Self-love vs self-improvement, to be or not to be

Self-love is absolutely loving yourself. Self-improvement on the other hand is improving yourself. So where is the confusion? Or what’s the confusion?

There’s a quandary I hear people talk about a lot, in the self-improvement world. Which goes something like this: “Should I keep trying to change, or should I just learn to love myself?”

The people posing this question almost invariably feel terrible about themselves. And further, they assume that’s par for the course. A low level of confidence, a low self-esteem and what not. Isn’t it. This equates loving yourself with thinking you’re just fine the way you are. It treats self-love as a reward for being the person you want to be. It assumes that your self-regard should be based, in some sense, on you being objectively “good.” And conversely, it equates wanting to change with disliking yourself.

In fact, this whole “self-love vs self-improvement” thing is a false dilemma, one that badly misunderstands the role of self-love. But ask yourself – is this true of your love for other people?

Real self-love is the basis for self-improvement

If you love someone else, surely that means you want the best for them? You want them to be healthy, happy and successful. If you have children, you want them to do well in school. If a friend is unhappy with their life, you want their life to change so they’ll be happy.

Apply the same standards to yourself that you do to others – love yourself the way you love your friends and family. Decide to be better because you deserve better; because you love yourself and want to enable yourself to live a fulfilling life.

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