Psychology

I Am Obsessive Compulsive (OCD). Do I Need A Psychiatrist?

When I was young I liked to play video games. Back in the day when Nintendo was the new toy I played a game that is called Mega Man. I loved that game. It had different levels and bosses to defeat. This is one of the reasons why I used to wake up in the morning. If I could, I would play all morning, I would take a break to eat and go back to play until dark or until I was tired enough to go to sleep.

Even though the game was fun, I was defeated many times and I needed to repeat a mission and I spend hours doing it. I think the difficulty made it even more fun.

When I learned how to drive, I was the same way. I am from a very poor family. We had no money for shoes, so a car was an unreachable dream. Therefore, I started hanging out with people who work as drivers. I bugged them and get on their nerves until they taught me how to drive.

When I decided to get in shape, I was obsessively exercising until I reached my goal. When I was learning English, I read, wrote and practice until I could communicate. When there is a problem I don’t stop until I find a solution. When I find something I want, I don’t stop until I get it.

This is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

My level of commitment with myself is to the point that I will succeed or fail. For example, starting a business and signing a commercial lease is either all in or all out. I either sign the lease or walk out, but I don’t do it half way. I get into debt and deliver results to my clients and whether I succeed or I fail and pay the debt. When I know I am going to become obsessive to make something work, all I need to do is commit and take massive action to achieve my goal. I am extreme.

Those who I have seen achieve their dreams, are happy and have changed the world, are those who are OCD and are committed to their dreams because just like the video game, real life will bring difficulties and will defeat us, hurt us and plan something different than we have planned. We are going to fail, suffer, but when we are not willing to give up and continue moving forward with passion, the world has a unique way to make our dreams come true.

This is one of the reasons why only less than 5% of people can lose weight and maintain a healthy body for the rest of their lives. This is the reason why only less than 5% of people love their career. This is why only 5% of people continue progressing in making changes in their lives and other lives.

I have been rejected, mistreated and humiliated. Nobody likes to be rejected, mistreated or humiliated, especially humiliated, but those are the risks I am willing to take to learn and grow and become stronger. I won’t stop until I reach my goal.

I honestly think the biggest reason why many people can’t reach their fitness goals or any other goal is because of life’s difficulties. The key to overcoming life’s difficulties and to becoming fulfilled is to be obsessive compulsive, be extreme and be committed until the end. When I fail I don’t regret because I know I gave it my all and when I succeed I know that I am part of the less than 5%.


Start Your Weight Loss Program With the Right Tools

Ryan has been in the hospital three times for two diseases he could have avoided, diabetes and gout, where he gets a quick fix to go back to his routine of working. He is a workaholic just like I am (I don’t blame him). He loves what his does and his business depends of him. He is always looking forward to work. He also has a family that he loves and a baby on his way.

Ryan is overweight and he does not know why he wants to lose weight. The reason why he is seeking professional help is because other people are asking him to do so. He knows exercising and eating healthy will help him to lose weight, but work and other “important” activities get in the way.

He has no motivation to lose weight what so ever. However he has done it twice in 30 years, lost 30 pounds and regained it. When I sit with him and talk about his life, I noticed that problem. He does not have his whys clear. He does not understand yet that weight loss is not what is important. And maybe not even his health. However, what is important to him is his family and his career.

Nevertheless, if Ryan continues in the same path, he will end up in the hospital again with very high possibilities of depending of machines, surgeries or even dying. This means that he won’t be able to take care and enjoy his family. He will need to stop what he loves to do; his job and his might run out of business. As soon as he understood his why to exercise and eat healthy, he got the motivation he needed. Now he is losing weight and balancing his live between work, his family and his health.

Business that have their mission statement clear and people who have their whys clear have been proven that they are the most successful in life.

My whys wake me up everyday very at 4 am. They are clear and give me the motivation to do what it takes to achieve my goals.

Lession1: Have you whys clear to lose weight. Without a why you don’t even know WHY is important to lose weight.

