Be A Hero . . . Save Your Own Life

“We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story.” ~Mary McCarthy

This is a guest post by Stephanie Wetzel of Blue Elephant Press.

I am a bit of a sucker for an inspiring story. One of suffering and pain, where it seems that hope is all but lost. Then along comes the hero. The force by which everything changes. The rescuer of the downtrodden rising in glory, saving a life.

Everybody loves the hero. From an early age, we learn the hero makes everything better. The prince wakes a sleeping princess; the cat brings a miller’s son happiness, love, and wealth; the heroine triumphs over evil witches and stepmothers; these are the stories we know from birth. When the hero swoops in, it’s nothing but happily ever after.

Even as we age, stories of the hero continue to surround us in movies, books, and on the local news. Although we feel a renewal of hope when we see and hear these stories, it keeps us stuck. Life goes on, and we’re still sitting around waiting for our rescuer.

As long as you keep waiting, things will stay the same.

I used to tell myself that as soon as this (or that) happened, I would be alright . . . happily living my own ever after. When I changed jobs, my career would become more fulfilling and rewarding. When I met someone, my life would feel more whole and less lonely. When I got a raise, my finances would improve and I would be out of debt. When I took one more workshop, I would be a better writer and start sharing my work.

For my entire life, I waited for my hero—the person or thing that would rescue me.

It wasn’t until I stopped waiting that I realized how bad I let things become. From an outside perspective, I had a pretty great life. Good job, decent salary, nice home, relatively normal family, all the makings of an “American dream.”

The reality of my life was mounting debt, eating habits that were killing me, and an unsatisfactory existence in the role of employee. Not really as bad as a stepmother trying to kill you, but certainly not happily ever after. I had everything I was told to want, and what I really wanted was to be saved from it all.

The turning point makes all the difference.

I knew something had to change. Have you ever looked into the mirror, really stared at yourself, and not recognized the person looking back? I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I had spent so much time being what everyone else wanted me to be, hoping that one of them was my rescuer unlocking the key to my happily ever after, that I was completely lost. All of my waiting and bad habits had left me suffocating in my own life.

I began to realize that my hero wasn’t coming. I knew that if I wanted to truly live the life I had been given, I would have to stop waiting, stand up, and save myself. Part of me understood the difficulties I would face, and part of me denied the challenge ahead.

I thought I could do it alone. After all, I fancy myself a pretty smart cookie who learns things quickly. And that is how I started my journey, alone with a career test and some habit changes that provided good progress. It wasn’t really until this year though, until I got the help I needed through coaching, that I really began to see the hope and possibilities that exist for my life. This is when my progress really began showing.

It’s what you choose to do that matters most.

I have learned this year that my life is a choice. As someone who waited for the answers, for the rescue, this has been a big shift in thinking. But it has been a shift filled with results. I have come face to face with some pretty evil demons, things that I have allowed to exist in my life. Things the hero of my story was supposed to swoop in and vanquish. When I started fighting for myself, the bad things started dying—no hero required.

By slaying the demon of processed foods, I have lost 84 pounds in eleven months. I gave up my title of “fat girl,” and started learning about good nutrition. My eating habits were killing me, and they have been keeping me from being my best self. Before, I was waiting for the hero diet that would rescue me from weight issues. Now, I am saving myself from bad habits. I don’t count calories, I learned how to make smart choices.

By slaying the demon of self-doubt, I am finally launching my own business. This has probably been the most difficult because the voice in my head is really, really loud. She likes to remind me how much I suck, and how I am not good enough to do this. But since I started working with a coach, she seems to be growing a bit quieter every day. Every time I push forward despite the doubt, I feel stronger. I believe that one day soon that voice won’t even make me flinch when she speaks.

By slaying the demon of spending, I will pull myself out of debt. I bought to fill the void. I owe too many people for stuff that is long gone from my life. I hated the idea of budgeting because it made me feel trapped. Although I want roots someplace in the world, I have learned a lot from the minimalists sharing their stories with the world. It really opened my eyes to how much spending was controlling my life. And it has given me tools and ideas to help my growth in this area.

