How to Live Like Cinderella

The biggest misconception about Cinderella is that she is helpless. She is a weak girl that needed a man to save her. No less than twice in Disney’s Cinderella does the protagonist make it plane that she is not at the ball to get the prince. In fact, at one point she says to the prince, “I haven’t met the prince.” Later she is explaining what a wonderful time she had explaining, “And he was so handsome, and when we danced… Oh, I’m sure even the prince himself couldn’t have been more…” She doesn’t even realize it was him until the next day when her stepmother is talking about the girl that lost her slipper and that the prince is madly in love with her. Only then does she put it all together. She wanted a night of dancing, that was it. And she got it.

Take control of your life

Cinderella sees the opportunity for an evening of fun outside of her home and immediately sets her sights on attending. When she is mocked for her desire, she holds her head high and holds firm to her desire. She makes her case to her stepmother and exceeds expectations in fulfilling all of her ridiculous demands. When a dress is not provided, she makes her own. She forges her own way to the ball, obstacles be damned.

Later, when Cinderella is locked away to keep her from the prince, she takes control. When the cat is set to foil the escape, she comes up with the plan to release the dog. Even under emotional duress, she seizes on the opportunity and secures her escape with the aid of her friends. She wastes no time in descending the numerous flights of stairs and presenting herself to the duke. Even her stepmother breaking the shoe doesn’t stop her. She has the spare and proves herself.

Allow paradigm shifts

When Cinderella does realize the man that she’s fallen in love with is the prince she accepts it. She makes room for the new reality. In an instant of realization, she adjusts her perception and holds fast to what she wants, true love.

Use what you have

Cinderella has few resources and yet she has friends, makes a great dress, and escapes to her happily ever after. She’s isolated from other people; she made friends with the mice and other animals of the household. She isn’t allowed a new dress; she revamps the outdated dress she does have. She is locked away; she keeps her head and points out the one sure way to get the cat out of the way and secure her release.

Don’t let others dictate your happiness

Even before the ball we see Cinderella’s greatest gift, her ability to find happiness in any circumstance. She sings while she cleans. She delights in feeding the chickens. She turns her everyday tasks into moments of delight. Her optimism is contagious. There’s a reason her story has inspired so many for so long.

Our protagonist is not as helpless as society wants her to be and neither are you. Delight in the everyday and forge ahead to the life you want. You can create the life of your dreams, obstacles be damned.

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