As I begin to shift gears at such a poignant time in my life I am having to reflect on the last couple of years. I have learned some very valuable lessons in my last blog post. I must say the nature of my demeanour has changed; towards life and people. Some might SAY for the better and others not so much, but nevertheless a change has been made. I am choosing to embrace it and I will explain why. Achieving any type of success or goal is not an easy task. Whether big or small it takes guts, true courage to step out and do something new or attempt something that has never been done. This is why it is imperative for you to surround yourself with the right people. People who believe in you. People who believe in what your trying to accomplish and will support YOU along the journey to making your idea, dream or goal a reality.
This selection process can not be taken lightly or done without careful deliberation. Sadly many look FOR sameness; individuals who look and talk like themselves. Unfortunately that kind of criteria will most likely get you individuals who are weak in character and are not secure in themselves with respect to their own talents and abilities. Allow me to tell you why. The moment you begin to excel, display notable growth or gain any type of success and receive praise they begin to feel threatened, insecure and inferior. This will undoubtedly leads to jealousy, envy, sabotage and even betrayal. I never thought this theory held any merit, but regrettably I have experienced and observed this first hand. It’s as if there is an unspoken rule; “I’m here rooting for you. Be great, be a successful…..just don’t be better than me.” In hind sight what was offered was never really support at all, however the process along the journey to you achieving your goal will always expose the true intentions of the people around you.
Now some may say I sound cynical or have become jaded and hate people. This is not true. I simply have accepted the facts and will not turn a blind eye to the nature of the human condition. I choose to be more selective in whom I allow in my inner circle. I was cautious before, now I am all the more careful. In the past I have made some very poor choices and suffered greatly because of it. I have opened myself up to people who I thought believed in me and supported my dreams and goals only to find out they were operating on their own agenda. Sadly I kept the relationship going because I did not want a confrontation. I felt I needed them to like me and approve of me; as if to say their so called support was something I couldn’t live without. But at some point it became too high of a price to pay.
Within our human nature there is this intrinsic desire to be liked and accepted; a feeling of belonging or the idea of fitting in. However at what expense should one go to fulfill what is an obvious natural need. At the day of the day your dream or desired goal is just too much to loose for the sake of one person’s good opinion. Holding onto false supporters is a sure fire way to never achieve anything in life. On the flip side finding true supporters doesn’t happen over night. There is some trail and error, but most of it is watching and observing people over time. I am so grateful to have the people I have in my Circle of Support. They are not perfect; far from it. However I can trust them and rest in these three things. They believe in me, in what I am pursuing and will do anything in their power to help me along the way. Their egos are in check and the possibility of any success I may obtain will not change how they treat me or diminish the support they give me.
Take an inventory of who is in your relationship circle. Seriously evaluate the purpose of each and every relationship. Trust me, it will be time well spent. Refining Beauty ~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~
It is amazing how time is just flying by!! The first month of 2015 is coming to an end and so much has already begun to take place. In my last post I spoke about a “Real Resolution”; the kind that would actually bring about a change in your life. However the kind of change I proposed is not for the weak or faint at heart. It requires a bold, stout hearted individual to stand against personal fears, face insecurities, and step out from the crowd and be different!! I have to admit it, even thinking about it I experience butterflies in my stomach. For although I write about these things and I am committed to walking these principles out in my own life I am not exempt from the process or from how it affects me as an individual.
To this day I still experience fear when having to face certain situations. I often am frustrated at my responses because it almost feels like a “Knee Jerk Reaction.” Many times when I recount the incident over in my mind my first question usually is “Why did I do that or respond in that way?” Over the course of picking the situation apart it all boiled down to one word. Fear! I have to say that in the moment it isn’t always clear that I am afraid. However what is extremely evident is how quick I unconsciously go into defense mode, hence the knee jerk reaction.
An area as personal and intrinsic as fear is something that should not be overlooked. Taking the time to ask yourself these questions is important if you desire to uncover what is causing your responses to certain situations. I am NOT talking about mediation or listening to your inner voice. I am saying look at the hard facts. Remove the rose coloured glasses and get to the root of action/reaction or pattern of behaviour that may in fact be hindering your life in some way.