By saving myself, I am starting to feel free. One year ago, I wouldn’t cook my meals. Six months ago, I wouldn’t have written this post. Four months ago, I wouldn’t be pursing my passion. One month ago, I wouldn’t be on someone else’s blog.

Today, everything is different. Today, I made a choice to share my journey with you because I want you to know something I spent years learning—life is yours to create. You get to decide how bad things will affect you. You get a say in how people treat you. You get to choose.

You get to be the Hero . . . Stand up and save your life.

Stephanie Wetzel is a publisher, designer, and marketing strategist on a mission to help writers make bold moves towards independent publishing and creating their own success story. She believes in the power of the written word to change lives, and blogs about it on www.blueelephantpress.com.

If you want to be your own hero, learn how to take control of your life and discover your passion. If you are willing to take the steps, you can have an extraordinary, fulfilling life. Click the link below to read more . . .

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  • annie

    Ah, just what I needed. Thank you and good luck on your journey!

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Annie –

      So glad to hear that, and thank you for the well wishes.

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • The Vizier

    Hi Stephanie,

    This is a lovely post since I too love inspiring stories the way you like them. Pain, suffering, all hope is lost and then the hero fighting against all odds to make things right even at his own expense. It’s funny you should mention heroes because I have just finished reading my favourite manga Naruto and it basically covers all those aspects of heroes.

    Of course the problem with looking up to heroes is that we give up all responsibility for our own lives if we expect them to save us. Heroes should be used to inspire ourselves to greater heights. Heroes afterall are mostly human and there is only so much they can do.

    I am very happy to see that you have taken charge of your own life and have become the hero you admire. Things won’t necessarily be easy, but as long as you make the effort to take responsibility, the universe will help you in ways you could never imagine.

    Thank you for sharing this post!

    Irving aka the Vizier
    .-= The Vizier´s last blog ..Staying Calm to Manage Shocks of Fate =-.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Irving –

      Inspiring words you’ve written here, and so on point with the difference between aspiring to be heroic for ourselves and waiting for a hero to rescue us. I feel that I have already been so rewarded on this journey, and cannot wait to see what comes next.

      I am so glad that you enjoyed the post and thank you for commenting!

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • J.D. Meier

    > It’s what you choose to do that matters most
    Beautiful … pithy, precise, and profoundly useful.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Insightful Personal Development Books =-.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Thank you, J.D.

      I am so glad that you enjoyed it.

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • Manisha Shahane

    Wonderful analogy of “being your own hero” as a way of encouraging people to take charge of their lives. That said, I could not understand why you chose to reference stepmothers as “evil” or trying to “kill you”; I noticed you put the link to the first mention of stepmothers to the Cinderella tale, perhaps as a way of making sure that your reference was clear. Still, I felt you could have made just as strong a point without including any reference to step-parents. As a stepmom, I am fortunate to be part of a wonderful blended family. I don’t take your remark personally, and nor do I think that all relationships in a blended family or any kind of family are “happily ever after”. It is just that I’m not a fan of media that reinforces negative stereotypes, especially when it seems the point could be made without such reference. One’s demons can be perceived in the form of parents, stepparents, teachers, preachers…but the truth is that our demons are eating us from the inside out. I’m glad you found the strength to slay yours one by one, and to share your story. All the best for your continued success.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Manisha –

      Thank you so much for your comments and encouragement. I understand your sentiments, and certainly meant no offense by the reference. Step-parents face many challenges, and I appreciate your important role as a stepmother in your children’s lives.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, and offer your support for my continued success.

      All the best!

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • Paul Strobl

    Wow, Stephanie, what a great testament to the power of coaching, but more importantly, to the power within you! Very inspiring-and thanks Barrie for presenting us with a unique voice.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Thank you, Paul, for your kind encouragement. It’s tough to come face to face with what’s holding you back, but when you step up . . . the momentum of change just keeps pulling you forward.

