The Dark Side of Self Improvement | Suzanne Eder | TEDxWilmington

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The Dark Side of Self Improvement | Suzanne Eder | TEDxWilmington

Suzanne Eder talks about self improvement at a 2015 TEDX event in Wilmington, Delaware.

Suzanne Eder is a world-class teacher, facilitator and mentor. She founded Solid Ground Transformational Life Coaching in 2003 to help people wake up to their magnificence and create lives they truly love. Suzanne currently authors an award-winning monthly column in Living Well Magazine and has published a book, 10 Ways to Find Peace Rather Than Panic, which earned a full 5-star rating on Amazon. She is a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, an intense 4-year program in mind-body-spirit health and healing. Suzanne also has degrees in both Accounting and Economics and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Delaware. Currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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  • JessietheLookout
    May 9, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    You can simultaneously be a masterpiece and a work in progress.

  • Boredfan Gerrude
    September 24, 2016 at 8:12 am

    There is something wrong with us, we are not perfect, to believe that we are perfect as suggested here will lead to arrogance, ignorance, an abandonment of wisdom and reason for self importance and selfishness. You need to acknowledge your weaknesses and work on fixing them, not denying they exist.

    • Boredfan Gerrude
      November 3, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      If you say so lol.

    • Ur Gr8
      November 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      I know you are but what am I?

    • Suzanne Eder
      December 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you for posting! To clarify – There is a huge difference between acknowledging weaknesses, and loving ourselves forward into new strengths, and judging ourselves as flawed for having them. One is life affirming, the other is life depleting. That is the distinction I wanted to make. I can promise you that the people with whom I’ve worked have become more loving and generous as they’ve succeeded, not more arrogant.

    • taco cat
      April 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      It’s not denying they exist but the mindset that you have in correcting them. That’s what she’s trying to say. If you’re losing weight because you want to be validated by others instead of losing weight because you know it will make you healthy and give a better physique, that is the dark side she explains. To improve for all the wrong reasons or to improve because you’re trying to mask a hidden problem which in the case of my example, is the problem to yearn for social validation. I hope this cleared up any miscommunication.

    • taco cat
      April 24, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Ur Gr8 If he has poor perception you should’ve explained it to him rather than insult him. Insulting him only makes you feel better and has zero productive value.

  • bevan beavis
    October 26, 2016 at 9:28 am

    That was great I liked the part about how we give our power away and thanks for not talking mumbo jumbo i hurt my neck yesterday exercising and a counsellor friend said it was caused by something I’m mentally wrestling with because of the body mind connection does anyone have thoughts on this? I thought it was way off track

    • Ady P
      October 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      depends, if you remember doing something that’s tweaked your neck while exercising, then its probably a legitimate neck strain, I’m prone to twinging my neck if I dont lift weights with good form, or neglect to warm up properly, or even sleeping with my arm under the pillow. however, in support of your counsellor friend’s viewpoint,

      sometimes over time emotional problems manifest themselves as physical pain… if you’re ready for some deep insight, take your time and read on:

      human beings are no different than the vibrating molecules
      that form everything on earth from steel, rocks, water through to air and as
      with everything in the cosmos, it is all energy – the only difference between
      matter is how fast is the energy (molecule) moving.

      Emotion and trauma,
      Emotion = energy in motion,
      Traum = German for dream, dreams are images.

      If the brain is a computer, then memories are some of the
      files stored as images, except these image files are also encoded with sounds,
      smells, tastes and feelings experienced at the time…

      and if the experience is strong enough, it gets saved as a
      memory – a full colour video recording that can be replayed as often as we
      choose to press play, except sometimes, we are not aware we have pressed play,
      or that someone else, or a situation has pressed play – often we don’t even
      recognise the memory, we just feel the sensations –

      memories are stored subconsciously, the subconscious is an
      infinitely large portable hard drive, however, it is also incredibly innocent and childlike
      and without judgement it will trust you and remember anything you or anyone tells it
      without question, it will also regurgitate anything you or anyone else asks it
      – without question and often without you being aware of the process.

      the stronger memories are those events that had greatest
      impact for us personally. neutral, indifferent and boring moments are forgotten
      – low voltage in the brain/body system means it’s not worth making a good copy
      of and the file is soon forgotten, unlike the memory created when running from,
      or killing the bear, or meeting your first lover

