Self-Improvement: Pros and Cons from the Perspective of Psychology

by Mahima Bhatnagar
Self Improvement

Search online, millions of results prop up, teaching googlers tips and practices for self-improvement. But, is improving one's self always a best practice? Psychology answers.

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To answer that, let us delve into psychology and see what it says about changing who we are. The resolution must come from a psychological point of view because self-improvement seeks
change in our personality. Thousands of self-help books, multimedia and blogs are consumed yearly. Purpose of
consumption being to bring about a change in self, to try to do things differently and even sometimes to look different from the rest!

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While it may add value to your professional life for a shorter time, it leaves a negative impact on your personal life, according to journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. The study sheds light on virtues of staying the same and remarks emphatically, those who run after self-improvement end up living a less satisfying life than those remaining constant. The
reason being, those who remain constant tend to view themselves in the future in the same image as they are now. Not to change means no strain. Therefore, consistency offers satisfaction and pleasure from life. It is a psychological force, therefore, to imagine myself in different image in the future that
drives the phenomenon of self-improvement.

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Remaining unchanged, on the other hand, gives you a personality which is the same throughout, your future image is a replica of your present image. When would these two images, separated by tens of years between them, be same?

The sameness pertains to your being satisfied with what you do, that is your work, taking pride in and caring for the relationships developed over the years, and feeling healthy.

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How Self-Improvement Influences Decision Making?

The choices you make originate from your ambition to change or not to change. The study reveals people who tend to remain the same as they are now, take decisions beneficial to their
future self. Maintaining good health will be their top priority followed by the right diet and good savings.

On the other hand, people who opt for self-improvement so as to change are found less motivated to take decisions with long-term benefits.

Therefore, while improving yourself, you should not slide to the other side of the brim, that is, you should not resort to fantasy. When you fantasize, hard work loses its value. And the result
is you fail to transform your dream into a reality. The more you yearn for happiness, the sadder you become. So, that makes dividing your goals into small, achievable targets extremely important. It is not to get overwhelmed by its sheer
impossibility to materialize, at the same time, not letting it overlook the role hard work plays in making you successful.

Change or Not to Change: Is Improving Self a Wrong Pursuit Then? No, it is not how psychology sees it. The only harm self-improvement can inflict is when you strive for something totally unrealistic. Propelled by self-help books and blogs on best practices for self-improvement, people set high
expectations for themselves. But that is not the way to the improvement of your life. Self-realization takes place only by knowing ourselves. That paves the way for positive changes
in your life. Without immersing into your individual self, the other cannot exist. The more you know yourself, the easier the road to self-improvement.