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21 Lessons From Lizzie Velasquez, Who Is Actually Amazingly Beautiful

21 Lessons From Lizzie Velasquez, Who Is Actually Amazingly Beautiful

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohGDfNQV7M&feature=youtu.be

24-year-old Lizzie Velasquez was born with an extremely rare medical condition that keeps her body from storing fats. In addition to being severely underweight, she is also blind in one eye.

In 2012, online bullies had taken upon themselves to brand Lizzie the “world’s ugliest woman.” An eight-second clip of Lizzie was uploaded on YouTube without her knowledge, and had garnered over four-million views, with thousands of nasty comments.

However, instead of letting this cruel twist of fate defeat her, Lizzie stood up for herself, and showed us what true beauty really is. Here are 21 lessons we can learn from her struggles and triumphs:

1. Bad things do happen to good people.

Bad things happen to good, innocent people all the time — they just do. In Lizzie’s case, she became a target for online bullies for no other reason than the fact that she stands out in her own way. And very often, bad things catch us off guard. You do not have to provoke other people for them to provoke you. You don’t have to do any wrong for wrong things to happen to you.

2. Be immediately aware the moment you begin to doubt yourself.

Often, when we come under other people’s attacks, the first things we think to ourselves are: “Where did I go wrong?” “What did I do to deserve this?” “Am I a bad person?” You need to catch yourself when you think such thoughts — before things spiral downwards under the pressure, and before you start to believe those self-doubts to be true.

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3. A healthy self-image is very, very important.

Ask yourself today: “How do you see yourself?” “What kind of a person do you see yourself as?” “Do you constantly think that you are fat?” “That you are not as pretty as the other girls?” “That you need to be more masculine?” “That you are not good enough, for others or even for yourself?” Very often, we do not see the need and the importance of talking to ourselves, and asking ourselves if we’re doing fine on the inside.

4. You are worth more than what people say or think of you.

It’s true.

5. Bullying thrives on herd mentality.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon just because everyone’s doing so. It may be easy for you to pile on, but your simple acts of “liking,” “sharing” and “LOL-ing” could hurt someone else’s feelings and dignity deeply.

6. Criticism of one’s appearance hurts, no matter what.

We all try to act tough and unaffected when people criticize the way we look and how we dress. But in reality, this sort of criticism always matter to us, and it always hurts.

We should not expect everyone to be tough and not feel anything when offended. No one is meant to hate and be hated — we are all meant to love and be loved.

7. It is useless to fight fire with fire.

When you’re offended, it is instinctive to want to fight back in anger, to want to make the people responsible feel bad as well. However, this would only add more negative energy to the situation, making it worse. Think twice before you snap. Don’t lose control.

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8. Never let others define you.

Don’t believe it when people tell you that you will never accomplish anything great in life, or that you’re ordinary or should just stay the same as everybody else. Don’t let them define you, your life or your future. Don’t let society or people restrict or blind you with their definitions of what’s beautiful and what’s not, and what’s successful and what’s not. Indeed, beauty is not only defined by the outward appearance, but also by one’s character. Success is not about impressing and pleasing everyone, but setting your own goals, and achieving them in your own time.

9. Your accomplishments will be your best revenge.

Let the haters’ hate push you to go further instead of tear you down. Make their hate your stepping stones towards achieving something greater. This will be the best revenge you can give — by proving to people that they are wrong about you, and that you are better than they could ever imagine.

10. Life’s struggles are necessary for growth.

There is a purpose in life’s struggles. Without them, we stay the same. Without them, we cannot grow into the person that we are meant to become. Struggles not only make us into stronger, better and wiser people, they also let us learn more about ourselves and our purpose in life.

11. Confidence is a fragile thing.

All it takes is a single moment in time, or a single word, to destroy what took a lifetime to build.

12. Don’t be afraid to have goals and dreams.

Even in the face of haters and those who do not believe in you, don’t stop dreaming. Lizzie did not stop pursuing her dreams in the midst of all the difficult situations she found herself to be in. Instead, she set her goals in faith. She pushed on, persevered, and got to where she is today — a graduate from college, a motivational speaker and the author of two books.

13. Family is your most reliable source of support in any situation.

Because love from your family is unconditional.

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14. Good parenting can go a long way.

Parents play an exceptionally important role in helping their child build a strong foundation of security and love from a young age. This foundation will support the child for the rest of his or her life.

