Stuck in the middle of change

I have had many long discussions with people about change and growth on many levels and one reoccurring theme stays with me.

We must die the death of our old self to fully become the new self we need and want to be.


For so long, I have longed for continuous growth. I wanted to be a certain person… Not anyone else, but I had a vision of who I believed I was. I have written many journals and posted many blogs describing the new version of me and what I was letting go of from my past.

I have encountered much resistance over the past several years from exterior forces that have either stunted my growth or fueled my fire to change…

There are a few things that have gone my way. I have become healthy, more intelligent, and a better person overall. I know I have many flaws and continue working on even darker parts of myself, but in review, my personal growth matches the vision I had for myself.

There are also a few things that haven’t gone my way… Most people around me have not changed their viewpoint of me.

I still don’t believe I deserve some of the pieces of my new life… and I still lack many pieces of my own self-worth most days.

I can feel when my egos are at war… my biggest insecurities trigger my biggest defenses…

When I feel shamed and degraded… I crumble and become weak… I hide behind a big wall of projected confidence. I stand firm when I would normally be flexible. I’m loud when I would normally be quiet. I move directly with less caution when I would normally weave with careful thought. When I feel my weakest, I project strength. As I allow someone else to take control of my self-worth, my subconscious fights hard and resists the temptation to give in to outside influence. The struggle causes tension between the old and the new… which is the leading cause for my personal bouts of depression.

I’m sure you can imagine how hard it is to believe you are worth an increase in income for the future when most days you are worried about if you will have enough money to eat that day.

It’s hard to imagine why a business owner would believe in you enough to train their entire staff when your current “day job” employer doesn’t even pay you minimum wage…


What we see when we look in the mirror is the reflection of our own self-image.

Some days it can be amazing.

Some days it can be devastating.

What I have found interesting is how the reflection in a ¼ inch piece of glass (or a number on the scale) can have such a positive or negative effect on who we believe we are. For the people who have a community of support, I have noticed their reflection is more stable. For the people who do not have a community of support, I have noticed their reflection is less stable.

The thought has not only stuck out to me in my own personal life, but in the life of other people as well. I have seen patterns much greater than community, but with personal identity.

The more someone has their identity attached to a specific community, the more confidence they project outward.

The less someone has their identity attached to a specific community, the less confidence they project outward.

The most interesting part of people is how they react and view themselves based on how other people view and speak of them. We tend to act in accordance of how other people view us. We use their reflection of us instead of doing the hard work and reflecting on ourselves and developing from the exterior vision of ourselves from within.

So, really… what does this have to do with you or me or anyone?

As homo sapiens, we are conditioned to find comfort and community. We are looking for the fast track to comfort and convenience and we avoid pain at all cost… as our ego is bouncing back and forth between the two worlds of our past and our desired future, we must be conscious of a few aspects of our growth.

Who is shaping the development and our vision of our self?

What influences are changing our viewpoint?

Is the foreseeable future lining up with who we want to be or is it just tolerable and change enough to be “ok”?


“I feel link I’m stuck between two worlds…

One is this awesome place full of love with an opportunity to grow, where I don’t fit but want to be but don’t deserve to be…

One is this awful place full of poverty and desperation, where I don’t fit but deserve to be…

I have nothing to offer but me, in all my shame and all my hopes… I have nothing else…

I’m scared.

I’m lost.

I am so tired of being rejected from the outside…

All I want is love in a way I understand it.

I want a place I can fit in.

I want a be with a group of people where I don’t feel like an outsider…

Just one time in my life… I want to be part of the “cool kids” group…

I have no alter identity… for the first time in my life, I don’t have a comfort zone where someone else is telling me who to be.

I am Gary.

I am myself.

I no longer have a reason to hide me.

I can no longer stand behind a nick name or alter ego.”

When I look in the mirror, I see a person staring back at me who longs for a place no one understands.

I have two choices…

I can go back to the comfort zone of my past and live how I don’t want to live but be comfortable or I can springboard into my future full of unknowns and possibly end up living under a bridge, full of poverty… all knowing I bet on myself for a change. I bet on the guy that I saw in the mirror, not a reflection of what someone else created.

I have spoken many times about how transformation side by side pictures miss telling the whole story… the story they miss is the tiny line separating the past and the future that doesn’t show the struggle between someone’s old and new ego… It doesn’t show the time it takes to move from our old world to our new world…

To become, we must unbecome… The importance of growing by 1% every day is not to slow our progress, but to speed it up long term. When we outgrow our egotistical demolition, it causes us to go back to our past with a wrecking ball… then we spend so much time picking up the pieces of the past, we stunt our own growth in the future.

We must learn to be courageous, patient, and persistent. We didn’t become who we are overnight… and we can’t become who we want to be overnight.

Learn to accept the past, understand the present, and grow in the future.

We live out who we believe we are… but only if we have the courage to give up who we have been for so long.

I am presenting live in Denver January 27th and would love to show you how you can win the battle from within and create your own future.

You can get your ticket and reserve your spot here!


Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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  1. We must learn to be courageous, patient, and persistent. We didn’t become who we are overnight… and we can’t become who we want to be overnight.”



  2. Love this. The only thing I would say is don’t feel threatened by other people’s viewpoint of you. If anything, your changing threatens their sense of who they are because they either have to adapt to the new you or risk being left behind. Which involves change for them.


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