One day while I was looking in the mirror, I realized I did not know who I was anymore. I was depressed, unmotivated, and angry all the time. I would lash out on others when things would go wrong, causing many people to turn away from me. My eyes filled with tears as I realized I needed to change, not just for myself, but for the little boy growing in my stomach. I instantly made up my mind and began working on myself. It has been over a year since that day, and I am still improving myself every day. Now I am hoping to inspire others to look deep within and defeat any darkness they may be holding on to. Keep reading below if you would like to read about how I started to work on myself. Keep in mind, that working on oneself is an everlasting and continuous journey. There is not a quick fix or short cut, it is mentally challenging, and you will uncover so much about yourself you never knew, some of it may be hard to face. However, it is worth it.
You, yourself, may not need to change for the better. Though, you may know someone who does. There is a section in this post that is about helping others realize their actions may not be the greatest. Keep in mind, these suggestions may or may not work for you.
Realizing There is a Need to Change
One of the hardest parts about changing for the better is realizing you need to change; that is if you truly want to improve yourself. This does not mean you are a bad person, only that you need to work on some of your unhealthy habits. Something could have happened in your life that was not favorable, and it caused you to change your views and reactions toward certain situations.
For example, after experiencing several abusive relationships, I became very defensive. I would hurt those who hurt me with things I knew would hurt them. Eventually, I started to become physically abusive towards the person I was with, that is if we began to argue and it got out of hand. I was like a cornered snake, striking to defend myself, even if the other person was not going to hurt me, I still believed they would. Understand, I am not a violent person. I do not like fights at all, I don’t even like pro wrestling (though if you do then that is great, I’m not knocking wrestling, it’s just not my favorite sport). After I would lash out, I would tare myself down and become very harsh with myself. I would often cut to make up for how I was treating others. It was a cycle of destruction I desperately needed to get out of.
**I am not proud of my past actions. There is never a time where someone should hurt someone else, except during self-defense (Personal opinion). I share my firsthand experiences to let others know they are not alone, and they too can overcome many obstacles if they have the willpower to do so.
Everyone experiences different situations that can alter how they react to certain things. It could be pushing others away due to the fear of being afraid of becoming overly attached to someone. Or isolating yourself because you feel different in society’s eyes. There are many examples, these are only a couple. Usually, how you react towards certain things is either how you grew up or how the events in your life played out. It can be hard to pinpoint what needs to change in order to grow mentally. Here are a few ways that can help:
- Make a list of the negative traits you believe you have, and write down ways you can start working on them. Sometimes writing things down helps more than keeping it inside your mind.
- Think of how you treat others. Think about if you would like to be treated like that, if not then something needs to change.
- Think of some of the things you went through in life, did it change how you viewed certain things? Why?
- Think of the people you look up to in life. Are they good or bad influences? Many people live their lives based on who inspires them. The thing about inspiration is it can be either good or bad. For example, a serial killer may have been inspired by an earlier killer, making it a desire to kill someone for the experience. While a cancer survivor may have become inspired by the hospital that treated them and they decide to dedicate their lives towards finding a cure for cancer. As you can see both were inspired with different intentions. While these examples are a bit on the extreme side, they still show how others can influence the mind.
- Do you often upset friends and family members with some of your actions? Do they tell you, you need to change your actions? If so, listen to them and write down what they keep getting upset about. Would it make you upset if someone said or did that to you? If so, ask yourself why you do that. Search for a deeper meaning than “I don’t know” or “it’s just the way I am.”
Pinpointing negative traits can be challenging and mentally tiring. If you become very depressed, angry, or upset, while doing this, try again later or with professional help. It’s important to seek professional help when things become too overwhelming. Remember this process takes time and it’s okay to seek help when you need it.
Helping Others Realize They Need to Evaluate Their Actions
Let us be honest, if you go up to someone and say, “hey, your actions suck, you need to change” it is not going to do much except cause them to become defensive. Many people do not like to be corrected, even if it is for their best interest. So, how does someone help those who might not see the error in their ways? It can be tricky; however, you must go into, what I call, stealth mode. Dropping hints here and there, planting tiny positive seeds of awareness inside their mind. Here are some ideas that can help:
- Setting positive examples yourself. Sometimes when someone does something good, it can have a ripple effect and inspire others to do the same.
