Self-improvement and self-change is not something that comes naturally to many people.
In fact, most people are “change averse.” They have a fear of changing their lives, and especially a fear of changing their own self.
So instead of changing or improving the state of their lives, most people would rather just maintain the status quo and play it safe.
There are many different reasons people avoid self-improvement. This article covers some of the biggest hurdles that may block us.
1. You have too much pride
One of the most common things that hinders our self-improvement is that we have too much pride and arrogance.
This is because the word “self-improvement” often implies that there are areas of our life where we aren’t fully satisfied or happy with (or, at the very least, where we think we can do better).
So, to some extent, “self improvement” means that we have to admit that we can do better than our current situation – even if this temporarily hurts our egos.
You can overcome this by recognizing that no one is perfect, and everyone can improve themselves in different ways.
Understand that you are an individual who is always growing and changing, and this is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s only the person that doesn’t pursue self-improvement – who ignores that they can do better in certain areas of their life - who really has the broken ego in the end.
2. You think there will always be tomorrow
Another problem we face when pursuing self-improvement is that we have a false belief that there will always be tomorrow.
So instead of working to make changes today, we procrastinate and hold off on our goals and dreams.
Unfortunately, if we keep following this pattern, then one day we may wake up and realize our whole life has passed us by, but we never got a chance to do the things that we really wanted to do.
“Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time? My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.”
Jonathan Safran Foer
The lesson here is not to wait, but to act now. Don’t let time just pass you by.
Life is remarkably short and tomorrow is never a guarantee. Take advantage of every day you have, and don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed to realize the life you’ve always wanted to live.
3. You believe you need to change everything overnight
One of the main things I warn people about in The Science of Self Improvement is the “myth of overnight success.”
We either expect big and immediate changes in our life – or nothing at all. So when things don’t magically get better in a short period of time, we quickly lose our commitment and dedication toward making gradual positive changes.
This is a common trap to fall into, because self-improvement is often small and incremental. We need to work at it for long periods of time before we can look back and see how big of a difference we’ve made.
Instead of searching for magical solutions to your life, focus on small and gradual change. Try to make a bit of progress each and everyday, but realize it’s a long-term commitment.
4. You say you are “too busy”
Last but not least, one of the most common excuses we have is that we are “too busy.”
You want to go to the gym and exercise again, but you just can’t find the time, because you’re too busy running around at work, at home, at school, or doing other errands.
Sure, life can be busy (there’s no denying that), but when you find yourself “too busy” that’s really a sign that you need to reevaluate your priorities.
“Those who think they have no time for health eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
Ask yourself, “What’s really important to me?” Then make time for the things you value the most.
Steven Handel is a long-time writer on psychology and self-improvement. He blogs frequently at The Emotion Machine and is also the author of the brand new e-book The Science of Self Improvement. He encourages you to follow him on Facebook and Twitter, where he frequently shares new articles, as well as answers people’s questions about the human mind and how it works.