Matthew 16:24 KJV
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
When Jesus said that we must deny ourselves in order to follow after Him, He meant that we will have to give up our own ways which do not line up with His teachings if we want to have a relationship with Him. That means that we cannot be a disciple of Christ and live any way we want to! The cross that Jesus spoke of represented the difficulties we may have to endure in order to obey the will of God
Jesus never said following after Him would be easy, but He did promise that it would lead to a life of peace, joy, and one day heaven if we choose to follow Him until the end.
God bless you