Be Careful With Self-Improvement

We get wrapped up in ourselves, worried about improving on the outside and inside. We want to show that we have a special talent, or have accumulated certain possessions. We worry about the image we are projecting, and we are constantly thinking about what we “have” to do to get to the next level.

When others are talking, we are thinking about what we need to do next and what we have to do today. We become absorbed in our workouts, our plan and our goals for ourselves.

We have all been caught there. Some people just spend more time there than others. Make sure that you check yourself because self-absorption is poison.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all about “self-improvement”, but we need to be careful…all of us do. I actually think the best way to improve and help yourself, is to help others.

  • Would you consider your dedication healthy, helpful, balanced, sustainable, admirable and restorative?
  • Do you sleep under 8 hours a night, and/or believe that rest is for the weak?
  • Do you praise those who work and train long and hard even when they are sick, tired or stressed out?
  • Are you always talking about “the grind” and what sacrifices you make to “out hustle” everyone else?

If you often feel like you can’t keep up, you’re in over your head, you have to do more, or that everything is moving too fast…you may be in a very unhealthy pattern of “obsessiveness”. I’m not saying that everyone who trains hard in CrossFit is like this. I am not suggesting that everyone who is extremely focused on their career is like this either. I am just hoping that you can understand that more is not always better.

True, healthy dedication is taking the time to make sure you’re resting, restoring, rejuvenating, recovering, staying healthy, and knowing when you need to take a break or give more attention to other important areas or people in your life.

  • Remember to take the focus off of yourself and put it onto other people. As often as you can, train yourself to think about the goals, desires, hopes and fears of others.
  • Help someone else out, and ask for nothing in return. Be selfless, giving, generous and loving.
  • When you catch yourself thinking about “your stuff”, remember that life is much bigger than you, and consider how you can make an influence on someone else at that moment.

To relieve the anxiety, pressure and focus you put on yourself…simply put your thoughts and energy onto others.


Posted in

Mentality WOD

Reader Interactions


  1. Dr. Adam Kipp says

    A very important reminder, thank you! So often I find myself doing just this… I try so hard to become a better person, better doctor, etc, that I lose sight of the fact that it’s not just about me!

  2. ruhroe says

    Altruistic intentions are good. But don’t “put it onto other people” at your own expense. Some people might take this message as a reason to externalize their values, which rarely turns out to be a healthy thing. But above all, doing something to support someone is one of the best things you can do to “actualize” yourself, for sure.

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