Has this ever happened to you?
You got motivated. Yep. You were on fire to change your damn life. You were gonna lose that weight, pay off your credit cards, wash that man right out of your hair – whatever.
And, for a couple of days or even weeks, you’re doing it.
But then, life crept back in. Maybe there was some mini-crisis that made you believe you needed to just hit the “hold” button on your new program of action. But, while you were on your short break from your reinvention plan, something else happened. And that needed your attention too.
And then, slowly one thing led to another and you forgot to remember your promise to yourself. Your progress toward the “new you” hit a dead stop.
And then, the hatin’ started. Your self-talk was a constant stream of negativity. You did it again. Failed. Your mother was right – you never finish anything you start. Who are you anyway to think you could be fit, strong, solvent, loved?
Plus, you still have responsibilities. There are kids to finish raising, bills to be paid, projects at work that are already overdue.
What’s the use?
Well, babe, it’s not completely your fault. (Note the word, “completely.” We’re coming back to that.)
The world’s demands of you AND your complicit acceptance of said demands have co-conspired to keep you stuck.
In my work as a change agent for women, I have discovered that there are several situational barriers to change that are pervasive and unique to our age group. These barriers develop because of expectations and demands – yours, society’s, your mate’s, your kids, your extended family, the tax department, your employer, your church, your beliefs, etc.
And now, please revisit that little bit above where I mentioned that the reason you are stuck isn’t “completely” your fault. You do own some of it. And Sweetheart, that is a GOOD thing IF you look at it this way:
We do not use the fact that we are partially to blame for our life circumstances as just another way to smack ourselves down. We own it.
Unless you accept personal responsibility for your current circumstances, unless you put the burden of change fully on yourself, then you can never hope to become unstuck.
If someone else is to blame – if some institution, family history, societal mores – whatever – whenever anything else is to blame, then THEY have power over your life circumstances.
That’s because you just gave it to them.
Blaming others makes you impotent. (click to tweet)
The practice of blame dooms you to muddle through your sorry-ass life the best you can until the kids grow up, someone kicks it, and you get that insurance or inheritance windfall – come on, you know you’ve thought it.
Here’s what’s seductive and tricky about blame – you’re sort of right. All that stuff is sort of to “blame.” There are a lot of expectations and demands placed on women in our culture.
But WE are to blame too. Because we have accepted them. We don’t say “no” smartly. We don’t ask for help. We think all the other women are doing it right and we are doing it wrong and we couldn’t possibly admit it because then everyone would know what a fluck up we were and then . . .
Well, then what?
What exactly would happen if we admitted we needed help? What exactly would happen if you suddenly just stopped?
. . . Playing the game.
. . . Looking good.
. . . Smiling.
The other day I read this article and it said that OPTIMISM was so incredibly critical to success in life.
I’ve been stewing about it ever since.
Here’s why: Optimism is all well and good when you are actively working toward your own beautiful dream. But optimism is a pile of horse doo doo when it is used as a mask for a broken heart, depletion, exhaustion, sadness, frustration.
We need to strike a balance between looking on the sunny side of life and taking a cold, hard, HONEST look at our circumstances.
First bravery. THEN optimism.
The order there is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.
Optimism without integrity is the warden that keeps every woman jailed in her unhappy life situation.
Quit lying to yourself and others.
If you are stuck, if you can’t seem to get the staying power you need to move your life in a different direction, the first thing you need to do is to stop lying to yourself.
Own your part. Don’t worry, you won’t get kicked out of the choir at church and the PTA is always scrambling for smiling women to bring the sprinkles to the next insipid ice cream social.
If you want to be more than a smile covering a broken heart, than stick with me. We’re gonna crack this thing wide open.
Change’s acomin’, girlfriend.
Now, go do something fun. I really mean it about the fun thing. That’s your “Call to Action.” Go do it and report back in the comments below. Now, please. Don’t put it off. If you’re tempted to do so, you need to reread the opening paragraphs.
P.S. If you’re really ready to Quit Your Bitching and Change Your Life, you’re gonna want to sign up here for updates, an eRetreat, and more. Do it HERE. Or you could stay stuck. Yep. It’s a free country.