Let’s face it, life can be stressful and sometimes we get caught up with self-improvement and we just don’t give ourselves enough time to really focus on our real dreams. It’s our usual way to set goals: We find something we love and we dedicate all our effort and resources to achieve this goal because we believe achieving it will make us happier, supported and satisfied. And just like go-getters, we go for it, work hard to make it a reality and for a moment we feel good about the progress.
But, along the way, something strange happens that halts the good feeling. As we proceed, we realize that in order to achieve this goal, we need to work even harder so we push our limits higher to a point where we exhaust ourselves and sacrifice our self-care. We concentrate singularly on this task and put other things that motivate us on hold: We have no time to exercise, our eating habits change, fun activities become a thing of the past, and the trend continues.
Eventually, the goal we set becomes even more stressing. And in the end, even if we achieve the goal, we are so exhausted we can’t even enjoy or celebrate the outcome.
The challenge is that most of us don’t understand that we concentrate on improving ourselves too much. So, what are some of the signs to look out for and know that you may have taken self-improvement too far? Here are some ideas.
You Feel Exhausted
If you’re feeling tired or uneasy all the time or perhaps you don’t feel like going to bed and rest at a realistic time of the day or night, it might mean that you’re overworked and taking a break will help prevent your body from automatically shutting down.
You may experience brain fog which is a sign that you may be doing too much. When you begin to experience sudden trouble in remembering dates, appointments, simple interactions and deadlines, you should take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. These are signs of burning out and exhaustion.
Try getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you still find it hard beating exhaustion even after an 8-hour quota, consider visiting a doctor for further advice.
You Feel Sad, Stressed, Angry Or Depressed
Feeling a little sadness is normal, it’s even healthy. But falling into depression is dangerous and you shouldn’t ignore the signs. Depression can be life threatening and if you feel unhappy and tearful most of the time, please seek help.
Similarly, if you find yourself on the verge of screaming at people around you or explode all the time, it can mean that you’re feeling stressed and miserable. It’s normal to feel worried, nervous or angry sometimes, but if you find yourself in constant distress, it’s probably time to seek help.
You’re Never Present For The Moment
There is a big difference between being physically present and mentally present. You may be where you need to be but you may not be engaged in what is being done at that point in time.
If you have trouble focusing on the task at hand and instead of thinking about a lot of things on a different topic, then you may be getting involved in more than you can handle.
You Do Not Celebrate Your Achievements
With so much going on in a day, it’s very easy to focus on the failures rather than the achievements. You can get more done daily, but it’s common to feel lack of accomplishment for a while. If you just focus on the failures, those things that you haven’t achieved in your entire life, you may end up feeling low and put yourself down.
Whilst it’s true that we learn from our failures, it’s important to stop focusing solely on what you have done wrong. Look for the positive moments of the things you’ve achieved and use them to fuel your self-drive and remain motivated.
Flashback and see how successful you have been and be proud of the achievement. This creates an inner drive that you’re capable of succeeding even further to achieve your goals.
You Never Put Yourself First Anymore
You want to eat a healthy diet, work out in the afternoon, wake up early, but it never happens. You keep saying you will do something to improve yourself but you’re always busy. Of course, it is important to work but if you never have enough time to check off the work, chances are you’re not making time for yourself. If you used to break for at least an hour to engage in a fun activity, but you have put it on hold, then things need to change. It should not be a time-consuming task. Just read a book, play a favorite game, lie on the bed, or even enjoy a bubble bath to clear your mind and even have time to check your body and mental health.
Identifying these signs that you may have taken self-improvement too far can help control your habits before they take over your life. Although there are times you need to push yourself to the finish line, pushing too hard can result in too much self-damage. When there is too much pressure, we don’t have to push ourselves so hard, we can choose to pause to check in with our inner wisdom to find a more sustainable way to operate. This will ensure we take care of what is important to us.