I would like to change my life, but no matter what I do or how much I tried, I just cannot seem to make any difference. Why?

People who desire to change and transform their lives often find it difficult to initiate the change they want in their lives. This is because they continue to do and behave in the same ways that got them to where they are in the first place. They are held back by a few erroneous fundamental beliefs.

Limiting Belief #1: I change my life by changing what is outside of me

One common mistake is the belief that change can be effected by changing what is outside of you. Until today, people are still trying to change the world (or their lives) by changing what is outside of them, and they continue to fail, or find that the changes that they made do not last. They do not last because what is outside of you is generally not within your control. What you can change on the outside, others can change it too, and they will. It will become an endless battle – tiring and unrewarding. Thus, failure is inevitable.

As long as you are holding on to this belief, and continue to change only what is outside of you, you cannot effect any real transformation in your own life.

To be able to transform your life, you must acknowledge and believe that change is only possible by changing what is inside of you. Although initially it may not seem so to you, the truth is that what is inside of you is the only thing within your control. Trying to control the world, the environment, your spouse, your partner and anything else outside of you will only be met with resistance, exhaustion and eventual failure.

So, what is it within you that is within your control? They are your thoughts and feelings. Yes, I know. It may seem as though you are not able to control or manage these two aspects of you at first. It is precisely because you have not learned to manage them and rein them in that you are suffering now. If you had managed to do so, you would not be looking to change your life. You would have been able to manage your life pretty satisfactorily. Not perfect, perhaps, but enough to not be suffering so much.

Limiting Belief #2: I am powerless to change on my own. I need an outside force to help me change

The second fundamental belief that is holding you back from the change you need is the belief that you need someone or something outside of you to initiate the change – a guru or teacher, a coach, a guide, an event or God.

This belief itself arises from a deeper belief that you are weak and powerless to change on your own. Very often, it is simply an excuse to not take responsibility for your own life. The truth is that until you choose to take full responsibility for your own life, no meaningful transformation is going to happen.

When you do not take responsibility for your own life and your own experiences, you are basically trying to avoid the difficult and arduous work that lies ahead for you, and take the simple road of pushing what you need to do for yourself to others. Well, I have news for you. No one is responsible for your life, except you yourself. Even if someone is willing to do it for you (perhaps your mother), no real change can happen in you without your own effort and action.

That is why the first step to transforming your life is your willingness to take full responsibility for your life. This means you stop looking for and making excuses for why you cannot change. In fact, change is the only certainty in life. It is your resistance to change that is holding you back, and causing you to suffer.

(In certain circumstances, especially when you are in pathological depression, it is important for you to reach out and seek help. All of us have a limit to how much we can cope with, and when that limit is exceeded, we can be overwhelmed and our coping capacity breaks down. Please, do seek professional help when you need it.)

Change itself does not require a lot of effort. It is the resistance to change that requires a lot of work, and it is here that transformation work is done. We are now talking about change within us – inner transformation.

There are many things within us that needed changing, and denying this truth only creates another obstacle to real change. We need to change our limiting beliefs. We need to change the way we think. We need to change our views of ourselves, the world and life itself. We may even need to change our views of God. We will definitely need to change our attitude towards ourselves and others.

Obviously, whatever we already have within us is not working for us – our present beliefs, views and attitudes. If they were working for us, we would not be in pain, We would not be suffering. So, if we want to stop our pain and suffering, we must change what is not working for us. We must change from the inside out.

We need a new approach.

Recommended Read:

Why is this happening to me… AGAIN? (Michael Ryce)