Bethany lost her mom two years ago. Her mom died of heart complications. The mom did not take care of herself. She did not exercise or ate healthy. Bethany fall in depression and suffer a lot. I understand her. I have been there. However, she is not dwelling anymore and she understood something very important and made a promise. She understood if she does not do something for herself, she will end up the same way her mom.

Bethany knew that her mom would like the best for her. So the promised she made was to lose 60 pounds and be healthy. She made it!! She was devoted to her promised. She needed to suffer before she understood the why she needed to lose weight.

Many of us need to suffer to improve our lives. All successful people have been through a crisis before they achieve an important goal in their lives.

I am very good with pain. I had had three knee surgeries and the last one was three ligaments in one surgery. Never took a pain killer pill. We have become good friends. However, depression is one of the most painful situations I ever been. It makes me kneel, cry and ask God for his wisdom. Depression is so painful that made me understand that I was in the wrong path and therefore I decided to change to a better person.

Lession 2, be smart. You don’t have to go into a very painful situation or crisis to change and do something for you now. Change now.

Pedro is one of five siblings, three women and two guys. They are all overweight, including mom and dad. The doctor told them that they are overweight thanks to their genes. All the family belief it and decided to stayed overweight except for Pedro. Pedro was not buying it and he decided to go against his destiny and genes. He changed his eating habits and started to exercise. No one in the family believes that Pedro can make it happen because it is “genetic.” It took him 5 years to get to his goal and now he is in great shape. He is an athlete.

People used to belief that the earth was flat. The school used to teach it. The government agreed. No one was open minded to take the risk and find out. Everyone was doomed to the flat theory. However, one day someone decided to die falling of the earth or discovered new land. I think you know the story.

I used to think I was slave of my manly desires. I used to think my emotions and pleasures control me until I decided to fight them. We can choose our destiny.

Lesson 3, challenge all your beliefs. Stop believing what fools believe and do something for you.

I hear of an experiment where a group of people were asked to walk straight to the end of a large room. They pointed where they end was. As people walked, they found chairs. Many people walked around the right, others around the left, others went over them and others moved the chair. All the participants got to the end.

A second group of people were asked to walk straight in same room. As they were walking, they found the same chairs. They stopped were the chairs were and never got to the end of the room.

People who knows their why, have changed and challenge their beliefs, set clear and defined goals. They get to their goal no matter what chair, obstacle, gets in their way.

When I set my clear goals and develop a plan and I take action. I have achieved many of my goals since I practice goal setting.

Lesson 4, when you have defined goals, you will get to your goal no matter how many chairs or obstacles get in the middle.

When you have figured out these 4 lessons, exercise and eating healthy will be easy and surly you will lose weight and keep it off.


Your Personal Argument

“This is hard.”

“No, you can do this.”

“You know you can stop anytime you want. You are making yourself uncomfortable.”

“Yes, but I have done this before.”

“You don’t have to prove to anyone that you can do it.”

“Yes, but I want to prove it to myself and I want to be in shape.”

This is the argument I had in my head last Friday when I was training with one of Custom Body Fitness’ member. I was doing step ups. I like to put myself in my clients’ shoes to feel the same they feel, so on Fridays, I enjoy the group training.

It came to me that many people give in to their negative thoughts. They don’t like discomfort, and often their negative thoughts are stronger than their positive thoughts.

Why some people are more susceptible to giving up and don’t give their best in training sessions? The discomfort that we all feel during workouts really bothers some people and not others.   Some see the discomfort as negative pain, while people with positive outlooks, concentrate on this discomfort as progress.

It may also be that many people have been fed negative thoughts most of their life and those govern they brain, unlike the optimistic, who have been fed positive thoughts.

These personal habits of negative thinking that make people fail can be changed, though such adjustment in attitude cannot be altered overnight. It requires an effort and sacrifice from individuals. I call it sacrifice because many people do not want to leave their unchallenging habits or environments, which can include TV and even friends who contribute negativity to their lives.

