“Don’t feel bad for me” said an email that I received last week. This was in response to my request to not be included in “chain mail.” I dislike chain mail, it’s impersonal and most of the times (unless it’s a cause that makes sense and that someone has actually researched and is true), they are a waste of time. The email I received was a request to send Apple a note indicating that I wanted a certain application that a group of people who happen to be i-Phone users want. I replied by stating “Please don’t send me these types of emails, they bog down my email which I use for business.” The truth of the matter is that I don’t own an iPhone so in all reality, I would never use the application so why send a request to Apple for something that I’m not going to use and that I honestly don’t even know what it’s for? The way I see it is that I should choose my battles and this one was one not worth fighting for.
When I got a response to my request, I realized that the sender was pretty offended that I would send an email asking her to not send me chain-mail, however what stuck out for me was how many times she said “don’t feel bad” followed by a series of made-up excuses of why she hadn’t written to say “hello” (her financial situation, her place of employment things that although legit, didn’t stop her from sending chain mail.) “Don’t feel bad…” those three words made me realize how little this person knew me. I don’t ever feel bad for a person’s situation. I may have compassion for him or her but feeling bad for them is not something that I would ever choose to do.
Feeling bad for someone accomplishes nothing and actually takes away that person’s ability to be responsible for their circumstances, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that someone is guilty of having their circumstances, but what I AM saying is that many times we put up with our circumstances because we are afraid of failing. When we do that, we avoid taking responsibility for our life, our health, our finances, our relationships.
How many times have we been told about an opportunity that we’re too afraid to jump to? Someone tells us about a job that we never apply to because we’re afraid that we won’t be able to do it or that we don’t have what it takes. People run away from marriages and parenting because somewhere in their heads they are thinking that they don’t have what it takes. We’re afraid to make requests, because we don’t want to mess up. A simple “no” terrifies us.” We are afraid of failure as if failure meant something bad about us. We automatically give the word “no” to mean “you FAILED” and what’s worse, we make it mean “YOU ARE A FAILURE,” when the truth is that a failure is just something we tried that didn’t go well and it’s an opportunity to try again, it’s as simple as that. If we look closely, we can see exactly where we’ve used the same type of mentality in our health and fitness. We failed at keeping our promise to lose the last 10 Lbs. so we give up. I’ve done that too.
The thing that we are failing at the most is picking ourselves up and trying again. Getting a person or a group of people to support us in our quest is as important as it is to get up and try again. If you have failed doing it alone, what makes you think you can succeed by yourself? Make requests, ask for support and please when someone offers the support don’t blow them off, that is the most selfish thing you could ever do in the name of self-pity. The best thing you can do is get support from someone who has already succeeded at what you’re trying to accomplish. No, I don’t feel bad for this person because I don’t ever want anyone to “feel bad” for me, EVER. I have realized that I am the only person responsible for whatever situation I am in, ONLY ME. I am what caused it and when I own that then I can get up, dust myself off, learn my lesson and try again, and again, and again, because the truth of the matter is, that there will always be something that I fail at, something to learn and something to FINALLY succeed at, because that’s how life is.