Reality of Success

It’s funny how scary success can be when it finally comes. All we strive for is success, and we keep visualizing how amazing it will be and how everything will change. But, when it comes around often we don’t even feel ready for it. I actually think success can be just as scary as failure. I think it’s scary because success doesn’t really mean you’ve arrived, it means that now you have to step it up. It’s probably why a lot of people, including myself, put off doing things for so long. When you’re working on a goal you have to realize that achieving that goal isn’t the end, it just sparks off a new path; more opportunities. Success means having to now maintain that new lifestyle. It’s the same way with good things happening in your life, it can make you anxious. When too many good things start coming into your life you start getting worried that something is wrong and that something terrible is sure to follow. I know this isn’t the case for everybody but it seems fairly common.

Since I decided to live ┬ámore purposefully and consciously, my life has been going really well. I finally feel like I’m on the right path and that I’m not wasting my time and watching life go by. When you start following all the things you believe in and are consistently working towards your goals everything seems to fall into place.

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I still have a ways to go before I achieve most of my goals, but certain little successes have been coming my way. Today I saw that I have lost a total of 15lbs so far, which is really awesome. I also recently have been applying for other jobs, namely at banks because my major at Uni is business finance. I haven’t had luck for a while, but after applying for the 3rd time to the same bank I finally got a call back for an interview yesterday. I initially missed the call and listened to the voicemail, and I actually asked myself whether I even wanted to call the staffing agency back! It scared me that I would actually have the chance to change jobs and get into something that was more in line with my goal. I have worked at the same department store for 4 years and gotten into a comfort zone there. I don’t really like my job but it’s predictable and doesn’t involve much effort from me. It was just scary to think that I’d have to start all over and learn new things and meet new people. It could also be related to the fact that I suffer from anxiety and used to have a much worse anxiety disorder. Nevertheless, it just surprised me that I was more scared than excited at first, and whats more, hesitant to even accept it. I did of course call back and now I’m set up for a second interview. I’m still very anxious and it’s funny to think that being in an unsatisfactory situation is easier than a good one. But the fact is, there is an element of fear when you put yourself out there and actually participate in life. When I was most overweight or depressed even, the number one thing I did was hide and use every excuse possible for why I didn’t have to participate in reality. I think weight and depression, or anxiety are all just types of protective layers than allow you to make excuses for why you won’t apply for a job, or go to a party, or do the things you really want. You wish you could do certain things but you also know that the reality of it is scary, and it’s much easier and more comforting to live in the dark.

One of the many things I’m working on is trying to say ‘yes‘ to more things. If you know anything about anxiety you know it’s all about avoidance. So, I am attempting to go against that. Even if you don’t have anxiety, and the saying ‘yes’ thing is kind of corny now, there is a profound reality in it. When you do say yes to more things and accept that good things in life are abundant, then you can let go more and just be grateful when they come. Whenever I feel really anxious now and I don’t want to do something, I just make myself say yes anyway and then force myself to sit back and wait for the consequences (positive or not!). I have a minor panic attack and imagine things blowing up in my face (catastrophic thinking at it’s finest), but it usually ends up being amazing. It usually ends up in me having a new opportunity I could not even have comprehended with my best imagination. You always hear cliche terms but when you live it, you realize how true they are. I think it’s important to do the things that scare the hell out of you and make you feel like your heart is going to beat out of your chest and your stomach is going to turn into one big knot. That’s how I feel now waiting for my second interview but I’m going for it because it can mean a lot of great opportunities.

The only thing scarier than success or failure is regret, because you can’t do anything about regret. Regret is done, but fear is happening now.

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We can’t even comprehend what we’re capable of.

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

-Thomas A. Edison

With whatever goal we may have, especially one where you’re going to change your appearance, you can’t even comprehend what you’re capable of, or what your life will become. I say that because the first time I lost the weight – and god I am starting to sound like a guy talking about his glory days in high school when he was going to go pro with football – my entire life changed. That is the reason why I never accept it when my delusional, fearful self-talk tells me I’m okay just the way I am. Even though I’m no supermodel I am a pretty average weight for most women, so I keep trying to tell myself that I look fine and don’t need to change. It also helps your delusions when you have a partner that tells you you’re beautiful and you don’t need to change. Although it sounds sweet, and it is, it is also a source of frustration for me. You know when your partner says you look good but you know you’re not at your best, and what you’d really like is someone to push you. It sounds ridiculous but I have tried to get my husband to tell me the truth about my body because it would push me to work harder. Unfortunately, the fear of a woman’s wrath is too far instilled in most men to undertake that mission. So it is up to me.

