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So you want to improve?

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, September 12, 2018
By Todd D. Giardina, Ph. D

So you want to improve?
But do you...really?

Our society is so obsessed with improvement and perfection - billions of dollars and myriad industries attest to this (my field included). 

However, being in my field, I know to ask: Why do you want to change? What do you hope to feel on the other side?

Self improvement is often about changes in appearance or income or whatever. But sometimes we need a shift in perspective, to one of greater acceptance and appreciation. 

Maybe you don’t need to be prettiER or smartER or richER - when the goal really is to feel happiER. Maybe you think or assume that changes and improvements will bring on this feeling (or similar feelings of pride or self love or accomplishment). 

And sometimes the goal is external: To get family approval, a mate’s attention, a boss’s recognition. But these are just baby steps toward something else. I ask again, what is your ultimate goal? To feel happy, right? 



So I encourage you to make some changes and tweaks, but let’s look inward. Make the mental shift by saying some nice things about yourself and your life. Speak with pride about your talents and accomplishments. Be grateful for the things you DON’T have e.g. ailments, broken relationships, financial strain. Honor that no one has it all and that social comparison à la Instagram is a sham. Consider that more time spent on X means less energy and focus on Y (and the trade off may not be worth it). 

Before you hurry to change jobs or pump up the fitness routine, maybe just pause and reflect. The true change you desire may require doing less and feeling more. 
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