- Tell them when they are in the wrong. However, do not go into detail or argue with them. Wait a few hours until everyone is calm, then casually bring up their actions. Explain to them why their actions bother you. Waiting until everyone is calm to go into an explanation helps to avoid pointless arguments. Furthermore, they are a little more open to receiving the message.
- If the other two suggestions are not working, you could try getting a few people together who agree that there should a change in said person behavior. Think of it as an intervention for helping the said person, see the error in their ways. I have not done this, and this should probably be used in extreme cases and with the guidance of a professional, due to the backlash it may cause. This direct approach will put the other person in a defensive mode. They might say or do things they do not mean because they feel cornered. A professional can help guide the “intervention.”
- If nothing is working, then you may have to step back and realize this person does not want to change their behavior. I call this tough love. You still love the person dearly, but you no longer want to be a part of their cycle of destruction. Sadly, a lot of people know they are in a destructive cycle, but they relish in it. Stepping away from someone until they change their ways is sometimes all we can do.
These ideas may or may not work for you. Everyone is different and has a different story. I am simply trying to inspire others to become more mindful. If anything seems wrong or what I have said is untrue, let me know in the comments. I am growing and learning just as everyone else is.
What Can I Benefit From by Changing My Ways
Some of you might be sitting there thinking, “what will change do for me? Why should I change from my negative ways? What if it makes me feel worse than I feel now?” I’ll be honest, it might make you feel worse at first. It is not easy for a lot of people to admit they need to change their ways, nor is it easy to change when they do come to the realization because it is uncomfortable.
Let’s use moving to a new state as an example. When moving to a different area, things are unknown to you. You might not know where anything is located, meeting new neighbors can be frightening and let’s not forget, getting adjusted to the new house. It can become overwhelming, and sometimes can be a bit intimidating. Fast forward 3 months, and you’re settled, making new friends, and the feeling of uncertainty is reduced significantly.
As you can tell from the example, it might be uncomfortable at first, but with time it gets easier. Do not let the feeling of uncertainty cloud your judgment if you are changing for the better. Training the mind is hard and there will be times where you feel defeated. However, if you keep pushing through the hard times, you will be able to do anything you put your mind to. Instead of moving to a new state, you are moving into a new state of mind.
So, what benefits can you expect from changing negative habits? Here are a few I have gained from my experience:
- Clearer thinking
- Significantly reducing depression
- Enjoying life a little more
- Gaining motivation
- Finding new inspiration
- People enjoy my company instead of turning away from me due to my negative energy
- Helping others find their positivity
- Smiling more
- Not being as upset when bad things happen
- Controlling emotions better
As you can tell, there are many benefits when it comes to examining yourself and weeding out the negativity within your mind.
In conclusion, changing negative habits are a must when it comes to bettering yourself in general. Realizing you need to change for the better can be difficult, however, it is doable. Though, if you become too overwhelmed it might be in your best interest to seek professional help. Remember, you are in control of your own mindset. Negative mindsets can make you see life as dull and depressive. Changing your outlook can have many positive benefits like reducing depression and enjoying life. Sometimes you, yourself, do not need to change, but you know someone who does. Planting tiny positive seeds of awareness into their minds can help them change their ways. However, if they do not want to change their negative behavior, you might have to step back until they can see their actions are not acceptable. Negative actions usually start within the mind, training your mind to think more positively can help in many ways.
Additionally, I want to thank you for taking the time to read, like and share my blog posts. It means a lot to me when you guys read and comment your thoughts on what I write. We are all trying to find hope through this crazy ride we call life. If I wrote anything that seems off or wrong, please let me know in the comments below. As a beginner in writing, constructive criticism is always welcomed. Also, if you have any topics on mental health you are curious about, let me know in the comments below.
It is very hard for me to share personal experiences, however, I know through my experiences I can help others through their own struggles they may have. Thank you once more, you all are amazing.
If you enjoy this quote, my Instagram is full of original quotes. If you would like to follow me on Instagram you can follow me here. I also have a new facebook page where you can vent, talk about mental health, and more. It is very new, so there are not many posts up, however, if you are interested in following the Facebook page you can here. Just click on the highlighted words to take you to each account.