I feel that it is important to talk about what I find is the hardest part of self-improvement, self-discovery, and growth, in the hope that it will help, as I’m sure some of you are dealing with this right now.
I started really making self-improvement a priority about ten years ago, and have repeatedly hit this wall and once again as I start a new journey of saying “yes” and trying new things and learning more about myself, I am coming up to it again, though admittedly not to the same degree as I have in the past. The wall that I’m speaking of? Me.
The hardest part of changing is just allowing ourselves to change. That’s right- giving ourselves permission to change- change our beliefs, change our minds once we realize that we were wrong instead of stubbornly holding on to old belief systems, and allowing ourselves to change and grow into new people because that’s what feels right. In our attempt to be the most authentic version of ourselves, we feel fake to an extent because it goes against everything we’ve known so we resist it. One of the best quotes I’ve seen for this is from Jeff Bezos when he says that
“anybody who doesn’t change their mind a lot is dramatically underestimating the complexity of the world we live in.”
To change your mind is to grow and evolve. It’s an understanding that you don’t know everything all the time, admitting that, and continuing to learn. We get so stuck in our ways that it becomes extremely difficult to look at ourselves and say, “the person I’ve been all this time no longer feels right, so I’m going to do what does.” Instead we force ourselves to continue down a road we know we don’t belong on because that’s the way it’s always been. I change my mind daily, sometimes by the hour as I try different ideas on and realize they don’t fit me the way I thought they would. It’s a struggle to be ok with that sometimes, but I have found that if I fight it, it only makes matters worse and me more miserable. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough misery in this life. You have to stay true to you. There is a Turkish proverb that says
“No matter how far down a wrong road you’ve gone, turn back.”
It is never too late to go a different way.
To make matters worse, there are a great many people who will also be resistant to your changes, for some reason feeling threatened by your new found courage or jealous that you’re doing something for yourself, and they will make you feel bad about it. In some cases it will become very clear that they no longer serve your life in a positive way and you’ll start to feel that separation. That hurts, no doubt about it, and in response to that you’ll either pull back from the changes you’re trying to make, or you’ll embrace it and recognize that this is the path you have to take in order to be ok with yourself and honestly- that is so much more important. You will always struggle with people who don’t believe in what you are trying to do, but frankly this isn’t their journey and really is none of their business. Let them go.
Good riddance to bad rubbish I always say.
Breaking free from the shackles of the status quo and changing your thought process takes a strength and courage that most will never discover, so if you are one of those people taking charge of your life and starting new- I wanted to make sure you know how amazing that is, how proud of yourself you should be, and to tell you that if it feels right to you- keep going and the people who belong in your life will come. Don’t give up. Not everyone deserves to come along on your journey so if they’re making you feel like you don’t deserve what you’re going for or try to make you feel bad about changes you’re making- discard them along the path and let them find their own way. Don’t let them drag you down. If you aren’t comfortable completely dismissing them from your life- at least limit your contact with them so that they don’t damage the progress you’re making. You deserve every single thing you are striving for without exception. Hold on to that and keep pushing forward.