Whole and Healthy: 5 Reasons to Embrace Self-Improvement

Maui sunset sail

The ship of self-improvement has set sail

Before I venture into opinionated territory, my thoughts here are only coming from my own personal experiences in the health and fitness industry for over 25 years.

There was a time when the word “self-improvement” was all the rage, like the word swag, just without all the douchey-ness. It even earned itself a section in bookstores. You could work on your health, your fitness, your relationships, organizational skills, education, and more. I always found myself hanging out in that section. I’m sure some of you will say you’ve never felt the need to self-improve because you love and accept yourself the way you are. That’s awesome. But that has nothing to do with self-improvement.

self-improvement 1. improvement of one’s status, mind, abilities, etc. by one’s own efforts

Note: The definition doesn’t end with the words “because you suck.”

Self-improvement and self-loathing are two very different things. Self-loathing says “I want to change because I hate myself.” Self-improvement says ” I love myself and want to reach my full potential.” I’ve experienced self-loathing, and when I wanted to change (and by change I mean not be myself) I never thought of it as self-improvement.

Self-loathing says “I want to look like the models in a Victoria’s Secret ad because I’ll be beautiful and valuable instead of ugly and worthless.”

That’s much different than self-improvement, which says “I want to lose weight to feel better, have more energy, and lower my risk of heart disease and other illness so I can be here for my family.”

Both people want to lose weight, but clearly their reasons are not the same.

Here’s my 5 reasons to embrace self-improvement.

1. By focusing on yourself, you won’t be so focused on trying to fix everyone else around you.

It can be pretty easy to point out the flaws of others and downplay our own. By focusing our efforts on improving ourselves, we look inward and not outward at others and their shortcomings. I’ve noticed in myself a tendency to be critical when I neglect certain areas of life. 

2. Self-improvement is an act of self-love.

Self-improvement can include lots of areas in your life. It could be learning to be more organized, or more compassionate, or a better communicator. These changes have positive benefits, and create a happier you. 

3. Self-improvement is an act of love for others.

Sometimes our habits or way of communicating can hurt others. When we choose to improve an area, the people around us benefit from the ripple of improvement. 

4. Self-improvement moves us forward.

Have you ever been stuck? I know I have. It’s easy to get stuck spinning your wheels, wondering why things never get better. Often, when I set a new goal and want to improve in an area, it helps me get “unstuck.”

5. Self-improvement is an infinite journey of self-discovery.

That’s a positive thing! When we learn something new, or learn how to do something familiar in a different way, we learn a lot about ourselves. Positive change can take you to places you never thought you could be. It can open the door to new relationships and improve the ones you have.




  1. Thanks so much for differentiating Self-Improvement from elf-Loathing. I especially love point #3. Improving oneself sounds so selfish, but those improvements really can improve the lives of those around us.

  2. Thanks so much for differentiating Self-Improvement from Self-Loathing. I especially love point #3. Improving oneself sounds so selfish, but those improvements really can improve the lives of those around us.