Who among us has not welled up while watching the weight loss sheroes and heroes tell their stories on Oprah or the Biggest Loser?
How about those “I left that son-of-a-bitch with nothing but a twenty-dollar bill and the clothes on my back because I was done with the abuse” stories?
We love to hear success stories.
How many of us secretly also wish we were the success story?
Here’s a gift for you. You are.
“How?” You might be asking if you can’t think of anything but what you haven’t done that you have been saying you want to do.
Here’s another gift.
Your time is now, and you have permission.
When we get emotional watching someone else’s harrowing or demanding struggle to a dream realized it is our soul that has been touched.
It’s the knowing part of us saying “I can do that, I want to be that, I know it’s possible.” And then we turn off the tube or the radio or put down the magazine and what happens?
Nothing happens until something does.
And it’s not for lack of desire.
Hey, if desire alone were all it took to make big changes in our lives there wouldn’t be any WOW factor left. We’d all be Insta-fabulous with no good stories about the journey.
And that would be bad why, Greg?
So, what is that thing that happens?
Vision + Desire meets Something you see or hear which feels so important that what isn’t working is no longer tolerable.
In short, we find a sense of urgency.
On Oprah one day I watched one after the other of those amazing people who lost hundreds of pounds telling their “why.” Of the many I saw, not one person had the same reason for taking on the challenge of releasing what no longer served them, in this case, extra weight. One woman lost five hundred and thirty pounds! Even Bob Greene was holding back tears. Her why for changing? Something reminded her of her self worth.
Another woman whose husband loved her through thick–three hundred something pounds–and thin told what moved her into action.
They wanted to adopt a baby. The agency said they would have to list her as an “oversized” applicant. This lessens your chances and that broke her heart. Having a family became her focus.
Food no longer was.
What is it about the fear of failing that keeps some people from starting up a long, steep hill?
We are smart women fully engaged in our lives. We are taking on the notion that aging into old age means irrelevant. I prefer irreverent, you?
We have lived through much and are ready for more.
We may have repeated the acronym for FEAR as False Evidence Appearing Real, Booyah!
But intellectually knowing we can overcome our fear often doesn’t translate into go time.
A maddening scream comes from the middle row, “Then for heavens sake HOW do WE change enough to do what we say we want to do but just don’t?!”
Gift number three, dismantle the fear by asking, “What One Thing?”
One. As in, a single thing.
Do not worry yourself into a stupor about all the things that you don’t know yet that might go wrong.
What one thing?
If you are a planner then make a plan, a simple plan, not an architectural rendering complete with elevations of how your feet will look in sneakers.
One thing. Buy sneakers. Okay two things, use them.
Here’s a suggested plan from a veteran non-planner
- Review your sense of urgency, the thing that moved you to buy the product, hire the coach, or sign up for the new life. Really feel it’s pull.
If you’re short on urgency, make a list of all the things you most want to do that this change will help make possible then add in the number of healthy years you think you have ahead. (Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear…)
- Tell yourself, “It feels scary, I may fail now and again but that’s okay.
I have no real idea how to do this and that’s okay.
But nothing matters more to me than to begin.”
And finally, watch how you talk about the challenge and yourself.
Beating up on yourself at every misstep or step not taken does nothing to move things forward. Talk to yourself about how cool the story will be once you have gotten where you want to go.
Go not into the dark night of how it should look or how fast it should happen.
The weight loss winners did not have Mind Maps of what the years ahead would look like.
What they all had in common was that they tapped into their inner wisdom and courage.
They quieted the despotic voice that had for years held them prisoner and allowed another voice to respond to something they felt on an emotional level.
“I am that person who succeeds,
I am the one at the top of the mountain,
I am the one on the TV show telling my story.”
I am I am I am.
“Choice”, Caroline Myss says, “is the greatest gift of the human experience.” We choose how we spend our lives minute by minute.
Are you trading your precious time for a life you love, for challenges met, mountains climbed, or gifts given?
Or are you living in that safe place, ignoring the call to throw safety to the frickin’ trenches and having one outrageously fantastic life?
Choice is a gift and so is time and right up until the last choice we make we are trading our time for the things we choose.
Choose now to become your own hero. Choose to spend the time ahead saying “yes” to one thing that will move the needle. Then one more.
Believe the knowing part of you when it says “You can do this. You know it’s possible.”