Semi-Charmed Wife asked this question: "When does self-improvement become a negative? When should I be practicing self-acceptance instead?".

This is a question I struggle with as well. In fact in July, I am saying no to any self-improvement projects.

I usually have some going on.

Of course I am always going for the win-win. I think accepting where you are right now and who you are right now is the start to self-improvement. I like my gratitude journal, hanging around positive people, and relishing when I have accomplished something. I think who you are has more importance than what you do.

Going to self-improvement from a place of self-confidence and contentment makes projects more like fun experiments than torturous programs.

Photo by J. Gresham

I know when I try to improve because I am feeling like an incompetent slob it feels harder and more like work than when I am feeling good. So now I play with my thoughts and concentrate on self-care before doing another project.

And some work, some don’t. Fasting on brown rice for detox just gave me migraines. And I have yet to find out what works for my allergies. Boot camp was not highly successful, but swimming, pilates, yoga and walking I can stick with. If something doesn’t work, I look for another way.

Don’t like weights – try bands, a video, pilates, yoga, working with a trainer. Don’t like vegetables – try different preparation methods, hiding them in food, getting them from the farmer’s market. (personally I love vegetables).

I am shy, so I know how long I can be with people, crowds aren’t the best for me and I need downtime after being with a lot of people. So I give myself that downtime, but I will often give myself a tiny goal or risk to take like talking to a new person before an event. You can understand and accept who you are and still grow.

Working with who you are and playing with different methods while still being grateful and satisfied where you are now is the best win-win.

How about you? Are you working on any self-improvement projects? How are you feeling as you undertake them?