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It’s Okay to Have a Plan B…Just Make Sure You Have a Plan C, D, E and F

How many times have you come up with a goal and completely give up because you didn’t get the results you expected? (I’m raising my hand!!) There are times when work, kids, family and just life in general will keep you from reaching your goals. If your original plan doesn’t work, come up with a different plan. There are some people who are able to shift lanes quickly and then there are others who want to stay in the same lane for the duration of their journey. If you are part of the later, here are some things to consider:

1- You Woke Up This Morning – Not to sound morbid, but the only valid excuse you have to give up is if you are dead. As long as you are alive (and healthy and free) you have the choice to keep trying until you finally achieve your goal.

2- Be Realistic – The chance of mastering something the first time you do it is almost non-existent. You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you think otherwise. Everything takes time to learn and you will make mistakes. Learn from them.

3 – You Are Strong – You are stronger than you think.  It’s okay to fail 10 times as long as you try again 11 times.

4- Prove It To Yourself – You don’t want to be known as someone that is weak and gives up. Go out there and prove yourself to the world and to yourself. You CAN and WILL achieve what you set out to do. The only time you fail is when you give up.

5- You Probably The Only Person Who Has Tried It – If someone else can do it then so can you. Even if it is only one other person in the world that has achieved what you have set out to achieve, that should be reason enough for you to never give up.

6- Believe In Your Dreams – Don’t sell yourself short. There are going to be many people who will try to bring you down and tell you what you want to achieve is not possible. Don’t let anyone destroy your dreams.

7- You Deserve To Be Happy – Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise. You deserve to be happy and you deserve to have success. Keep that mindset and never give up until you reach your destination!

8- Be An Inspiration To Others – Be an inspiration to others by refusing to give up. You never know who is watching you achieve your goals and become inspired because of your success.

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When Fate Meets Opportunity

A strange thing happens when you release a dream, hope or a passion out into the world. The universe starts responding back in ways you can’t imagine. Or at least that’s what I’ve heard until I experienced it for myself.  I attended a seminar on “How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills” and one of the exercises was about how we communicate and being an effective listener.  For the exercise we were paired up with someone who we didn’t work with and was told that each person would take turns talking for a full two minutes while the other person just listened without interrupting. I chose to listen the first time around and learned that my partner was passionate about her job (she worked with kids aka “little people”). Then it was my turn to speak. After my first sentence, my partner literally had to put her hand over her mouth so that she wouldn’t talk. What did I say to cause such a reaction? The one thing I’ve been walking around with for the past 8 years…I’ve written 11 chapters of a book that I just very recently printed out and gave to a dear, close friend of mine to read. Why did she have such a strong reaction? This random woman who I was paired with moonlights as a book editor. There several topics I could have talked about but my gut told to talk about the one thing I’ve been keeping to myself.

Fate + Opportunity + The Absence of Fear = One Step Closer to Destiny

I could have talked about work, my kids or anything else but I chose the one thing that I’ve been terrified about sharing. It was self-doubt and negative talk (Do you really think you are an author???) that has kept those 11 chapters hidden on my laptop and on a thumb drive. Creating this blog is a stretch for me. Making it public nearly put me into heart failure. Why? Because I’m terrified of public opinion. There I said it. Afraid of what people might say, I held on to 11 chapters of my book.  Releasing it to my very good friend opened up the opportunity for me to share it again…with a complete stranger and that complete stranger is now excited to read what I have written.

What have you been holding to that you need share?

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Be Careful What You Wish For

A few weekends ago I attended the DE-MD-DC Division Spring Education & Certification Conference. On the second day, I had the fortunate luck to sit next to one of my favorite people, Kemetia Foley (check out her blog: During our conversation, I casually mentioned that I wanted practice public speaking more.  Although many people do not believe me, I suffer from stage fright. I don’t like speaking in front of people, but my passion about the message does a great job of masking my nervousness. At the end of the conference, Kemetia gave me two dates. I looked at her in utter confusion and she tells me to hold the dates because one of them will be the Fall Education Conference that will be hosted by the Old Dominion Chapter of IAAP in September. I must of looked like a deer caught in headlights because she calmly said, “You said you wanted more opportunities to speak. So here you go. You pick the topic”. Knowing Kemetia as I do, I firmly believe that she would not have offered me this opportunity if she didn’t believe that I could do it.

“Whenever my subconscious thoughts manifest themselves without outward solicitation, I become more confident the path I’ve been following is filled with purpose.” ~ Ayanna T. Castro

I verbalized the desire to do more public speaking but I never expected the opportunity to present itself almost immediately.  The old saying is true, “Be careful what you wish for because it might just come true.”

What are you asking for? Most importantly, if you receive it are you ready to meet the challenges that might come with it?



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Learning as I Go

There are some people who think that I’m pretty dang smart. Well little do they know most of the stuff that I know is through trial and error. I am notorious for researching a topic. So much so, that by the time I finish researching a topic (pick one – how to install tile, how to use WordPress, how to make and install a u-part wig), I’m so confident in my knowledge that I jump in head first into the project. Now, with all of that confidence comes a humbling period when I realize I have not a clue what I’m doing. Do I get upset? Nope, but I usually mumble something under my breath.

Learning as you go allows you practice what you have learned and make adjustments along the way. Mistakes are good. Mess up’s are good. Epic failure is okay (so is crying when it happens). I will need to remember this as I go through some pretty major projects like writing a book or two, losing weight and writing this blog.

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Swift Kick in the Pants

There are times when you are in a room with a bunch of people who know you casually but yet they see something in you that you insist on ignoring. When they all tell you what you are ignoring, I like to call it a “swift kick in the pants” moment. Encouragement from people who you see maybe two or three times a year that causes you to be uncomfortable because they are telling you that you are capable of the very same thing you are doubting yourself about. Every now and then, you need one of those kicks…square in the pants. Don’t say “ouch”, just turn around, give them a hug and say “Thank you”.