Last updated on October 24th, 2019 at 02:48 pm
You may see me as a woman who dreams big and is a successful motivational speaker. You may see me as someone who has always known what they want in life. You think my life is perfect.
But let me tell you, this morning I looked in the mirror and I saw age spots. I freaked out until I realized the mirror was just dirty.
I was supposed to have lost thirty pounds by now and have buff arms that rival Michelle Obama’s. Instead, I’m pretty sure my muffin top just had twins.
And, I draw on my eyebrows. Yes, I admit it.
Eyebrow drawing is not as easy as you might think. If it’s early in the morning and I am sleepy, I will draw them crooked. Last week, I drew one eyebrow a good inch higher than the other. I walked around all day, looking suspicious of everyone.
Sometimes if I stare at myself in the mirror long enough, it starts to feel like I’m staring at a stranger–like I don’t know who that face is staring back at me. That’s usually when I decide I’ve had enough wine.
One day, when I was a little girl, I looked in the mirror, and I liked what I saw. And then I looked around and saw you, and decided you were better. And when I looked back into the mirror, and I no longer liked me.
I wished to be exactly like you, so I put everything aside that made me, me.
I searched for ways to make me more like you. I tried to look like you, to act like you, to have what you have, to be you. Some things were easy; some were hard. Then one day, even the easy things got hard because every time I tried to be you, I felt worse about me.
When I achieved what I wanted, I felt empty because they were the things you wanted. It was hard work to get the talents you had when the abilities I had would have been more natural to me because they are the ones I was born with. The more I tried to be you, the more I lost me, and I lost the knowledge of how great I was all along.
I didn’t know I was already good enough just the way I was.
Now, because I tried so hard to be you, my gifts were buried and hidden. A light had been extinguished. A personal story was left untold. A song was left unsung. A whispered message stayed silent. Sometimes I forgot what it was I wanted. Or maybe I never even asked, because it never occurred to me that I could create the life I wanted that was perfect for me.
Maybe you’re like I was–too busy sizing yourself up against women you believe possess the secret to your dream life. You’ve spent years bending yourself into a pretzel of another person because you had this idea of how your life was supposed to go–of how you were supposed to be and how everything was supposed to turn out.
And it didn’t.
Now you find yourself in the place between the life you envisioned and the experience you have, the pothole in your yellow brick road. You are stuck, knowing only that where you are, is not where you want to be.
And you wonder, “What do I want?”
You’ve been too busy saying, “I’m fine,” because you’ve believed that your problem is “out there” instead of inside you.
But if you are lucky, like me, one day you will wake up from your sleepy life and realize that it’s the real you who has the power to create your dream life–not by copying someone else. You look in the mirror and see it is your choices that brought you to where you are, and your choices can rescue you.
It’s the moment when you see with great clarity that the problem, or rather the solution, is in you–the only thing you can control. You look in the mirror and see, really see that you are stuck.
You see that when it comes right down to it, the problem isn’t circumstances or another person. The problem is inside you and how you choose to react to life. It is in this realization where you gain your truest power–the power to change your life, the power to be accountable, and the power to make your big dream come true.
You face the moment where you decide whether to let your problem own, you or you are going to own your problem.
Will you let your problem break you, or make you? Will your choices now be “because of” or “in spite of”? Know the option is yours, and the answer is within you–right there with the person staring at you in the mirror.
Take a look in the mirror, a good long hard look, and ask yourself, “What kind of big dream do I want?”
And why aren’t you getting it?
Once I decided to look hard at myself in the mirror, I began to see my reflection and that I have the power to change my life, to rewrite my fairy tale, to choose a new ending. I began to see the dream life I wanted and the life I deserve.
I saw the real me.
I saw my talents and my strengths and who I was meant to be. I stopped looking around at other women to copy. I stopped looking behind me at the mistakes I made, or the wrong path I took.
I turned my focus toward my dream and my vision–my yellow brick road. Sometimes it is hard, and I will still occasionally take a peek at who I think is more successful than me. I will want what that successful woman has. I will wish for the gifts she has been given. I will look in the mirror and look for her reflection.
Sometimes I will still fall, get stuck again and complain that it is a mistake to go after a big dream. Then I will stop, look in the mirror and find me again–in my reflection waiting for me to acknowledge it.
Dreaming big starts with knowing what you want
Here’s my assignment for you. No, you don’t have to do it. This is the internet, and I will never know whether you do it or not. But, if you were in one of my programs, I’d ask you to create a fictitious woman based on the ideal woman you want to be where the money is no object.
There are no obstacles to your ideal woman. What does she look like? Who is she? Is she married? Dating? Kids? No kids? Owns a dog? Has a killer job? Wears killer jeans?
Now get up and describe yourself to the group (okay, so you may not have a group, pretend, or have another glass of wine and you might start seeing a group). Describe yourself as if you are genuinely this woman.
Tell me all about yourself. Tell me what you do, what you look like, where you live, the things you have, the things you do, the life you live. Who do you want to be?
Why do this? Because it just might reveal to you the big dream you want to achieve if money was no object.
And who knows, you may also see that you are the only thing standing in your way.
Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, motivational speaker, published author and TV personality who is passionate about helping women harness the power of their stories to connect, influence, and get the results they dream of accomplishing. Laughing the whole way, Kelly teaches women how to master the art of connection through the power of strategic storytelling. You can find her on The Fashion Hero show airing Fall of 2017 on Amazon Prime or on her website MotivationalSpeakerKellySwanson.com.
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