Who knew I would become a lifestyle transformation coach for a living? Years ago, when I was living as Miserable Marzia, I would’ve never imagined it. But I know from firsthand experience that change is always possible!
Watching the fireworks shows this past Fourth of July, I realized in life, we meet people who bring out the best in us. When we’re around them, we burst and shine bright like a spectacular fireworks display. But then there are people who bring out the opposite. Around them, we are like a dud firecracker. We sparkle for a moment, but ultimately nada. We want to light on fire but no sparks fly. It took me a long time to understand that I could catch on fire from other people’s positive energy and shine bright into the universe.
Growing up, I didn’t have the right people in my life to help me shine. Misery loves company, and many of my family and friends were a reflection of my limiting beliefs. Do any of these sound familiar?
I don’t have time. I can’t afford it. I’m not worthy. I’m not beautiful. I have no idea who I am. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ll sound stupid. I don’t have the skills. I’m not educated enough. I’m afraid I’ll be rejected. I’m not smart enough.
You get the idea…
As I mentioned before, I was Miserable Marzia, and my friends were Negative Nancy and Debbie Downer. We gossiped. We pointed out everyone’s faults to make ourselves feel better. I was bitter. I blamed everyone else for my downfalls, everyone but myself. All my friendships and relationships started off great until the truth came out—I was miserable, which meant we were going to be miserable together.
At twenty-eight, I’d already gone through a horrible divorce, and guess who I dated afterward? Negative Nick!
Then my hairstylist set me up on a blind date with “this guy.” I’d never been on a blind date before. The idea of it scared me. This was before Facebook and MySpace! This was way back when we didn’t even Google people. It was a good, old-fashioned who the heck am I going on a date with blind date. I never even saw Keith until he rang my doorbell to pick me up.
As soon as I met him, I did what I did best—judged him. I was already mentally pointing out what I didn’t like about him before getting a chance to know him, and I was thinking of ways to end the date before it began. But we started talking, and I was intrigued by his positive energy and the way he saw life. It was so different than what I knew. He looked at life through a warm, generous lens, and I immediately knew he was different than anyone I’d ever met.
Dating Keith, I learned so much that I couldn’t get enough. I was emotionally exhausted from all the negativity. Before Keith, all I had was Full House. I was not just a super fan. I was an uber fan. I watched every episode. It gave me hope that one day someone would love me like that. I dreamed of a pretend family and friends getting along, and if we ever fought, then we’d make up lovingly and all would be well again. It seemed like a dream that one day it could happen to me.
I realize now that it was an escape mechanism. I had no idea there was a bigger, better world out there until I met Keith. How had I not known this for twenty-eight years? It still blows me away. This new way of thinking opened up many possibilities. It opened up my heart. With this transformation, I began to shine.
Unfortunately, I lost a lot of friends and family during this time. They didn’t want Marvelous Marzia. They wanted Miserable Marzia. Changing my world for the better was hard. When I experienced a new success due to my new mindset, I wanted to share it with them, but no one was happy for me except my husband. I felt defeated that my family and friends did not want to share my new, happy world.
Eventually, I had to let go and move on. I had no idea life would get better, but it did! And I did it one day at a time by practicing these seven ways to shine.
- Don’t judge! You never know where people are coming from or what they’re going though. All you know is what you see or what they tell you. Be kind and have an open heart.
- Practice positivity! Tell yourself you are strong, beautiful, and worthy. One day, you’ll believe it and be it!
- Take responsibility! This one was tough for me, but when I stopped blaming others, I took my new world by the magical unicorn horn.
- Surround yourself with greatness! They say you are the five people you surround yourself with. Me and my new tribe of recovering Negative Nancy’s are unstoppable!
- Exercise! It gets those endorphins going and makes you feel so darn good. I dare you to do something active today that tomorrow will thank you for.
- Have an attitude of gratitude! Practice being grateful for the little things. Eventually, the petty stuff won’t even matter anymore.
- Work on personal development! Read books, join positive groups, and be open to learn from other people. And never stop learning new ways to shine.
There are so many ways to shine, but these are a few that I practice daily. All it took was that one person to transform my life. And now I hope you’ll be the match to someone else’s firework show!
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