Are you addicted to self-improvement?

By helping us live our best lives, self-improvement is very beneficial to our well-being. It is natural to want to keep up with peers, to feel productive in daily life, and to live with others in a meaningful way. However, the fear of not doing these things or not doing these things creates an overwhelming urge to constantly seek improvement.

We look around, pay attention to what other people are doing, and assume that this is what we should be doing. We see or hear advertisements for self-improvement programs, which are pushing us to adopt and adopt our own ideas. It is easy to get lost and overwhelmed in all this. However, no matter how much time we spend on self-improvement, we feel that we will never do enough.

Self-improvement field

Illustration by Brianna Gilmartin, VigorTip

You might look around your life and notice a few different areas that you might want to improve. With the scale of the self-improvement industry so large, you can rest assured that you are not alone in the pursuit of a better life! When considering self-improvement, there are often five main areas that appear most often, including:

  1. Health and fitness: lose weight, increase exercise, lower blood pressure
  2. Self-care: increase efficiency, reduce procrastination, meditation
  3. Mental health: mindfulness, gratitude, reduce anxiety
  4. Relationship: dating, overcoming breakups, finding love
  5. Education and/or career: job search, promotion, career exploration

In each of these areas, in addition to the examples listed here, there are various ideas on how to improve our lives. Every moment, we are bombarded with information about how we can do better or better, how to increase certain things and reduce others, and how to become more or less.

Want to improve is not a bad thing

Your desire to live a good life is not inherently bad. In fact, our purpose is to grow and learn, from cradle to grave. Failure to improve can make us feel that our lives are stagnant, marginalized, or that we may be socially left behind. As humans, we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to avoid these fears from playing out in our lives. Self-improvement feels like the key to ensuring that we keep up and even lead.

Signs of the problem

There are many indicators that the pursuit of self-improvement may cause problems in your life. These include:


The time spent on self-improvement may be one of the more obvious ways to understand when it becomes too much. Setting aside a special time for self-improvement every week, month or year can keep you healthy and still allow you to live your own life.

When our self-improvement efforts occupy most of our free time, we begin to feel overwhelmed. You may even find yourself withdrawing from social gatherings, activities, and obligations to focus on self-improvement. When you find yourself failing to fulfill your previously scheduled work or failing to fulfill your work or family obligations due to your focus on self-improvement, it may indicate that you have allowed it to control your life too much.


When we are trying to be “better”, there is a difference between setting specific goals and feeling aimless. When we have no focus, we do not know where we are going or the steps required to get there. In these situations, we only know that we don’t want to stay where we are. When our self-improvement efforts have no goals and make us jump from one area to another in our lives, this may be a reminder to let us know that it may get out of control.

Impulsive decision

Just like other habits, self-improvement can be exciting. As more and more plans are created and offered to us, covering various topics, it may be tempting to buy the next new plan or participate in the latest tutoring plan.

What’s more tempting is that most self-improvement plans are provided in the form of quick downloads, remote guidance plans, social media and apps, and we can buy and use multiple options at any time. The more we find ourselves buying or registering plans as we wish, this may indicate that it is difficult for us to control our decisions in the area of ​​self-improvement.

Never satisfied

It is not a bad thing to want to improve yourself and live a good life. However, when all our efforts are focused on improving our thinking, behavior, and generally our lives, we begin to wonder who we are. Is there anything to celebrate?

When self-improvement starts to feel troublesome, we feel as if the message we keep sending ourselves is that we are never “not enough”. Not only does this sometimes make people feel overwhelmed and exhausted, but it also makes us feel a little desperate because we will never reach the goal or enough.


What happens when someone keeps telling you all the methods that need improvement? This will make us ashamed because we let them down or fail to meet the requirements.

When our self-improvement efforts occupy all our free time and seem to be endless, we also make ourselves ashamed. When we only focus on areas that we seem to lack or inadequate and need to improve, there is no time to take stock of our talents, talents, or areas that we do well.

Are you addicted?

