There are times in our lives when we just feel trapped. Trapped by circumstance, by birth, by marriage, by debt/poverty … Whatever the issue, that feeling of being trapped slowly erodes your self-esteem and kills your spirit. Why do people stay in those situations if they are so unhappy or if the circumstances are so unhealthy? Many who stay do not believe they deserve anything better. Somehow they have come to believe that their misery is what they deserve for being so __________. Fill in the blank. Any adjective will do. For to the mind that engages in this belief system, they will ALWAYS find some reason to validate their choice to stay, and they do not realize they can change their circumstances by literally changing their mind. By staying, they are choosing to tolerate the abuse, the disrespect, the hunger, the mind-numbing boredom, or whatever name they apply to their prison. I know this sounds horribly critical, but I can say this because that was once what my life looked like. Unworthy of being loved, valued, and respected. Undeserving of a comfortable standard of living. That was me. My turning point came when I started reading self-help books and came to realize that the walls of my prison(s) were maintained by my own thought construction. From that revelation came a strength I didn’t know I had and a determination to change my life, both of which became a springboard for the person I have become.