Is “Self-Improvement” Inflicted With a Disease?

Allow us to put something on the table upfront…

Even in the arena of higher-learning — that seemingly sacred place in life where success
experts, inspirational teachers, metaphysical mentors, and peak-performance coaches share their insight — you’ll still see the game of “cat and mouse” being played out.

It’s funny, ya know — but also quite normal in the sense that’s it’s just pure human nature in action.

( No matter how you dress it up, as they say in Vegas, “let’s just call a spade a spade” )

* * * * * * *

Mentor A) lets you know (or highly suggests) that you’re broken, or flawed, or a diamond covered with a bunch of muck.

But, hey, wait a minute…

Mentor B) tells you that there’s nothing wrong with you, and that everything you need is already within you. Just relax and live. This is the disease of Self-improvement, says Mentor B, if you think otherwise.

So, holy smokes, Virginia… now it’s getting thick in here.

These two extremes are both so convincing, you say. They both are darned passionate about the guidance, and wisdom, they can bestow upon you.

Well, it sure comes across like they have the Midas touch for you, huh?

While we’d also love to be able to say we have found the “final answer” — life’s equivalent to the Goose that laid the Golden egg — it just isn’t so.

Certainly, after interviewing hundreds of super-achievers over the years, we’ve come across several nuggets of wisdom that can alter a person’s way way of thinking, believing, doing, and having…

Yet, we always walk away feeling good about the fact that it was just an “experience”, not a permanent way of life.

There are too many unseen, unexplored, and unknown parts of ourselves to prevent us from being pigeon-holed into how we “should” approach self-improvement activities.

Nothing — including what we’re telling you here — should ever be accepted without some critical thinking and questioning on your part.

And nothing is never “static” (substitute “nothing” with the words, truth, wisdom, knowledge, etc. and you’ll see what we mean).

For your consciously-desired experiences to expand, you must EXPAND, and the most vital tool (one that requires nothing out of pocket) that can instantly cause you to be a BIGGER you is CONVERSATION.

That’s a big part of what we’re all about here at LWL Worldwide — Life Without Limits through eclectic conversation.

Look, let’s be real — and if you already are, then pass this on to somebody you know who isn’t being real with themselves about this:

You do not need to be on some ascended, hard-core spiritual quest, or anointed by an enlightened guru, to invest in yourself.

You, just like we do, just need to have consistent access to multiple viewpoints, theories, philosophies and personal stories.

Yes, it’s absolutely true that no amount of self-improvement can make up for lack of self-acceptance…

…but, write this down for good measure too:

No amount of self-acceptance (personal contentedness) can ever make up for spiritual arrogance or mediocrity.

The former, we know, based off the many conversations we’ve had with people, comes from being constantly immersed into every course, mega-book, or seminar package of the week, or from following around a Mentor A-caliber teacher (as mentioned above).

The latter comes about by just plain taking the message of Mentor B (that there’s nothing wrong with you) out of context, or not digging deeper into the idea… and deciding that your comfort zone is just too darned comfortable to get out of.

You see, if you’re a super-achiever… getting the results you want, are happy with your life, and are connecting with people and offering your passion and value to the world… you’re most likely not buried and consumed in the constant study of self-growth material, classes, conference calls, books and seminars.

Notice that we put emphasis on “constant”… because invariably, here’s what happens with the super-achiever who’s not all-consumed: someone like this usually wants to keep accomplishing bigger things, and ensuring they’re on top of their game.


That is where the books, tele-calls, CDs and DVDs come back into play.

With this caliber of person, self-improvement is the foundation of who they are, but not an addiction that they need to have in order to live. They usually do know that from time to time it’s best to take a step back in their quest to learn, grow, and develop.

And the difference in how they go about it, in relation to somebody who’s not getting results, is that they approach exploration of themselves from a place of strength.

Approaching life from a perspective of lack (that you constantly and consistently need fixing and improving) is always going to hold you back from what you’re capable of…

…And, the rub is this: approaching life from a perspective of righteousness (that you’ve got life all figured out, either through one sage or yourself) is ALSO always going to hold you back from what you’re capable of!

So the solution, again, is to not get too bogged down into any particular inner-world strategy, or course of instruction, but to just tap into the personal pulling-power of listening to an interactive conversation.

Listen in when you feel compelled. Not when forced.

