Stop Improving Your Life — And Start Living!

Yesterday Barry showed you a video on how to embrace two powerful habits, and gave you some new perspectives on how to look at what is often called “self-improvement”.

He told you that you don’t need to look at yourself as broken or flawed, or be on a self-declared path of enlightenment in order to invest in yourself; you just need to take responsibility for your own choices and actions.

After all, you are worthy of being the best you that you can be — even though right now you already are the best you that you could have been up to this point.

And he shared a quote with you, which comes from author Robert Holden:

No amount of self-improvement can make up for a lack of self-acceptance.

In fact, I’d love to share with you the entire article, which is excerpted from the book Shift Happens! Powerful Ways to Transform Your Life by Robert Holden, Ph.D. (and which follows, interspersed with my own commentary and clips from some of my audio interviews).

To read and listen, click the link below…

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Stop Improving Your Life — And Start Living!
by Robert Holden, Ph.D.

Soon after my book Happiness NOW! was published, a journalist interviewed me on the subject of self-improvement. She found what I said surprising and refreshing. Afterwards she asked me to write 100 words on what she called my “unique take” on self-improvement. Here is what I wrote:

After living sixteen years, 5,844 days, on the spiritual path;
After sitting for 5,000 hours in earnest meditation;
After reading 1,000 brilliant books on success, happiness and love;
After listening to 500 self-healing tapes;
After attending 250 self-improvement workshops;
After benefiting from 200 therapy sessions;
After praying on my knees more than 100 times;
After going on twenty-five retreats;
After enduring ten fasts;
After suffering five colonic irrigations;
And after trying to forgive Mom and Dad more than once;
I finally got the key to happiness: RELAX!

Some people are so busy striving for self-improvement that they have no time for self-acceptance. They also have no time for laughter, happiness or even relationships.

Not only do people spend too much time and energy striving for self-improvement, but they also spend too much time and energy striving for “success” on other people’s terms.

What happens when we get overwhelmed or burned out? What happens when things just aren’t fun, joyful, meaningful or valuable to us anymore?

This short audio clip answers those questions, and comes from an interview I did with Katherine Gibson, best-selling author of Unclutter Your Life: Transforming Your Physical, Mental and Emotional Space, and Pause: Putting the Brakes on a Runaway Life:

The entire interview has just been released on CD, and you can grab your copy for more insight on priorities, life balance, getting rid of mental and physical clutter, and moving past procrastination by clicking here.

Now back to Robert’s article:

Many times I have watched people use self-improvement as a covert form of self-attack — heavily laced with self-criticism, self-loathing and a denial of wholeness. Self-improvement often starts with a perception of lack (i.e., “I am not good enough”, “I am not okay yet”, etc.). Unless this perception of lack is changed, you always end up where you started from, in lack! No amount of self-improvement is enough. There is no rest.

I tell people who attend my seminars that my work is not about self-improvement; it’s about self-acceptance. I honestly believe everyone is holy, everyone is blessed, and everyone is an angel. Self-acceptance feeds the inner garden of the soul. It clears away the debris of doubt, criticism, fear, judgment and ego. With self-acceptance you live and grow spontaneously, naturally, abundantly.

Imagine if you were to practice unconditional self-acceptance! How would your life be? What’s your fear? For most people the fear is “all hell will be let loose“, i.e., without self-improvement “I’m not okay”, “I’ll slip”, “I’ll turn bad”. Other common fears are that self-acceptance leads to complacency, arrogance, egotism, narcissism, “losing my drive”, falling behind and not growing any more.

Approaching life from a perspective of lack is always going to hold us back from what we’re capable of — and what the Universe is capable of providing.

One of the interviewees in the bonus section of Masters of the Secret (available for a limited time at a special price on CD-ROM) often says, “Nothing is ever missing.”

And what she means by that is, if you feel you’re missing something in one area of life (for instance, finances), then you’ll discover you have those riches in another area of life (perhaps you have wonderful, thriving relationships). Of course, this example is hypothetical, and could just as easily go the other way… as evidenced by the TV show Millionaire Matchmaker, which features men who have great financial wealth, but are having challenges finding a partner to love.

And yes, getting over our fears in that area which we perceive to be “lacking” will allow us to find abundance in that part of our lives, too.

In this interview clip I did with world-renowned speaker and author John Harricharan, creator of The Power Pause Formula, he talks about realizing that we are infinitely powerful beings, and not being afraid of that power (or afraid of “success”), as many of us are.

