As an introvert, I tend to be more aware of my faults than most. This causes me to spend a lot of time and effort working on trying to find ways to improve myself in attempts to minimize these faults. In fact, efforts at self-improvement are a full-time endeavor for me.
This almost always involves adding things to the list of what I “should” be doing: be kinder, listen more (which means talk less), eat better, exercise more, clean out my closets, be more social, sleep more, read more, have a more positive attitude, keep up with my gratitude journal, meditate more, pray more, step outside my comfort zone more often, and on and on and on. It’s no wonder I get so tired! The list is never-ending.
Adding things to my plate to make myself a better person was the only way I knew how to work on improving myself. Until now. I recently discovered a whole new way to go about this.
I came across a blog post called Quits Update on the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits. In this post, she reviews her progress on a number of things she’s committed to quit doing in order to improve her life. She posts her “quits” on her blog, and that keeps her accountable to report back on how well she’s doing.
I never really spent much time thinking about self-improvement through quitting before, but after I read through her list of some of her “quits,” I think this just might give me a whole new option to use. Rather than self-improvement always being about adding to my plate, maybe I would sometimes be better served by quitting something instead.
What would it look like to identify things that I am not going to do anymore? What would happen if I chose to quit worrying so much what other people think of me? What if I chose to quit trying to “help” people who really don’t want my help? Or what if I chose to stop taking criticism personally?
Yes, all those things still amount to self-improvement projects. Yes, they would still require me to focus on doing something differently. But somehow there is a whole different feel for me to think about quitting something than there is to adding something new to do. It feels easier, lighter, more freedom. It’s just a matter of catching myself in the moment when I start to do these things and choosing to stop.
I’m still pondering this approach, and I’m not yet ready to publicly commit to quitting anything in particular, but I plan to keep watching Cordelia’s updates on her “quit” for ideas for my own quit list. I think this sounds like a much more fun way to go about this.
Have any of you tried the quitting approach to improving your own life? Did it work for you?
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