Listen in when you can be honest with yourself about what you’re experiencing in life, and if you’re truly manifesting prosperous, uplifting, fun experiences (and, yes, THINGS) for yourself.

Listen in when you just need nothing more than a whiff of inspiration or a taste of success through the eyes of another.

We’re so sold on the benefits of listening and learning from the stories, experiences, and insights of others that we’ve created an entire 16-page complimentary e-report called:

Listen and Accelerate Your Life

You can download it, starting today (just released) by subscribing to our master tele-webcast (simulcast) list.

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

Barry and Heather

Filed under: Interviews, Personal Achievement

20 Responses to “Is “Self-Improvement” Inflicted With a Disease?”

  1. Thank you! thank you! thank you!

    I really loved this article… everybody is different, and everybody’s perception and interpretation is unique to them… So how can there be any one truth… or any one wisdom or any one right way to do any thing.

    Any mentor worth their salt knows that! And also knows that the self-improvement student has to be ready to assimilate the information.


  2. “And the difference in how they go about it, in relation to somebody who’s not getting results, is that they approach exploration of themselves from a place of strength.

    “Approaching life from a perspective of lack (that you constantly and consistently need fixing and improving) is always going to hold you back from what you’re capable of…”

    Ain’t it the truth . . . holding onto something by taking action to let go. It gets . . . challenging . . . not to be challenging to avoid being challenged. Or is that just semantics. In with the light light, out with the . . . oily smoke.

    “be ready to assimilate”

    — and then activate the assimilation . . . rinse, repeat. Enjoy.

  3. I so appreciate what you had to say here! I have been a self-help junkie for years and now I understand why…
    Thank you!


  4. Ooh, awesome post today guys! The webcast thing is really cool too, can’t wait for those.


  5. I think that I also might be included in that self-help place of that lack. I’ve never had someone say that before.
    I know that when I started my Journey to improve on me, was when I was a very negative, felt worthless, unworthy, and did not know which way to go, turn or do anything, in my opinion.
    Thanks for the viewpoints and to increase my awareness of where I am now and appreciate where I came from.

  6. Thanks again…you guys must be really busy with all you do…but then again when it’s something you love (which obviously shows in your work). I love studying about myself in this wonderful Universe. You are on the top of my list of mentors. One of my dreams is to personally connect with folks such as your self in a big room. I can only imagine the wonderful Vibration there would be…How great is that? !!!!!

  7. I think you got to the crux of the matter when you said that achievers who wish to improve something in their lives do so from a position of strength, not neediness. In other words, it’s about another marvellous word you have used–“expansion” rather than “improvement”.

    The kinds of teachers who say “there is nothing wrong with you” are, I think, attempting to address the centre of our being, our spiritual essence, the “me” that dwells in wholeness. I think it’s an important message, for many people get onto the “self-improvement” path because they are blind to the wholeness already present in their essence. You can’t expand in a positive way if you begin from a stance that something about you is “wrong” or “defective”. But you CAN expand in a positive way if you believe that your path of growth involves uncovering your strengths, taking away the fears and doubts that make us blind to our center, and seeing the process as a reclaiming of something we already have (our wholeness) rather than trying to get something we think we don’t have.

    I agree with you completely that the message of wholeness should not be used an excuse to not grow. Wholeness by its nature is infinitely creative. Wholeness leads us on a journey, and part of the paradox is that from within the unchanging center (our essence) is this amazing creative energy that seeks to expand us into the discovery of even more of our joy.

  8. Very enlightening Post.

    We share much in Common
    and Eshyl’s Video had inspiration.

    Self-help is what we do everyday…
    with or without anyone else’s input.

    Some just help themselves in the wrong

    I suggest they fall back and observe a group
    2-4 year olds who have not been tainted by”the Mob”

    We all possess the Power from Within to Journey anywhere and don’t Need Guru’s pointing the direction.

    Just observe Life as it was presented by the Infinite Intelligence, of course surrounding yourself with like-minded people helps and learn to Listen.

    There are some great episodes available in the 145+ recording Live Talk Shows form the Focus Society of overachievers

    And yes, I agree people can become addicted to “information” regarding Self-Help…

    They need to kick the habit and apply EFFORT, Consistency
    to realizing their Definite Major Purposes, once they Defined them…

    All it takes is EFFORT, and More EFFORT

    “new” words in Today’s vernacular.

    Thank you for allowing this
    ‘old man’ a platform.

