I just read something that inspired me to write this post.
We are all hoping something we do in this world matters. That what we create will stay with people forever. As Steve Jobs, the infamous founder of Apple Computers, once said, we all long to “put a dent in the universe.” To leave some kind of impact on this ball of dirt.
But most of us, tragically, won’t.
We’re afraid of the cost. Worried we don’t have what it takes. Anxious of the road it takes to get to greatness. So we play it safe and abide by the rules. Before we start, we sabotage our work and subvert our genius.
And how, pray tell, do we do this? With words. Subtle but serious words that kill your passion before you can pursue it. Words like “aspiring” and “wannabe”. Words like “I wish” and “someday”.
There is a solution to this. A simple but hard way of facing your fears and living the dream: Become who you are.
Jeff Goins, You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)
Location 89 of 928 (on Kindle)
We are up against the end of another year. Did you accomplish what you set out to accomplish this year?
I didn’t. And that’s ok.
I’d lost touch with my writing. I’d lost my voice. I got so caught up in what I ‘should’ be doing with Motivated Sista, what I ‘could’ be doing… that I forgot the point. I forgot why I started this blog and why I sat down to write in the first place.
I wanted to make a difference. I wanted my voice to be heard.
I wanted to be ‘the female Les Brown’ and inspire people to live the lives they dreamed of. But along the way, I got caught up in how to turn this passion of mine into a business. I could be a coach! I said. So many other people are doing that, it can’t be that hard, right? So I set everything up, created a coaching program, and learned how to market myself. I started working with clients.
And then the disappointments came rolling in.
Out of the blue, I got a call from a young woman who was burning with passion to help others. She shared her vision with me. We cried on the phone together. I gave her an outline of how she could make her dream happen, and asked her to stay in touch. I never heard from her again.
It seemed that every time I opened my email, I had messages saying “help me, I want to reach this goal but I’m scared. I have no money, I don’t know what to do.” After addressing those questions over and over, I started to feel like I wasn’t helping anyone. No matter what I said or did, it just wasn’t happening for people.
And this led to writers’ block.
I’d just stare at the computer screen, and words would not come. I tried writing on paper first – something I never do – and that didn’t help either. “I’ll just write when I’m inspired,” I said. “No one’s reading my blog now anyway.”
@motivatedsista You know I'm always checking for YOUR new posts! Your readers are going through Motivated Sista withdrawal right now LOL— Rosetta Thurman (@happyblackwoman) September 30, 2012
I felt guilty. But I didn’t know what to say to you.
I wasn’t feeling motivated. I wasn’t successful. And I wasn’t helping people.
But I’ve realized where I went wrong: I became disconnected from my purpose. I forgot who I really was.
I’m already a writer. I’m already a motivational speaker. And I’m already helping people. I don’t need to ‘become’ anything.
This is what I want you to realize today: you already are who you want to be. If you have that burning passion to bring your vision to the world, you’re already the visionary you dream about being one day.
The only thing standing between you and your dream is fear.
So what will it take for you to become who you dream of being? What’s standing in your way of exclaiming to the world “this is who I am!” Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
Keep your questions rolling in! I really enjoy doing this.
In a comment on my previous post, a reader asked:
What do you do when you are apart of a lack of support?
My only sibling is getting married to a young lady Ive watched manipulate him for years. I want to be happy for him. I want to release the ideas of him as my sidekick, and confidant. I want to let go of the disappointment of him never finishing school to take care of this woman and their child. I want to be the supportive sister I’ve always been. My gut, heart, and head are all against this marriage (its rare when everything in me votes unanimously).
I believe fear is playing the biggest part in his decision. It’s like watching him walk into a burning building, but I’m a mute with nothing around to throw at his head to catch his attention; Like he’s in autopilot. I’ve been told to mind my business by friends and family. That’s hard. He’s always been my business. I want to let go and be at peace. I don’t want to be cut off because of my opposing views. Its plaguing me. Any advise?
Thank you for submitting that question, and here’s my response:
This was a wonderful question because we often dwell on how other people aren’t there for us – but very seldom do we think about how we don’t support the people in our lives.
Ultimately, in order to release the frustration and disapproval you have for someone else’s choice, you have to allow for them to make their own decisions. You have to trust that they are fulfilling their own dreams, even if it’s in a manner that you don’t agree with. You also have to allow that people will make choices that don’t make sense to you and that their decisions don’t have to make sense to you. Your standards and outlook on life aren’t the same as theirs, and their path to happiness and joy won’t be the same as yours.
