The Violence Beneath Self-Improvement

I’ve been in a strange spiral of growth recently … one that feels slow, ambling, kind of pointless and frustrating to be honest (at least from my ego’s perspective) — and then suddenly punctuated by strong emotions like fear and anger.

In fact, I’ve been feeling so “bleh” due to my life circumstances right now (aka., a family member dying from terminal illness, and a cascade of other life dramas, not to mention the state of the world), that I’ve struggled to write or share anything here.

Nevertheless, I wanted to share something, so here are some raw and real pain points I’ve been dealing with recently:

  • Thinking that I “should” be totally healed by now
  • Finding new pockets of pain within me that I never knew were there
  • Confusing the voice of my ego with the voice of my soul (yes, the sneaky bugger has been cloaking itself in a guise of “I am totally wise and can control things”)
  • Struggling with self-trust
  • Thinking I need to “improve” more aspects of myself to be loveable and acceptable

But let me resurrect some old Soul-channeled reflections here (that were directed toward others but equally apply to me which I wrote back in 2016):

When you’re emotionally suffering, the worst thing you can do to yourself is to invalidate your feelings and tell yourself that you need to be “fixed.”

One of the most dangerous but subtle spiritual bypassing traps out there is to live your life in pursuit of becoming “whole” or somehow more enlightened.

Here’s the truth: you are already whole! Just like the earth, sun, and ocean are whole, you are whole. It is your thoughts that are obscuring the reality that you’re already complete.

The very thought that you’re not whole and need to be desperately “improved” just perpetuates your unhappiness.

Self-improvement is a form of violence.

Yes, it’s natural to desire self-growth — I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that.

But the frenzied pursuit of being “better” or more than what you already are, or to forcefully “improve,” creates your suffering.

Self-growth comes from a place of natural flow and curiosity. But self-improvement comes from a disempowered lack mentality.

So examine the thoughts you have about yourself. Where do you feel incomplete or lacking? Replace your pursuit of perfection with gentle validation for what arises within you. Give it a try, see what happens.

Experiment and say to yourself, “I can feel this sensation of being inadequate/ugly/broken/insecure and I unconditionally accept it. I’m here, now. I don’t need this sensation to go or change. I allow it to be here.” Breathe into that feeling within you and open yourself to it. See how it naturally dissolves as you give it attention.

Any uncomfortable feeling within you is a messenger, a friend, an ally — it’s here to wake you up.


So … may I take this channeled piece of advice and truly integrate it.

And if you resonate with these words, I wish the same for you too. ❤️


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4 responses to “The Violence Beneath Self-Improvement”

  1. Danielle Russell avatar
    Danielle Russell

    This resonated a lot with me thank you very much for posting it.

    I feel that my life was mostly isolating, with little support and the difficulty becoming software most likely because of the said lack of community and family.

    The self-help self-improvement industry turns out books and programs at an incredible rate and most of it speaks about how we need to love ourselves to be happy, how we need to improve ourselves in order to deserve connection, how we need to be better in order to taste success, growth and achieve a fulfilling life.

    I strongly beg to disagree. I believe in fact that the failure to launch for many lives, was due to the fact that there was no true connections, no secure attachments, no real emotional support for a person’s endeavors, life challenges and projects they undertook.

    In that sense the self-help narrative is topsy-turvy. It shouldn’t be “self-help” that we sell to the next individual, it should be “community help” that reaches out and the struggling self will be served better…

    We should not focus on the individuals pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, knowing that they are already weakened and seeking through books and programs we should understand that they are the ones in the worst position and most likely alone which is a Herculean task no one should be asking them to do.

    We should focus on the community so that individuals will find real connections, useful resources and the sense of belonging that is painfully missing from their lives; as they have been led to think that they need to modify and shape themselves into an acceptable form, in order to obtain the support and acceptation that they are biologically wired to need.

    When in fact it should be available to them so that they might grow and learn and incorporate all those things from the support and community being there in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness Danielle! Yes! I love how you say “It shouldn’t be “self-help” that we sell to the next individual, it should be “community help”” – this is so, so true. I think on some level people are catching up to the false promises of the self-improvement industry, and that’s why areas such as nervous system healing and attachment theory are so popular right now. We should absolutely focus on building a sense of inner and outer community, however that looks, and in whatever way is accessible to us. Thank you for your lovely thought-provoking comment ❤️


  2. Oh I feel you right now, it’s good to remember that all feelings have a purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Realizing that has helped me so much 😄


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