If there is something you don’t like, it would make sense to change it. If your job is making you miserable, start looking for a different one. If you don’t like where you live, consider moving. If you don’t like your current set of friends, find new ones.
But what if you are the problem? What if it’s you that you really don’t like? That’s a question that many people fail to ask themselves. In many cases, it is at the root of their unhappiness, shortcomings, and even their health issues.
There are character traits that you may be carrying that are bogging you down. Do you procrastinate? Do you gossip? Do you lack gratitude? Do you constantly put others down? Do you spend too much money on unimportant things? Do you waste too much time on the computer? Do you eat too much? Are you disappointed with yourself? Your life? Do you constantly put yourself down?
It may seem selfish to focus on yourself, but it essential that you do so. If you are not happy with the way you act, the way you think, or the way you look, you must make an effort to change. And you can’t do it for anyone but you.
There are many self-destructive behaviors that hold us back. One of those is regret. We spend a great deal of time and energy dwelling on poor choices we’ve made in the past. This lowers self-esteem, inhibits personal growth, and does nothing positive for us whatsoever. We all know it is important to forgive and forget, so start with yourself and let the past go.
We also let our past define who we are. That may have been who you were, but it doesn’t have to be who you are. Now is now! What matters isn’t where you’ve been or what you have done. What matters is where you are going and what you can and will do now.
Another self-sabotaging behavior is unhealthy lifestyle choices. No matter what is important to you, living healthier will help you do it better. The food you eat, how much you exercise, and how you manage your stress all affect how you feel, how you think, and, obviously, how you look.
Many may think it is superficial or shallow to focus on your physical body, and it is– if that is all you focus on, but a better looking and better functioning body translates into improved self-esteem, improved confidence, and the stamina, energy, and excitement to accomplish more.
There is a story, by author Alan Cohen, that is told in the beginning of the documentary Finding Joe, about a village in Thailand that is about to come under attack, but wants to protect a large golden statue in the center of the village. They cover it in mud and cement, hiding its value. The statue survives untouched, but the village remains inhabited by its invaders and, over time, nobody remembers the original statue that was covered up. Years later, a monk is meditating next to it when a piece of the cement falls off, and the gold shines through. They break away the rest of the cement to find this magnificent piece of art that had been hidden for so long, almost completely forgotten.
Like the golden statue, you too are invaluable, priceless, and amazing. You may just be covered in layers of fat, or guilt, regret, and disappointment. Other people’s expectations, society’s stereotyping, and the things we may have been taught by parents, teachers and friends are all like pieces of cement that have covered the real you. It is time to chip away those layers and expose the real you. There is greatness in there. It may be covered up, and it may have been covered for a long, long time, but it’s never too late to get out that hammer and chisel and start chipping away.
You can change your job, move to a different city, or get new friends, but you are still there. If you don’t like you, then none of those other things will matter. You can’t get away from you. You are always with you. Everything I write about, teach, and speak about boils down to becoming the best version of yourself. Why not spend the rest of your life with the best version of you possible?