Just because we value self-improvement does not necessarily mean that we are addicted. When researching the elements of addiction, mental health expert Dr. Gregory Jantz, Ph.D. It is recommended to consider the following questions:

  • Does this behavior take priority over other important things in my life?
  • Will doing these things make me feel better or more in control?
  • Do no Will this make me feel bad or out of control?
  • Will I forget the time when I do these things?
  • Am I doing this kind of thing longer than I originally planned?
  • Will I feel uncomfortable or anxious when I cannot do it or consider not doing it?
  • Has my behavior in this area disrupted my life or relationships?
  • No matter how hard I try to reduce or stop, will I continue to return to these same behaviors?

With these questions in mind, we are studying the general elements of addiction that can be applied to various behaviors. If you can take a closer look at these and determine how your self-improvement efforts may apply, then it may be time to reflect and consider taking action.

Steps taken

So, if your pursuit of self-improvement seems to occupy your life, what should you do? Some things you can do may help:

slow down

Taking time to reflect and examine the way that self-improvement seems to take over your life can be very helpful. Doing so allows you to better understand that these otherwise positive behaviors seem to be hindering your best life.

Similarly, we can focus very much on the areas we want to improve, but we ignore the things to enjoy and celebrate. It can also prevent us from appearing in our lives and our relationships.

See how much time and money you spend on self-improvement. Do you feel that you are always looking for tips, tricks and methods to improve yourself?

You might even want to take a moment to think about how your actions might affect those around you. Does your self-improvement effort seem to prevent people from talking to you, or does the people around you seem frustrated that you always give them suggestions on how to improve?


In our continuous improvement efforts, we may eventually convey this message to ourselves: we are not enough, we lack, or we are not as valuable and worthy as we are now. When you take the time to slow down and review all the aspects you are trying to improve, it may be helpful to allow yourself to review your lifestyle and earn credit for your growth and learning.

Accepting ourselves does not mean that we stop growing. This just means that we can look at the big picture, recognize our strengths and areas we want to improve, and reassure ourselves that we have value without being perfect.

The more we practice self-acceptance, the more we allow people around us to do the same. When you learn various self-improvement methods or techniques, it is easy to become excited and want to share this information with people around you. Although sharing this information may be helpful and appreciated, over time, it may make others feel more insecure about their abilities and strengths and reduce their level of self-acceptance.


The survival of the self-improvement industry makes us feel that we are behind and not enough, or that we need to be eager to become better, stronger, more efficient or stronger. In our search for growth, it is easy for us not to fully integrate into our lives, but to observe people and situations that will benefit from our energy and time.

In practicing self-acceptance and slowing down the urge to improve, we can enjoy our lives more fully. Keep in mind your specific goals and the steps to achieve them, and give the process a real purpose, so that you don’t feel aimless or futile while trying to live your best life.

Practice mindfulness and gratitude

When we are always looking for ways to improve ourselves and our lives, it is easy to overlook everything that is going well and the life we ​​can appreciate now. Consciously practicing mindfulness and gratitude helps to learn how to focus on the things in front of us and to count the things we can be thankful for in our lives.

People have various ways to practice mindfulness and gratitude. Some of them include:

Value your strengths

Self-improvement indicates that a certain area of ​​our life needs improvement, or our characteristics or behaviors need improvement. Although this may be true, since we are not perfect and there is always room for improvement, this does not mean that we do not have any advantages or positive qualities, characteristics or behaviors.

If you have focused on self-improvement for a long time and feel that it may occupy your life too much, now may be a good time for you to consciously determine your strengths. Consider how to use existing advantages in creative ways.

Do you need help identifying your strengths? You can use tools such as “Values ​​in Action”, which ranks our top 25 strengths.

Very good sentence

Self-improvement is usually a good thing. However, if it starts to dominate your life or make you feel that you are never good enough, this may be a problem.

If it feels that the pursuit of self-improvement is taking over your life so as to drain your happiness or cause pain, then it may be time to seek professional help. The therapist can help you find ways to pursue your self-improvement goals in a healthy, realistic and productive way.