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                                       Am I making a difference? 

    by, Tina Smiley 

    Self proclaimed "Gym Gypsy"...visiting and reviewing not just gyms but other cool stuff too.  And sometimes I just want to share my thoughts of the day. :) 

    "Every person has a legacy. You may not know what your impact is, and it may not be something you can write on your tombstone. But... every person has an impact on this world."  ...Dana Horn 

    Have you ever wondered if you are making a difference in this life?  Is what you do day after day mean anything to anyone?  Are you an inspiration to someone...whether it's a family member, friend, or neighbor down the street?  Are your actions motivating to others?  Are you a positive influence on the people around you? And...when it comes right down to it, what will others say about you when you're long gone? 

    "Am I making a difference?" 

    Maybe you don't even care if you are or you aren't. Perhaps you live your life with total disregard of what other's think of you, whether it's positively or negatively. But for many of us, we do care. In fact, a lot of us may care a little too much.  We just don't want to admit it. 

    Well let me be first to say that yes, I do care what others think of me even though I've been known to say otherwise.  Let's be honest....we live in a world driven by social media and we're inundated with images, posts, and updates on a daily basis and quite frankly it's hard to ignore the temptation to want to be "seen" or "heard" like everyone else.  The glamour shots, the fitness pics, the cute selfies... (gotta luv those filters! ha)  Who's got better abs and a tighter ass?  And who are those folks taking endless photos of  lavish and exotic vacations with the too-good-to-be-true perfect family of adorable children and beautiful parents??

    Did you even wonder what in the hell you did wrong because your life obviously sucks compared to theirs!?  I have had those thoughts many times over. I'm sure you have too. And that's why we find ourselves wondering if what we do even matters....to us or to anyone?  Because if we do matter, than our lives would be better. Somehow. Right?

    I found myself venting one day to a good friend about how my fitness journey seemed to go by the wayside....that even though I know I'm living proof that a woman my age could be vibrant, healthy, energetic and dare I say pretty decent looking and in damn good shape!  But I just couldn't help but wonder who was truly inspired by me? If anyone at all?  I mean, yes I do what I do for me. I enjoy the benefits of looking and feeling good for being half a century old, but is my personal success in fitness an example and motivation to somebody else?  Is anyone looking at me and saying, "If she can do it, I can!"  Do I inspire?  Am I making a difference?

    Now "making a difference"  is of course a tricky thing because although we tell ourselves it's about what we want to do for others, it's really about what we want for ourselves.  Here's the thing,  I believe most of us are people-pleasers. We want to be "liked" and/or "recognized" so we do things for other people.  And by pleasing someone else, it pleases us in return, therefore making our generosity less generous.   So basically, we are the opposite of generous and are just selfish by nature.  But I digress.... 😁

    My point is, we cannot allow ourselves to get caught up in what others may think about us and how we compare to other people.  In that I mean, constantly trying to "one-up" somebody else. There is always gonna be those who appear to have a better [fill in the blank...] than you. A better job, better house, better body, better social media presence, etc...   The thing is though, all this stuff you think you're missing out on may not even be real! I've got to remind myself almost daily that how I perceive someone else's life could be a different reality for them. 

    And the funny part of it all is, YOU very well may be the one that somebody else is comparing THEIR life to.  So you just never know who is watching you.... who you are influencing.  So it's okay to take a back seat once in a while and just ignore the noise. If you are doing something right, chances are it'll be noticed at some point. You just need to be patient. 

    On the other hand, it may not be noticed and accepting that can be difficult. Believe me! But like my friend so aptly pointed out..."Often times making a difference in someone's life is a silent win that simply goes unrecognized."  

    To summarize: Believe in yourself, be genuine, and be real. Be you! After all, no one else can be. :) 

                Believe In Yourself.