Are you hiding behind your striving?

Are our attempts at self-improvement really ways to mask our own feelings of inadequacy?

This question been on my mind since seeing this video on disliking yourself.

Now it’s not apparent to me that I dislike myself but much of my energy over the past has been put towards tying to improve myself:

  • Improving my appearance by working out and dressing well
  • Improving my social skills to have more success in social interactions
  • Improving my status and job to give me a sense of accomplishment

On the surface, these may not look like “bad” things but at a deeper level, a part of me feels that these things have been distractions from what’s really going on for me. They’ve allowed me an outlet or focal point for my perceived shortcomings rather than focus on the heart of the issue which is my relationship with myself.

When you have a good relationship with yourself and healthy self-esteem, it’s doubtful you’d need to strive for self-improvement. You may set healthy goals for yourself if they have meaning to you but you won’t need to hide behind some thin veneer or vain need to feel better about yourself.

I recall my own lust for approval and success when I had my band. I think, at some deep level, I needed that validation to feel good about myself which only points to a lack of true self-esteem within.

I think ultimately, we have to come to terms with ourselves. Practicing mindfulness and physical embodiment can help with that as it allows us to step outside of our stream of thinking and reconnect to our bodies and truest selves.

Only from that foundation of trust and self-acceptance can we truly engage in activities that bring us joy, and we’ll be free from the nagging feeling that we are not enough and have more to do to be alright.

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