We have a tendency to gloss over the little things that we say or do and categorize them an idiosyncrasies ie. “quirks” in our personality. Nevertheless something impulsive as a “knee jerk reaction” if not addressed can be potentially dangerous. It usually comes with no warning and is driven by very strong emotion. Often the target of this kind of response is unsuspecting. It catches them completely off guard. At one point we all have be on the receiving end of this and I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant. Thinking about the person on the receiving end of such an outburst can help with choosing how to respond.
I strongly suggest in those moments to not respond or at least say as little as possible. Take some time to reflect on the situation, consult with someone who you respect and has a track record of giving sound (wise) advice. I personally pray about these type of issues. I gain much clarity and am able to work through my emotions more effectively. All this is to say take time to think before responding. Some times when facing fear a bold and courageous response is in order. Thus breaking intimidation and feelings of inferiority. However a knee jerk response is birthed out of a perceived fear and is usually associated to a past experience or false perception.
2015 has officially begun!! I know many are used to hearing “New year, New Me” slogans or even participating in the timeless tradition of making New Years “resolutions.” Needless to say these things are popular at the start of a new year. It gives structure and motivation to some who are desiring to make significant changes in their lives and to help them achieve certain goals. All in all not a bad thing. Nevertheless for most it is just another “feel good” activity only to camouflage the fear of making any REAL change. It hides the lack of discipline to see a resolution through into an actual lifestyle change. That being said I personally have decided to shift my energy elsewhere.
In the year of 2015, if we are indeed going to break free from the past; its limitations, hinderances, personal insecurities and experience REAL change, approval from other people is something you are going to have to live without. There is a saying that “If you live for people’s approval you will die by their rejection.” And this is a harsh reality for many. Their identity is solely wrapped up in the acceptance and approval of others. It’s as if they are sentenced to live within the confines of someone else’s thoughts, opinions and/or personal like or dislike of who they are. Many surrender their desire for change in some area of their lives (or even worst their dream) because it may in fact directly conflict with someone else’s personal opinion.
It is a dangerous thing to have your self-worth relying so heavily on such individuals. You render the power to people who are often not: A. Walking in their purpose or pursing a dream of any kind, B. Setting goals where they are challenged or stretched in any way (ie. they continually choose what is comfortable and safe), and C. Wanting anything more out of life (ie. they have decided this is as far as they are going to go). They secretly have given up somewhere along the way and whether knowingly or not they want you to remain in the same boat with them. But this is where I draw the line……
In the year of 2015 I have NO desire (whatsoever) to follow people around in circles just because they have given up on their dream and/or purpose AND are afraid to take the necessary steps to move forward. I am not interested in making plans or “new years resolutions” of which I have no intension of following through with. And if this is your desire let me warm you some within your relationship circle may not like or approve of your proposed changes. In fact some relationships may suffer or dare I say end due to your choice! The key is to not let the short term pain impede your ability to make effective long term decision.
Now don’t get me wrong relationships are a wonderful thing; a great blessing. However it shouldn’t prevent you from pursuing whatever dream/goals that is within your heart. Within every relationship love and acceptance should be given freely; it should be a two way street. It should never be withheld at the cost of one’s dream or purpose. That is just too high of a price to pay……
In 2015 choose to breakout and break free from anything or anyone that will impede your progress!! I can honestly say one man’s opinion is not enough for me to forfeit my dream…..
This is the year to be more than ever before. Don’t let anything stop that from happening. A new years resolution is nothing without the boldness to walk it out…..
Hello One and All!!! I know it I has been some time since my last post. I do apologize for that, but the truth is I have been having the most amazing time. Over the past month I have been on a whirlwind of a roller coaster ride. One with many twists and turn, but nevertheless it is a ride I do not regret getting on. In my last post on October 7th I talked about desire not being enough. These words have never reigned more true. We are all responsible for more than just having a dream and wishing and praying for it to happen. Yet the one thing that is usually within our power to do is often the thing we don’t do or don’t want to do. Keeping in mind there is only some much we as human beings can do factoring in things like time, space and resources, however sitting and waiting for something to happen seems pointless and rather unproductive.