The entire interview on CD, which goes over the entire Power Pause Formula and investigates limiting beliefs and Universal laws, can be yours by clicking here

In this clip he also talks about sharpening our intuition by quieting and opening the mind, and going into silence… and explains exactly how to do that:

Because, once again, it’s not about rushing around, stressing ourselves out, and trying to “do” more in order to “have” more… it’s about “being” first, and that being includes accepting ourselves and the value we already have.

Robert explains why that is so important as we continue with his article:

These fears are, in truth, smokescreens for a much bigger fear, which is, with enough self-acceptance you will experience so much unconditional love it will blow your ego away. Also, with enough self-acceptance you will experience uncontrollably high levels of creativity, orgasmic abundance and boundless bliss. Check it out!

Self-acceptance is your number one goal in life. Why? Because for as long as you believe there is something unacceptable about you, you will push away love, you will sabotage success, you will unconsciously conspire against joy, you will struggle, and you will never really find out who you are or what you are really capable of.

With self-acceptance, you fear you will lose something, but really you lose nothing and gain everything. For instance, with self-acceptance, you lose your fear of lack, and gain wholeness; you lose judgment and guilt, and gain innocence; you lose your ego, and regain great creativity. With self-acceptance, you lose ground, and start to fly!

Self-acceptance transforms your perception of yourself. The more you commit to self-acceptance, the more you will begin to see that there is nothing about the real you that is wrong, bad, not okay or not enough. Self-acceptance inspires all sorts of personal alchemy and self-realization. It is truly the most powerful act of healing, prosperity and love on the planet.

What can self-acceptance look like?

According to Robin Sharma, best-selling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Greatness Guide, it can come in very simple forms and actions.

In this interview clip with me, he shares two of his favorite stories about people who sought (and found) personal greatness the simple way… and those stories are The Steve Jobs Question and Be Into Breezes:

In order to ask ourselves The Steve Jobs Question, we need to accept ourselves — and trust the answer that we’re going to give ourselves.

And in order to appreciate the simple pleasures in life — like a warm summer breeze — we need to accept the beauty of our own existence, and recognize the power in what we are… not what we “should” be.

The entire interview, featuring the most powerful tips to find your greatness, qualities of great leaders, how to run towards your fears, distinguishing pleasures from true happiness and more, is available on CD by clicking here.

Speaking of pleasures, I enjoy getting professional massages, because it allows me to focus on how grateful and appreciative I am the whole time I’m getting worked on. It makes me feel wealthy and on top of the world, for a relatively low price… and that attracts more opportunity to feel wealthy and on top of the world.

It’s about accepting myself — and what I have to be grateful for — and treating myself well, the way I am now.

What does Robert say about that? Let’s finish his article:

Today, be willing to practice unconditional self-acceptance. Affirm “I am okay,” even if you can’t see it yet. Cease striving. Trust in your goodness. Relax into your wholeness. Above all, be kind to yourself. You do not have to do anything good, right or great to justify this kindness. Treat yourself the best you can so as to bring out the best in yourself. Shift happens with self-acceptance! Be kind to yourself.

You don’t have to improve anything to be perfect, because you are perfect the way you are.

The irony is, once you accept that, you begin to improve anyhow — without even really trying.

Resources become more powerful, meditation takes you places you’ve never been, and you develop the Midas touch… where everything turns to gold.

That power is within you now — but you can’t access it unless you accept that, by accepting yourself.

And once you do accept yourself, you become unstoppable… at home, at play, in business, and in all areas of your life.

If you’ve mastered these concepts and are ready to move on… we have a powerful resource coming Tuesday that will allow you to tap into the power you know you have to build, grow and develop your own profitable online business.

And if you’d like to explore these concepts a little more first… any of the CDs listed above are only $10 each, and are delivered straight to your door.

Here’s to loving and accepting yourself, and in turn accepting the greatness you’re about to experience!

Your Partner in the Quest For
Living a Life Without Limits,

Heather Vale

Filed under: Personal Achievement, Self-Freedom / Emotional Mastery

14 Responses to “Stop Improving Your Life — And Start Living!”

  1. Heather,

    What a great article! This rings so true for me at this point in my life as I have spent a lot of time in the last few years on self-improvement but have also come to the conclusion that it can be an endless cycle. Thanks so much for helping me shift my thinking on this as well as for the valuable input from your guests on the audio clips.