If you love someone, you support them no matter what. That doesn’t mean you have to support all of their decisions.
Just as no one has the right to dictate your life, you don’t have the right to dictate someone else’s. We are all charged with the task of making ourselves happy and not relying on others to do that, so we must stand back and give people space to do so on their own terms.
Were you faced with a similar situation to this one? How did you resolve your opposition?
You know what’s crazy? As motivated as I am, and as good as I’ve gotten at working through fear – I’m not so great at recognizing my own perfectionism.
One of my goals this year is to improve the quality and frequency that I post Youtube videos. I watched numerous videos on how to make them better, I researched different techniques and read blog posts. I even created my own mini studio in my apartment and had alot of fun constructing my own green screen.
Can you guess what happened next?
I spent sooo much time trying to make things perfect that I started neglecting everything else – this blog, my marketing efforts, reaching out on social media and networking. I was laser focused on getting the videos ‘right’ – that I let everything else fall by the wayside. In the grand scheme of life, video doesn’t matter that much. But I just couldn’t let it go. I was married to the vision in my head of how I wanted things to be and I had to literally make myself stop working on the video aspect.
Important Lesson For Me
Now that we’re living in this digital age, it’s extremely easy to get caught up in the wrong things. One of the biggest realizations I made last year was that alot of entrepreneurs are busy working on the wrong things; if it’s not a money-making activity then it needs to be outsourced or not focused on. I don’t mean that entrepreneurs need to be super focused on making money – but that does need to be the focus. If we were here to help people and weren’t concerned about being paid for our services, we’d just be volunteers. And if we weren’t here to earn enough to take care of ourselves, our businesses would just be hobbies.
Allowing myself to work on something until it matches the image in my head is dangerous. I have the cushion of a full time job now, but I won’t always have that. I can’t afford to spend so much time wrapped up in something that I neglect the other things I should be doing. The easiest way for me to get around that is to continually check in with myself and keep the objective of the task in mind. Of course I want everything I do to be performed to the best of my ability – but I also want to help people and produce great content. So if a task takes longer than I’ve anticipated, I need to ask myself what the holdup is and how can I bring the task to completion quickly.
I also need to practice my ability to release what I’m doing and be okay with things not being ‘perfect’. Because honestly, that’s something that will never exist.
Here’s the latest video I created. In the end, I didn’t get the software and green screen configuration working properly, so I had to reshoot the video. I could’ve posted it weeks ago had I let go of my perfectionism. So this was a good learning experience for me, as well as the opportunity to help others with their goals.
How does perfectionism affect you and your goals? How do you push past the urge to keep working until your task is perfect?
I’ve been chewing on this thought for a while, and it’s finally time to express it to you.
Back in March of 2011 (man does time fly!) I decided to change the focus of this blog from a general mindset dicussion to ways in which entrepreneurs can change their mindset to reach success in their business. I wanted to align more closely with my coaching practice. I’m glad I made the decision and that I’m offering more support for women entrepreneurs to live their dreams.
The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that you have the power to craft your vision however you want to. Let me go into my job and say, “hey I decided I’m not working on these types of projects anymore. Now I’m doing that over there.” I imagine my bosses would not be pleased!
The struggle, though, with having a blog and making my own thoughts public, is to be consistent with my message. Alot of my thoughts go into writing about topics that are relevant to you and to what you’re experiencing, all while striking a balance between not being too personal and being personal enough for you to connect to my words. Ultimately, I believe that being transparent about my own journey helps you along on your journey.
Where The Road Is Taking Me
I have a few projects I’m working on for Motivated Sista that I’m really excited about. I’m also working on a few things in my personal life that are taking up alot of my time. Included on my internal list is to improve my health (by eating a healthier diet and losing weight) and to improve my love life.
For about the last 5 years, I’ve been trying different approaches to achieve varying goals at once. I believe that my happiness depends on how full my plate is – it’s hard for me to really bask in my business success, when my love life (as an example) is not where I want it to be, and vice versa. The problem comes in when it’s time to prioritze goals in order of importance. To me, they are all equally important because they are all interrelated. My health affects my mindset and performance on my goals, and the level of anxiety, stress or faith and hope I feel about my goals affects my health.