So currently I am tackling a number areas. I have begun song writing and taking guitar lessons. I have never taken guitar lessons before. This is something completely new for me. Song writing, however, is something I used to do a long time ago, but stopped doing because there didn’t seem to be an avenue in which they could be used. And to be honest I wasn’t confident in my writing ability at the time, so achieving success did not seem possible. Now this is where I have experienced the most change; in the area of my perspective and perception of myself.
Your attitude about yourself will play a huge role in the quality of life you end up having. No one is responsible for it. This is an area you have to regulate for yourself. I have often been guilty of “making the quantum leap” down a road of negativity and self-sabotaging trains of thought. I make assumptions through the filter of what once was hindering my quality of life right now. It’s astounding that no matter gifted, talented, capable, strong and independent I am shadows of the past seem to present itself. Nonetheless it is up to me to not negatively categorized myself, boxing me in, therefore not allowing me the freedom to venture into uncharted territory. We similarly blame others for making assumptions about us, but often we make assumptions about ourselves. We limit our own choices, moments of opportunity and genuine happiness due to your own negative/false perceptions. You could be in the most exciting time of your life if you just allow yourself to live it!!
I also forgot to mention I am working with a great musician. He is helping with musical side to my song writing. It was actually nerve racking showing him the songs I had written. In my mind I was thinking “What if they suck and he ends up laughing at me?” But then I thought “Wait a minute…enough of that nonsense!!” These are exactly the type of things that must be nipped in the bud!!
I encourage you today don’t be your worst enemy!! Take a chance and try something new; something you’ve always wanted to do. And if it fails or doesn’t workout at least you’ll know. I would rather know I tried and failed to live with the unknown and regret……
When I first began this blog I focused a lot on body image, weight, self-esteem relating to a woman’s appearance and the many other labels society places on women. However since my first post things have evolved. I myself have embraced my own process of transformation. A journey that is far more life changing and meaningful than how much I weight or what size clothes I wear. Nevertheless since embarking upon this journey I have also taken some time to do some self-reflection. In my previous blog “Breaking The Cycle” I talked about patterns of behaviour and how they can impact our progress and hinder our success. Having a victim mentality is yet another way your life can be brought to a complete stand still. I like to call it “The Blame Game.”
Having a victim mentality is a depilating mindset. It’s crippling effects will render someone helpless, and the sad part is their helplessness is only an illusion. It comes from how they perceive their current circumstances; the who, what, where and how it came about. This train of thought will lead you around in circles achieving very little. Windows of opportunities are lost, failure becomes a reoccurring theme and all you are left with is pain and regret at which point blame is distributed. Needless to say the blame never seems to rest on the individual going through the circumstance or situation. The buck is passed; it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault.
The blame game can consume days, weeks, even years of a person’s life. Complaining and mediating on what transpired, what should have happened or not happen and what someone else should have done; shoulda, woulda, coulda!!! The truth is there only one person responsible for your life and that is YOU!! Having a victim mentally causes you sit and wait for someone to do for you what you can actuality do yourself. It all come to choice. The life YOU choose to live. Whatever journey you are on or process you are walking through you decide how much of it you will impact my life; whether in a positive or negative way. I have learned first hand that the “blame game” never turns out well. In fact you will 99.9% loose in the end.
In Social Work there is a term often used, “Taking Ownership.” Take ownership for your life and the choices that are within your power to make. They may directly impact the next 20 years of your life!!!
So I feel it is quite apparent from my previous posts that I believe:
A woman’s size does not determine her beauty or her value.
That true beauty transcends beyond a person’s physique.
Whatever the size a woman should wear and have access to stylish, flattering, sexy clothing!
I do also fully support a healthy lifestyle; one which incorporates a healthy diet and regular exercise. However regardless of the stage a woman is at in her life she still needs to where clothes, right?! And I am always been intrigued at the fashion choices for the larger than average size woman. As I have mentioned before I have been plus size for the majority of my life, which includes middle childhood, adolescents and young adult/adulthood. Currently I am on the lower end of the plus size spectrum, but still am categorized as plus size nonetheless.
