Fighting Talk: A Slice of Lisa Berrie’s ‘Motivation.’

Despite the fact that my emotions often tend to roller-coaster from one extreme to the other, several people have said that I inspire them and they wanted motivation from me. I’ve referred to this blog as a ‘slice’ so that nobody gets any ‘portion distortion.’

*Disclaimer: this is an opinionated extract drawing on experiences from my own life.*

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How do you keep going?

One day (not so long ago, I might add) I decided that I’d had enough of constantly picking faults with myself, and I wasn’t going to “accept” what I’d become.  I wasn’t okay being on the bottom ring of my ladder of ambition, knocking around with those who were content in staying on the bottom ring in a way that I just could not and never will be. I love myself too much to just settle. And so should you.

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How do you motivate yourself?

We all have our differing reasons for what we want to become and do in our lives and as long as it’s legal, that’s okay. I have several factors for motivating myself but I’m going to go to town on my top three and hope that this one hunky chunky slice of motivation is enough to suffice. Be cautious, my determination is not for the faint-hearted.

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Appreciate what you HAVE, before it becomes what you HAD.

As I’ve said before, 2015 taught me a great deal. Therefore, I’ll sucker punch you right now and tell you that the first step to solving a problem is to admitting that there is one. That’s the first thing they do in all the TV shows in AA meetings, so apply it to your own situation. I myself admit to being too prone to self-loathing and self-pity. It is what it is– I think too much. But I also know that in time I’ll get over what’s bothering me once I face the issue straight on. Sometimes we may want to change the world and sometimes we struggle to leave our beds. That’s life. As I’ve said before, my time in the USA made me appreciate my UK roots on an entirely new level. I remind myself that even on my dull days and darkest nights, there are plenty of people in the world that, given the opportunity, would kill to be in my shoes. It’s the same for you. More than likely, there is somebody in the world that is having a tougher time of it than you are, although I admit that sometimes it is nice to own our problems and insecurities. Everybody has bad days. It’s an absolute given that cannot be avoided all the time. So own the good AND the bad. A bad day doesn’t have to be a bad week. A bad week doesn’t have to be a bad month. A bad month doesn’t have to be a bad year. As my right thigh states, ‘Every cloud has a silver lining.’ Sometimes there’s too many clouds to overcome and the silver cannot be differentiated from the grey. So be persistent. Perseverance is key! If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anybody else?

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Whatever your goals and dreams are, write them down. Take that first step to making YOUR dreams a reality. See it. Pin it up. I wrote my goals down for 2016 and then locked them away so that I wouldn’t let the quantity of them interfere with my education. In December I’ll take it out and see how well I did. Even better, write a letter to yourself about why you want/need the achievement of this goal or do what I do and ‘have a word with yourself.’ You have to live with yourself longer than any other human being ever will so get to know your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be your own obstacle to being number one.

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If you’re okay with failing, you don’t WANT it enough.

By all means be realistic with your goals, but do not make excuses for yourself. Excuses are for the mediocre. Don’t save yourself a seat on that seesaw. It’s all or nothing, simple as that, or why bother trying? Praise yourself on how far you’ve come but don’t dwell on it. In reference to my own life, I told myself ‘you’re unhappy with being fat and unhealthy because you don’t want the alternative enough.’ Sure it’s harsh but it was the truth. (The doctor put it to me rather unkindly so it definitely IS the truth).

When I was in Sixth Form, I came to loathe my history lessons and was intent on dropping the subject once the exam results came through. The lesson was dictated at a pace that required you to always be 100% focused and the teacher was not a person you wanted to explain your shortcomings to if you did not reach your target grade. She predicted that I would fall below the belt of my own expectations and I knew I couldn’t let it happen. I’m a BERRIE, we don’t quit! So I turned off my social media, saw a lot less of my at the time boyfriend and studied for 2 hours solidly alone in the silent study area each night and then got a lift home with Katie, who used to clean at the same school. Dinner was my break and then I’d be back to the books. Results day was on March 8th, the day after my 17th birthday. I’d already admitted defeat with history, but when I came to form registration that morning, I got the surprise of my life. As I unfolded that piece of paper, the number 100 stared back at me. I’D GOT 100%! My form tutor was beside herself with pride, she ruffled my hair and congratulated me on a hard fought victory. When I went to history class that day, my teachers labelled me a ‘star’ and I knew that I could not let them down after that home-run. I viewed university as a golden ticket to the future and when darker times approached, I still pushed myself. Do you really want to be here resitting next year with all these people, that have shown how much of a friend to you they aren’t? NO! I’D RATHER DIE! My ethics paid off. I dropped the stone (14lbs) that had been bothering me all year, got 100% again in an exam (this time in English literature) and Keele University now give me an annual ‘Excellence Scholarship’ for attaining AAB in my A Levels. It quite literally ‘paid’ to work hard, pardon the pun. 😉 I wasn’t okay with failure because my dreams meant TOO MUCH to me.

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Know your circle. Make sure everybody in your “boat” is rowing and not drilling holes when you’re not looking.’

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realise just how quickly friendships can change. Time can cause some memories to lose their meanings as life puts you all onto different lanes on the journey of your life. Learn the difference between who your friends and acquaintances are. Your friends may not share your dreams but (as long as its legal) a real friend will support you in any way they can- albeit just a good quote they saw on Instagram. Beware of what I call the ‘T&C friends’ – those people that you love and have a good time with but it’s only ever good when it’s going their way. Some people will pull you down to their level in order to feel better about themselves. DO NOT FALL FOR THAT ‘HOOK!’ CUT THE ‘LINE’ THAT ATTACHES YOU AND OBLITERATE THAT ‘SINKER!’ Some friends are like anchors in that they keep us stable and steady. Yet some friends are like anchors because they keep us at rock bottom; they themselves the dead weight on our ankles and don’t allow us to move forward and progress. Again, know the difference. YOU’VE NO OBLIGATION TO KEEP THEM AFLOAT AS WELL AS YOURSELF. Jealousy takes many different shades of green. Remember that and don’t allow it to question your decisions. We all have our moments but if you’re seeing too much green in someone, that itself should be an omen to call time on their friendship. Keep your cards close to your chest and have your guard up around these people. As Babe Ruth once said, ‘it’s hard to beat a person who NEVER GIVES UP.’

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I hope that this helps with motivating yourself, albeit it definitely is not rocket science.  To quote my friend Marcus Townsend, who’s YouTube channel can be found by searching MarcusT23,‘PUT THE YOU INTO SUCCESS, ALL THE BEST!’

(https://www.youtube.com/user/MarcusT23)

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