Rejecting Yourself in the Name of Self-improvement is like Over-watering a Tree

“Do you afford yourself self-acceptance now and in the future? Or will you only accept yourself after you get to a certain point? What behavior does it drive in you when you feel feelings of self-acceptance or self-compassion? I argue that accepting yourself now, in the future, and throughout the process will give you the results you want.”

So we all have unhelpful unintentional thoughts. And the way we think ultimately determines the results we get in our lives. Yes, thoughts are optional. Yes, letting go of unhelpful thoughts/beliefs is an essential part of mind management. But how we approach this is very important.

Be careful that you do not approach your unhelpful thoughts with negativity and judgment, but with curiosity and fascination. In my experience, treating the unhelpful thought pattern with respect and understanding goes a long way in processing it. I have to do this before intentionally moving on to a more helpful thought.

Why Do I Have Unhelpful Thoughts?

We have thoughts that don’t serve us. Why are they there? It’s not because you are stupid. It’s not because there is something wrong with you. Those thoughts are there for a good reason. They are learned. The intentions behind them are very helpful. Often our brain is trying to protect us from something. Or we are trying to do or be something that we think is worth aspiring for. But the results are not always what you expect.

Have You Ever Done This?

At times, I have rejected myself to help myself grow. I think it will help me be the best person I can be. Live the best life I can live. Be a better person, husband, father, son, brother, friend, provider. I’m going to whip myself into shape. Punish myself into being better. But I don’t get the results I want.

Don’t Overwater the Tree

You have a seed that has grown into a small tree. You want to help it grow. Be the best tree it can be. The tree is you.

Option A

You think the tree is not growing fast enough. You think it is not big enough or strong enough. You wish it was a different kind of tree. So, what a lot of us do, with the best of intentions, we overwater the tree. This slows or stops the growth of the tree and can even kill the tree.

This is what it is like to reject yourself in the name of self-improvement. If I find everything wrong with me then I can improve more, faster, better. You disregard the natural process of the tree. You try to make the tree grow in a way that does not work. You do more damage than good. You reject yourself as you are now. Good intentions, unwanted result.

For me, the feeling of self-rejection drives behavior in me that does not help me show up the way I want to or be the best version of me. Ask yourself, how do you show up when you are feeling the feelings of self-rejection or self-loathing?

Option B

I accept the tree as a growing tree that is the best it can be right now. It is the size it is meant to be. Giving it the optimal amount of water is part of accepting how this tree works, what it really needs, and what actually gives you the results you want. What if the tree is completely acceptable both at its current size/strength/appearance and how it will be in the future?

Do you afford yourself self-acceptance now and in the future? Or will you only accept yourself after you get to a certain point? What behavior does it drive in you when you feel feelings of self-acceptance or self-compassion? I argue that accepting yourself now, in the future, and throughout the process will give you the results you want.

More specifically, thinking this way toward yourself will create feelings in you that drive the actions you are looking for and give you the results you are wanting.

This might seem backwards to what a lot of us do. But if you want different results you need to start thinking differently.

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