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Don't Try to Improve Yourself

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Many people turn to meditation to improve themselves. That's why I started. I wanted to be free from anxiety and I also wanted to have better self-esteem, more self-confidence and achieve enlightenment.


There is a huge industry around self-help and self-improvement. How often have we read that we should think positively and in various ways become more efficient in order to achieve success. It has easily happened that the demands on us to improve ourselves become a burden that almost develops into an obsession and a constant sadness that we do not succeed in achieving our goals.


This happened to me. I was constantly dissatisfied. Constantly comparing myself to others and carrying within me a sadness that I was not good enough. The self-help programs I tried did not address the underlying feelings of inferiority, quite the opposite. They fed my feelings of inferiority. I felt such pressure to "make the most of life", "dare", "overcome fears", etc. The more I struggled with this, the worse I felt. Even when I made progress, "overcame something", I realized that it was only a temporary feeling of happiness. Soon I was back again, staring blindly at the areas of life that weren't good enough. I began to realize that even if I achieved what I desired, I would soon become dissatisfied again and look for something new to fulfill.


Note that this is not a criticism of self-help as such. It is not wrong to develop yourself and your abilities. What is important, however, is to understand the root of one's unhappiness. The important thing is to first take care of your feelings of inferiority. If we do not do this, it is easy for one's pursuit of fulfillment to become a burden or even an obsession.


Feelings of inferiority are expressed in, for example, comparisons with others, thoughts that I am not good enough, thoughts that I have to achieve something in order to be good as a person, and also envy and jealousy. If we carry this within us and try to achieve something, it will only end up with us trying to satisfy our desires to be good according to the framework we have set for ourselves.


As we free ourselves from our feelings of inferiority, something happens within us. We begin to find an acceptance within ourselves. An acceptance of our shortcomings. An acceptance of others' strengths. Jealousy, bitterness, comparisons, etc. melt away. When we get rid of our feelings of inferiority, we stop living to satisfy them.


Meditation is an effective tool to root out these feelings and get rid of them. Through meditation we can take hold of these feelings and throw them away. In this way we become free and can live free from them for the rest of our lives. It is important that we make it a priority; otherwise we will be constantly chasing to fulfill these and it will never end. It is as doomed to fail as trying to catch your shadow.


Since I started meditating, I feel such peace inside. I no longer try to be the best, but I just focus on what I do. That way I can achieve good results in a natural way. I no longer worry about tomorrow but take the day as it comes. I feel that I can appreciate others; I can also talk to others about my shortcomings, something I was too proud to do before. Life has become richer and I feel very grateful to all people.


Michael

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