The Problem with Working on Yourself

Are you working on something? My grandma says she’s working on a quilt; my friend says she’s working on scrapbooks for her kids.

Or like many of us, maybe you say you’re working on yourself.  You might say you’re working on your relationship or you’re working on accepting yourself more or you’re working on discovering what you want to do with the rest of your life.

And it really doesn’t matter much what you call it or how you say it. Except for something one of my own coaches pointed out to me last week. Saying you’re working on something feels kind of different than saying you’re working toward something.

Working on something implies that it’s broken. It’s not whole or perfect or else it wouldn’t be worked on. And obviously, that’s not true of you.

It might be true of my grandma’s quilt or my friend’s scrapbook (although we could argue with that too), but it’s certainly not true of you.

Working toward something doesn’t imply that the thing is flawed until it gets some work. If you’re working toward a more loving relationship or toward more self –acceptance, you’re just saying that you’re making things even better. You’re looking out, toward what you’re going to get, not fixing something that’s broken.

And although this may seem like a silly semantic argument, the real reason I’m mentioning it is because it gives me an “in” to remind you once again….

…there is nothing wrong with you.

You’re not flawed.

You’re not broken.

I don’t care if you’re curled in the fetal position and can’t get out of bed.

You’re still perfect now…and you might work toward getting out of bed.

You might work toward recognizing your perfection more than you currently do. But recognize it or not, it’s still there.

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