I know is difficult to change, because not that long ago, I was on that negative road.   These days, however, every time that I discover a negative contributor to my life, I change it, and , magic happens: I feel good about myself, I see that I am further towards my life and fitness goals.

This attitude adjustment is a factor that will help you succeed or fail in your fitness journey. Find your thoughts and find out how you perceive the worlds. This is an important step for your fitness success.


This Is How You Avoid Overeating

Mary wakes up early, gets the kids ready for school, makes their lunch, and takes them to school. She comes home and gets ready for work. When she notices it is time to go to work; she opens to the garage door, starts her car and goes to work. Mary works until she realizes that she is hungry, since she has not eaten and it is now 12:30 she is very hungry and goes to the closest restaurant, orders for fast food and eats until she is full and a little extra.

Mary finishes working, stops to pick up the kids, goes home, picks up the house, watches her favorite TV show and after an hour she starts to make dinner. As she is making dinner, she starts eating chips, crackers and cheese, and a couple of sweets. Mary finishes dinner and notices that the clock says 6:30pm. By the time she would sit down to eat it would 7pm, but she is not hungry anymore for all the junk she ate.

It has been more than 6 hours since she ate, or at least that is what she wants to think. Mary feels guilty for the snacks she ate earlier and thinks that she has no self-control. However, around 9pm she is hungry again and she snacks on junk food because she thinks that that is better than seating and eating an entire meal that late.

Jessie like many other women is giving to her family. She is usually thinking about her family and trying to make everyone happy. However, she also doesn’t know how to communicate her needs and feelings. When she feels stressed she does not talk to her husband because the husband does not have the skills to listen. She thinks that her kids are too young to understand her. Jessie has two sisters that live close to her house, but they usually come to her for advice when they have problems. Therefore, she feels that she needs to be the strong person to support everyone.

She does not feel comfortable talking to her husband, kids or sisters. Instead of looking for help, she decides to eat and drink and she does this quite often. When she is eating and drinking, she forgets about her needs and feels relaxed, at least for the moment until she goes to sleep and repeats the same routine the next day.

These two stories are more typical than we think. Do you feel like you relate to Mary or Jessie? The problem is not the problem itself. The problem many times is that we don’t recognize that there is a problem that is creating the problem. The diet is not what is wrong or the overeating.

The problem for Mary is her lifestyle and the lack of understanding that her lifestyle will not help her in the future with her weight and overall health. For Jessie, the problem is that she does not communicate and refuses to put her needs before anyone else. If she continues hiding her needs, one day she will notice that her coping mechanism is not helping her anymore.

The solution for Mary is very simple, prioritize her health and open time to eat on a schedule to avoid overeating and stop believing that she is too busy. She will never stop being busy. She has been busy ever since she can remember and she will find out that her partner is not going to change. All she needs to do is open time for her health.

Jessie needs to stop assuming that other people don’t listen to her and she needs to speak up regarding her needs. When she feels that she can’t handle it anymore because she is tired of cleaning the house, maybe she can sit talk to the kids and request that they learn to help organize the house. When she feels lonely she can communicate that to her husband. When she made a mistake and she does not how to handle it, maybe her sister has made a similar mistake before and she can give her a good advice. The solution, she needs to communicate when her gut tells her to do so.

No self control, no diet, no program, no nutritionist, no personal trainer is needed. The solutions are in their hands.


Develop Your Persistence By Following These Steps

Many people want results the so-called easy way. They buy pills or “exercise belts,” follow promising fad diets, get into hormone programs or other outfits that promise the moon with no effort from the person. While many of these ways to lose weight come with negative side effects, they may help you lose weight but in unhealthy ways: You lose muscle mass, carbohydrates, and water, while leaving your body with same fat and actually slowing down your metabolism.

