I am trying very hard to change myself and my life, but each time I tried, I seem to be faced with new obstacles and challenges. It is very tiring and discouraging. Often I feel like giving up. What can I do about it?

It is not enough to only have the desire to change your life. It is equally important to have the courage and the determination or perseverance.

Firstly, one has to realise that change must occur from the inside out. Changing just the outside is merely window dressing. It is not going to last.

Secondly, one must also realise that what needs to change is the way we think, the things we believe in, and the habits we have acquired. We practically have to overhaul our mind. To do this, we need to re-examine our mind and thoughts. We need to recognise our limiting beliefs and attitudes, our mental habits, our fears. We need to see what is the real cause of our pain.

Our pain is not caused by a person, a thing or an event, no matter how much we want to be able to put the blame on them. The real cause of our pain is our thoughts – the way we think, the things we believe in and the mental habits we have. To face our pain takes courage and honesty. That is why this path is often liken to a warrior’s path. It is not one that the weak will take.

To avoid facing up to all these fears and beliefs within us, our mind has come up with all kinds of mechanism to protect itself. It often runs away from facing the real issues. When confronted, it uses denial whenever possible. Sometimes, things are deeply repressed or suppressed, away from our conscious awareness. Inner fears are projected outwardly onto someone else, or something else. When we are blaming, criticising or judging others, these are the outward manifestations of our own inner fears.

We have many ways to resist facing our own fears. However, in the end, resistance is futile. It will eventually fail. It is always tiring and exhausting. Like holding back or pushing a ball into the water, it will eventually rebound outward. We must also realise that whatever we resist will persist. Therefore, the best way to heal ourselves is to face our fears and work through them.