  2. Another powerful way to bring great change in your life is to decide for yourself that you are finished trying to “endure” life but rather it’s high time to start “living” life. Life revolves around “being”. So what, how, why and just who….are YOU being? Being begins from that part of you which is beyond the mind, that part of you which is aware of being aware of self. When you can accept the responsibility for being who and what you are now, you will also understand that you have the ability to change as well, to suit your own desires.

  3. Thanks Heather,

    As always great insights from interesting folks that care enough to share what works for them.

    I personally think that when you stop learning and enjoying your daily life experience, is when you relinquish your creator status and join the creature realm.

  4. I love the cloud one and the one about what would you do iff it was the last day of your life’ will practise both’ thank you’

  5. Not since my teens have I laid back and gazed at clouds; high time to re-visit – I love the idea that they are thoughts passing by.
    There are many inspirational gems here.
    Thank you.

  6. Reading and thinking about, I believe I’ve clear for me: the self-acceptance is the successful ending of the first and ultimate stage of enlightenment, containing the answers for three questions: 1. Who I am? (A part of Whole) 2. How I am? ( Knowing and feeling the own availability for harmonizing with the Whole) 3. What I want? ( The own goal which determines the own way and the tools for realize the integration within growing and attending the Superior Self). The love for all the parts of Whole – others and oneself – and the dedication to own goal will assure the resonance with the Universe and the power for realizing the Light. Thank you for your help. Margareta

  7. Hi Heather, I do concur with what Joan has written. I too have felt like I have been on the ‘self-improvement’ treadmill for the last 10 years. Today, your article and comments has shifted my thinking in a fundamental but dramatic way. I feel like something has finally clicked in me and I am on my way to big changes. My deepest thanks, Patrick.

  8. Heather,
    Great work. Thank you for bringing awarness to self acceptance. The teacher you present so kindly reminded us of practices that each of us can benift from.
    It was a pleasure reading and listing to this composition.



  9. Great point.
    Lines up with what Jesus said about loving your neighbor as yourself.
    Lines up with Emotional Freedom Technique that tells you to release your negative stored energy by tapping on meridian points and installing a new “over write’ by saying that you unconditionally love, ACCEPT and forgive yourself.
    Releasing love and joy to you, mary

  10. Thanks Heather! I concur. A fundamental concept in my coaching practice (over 20 yrs) is always that “you don’t need to be fixed or better”…we engage in spiritual, self discovery not to make oneself better or more…because we all are already the best, most magnificent beings(always have been, always will be)…we engage to discover and accept all facets of our magnificence and because we find the discovery entertaining and educational. It doesn’t make us better and it can open us to many different levels of experience. Many Blessings.

  11. wow, thats an article. yes, I am so guilty of trying to fix me. After the death of my 6 years son following open heart surgery, I truly didn’t like my attitudes, feelings and I think things in general so I started on a quest to improve me. Yes, I am a better person again and now it’s time to love that new me. Thanks for showing and sharing this with me.
    This will take practice in believing that I am but I know that I am worthy.

  12. This is excellent advice. Too often we try to become someone other than the person we actually are.

    Instead of seeking to constantly improve, perhaps it’s time to see and enjoy the individual we are today. Once we do that we will probably have a better opportunity to accept and love the person we already are.

  13. Just in the nick of time, when my attitude was about to slip over the edge of “what else are they gonna try to sell me?”, I read this post! Almost blinded by the defensive position of lack, I thank you for swooping in and sharing these nuggets of refreshing truth. In fact, your low cost offerings on your site are some of the most valuable and useful that I have seen. Of course the multitude of “gurus” and teachers you interview will also have their click-through sales, but think about it… nobody goes into Walmart and walks up to the check out and says “I’ll take everything, just charge my credit card”!! I have been exposed to some very impinging encouragements since signing up to your site.
    Even though the Monster of Limitation rears its awful head at me daily, taunting me to give in to the notion that I don’t know what I’m doing, where I’m going, what I want. Inside I know I have my own strength. It makes me think of the ending of the movie “The Labyrinth” when Sara looks at the Goblin King with wide eyes of realization and says softly: “You have no power over me!” I won’t be feeding the monster anymore.
    Thank you

  14. There’s Nothing wrong with you ! by Robin really helps one to accept themselves great reading and learning on here Bless all of you

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