    There is hope with the likes of this group around.

    Back to the Orchard and the Horses, bye for now

    Chuck Bartok

  9. I am always “drawn” into reading your posts, and especially this one…where my first thought was
    ” Are you talkin’ to ME?….”

    It’s interesting how in our quest to Be, Do and Have more….we tune out that voice within. And then….. are attracted to reading a blog post link that has appeared in the midst of 100s of other emails, which shares the same message as your personal Guidance sytem has been ever so patiently, trying to get you to listen to..all along.

    This is one aspect of the wonder of it all. The wisdom within knows how to get our attention, and in this case, by reading your insightfully written words.

    Thank You!

    Karen King

  10. Once this old Greek guy said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. Sailors understand that constant correction of course direction is the only way to reach a predetermined destination. In fact, while sailing a ship, the course of movement is more often off course than on course, and only by diligent adjustment can one ever hope to reach a safe harbor at all.

  11. Two quotes that I think sum up the directions from which you are approaching this topic.

    “We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.” T. S. Eliot

    “People say that what we’re all seeking is the
    meaning of life…I think that what we’re
    really seeking is the experience of being alive.”
    Joseph Campbell

    Working with clients and in my own exploration I find it to be a lot like a mapquest, many starting points, routes, views, rest stops, total miles …. to a destination for which we do not happen to know the address.
    Enjoying our meeting on the road.

    :)) Aila
    ‘The De-Stress Maven’

  12. Really enjoyed the post…as it gets us all thinking amd reasoning….

    This is why I have always loved one of Budda’s sayings….do not get stuck on the finger pointing to the moon….for it is the moon we want you to see….

    And much of self improvement has been the finger (and there are many fingers) and so many still not seeing the moon……

    What would happen if to think about it, we where not taught from the very beginning there was nothing wrong with us there was nothing to find or acheive…..

    What do you think we would bring forth……… for much of what we are thinking with has been already a bottom line way of thinking…… so in a sense we are searching for the answer in the same box……

    Even if I ask right now …take off everythng you know about yourself, life, things, concepts …… what is left……


    and if you leave it off for a minute how does it feel ……

    I also ways find just, here I am, nothing missing nothing to find as we only go to find when we believe we need to seek for something…………. what is there was nothing to find what is the energy or feeling that is really within us……

    I found for me is was to explore,discover enjoy, live love and joy….. such a different thing to I must find something…… in exploring we find much and it is most definitely then the experience , which leads us to exploring from a whole new premise…..

    Children already live all that we have been seeking…

    Maybe they are the constant reminder of a very simple truth… happy exploring in its natural presence..

    Sherrie Hatfield

  13. If self improvement is afflicted with a disease, then the disease emanates from the word “improvement”, indicating that there is actually something wrong with us. THERE’S NOT! I define “delving deeper” as developing myself, expanding who I am, gaining greater self knowledge, which is the key to all learning, and by the way, generating peace, for ourselves, for those who share our lives, and for the world. The less reactive we become, by recognising what actually activates us, the more peace we generate. Impacting others and offering them an opportunity to see another way out of the trap our emotions can (and do) entwine us in.
    Self- acceptance is what we seek. Accepting who we are, as we are, right now, frees us to alter what we see in ourselves that is not to our own standard. (so to speak)

  14. Actually, Rhonda, the word “improvement” does NOT imply there’s anything wrong with the item at hand, unless you’re looking at things from a very pessimistic perspective.

    “Improvement” simply means you want to make something better, in your own eyes. Look it up in the dictionary for added proof… or take a look at this definition from

    im·prove·ment –noun
    1. an act of improving or the state of being improved.
    2. a change or addition by which a thing is improved.
    3. a person or thing that represents an advance on another in excellence or achievement: The new landlord is a great improvement over his greedy predecessor.
    4. a bringing into a more valuable or desirable condition, as of land or real property; betterment.
    5. something done or added to real property that increases its value.
    6. profitable use, as of a period of time.

    If I talk about “home improvement”, nobody’s going to jump at me and say, “Oh, no! Don’t say improvement! There’s nothing WRONG with your home, it doesn’t need IMPROVEMENT!”

    If they do, I’ll tell them, first of all… stop “shoulding on” me and telling me what I can or can’t say or do.