The effective approach to weight loss is not a magic pill or fad diet plan but a change in lifestyle. And guess what? A lifestyle change takes commitment and persistence. Persistence is a virtue that can be developed, just like patience. You may have other virtues, but if you don’t have persistence, you won’t succeed in much, let alone a weight loss program. Thomas Edison was asked once how it feels to fail 1,000 times. And Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 10,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 10,000 steps.” Edison lived persistence. If he had given up at the first, second, third, or fourth attempt, he never would have invented the light bulb. So for you: You’ll get results in your weight loss program only if you are committed, give what it takes and, more important, are persistence.

Develop your persistence virtue by making sure you want it, not others.

Avoid procrastination–Leaving everything for later is a weakness.

Look for real knowledge. Put your common sense to work.

Make definite and organized plans.

Face your mistakes. Blaming others for your mistakes or your situation is a sign of not facing your own shortcomings.

Don’t give in to your body’s desires that may sabotage your weight loss program. Instead, trust and follow your spirit to your goals.

Considering giving up to your weight loss program will probably make you fail and not persist.

Instead of only wanting, act.

THIS IS VERY INPORTANT: avoid looking for shortcuts instead of doing what it takes for you to get the body and health you want. Face the difficulties; they are part of your success.

Your possibilities to success are higher if you are persistence.


You Need To Persist To Achieve Your Weight Loss Goal

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

                                                                                                                        –Calvin Coolidge

I remember being curious in my childhood. I remember asking anything that was not clear in my head. My mom was embarrassed of me because of all my questions, and she would command me to be quiet. But curiosity led me to learn.

Another quality I had was persistence. My friends called me stubborn. Sometimes they would get mad and let me do what I wanted, so I would stop pestering them. I remember the time when I learned how to drive a manual transmission. My friend let me drive his car because I wouldn’t stop asking him to teach me.

Persistence was one of Mother Teresa’s virtues. Nobody supported her in her quest in the beginning. Nobody believed in her, and she was denied many things. But because she refused to give up, she eventually was granted permission to practice as a nun outside of the church, and she was able to help dying people in a country not friendly to Christians. She was called stubborn many times, but it was because of her persistence that she finally achieved so much.

Persistence helped me to have a better appearance. I got interested in a better appearance when I paid attention to my friend’s body as we were working as arborists picking up tree trunks. He was a bodybuilder. His body looked different than everyone else’s. So I asked him what he did to be in shape. Back then, I was naïve. I did not know anything about fitness. He replied that he lifted weights, disregarding my suggestion that our physical job might have been what developed his body.

We agreed to meet that evening in the gym so he could teach me his secrets. As he promised, he was there waiting for me. So we trained. The next day we were supposed to meet again, but this time he did not show up. Maybe he thought that I would be like the many others who get excited for the first month but then quit. I did meet him again at the gym and worked out with him and his partner. After a while, I learned enough to continue. I told him that my goal was to look like him in three months. He laughed. So I decided to do it, but he was right: My body changed, but not enough to compare myself with him. But guess what? I continued the habits — I’m persistent — and I finally got what I wanted.

Persistence is the key to your success, to the body that you want. However, I have noticed two more virtues that are integral to success. One is discipline and the other is the opposite of what Albert Einstein called insanity — doing the same thing over and over expecting the same results. Just make sure these habits lead to your goal.

The Japanese says that discipline is superior to intelligence. Information and knowledge are nothing if one doesn’t have the discipline to practice it. The discipline of eating and exercise is what led me to my results and led many other people to their results.

Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It holds true for people who are practicing negative habits yet want a healthy appearance and weight. Usually these people complain about not losing fat and want an easy way out, but they are not paying attention to what they are doing over and over again to increase their fat levels. However, if you apply this law in reverse — repetition of good habits — you will continue to get positive results. And you want to get the same results all the time. Here is an example: If you started lifting weights and eating your breakfast and lost 5 pounds of fat toning your arms, legs and stomach, what should you continue doing to lose 5 more pounds of fat and continue toning your body? Hopefully if you have a desire to get your dream body, you continue practicing the habits that will lead you there, namely lifting weights and eating your breakfast. It is true that practicing the same habits over and over again will lead to the same results.

