Here’s a newsflash for you:
Change is messy. Transforming your life, becoming a new person, becoming the person that is rich, famous and sexy is more like a savage battle from the middle-ages than what most self-help coaches make it to be.
If you want to change, you need to face yourself. You know how hard that is? Chances you are, that’s why you don’t like to do it every single day. But the only way to actually become a new person is to face whoever is the old person and to kick it out, gradually, from your mind, soul and spirit until a new, better you takes place.
When I’ve started on this self-development thing, I was a kid. I was 14 or 15, maybe even younger. I haven’t started with Napoleon Hill but rather with books on seduction and persuasion. Then I’ve discovered NLP and self-improvement authors and I’ve acted accordingly (I was a big Tony Robbins fan – and looking back, I don’t understand why I’m not refreshing my mind with his info from time to time). I’ve read, I’ve studied, I’ve implemented, I’ve done exercises and my life changed.
Yet what nobody taught me was that I was not creating change – I was preparing for it. I was not in the arena, kicking, fighting, putting my opponent down but instead, I was training to be in the arena. The things that I thought were the end result were only the training.
I was developing skills. This was the easy part. The hard part was putting those skills to use. Against the world? Against society? No. Against myself.
Whenever you want to become a better person, you need to recognize who is the obstacle, the bottleneck towards that person. You may say that it is society. Fucking matrix, they want us down to buy their products and so on. Well, that may be partially true but it is not society. It is not your parents. It is not your best friend.
The obstacle is you. To be more exact – the part of you that says “I’m right” and doesn’t want to change. The monkey inside your brain that wants to play instead of work. The wolf inside your soul that want to destroy instead of to create and to love. You are your own obstacle towards becoming someone else.
And this process … is the real hard stuff.
Reading books is easy. Going to seminars is easy. Saying the right words about success … is easy. But here are a list of things that are not that easy.
- Putting in the effort to make things happen in real life and not finding excuses to procrastinate.
- Admitting that you are wrong, even when all you have left is your ego and there is no one in the background to cheer you for your moral resolution.
- Starting from zero when you’ve lost, knowing that you’ve got a huge climb ahead and doing it day in and day out.
- Understanding that success doesn’t require titanic efforts but it requires consistency and that doing a bit every single day will get you a lot more than massive sporadic actions.
- Giving up on people who are not good for you and changing the definition of what is good for you – because a new person requires new friends.
- Delaying gratification sometimes minutes, sometimes days, sometimes years in order to achieve a goal that is uncertain, and therefore, giving up on something safe for a greater thing down the line that you may not even get.
- Understanding that when someone says that there is something wrong with you, there is nothing personal. That person just points out something that you are and while it may not be very comfortable, that thing exist no matter if you admit it or not.
- Finally … fully understanding that life is life and that just because you say something, doesn’t make it truth.
I’ll further develop on the last point as it is the most important from the entire article. Just because you can justify something, this doesn’t mean that it’s right.
I’ve failed mostly because of lack of consistent effort. I’ve made mistakes out of lack of maturity and because I’ve lied to myself. Many times I’ve failed because I was not prepared enough to tackle a situation. I’ve been a horrible boyfriend to girls that deserved a lot better because I was not mature enough and I had (have) a huge ego. I was a horrible friend to people that respected and care about me because I was not mature enough. I don’t have a six pack (to put it lightly for me) because I’ve ate a lot of crap at McDonalds as it was a lot easier than preparing food for myself.
Can I say that all the above are false? Of course. I can say that I’ve failed because I’ve had a rough childhood and because people are mean. Only if I was born in a different world. I can say that I’ve been a horrible boyfriend because it was never meant to be and destiny wanted me to break up with that person or that I was a horrible friend because nobody understood me.
But it would be a lie. Actually, it would be worse than a lie, it would be self-deception. And while in my mind I would have a version of the truth, it would not change the facts, what really exists and what doesn’t.
I’ve brought this up because as I’ve said, in order to change, you need to face your demons. You need to admit first that you are wrong, most of the time, if you don’t get results. I’m not talking now about harming yourself for the sake of harming. This is not a “Oh, I suck, I don’t deserve to live” type of scenario. This is seeing yourself in a mature perspective so you know where you stand.
This is understanding the difference between conviction and reality. I can believe a lot in a thing. This doesn’t make it true or right. What makes it right is causality. Not my mind. My mind doesn’t have the ability to change cause and effect, only to abide by it.
Facing those demons is the hardest part of the change. Most people don’t change because even if they have the tools, they aren’t willing to look at themselves. Change is not that hard and you don’t need to study success for 20 years. You need to read a few books and learn a few concepts.
The hard part is accepting that you were wrong and that this old part of yourself needs to go. When you do this, you change. And I think that the difference between self-improvement wannabe and actual successful people comes down to this – that critical moment when they look in the mirror and without words, without sounds, without blinking they know that they must change. Now.
It’s not that moment when you announce to everyone that you’re going to quit smoking and three days later, you start smoking again. It is that moment when you are sitting on a bench, with the pack in your hands. You look at it like it is a strange, foreign object. You look at the small tubes inside of it and you wonder why the hell you are smoking. Your hand, by natural motion wants to pick one up, as you’ve done thousands of times but there is no motivation to do it. You don’t want it anymore.
And you say … “fuck it” and you quit. That’s change.
It’s not when you pump yourself up with motivational materials that you’re going to work hard today. Is when you look at your life and you are tired of this shit. You see others driving Range Rovers and you can’t afford to pay the rent … or in some cases, even a rent. You look at yourself and you’re a mess. You think about what you’ve done this week for you and your life and the answer is nothing … nothing at all.
You sit down, you take a deep breathe and you admit it – you’ve fucked up. But there is no one there to make you feel worse or better. It’s just you. The silence is your only critic.
So the next morning you just wake up at 05:00 and you get to work. You don’t need to listen to Tony Robbins telling you what to do. You have something inside of you that says “I’d rather exhaust myself working than have to face that silence again”. You are your own judge and you don’t need to force yourself to do anything – because the action comes effortless.
A messy, painful process of accepting that you’re not on the right road no matter how much you’d like to think otherwise. A process where you don’t need 100 tools to do something, you just need to give up on what’s preventing you from making that change. And even if sometimes there are external factors – in most cases – that obstacle is you.