15. People should be taught the value of a human life.

Lizzie shares, “People were giving me tips on how to kill myself.”

This sort of cruel comment did not only happen to Lizzie, but also to so many of the kids and teenagers who are being bullied in schools all across the country today. Children must be taught the sanctity of life, and how to respect it.

16. Make your flaw your strength.

Instead of trying to hide herself from the world, Lizzie has turned things around and owned her flaw, making it her signature trait. Lizzie has made what most people think to be the worst of her become something she is proud of. Lizzie sees her illness as a blessing from God.

You can also make your flaws work for you.

17. You gotta face your own demons.

Lizzie refuses to let the nasty videos on YouTube haunt her. She overcomes her fears by watching the hate videos again and again — she decides to look the devil straight in the eye. She makes the decision to not let what hurt her the most hurt her anymore.

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Only by facing your demons can you stop them from having power over you.

18. “Have your one good cry, pick your chin up, smile, and move on to the positive.”

Because this is how winners roll.

19. Everything happens for a reason.

Lizzie once said, “God put you here for a reason and wants you to share that reason no matter what.”

20. Be thankful, always.

Regardless of your circumstances, always be grateful. Remember, it’s not always about finding the answers to your problems. You can’t always have the full picture to everything in life.

Be thankful, because it could have been much worse. By being thankful, you allow the answers to eventually find their way to you.

21. Choose to be happy.

Because you always have the choice.

To show your support, or know more about Lizzie Velasquez and her work, you can visit her website.

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Last Updated on September 30, 2020

How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

Learning how to live a stress free life may seem impossible, but the truth is that there are specific things you can do to begin eliminating sources of stress.

No, it doesn’t look like a made-for-television movie. No, it doesn’t look like something only people with extra time and money can do. It looks like your life—but without any self-created stress triggers.

Here are 11 ways to help you live a stress-free life:

1. Stop Overanalyzing Situations That Haven’t Happened

The first step to living a stress-free life is to stop overanalyzing imaginary scenarios. It’s easy to spend time in the world of worst-case scenarios. People tend to cultivate this world for one of two reasons.

First, because if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then it won’t surprise you when it happens. Second, if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then you can do everything in your power to control the universe so the worst case never happens.

If that’s really the world you want to cultivate, then become a professional risk assessor. If not, then ask yourself how you are benefiting from continuing to live that way.

Does it make you feel better about yourself and your life? Does it make you want to leap out of bed in the morning, eager to embrace the worst-case scenario? Does it bring you joy or fulfillment?

If your answer to these three questions is no, then stop living in the future and bring yourself back into the present.

2. Don’t Take on Other People’s Problems

The whole advantage of other people having problems is that they aren’t your problems. When you frequently take on other people’s problems, you get into the habit of enabling.

Let’s get crystal clear about the definition of enabling: enabling is the art of continuing to take responsibility for other people, thereby disallowing their personal responsibility[1].

It is of no service to other people to take on their problems because they can’t/won’t/don’t know how to fix the problem.

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It is of service to empower others to take responsibility for themselves and their lives, to encourage, teach, and motivate others to address their own problems. So stop enabling, and start empowering.

3. Get Present in the Moment

Being present in the moment involves being in your body and feeling your feelings—two things that lots of folks actually don’t know how to do.

Ask yourself these two questions: What does fear feel like in your body? What are you afraid of?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you probably aren’t present in the moment. Being present involves vulnerability, humility, and openness[2].

How to live a stress free life by being present

    The past and the future stop being so relevant and intriguing when you’re able to get in your body and feel your feelings. When you can do these two things, you actually want to be in the present moment.

    To get started, close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and watch your stress levels drop. Then, try these tips: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

    4. Focus on What You Have, Not What You Don’t

    The easiest way to stop focusing on what you don’t have is by not watching TV commercials. Marketing teaches us to focus on what we don’t have, and advertising campaigns spend millions of dollars convincing us that we must have what we don’t yet have.

    Can you think of a marketing campaign that teaches you to enjoy what you already have without buying something to enhance it? Odds are you can’t.

    In a world dictated by Super Bowl commercials and Facebook ads, it takes stalwart focus to recognize what you have more than what you don’t. If you want a stress-free life now, get stalwart, and stop letting other people dictate your focus.

    In order to do this, try cultivating a gratitude practice to help refocus your mind toward what is good in your life. You can get started with this guide.

