Most things in life are a case of mind over matter, the old quote "there is no such thing as can't" is as true as it has always been but sometimes it feels like the hardest thing in the world to admit it to ourselves. If you go into something with a positive attitude and it doesn't work out, it can be hard to pick yourself up and start again. Over-analysis of what has gone before is an easy way to get stuck in a 'I can't do that' state of mind. Sometimes it just wasn't the right time, the right place or the right people and sometimes it just doesn't have the staying power you hoped for. None of these things mean that you should give up trying.
I am going to give you two examples from my own experience today, I wouldn't normally share such personal stuff online, but I think it's important in the chance it may help some of you out there, so here goes.
I married my first husband when I was 21, we had been dating for three years and living together for two of those. I thought I was in love and we wanted to commit to each other. We were young but at the time it felt like the right thing to do. We had a pretty good relationship in our three years of dating and our first 8 months of marriage. Our problems started when I decided that I wanted to move closer to my parents and help my Mum run Sew Crafty. To cut a long story short 15 months after we got married he told me that he had been unfaithful so I told him I wanted a divorce. I was devastated. For a long time I was convinced that I never wanted to get into a long term relationship ever again, let alone get married again, then I met Steve. A year after we started dating he asked me to marry him and I said yes. It felt so different from before, it felt so right. If I had kept up my 'Never Again' attitude I would have missed out on the last eight years of happiness with Steve. For my ex and I it was the wrong time, we were too young and grew apart over time, as young people do. For Steve and I it was the right time.
My weight loss/gain/loss/gain is more of an ongoing challenge for me. I have always struggled with my weight since I was a little girl, I have a sweet tooth and have always resisted sports in favour of arts and crafts, not a great combination. I find it very easy to say 'I can't lose weight' or 'I'm never going to reach my goal' as an excuse for eating just one more cake. I have even been known to throw in the old 'I like being curvy' and 'being Plus size make me different' to justify my lack of commitment to the gym. But I know that I have successfully lost weight before (I got down from a size 20 to a 12 when I was 19) and two years ago I got back down to a size 16 and 50 lb's lost. Since then I have put about 20 lb's back on and I had spent the summer faffing about around the same weight. I needed to have a little word with myself. I sat down a few weeks ago and decided enough was enough, I CAN do this. I am a grown 31 year old woman who has all the things in my power to make my weight loss possible, for myself and my health. It is only myself that can stop me and I will not let that happen. It has not been easy, nothing that is worth having ever is, but it is going well so far. I cannot promise that this will be the last time I ever have to lose weight, for me it is going to be a part of my life for the rest of my life, because even when I reach my goal, I will have to learn how to stay there, but I am never going to give up.
The power of positive thinking can be the difference between success and failure. Believing in yourself is the first step to achieving your goal. Looking to past failures is a good way to learn how to make things better going forward, but not as an example of how things will always turn out. It is hard to always be positive and optimistic but if you are always negative and pessimistic the things you want will always be a struggle.
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