Have you become a self-improvement project?

How can I make myself more effective? How can I optimize the way I work? Is there something that I can adjust that will make me a better leader? These are questions that fill many people’s minds, and when I suggest that there might not be a demand for dramatic improvement, I am met with great resistance.

We are so obsessed with tuning things to be better all the time that we have come to believe that like processes and strategies we need constant improvement. And for far too many leaders this has turned into a self-improvement project, that obviously never ends.

But with seeing ourselves as a self-improvement project must come the premise that there is something wrong with us to begin with. Something that needs to be better in order for us to be a good enough leader, a good enough employee, or even good a enough father, mother, son or daughter.

It is as if we are not good enough until we have improved this or that, and every time we make a less-than-favorable move we beat ourselves up and try even harder to improve so that it will never happen again. Many of us have this impression that one day we will finally learn it all and arrive at some sort of pinnacle where everything is perfect. But the problem is that we or the people around us can always come up with new things that need improvement – it never ends.

The self-improvement project causes us to be preoccupied with how other people, jobs and/or organizations think we should be. And on top of that, it leaves us with a feeling that we are never good enough, which in turn makes us less confident and consequently leaves us delivering far worse performance.

Development and change are a part of being human. They are things we must invite into our lives in order stay vibrant and alive, but instead of viewing ourselves as a process that needs some optimization, we have to use our curiosity to guide this process.


What is it that makes you curious? That is where you want to invite in new things and focus your development. Even when you initially cannot make sense of it – make room for it. Because curiosity will automatically bring you closer to where your energy arises, where you are vibrant and alive; back to who you are – and from there you don’t need any improvement.

Self-development is not an improvement project, it is a continuous opening and unfolding of who you are. In this place, you are enough just as you are.

When following your curiosity in your own development, instead of being focused on all of your room for improvement, you will naturally seek out things that will bring you closer to the best version of yourself.


How to get started:

  1. What makes you curious? If that question is hard to answer, then start looking for and observing what makes you curious in your daily life.
  2. Let go of your focus on all of your “room-for-improvement”, unless it is prohibiting you from reaching the goals you have set for yourself.