I’ve been thinking a lot about how our state of mind affects our progress. As a general rule, I’m a pretty positive person. I try to see the silver lining in every cloud, or anxiously wait for the rainbow after each storm. But something has happened in the last couple of years that has changed that. I’ve let life events, stress, and people crush my enthusiasm. Notice I said I’ve let this happen. I’m not crying victim. Despite what happens to me, my response to that event is completely under my control. I alone am responsible for my reactions.
I’m trying to remember when it started going downhill. I’ve always had a slight inner struggle. It’s probably understandable considering the amount of times I’ve lost and re-gained weight in the last 10 years. It’s been frustrating for me because it’s been completely my fault. I’m the one who turns to food when I need comfort. I’m the one who allows the snide comments and ridicule to hurt my feelings, thus sending me to a temporary, hopeless kind of despair. I’m the one who’s tempted to throw in the towel some days, because life just gets crazy and I feel like I’m only spinning my wheels in quicksand.
I’m also the one who picks myself back up and moves on. I’m the one who reminds myself of what I’ve achieved in the past and what is possible for the future. I’m the one who has to search for the hope that one day things will be different, if I just keep working at it. So I know that my positive side is still in there somewhere, dying to get back out show the world how great life can be if you just have the right outlook. I realized yesterday I needed to find her again – the Amy that was determined to keep trying and not let anything, or anyone, stand in her way. I was much happier and less self_conscious when she was around. I’m sending out a search party.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
Today I’m struggling with so many things, yet I’m not willing to let that destroy me. I can do this, one day at a time. I just need to find that inner strength, the real me, that keeps me going. I believed in myself once, and I can do it again.
I also believe in you. Don’t let the inner pessimist derail your efforts and tell you it can’t be done. Don’t let any outside influences tell you it’s impossible either. That’s simply not true. We can’t let people or events define who we are or what we are capable of. And often we become our own worst enemy when we allow that to happen. I make a lot of self-depreciating jokes, but they are just that – jokes. I’ve always been able to laugh at myself and never take things too seriously. When that started to change, so did I. This occasionally frustrated, humiliated, sad individual is not who I really am. It’s just a struggle I’m going through at the moment. It does not define me.
“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.” – Ralph Marston
You decide your destiny. You decide your outlook and attitude. I won’t lie – we’ll both still have bad days and feel frustrated now and then, but we can’t give up. We can’t let the negative thoughts crowd out the positive affirmations. It’s counter-productive.
Sure there are areas we all need to work on. Not just weight-loss, although that’s a given since many of us have been where I’m at – losing and regaining. We need to remind ourselves often that stress will pass and food is not the answer, just more of a problem. We need to care for ourselves – especially in times when we’re struggling; that’s probably when we need it most. We need to change our thinking in regards to ourselves and the relationship we have with the world around us. We are all in this together, most of us searching for the same goals and dreams. We need to count our blessings daily. Maybe you have an amazing, loving spouse who keeps you smiling. Beautiful, smart, funny children that you love so much it hurts. Pets that make you smile. Maybe you’re not rich by any means, but are provided for. Maybe you have the best friends a person could ask for. I know I can certainly say these are true for me. How dare we let petty, inconsequential things steal our joy when we have so many reasons to be happy?
When you start feeling Mr. Hateful McSquarePants whispering negative things in your ear, push him away. Remind him of all you have and that this is one bump, in one road, on one day. It will pass. And if it’s a real person trying to convince you that you’re destined to fail, remind yourself of this quote:
“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” – Herm Albright
Annoying the jerks in this world, while helping ourselves in the process, is just icing on the proverbial cake. I plan to go out with my positivity guns blazing. I’ll be helping some, and irritating others. Which category you fall under is completely up to you. Surround yourself with the positive. Negativity, and those who exude it, will drain the life out of you. Dump the negative like a date with STDs. You deserve better… and so do I.
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