The Seduction of So Much Better

“We all get seduced by ‘I am so much better than before.’” Kelley Kosow

How many times have you said this to yourself? “I am so much better than I was before”. Maybe it comes up in response to an argument with your spouse or what you tell yourself when you step over the goals you set. I’m so much better than I used to be. When it’s said in this way is not a celebration of how far we’ve come. It’s an excuse. It’s the way we side step personal accountability and growth. We all get seduced by I’m so much better because we probably have made great strides in our life. But, at the same time, we still repeat patterns or make mistakes we wish we didn’t make. I am so much better is a defense mechanism. It’s a way we try and prove to those around us that we really are different – that we’re making changes in our life even if we’ve taken a step back. We might even be ashamed and convince ourselves that we are still on track – the statement ends up being our personal Band-Aid to cover-up our belief that we’re never really going to change. In the end, we get seduced into staying exactly where we are because – as we tell ourselves – at least we’re not as bad as we used to be. If we really are committed to our own personal evolution, we must begin to recognize all of the sneaky ways we trick ourselves into staying stuck. Being better than we used to be is amazing – hiding behind better than I used to be is not. Be willing to bust your excuse and use it to break through the next ceiling. Recognize your words as a calling to recommit to whatever goals you may have left behind or thought you achieved. Shift from I am so much better than before to I am better and I will continue to use what I have in front of me to grow. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t hide – simply recommit to using every moment as a teachable moment that helps you grow and brings you closer to your goals and life vision.

Weekly Path to Peace: Break free from the trance of “I’m so much better.”

  • How often have you been seduced by “I’m so much better than I was before”? Think back to the last time you said it. Was it to celebrate your achievements or use it as an excuse for repeating an old behavior or for your current inaction? Recognize all the different ways that you lie to yourself about your own personal progress. Write down the ways that you’ve been unwilling to tell ourself the truth.
  • Create one simple action step this week that will help you recommit to your goals. Make sure the action step is tangible, achievable, realistic and time based. Don’t take on anything that will be too big or that you know you won’t do. The idea is to simply put yourself back on the path to achieving your goals. 

As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.