Self-improvement v.s. Conforming

Can you change yourself and lose your authenticity?

Question from a follower:

Hey! So I read your post with advice on how you were able to consciously change your behaviors, and I was just curious: do you draw a line between self-improvement and conformation? I sometimes think there are traits about myself that I would like to change, but I worry that I would lose my authenticity.

Huge difference.

Conforming

Changing yourself based on someone else’s expectations, societal norms, or any other external influences. This usually won’t last because you’re just changing your outward behaviors and appearances. You can “act” differently or fake it, but you’re either the same person inside, or worse inside because you’re repressing who you really are.

Self-improvement

Changing to become a better version of yourself that you want to be — someone that you respect and admire. You can only become this better version of yourself if you actually want to become one and work hard for it.

It’s impossible to truly self-improve and lose your authenticity because you’re developing yourself based on who you already are. Even if two people have the same goal, for example, to be better at socializing, they will take completely different approach and reach different end results based on who they really are. One person might become really great at telling jokes that capture the whole room’s attention. The other might be a great listener one-on-one and ask good questions that make people reflect on their own thoughts. If you force yourself to use a method that contradicts with who you are, it won’t work very well and you won’t be as successful with it.

–Taime Koe


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