I talk often about how I changed my life so drastically and how miserable I used to be and, as a result, I get a lot of messages from people (usually women) who say they can relate to my old life and that they are miserable. They talk about how they wish their lives were different and about their strong desire to change.
So, in this post, I want to talk about the difference between those who succeed in life and those who remain stagnant. And it all boils down to one thing. Your attitude about....you. Do you make excuses or blame others? Or do you know that you alone have the ultimate power in your life?
There are two types of people in this world, people who believe bad things always happen to them and they have no control over them (i.e. victims) and people who understand bad things will always happen but they control how they react to them and what they do next.
My changes were not a result of external circumstances. They were, instead, a result of self-empowerment. The reason I point this out is because external circumstances are fluid, constantly changing and we have very little control over them at times, whereas being empowered (meaning, in control of ones own life) is forever!
I am the second. Always have been actually.
I was in a miserable marriage for 12 years. And, when I say miserable, I mean we were extremely poorly matched and horrible for each other. I never felt about him the way he, and everyone, deserves to have someone feel about them. I look back and realize (now that he is in a marriage with a woman who adores him and is a wonderful match), it wasn't just my life I was stealing away by staying, it was his too.
During our marriage, we constantly fought. There was constant tension and unhappiness. I tried so hard to make it work because I had made a commitment and I took that very seriously. And I felt an obligation to him because I was now his family. I had also made a commitment to an employer and I took that very serious as well. I felt that everyone needed me and that I couldn't let anyone down. However, in spite of all of those feelings of obligation, I never once felt like a victim.
As my weight crept up, I blamed no one but myself. I did not blame my coworkers who ate out every single day and encouraged me to do the same. These were the same coworkers who brought delicious goodies and laid them out in the break room on a regular basis. I blamed no one but myself when I ate them. I did not blame my ex-husband who constantly persuaded me to pick up McDonalds or pizza almost every evening on my way home from my exhausting day. This was the same man who even talked me out of working out at times that I would actually be motivated and, instead, staying at home with him and watching t.v. with a spread of junk food in front of us. I blamed no one but myself when I allowed myself to be persuaded.
And I am so glad that I never gave my power away, because that's exactly what blaming does, it gives your power to someone else. Let me say that again, blaming gives your power away. No thank you!
I always knew that I was overweight and miserable because I had poor priorities. Once my priorities changed, my life changed....FOREVER. I emphasize forever because, *I* am in control of my life. Not someone else. Not my circumstances. Only me. Not only would nothing ever make me abuse my body and/or mind again, but I also would never again allow myself to willingly be in a toxic situation again.
We can very easily and very frequently find someone or something to blame our poor choices on. But, as long as our circumstances resulted from a choice WE made, we have no one to blame but ourselves. And that's a wonderful thing!! There are so many things we don't have control over, things that are truly unfair in life. A child with cancer, someone we love not loving us back, a flat tire, etc. And, in these situations, the one unchanging connection is that our only power is how we react to such things. Do we eat ourselves numb or do we go to the gym? Do we curl up on the couch and embrace being a victim or do we sit down and make a list of everything in our lives we have control over and get busy?!
I choose the second, every time! Not because I'm so special but because I've learned for past experience that doing the first makes me feel like shit! It's what new-agers call "low energy activities".
I can't control everything, no one can. But, as long as there is a breath in my body, I can control my attitude toward any situation and I can find the silver lining. Then I can lace up my shoes and run away from that helpless feeling.