Let’s face it. Most of what we see online is not true. Very rarely will you see what people are really seeing, feeling, and thinking. Most of the time it’s all one giant highlight reel — everyone effortlessly goes about their daily lives looking happy and relatively healthy.
Truth is, it’s mostly an act. Everyone has had their fair share of struggles. I personally don’t see why it’s so bad to just be upfront about it. Sugarcoating the process really takes the whole fun out of being human, don’t you think? Let’s take, for instance, yours truly. I’m not at my goal weight now, even though I’m at my goal size. I’m about the same size I was when the Fitbie article was published, but I’m actually about 10-15 pounds heavier. Does it make me a fat failure? No, not really, when you consider that most of what I’ve put on is muscle, thanks to triathlon training. It doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with bouts of insecurity either, but I have other ways of channeling that — by learning to channel my gratitude and level my attitude.
Everyone has something to be thankful for. Sometime the people with the biggest smile or the calmest demeanor has had to brave a pretty rough storm to get there. At my worst, my outward appearance was just reflecting how I really felt about myself. I just wanted to disappear and be disregarded. It wasn’t until my last semester of college that I really saw the light and began taking care of myself a little better. And, in the years after college, each year I’ve jumped through the hurdles that come with an independent adult life with a little more grace and humility. I could’ve easily played the victim card, but I preferred to be the survivor.
I definitely have an anger problem. On first blush you probably won’t notice it. I generally don’t direct it towards anyone but myself. What gets me up those hills on my runs? Anger. What pushes me to work my hardest at work? Anger. What makes me want to be the best version of myself? Anger. However, in my anger I’ve found a lot of other positive things, like motivation, empathy, patience, understanding, endurance, strength, and positivity — things that might’ve escaped me if I had the privilege of forgoing some of those unfortunate events in my life. Yes, I am angry at what has happened to be, but I don’t let it rule my life. And yet, even though I’ve pretty much been through someone’s version of hell and came back stronger, it takes a person with a pretty big set of eyes to see it for what it is — a second chance to get it right.
So, the next time you start up with the harsh criticisms and the self-deprecation, take a hard look at what you’re doing. What is it that you’re really angry or annoyed with? What is the one nagging thing that you know you should be doing? Turn your attitude into actionable steps to live a better life. Our only true commodity is time. I wouldn’t bother wasting another second of my life living dishonestly with myself through a bitter attitude (or living vicariously through someone else’s so-called awesome life). Try learning to look at the world with an attitude of gratitude and look for the silver lining. I promise that it’s usually there if you look hard enough.