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Change. Everyone’s talking about change. People are always working on changing their eating habits, changing the way they talk, the way they think, move and exercise. We even want to change the way we feel and love. We just want to improve ourselves. We want to change ourselves into better selves. Change, by definition, is doing something different from what you’re doing right now. Guess what! The chances of that happening are very slim. “Why?” You may ask.

People have a hard time changing because change comes with a big price tag. Change is uncomfortable and oftentimes extremely painful. Most people want to change because they are in pain, emotionally and physically. The reality, however, is that as you embark on your journey of self-improvement, the pain that you are already experiencing doesn’t taper. In fact, it gets worse. All the years you’ve been tolerating your toxic family members, your negative work environment, your bad eating habits, abusive relationships and all that self-destructive behavior, it has turned you into a resilient pain addict. By now you’ve become a negativity junky who is about to go into rehab. Every second you’ve spent in that harmful environment has forced you to build an immune system. In order to survive, you have acquired a strong self-defense mechanism called EGO. You had to become like “them” in order to live among “them”. Reality is, the tools that once kept you alive are now starting to hurt you. The more pain you tolerate, the further you detach from your true self, and the harder it is to change. If you are among the very few who are brave enough to seek help, you’re actually seeking help against your deep-seated dysfunction. You actually need help against the person you have become. The ones who want to improve themselves by seeking “change” are about to, quite literally, start a fight against themselves. They, YOU, are officially entering combat against your ego. You’re trying to kill the ego and free your spirit. So, stop fighting with your parents, stop arguing with your spouse, stop getting mad at your boss and start fighting the real battle. That, of course, is the tricky part. You weren’t expecting that kind of fight, were you? You were expecting to fight against an “outside,” a foreign enemy. You hoped to go against someone you really disliked. Well, you were right AND wrong. Yes, you are fighting against someone you dislike, but that someone is your ego. It is not, however, outside of you. It is inside. It IS you.

By starting to change who you are, you’re basically starting to “hurt” your current self, the one self you’ve become, not the one you were born to be. Your controlling ego will relentlessly retaliate. You need to lose yourself in order to find yourself.

We are all born special, unique and lovable. Everyone knows, in order to achieve success, we need to love ourselves. However, our parents’ expectations and our teachers’ ideals, our society trends and our bigoted culture (just to name a few) did a really good job of poisoning our minds and dictating our future. Therefore, as a result of our growing-up process, oftentimes we end up feeling terribly about ourselves. Most kids who become adults are consistently working all their lives just to punish themselves with overeating, overworking, overtraining and over-thinking. If you are among those who want to improve themselves, you must be willing to fight against your-self, i.e., your ego. You need to lose some friends, piss-off some family members, burn some bridges, face your fears, confront your ego and stand up for what you want. Basically, you need to start swimming against the current. That is the definition of change. Change direction, not gears. Do something different, something that feels really uncomfortable. Be your true self for a true change.

You must love your true self, or at least you need to be curious enough to search for it in order to have the motivation and strength to keep going. And that’s the main reason why this process is so difficult and why most people fail. The number one reason you need help with your self-improvement process is because your EGO is way too clever and way too strong. Since your ego has been controlling you for a very long time, it has also learned how to hide your problems from you. Your ego knows your weaknesses and has really good defense strategies against you. That’s how it thrives and that’s how YOU have survived. Your job now is to expose your ego and kill it, or at least weaken its stronghold and control over you. Self-improvement is like pulling teeth. You can’t pull your own tooth; you need someone else to help you. The only difference is that we can’t be numbed during this process. Most people live in pain and wait until a cavity becomes an abscess before asking for help. Unfortunately, more often than you think, people have been on the wrong path for too long and the tooth cannot be saved.

Changing oneself is the hardest task one can take on. In order for your journey of self-improvement to be successful, you must do/have these 5 things:

1) You must ask for help. The one who creates the problem can’t ever see the problem.

2) Expect this process to be extremely hard and painful. Things will always get worse before they get better.

3) Don’t ever expect to be done. You can’t ever stop learning. The bigger you get, the more problems you’ll have, and the more help you’ll need.

4) You have to be a little crazy. You must be crazy enough to BELIEVE that you deserve better.

5) You need to be patient. You need to trust and to have faith… Have patience, trust yourself and others, and believe that anything and everything is possible.

Good luck.