The Wallflower

One of my fellow bloggers wrote something on my sad, little blog from yesterday that really perked me up a bit. She said she did not want to be a bystander in her life.  Can I get an amen?

I thought of the wallflower at the school dance. She is the consummate bystander.  Longing and hoping but fearing and shying. I have been the wallflower for a few years now.  Embarrassed to go out in public because I just knew everyone thought I was fat. Ashamed to see friends and family because they might feel differently about me because of my weight. I mean they didn't sign up to be friends (or family) with me when I was heavy, they may not be able to love me as much being fat.

So with all my healthy lifestyle efforts like exercise and healthy eating, I find I am still running the same routes of thought in my mind. Partly because I am still overweight and partly because they are familiar and hard to eliminate completely.

So yesterday I confessed that even though I am having success in my new lifestyle, there is a part of me that wants to give up and eat the contents of the pantry. A part of me is rebelling against this success.  A part of me is trying to keep me on the wall, watching everyone else have fun.  I'm gonna have to punch her in the face if she doesn't let me go. Just sayin.

So, as the wallflower I decided to try on some different dresses to see if they helped me get over my hurdle and out on the dance floor.  In other words, I have been trying to figure out why I am sabotaging my success.

I think I hit on two things. I found both of these thoughts on the internet, researching why we sabotage our success.

The first dress that really fit well and made me smile at my reflection was this;
Achieving your dreams or being successful is all about marathon. It is not a sprint

Okay - we all know that.  This is not a 50 yard dash.  This is a cross-country run and we must pace ourselves and expect the journey to be fraught with peril.  I like that dress.  That fits.

Then, I found a really interesting, unusual dress, an even better dress.  Very sophisticated and maybe a little hard for some folks to get, especially if they like simple things - but I am not a simple person - I get this about myself.  So the second dress, paraphrased by me, goes like this;

We either believe our ability to succeed is fixed or incremental.  If you are a person who believes your ability is fixed, it is already set and you can't do any better than where you are then you are absolved from responsibility and pushing through the hard stuff. I mean come on - you can only do so much with fixed ability.  You can only achieve so much because the ability you have never increases with the challenges.

Ah, but there are those out there that believe in a flexible ability or incremental ability. This means with time and nurturing my ability can grow. My ability to deal with difficulty can grow to match whatever obstacles I face.

But there is one problem with this optimistic attitude - if I believe my ability can grow under optimum conditions - then who do I blame for my failure?  Ah-ha! I have no one to blame but me.  And, any failure to reach my goal becomes an indicator of something I need to change. 

Change.  That dirty word again.  This is where my resistance comes in - I don't want to be responsible for any more change. But I have to - but I don't want to and the war is on. Because, to go one step further is to admit I believe in my incremental ability. That I believe in ME. That I am and will continue to be responsible for the changes necessary to ensure my success continues.  Dang it.

I must see failure as an indicator I need to change something not as an indicator of all those negative things I have on the old checklist (lazy, unworthy, incapable...). I must accept responsibility for that change and implement a new tactic.  It really is that simple. It really is that hard.

I see why the wallflower was holding on so tight.  She is scared. Terrified.

But the wallflower has found her dress. This one fits, this one works. Mustering all my strength and courage, I am getting gussied up for the dance and I'm getting off this wall.

Power on former wallflower girl - now I don't have to punch you in the face ;)

Hey do you hear that?  I think they are playing my song!

That's All ~ Thanks Y'all!


  1. This post reminds me of a motivational tape that I was listening to that is very popular on iTunes. The guy tells you that this is great because this is all on you and you don't have to depend on anybody else for your success, nobody can hold you back, it is all up to you. I was thinking yeah that's the problem it's all on my shoulders. I guess that is a real comfort for some people and I need to think like that. All of the success I own, it's on me as is all the bumps along the way.

    1. I like that too, for the most part, its very honest and upfront when its all on me. Its when I don't want to be honest about the changes I know I need to make that I get hostile!

  2. Love this post. You have stated very well why people don't get "out there" and do what would make them noticed and therefore vulnerable. Those who have been wallflowers certainly have barriers to break. We do that when we want it so much we'll take the risk. Those same people who ignored us and ridiculed us will have to eat their words won't they?

    1. Thank you! I was really glad when I at least figured it out, or I think I have anyway. Fear is a powerful emotion that keeps us bound up. Yeah one of these days, the naysayers will have to eat their words for sure!

  3. What a great way to frame it... and yeah, life is too short not to join in the dance and have fun!


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