Persistence, discipline and repetition are three simple habits that will help you get to your goals. There is no way around it. Persistence means that no matter what obstacles are in front of you, you will persevere. Discipline is the price that you need to pay every day by repeating good habits. And repetition is the capital that you are investing every day to make your capital grow, in this case your health.

I have practiced these three habits, and they have helped me get what I want. I teach CBF’s members how to practice them, and they get results. Put them into practice, and sooner or later you will get the healthy body weight you always wanted.

 

 


Be Ready For Those Unexpected Moments

Be Ready For Those Unexpected Moments

Seven years of hard work have paid off for me. Since I decided to change my life, I have being working towards my goals and I have achieved many of them.  When I look back, I can conclude that my life has changed because of all the changes I have made, not because of luck.

I think about many of the Custom Body Fitness members who started years ago. Many of them have lost a significant amount of weight and transformed their bodies. Others have lost weight, left Custom Body Fitness only to later return because they lost motivation and gained weight back.

Those who lose weight and continue getting in shape are those who are the most disciplined. No matter what happens in their lives, they continue eating healthy and exercise regularly. Many times they come and tell me their stories and struggles with their family, business or job, health, finances, losses and emotions. It amazes me that they continue taking care of themselves.

I can tell you that in these seven years I have learned a lot from my experiences. I had struggles like many of my clients do, unsuccessful knee surgery, my brother’s car accidents, my dog’s life threaten surgeries, car issues, identity theft, unsuccessful heart breaking relationships and lack of help at CBF. However, just like many of our members, I did not stop taking care of all areas of my life; spiritual, family, health, professional and financial.

What I know is that life happens to everyone and whatever happens is not here to stay. It will pass and the two options we have is to stop and be devastated or continue with our goals and take care of the situation as we move forward. Many of our members know this as well.

It reminds me of the analogy in the bible about the dream of the pharaoh that Joseph interpreted.  There are seven fat cows and seven skinny cows. The skinny cows come and eat the fat caws. According to Joseph, there will be 7 years of abundance and 7 of scarcity.  Therefore, when we are in abundance, we must take care of our areas and have reserves for the 7 years of scarcity.

Like I said, these past 7 years have been a blessing for me with a couple of inconveniences mentioned above. Nevertheless, 2017 has been the most difficult one. I have been spiritually/emotionally, family, financial and professionally hit. I think right now I am in my best shape ever, but the rest of my areas are suffering significantly even though I continue doing my best.

This does not mean that I am giving up on my dreams; it means that tough times have come and I need to endure to my dream, my hearts desires and continue taking care no matter how difficult it gets. It means that I should have been prepared for this time like Joseph did by reserving.

I once heard that life is a series of problems coming and the only break we have is a crisis. So it goes like this, problems, problems, problems and more problems, crisis; problems, problems, problems and more problems, crisis.

And I also heard that we should not ask for fewer problems, we should ask for more wisdom and skills.

In other words, weight loss or any other goal you have will never happen unless you know how to deal with all these inconveniences as you continue moving forward. They have always existed and will always exist.

 


Is Pain A Sign Of A Chronic Injury?

As humans we have an unconscious mechanism that makes us run from pain. This affects a lot of our decisions. For example, a child who touches fire gets burned and learns not to touch it again. But the fear of pain can also make people stop achieving their dreams or refuse to take a risk for a better life.

It is typical that as a child we learn that to avoid getting burned we should not touch fire. However, as we grow we can make more informed decisions. For example, if our loved ones are in danger and we can save them only by crossing a layer of fire, we will get burned to do it. We are willing to go through the pain of being burned to avoid the pain of losing our loved ones.

It is very important to understand pain and discomfort if we want to have a better life — we must accept some pain to avoid a bigger pain.

