When determination comes knocking at your door, you might be inclined to slam it in her face. I mean, seriously, who wants to get up and accomplish something when you’re lounging on the couch watching a season 10 rerun of FRIENDS for the 842 time? Doesn’t she know the rerun is important too?
But she’s persistent, that one.
When determination shows up, she doesn’t just knock once and leave when you don’t get up to answer. She becomes the paparazzi. Only with her camera, she’ll peer into the window of your soul. She’ll crawl all over the place, just to catch a glimpse of you sitting inside there. Or maybe she’s trying to catch that episode where Rachel gets fired. It’s hard to tell with her.
When it’s been ten minutes and you’re still not off the couch, she doesn’t leave. No, this is when she morphs into her role of silent Ninja. Without warning, she’s everywhere you look. It doesn’t matter that you’ve bolted the door shut to keep out your dreams and all opportunities.
Determination finds her way inside. Of your brain.
That’s right, not only does she get in the door, she gets inside your brain like a parasite. Before you know it, your mind wanders away from Joey’s determination (see? She’s everywhere!) to keep Rachel in New York and onto what you have to get done. In a split second, the couch goes from being cozy and warm to the place you have to get up from. Right now.
You try to distract yourself with Facebook. Doesn’t matter. It’s like she knows you and all of a sudden, your news feed is flooded with ads and posts and videos about the one thing you were trying to avoid. Writing.
All your friends are talking about what they’re working on. Or they’re posting writing tips. The ones that really get you going are carrying on about their new publishing deal. Talk about a sudden love/hate relationship with that guy. Hmmph.
You start to wonder “who needs them?” and determination goes in for the kill. She starts filling your head with ideas about how you could be one of your friends. You could be posting writing tips or witty comments about your WIP or sharing the joyous news about an incredible publishing deal.
“It could be you,” she whispers in her stealth-like silent Ninja warrior stance.
It doesn’t matter that you’re a novice at this or that your WIP has taken on a personality of its own; intent on humiliating you every chance it gets. It doesn’t matter that you need a day off to breathe and think and feel human again. None of it matters except for determination’s voice whispering in your ear.
So you get up. You turn off the FRIENDS DVD that you swore you’d only watch for one episode that somehow turned into a marathon of eighteen. You fill your water bottle to the brim, glance at that calendar beside your desk and before you know it, you’re in cahoots…with determination.
She’s become chameleon like and now wears a cheerleader outfit in your favorite colors. Her pom poms are shaking like mad as she cheers you on to your goal. She reminds you that you can write for more than an hour. You can pull an all-nighter. 1500 words for the day? Not enough. She dares you to write 3000.
She’s persistent, that one. And my, she brings out the best in you.
Are you feeling determined today? What kind of project are you working on? Whatever you do, don't give up. If determination hasn't shown up at your door just yet, invite her over. She won't disappoint.
Twice this week, events happened that led me to today’s topic.
First, I was in a work meeting. It was a bunch of folks who all work for the same cause but don't see much of one another because we work in different programs and different facilities. The guy over the meeting had everyone introduce themselves and participate in an ice breaker. One of those "let's-get-to-know-each-other-a-little-bit" kind of games. We were instructed to say something unique about ourselves.
It was amazing to watch. You could actually see everyone think inwardly, identify something totally cool and unique about themselves, and then close the shutters on that specific thing. Instead, everything that we talked about was unique, but it was kind of superficial. I'm not judging. I did it too. Unique thing about me: I write novels in my spare time. The unique thing I shared with the group: I met my husband online through one random e-mail and we've been together ever since.
Second, the other night my husband was watching/reading the news online and he came across this story about Miss Indiana. The one about how she's "normal" and has an "average" body. It was interesting. Miss Indiana is a regular person who entered a pageant and decided to not be anorexic skinny in the process (though there is debate about whether she’s still too skinny for her height/build). Of course there's all kinds of media hype about what is normal, how we define normal, and whether or not all of us in the known world of social media think Mekayla Diehl is normal based on whether we tweet, like, comment, etc.
Like I said, it was interesting. Any time a panel of people is put together to discuss on national news the normalcy of a woman's body size, things get interesting. But it got me to thinking about image. And not just body image, but what we see when we look at our own image, beyond what we see in the mirror. Which led me to the idea of how we imagine ourselves.
