You have the ability to change.
You have the ability to change your body.
You have the ability to change your attitude.
Despite years of weakness you can choose to overcome your surroundings. Your past will only haunt you if you let it, choosing to tether your mind to past indiscretions or pain. You have the ability to sever the chain of your past, letting the event go and the scar remain.
Events in our personal history shape us.
We are largely a product of our environment and upbringing. However, far too many of us allow negative influences change the development of our personal strength.
Bad shit is hard to overcome, but it is not impossible.
We focus on these situations for their negative aspects and allow that negativity to develop a weakness inside of us.
Someone was bullied in grade school so they never develop the charm necessary to flourish in social situations. Someone was hit very hard the first day of middle school football tryouts, so they never attend another practice despite a love of the sport.
We let these weaknesses develop and then we take them for granted.
“I can’t talk to strangers” or
“I’m not as strong as those guys”.
Inside each of us there is an eternal well of strength. The mind and body are incredibly resilient, they will do what you tell them to. The story you tell yourself becomes your reality, and far too many of us tell ourselves a story flush with weakness that paints us as a victim of some cosmic conspiracy. Once again, it’s bullshit.
To begin to be strong you must address your weakness. Sometimes these weakness are inherent sometimes they are based out of fear of an outside stimulus. Either way they must be confronted, assessed and attacked. You fix a weak muscle by directly targeting it, and mental weakness is no different.
Go talk to a group of strangers at a party instead of sitting in a corner. Go take a boxing class if you’re afraid of getting hit. You are only weak and flawed because you choose to be so.
Your past will only haunt you if you allow it. There is a great story told by a horrible man:
In order to leave our past troubles behind us we sometimes must purposely lose a piece of ourselves. That could be a habit, a friend, a family member even something as insignificant as a taste in music. It’s scary work but once you take your focus to the future and the big picture it becomes necessary work.
Think about it for a second. What causes you to prolong your bad habits? Do you overeat because of certain friends? Do you drink too much around certain family members? Does a certain type of music elicit bad feelings that causes bad behavior? It is a difficult process to find our bad influences, and even more difficult to admit that we are influenced more than we care to be.
An honest evaluation is needed to truly find where we stand, and find what we need to lose or at least control.
This type of evaluation and subsequent course of action has changed my life for the better in countless ways. I don't write about it often anymore but I have been clean and sober for nearly 6 years. In my late teens and early twenties I was a drug addict, at times functioning and at other times not so much. When I made the decision to straighten up and fly right I had to leave numerous things from my past behind. I had to cut off friends who were still getting high and acting up, even though I had known them and loved them for nearly my entire life. It was a selfish decision that I needed to make in order to make my life better. You cannot develop into who you want to be while allowing yourself to be pulled down by what other people want you to be.
When you cut a piece of yourself off the only thing that will remain is a scar. That is a good thing. You need a constant reminder of the sacrifice you made in order to improve yourself. Change is possible but only through sacrifice. You wouldn’t expect to lose weight without sacrifice time and pleasure, therefore you can’t expect to change your life without sacrificing something more difficult.
You must also keep in mind the person you were before. There is no point in putting in the work to change and better yourself if you lose your perspective. You must never be arrogant in your new strong persona, only vigilant. That scar also represents your weaknesses, and the fact that they could come back. You were weak, and now are strong, but that is not a constant either. You must always be working to maintain strength, it is not a natural way of being. Your body and your mind want to go back to the comfortable state of weakness where no work is expected or needed.
No-one is stuck. No-one should expect to be the same person they are today in a decade. The only way we will live healthy, meaningful lives is through constant improvement, adaptation and evolution. Stop clinging to past fears and pain as an excuse to not improve. Find your strength and attack your weakness in order to lose whatever part of you necessary to move on. There is nothing on this earth to be scared of, except not being brave enough to live the life you deserve.