It's important to deny our self and take up the cross because in the new creation there is only Christ. We must learn to deny the old life, which is the self, the adamic life, the old nature, the soulish life (Matt. 16:24-25). But do not try to take up the cross by yourself! Simply accept what the Lord reveals to you. He will reveal clearly to you that your old life is finished, in other words, that you are finished
The Lord may discipline us in order to subdue and break us so that we may be able to give up our self. It is not because we are sinful that the Lord disciplines, but because we are good--we try to be good. He has to raise up certain circumstances to press, break, and force us to give up our self. Only then will we be able to realize the oneness in the Spirit and the oneness of the Body. The more we are good, the more we will be independent, but the more we are spiritual and in the Lord, the more we will be dependent on Him and on the Body.
God's intention is that we be God-men, not good men! We must learn to give up our self in all things, not only in doing evil things, but even more in doing good things, such as serving the Lord and working for Him.