Whenever someone asks the question, “how to change your life?”, they get a list of tips and tools to apply.
That’s not always helpful.
Let’s do something different in this article to answer this question in a better, and a simpler, way.
Let’s pretend for a while that self-improvement is like magic.
And to use this ‘magic’, we need a wand.
A wand that you can wave and watch the magic happen before your eyes. A wand that changes everything, from your self-confidence to the actual results you yearn to see in your life.
Well, there might be such a wand. You’ll neither like it nor will you enjoy using it, but it’ll work.
Let me show you.
Courage (BUT a Specific Type of Courage)
The word courage has many definitions; in different contexts, it means different things.
It’s courage to dare to dream and to develop mental toughness and discipline.
It’s courage to act despite the possibility of failure.
And indeed it’s courage to pick yourself up after failure.
All those behaviors are courageous deeds and I salute whoever does them and especially whoever considers them as a lifestyle.
But, the type of courage that I want to discuss in this article, and that will play as your wand, is more than these behaviors. It’s almost a forgotten form of courage that, if practiced, will yield amazing results when it comes to personal growth and self-development.
The kind of courage I’m talking about is the courage to face yourself.
It’s the courage to be painfully honest with yourself and call yourself on your bullshit1This is not the same as shaming one’s self. This is about facing one’s self in order to grow and improve. Those who don’t face themselves usually live in denial and as a result, they spend their lives getting worse each day. Those who shame themselves collapse under the weight of shame and are unable to do anything about their situation because they believe they are hopeless..
That sounds simple that almost most people ignore it as if they actually know everything about facing one’s self and owning one’s truth. But, it’s deeper and harder than it looks like. Facing other people in a battle is bravery; facing your own self is the purest form of courage.
Here’s what I mean by facing one’s self:
Being open to yourself about your own intentions, motives, desires, and needs. The ability to admit your shortcomings and insecurities and ignorance to your own self. The ability to wrong yourself and admit that you might be doing something wrong or that you have the wrong intentions and motives. And the ability to do all this without stigmatizing yourself and losing your self-esteem.
Here’s the thing. Many people don’t do something about their situation, even though it’s miserable, because they’re too afraid to admit that something is wrong. Something is usually wrong in the way they think or act.
It’s like being in a cave. Having lived there for most of your life, you no longer realize you’re living in the dark and you no longer realize there’s light out there.
You’re inside this cave either because you sincerely don’t realize that there’s light out there or because you’re denying the existence of the light out there. Or both.
Either way, you need this magical wand to lighten up this cave a little bit and at the same time to guide you out of the cave to where the real light exists.
How to Change Your Life Using This?
In one sentence: be honest with yourself.
But it’s easier said than done.
Let’s look at what stops people from being honest with themselves.
What stops people from using this wand (a.k.a. practicing this form of courage)?
There might be many reasons but I believe there’s one main root reason:
Feeling ashamed of having mistakes, flaws, insecurities, and imperfections.
Feeling like there must be something wrong with you if have mistakes in your life. Or, worse, feeling like you don’t deserve to be loved, appreciated, or accepted because you have those flaws or insecurities.
In other words, you think that you’re less worthy than others if you have those flaws and imperfections. So, you never admit them (not even to yourself, which is more important obviously). You deny their existence because they deny you of acceptance and belonging (or so you think!).
You don’t want to be seen weak. And the truth scares you because it exposes you to the uncomfortable possibility of being seen off guard2Also sometimes you don’t feel competent enough to solve your problems. So, you pretend they don’t exist. This way, you avoid the discomfort of being seen failing to solve your problems..
Those who are ashamed of having flaws, because they think someone will look down at them or will stop loving them, never manage to improve or change anything.
Logically, if you can’t admit your problems you’ll never solve them. If you can’t admit your problems because you’re ashamed of having them, they’ll only grow bigger and you’ll not have the guts to face them and solve them. Let alone that the feeling of shame of having them is going to consume your self-esteem.
And this is where the wand comes in handy.
It’s the courage to face this discomfort and accept that you have flaws and mistakes and imperfection but you’re still worthy of getting whatever you need.
Doing that, being comfortable with your own shit, is what will allow you to change that shit. (Or to accept what you can’t change.)
Use this wand
Whenever you hear the word courage, know that it’s going to be painful.
Face yourself and feel the discomfort of wronging yourself and admitting your insecurities and shortcomings.
It doesn’t make you weak. Counter-intuitively, it’ll make you stronger because you’ll have the chance to improve and change those things you don’t like.
Furthermore, not being ashamed of your problems will give you not only the power to solve them but also will help you keep your self-esteem healthy. You know, coming to terms with your own shit3The purpose of creating this site and why I write those articles and content.!
Don’t ever believe that having problems, mistakes, insecurities, imperfections, ugly sides, or shortcomings makes you less worthy of anyone. We all have them. We are all full of shit.
This fact, as simple as it sounds, is very powerful.
It’ll allow you to step up and be comfortable with your own insecurities and imperfections. Not to submit and surrender to them, but to be able to see them (maybe for the first time) and to start solving them and/or coming to terms with them.
I’ve come to realize that self-awareness is the most important factor in your self-development journey. And it starts with being comfortable admitting one’s own shortcomings.
It takes courage, it’s going to be painful, and you won’t like it most of the time because it’s uncomfortable. But it works wonders.
If there was a wand to turn your life around, then it’d be the courage to face yourself and admit your shortcomings (not to beat yourself up but to start seeing those problems to solve them.)
Start using it.