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Category: Face Your Fear

Your Scars Are Your Credentials

Your Scars Are Your Credentials

Exhausted. Irritated. Overwhelmed. That was me last week. Multiple responsibilities from home and work collided and I was left feeling defeated and depleted. I had nothing else to give to anyone or to myself. I didn’t feel like working any of my “packages” and felt guilty about it. I shared my feelings online and received permission to be still. Understand this, I didn’t need or ask for permission. What blew me away was that the people who told me it was okay for me to take a day or several days off were the people who I serve. The people who have attended Work Your Package conferences, have bought the book, read the weekly blog and double-tap my images on Instagram. It was confirmation that I could be vulnerable and transparent to the people I was created to serve without being viewed negatively. Additional confirmation came in the form of a sermon preached by Pastor Battle of Zion Church. The name of the sermon was “A Wounded Witness”. Here are some of the lessons I learned from that sermon:

1. Your wounds are a witness.
2. Some of the stuff you’ve been through, you can’t hide.
3. Being transparent is one thing, being touchable is another. (Reminds me of Dr. Brene Brown’s teaching on vulnerability)
4. Sometimes you have to reopen a wound in order to help someone else.
6. Stop giving a censored version of your wounds.
7. Wisdom, grace, life, compassion come out your wounds.
8. Don’t ask why you went through what you did. Ask why you survived it. It’s your credentials. You’ve been to hell and back so that you can help others.

It looks great on social media to appear like you have everything together but behind closed doors that facade is exhausting and eventually, the truth will seep out and your authenticity will be in question. It’s okay to say that you are tired and feeling overwhelmed. Sharing the challenges of life doesn’t diminish who you are as a person, tarnish your “brand” or your effectiveness as a leader. Wounds lead to scars and scars lead to lessons that will help others.

With love,

Write Your Story

Write Your Story

How many times have you talked yourself out of taking the path that would have led you to something extraordinary? I have a friend who has a story that needs to be told to the world. I don’t say this because they’re my friend. I say this because when they told me a small part of their story, a piece of my heart wept and then I was in awe at how they were still standing. Recently I asked my friend when they going to tell their story. They told me they were too young to tell their life story and they were going to wait another 20 years. Insert major eye roll right here. My friend doesn’t know if they going to live another 20 years. Do you know the best stories ever told and the best advice that fit your exact situation are six feet under at the cemetery? If you aren’t ready to tell your story, find a way to document it. 

You are too young to do that. Who would want to learn from you? You haven’t lived yet. You are too old. That is an old-fashioned way of thinking. Write a book? No one would buy it. Go back to school? It’s not like you’ll get a promotion when you finish…if you finish. Lose weight? Haven’t you tried to do that already? Vacation by yourself? Are you crazy? Buy a house? You’ll never get approved for a mortgage. Start a business? Do you know how many fail in the first year? You aren’t doing anything original…

These aren’t the lies that other people tell you. These are the lies that you tell yourself.

Lies hold you hostage. Denying the potential positive impact of sharing your imperfect life serves no one. Lies keep you stagnant. I believe you are more resilient than a lie. But it doesn’t matter if I believe it. Do you?

With love,

Grow Anyway

Grow Anyway

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes life can just suck. Like sucks to the point that you don’t want to be bothered with anything other than remembering to breathe and to blink your eyes. The amount of negativity the average person can face each day is enough to make your want to throw your hands up in defeat and question why you started in the first place. I get it. I really do. Now here’s where you will probably roll your eyes at me and sigh deeply. I need you to GROW ANYWAY. The concrete in your life can be anything from family members who tell you can’t do it based on your past mistakes to sabotaging co-workers. GROW ANYWAY. Ask for the promotion. Create the business plan. Enroll in school. Lose the weight. Write the damn book. No one ever said that your individual journey would be easy. If you are looking at someone else’s journey and you think they had it “easy”, invite them to have lunch so they can tell you the truth. Success is hard. Following and fulfilling your purpose might be even harder. But I can tell you that it is worth it. Don’t let a little bit of concrete stop you…GROW ANYWAY.