For instance, the other day a woman came to me because she needed help. She said that she had been trying to lose weight as long as she can remember. I always listen attentively to my clients to understand their stories. She told me about what she thought were injuries.

I noticed that she had some beliefs about chronic injuries and regular activity (mild) injuries. A chronic injury is a serious problem like a joint dislocation while a regular activity injury is minor problem like a muscle spasm. A dislocation might require surgery and could affect a person for life. A muscle spasm is only a problem until the muscle releases, though that could be as long as two months.

She told me about her ankle injury, her back injury, her shoulder injury and her knee pain. She was telling me that each time she starts an activity such as dancing or biking she gets injured, and she backs off from physical activities within two weeks.

After she told me about all her injuries, she started to tell me about the discomforts from not exercising, such as knee pain when she climbs steps, difficulty getting up from a chair and other daily tasks.

She told me the story of her dad. Her dad is over 90, and he is completely independent. He exercises and stretches every day. He is in a nursing home. While he can perform physical tasks independently, his peers are using canes, chairs or walkers, even though some of them are younger than him.

She can see the suffering of these older adults, and she does not want to go through the same life, yet she feels that she is reaching that point in her 60s.

As I listened to her story I concluded that she was afraid of pain, and any pain she had she perceived to be an injury. I told her what I thought, and she started to make conclusions about what her dad and her sister (a fitness instructor) told her, which was the same message.

While it is smart to pay attention to pains that can lead to chronic injuries, it is also true that many pains are normal or may lead to only a mild injury.

For example, I had a client who had a lot of knee pain, and he went to see his doctor, who determined that he had some cartilage loose from an old car accident. On the other hand, I had another client who had a lot of knee pain, and she went to see therapists, doctors, chiropractors and orthopedists and never found anything wrong. Then we discovered that the only reason she had pain was because she had tight knees. As soon as she started stretching, the pain was gone.

I have been exercising for 17 years now. I have had many ailments — back injuries where I could barely walk or stand up out of a chair, knee pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain — and I always recuperate with no chronic issues. The only chronic problem I had was when I dislocated my knee by playing with my friends in Mexico, and after that I never had a chronic injury in the gym.

In other words, there are pains that we need to pay attention to that tell us there is something wrong with our body. However, there many other pains (not soreness) that we need to go through to continue improving our quality of life, which is something active people understand.

Running away from all pain may not be the smartest option we have. There are pains that are telling us that there is something wrong, and there are pains that are stopping us from becoming better.


Take Care Of Yourself To Be Able To Take Care Of Others

I am blessed to feel that my life is wonderful, even though it’s busy and stressful. You know why? Because hard work it pays off. When I want something, I dedicate time and effort to obtain it. It’s common in sense: you work for it, you get it.

The other day I had a conversation with someone who was interested in training at Custom Body Fitness. Let’s call her Penelope. She has many things to do, with two sons, husband, and work. In fact she would admit to you that she has a very stressful life. However, I have other clients who are in the same boat, yet they make the extra effort that it requires to get the healthy body they want and be happy.

Penelope told me that her sons are first in her life that she doesn’t really want to take time from them to exercise. She said this even though she admits that she is not happy being overweight. Of course, I didn’t council her to forsake her love ones. But it seems to me that often people waste more time surfing on the web, watching television, or doing other questionable activities instead investing time in something that will benefit both their bodies and their minds.

Talking with Penelope reminded me of a conversation I had with a young man recently. He was confused about life and had some problems. He confided to me that he felt alone and not accepted by his dad. He even started to cry as we were talking and told me something that I will never forget: “I don’t understand, the Bible says that I need to give before I can get, and people say that I need to take care of myself before I can give.” At the time, I told him, “I understand your confusion. The truth is that both are right. You just need to understand it. Before you can give, you have to have it. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t give love others. If you don’t have money, you can’t give it to who needs it. If you don’t feel safe, you can’t make someone else feel safe. Not that we need to be selfish. Care about you, learn, get it, understand it, but once you are blessed, then give it and care about others.”

