You have a thousand reasons to fail. You could spend all day making a list of the ways the world has hurt you, let you down, screwed you. Maybe you are not pretty enough, or smart enough, or you were beaten as a child. Maybe your parents didn’t hug you enough. Your heart got broken. Your body is broken. I can continue on and on with all of the ways that the world has not lived up to your expectations. But, so can everyone else, which means you need to get over it.
Your issue is thinking life is just unfair to you. So you carry that unfairness, that chip on your shoulder, around like it means you are special, and different, and deserving of more than other people. In reality, someone has had it worse than you. Think about that. Think about what you have gone through. Then imagine your situation 10 times worse. Someone experienced that. Life is unfair. The past each of us has could paralyze us all, if we let it.
We would rather talk about the reasons we cannot do something, than face the possibility of failure.
The easier route is giving up and complaining about all of the hurdles you have to face. Complaining about what is holding you back is always easier than going out there and doing. Doing requires acceptance of yourself. Doing requires you admit your imperfect life but still take a chance and be wrong now and again anyway. Our psyche will not allow that. Better to complain than face the possibility of failure. Have you ever thought how ridiculous a proposition that is? We would rather talk about the reasons we cannot do something, than face the possibility of failure.
Successful people are easy to spot. They don’t think the world is against them, or if they do, they don’t care enough to stop trying. They never complain. In fact, they have mastered one of the most important skills for getting things accomplished: they shut up and do.
Your choice to either feed the circumstances that define you, or to move past them is really the only important choice in life you have. If you choose to let circumstance win then you will face a life of mediocrity. Maybe you are okay with just getting by, with settling and accepting way less than your best. That’s fine. Keep on complaining then; just do not complain near me.
Making this decision to give up is easy too. All you have to do is… nothing. Yup, nothing. You don’t have to try to think about all of the things limiting you and then focus on how you can best hold yourself back from living up to your potential. All you have to do is sit there and wallow in your own self-pity. Life continues steamrolling you again, and again, and again, and you continue accepting that as the normal course of life again, and again, and again.
You can go back to your social media profiles, watch a little Netflix, drink a bottle of wine, and just wallow. Giving up requires you accept your current life as “the way things are,” and embrace the notion that bad things happening to you is “such is life.” Choosing this way of life means entering a very different path than someone who chooses to act.
You will probably end up working at an unhappy job, spending 40-50 hours a week doing 15 hours of actual work. You might marry someone you do not love. Or, buy the biggest house you can afford so you can spend the next 30 years paying it off.
Your filter for life sucks.
Sure, you’ll have weekend trips to the lake, vacations on the beaches of Mexico, and maybe a promotion now and again at that job you hate. But, your moments of joy will be greatly outnumbered by the moments of mediocrity because you have chosen to look at life with boundaries. Your filter for life sucks.
Your only other option is doing something. You could look at your past, how your parents screwed you up, how all the other kids on the playground beat you or made you eat worms, and thing, “And?” Because that is what choosing to go all in on yourself is really about, isn’t it.
Every day, when you face the demons of your past, the reality versus the expectation, you can question it. You can make that pain stay in your past. That anger. That hatred. It doesn’t have to live with you today. Why does any of it have to matter? Things matter only because we give them the time of day. We make things important by continuing to think about them long after we should just move on and prove all the critics, all the bullies, the disabilities, and the limitations wrong.
You really only have the two choices: give up or shut up. Ironically, your life gets better. You find gratitude in everything, even the bad things in life, because they shape you in to that successful version of you today. Or you embrace self pity and expect everyone around you to feel bad for you. I don’t. I don’t care you have been through. I don’t care about your past.
I care about you now. What you are doing, and where you are heading, because that future self is always more important than that past self. One of those selves has yet to write the story of life. I hope it’s a self you and I both want to care about.