Use the gifts you were given...

Duster: Target, Dress CRIV, Shoes: Off Broadway

Hello. My name is Melissa and I am into self-help.

You know growth and evolution. That warm, fuzzy, touchy, feely, get into your subconcious and dig deep, shit.

I wasn't always. I was probably in my early 30's before I picked up a self-help book or opened myself up that way. I used to think that self-help books and seminars were for weird people. People that whined a lot, sulked, and blamed other people for the fact that their lives weren't what they wanted them to be.

I was wrong. Self-help is for every literate human being with a pulse.

I admit. It is not comfortable to get that intimately acquainted with yourself. Growth forces you to look back, look within, get honest about your fears and self-limiting beliefs, to then evaluate those things and  try to grow from them. Becoming aware of your strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, short-comings, etc.... doing that changes the way you look at everything and it can make you WILDLY uncomfortable for a while.

It's much easier to go through life just kind of letting things happen to you. Pretending that most things are out of your control. It's actually more comfortable to bitch and complain than it is to change.

Don't believe me?

Look at your life.

How many people that you know personally are constantly complain about their shit-head partner, but never leave them? Who out there hates their job, but won't put the time or energy into building something that will help them leave it in 3-5 years? How many people resent the budget they have to live on, but put all of the pressure on their partner, spouse, or parents to make enough money to give them more financial freedom? Do you know anyone who is unhappy with their body, but refuses to move it or eat a damn vegetable? What about people who have crappy, gossipy, negative "friends", but they still spend all of their free time with them? Or, the friend of yours with a big dream; to become an artist, musician, designer, athlete, but instead of putting their time, energy and resources into their dream, they go blow their money, time, and energy at the bar? How many people wear their struggles as some sort of badge of honor instead of changing? Changing is hard, man. Change is HARD.AS.FK. That is why so few people do it.

It's a commitment. You don't change your life overnight. You take 2 steps forward and 1 step back. You have to (sometimes) change a lot of things you are comfortable with. You have to look in the mirror and get honest with yourself. It's lonely. Not everyone will get it. Not everyone will stay in your life. You may lose friends, partners, acquaintances, family members, and even go back on some things you used to believe yourself.

I get it. I used to be afraid. Of everything. It was easier to stay quiet than have to defend your opinion. Easier to be with the person that likes you more than you like them, because there is "safety" in that. MUCH easier to do what you need to do to get by, then to stretch yourself to make change. The bullshit story you tell yourself about why you can't do something is a much smoother "pill to swallow" than to try something and  run the risk of failing. We are SO friggin concerenced with what other people think of us that it paralyzes us. It's no coincidence that the greatest things you'll ever do in your life are on the other side of that fear though. At some point you have to stop giving your life to your past, to the voice in your head that says you're not good enough. You have to stop living in that space of mediocrity. That place where you don't ruffle feathers. No one speaks badly of you. No one doubts you.

The problem is that we all think that we have time. We tell ourselves that we will make changes when we.... "get finished with school... when we make more money... when the kids are older... when things aren't so busy at work... when I lose 20 lbs... after the wedding... after the divorce... once I have more energy... once I move out of this town... when it's warmer... blah, blah, blah."

But life goes by fast. Really FKNG fast. One minute you're in grade school, the next, you're 30. Then... your baby is in kindergarden, graduating from HS, you're an empty-nester. It goes by so fast that one day, God-willing, you're going to be 85 years old looking back on all of it. How do you think that will feel if you don't start going after what you want? Do you think you'll feel good if you have to admit that you spent 20 years with the wrong person? That you never made enough money to travel, live your dreams, help people in need, because you were too scared of what other people thought of you that you never even tried???

I got really sick in 2011 almost died. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. It is when I woke the FK up. It was when I committed to trying new things, committing to the insanely uncomfortable process of growth, self-love, and when I said FK it. I can't live a life so worried about what other people think that I never do what I want to. At the end of my life I want to be able to meet God and say that I used every ounce of what He gave me; able body, sound mind, caring heart. I didn't live small because I was too self-defeating and self-sabotaging to dare to deviate.

You may be reading this thinking, "Well, congratufuckinglations, Melissa. Good for you. You're not scared of change, you don't care what people think of you, BRAVO, bitch". That's not true though. I'm still scared of  a lot and I still care what some people think of me. It's a work in progress, but I can only speak from my own life, and the things that stand out in my life as making me the happiest and most proud of myself have been on the other side of REALLY hard changes.

Moving to Charlotte. Applying for new jobs. Breaking off relationships that were not right. Walking, alone, into a Pilates class (and then teacher training) where I was the largest, and least experienced person in the room. Distancing myself from "friends" who talked shit about me behind my back. Starting my direct sales business. Starting this blog. Putting myself "out there" and risking ridicule.

All of those things scared the shit out of me, but when I look now, every single one of them required me to be brave and to risk that something wasn't going to work out.

Safe is cool, until it isn't.
Safe is comfortable, until your at the end of your life and you look back on it with big regrets.
Safe is letting yourself off the hook.

I wrote this all in a tizzy. Super fast. I've been having a lot of these conversations lately I and thought that maybe someone out there needed to read this today. If you're into (or want to be into) self-help, growth and development, here are a few of my favorite books:

The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
Who Moved My Cheese? -  Spencer Johnson
Think and Grow Rich -  Napoleon Hill
Rising Strong - Brene Brown
Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert 

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