Last Updated on March 5, 2018 by Michael Brockbank
Some of us truly want our lives to change and will do almost anything to make it happen. But how do you do it when others laugh or put you down for your decisions? Perhaps you have ultra-negative people in your life who don’t understand why you want to work on yourself. It’s not easy, but you can claim a new life amidst all this.
Recovering addicts and alcoholics go through similar processes all the time. It’s all about making you better as a person and not living up to anyone’s expectations other than your own.
Realize Your Doing this for You, not Them
Above all else, realize you’re making changes in life for you. To work on yourself doesn’t mean trying to fix others who are part of your existence. If those people are negative about the changes you’re making, it’s on them…not you.
If you don’t like the way your life is unfolding, you need to change it. Obviously what you’re doing right now isn’t working, otherwise you’d be happy. And that’s the key point here, making yourself happy. I know it sounds selfish, but sometimes you have to be.
Not everyone is going to agree with what you plan on doing. But as long as there is a positive outcome, it’s up to you to stay the path. Even those who say they are proud of your accomplishments may harbor resentment. Don’t let their actions or words prevent you from creating positive change in your life.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to include others into your plans to improve yourself. For instance, what if you have children? But you need to realize you’re mental stability is only going to improve your relationships. When you’re overly stressed, your more likely to be irrational and short-tempered. And this is bad when interacting with others.
Take Responsibility for Your Actions
One of the most important elements to building yourself to be a better person is taking responsibility for your actions. The time for making excuses is over. Although some situations may have reasons behind circumstance, how often do you blame others when it’s clearly your fault?
For instance, let’s say you asked a family member for a bit of advice. They honestly give you their impression of the situation and left it up to you to decide. Then, you take a course of action and regret it. Do you blame the family member for influencing your decision? Or do you claim responsibility because it is up to you to make the choice?
No matter what happens, always acknowledge when you’ve made a mistake. However, don’t claim responsibility for something someone else does. Everyone makes their own decisions in life, and you can’t keep blaming someone else for your own misfortune, especially if you don’t do anything to improve your lifestyle.
Identify Your Needs, not Theirs
When you work on yourself and your needs, it’s important to know what they are. What is it you want out of life, and how do you get it? Of course you want to be realistic with your needs, but you probably have elements in your life you wish you could change.
Most of us do, even if it’s something small.
The important thing to keep in mind is you’re focusing on your needs, not the expectations of others. If you’re truly happy staying home, saving money and streaming games on Twitch, then who’s to say it’s wrong? Not everyone needs to go out to a bar or find someone to bring home for the night.
You want to work on yourself, not change the world. I have no doubts you will come across friends and family who do not understand your next decisions. But as long as you do and are capable of finding your own path, that’s all that truly matters. If they were supportive, they’d let you go and discover your own identity.
Understand the Jealousy
An often typical behavior of others when you work on yourself is that of jealousy. In many instances, you’ll find people are downright envious of how well you’re doing compared to their own lifestyle. Instead of seeking your help or guidance, they often try to make you feel like you’re doing something wrong.
Again, it’s all about your own happiness. It’s OK for them to feel jealous of your successes, as long as you’re not purposely trying to rub it in their face. Unfortunately, many of these people will feel like you’re doing just that because they can’t cope with their own lives and will find an attack in almost anything you say or do.
The best you can really do is understand their issues, but don’t let it affect how you handle improving your life.
Stand Up for Yourself
Standing up for yourself is an important part if you want to work on yourself. Some of you may already do this, but I know a lot who don’t. Usually, it’s because they don’t want to “rock the boat” or make others unhappy or angry.
In reality, standing up for yourself demonstrates to them as well as yourself that you’re not going to absorb the negative actions of others. If you put your foot down more often, many people will curtail behaviors.
Unfortunately, this can have some dire consequences from a social point of view. What if a family member keeps trying to bring you down to their level and you step up by saying, “You know what, I’m tired of this?” You might just drive a wedge in that relationship. However, it needs to be done for your own sanity while demonstrating to the family member it needs to stop.
The problem is that many people don’t stop and are incapable of correcting their own behaviors.
Remove them from Your Routines
In many instances, negative relationships are some of the most difficult to handle when you work on yourself. People in your life who you cherish may actually be the ones causing the most damage. In extreme cases, you may have to remove those ties from your daily routine.
Perhaps one of the hardest things to do is cut relationships out of your life, especially from those you love. Whether it’s a wife, brother or children, it can feel like you’re dying a bit inside afterward.
Sometimes your influence can change them to see problems in their own lives and you can make a positive impact. Just keep in mind you can’t force someone to change with you. They have to want to improve themselves for it to work.
Leaving my family behind was the most difficult decision I ever had to make, but it saved my life. Sometimes it affects me to this day as I remember when I left and how sad my children were. But then I look at where I am today, which is far better off than I was.
They’re still in my life, and I can do more for them now than I could back then. I am alive today for them because I made the choice to change.
Work on Yourself for a Better Life
Too many people turn to thoughts of suicide because they cannot seem to make themselves happy. For a lot of them, it’s all about taking that first uneasy step. But it takes effort if you want to work on yourself and improve how things unfold.
It’s not going to happen on its own, and sometimes you need to do it alone.