Have you tried and failed to improve yourself in the past? Have you ever gotten all pumped up, only to lose motivation the next day?
At some point in our lives, we will all attempt to embark on personal growth journeys. Things don’t always turn out the way we want them to, though. If you have ever tried to become a better version of yourself, you’ll recognize these some or all of these eight self-improvement struggles.
In this blog, we will go over those struggles and offer some advice on how to stay positive while on a self-improvement journey.
1. A Feeling of Lacking Freedom
When we embark on journeys to improve our habits and become better people, we must make some meaningful changes to our daily routines, abandoning our old habits and finding new, positive ones.
For example, if you want to lose a few pounds and live a healthier lifestyle, you must force yourself to wake up early in the morning and hit the gym. You’ll also have to avoid soda, sugar-sweetened coffee, ice cream, takeout pizza, cookies, donuts, peanut butter, chocolate milk, and any other fattening food you can think of. When you realize how many sacrifices you’ll have to make, that’s the point at which you will begin to feel shackled.
Such sudden changes can and will tire you out. After all, yesterday, you were “living your life” and doing whatever you wanted, without a care in the world. But today, you have to change your entire way of life! This will make you feel as if you have lost your freedom, and we all want freedom—both physical and mental.
It is only by changing your mindset that you will be able to keep sailing forward. Remember that the reward of becoming a better person is far more satisfying than living your life indifferently in the name of “freedom.”
Bringing about significant changes in your life can leave you feeling lonely. Not everyone will agree with what you are trying to achieve, and they’ll continue living their lives as they always have, while you work hard to change yourself.
You will be required to set healthy boundaries—a difficult, but necessary task.
You may have to cancel plans to attend parties with some of your friends, declining many more invitations than you normally would. To continue our previous example, if your friends are going out for a pizza party, you may have to say no. You cannot eat pizza for the sake of your fitness goal, so you go home and eat your salad instead.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. The good thing is that you will be better able to socialize with a group of like-minded people. Now that you have identified your values, you can surround yourself with people who share them with you.
You will achieve your objectives more quickly this way.
Pro tip: Find strength in the phrase “time heals all wounds.” You will gradually feel so much better. Time will show you that changing the group of people you used to hang out with was the right thing to do. Trust us when we say that time will heal your separation anxiety.
3. Exhaustion from Never Reaching Perfection
In your journey of self-improvement, you will always be able to find something to work on, always wanting to keep improving in a never-ending quest to become “perfect,” no matter how much you have accomplished or how far you have come in life. The concept of perfection has indeed brainwashed us all. The reality is, however, that there is no such thing as perfection.
Rather than striving for perfection, chase after excellence.
If you have already achieved a goal, try to improve and outperform yourself the next time. If you continue to exhaust yourself in trying to achieve an unrealistic, all-or-nothing life goal, you will burn yourself out. To avoid this, don’t strive for perfection; instead, focus on achieving your personal goals.
4. The Thought That It Will Expose All Your Flaws
Self-improvement calls for you to dig around for your flaws. It commands you to identify and understand your problems so that you can fix them. This will likely make you feel bad, as all your negative attributes will be lying bare right before your eyes. You may even start believing that you are a terrible person.
This process of identifying your flaws can easily be very agonizing, maybe even forcing you to slow down, stop, and go back to your free-spirited way of life. As the saying goes, “ignorance is bliss.”
All of us experience this feeling.
We strongly advise that you avoid fixating solely on the negative aspects of your life. Put together a list of what you like about yourself. Write those positive qualities on a sticky note and stick it to your wall if you want. This will help you balance your mind and feel more positive than ever.
5. Getting Overwhelmed by Too Much Information
We always turn to the Internet for the answers to our most pressing questions, whether it is finding inspiration for paint colors for your home’s interior or the best treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.
It is at this point that our internal conflict begins. There is just so much information out there that confusion seems inevitable. It can seem like every website takes a different stance on every subject. Who should you believe?
If you find yourself in this situation, do not panic.
We recommend that, while you should consume this information, you also listen to what your gut is saying. Refrain from doing something that does not resonate with you or is simply popular opinion. Be skeptical. Take everything with a grain of salt and question everything.
Being skeptical and trusting your gut is the only path that will lead you to the success you seek.
6. Taking Steps Backwards and Making Mistakes
Did you make any mistakes on your path to self-improvement? Did you eat the cheeseburger you weren’t supposed to eat?
Well, to err is human—but making mistakes can leave you feeling exhausted and guilty. It can even force you to bring your journey to a halt, especially if you have made many mistakes along the way. Do not let your mistakes rob you of the desire to try again.
If you have been feeling like you want to throw in the towel, we have a suggestion that might make you feel better: give yourself a break and take some time away from trying to improve yourself. This will allow you to forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made on your self-improvement journey. It will also help you heal and re-join the quest with a clearer headspace.
7. Losing Motivation
We always rely on motivation, whether it’s for mental or physical transformations. We are so reliant on motivation that, if it goes away, any progress will ground to a halt. Loss of motivation is arguably the most common and difficult-to-overcome struggle.
What causes us to lose motivation? Losing sight of why we are striving to better ourselves.
There is always a “why” that pushes us to work towards a certain change in our lives. If we lose sight of that “why,” we will be back to our old ways in no time. Having said that, this reason should be strong; you shouldn’t just do something simply because your friends are doing it.
Remember this valid reason and visualize your ideal future version of yourself. This will help you get back on course.
8. Fake Positivity
Often, seeing other people who seem to always be improving and thriving can demotivate us. Their social media profiles extol the virtues of their lives, which may make you feel as if you’re very far behind on your journey, never able to catch up to them. You may think that you are the only one struggling, while everyone else is having a good time.
These negative thoughts can impair your motivation and may make you not want to try anymore.
You should understand, however, that social media profiles are merely fronts, where people usually post only the positive aspects of their lives. That does not mean they have it all figured out or that they live a perfect life—remember, perfection is an illusion.
Instead of getting bogged down, you should be proud of yourself. While they hide their flaws, you are brave enough to expose them and improve yourself, as well.
The Last Word
We are sure you have encountered at least one of these struggles along your self-improvement journeys. No matter what problem you’re facing, remember that self-improvement is not a product; it is a process that is ongoing throughout one’s life. It takes time and effort, but the payoff is sweet and well worth the effort!