There is no “better” you

I have been noticing a lot of flyers this year in fitness centers and around bulletin boards that invite people to “become a better you.” I really dislike this slogan. Let me tell you why.

You are just fine the way you are. Right now. No exceptions. You are worthy of love, compassion and forgiveness. Just because you are human. In this moment, and always.

Are you perfect? No. Are you human? Yes. You are an imperfect human being in the process of growing and becoming, as are we all. And that is a beautiful thing.

Are there some things you wish to change about yourself? Probably. Most of us want to lose weight, make more money, become more patient, perhaps become better partners or spouses. And this is fine. But this does not mean we become “better” as people. If we cannot accept that we are fine, and worthy of love and compassion, in this moment and always, it will be much harder to grow and change.

What bothers me about this “better” you is that it implies the you RIGHT NOW is not enough. But that is never true. You are enough. You are doing your best and that is always enough. You are worthy. Always.

You will not become “better” if you lose weight. Perhaps your health will be better, and you will have less discomfort in your body and more vitality if you lose weight. Those are all worthy goals, and by all means strive for those goals if they are important to you. But you must accept yourself and who you are in this very moment to allow transformation to occur.

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Does that sound paradoxical? I thought so at first when I encountered this idea. If I’m not striving and trying and working toward it, how can I be “better” at it? Certainly skills take practice, and many of us learned that working hard is the answer, or the way to riches, or even the way to God.

When you have goals that are important to you, absolutely you should work for them. Put the time in every day if you can. But realize that there is no “better” version of you that awaits. You may feel better about your skills, and you may accomplish great things. Wonderful! Congratulations!

But the YOU remains the same, lovable and worthy. Flawed and imperfect. And marvelously human, adaptable and growing all the time. If you accept all parts of yourself, the good and the bad, you begin to feel such compassion for yourself and others as well. 

No person is better than another. We are all just doing our best, even if it seems like not everyone is trying. We actually are doing the best that we know. Try this belief on for a bit. When I really came to know this as true, it gave me so much peace. And ironically, parts of me began to change as I embraced this acceptance.

You are the BEST YOU right now. And that is enough. Let go of the struggle to become better. Work on acceptance of who you are. See how this changes your energy and your life.

 

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10 thoughts on “There is no “better” you

  1. I think putting in the work to become a better person is importance, but above all you’re talking about accepting yourself first. Being comfortable with our flaws and imperfections is so difficult, and impossible for some, but it is the first step to bettering ourselves.

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    1. I have been thinking a lot about this comment. But I guess this boils down to my spirituality. We can work to improve our behaviors, that is true. But I fundamentally believe people are trying their best. So there is no need to become “better” in that sense. We are fundamentally who we were meant to be, and some of us develop conscious awareness of this earlier than others. And we are on different paths, and most of us strive to be more loving, more compassionate, more whole. But in the end, we must forgive ourselves when we falter, and not see ourselves as in need of punishment or reproach. I know a lot of good people who spend a lot of their time in self-blame and self-criticism. It is hard to change when we cannot hold ourselves as tenderly as a friend would, and allow for our mistakes.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I always enjoy it when a reader really makes me think! 😉

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      1. I’m glad I could be of service! It’s an interesting topic, and one where I really believe in “bettering myself” as a means to an end. With that I think comes being understanding of myself, and not placing blame when I fail. Failure is part of taking the risk towards improvement. But at a fundamental level, yes I believe people are doing there best. Self-blame does not contribute to the process of becoming better, and very rarely results in positive change. I appreciate your posts because they often make me think about things I’ve always held true, and force me to ask “why?” and really live with those reasons. Thanks for writing!

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  2. Thank you, Julie. It actually started to annoy me, seeing all these signs that are selling something based on too many people’s sense of unworthiness. I wish they would use instead: better vitality or more energy or something that all of us could strive for, while not feeling there is inherently something wrong with us.

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  3. I just love this post! So many messages around us are that we need to be something better than we are when, in reality, our struggle is just to accept ourselves, ‘flaws’ and all. As you say, we’re all imperfect and human and that’s OK. Wonderful post. Made my day, thank you.

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