When I was 6, I had a bully.
Everyday on the bus, he would steal my basketball, dump out my books, or some other form of blatant disrespect.
Even though it was 26 years ago, I can still remember how small and helpless it made me feel.
One night over dinner, I broke down to my parents and told them everything that was going on, and how even though it made me feel awful, I hadn't done anything about it.
Both my mom and dad agreed that telling the teacher was my best option. She'll handle it, and everything will be OK.
Great, that's settled.
Now, an a seemingly unrelated note, my dad asked me to join him in the back yard.
Once we reached the yard, he turned to me and said, "OK.... put your hands up."
Even though telling the teacher was the plan we all agreed on, my dad went on to show me how to throw a 2-piece combo.
Oh man! I felt empowered to say the least.
The next day, I boarded the bus with my chest out and my chin up. I was ready to defend myself.
Like clockwork, he slapped the hat off my head, and I wasted no time putting what I learned into practice.
I put my hands up and hit him with a devastating right, directly in his eye.
And I do mean directly. I forgot to ball up my fist and ended up poking him in the eye. (No worries, he was alright and we laughed about it in high school)
That was the last time he messed with me. Problem solved.
I learned a valuable lesson that day:
In every situation, you have two choices:
1. Remain a victim.
2. Take back your power.
If you're reading this, then you have a vision of your future self that inspires you. It's a lean, strong, healthy version of you. The version of you that feels comfortable in your skin, that walks tall, and exudes confidence.
But you won't reach it if you're playing victim, always at the mercy of the world around you.
Instead, take back your power. And exercise that power in every decision you make, and every action you take.
You're capable of so much more than you think.