My approach to achieving my goals has evolved into one where I’m moving toward the image I’ve set of my ideal life, instead of simply having a list of things to get done and checking that list as I go. This allows more flexibility for me and for the room to change my goals as I grow as a person. As a result of me striving to attain this bigger picture, sometimes I focus on one specific thing at a time, at other times I work on a few things at once. Ultimately, if the method you currently use isn’t working, be open to experimenting and observing what works best for you.
Do You Know Where You’re Headed?
It really frustrates me when people are encouraged to be grateful by diminishing the discomfort or pain they feel about something. If I say “my car is really giving me trouble,” your response that “you should be grateful for what you have” doesn’t lessen the pain I feel when it’s time to turn my ignition. Along those same lines, don’t internalize these comments when people say them to you. If you’re like me, you’re striving for a rell-rounded, balanced life, so gratitude about achievement in one area doesn’t equate to contentment when another area isn’t on the same level.
In order to balance everything out, you must be clear about who you are and what you want. Also, it’s important to align all of your goals. If your goal is financial freedom, you can’t achieve that if goals you’ve set in other areas of your life conflict with your financial objective. You must also recognize that your focus is going to be split between multiple projects at one time. For me, it works best to work on one big thing at a time, and alternate my focus as each goal has been completed.
All of this is irrelevant, however, if fear and indecision are keeping you from stepping onto your path. The greatest journey of your life is awaiting you, and it begins with one single step toward your dreams. Start today and you’ll be pleasantly surprised on how your journey unfolds.
Maybe it’s just me, but the end of 2011 was a real doozy.
It seemed like almost everyone I knew experienced tragedy of some kind. Whether they were laid off, a loved one died, or they battled a health crisis, I just kept hearing of bad things happening to good people.
Do you think this year will be better? Here’s a better question – what do you plan to do to make it better?
I have big plans for 2012 and I hope you do too! Create a list of your expectations – we receive what we expect, not just what we hope or wish for! Post it near your desk so you look at it every day. Then go out and do the work to cause your expectations to come into your life.
Here are 12 expectations I have for 2012:
- I expect greater abundance. This year, I expect the ability to quit my day job and run my coaching business full time. I’ve created a marketing plan and I will follow the plan to attract more clients.
- I expect greater joy.
- I expect love. I expect to attract and date wonderful men, and I expect that I’ll start a committed, romantic relationship this year. I also expect that I’ll strengthen my bonds with family and friends and to support those who are moving forward in their lives.
- I expect fun. I expect to enjoy myself! All work and no play makes Anilia a very dull girl. I expect to do more of the things I love and enjoy.
- I expect happiness. I expect to have time to do the small things that bring me happiness for no reason. I expect to find more of these things that I hadn’t realized before.
- I expect good health. I expect to release unhealthy eating habits and excess weight. I expect to gain mental clarity, better health, restful sleep and to enjoy eating healthy, unprocessed foods. I also expect to become more physically fit and to exercise daily.
- I expect new experiences. In order to learn new things and reach greater success, I have to push myself out of my comfort zone. I expect to meet new people and do different things, which will cause me to view life and the people in my world just a bit differently. I expect to have new experiences as a result.
- I expect expanded vision. I expect to read more, expand my mindset and believe in new possibilities. I also expect to improve my mindset in the areas that need improvement.
- I expect new relationships. From the new experiences I’ll have in 2012, I expect to gain lifelong colleagues and friends who are also high achievers and forward moving. I also expect to meet mentors who will help me reach the next level of my business success and in life.
- I expect new perspectives. From the expansion of my mindset and social circle, I expect to learn how to look at things more efficiently. I also expect to improve my ability to think outside of the box.
- I expect greater wealth. I expect to learn more about investing and other ways to grow financially. I expect to improve my mindset about money and attract even more into my life. I expect the new experiences and relationships I’ve formed to positively influence my wealth.
- I expect renewal. I expect to receive enough rest and to adequately care for myself. I expect minimal illness or injury. I expect to feel refreshed and energized.
What expectations do you hold for 2012? And how can I help you realize those expectations in your life?
In this post, I’d like to introduce you to what I call the pretzel brain twist.
You might be wondering exactly what that is. Have you ever set a big goal and immediately felt excited, invigorated and hopeful? Then, a few minutes later, you felt scared, doubtful and pessimistic? Well, my friend, you were a victim of the pretzel brain twist.
