empowered

Becoming your own hero/ heroine.

I can’t remember ever having a hero. I guess the closest thing would have been my admiration for my parents and grandparents. My dad was the biggest and strongest man in the world, when I was 5. I distinctly remember asking him which was bigger, him or the sun.

A hero or heroine, to me, is someone who would save me when I’m at my weakest. It would be someone who I would admire, someone who I would want to grow up to be just like. It would be someone brave and fearless, who would fight for everything they believe in. Someone who would believe in, and fight for me.

I have learnt about, and known of, and met many people who have met one of these characteristics, some who have even met two, or three. But when it comes to all of these traits together, for me, I believe there is only one person who is capable of all this.

Me.

And by this, I’m not trying to imply I’m perfect, or flawless. Heroic, to me, is not synonymous with perfect, or flawless, I am neither of these things, nor will I ever be. And I’m ok with that. In fact, I’m more than ok with it. I don’t even believe there is a such thing as perfect. There is no set definition of perfect to which we must all conform. Even if there was, and there were things about us that didn’t conform to this definition, then they would be personality traits that made us different. And I have never thought that being different was something that should be improved upon.

I believe the best thing we can do for ourselves, is to become our own heroes, or heroines, by striving to be the best version of ourselves that we possibly can. By constantly being, or working to become, the kind of person that we admire, believe in and are proud of.

Live a life you are proud of. Be your own hero.

Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/daily-prompt-hero/

My time for thinking.

I think best when I’m lying in bed, before I go asleep. It’s at that time that I think back on the day’s events, on my plans for the next day, on my feelings, on conversations I have had. It’s because I am alone that I can do this. During the day, it can be very easy not to face how you feel, to fill your time by doing things, seeing people, going places. I love this half an hour before sleep because it gives me the chance to breathe, think and plan.

It’s in this half an hour that I have made some very important realisations. It was where I first realised that it was totally ok for me to start standing up for myself. I realised that I am never obliged to take shit from people. If someone is doing or saying something that I am not comfortable with, it is totally ok for me to tell them to stop. Calling someone out on their bullshit should not be something I feel I need to apologise for, provided it is done in a polite, patient, respectful and constructive manner, and is neither condescending nor aggressive.

But on the other hand, without distractions, it’s very easy to over-think things, and come to less empowering realisations. Sometimes when I’m lying in the dark, I start to worry, or the enormity of what I have yet to undertake to achieve something hits me, and I feel overwhelmed. Other times, all the emotions from a long day overcome me. The reason I think so well before I sleep is that I can focus solely on myself, no one is there demanding my attention. But at the same time, no one is there to tell me to relax, that everything will be ok. I’ve realised that it’s up to me. 

In times when it seems that so much work must be done in a short space of time, or when your goals seem discouragingly far away from where you are at now, it helps to try to calm down, and get some perspective. In a year’s time, will this matter? 

Then look at what you can do to get everything back to a place where you feel in control. Usually this involves resolving to make progress every day.

Go to bed each night confident that you are more prepared than when you woke up this morning. That is my motto lately. If, at the end of a day, I can say that I am a little closer to my goal then I was before, then that day was both productive and worthwhile.

Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/daily-prompt-best/

What makes me happy.

I’m very lucky in that so many things in my daily life make me happy.

Spending time with friends, my boyfriend, my family, books, running, mugs of green tea, chocolate, how I feel after a training session, cuddling, learning, writing, making friends, cooking, sunshine, walks, music, talking….

Anything that makes me feel empowered and strong.

But today, I despite the presence of so many of my friends, I didn’t feel empowered, or strong.

Today, I came 3rd (out of 3) in a race. The girl who came 2nd has never beaten me before. I didn’t feel jealous or resentful or bitter, I just felt that I could have done better. That I should have trained harder, tried harder, pushed harder. That I lack some strength that I need to improve. I felt like I let myself down. 

I think that messing up and making mistakes (I did plenty of both today) is important. It helps you to grow, to learn and to avoid the same mistakes in future. But still, this initially hit pretty hard. I started to question myself a lot.

Usually, when I face a problem, I find that it’s not really the problem I’m facing that is the problem, it’s my attitude towards the problem. So today, instead of continuing to beat myself up, I tried to change my attitude.

Here’s what I think we forget sometimes:

You are not made of or defined by numbers. You are not a ranking, a percentage on a test, a timing, an amount of likes on a photo, a number on a scale, a number of reps. By all means, if you work hard to reach a number-goal, celebrate that it is an achievement, one of many, but never let it become and all-defining characteristic. You have more substance than numbers.  You are memories, thoughts, actions, a friend, a partner, part of a family, late nights, long days. A number cannot define your infinite worth, and you shouldn’t allow it to control your happiness. 

So instead of looking for an excuse, I have started looking for a solution. I’m already thinking of ways I can improve, things I can learn from, ways in which I can do better. Maybe losing this race was what I needed. It gave me a push, and challenged me to redefine what makes me happy.

Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/daily-prompt-happy/