Imagine you for a minute. Not the you that everyone else sees at the office or at family reunions or at school. Not the you that sits on the city bus, the train, or the plane. You know, the you that no one even knows. But imagine the real you. Imagine the person you are on the inside.
Can you see the difference? The thing I shared at the work meeting is something I would easily share at any dinner party. The thing I didn't share is the thing you only know about me if you really take time to get to know me. As for Mekayla, she's unique in her own way, regardless of her weight. We are all so much more than what others see on the outside.
So, imagine you for a minute. Forget about whether other people think you're normal or average or whatever else you've heard. Who are you on the inside? What makes you unique? You don't have to be a celebrity or be famous; you just have to be you. Because regardless of what anyone thinks or what they tweet about you or whether or not they like you on Facebook, you are unique. Imagine you. Do you like what you see? Because that's all that matters.
Friday night I signed up for a weekend class at the local college campus. A feat in and of itself considering I’d much rather spend my evenings after work in pajamas and lounging around the house. But I really wanted to learn how to make this particular qaspuk. As in reeeeaaaalllllyyyyy. Like when I get all whiny because I just have to have that particular something –whether it’s a cute purse or a great pair of shoes or a trip to Seattle. Like, really.
So I signed up and went. I’d taken a similar class before and learned how to make the traditional version. How hard could this be, right?
It turns out it was a little harder. Especially when you factor in that I never learned how to master the sleeves on the traditional version and haven’t made a traditional qaspuk in about a year. But I had picked out my fabric and I was determined to get this done before Monday.
As I sat there listening, cutting, measuring, and jotting down notes to remember for the future (you can never have just one qaspuk!), there were times when fatigue would start to set in. I would think about how much easier it would have been to just hand over $120 cash and get a gorgeous qaspuk made by the expert, herself.
Easy isn’t always enough though. Sometimes we have to overlook how easy the project can be and hunker down through the nitty gritty and remind ourselves that we’ve got this. In fact, as I was muddling through piecing together each piece of material and ripping out stitches to re-do when I got them wrong, I thought that several times. I’ve got this.
With that thought on my mind, it occurred to me that over the years, I’ve gotten through many events with that same attitude and that same “go getter” thinking. College? I’ve got this. Graduate school? I’ve got that too. Pass the licensure exam? Yep, I’ve got that. Overcome a bad relationship? I got this. Relocate across the country with the love of my life and family in tow? We got this.
Do you see a trend here? It’s about focusing on the dream. Taking the mistakes with the successes. Moving forward. Taking breaks but never giving up. It’s about believing in yourself and your abilities. And it’s about taking the time to learn a skill that maybe you never thought you’d be able to master.
What are you working on these days? What’s your goal? Your dream? Don’t give up. Here’s a song with lyrics that might help keep you motivated: Jennifer Hudson’s song: I Got This. Whatever you do, don’t worry. You got this…
The class I took? Take a look...Yea, I got this.
The great thing about confidence is that it goes with anything. Whether you’re taking a trip, going camping, heading to work, trying a new hairdo or a new outfit, confidence is the perfect complement to what you’re wearing and what you’re doing. It’s not an add on or an afterthought like the earrings you almost forgot. No. Confidence runs much deeper than that.
It’s what you get up early for. The essential item you linger over before slipping into that sexy bra and panties. Have you forgotten where your confidence is? Don’t worry…here’s a little reminder.
· Purge yourself of negative self-talk. Stand in front of the mirror and compliment yourself. Point out your best features. Fall in love with your body.
· Smile and even laugh at yourself. No one is perfect so stop expecting it of yourself. Flaunt your quirks and enjoy the uniqueness of you.
· Consider your strengths. What obstacles have you overcome in life?? You’ve made it this far. Applaud yourself. Be proud.
· Dream a little. What are your plans for the future? Do you have a bucket list to complete? Dream. Dare. Indulge.
According to some, women already have the deck stacked against them in this department. I don’t know about you, but the mere thought of being told we don’t have the confidence men do, brings out the competitive side of me. What about you? Be determined. Be passionate. Be you. Slip into a little confidence before you start your day.