      Oftentimes, we won’t be aware the memory has been replayed,
      we are just aware of a sudden feeling – or if we are unlucky, we are unaware –
      however, the energy associated with the memory has also been replayed which is
      fine for the good stuff, except the brain likes to keep us safe and so when the
      bad stuff is re-triggered/the film is replayed, the emotion can sometimes be
      ignored and does not reach awareness,

      energy cannot be created or destroyed and it is just
      diverted somewhere else and over time, unresolved trauma manifests itself
      physically as trapped energy – pain, pain is the body’s natural warning signal
      that something needs attention –

      the brain and body are saying “please replay this video, view it, learn from it,
      change it, and or delete it and let it (it, being the energy)
      go (move freely again for more efficient use elsewhere).

      So to answer your question, the association with pains in
      the body and unresolved trauma is the same as with strong, happy, glowing
      memory, the emotion attached to the memory when you recall it is the emotional
      snapshot that was taken by the camera of your mind during the event that caused it.

      A snapshot of the event will be re-experienced in the moment exactly the
      same way as it was experienced when it first happened… the snapshot will be a
      recording of the time when emotions (energy-in-motion) was strongest. However,
      there-in lies the issue, it is energy trapped in a moment from the past.

      There’s a whole world of therapies out there, in terms of energy blockages relating to trauma that look to resolve what I’ve discussed – the most straightfoward ones are EFT and also Havening (Paul McKenna). Although, its always better to have at least one session of professional guidance before trying anything out on your own – thats my disclaimer and recommendation.

      I’ve taught myself a lot here tonight, I’m going to save this a word document haha

    • bevan beavis
      October 29, 2016 at 3:14 am

      Ady P thanks for the reply I will read it a few more times to take it all in. it is a legitimate strain I’ve had my neck damaged because I do jiu jitsu some times the wrong movement can set it off. the thing is this counsellor friend of mine had no interest in that explaination rather taking it to something she is adapt at which was off track. she is a councellor and someone so dismissive of it is concerning

    • Ady P
      October 29, 2016 at 10:36 am

      brazilian jujitsu can be brutal for injuries, I almost got my ankle broke through no fault of my own when being taught a heel hook technique – limping for 6-8 weeks and twinging for up to 6 months, that was no energy blockage, but definitely made me feel depressed. I’m actually trained to level 3 in person centred counselling – listening to my ankle didnt help it heal faster 😉

    • Javi Santiso
      January 21, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      I’m not sure but ,if anyone else trying to find out attract abundance affirmations try Sovallo Amazing Miracle Fixer(just google it ) ? Ive heard some incredible things about it and my mate got excellent results with it.

  • Djangooo FR
    December 21, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    All will are pointless: the only one that count is will to power, but how to be powerful ?
    Just by keep doing what you’re doing and sometimes turns back and tell yourself “Wow, Did I really did that ? Amazing !”

  • Charismatic
    December 23, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    The most inspirational TED talk I have ever heard. I read a lot of self-help books but never have the confidence. Now I know it’s mainly because I have submitted myself to so many people’s formulas without carving out one myself.

    • Suzanne Eder
      June 21, 2017 at 12:40 am

      Yes! So many of us have done that. We’ve followed all the rules and formulas, not realizing that we’ve ignored our own inner brilliance. I hope and trust you have found yours. Thank you for watching and posting, it is much appreciated.

  • Arne Verboom
    January 8, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    As I believe, you’re only describing one part of self improvement. I love growing spiritually, emotionally, physicly and intelectually on a day by day basis, without disliking myself for the things i cannot do, yet. I’m more positive minded about this. When the mind is at one with the things you want to accomplish, there is no problem or dark side at all. I’m not judging myself at all, but noticing my imperfections and try to learn out of them. When you’re not happy with your work and major things that happen in your life, you should reevaluate where you lost track with yourself and search how you can improve or radically change these things. There are always other aspects that you cannot control, but the things you can control, you should.
    Your own wellbeing and happiness I’d always put first. Love yourself before you can love anyone or anything else. Everyone needs to find his own pace, enjoying every day. But standing still is as I believe going backwards. I don’t know anyone who’s happy without making any progress in all aspects of his life.