    Then I’ll say, “Sure, there’s nothing WRONG with my house… the roof might leak when it rains, and there’s mold along the foundation, and the curtains are too dark to let in the sunshine, and the back yard is a pile of ugly dirt, but there’s nothing WRONG with it, it’s still a house that I can live in…”

    But I want a roof that keeps me dry, I want a clean and mold-free, healthy environment, I want sunshine in my living room, and I want a beautifully landscaped back yard. That INSPIRES me, and makes me happy.

    Improving it makes me happy.

    Then when I’ve done all that, I might decide I want a different color couch to better match the decor, or a more energy-efficient stove, or a fridge that keeps the frozen stuff frozen and the produce frost-free. Or maybe I want to add a sun room, build a closet, or knock down a wall to make a bigger space.

    Yes, more improvement… back to the home improvement store to do things that make the great house even better.

    When Tiger Woods works on improving his swing, do you think he’s thinking, “Damn, I’ve got a terrible swing… I need to improve it”? Or do you think he’s saying, “How can I improve my great swing to make it even BETTER… so that I can go further than I am now”?

    I’d say the latter… yet both scenarios use the word “improvement”.

    Hmmm… perhaps if we all stopped looking at “improvement” as a bad thing, then we could feel GOOD about it (which is really the whole reason for improvement) rather than bad or guilty… which is only going to attract more to feel bad or guilty about.


  15. This is a stimulating discussion!

    In Rhonda’s comment I hear a focus on the Self – specifically the core, or what is sometimes called “True Self” in clarification from the “ego” or ‘false self’ which developed from our young conditioning. In my experience and training, the True Self is not up for improvement, but rather revelation, unfoldment, expression….

    Heather’s focus, is on the word improvement, which she applies in an entirely different context, as in perfomance improvement (golf swing) or quality improvement (leaking roof) of tangible resources.

    Heather’s uses point to a guantitative or value based measurement whether by me or agreed upon by the community involved. This kind of improvement is measured or evaluated as “I feel happier”, ” She improved her score”. A comparison is being made with a former state or condition.

    The qualities of the True Self are. There is no qualitative or quantitative measurement possible from a dualistic perspective.

    What “self-improvement” can refer to, however, is a qualitative experience of ease or freedom – “free to BE and express my Self from my True Nature’ – through a process of learning to release attachment to the fase ‘ego’ self.

    This ‘self-improvement’ can be qualitatively measured by my inner assessment of being able to make free choices that serve my Truth rather than conditioned choices that serve my perceived expectations of others.

    Rather than referring to an improvement of the Self, it can refer to the improved felt freedom to express the Self.

    Thank You for the opportunity to explore these concepts.

    🙂 Aila, ‘The De-Stress Maven’

  16. You hit it right on. I just went to a seminar this weekend. It was actually very good. But then the “selling” came up. I am very content and happy in my life and was beginning to get frustrated with the pitch. To me this was a turn off and an interesting one to watch as a Coach. People can be pushed too far.

    I have actually found four personality types that respond to different forms of encouragement and teaching. So, definately, what works for one does not necessarily work for the next! We are all on our own Journey and the magical elusive “Key” must be found within.

  17. “Lord give me the strength to change what I can change,
    the courage to accept what I cannot change,
    and the wisdom to tell them apart”
    Mother Theresa

    In my understanding, if I don’t like the weather I have to accept it, because to be angry because of that is a waste of my energy – for I _can’t_ change the weather.

    But it doesn’t mean that I have to be getting wet – I can try and shelter myself from the rain/wind etc. – that’s something I _can_ change

    That’s how I use the word “improvement”…

  18. As always, wonderful ideas appear on this blog!

    Self-improvement is an interesting thing.
    Does this word point towards a never-ending quest for perfection of that which is in the physical form – OR – does it mean getting closer to who we REALLY are as a being?

    Of course there are all sorts of things ‘wrong’ with us as humans – if we insist on using the idea of things being wrong and right – and trying to ‘fix’ them seems to be part of the ‘path of awakening’ we are destined to go.

    If self-improvement means waking up to who we really are – in our essence – then we will gradually come to see there’s nothing wrong with us at all.

    In which case the term ‘awakening’ – as explained by Eckhart Tolle in his book ‘A New World’ and by many others before him) seems more precise then ‘self-improvement’.

  19. […] Is Self Improvement Inflicted With a Disease? […]

  20. Thanks for writing this.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge