a few keys to survival in spite of tough times
In my book, “Show and Tell” I describe how I went from a fairly pitiful victim to a woman who took control of her destiny and life. I did not want to be one of those people described by Thoreau as leading lives of quiet desperation. The initial transformation took years and was and is at times a very painful journey. The most amazing aspect of this transformation occurred in my head. As my attitude and thinking changed my outlook became more proactive and productive. Here are some points that helped me come to be a survivor rather than a victim.
1. Take responsibility for your self. Stop blaming others and making excuses. Take ownership for each aspect of your being, your actions, beliefs, situation, etc. The self-talk needs to become filled with ownership statements and then positive statements about how “I” am going to take any necessary action to a given situation. You must come from a place of admitting you are part of the problem and therefore are indeed the main ingredient for the solution.
2. Write down goals a game plan and keep it handy. The plan should again include “I” statements about what you will do to make each step happen in order to reach the intended goal. Keep the initial goals simple and attainable and do not give yourself an out. There is no glory in failure-“At least I tried” is a declaration of failure-keep working, struggling until you have reached success-there is nothing so powerful as that!
3. Along with a written goal get in mind what the end result will look like. Just as a dieting person puts a skinny picture of themselves on the fridge or at least in their mind, do the same with your goals. If it is for financial issues ask yourself what life will “look” like when you have reached that goal. Get creative and draw it or cut out pictures from a magazine, take a photograph etc. Keep that handy like at the bathroom mirror where you will look at it at least once a day as well.
4. Tell a friend-a good friend. I have often shied away from support but have been so much stronger when I have it. A close friend that you feel safe with can make an enormous difference in the outcome. When you disclose your own vulnerability you are forced to admit to having it, take ownership and ultimately take action. Here again, you have to be able to accept responsibility for your actions when that friend confronts you or pushes you toward honesty and action.
5. When life hands you that proverbial pile of manure disguised as a child having trouble, a vehicle breakdown, bills, injuries, or great loss - grieve and then get busy. Make an action plan and stay pro-active. Keep moving one foot in front of the other and get through it. Keep in mind that none of us are islands and there are still those who love, need and/or depend on you.
6. Never let go of the fact that you are an amazing individual-unique. Decide how you are going to make it matter that you exist. Remember that anyone can spend their existence using up resources. Anyone can eat drink, make waste and take up space. Decide how you intend to make it worthwhile to take up this space. How will you leave something better after you are no longer here? Remember the “Ripple Affect”. What you do will resound long after you go.