As a young girl I hated clothing clothing. I disliked shopping in general. Going from store to store, trying on item after item, searching through bins and racks, it was hardly my idea of a fun time. I always saw it as a task that had to be done rather than a experience to be enjoyed. You see when I was in elementary school and high school plus size clothing across the board was dreadful (at least on the Canadian side of the boarder). There were only a few places to shop and style seemed like a foreign concept. Anything that could possibly fit me seemed only appropriate for a senior adult or elderly person.
I soon then turned to shopping in the mens department; sad, but true. It was easier to find sizes to fit and I felt less awkward (go figure). As long I found clothing that fit I was happy and relieved. But a lot of time has passed since then and I haven’t fully let go of my “frump” girl complex. Even when I began to loose weight I was continuing to wear larger size clothing. Still working through the shame I felt towards my body I felt extremely uncomfortable to have it exposed in any way. So I remained in hiding. Even with my massive weight-loss in 2006/2007 I have had a hard time adjusting to wearing different clothing and seeing myself in a new light.
Since then I have yo-yoed up and down with my weight like I fluctuate regarding my clothing selection. Granted there are more options for women who are not a size 2 (namely me!), but I have yet to completely crossed over to the other side. I do the girly girl thing for a few weeks or so (if that) and then I’m back to my track pants, t-shirts, hats and head-ties (guy type stuff). If it wasn’t for going to church I don’t think I would ever dress up at all! So here I am. In the process of letting go of the old me while embracing the new me.
As I continue to walk out this journey I encourage you to take it one step at a time knowing that who you are or were does not determine who you will become. In the end you just might surprise yourself!!
In my previous blog I mentioned the negative impact television and the music/fashion industry can have on a female mind. The constance images can set an unrealistic standard for women to follow and cause much harm. More importantly they emphasize very little on valuing a woman’s true inner beauty or promoting a positive self-esteem. Yet with all of this there is still a far greater enemy that women face. One more fierce than any music video, magazine ad, television show or negative childhood. You won’t have to go very far to find this adversary. All you have to do is look in the mirror! Yes, that’s right! You are your own worst enemy or as I’d like to call you “Public Enemy #1!”
Now I know what I have just said may seem a bit harsh, but allow me to explain. Have you ever witnessed (or participated in) this scenario: A group of women are talking. One attempts to given another a compliment. No sooner is the sentence complete does the woman receiving the compliant says “Oh no I’m fat or ugly” or whatever word you care to use. She totally rejects the compliment! Tearing themselves down with their own thoughts and words women speak against who they are. Sadly this occurs often and is quite the norm. The reason why I know this to be true is because I used to do it on a regular basis myself. The filter in which all my thoughts and words ran through was entirely negative. I do believe my upbringing played a part in it, still it is does not mean I have to keep the cycle of dysfunction going. You can change the way you think!
Negative thoughts/self talk is a killer. It destroys any form of real confidence one may have. Too often women base their value on what they have, how they look, their relationship status, if they have children or what they do. All these thing are subject to change. Your value however is unchanging, therefore your confidence should be based on who you are as a person. Yet we give way to negative thoughts/words when we do not meet our own list of criteria. For me I found myself repeating things that were said to me throughout my childhood; things no child should ever hear. Over the years also I added few words of my own. I realized much of what I found myself saying I didn’t actually believe, but they had somehow became a part of me. I had grown accustom to hearing them and change seemed almost impossible. But this is far from the truth!
There is a saying “a house divided against itself can not stand.” You can not love and hate yourself all at the same time. Using your own thoughts and words to tear yourself down is a form of self-hate, plain and simple. You can portray whatever image you like and you might fool some, but the truth will remain. You must stop bashing yourself through your own thoughts and words! Being your own enemy will sabotage whatever quality of life you desire. You deserve a good life, so give yourself permission to have one!
It took me a long time to silence the internal chatter. I had to learn to be more kind and gracious to myself. Confidence begins from the inside and my thoughts and words played a role in that. I was NEVER going to meet every requirement on my list of criteria I had laid out for myself, so why beat myself up?! Being my own enemy was not leading to the life I wanted. Something had to change. I could no longer seek external validation to silent the voices within, that was my job. As my words changed so did my thoughts. Soon I began to see myself in a different light! The past was in the past and I was now free to live without any further self-sabotage!!
Your future will be so much brighter if you were on your own side!