Get Your Own Inner Superwoman!

We've all been there, those days, weeks, sometimes months where no matter how hard we try, there is no inner bad ass, much less an inner Superwoman to be found.  I was there prior to my cancer diagnosis.  I hadn't seen my Inner Superwoman in so long, I was sure that she had taken a permanent vacation. Thankfully, because she's such a "badass" (and personally I think she does really like me!) she reappeared for the journey through cancer. As much as I had missed her, the vacation did her good.  She is stronger and braver than I remember her being... and let's just say her "badass" is at it's peak!

So, let's rewind.  Obviously she didn't just show back up and get to work.  She let me struggle for a little while before I knew knew she was back- personally I think she was just easing into the job.  (Maybe she had a pretty little drink with an umbrella in it on her flight home!)  I really had to do some work to get her functioning again, lets face it, Superwoman ain't just gonna fly under any conditions.  Here's what I did to get her back in flying shape:

Step One: YOU HAVE TO HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE:  Whether you're battling for that last pair of shoes AT 90% off that you definitely have to have, or battling cancer, you have to be positive.  You will have those shoes!  You will beat cancer! You can do it.  You can do anything that you set your mind to.  You can do anything you want to do, and you can do it better too!  You just have to want it, and you have to tell yourself that there is absolutely no reason why you can't do it.   Anybody that tells you otherwise, needs to go play in rush hour traffic, in the dark, wearing black clothes-sorry but I feel pretty strongly about this.

Step Two: YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT YOURSELF:  You are beautiful.  You are wonderful.  You are capable of great things, but if you don't believe it no one else will either.  If you think negatively about yourself, it will stop you from achieving your dreams.  We don't have to be perfect (who's to say what perfect is anyway?) we just have to be everything that we can be.  I used to  have a list that hung on my office wall- at one of the low points in my life, I made a list of my strengths and the things that are wonderful about me. That list reminded me daily of the fact that I am beautiful, smart, caring, witty.... etc, etc.  On a bad day, sometimes that sign was the only thing between me and a very large bottle of Vodka.

Step Three: BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE: A lack of confidence will stop you dead in your tracks.  If you don't think you can do something, or you don't think you deserve something how do you expect to get it?  What is it about you that makes you feel weak?  Okay, find a way to fix it.  I used to train sales people.  One day, I had a young, fresh out of college trainee on my hands.  We were about to walk into a client's office.  The young en' looked at me and said, "They're not gonna buy anything off of me!".  I looked at him, grabbed my keys out of my purse and said, "You're right.  Let's go!".   I jumped back in the car and started driving around in circles, my trainee completely dumbfounded.  The way I saw it, why waste the clients time and mine if the trainee didn't have enough confidence in himself or the product to believe we were going to make something happen.  Life is the same way- if you don't believe you deserve it, you'll probably never get it.

Step Four:  CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES!:  A huge part of getting through life is work, but it doesn't have to be all work, right?  When you accomplish something, or something good happens, celebrate it!  Celebrate you!  Don't wait for the big stuff either, just because CNN isn't pulling up with a camera truck doesn't make your accomplishment any less important.  Part of the reason that I stayed so strong mentally through my long and ugly chemo sessions was because I celebrated the milestones.  After 3 treatments, I wasn't finished, but I was 1/2 way.  Woo hoo!  After 5 treatments, still not done, but only 1 left to go!  You get the idea...  You lost 5 pounds... Woo hoo!  Good for you!  You made it 1/2 way to a goal... Woo hoo!  Good for you!  Don't be afraid to be proud of yourself, you worked for it, you earned it!

Step Five: SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE:  Negativity is so contagious, and frankly extremely debilitating.  But, when you're around people who are positive about the own lives and their own futures, it's hard to be anything positive about ourselves.  Think about it this way, if you were running a marathon with a partner, would you want your partner to be someone who was complaining, moaning and whining the entire time, or someone who talked about winning, and was extremely encouraging and positive?  I always talked to fellow cancer patients while I was receiving chemo.  I don't recall one single person that I ever talked with being negative.  That really says something- if a person with poison running through their veins, and battling cancer can be positive- what's anyone else's excuse for being negative?

Step Six: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: Look at your life and evaluate the things that need to be tweaked.  Are you taking care of yourself?  Are you doing things on a daily basis that improve your physical and mental well being?  Are you doing things that make you happy?  Are you taking care of your health?  (Please, please, please- DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR HEALTH!)  Go back 5 or 10 years, what were you doing then that you aren't doing now?  Were you happier?  If so, figure out how to reactivate the things in your life that made you happy.  Who we are is a huge blend of things:  if we neglect our mental well being and don't engage in things that are important to us, suddenly we aren't the same person.  It's easy to get caught up in everything, and very easy to let ourselves go.  

Once I had all of these things in check, my Inner Superwoman and I were back to flying again.  For each of us, these tasks will be different.  How you go about accomplishing these things may be completely different than what I did.  And that's okay- just so you do it.  Just remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Get your ass out of the chair, and start channeling your Inner Superwoman...  She's out there, and she's waiting for you!

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