Using your strengths to lighten up

Getting lighter to find strength    

There are those of you who hear "getting lighter" and automatically assume that means getting thinner.  What I am addressing may mean losing a few pounds, but what usually really needs to be examined is where a person needs to shed the should's, the ought to's, the excuses, the guilt, the self-condemnation, the comparisons, the perfectionism, and the not good enough's.  How can a person find their strength when all they can think about is how they aren't measuring up?

It's amazing how much energy we can spend lugging around extra baggage about what we should look like, what we should be eating, or the disappointment we can have about our lack of self-discipline.   What is interesting to me is how much we hang on to the negative because we think it will push us to do more, eat better, or act more disciplined. In the end, research shows that we are much more likely to follow through and act when we are motivated through our strengths, rather than focusing on our fears.

I used the picture of Carl from the Pixar movie "Up" to remind us that sometimes we can feel like we are just hanging on when circumstances spin us out of control.  The awesome thing about Carl, is that he takes charge by doing the thing he said he would always do- no matter how he had to do it.  Along the way he makes friends, he grieves his lost wife, and he finds himself again.  His story is a lot like all of ours.  We all have a choice to take control over what we eat, how we move, and how we think about ourselves.

It isn't always easy to take the risk to believe that by dropping your "baggage" (those things that hold you back or weigh you down) you can lighten up enough to laugh at yourself, ask for help, or finally start fighting for what you want most in life.  We get stronger not by avoiding struggles- our struggles develop our strengths.   We get lighter by realizing we are not alone, we have immense purpose and meaning, and that we have the power to change ourselves.

What will you do to lighten up and start your journey toward growing stronger?