The pretzel brain twist is simply when your brain runs away with itself. You give it a problem to solve, such as how to accomplish a new goal, but it causes you to feel negatively about the goal by all the follow-up questions that result.
We are so used to trying to figure out HOW a goal will happen that we instantly talk ourselves out of accomplishing it. And in the times when you don’t ask yourself how, you can be sure that a naysayer will roll up and cause you to pretzel brain twist on yourself.
And that’s so unfair – both to you and the new goal that was about to grow.
How to Stop The Twist
First, you have to recognize the likelihood of your brain pulling a twist on you like that. Your brain is a problem-solving tool so it immediately goes to work when you give it a task. At the same time, we’ve been programmed to believe that if we don’t know HOW something’s going to happen, then we shouldn’t do it.
Let me show you that that’s not true.
How many endeavors have you begun without knowing the end result? How about college, relationships, jobs, friendships… the list goes on and on. You started with an intention – to do your best – and your actions followed that intention based on information you gathered at the time.
So when your brain tries to bombard you with questions, get in the habit of shutting that down.
Get your feelings out on paper. Frequently it’s difficult to just shut off your thoughts once they’ve begun. Instead, take that energy and use it. You can use the questions coming up in a way to help you get further in your planning instead of blocking your progress. Write down everything that comes to mind – your worries, your questions, your fears, your perceived roadblocks and your assumptions.
For the feelings that come up, I like to cross them out and remind myself why they’re not true. For example, you could say “I know that I can accomplish this goal because I rarely fail when I put my mind to it.” Fear is just a tool your mind uses to keep you safe and in your comfort zone. Respond to it accordingly.
Lead with your faith instead of your logic. Constantly remind yourself that everything that happens isn’t up to you. Whatever religious label you fall under, use your mind to connect to the source of your faith and believe that what you desire can happen for you. Trust that good things will unfold in your life, do the best you can and watch what happens. It starts from the moment you claim what you want in your life and have faith that God/the Universe is aligning the best possible result for you.
Be okay with where you are. All great achievement starts from somewhere. Your brain may attempt to twist itself up if you feel frustrated by starting from the beginning. Part of the lessons you learn and the journey you take involves stretching and growing as a person. You can’t do that if you jump to the end of the process.
I know firsthand that this is easier said than done. But you must practice patience along with faith that your dream is coming to pass. You must also get out of your own head and take action right where you are. Even if that action is just googling information about your goal, or finding people to talk to who’ve already accomplished what you’re aiming for. If you don’t actually start, you won’t get anywhere.
Do you recognize the times when you’ve been a victim of the pretzel brain twist? How will you get out of it next time?
I hope your Christmas shopping is completed, but if not, good luck out there! I saw news stories about long lines and bizarre behavior over Jordan sneakers. It’s really not that serious.
Our society has become material-driven during the holidays. You can always mark what holiday is coming by the elaborate displays in CVS and Target. The best gift to give to your loved ones, though, can’t be bought in a store (how’s that for a cliche, eh?). The best Christmas gift you can give to others is to give yourself all year long.
We tend to give everything we’ve got – all our time, energy, money and focus – to the people in our lives. Some of those people – like coworkers and members of organizations we’re in – aren’t even friends or family. Yet we roll up our sleeves and put in tons of effort for other people’s dreams.
Give Your Best, Rested, Focused, Present Self
Instead of spreading yourself too thin, worrying about how another person’s life will turn out and dwelling on past events you cannot change, why don’t you give your best self?
You can’t be a blessing in another person’s life if you’re tired, depleted, broke, and worried. Give yourself a break if you need it. Pull back from activities that aren’t absolutely necessary (i.e. not helping you pay bills), and learn how to say no. Saying no and being fully present and available when you can is better than saying yes and being a mess because you’re not at your best.
There’s a saying that “you can’t pour blessings into another’s cup if your own cup is empty”. I truly believe that as the truth.
Give Your Genuine, Unbiased, Unprejudiced Self
Along those same lines, you can’t be a blessing in anyone’s life if you’re being fake, judgmental or viewing their dreams and their problems through your own lens. We all want different things in life so it’s not fair to make someone else feel negatively about their desires because they choose something different than you do. In the end, what they need is your support and friendship, not another naysayer to kill their dreams. Put yourself in their shoes and give your best self.
