For the first time in months, I put on my Hunter boots to walk to yoga. It was pouring rain, and I didn't want (another!) ClassPass cancellation fee. So, I sucked it up and plodded along, meandering around the puddles. And halfway there, I began to enjoy it. "How refreshing a bit of rain is!" my mum always says.
She's right: I even laughed when a whoosh of wind knocked my umbrella behind me and soaked my butt. We can't control the change in seasons. But we can decide not to hate them!
What might you have more control over than you realize? Just because other people complain about certain things doesn't mean you have to. You can be a rebel and enjoy whatever comes your way instead (or at least tolerate it in style)—and you can begin by taking control of events that most people whine about.
1. Whether you give someone the benefit of the doubt.
Are you quick to criticize or call someone out before you know the full story? A friend of mine was being snappy and short with me at drinks recently. She said she was tired and left early. "What's her deal?" I thought initially. I even mentally chastised her for wasting my Friday night fun. I'm not texting or calling her back for days, I decided, as punishment.
The next afternoon, as I walked out of a 7-Eleven, I had a voicemail. I listened. She was sorry: She'd been embarrassed to tell me that right before we hit the bar her doctor had called to tell her she had an STI. She was a mess. Naturally, all was forgiven and forgotten in an instant. But even if you never receive a truthful voice explanation, where might you be holding back the benefit of the doubt—just like I did?
2. If you make the effort.
All we can ever control is effort. And in every situation, our level of effort is up to us. Are you gonna sweat at that Spin class or peace out, pretending you're leisurely cycling through France? Will you prepare for that big meeting or roll up with a hangover and a pen that doesn't work? Are you going to bite your partner's head off when you're tired or bite your tongue when he's late… again?
I find it comforting to know that effort level is all me. Even when I decide it's a lower-level day and I just can't deal, that's fine. I take the pressure off and dial my energy back up the next day.
3. How you choose to talk to yourself.
It still astounds me—and I still cringe a little—when I hear people say stuff ranging from "my muffin top" to "I failed at my marriage," and "I'm so terrible at X or Y." You can be nicer to yourself! It's critical that you are!
When you consciously choose kinder language—language that you'd use with a friend who you love and respect—your self-esteem will shift in an instant. Would you tell a friend she has a muffin top or that she's a failure or that she's terrible at something? I doubt it. Whatever you'd tell him or her, tell yourself. And see the magic that happens within you.
4. If you decide to go for it or not.
I Instagrammed one of my favorite statements a couple of weeks ago:
As a kid who grew up on welfare with dysfunction, who "should" carry a lot of shame, I've worked on myself (see No. 3!) to the point where I give myself permission to pursue my dreams even though I'm not as qualified as other people. I have a high-school education. I don't have fancy qualifications or credentials. But I believe in myself.
And believing in yourself? It's so underrated. Because it's the greatest force there is. And the best part? It's 100 percent up to you.
Susie Moore is Greatist's life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!