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • Dandy

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for this empowering post. It has really made me think about all I can do to start living for myself and be my own hero! You’re a really fantastic writer. It’s important to be in charge of our own lives and not wait around for something good to happen. Thanks Stephanie!
    .-= Dandy´s last blog ..Deep breathing techniqes for well being =-.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Dandy –

      Thank you so much! I am so glad that you got such a charge for change in your own life. You go be a hero!

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • Joe Wilner


    This is a wonderful post! There are many people out there looking for their “knight in shining armor” or someone to provide them with exactly what they are waiting for. All that comes from this is a greater chance for disappointment, as the perfect fairy tale and happy ending don’t arrive unless we take an active role in life. There is a certain level of control we loose by expecting others to cause us happiness and relying on others for our well-being. We really do have to take control our life and slay our self-defeating false selves. Thanks!
    .-= Joe Wilner´s last blog ..A Simple Solution to Greater Productivity and Less Distraction =-.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Joe –

      Very well said. It’s the little choices and actions we personally take each day that breaks us out of the “waiting” cycle, and really starts to bring progress and happiness into our lives. I am so glad that you enjoyed the post!

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • Galen Pearl

    I reached a point in my life when I knew things had to change. It was really scary, but at that point, changing was slightly less scary than not changing. So I did. I look back now and I’m so grateful. By slaying the demon of fear, I gained a life of deep joy.
    .-= Galen Pearl´s last blog ..Blog Plans for 2011 =-.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Galen –

      The fear of change can feel overwhelming in the moment, but you are so right about the point when not changing is scarier. Congrats on your journey and success to a life of deep joy!

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • Kimberly

    I’m moved to tears, Stephanie. Perfectly said. You’re brilliant.

      Stephanie Wetzel


      So happy to see you here, and thank you as always for your continuing encouragement on this journey.

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • Marci

    Stephanie, Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey. What a great testimony for coaching and for empowering choices.

    Finding my choices have liberated me too. It is so tempting to wait to be rescued. It can be hard to enjoy the moment when we are looking down the road or to others for the solution. You sound like you truly found the answers in you. That’s what I write about too, and I really enjoyed reading this!
    .-= Marci´s last blog ..Creating Family Traditions Without Adding More Stress =-.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Marci –

      So well put. I spent so much time looking down the road, waiting on others to show me the way. It still amazes me the amount of momentum you can create in life when you stand up and get the help you need. Coaching has truly pushed me forward on this journey in more ways than I can count. I would recommend it to anyone who is ready to change their life.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

  • Deborah Wall

    Hey Stephanie,

    What an amazing gift you’ve given yourself and shared with us.

    We are all such amazing manifestors – what we forget is that we create EVERYTHING we focus on so you showing how you changed your focus and changed your life is a powerful reinforcer for the rest of us.

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Deborah –

      So very, very true. And something that I have been learning in spades this past year. I can only hope that those who read this begin to embrace the power they have in themselves to create the life they want … and deserve!

      .-= Stephanie Wetzel´s last blog ..You Can Knock Me Down =-.

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  • kevin blumer

    “As long as you keep waiting, things will stay the same” i know all about this ive lived that you go round and round like a merry go round and you get dizzy and you dont really go anywhere you have to get out there and fight life is for living not for hiding away from
    .-= kevin blumer´s last blog ..personal inderpendance payment to replace DLA =-.

  • Jon Miller

    WOW! All I can say is WOW!!! Hey everyone this is my little sister!!! My little half-sister so I know all about blended families. And both of mine were and are still just fine. I can appreciate “step” parents taking offense at the reference but i would say most of us picked up on her point. I am amazed at what you have done with yourself and your life! I have always worried about you being so far away and us having grown so far apart. I have a brother and 3 half sisters and am not close, geographically or emotionally, to any of them. It’s sad and hard to change. I think about it from time to time, consider doing something about it, and then life rolls in again and away I go down that same old road day in and day out. Truly inspiring Step. I love you sis. Keep up the amazing momentum, you are going to be great! GREATERESTEST! <3

      Stephanie Wetzel

      Hey Big Brother! Thank you so much for all your love and support. I can’t wait to see you soon.

      Much love, Steph

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