Only I have the power to change me.
Whether that is to become a better writer, or to look more like a supermodel, the only person with the power to change me is me. To that end, the only person stopping me from doing these things is me, too. I am both my greatest asset and my worst enemy.
I live in Ohio, where this year's winter has been cold and brutal. I have come to think of myself as a person cocooned, awaiting the spring, when I'll unfurl my wings and emerge as a fresh new thing. But that implies a metamorphosis of sorts - a great change, a marked difference. As my book will not be finished in the spring, I have decided to start lifting weights. I am determined that when the weather decides to behave, I will emerge from underneath the coats, scarves and sweaters with a new set of muscles to show for my time cocooned inside the layers of winter gear.
This change, like my change from therapist to writer, takes diligence and work. I cannot just wave my hand and the muscles and book appear, ready for showing off to the world, as I emerge in the spring a bestselling female Adonis, with no hard work done. No, change is something that takes a great deal of effort and consistency.
To get my book done, I had to write four days a week for four hours a day. Chapter by chapter, the first draft was completed between April and December. Now, in editing my book, I adhere to the same schedule, diligently working those four hours a day rewriting scenes for continuity and changing tenses. It is a matter of the tortoise and the hare, I could speed up, quickly working toward a deadline that doesn't exist, or I could just trudge along, working on getting the thing done well, as the only person I have to prove anything to is myself.
To get the muscles I want, I have to ensure that I lift the weights, rather than stare at them, imagining the muscles appearing on my body. Whereas self-imagery helps, it doesn't really add to the end result. I have to do the work to reach the end goal, and a change in body, too, requires consistency. This means that at least three days a week, I actually have to lift the weights and do the exercises in order to get the results I want. Much like the book, slow and steady wins the race.
There are sacrifices to be made, too, when you really want to make a change. To get my book done, I had to give up roleplaying late at night on video games. To get the muscles I want, I may have to give up eating a chocolate bar a day. Making change means not only consistency, but sacrifice; however, I usually find the journey and the end result is usually worth it.
Only I can make the decision to change me, no one else can make me change. I have to be the one to take the first steps toward making that change, no one can push me there. Whether this change is a new career path, or killer biceps, it's possible only I do it, and if I want it hard enough. Once a person realizes all of that, they are empowered, and can take on the world themselves, rather than allow it to happen to them, making excuses why things don't ever go their way.
Have an effect on the world, don't be merely affected by it. You are the only one holding yourself back. Or, if you need a bit of extra Jedi guidance: Do, or do not, there is no try.