Self-improvement is an ongoing process, and if it’s done well it can become downright enjoyable.
You get better and you have fun doing it. You see results and you get more motivation to keep going: to keep losing weight, to keep learning new skills, to keep boosting your self-awareness and improving your social life.
Unfortunately, life can reach a standstill where self-improvement is no longer happening and you’re in a rut.
Worse, you no longer even want to get out of the rut. Here’s what to look for if you’ve given up on improving yourself.
1) Lack of strong goals
You have No clear short-term or long-term goals for personal or professional development.
When asked about future objectives, you shrug or just point to your nine-to-five job that you don’t really like.
True, you aren’t happy, but it’s certainly true that you would prefer to remain in the rut you are in than to take a risk and break out of it.
Maybe you’d end up in a worse rut. You just don’t want to take the risk. You’ve found a comfortably numb day-to-day existence and you would prefer to just sink into that.
2) Resistance to change
You feel a lot of avoidance or resistance when faced with opportunities for change or growth.
When you meet a person or come across a situation that could prompt internal or external change, you do everything you can to decline or avoid it.
The truth is you don’t really want to challenge your base assumptions, pursue a new career, get into a new type of relationship or really look at life in a new way at all.
You have given up. Your sense of curiosity has faded.
3) Stagnation and listlessness
You often find yourself feeling stuck or stagnant, with little or no progress in various life areas.
You can see that your life is essentially going nowhere and that you are not improving yourself or learning many new things.
But despite the distress that this may cause you, your primary reaction is resignation.
Your life is stagnant, but your reaction to it is stagnant too.
4) Ignoring feedback
You often find yourself dismissing constructive feedback and being unwilling to learn from others.
When you receive feedback from others, you filter it to line up with your already existing view of life.
Somebody challenges you to rise above your situation or mindset, you dismiss it as overly chipper and optimistic advice.
If somebody makes a negative comment you assume it is true and accept it automatically.
You have decided your life is essentially what it is and it won’t change. Nothing is breaking through.
5) Complacency and settling
You find yourself settling for mediocrity and not seeking challenges or opportunities for improvement.
This relates to the previous point, because a hallmark of a person who has given up on improving themselves is that they tend to be deeply complacent.
Even if you are quite depressed or anxious, you are complacent about that and believe it is somewhat inevitable.
6) Loss of wonder
You feel a noticeable decline in curiosity about the world or a lack of interest in learning new things.
You are just not curious anymore about learning new things, even new things about yourself.
Opportunities to earn more money, network, make new romantic connections or even experience new ideas, philosophies, arts and experiences end up leaving you not all that enthusiastic.
You just don’t want to test your boundaries or change who you are and what you like. At least not anymore.
7) Neglecting your health and wellbeing
Ignoring physical and mental well-being, neglecting exercise, nutrition, and self-care.
Exercises at an all-time low, personal hygiene may suffer and clothing and basic attire may become sloppy and slovenly.
You simply no longer care, even about basic cleanliness and style for your own comfort and day-to-day tasks.
8) Focusing on how you’ve been victimized
You often find yourself blaming external factors or other people for personal shortcomings.
You blame other people for much that has gone wrong in your life and you also lame people who are more successful than you.
This type of jealousy can be distressing, but very hard to get rid of.
The sad thing is that you may be partly correct, however it tends to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
9) Comfort zone coasting
You find yourself staying within the comfort zone and avoiding situations that challenge your abilities.
The comfort zone is…well…comfortable.
You don’t see much need to keep moving or pushing yourself, and you’re fine with what you’ve already done.
Even areas where you know you can improve in how you relate to others and to yourself are things you’re fine just leaving aside.
You’d rather just chill and keep doing what you’re used to.
10) Resting on your laurels
You find yourself frequently focusing on past accomplishments without seeking new challenges.
The glories and achievements of the past are something you talk about and post about, but you don’t feel a need to update them.
You’d rather keep pleasing memories of how things were than keep forging ahead and forming new memories and milestones.
You’re good with what you’ve already done. The idea of doing more seems like too much effort.
11) Abandoning hobbies and activities you used to love
You find yourself giving up on hobbies or interests that used to provide personal satisfaction.
You can’t seem to drum up the satisfaction, or at least your heart isn’t in it the way it once was.
You wish you could get back into activities you loved to do, and keep improving at them, but when you start making concrete plans to do so you usually end up making an excuse and not following through.
There’s still time to improve
If you’ve fallen into a rut and resonate with a lot of the signs above, don’t worry.
Self-awareness is the first step. Recognizing these signs is the first step toward self-awareness and positive change.
You have the tools within you to begin making changes and turning things around.
It’s important to remember that personal growth is a continuous journey, and acknowledging the need for improvement is a powerful starting point.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.