I was never one of the popular girls growing up. I wasn’t athletic enough to be a cheerleader, I was too shy to be the life of any party, and my thick glasses and braces redefined insecure and geeky.
In short, I was the poster child for “awkward teenage years.”
The worst part was I so desperately wanted to fit in. The very fact only made it worse.
I was like one of those little pilot fish that attaches itself to a shark, clinging on as if my very life depended on it, swimming wherever the current took me.
And the day I walked out of the girl’s room with the back of my dress tucked into my pantyhose didn’t do much to raise my status, either.
“Kids will be kids,” my mother would say when I told her about the latest plots to ruin my life. “Just ignore them. Make other friends,” she’d say, as if I could order a few through the new 17-lb. Sears catalogue that just arrived that day.
But when the “cool” kids form a secret pact with the rest of the school to not talk to you and doled out punishments for anyone breaking this “code,” it’s sort of tough.
Oh, what fun.
Thankfully, I survived, mainly by bringing a book and reading it during lunchtime, pretending I didn’t care.
Thus began my passion for reading everything in sight as a way to avoid dealing with real life.
Ironically, it’s also around this time that I discovered a sense of humor could get me through just about anything.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather spend time with someone who makes me laugh than a person who brings me down and complains about everything.
Everyone has bad days, don’t get me wrong. (See this post HERE on the topic.) Even the most optimistic, motivated, good-natured person has days when they feel as if they’re driving the wrong direction down a one-way street into three lanes of oncoming traffic.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind: EVERYONE has struggles and challenges.
Yes, even Oprah. And Beyoncé. Even lottery winners. Especially lottery winners. And [your favorite, most successful/famous/rich person].
The only person (because she acts like one) who’s never in a bad mood is my cat, Happi. She walks around the house purring softly to herself for no obvious reason whatsoever.
But when you live rent-free, sleep all day long, eat like a princess and receive nothing but love and hugs 24/7, there’s plenty to purr about.
Plus, as a cat, she has no idea what’s happening with politics, world affairs or the man-bun trend.
If she did, she’d quickly change her attitude.
We tend to look at people who’ve done what we aspire to do — be it lose weight, be a successful business person or whatever – and think:
- They were born this way or inherited a trait that makes them successful – and it’s something I’ll never be able to do.
- They know some shortcut I don’t.
- They probably never accidentally tucked their dress into the back of their pantyhose.
You’d be 1. WRONG, 2. WRONG and 3. PRETTY LIKELY WRONG.
Case in point. I attended a business conference back in April where Brian Smith, founder of UGGS, gave the keynote address.
He talked about the extreme ups and downs of creating, establishing and marketing his now internationally known brand, from his business partner’s death from a motorcycle accident to a back-stabbing “friend” who took his money and started a competing business.
You can read his entire story many place online, but the most important thing I took away from his talk was to expect failure as part of the roadway to success.
If you’re willing to weather the inevitable storms you’ll run into along the way, you’ll eventually come out ahead.
Most people give up too soon, usually just when they’re about to see results.
It’s like gardening by pulling out seedlings because they’re not growing fast enough. I’m no gardener, but I’m pretty sure that’s never going to produce flowers.
Ditto for any self-improvement goals.
Whether you’re struggling to lose weight or get fit or facing any other life challenge, keep in mind the four keys he teaches, which I have taped to my computer monitor and refer to often:
- FEAST upon uncertainty
- FATTEN on disappointment (the only time “fatten” is a good thing!)
- ENTHUSE over apparent defeat (because it’s only a real defeat if you give up)
- INVIGORATE in the presence of difficulties
The point is this: You need to embrace uncertainty and disappointment before you can move forward.
Otherwise, the enemy (e.g. fat) wins.
You don’t want that.
Here are a few other motivational thoughts you may want to write down and keep handy the next time you feel defeated. They’re ones I use and keep in mind myself…
1. BE SELF-COMPASSIONATE, NOT SELF-CRITICAL
Too often we start an exercise program or nutrition plan because we’re angry or mad at ourselves and our body. Self-criticism brings you down, not up. Be kind to yourself. Make changes because you love yourself; don’t work out hard as a way to punish yourself for eating a piece of cake or a donut. Do it as a way to make yourself better so you can keep making your mark on this world as no one else can.
2. CHANGE THE WAY YOU VIEW THINGS
If you see healthy changes as difficult, boring or you simply dread doing them (worse yet, you tell everyone around you how much you hate working out…), you’ll never keep them up. Change your focus and find a way to enjoy the process. Think of how you’ll feel once you see results.
3. HANG OUT WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
It’s been said that you’re the average of the five people you spend time with the most. So if you’re surrounded by negative, lazy, unhealthy people who don’t support you, how different would it feel to instead hang with fit, optimistic, supportive friends? No-brainer, right?
4. DON’T WAIT FOR INSPIRATION
It’s great to seek inspiration in others, but don’t rely on them to help you get going. It won’t work until you get it from inside. Ditto for blaming others for your inability to get motivated. The only person who can get motivated is YOU. Take responsibility for your own actions.
5. FIGURE IT OUT
Never give up. If one thing doesn’t work – and you’ve really, honestly tried to the best of your ability – try a different tactic. I’ve often talked about my struggle with anxiety and how I was afraid of going on medication because of the side effects. Once I decided I’d had enough of limiting my life from unrealistic fears and phobias and being housebound, I found a way. It took me two doctors and numerous trials with all different medications before I found one that worked perfectly for me. Now I don’t know why I waited so long. If I’d given up again I’d never have been able to leave the house.
HOW DO YOU COPE WITH DISAPPOINTMENT? WHAT CAN YOU CHANGE THIS WEEK TO HELP YOU COPE? Please post down below and let me know!
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Your Ageless Body Coach,