Now I admit that this is something I’m working on within myself. I tend to be hard on others if I know that they’re capable of greatness. Yet I have to allow that we’re all in a constant state of evolution, heck I’m not where I want to be either. I’m getting to a place where I accept and have no judgements attached to the choices that people make in their lives.
Give Your Most Inspired, Loving, Nonfearful, Blissful Self
When you’re inspired, blissful, happy and hopeful, you’re connected to God and able to help others reach that same connection. That’s one of the most valuable experiences you can give to another. Yet when you’re feeling down, bitter, in a state of worry and feeling lost, what do you have to give? Find the happy place within yourself and do things that make you happy for no reason. You owe it to yourself to take the best care that you can, but you also owe it to others to share your talents and gifts with the world.
Stop putting yourself last. Put your health, mental state and happiness first. When you’re at your best you can give your best. Isn’t that what you really want?
Do you ever stop to wonder how far you could go, if only you never felt fear?
I often write about fear because it is such a pervasive force in our lives. Fear is the reason that a lion could look into the mirror and see a kitten. Fear is that little demon that sits on your shoulder and knows exactly what to say to get you to back away from your dreams. Fear is that knot in your belly that you can’t shake. Fear is that dark emotion that keeps you awake at night.
Did you know that fear isn’t real? Some call it False Evidence Appearing Real because it is a manufactured emotion that your mind uses to keep you ‘safe’. Safety doesn’t equate to success and it sure doesn’t equate to growth. It equates to the status quo; your mind tries to keep you safe because it knows that what you’ve already experienced is not a risk.
Stop Running From Your Pain
The simpliest way to get off the fear treadmill is to stop running. Just stop. When you feel that dread in your belly, recognize that your mind is the culprit. You’re in the midst of a thought that doesn’t feel good and is scaring the tar out of you. Look your fear dead in the face and don’t back down. Yes, it’s frightening. But your mind is trying to control you in that moment. Show it who’s boss – you.
Confront The Real Issues
Once you start noticing when you feel fear, you have to ask yourself specifically what triggers that feeling. Is it thoughts of doing something new – something you’ve been dreaming about? Is it remembering a mistake you’ve made in the past? Or is it admitting how much you don’t know about something?
Whatever the trigger, once you’ve identified it, next you have to dismantle it. The basic reason we feel fear is that, deep down, we don’t feel we can handle the situation we’re thinking about. So figure out why you’re telling yourself you can’t handle it before you’ve even tried. And if you’ve been unsuccessful in the past, ask yourself why you can’t handle this new attempt to conquor your goal.
Take Baby Steps
Begin to dismantle your fear by slowing proving to yourself that you can handle what you’re facing. Prepare as much as you can for what’s coming your way. Reflect on what you’ve done before and recognize the lessons that your past experiences hold for the goal in front of you. Your fear didn’t appear over night, so you can’t conquer it over night either.
Start From Where You Are, Right Now
You need to act today because you’ve already been held back by fear. Why continue to delay your dreams, when you have a plan to follow to start making progress? Besides, tomorrow is not promised. If you’ve been praying and hoping for a change, but you won’t move your feet, I guarantee that you’re missing out on the opportunities you’ve been asking for.
I promise you that your fear is worse than the actual thing that you fear. I admit that doing new things is uncomfortable but there is no growth in comfort. You must stretch yourself to reach the new place you need to go, in order to be the person you’re destined to be. Only you can delay that destiny by letting your fear rule you. Your life doesn’t have to be that way.
What fears have been holding you back from your next level of success? How can you start from where you are to dismantle these fears?
After about 2 years of writing my blog, I see that people can get derailed on something that is seemingly small to me. I realize I can keep going when others get stuck, and the converse is the same based on the situation. Things that may not cause you trouble may derail me. A few things though come with having to defend your dreams to others and not arming yourself against the doubts in their mind – and the doubts in your own mind.
Doubt and fear are like weeds. Once the seed of a negative thought is planted, it takes alot of work to uproot the problem. A casual doubt word said by the right person can do major damage to your emotions and cause you to lose time. Once you recognize certain patterns then you can avoid letting these small thoughts turn into a big problem for you later.
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I say this because there are so many people walking around trying to take away worthiness from themselves for no apparent reason. There’s something in your brain that says “I am less than – not equal to – the person who reaches their dreams”. I want to finally put that equation to rest for you.
In a comment to my last post, Udara said: Click Here To Continue