Golly, I am about two weeks into my new fitness journey. I say new because this is probably the third journey I have started in the last six months. I could bore you with ridiculous excuses, like finding time as a mom of four or struggling to juggle a million things -- youth ministry leader, a business, a blog and more -- but "Fit Mom" has infamously shattered all the excuses we could probably come up with as moms.
I know the controversy happened forever ago in social media time, but as usual I am behind. I took a few hours to browse the web about the Fit Mom thing that is no longer a thing and knew it was exactly what I needed to finally complete my new train of thought: Sometimes we simply need to be shocked into action. Working on a book about finally getting things done has really forced me to come to terms with my own weaknesses and the things that are often hard to face about myself.
I hate being criticized, and learning to accept criticism has been the biggest challenge for me. It's a work in progress, and so far, so good, but still, looking at the Fit Mom picture that created such overwhelming controversy, I couldn't help but feel as if I was being called out on my own laziness.
Then it dawned on me: I am unhappy about something I have not really given 110 percent to change. I am the only woman in charge of my destiny, I am the only woman in charge of my health and wellness. I am the only woman in charge of the role I play in the success of my marriage. I am the only woman in charge of my ability to succeed.
So far, 2016 has been a transformational journey for me, and I plan on keeping it up. The thing is, it starts with the courage to really understand what holds me back.
Feeling like I have bad luck
You are probably right, things always seem to go wrong for you. Just when you think you've caught a break, things go completely wrong.
You find yourself wondering, How the hell did I get here again?
And yet after interviewing some fabulous #girlbosses, many of whom have experienced setbacks in various areas of their lives, I have learned that your luck -- or lack thereof -- has nothing to do with whether or not you will succeed. Some people seem to have the world handed to them on a silver platter and still find a way to fail.
Work is the only thing that will guarantee your success. In No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline, Brian Tracy shares that "80 percent of the population lives on Someday Isle most of the time. They think and dream and fantasize about some of the things they are going to do 'someday.' "
Bad luck is not what holds us back. All focusing on your bad luck does is lead you down a spiral of self-pity that ends in depression and exhaustion. I have been there several times and completely understand not only how hard it is to accept but how hard it is to create a mind shift out of your own negative self-deprivation. Learning to set achievable goals and tackling these goals one at a time is the key to finally making a change. As women, we try to take on the world, feeling the need to be everyone's superhero. Although it sounds like a great idea, you are setting yourself up for failure, because it is impossible to get everything right.
Instead, focus on specific areas -- one achievable goal or change at a time.
More: How changing your thinking can steer you toward healthier habits /health-and-wellness/articles/1109289/make-healthier-choices-by-changing-your-thinking
She has what it takes, I simply do not
I call bull. We can be so damn competitive as women, wasting a lot of energy comparing ourselves with one another rather than focusing on self-improvement. Everyone is different. Another woman's gifts are most likely not your gifts, but that does not make your gifts any less important.
Sometimes focusing on someone else is easier than focusing on yourself. If you are focused on her, you don't have to actually get up and get yourself together. That takes actual work, and who wants to do all that? We have enough going on and are barely hanging in there as it is, so we shift the focus to the other woman -- the woman who has all the luck, all the looks and all the talent.
Begin taking note of your own skills, gifts and abilities. Focus on the areas in which you excel, the areas in which things simply come easily for you. Although I will never be as great of a singer as my sister or be able to speak myself out of any situation like my brother, I could come up with a business idea in a desert and then write a fabulous, inspiring article about it.
Instead of fearing the work that comes from realizing what you are great at, focus on the possibilities!
It's just too hard!
Is there anything as a woman that is not hard?
My goal is not to make women look as if they have to be pitied here but rather show that we are capable of taking on a lot and excelling despite it.
Remember the day you first got your period? The memory is fuzzy for me, because I passed out on the kitchen floor and have had a hate-hate relationship with my menstrual cycle since. From the age of 12 until I graduated from high school, I literally missed at least one day of school every month, because the first day of my period was just that bad.
That's pretty crappy, but pregnancy was probably 10 times worse, with hospital staff getting to know me by my first name because I spent so much time there.
As women, we take on a lot and go through a lot of crap while juggling what feels like the world on our shoulders. Yet we know without a shadow of a doubt that we are capable of so much. So why focus on how difficult it is to be you? Instead focus on what you know you are capable of, and dig those stilettos in while enjoying the wild ride that is your journey to a better, stronger and successful self beyond your home and family!
If anyone can do it, it's the girl that can choose to go through birth pains over and over again.
Originally Posted on SHEKNOWS
Nancy Laws blogs at SheMeets, where she introduces women to incredible #Girlbosses in order to empower, inspire and motivate them to be their best selves. Listen to the SheMeets podcast on iTunes, and connect on Twitter.