Many of my new clients are facing significant crises in their lives that make change necessary. In such cases, one of the first questions I ask is “Who directly influences your life? Your spouse? Your children? Your friends?” I ask the question to establish a specific directive for my client to assess himself or herself.
I continue by asking “Why is the opinion of others important? These people have influenced you throughout your entire life. What will their reactions be when they discover that you are making significant changes in your life without consulting with them first?”
Moral Support Versus Standing Alone
Those first steps along your path of self improvement are likely to be lonely. As you continue, you will probably remain alone. If you’ve ever wondered why, the lyrics of the song ‘I Walk Alone’ by Green Day should provide a clue. In fact, you should adopt this song as your mantra when you set out on the path of self improvement. You must be prepared for disapproval. Some will accuse you of ‘putting on airs.’ Others will attempt to force you back into a box to avoid the need to alter their expectations of you.
However, once you begin to make real progress along your path, your excitement will build. You will understandably want to share your secret with everyone! But is it really wise to suggest to your partner that he or she should make similar changes? Keep in mind that even though the positive changes in your life make you feel great, your partner may not share your enthusiasm. Your partner may even feel insulted by your suggestions, or fear that you will think less of him or her for choosing not to follow in your footsteps.
Make No Expectations
I am blessed with accumulating a tremendous amount of valuable information. I recently had the opportunity to use this information to help a friend that has a progressive cancer. He has everything and everyone to live for. He has a worthwhile life – better than most people.
I provided him with some specialized information that would potentially allow him to live longer and healthier. I gave him this information without any expectation that he would ever read it, or do anything about it. I simply said “I don’t expect you to do anything with it. But it it’s here if you choose to use it.” So far, he has not used this information. It saddens me.
Change Is Inevitable
Consider it a blessing if you receive moral support from those around you. Most people must walk their path without support. Once in a while you may meet someone that is on a similar path as you; a kindred spirit. This is the Law of Attraction at work. Often these are the best people to be co-supportive with. Look for these people to appear. It is nice to find a friend while traversing adversity.
You may think my choice of the word ‘adversity’ may be a negative way of thinking about doing something positive for yourself. Please take a moment to think about why we are driven to improve ourselves to begin with. Our dissatisfaction in ourselves is the reason why we pursue to improve our life. If we were not dissatisfied, there would be no reason to do anything in that direction. There are two specific rules here:
“The need to change is greater than the burden to stay the same.”
“The only constant in life is CHANGE.”
People Don’t Change People. Crisis Changes People
You already know that people do not like change and resist it. It is in our nature. The ‘adversity’ comes from the internal battle of contradiction. Despite the fact that you may wish for support or even coddling, you benefit when you accomplish change on your own. You gain a great feeling of self worth and a sense of accomplishment when you take on the risk and potentials of both failure and success.
The truth is, when you take on the risk for yourself, you will always put more effort into achieving success. Thus you are more likely to succeed. You gain confidence to move forward and take more steps along your path. On the other hand, if you are hand-fed and coddled through the experience, you will not have the opportunity to gain that sense of accomplishment; your reward for facing the struggle.
Proceed with your eyes wide open so that you understand the pitfalls and avoid being deterred from your path when you face disapproval or setbacks. You may often wonder if you have made a mistake by wanting to improve yourself, but realize that is just old resistance rearing its ugly head. Your biggest battles will be with yourself. Once you throw off the burden of your older self, nothing can stand in your way to ultimate success.
The road of self-improvement is a rocky one. Be prepared. Good luck!