Five Things that Hinder Self-Improvement

I’ve been involved in self-improvement for a number of years.  I have found five things that hinder self-improvement, and most of us are unaware of them. These five things are:

  1. Denial:

    Is one of our most common defense mechanisms,. While it may protect our ego, it gets in the way of correcting bad behavior. Why work on a problem that does NOT exist? “I’m not an alcoholic just because I have a pint of gin before breakfast.” I can see all your problems, but none of my own.

  2. Blame:

    When anything goes wrong, it seems to be human nature to find someone or something else to blame. Again, this protects our ego but prevents us from taking responsibility for our part of the problem. Why try to solve a personal problem when it is their fault? “She made me hit her with that look on her face.” Until we learn to accept responsibility for our part in EVERY failure we cannot take serious steps to change our behavior.

  3. Inertia:

    But I have always done it that way, and you want me to change?” I will think about that tomorrow. Insurance provided the antibiotics that would cure the infection, but I haven’t taken the first pill yet.

  4. Peer pressure:

    What will the gang think if I change? “The only love or respect that I get in life is from my weird friends, and if I change they may not like me.”

    Dysfunctional people tend to hang out with other dysfunctionals, and they need to break away and find people who can help them heal and grow.

  1. Fear:

    As much as we all fear failure, many also fear becoming too successful. “If I get a lot better, will I be able to live with the success? My whole family has been a bunch of losers, and they would rob me blind if I became successful.”  We have also been programmed to fear change. Change might be worse than the living Hell that I have now.

For me, the key to recovery was learning to take responsibility for my life and my actions. In the beginning, it was trying to find any small contribution that I may have made to a problem, even if it did not exist, or if it was their fault. Once it became a habit to search for my contribution to the problem, I began to find an ever larger, and greater share of the responsibility for creating it. Then and only then was I willing and able to address the need for me to change.

About the Author

Jack Harwick is an 80-year-old, former aerospace engineer who helped put planes in the sky, satellites in space, and men on the moon. He left aerospace to start his own electronic security business, which is now a division of Honeywell Corp. He is very creative and has been issued a US patent for the PanoFix photo accessory. Jack has had many interests that have come and gone, like magic, cars, and architecture, but photography has been a constant passion for over sixty years. Relationships have always been a struggle with four failed marriages. Because of those failures, self-improvement has been actively studied for the last two decades, with varying results, but general improvement.

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