Everyones goal weight is different. Everyone has that weight that is ideal to them, and that they picture to be how they look and feel their best. Not everyone is supposed to be size 2, or 4, or even 8. For me I have always felt best when I was around 125, and I am more used to Australian sizing so fitting in to a size 8 jean was my ideal size. When I got myself down to that size a lot of things in my life changed, especially with how people treated me. I know how you look is largely your own perception. Of course you can’t deny what size you are, but depending on your confidence your experience in life, and with others will vary.

Of course part of my experience was that I lost friends. I have found that you really see who your true friends are in the important times of your life, whether it’s a sad time or a time for celebration. Those are the times when people tend to show their true colors. A lot of my friends stopped talking to me and inviting me places, which made me confused. But a lot of people get bitter or jealous when others are doing well because they don’t like how it makes them feel. This is especially true if you’re a woman, because women are brutal and extremely competitive with each other. My best friend at the time told me she was jealous and hated that I was thinner than her, and this was a girl who had been tiny her whole life. I am guilty of that myself because I had a friend lose about 50lbs and they just look completely different! And at first I was so jealous and even angry because I didn’t want to be the only one who was overweight. Misery loves company! But instead of being jealous, I used them as motivation and as a tool for how I could be successful too.

But how others in life react is not important, its about how your life goes from being in black and white, to full color. When you accomplish something that you always dreamed about, it really is like someone just turned the light on in your life. It sounds really corny, but that’s what it’s like. That’s why I included the quote above. When you accomplish something big, not only does it change your life, it removes the blinders from your eyes and just makes you wonder what else you could accomplish. Have you noticed that? You get to your goal and you’re like, “Wow I can’t believe I actually did it! What should I do next?” You just want to think bigger and better.

When I accomplished my goal I went from being completely crippled by my anxiety disorder and hating anything social, to accepting all invitations and loving being around people. I went from being the girl who wanted to leave as soon as she got to the party, to being the one who didn’t want to go home. Even the freedom to dress how you want is life changing. When you can wear the things you love and know that you look good in it, it’s like you’re finally able to truly be yourself and show that to the world. When you’re not happy with yourself, it’s like everything you do is an attempt to hide yourself and shield yourself from the world. That is a very sad place to live in. So that is what I keep reminding myself of when I want to just revert back to my old habits. I think about all the things I don’t do, and avoid because of the place I’m in. And then I think of all the things I would do, and all the opportunities that would open up and the life I would have if I actually lived more purposefully and worked a little harder.

Tomorrow never comes.

Everyone has their own goals that would make their life better in their perspective. I love talking to people, meeting people, and learning about who they are and what they’re passionate about. I probably get annoying to people because I am very open and upfront, and just outright ask them personal things. I have a lot of goals I am working on like getting my degree and attempting to save money to travel as much of the world as possible. But one of the biggest goals I have right now is to get back down to my ideal weight. Since I moved to the U.S several years ago I had a really hard time leaving everything I knew to just about be completely independent at 21. From there all my bad habits of eating poorly to deal with my anxiety came rushing back to haunt me on a daily basis. So, very gradually I gained a good chunk of weight that became harder and harder to lose. And it’s frustrating because before I moved out here I had changed my entire life and worked my tooshie off to get down to 125lbs and in the best shape of my life. I worked out daily, and ate a very healthy, clean diet. So you can only image how devastating it would be to gain 40lbs and absolutely hating the way you look.

When you gain weight you just feel uncomfortable with yourself, heavy, and fatigued. That’s pretty obvious.

But, it just gets to be a self-destructive cycle of: I’m depressed about my weight, I need to lose weight, I’m depressed though so I’m going back to old tricks, crap I shouldn’t have done that, now I’m still overweight. The worst thing for me is procrastination. I think the biggest reason why I haven’t lost the weight in the several years I’ve lived here is because I keep putting it off. I keep saying it’s not a good time to start, and that I can start next week, or tomorrow, or when Jesus returns. But it never happens. Tomorrow never comes.

It’s definitely related to a lot of other things too like not having a support network around me. The only person I really have in my life right now is my husband. Everyone else I know is back home. I think being so isolated is what makes it easy to just get into this naive frame of mind where you keep deluding yourself and saying, “You know what, I’m not HUGE though. I’m not AWFUL. It’s not THAT bad.” You’re looking in the mirror at yourself sideways, sucking in and going, “I look totally fine!” Yet at the same time you’ve become all but agoraphobic and your life is akin to that of a hermit crab. I think that’s a red flag….