    • Suzanne Eder
      June 21, 2017 at 12:35 am

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You and I are saying much the same thing. The key is that you are not judging yourself at all. It is the self-judgment that darkens our self-awareness. Being unhappy or frustrated is a call to wake up and reach for our next level of fulfillment, but when we judge ourselves for where we are right now, we keep ourselves stuck rather than open to growth.

  • Lana Gramlich
    January 19, 2017 at 5:22 am

    Fluff and nonsense.

    • VirtuousEquilibrium
      June 13, 2017 at 11:54 pm

      Maybe, but you wouldn’t have known that if you didn’t listen to your own judgment as opposed to take her word for it.

    • Suzanne Eder
      June 21, 2017 at 12:37 am

      For you, perhaps…not for many others. Thank you for watching and commenting.

  • Madelyn Today
    March 9, 2017 at 4:42 am

    I’ve spent decades on self-improvement and I’ve decided that the best way to live is to love yourself and to enjoy the moment.

  • By Courtesy
    March 31, 2017 at 9:53 pm


  • Just Me
    April 10, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    This needs a lot more views.. The world would be much better in general if people could understand and follow this advice. Thank you Suzanne!

    • Suzanne Eder
      June 21, 2017 at 12:31 am

      Thank you for taking the time to watch and reply. The points are subtle but they can be life-changing…so glad they resonated with you.

  • Josh Dipps
    April 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    just as what I needed. Pause and appreciate the things that you have.

  • Ruth Barr
    May 12, 2017 at 7:31 am

    The darkside is where a lot of art, grit and engergy comes from, we need the darkness.

  • Ruth Barr
    May 12, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Asking other people how we can improve would make you very open to manipulation. My ex sat round smoking weed and doing worse all day, and went on about how I needed to improve by working harder, so I could make money for him to spend on drugs, he was perfect according to him. I tried telling him doing drugs all day showed a lack of confidence but I was the unconfident one because I can be very self critical. If my x did fewer drugs he’d be a cult leader.

  • Astfresser
    May 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

    in conclusion:
    never act out of scarcity

    • Suzanne Eder
      June 21, 2017 at 12:46 am

      Yes, act out of love, which is infinitely kind and abundant…and don’t judge yourself if you fall into old habits that arise from fear and judgment. Acknowledge them, take a breath, and reach for the deeper truth of who you are.

  • Rameshwar Roy
    June 8, 2017 at 8:22 am

    this was also the same stuff

  • Gra ce
    June 22, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    OMG This is deeply moving for me watching this I needed to watch this and it rang so true.Ive spent thousands,over 25 years countless hours reading attending workshops etc etc to get to a so called “better place”and it became an exhausting addictive process with continuous searching for the” next level next book next etc repeatedly falling for the next promise of being able to “fix myself” And then I became maxed out by it all creating tinnitus and prone to bouts of anxiety and depression in the process as I found out in Louise Hay says in her book You can heal your life it’s to do with the Inability to listen within OMG So Right!! and in the search to heal myself I had gone into overdrive with self improvement and thus unbeknown to myself caused myself many many years of stress struggle anguish and painThis short upload gives us a very clear warning about the perils of self development taken too far and the huge cost personally and professionaly it has had on Life I’m able to own this and in this everything changes for me We sure do live n learn See Jeff Foster on YouTube Depressed to Deep rest He powerfully illuminates the all too often pitfalls spirit seekers fall into My friend I wish you a rich and fulfilling Journey back Home to Your Inner Light and wisdom I wish I’d met this incredible messenger Years ago and instilled. her wisdom inside me.Thanxs a Million Suzanne wherever you are!! Although we may or may meet I am sincerely and deeply grateful for this profound talk it really has sent and created waves for me….Thankyou

  • curhx11
    June 25, 2017 at 11:13 am

    it very much depends on what you want to self improve.
    all my life i had problems with shyness, procrastination, and many kinds of little addictions.
    all my life i have tried to face it on my own, and even to just accept it.
    never the less, it prevented me to achieve many things that i have wanted to.
    and now, by just understanding the biology of this behaviors( i have major in boiology so it helped) , i started to work on it, and even though , im not in the level that i wanted to be, im very very pleased with the results and especially from the road to it.

  • Engenharia Mental
    June 27, 2017 at 3:11 am

    This Woman has said everything that is necessary to be said in 11min.! Congratulations!

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