I wish I was talking about the Netflix series, but sadly, Jamie and Tommy aren’t the topic of today’s discussion (always happy to talk about this privately though 😏).
Power isn’t always something that us normal peeps think about; we don’t necessarily deem the choices we make in life to be about power. We might not lead a country, run huge businesses or think that we have any influence; but here’s why we are all powerful (by this I don’t mean 'all-powerful', as in almighty. Literally, why every single one of us is powerful, lol).
Think about the word ‘Empowerment’.
The dictionary definition is:
ɛmˈpaʊəm(ə)nt/ *FYI not a scooby doo what that means, just keeping it in to look fancy 😉
Authority or power given to someone to do something.
The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights.
There aren’t many people I know who wouldn’t want to feel empowered after reading that; empowered to make choices/decisions that directly impact your life and make you feel stronger and more confident in the process. Yasss!
There are (broadly speaking), two types of people in this world:
1. Those with an annual membership to the SPP (Self-Pity Party):
These people are the 'Woe is me' people of the world. You'll know these people because they'll tell you that they have awful 'luck', everything bad always 'happens' to them and if there's a negative to be found in a situation, they'll find it. Within seconds.
2. Those who WTFU (wo-man the f*** up...see what I did there 😏) and become a pragmatic princess (or prince!):
These people, when experiencing trouble or difficulties, have the ability to process the situation and then act accordingly. They are resilient, in control and calm regardless of what life throws at them.
I'll admit that there are times when the line between the two stances can blur - no one can have their positive pants on ALL the time. Sometimes the period of time spent in each camp can vary; you might start off on your free trial to the Self-Pity Party then turn into Pragmatic Princess once you realise that there are no results to be had there. You might also start off full of determination and resilience, then something comes along, pulls the rug out from under you, your faultless pragmatic approach fails and you slink off to join the SPP for a while. That's human nature. We have emotions, feelings and we can all lose our way. It's at times like that, that you need to think about this quote:
Accept the things you cannot change and change the things you cannot accept.
In life we all have choices. Every choice we make results in an outcome; whether that's good or bad. But here's where the power comes in...YOU are responsible for every outcome - whether you want to hear it or not. You might be thinking 'but someone recommended that I do it, so I took their advice/I just went along with it' etc. Being passive, or allowing yourself to be led is still YOUR choice - and that's fine, but you have to make peace with the fact that anything that happens as a result was in your control. Or, it might be that you took control and then the outcome wasn't the one you wanted. That's still on you, but when you learn to hold yourself accountable it's actually quite enlightening. Only having yourself to blame is quite refreshing because if you had the power to put yourself in that position, you have the power to learn from it and then get yourself the hell out!
As the quote above states; accept things you can't do anything about - you can't change it, so why stress? But if something bothers you that much and it niggles at you - then do something! Whether that's your approach to health and fitness or even how a person treats you; we all have the power to change it - we just can't be afraid to harness that power.
So how do you get yourself on the road to empowerment?
Use 'NOW WHAT?'
Let's use this an example: You're unhappy, out of shape and hate it.
Note the problem/s down that contribute to you feeling unhappy. Look at it on paper - often when things are written down in black and white, it's easier to establish the root cause (probably in this case lack of proper nutrition/exercise).
Organise/prioritise what is the most important/will have the most impact/the biggest issue. Let's say you've written down 5 things that contribute to your unhappiness, which one is the one you can't ignore?
Why are you in this situation? Have you stopped exercising, are you eating badly? Has something happened that's pulled your mood down? Have you changed job and now you feel like you've got no time? This is how you establish what needs to change to get results.
What do you want to change? What's the ideal outcome in this scenario? So in our example, you might want to turn your eating habits around, lose weight, get fitter, find a way to lift your mood - or even manage your time better.
So how do you do that? Take control, harness your power and make a plan. A plan with steps to help you achieve your goal, to keep you focussed - and more importantly, accountable to what happens in your life. Think about where you're currently going wrong/not seeing results and make changes. E.g. you eat microwave meals 5 days a week, you've got no idea what's actually in them; all you know is that in 3 minutes time (with 1 minute to stand) you'll be eating Sweet and Sour chicken in your PJs on the sofa. So far, that hasn't made you feel amazing or nourished your body has it?
So, change it! Cook a batch of veggies, some chicken, microwave some rice if you need to save time, do an extra portion for lunch - and actually involve yourself in more of the process so that you can hold yourself accountable. It will never be your local takeaway house's fault that your overweight. I promise!
Other steps might be to plan workouts in (you might not have time for 3 workouts a week but to feel fitter, you're going to need to do at least 1. Soz about that!), or draw up a weekly timetable to assess where you have time/where you're short of time so that you don't set yourself up to fail. There's no point saying that every Monday you're going to cook from scratch and do an exercise class if you have to do the school run, go to work, do the school run again, take your kids to swimming/football lessons, complete an essay and then do the food shop. It might be however, that you have a window of time on Tuesday and Sunday mornings or Thursday evenings - so that's when you need to plot in your workouts/batch cooking. Just be aware of the powerful tool that is the brain! We have this fantastic ability to trick/convince ourselves of something in order to confirm what we want to believe. By this, I mean that if we believe that we don't have time to do exercise - we'll look for alllll the reasons to support this view e.g. we're at work, studying, looking after kids, doing the washing, the ironing etc. Whilst those are all true, we then ignore the fact that we could wake up earlier, stop wasting time on the internet/social media, ask for help doing chores, utilise our lunch breaks - or not watch EastEnders/TOWIE/*insert any TV show here!*...
Give yourself a time target. Without putting a time on something, you'll never feel the urgency or inclination to act.
Being powerful, or empowered is all about how much you value yourself. If you don't know your own worth, how can you expect others to? That doesn't mean you should inflate your ego and start telling everyone how wonderful you are; but it also means that you shouldn't apologise for being good at something, for thinking you look nice on your way out, or knowing how you expect to be treated - and for not standing for it if you're not.
Everybody has the ability to take back control. It's your life, why not make it amazing!?
Just remember: The same hot water that softens the potato, hardens the egg. It's not about your circumstances, it's about what you're made of 😉