I've been thinking that the struggles we go through in our lives and the inner battles we fight are signs of the Holy Spirit revealing to us the places where we need to die to self. It is hard to recognize in ourselves, but God sees all. He also knows that dying to self will set us free to live the abundant life He wants us to live!
Think about this: When we are in a battle of our own or others' making don't we begin with a tirade of "I" statements? "I don't need to put up with this!" "I am miserable", "I am....whatever." The focus is on me and my uncomfortable situation. If we would die to that problem that comes against us, and die to our selfish ways, our vision of God would be clear and focused!
Dying to self seems harsh and against our natural instinct of self preservation. In God's kingdom the opposite is true: to be a leader we must become a servant, if we die we will live! God's ways are not our ways but they are always the best way!