Why Is Improving Yourself So Difficult?

Lukas Schwekendiek
3 min readFeb 28, 2022
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

To build a house you must follow a certain step-by-step process.

First you pour the foundation, then you lay the groundwork for the framing and the plumbing and then you move on to the insulation, dry walls and the details thereafter.

Doing it in any other order will not work.

In the same way we have built who we are on a certain foundation of character traits that lead to everything we are now.

Being nice, smart or athletic might have been the characteristics which have defined our personality and upon which we’ve built friendships, hobbies and our work.

As we get more detailed about ourselves we realize that most of who we are stems from a few key moments that defined us early on.

For example, we may have drawn frequently as a child because our parents praised us and that gave us a sense of accomplishment, accompanied by positive feelings which lead to us working harder on it.

From that moment we then started hobbies in that same vein, made friends that shared our interest and even formulated our school and career based on these defining moments.

Everything we are today comes down to the foundation we have built a life on.

Changing ourselves, even if it is in an attempt to improve, can shake that very foundation.

If you want to improve your home, really improve it, you might have to tear down some walls, might have to destroy some of the rooms you so carefully decorated or even raze the whole building to lay down a stronger foundation.

When it comes to improving ourselves it is very similar.

The problem is that we just want to change the foundation without it affecting everything we’ve built on it.

We want to remain the same person we are and just improve upon that, not understanding that every change has the potential to shake everything and destroy it all.

We are afraid to lose what we have built and resist change because of it.

Subconsciously we understand that when we change everything else changes too, the world even shows us this every time we make an improvement.

Lukas Schwekendiek

Life Coach, Speaker, Writer. Published on TIME, Inc & Huffington Post.