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    5. Stop Surrounding Yourself With People Who Don’t Make You Happy

    Honestly, what kind of people do you really like to be around with? People who get you, who see you clearly, who accept your flaws and all; people you can be yourself with; people who have shared interests?

    How many of those people are in your life? What characteristics do all of the other people in your life have?

    If you find that the people in your life aren’t adding anything positive, it may be time to make some changes. If you find that other relationships you have are downright toxic, start working to cut out those relationships immediately.

    6. Find a Job That Makes You Feel Good

    You don’t have to stay at a job just because it pays the bills. Most people spend more time working than sleeping. The average person spends 40 to 80 hours a week—or 2,000 to 4,000 hours a year—working. That is a significant investment!

    If your best friend or child told you that they were going to spend 4,000 hours giving their emotional, mental, and physical energy to something (or someone) that wasn’t going to value them, give anything back to them, or pay them what they were worth, what advice would you offer? Give that same advice to yourself. You won’t be stress-free unless you don’t learn this[3].

    Here’re 11 Signs That You Should Leave Your Job.

    7. Only Take on What You Can Handle

    Busyness is an addiction. Slowing down can actually be terrifying because it causes you to notice that you have feelings that you now have time to feel.

    I get it.

    By the time I slowed down, I had decades of busyness under my belt. I went into a tailspin depression because I didn’t understand how to be in the right relationship with my own emotions.

    When I finally figured out that feelings are just feelings and allowing them to express themselves is healthy and natural, I stopped experiencing withdrawal from my addiction to busyness and started figuring out the pace of life that felt best for me.

    Remarkably, I discovered that I don’t actually like being busy. What will you discover about yourself?

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    8. Let Go of Grudges and Anger

    For me, it took 20 years of adulthood to figure out that holding on to grudges and anger only hurt me. Lucky for you, though, you can benefit vicariously from my experience just by reading one short paragraph!

    No one is holding your feet to the fire, demanding that you hold on to grudges and anger. The energy of anger slowly eats away at your body, mind, and spirit, until one day you wake up more resentful than optimistic.

    One day, people no longer want to be around you because the stink of negativity is oozing out of your pores. One day, you even get tired of hearing yourself get angry. And the person or people you are angry at or holding grudges against probably haven’t been affected at all.

    Who gets hurt the most in that process of repeating negative thoughts? You do.

    Some good advice for you here: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger

    9. Stop Reliving Your Past

    To live a stress-free life, you have to stop reliving your past. I know it seems like fun to compare everything in your present to your past, and to experience the present through past-colored glasses, but it actually isn’t.

    When you wear past-colored glasses, you can’t truly experience the present for what it is. Your boyfriend or girlfriend gets compared to a list of expectations and failed relationships rather than recognized for the unique blessing they are in your life.

    Your boss gets compared to all the bosses who came before her/him. Your friends’ ability to parent gets compared to your parents’ ability to parent.

    People, including you, deserve to stand on their own past-free merit.

    10. Don’t Complain About Things You Can’t Change

    There are always going to be people elected into office whom you don’t like, taxes that you don’t want to pay, idiot drivers who refuse to move out of the left-hand lane, and a person ahead of you in the check-out line who won’t stop chatting with the clerk.

    The great benefit of being human is that we get to experience all of what life offers us. To live stress-free is to learn to deal with this fact.

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    Dwelling on your frustration with something that can’t be changed doesn’t do anything other than drag you down. You are the only person who will ultimately decide how to respond to what is.

    11. Stop Living Through Other People’s Lives

    Someone else’s life is not your life. Your life is your life.

    What that means is you get to live your life in the way you want. You get to make ridiculous mistakes, take leaps of faith, and stuff things inside your handbag of fear just as much as the next person.

    Going through stuff is the whole great messy adventure of being human! Being alive and living life is terrifying and glorious and everything in between.

    Stop living through social media, trying to soak in all of the experiences everyone else is having. Focus, instead, on what it feels like to be you in this moment. You may find you like it.

    Final Thoughts

    An astounding thing happens when you reduce stress and anxiety, get into a relationship with your body, mind, and spirit, and just be yourself without judgment.

    Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You begin to live in each moment, and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy.

    You move fluidly, steadily, calmly, and gratefully. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born through improved mental health. And this is how you live a stress-free life.

    More Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life

    Featured photo credit: Drew Coffman via unsplash.com

    Reference

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