Here’s the deal…you need to solve some of the problems you are facing. And then you need to solve the remaining ones too. There are a lot of things that seem insurmountable at first, but when you learn to chip away at them. Piece by piece, bite by bite, you can eat an elephant if necessary. But you have to be responsible for this, not your parents, not your spouse, only you can resolve a lot of the things that hold you back. And as someone once said, “If you don’t deal with your demons, they move into the basement and start working out…”
This blog post is not aimed at a certain age group or other demographic, but in my humble opinion truly applies to everyone. We ALL have issues, problems, shortcomings and baggage, and in many cases only we can rescue ourselves. Much of the things that ail us are our own doing; just because you had a crappy childhood, or experienced a tragedy in your lifetime, doesn’t mean that you are destined to drag this anchor around with you. Events like this certainly can color the lens through which you see the world, but you can decide to remove those glasses any time you wish. The fact that things happened to you is not your fault, but you still lugging around baggage from your childhood, that is.
I can give you an example from my own life that maybe you can relate to. I come from a small town in PA, and grew up on a farm in the rural areas in the southern part of the state. My whole world consisted of the 50 acre farm and an occasional venture into town. The world was a big, scary place and it seemed to me that we avoided it. I thought there was only one gas station and one grocery store in that town, because we always went to the same one. Routine equaled comfort, and there was less chance of getting lost, confused or other uncomfortable situations if you stick to what you know. This is not a recipe for personal growth, by any stretch of the imagination.
When my family decided to move to AZ, we only did so after my mom’s parents and my aunt (her sister) did the same thing. We followed along, but we did not take the leap of faith ourselves. We had a lily pad to land on, and eventually leapt from the safe confines of the farm in PA to the big city of Phoenix, AZ. I was dead set against this move, and had planned to run away and live in my fort in the woods that I spent every day of that summer in. “Unfortunately” my alarm didn’t go off, so when the rest of the family was already awake on moving day, I didn’t have the chance to escape. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t being brave and venturing out on my own, I was scared to death of the coming change and was doing one last ditch effort to stay in the familiar.
Looking back, I can tell you now that I could have stayed in this mindset my whole life. Some of my family members have, and it would have been easy to follow suit. I could have led a safe life, no stressful ventures, no unfamiliar territory to explore. Stick with the 9-5, a wife and two point five kids, etc., etc.
Play it safe…
Luckily for me, I slowly changed that mindset. I can’t necessarily pinpoint when this started, and like most things, it is a slow progression. But I did it, step by step. I don’t know what was the first step, but I am sure it was small. I learned on the fly, fell flat on my face at times, but got up, dusted off, and kept going. Somehow I kept going, little by little. That is all that matters.
REMEMBER: You only lose when you quit.
Fast forward a couple of years after moving to AZ, and I graduated from high school and was trying to figure out what to do next. I went to community college for a year, and then decided to go away to school at Northern Arizona University. It was two hours north of Phoenix; close enough to drive home on occasion, but far enough to feel independent. I thought the family would be proud. I was wrong. They panicked, thinking I would not be able to survive on my own. Because I hadn’t lived on my own, cooked my own meals, did my own laundry, that I wasn’t ready. It was outside of THEIR comfort zone, and therefore not a good idea. It took a fair amount of lobbying for this before I was given “permission” to go way to school. (Keep in mind, millions of post high school kids do this every year, and yet somehow in my family’s eyes I was the exception to all those who took that leap and made it.
I did fine. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, but I did it. I learned to do the things I wasn’t familiar with. I ate a lot of microwaved soup. I washed all of my laundry in one load, partly because it was cheaper and partly because I didn’t know better. I didn’t own anything that was dry clean only or all that nice, so it was fine. I made due, and I got better. Oddly enough, I still do everything in one load and it works just fine. The really nice stuff I wear goes to the dry cleaner, the rest is just fine in the cold cycle in one big load. I figured it out, I got better, and I moved forward.
These are small examples, but relevant as this is where progress starts. One step at a time, learn, grow, and move forward. But these are not things someone else can do for you. You need to learn, through experience and failure, and grow. You have to fight your own battles…No One Is Coming To Rescue You. Bite down on your mouthpiece and go for it.
It is your life, and YOU need to decide what you want it to be like. You are the director, so make changes, cut scenes, and produce the feature film that you want to live. Take responsibility, and the ACTION, to make changes. Start small, and chip away. Get some easy wins under your belt, and then aim a little bigger. Eventually, nothing will stand in your way. If a skinny farm boy from rural PA can end up a public speaker, VP of Sales for a growing company, and in the top 20 in the world as a Professional Racquetball Player, you certainly can achieve your goals too. Just. Get. Started….
No one is coming to rescue you. You may have help, but you need to take responsibility, solve problems and improve your life. Period.
If you don’t deal with your demons, they move into the basement and start working out
It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you end up
There are times when you just have to grab your nuts and jump, and figure things out on the way down
To quote Joe Rogan: “Be the director of the movie that is your life. Be the hero in the story that you are writing.”
If I can do it, so an you. I’ve had my own things to overcome, and I did it. This makes me believe you can too
As always, I wish you luck in your endeavors.