So I told Penelope that to be able to give the best to her family, she needed to care about herself a bit more. It wouldn’t do her any good if she only worked like a machine, giving all with no thought to her own self. You have to take care of your health to be able to give the best to your family. And there’s the other concept that a parent needs to set an example for his or her family. Sometimes in my own family, I hear an adult tell a youngster to go to college, and the adult makes excuses that he or she is too old to go back to school. But this is nothing but excuses. Especially in the U.S., age is nothing but a number. If you want people to do something good for themselves or to make the right decisions, be a role model and do something for yourself, so in the future you are not a burden to them.

To conclude, if you really want it, you can get it. All it takes is an extra effort that, sadly, many won’t do. Invest your time in something that is beneficial for you and get rid of bad habits. There are other people in the same situation or even more difficult situations who are have done it. Help yourself so that you’ll be able to help others.


Being Honest With Yourself Will Help You With Anxiety

When I watch movies, I usually like to watch movies that offer a life lesson and move my heart, movies that make me cry, think or get excited. It’s been a while since I watched Traffic. There are three stories in the movie. One of them is about a politician trying to change the world by fighting drug dealers and Mexican drug trafficking. But what he did not do was pay attention to his family. Therefore, his daughter got into drugs. He did not understand what was going on, and his daughter’s problem got worse. One day he was giving a speech, and he noticed he was being dishonest with himself. That moment is when he understood that to fight drugs and to change the world he needed to start with his family.

My job is to improve other people’s lives. This is the only way they can lose weight permanently. I look for patterns they can change and how they can change them, and I think I have this ability thanks to being honest with myself. Now I always think about the message I learned from Traffic: The only way I can improve people’s lives is by improving myself. Start the change with me and then with those closest to me.

I find my mistakes and work on them. There is no way I can be better without finding my mistakes. Improving myself has not been easy. Recognizing all the mistakes I have made is hard because it’s painful, but there is no better way to learn and help others. That does not mean that I have to make mistakes to get better, but we all are going to make mistakes. Once again, the hardest part of this is recognizing it, then being true to yourself and others.

When we decide to be better, we can help others to be better because they know that we are genuine. In addition, the action of helping others gives us the courage to work to become a better person. It is a cycle that helps improve everything around us. We help ourselves, we help others and in turn we help the world.

One of the ways I find out that I have made a mistake is because I have anxiety. For example, if I have an argument with a close relative and I don’t feel comfortable afterwards, I feel anxious. That means that there is something wrong. These types of issues accumulate over time. This is why many people feel anxious as well, an accumulation of events that they aren’t proud of.  While many people opt to drink, overeat, shop, party, watch TV or do drugs, I opt to go back and recall the argument to find out if I made a mistake, which most likely I did, which is why I felt uncomfortable.

After I find my mistake, I get desperate to fix it. Therefore, I take immediate action by asking forgiveness or by doing what I should have done in the first place. Once my mistake is fixed or I have done everything I can to pay back my trespass, all my anxiety goes away. This process causes me discomfort, which teaches me a lesson, so next time I make better choices.

It is hard to be around someone that you don’t like. This is one of the reasons people choose bad behaviors and are high, drunk, drugged or disconnected from the world — because they don’t like themselves.

I believe to improve oneself we must like ourselves, and the only way to like ourselves is by being completely honest with our feelings and true to ourselves no matter the consequences or losses that we are going to experience when we take the right action for everyone. No one likes a liar or someone whom can’t we trust. Why then would I like myself if I am a liar and can’t trust myself to do the right thing?

There is no way we can give money away if we don’t have it, and the same is true for love, knowledge and understanding. We also can’t save someone from drowning if we don’t know how to swim.  If we want to give peace we must be in peace. To help others improve their lives we must improve our own. One step to accomplish that is being true to yourself and accepting your mistakes to better yourself.