Like many people I know, I’m constantly pushing myself to be a better person. To nag my husband less, to learn hacks for productivity, to be more present with my baby, to put the phone down, etc. etc. I listen to several podcasts a week, read self-improvement books and blogs, and am constantly taking note of areas I can improve based on the advice of others.
Now, this is one of my favorite things about myself because I don’t think I’ll ever get stagnant or be OK with being an average wife, friend, boss, mom, etc – I want to be great. On the other hand, I’ve started to feel bogged down by the constant self-development content I allow into my life. Instead of really learning from one podcast, for example, I’ll listen, take note, and then shove in content from a self-improvement book later in the day – not truly grasping what I’ve learned. I also feel like I never take the time to realize how far I’ve come and how good of a job I’m doing at life in general. Yes, I could always be better, but for the most part, I’m very proud of the person that I am.
So I decided to take a week off of self-improvement. Just like you’d take a break from social media when you feel all consumed, I wondered what would happen if I spent 7 days without the noise of improvement. Here’s what I noticed:
- I felt more connected to the world. Instead of listening to a podcast, I turned on the news, I listened to more music (it reminded me how GOOD music makes me feel!), and I watched Bachelor in Paradise (loved it). Instead of heading up to my room to read ways to better myself, I vegged out more. This felt amazing as a mom to a 5-month-old who doesn’t get too much downtime.
- I learned about new entertaining podcasts. Similar to vegging, I asked some friends what their favorite enteritaing podcasts were and dove in, but only listened to a couple that week. It was fun listening to essentially talk shows and story time – it felt light.
- I felt more room to actually improve. Most of all, I felt a general sense of growth. I was able to think about self-improvement habits I’d learned about through situations because I wasn’t bogged down by constant new ones. I was able to spend more time with my husband at night instead of jumping into a book or podcast (and spending quality time is one of the best ways to connect, according to relationship experts). I was able to take a walking meditation (more on this in an article soon!) instead of listening to a podcast. And the list goes on…
After the 7 days, I decided I wanted to keep the break going. I do miss the general motivation I get when I listen to a self-development podcast to start my day, but not enough to bring it back into my life, yet. For now, I like the idea of keeping the break going, and then slowly making a list of the shows/books/resources that really made me think – and then going back to those. My goal is to focus on ONE change/lesson a week, instead of about 20.
I’d be super interested to hear how much self-improvement content you consume and if you feel like it takes over your life. Any bingers??