With love,

The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change

The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change

This past election season has shown that fear of the unknown can be fodder for hours of complaints and speculations around the coffee table or the water cooler. Let’s face it, change is scary as hell. What are the big changes you are facing in your life right now? Are you digging your heels in and refusing to budge or are you peeking around the corner at the possibility of what “might be”? Yes, change is scary. But do you know what is scarier? Looking back at your life a month, a year or ten years later and wanting to kick yourself for not making a change. Accepting and embracing change allows for self-reflection and evaluation to take place. You may learn that you are more resilient than you once thought. You may realize that you are stronger than you once gave yourself credit. Yes, change can absolutely suck. But what if the change leads to something miraculous and you realize that you could have robbed yourself of the opportunity to stretch just a little bit out of your comfort zone? What if change lands you in your dream job? What if change finally takes off those last 10 pounds? What if change adds a comma to the balance in your retirement and savings account.

As you encounter change, instead of running away, ask “what if?”

With love,

 

Fear of the Spotlight

Fear of the Spotlight

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Spotlight

With the all of the “let me share every single second of my day” platforms available, being afraid of the spotlight might sound like an oxymoron. Social media allows people to share themselves 24 hours a days, several times a day and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. We all know at least one person who shares their thoughts, goals and aspirations on a regular basis. Then there are some who can be in a room full of people, have a great product or service and will not talk about it. I want to ask you a question, what are you afraid of? Fear of failure can be debilitating and paralyzing. But the opposite of that is allowing your subconscious thoughts to manifest themselves without outward solicitation. You will become more confident that the path you’ve been following is filled with purpose and there is nothing to fear. As much as you would like to stay quiet and in the shadows, collaboration allows your purpose and gift to be shown to others and give you multiple opportunities to be in the spotlight without requesting it..without campaigning for it..without having success envy..

When it is time for you to be in the spotlight, you might be nervous but you won’t be uncomfortable. I firmly believe that your gifts will make room for you and when they do, make sure you take a bow.

With love,

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P.S. Speakers and the agenda for the Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016 to be announced soon. Reserve your seat today: www.workyourpackage2016.eventbrite.com

 

 

 

Answer the door…Opportunity is Knocking

Answer the door…Opportunity is Knocking

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When an awesome opportunity comes your way, what is your initial response?

Is it fear? OMG!!! What!?!?!

Is it doubt?  No way in the world am I supposed to be here.

Is it skepticism? They must want something from me. What’s the catch?

Or do you look at opportunities as a way to show your talents? Do you embrace opportunity as a way to give to others or display servant leadership? Do you honestly believe you deserve the opportunity?  Do believe you were born for that moment when you received that call, text or email telling you that all the work you have done, often unnoticed or unappreciated, had finally paid off?

Missed opportunities are the parents of regret and a lifetime of “what if’s”.  Opportunity doesn’t have a tendency to knock twice. Even if you don’t know the “how” embrace the “now”, learn as you go and enjoy the journey.

With love,

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When Your Dreams Don’t Scare You

When Your Dreams Don’t Scare You

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I’ve heard this a dozen times, if not more, at various conferences I’ve attended throughout the years. And while I’m sure the speakers mean well and they say it because it’s catchy or to motivate attendees to stretch beyond their comfort zone, I often wonder if it does more harm than good. It makes the assumption that if you aren’t scared of your dream, then it’s not worth having. Not every dream will scare you. And if it doesn’t, whose to say that it’s not big enough? Let’s face it, not everyone has dreams of being a billionaire and a CEO. Some people dream of getting an advanced degree so that they can pursue their dream of serving the community as an elected official. Some people dream of saving money to take their love ones on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. For those people, their dream is big and it may not necessarily scare them. Does it mean it’s not big enough? Absolutely not.

Ignore the “dream shamers” and keep pursuing your dreams whether they scare you are not. Uncertainty about the unknown can cause anxiety but do not let your dreams scare you. Let them exhilarate you and propel you towards being extraordinary.

With love,

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You Will Never Be Perfect

You Will Never Be Perfect

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You will never be perfect.

There I said it. I’m talking to myself, too. My Type A personality trait wrote 10 different drafts of this post before my need to be transparent took over. Blame it on the fact that I’m a recovering people pleaser or that it has finally sunk in that this blog is read in 81 countries. Either way, the desire to provide something of quality and not fluff is important to me. However, the need for perfection thwarts progress.

You will never be perfect but you have to start somewhere and do something. Someone right now is sitting on ingenious idea that will make them tons of money and create a legacy for their family but they won’t release it because it isn’t perfect. Someone is re-reading their draft which can be the next great American novel for the twentieth time instead of sending to a publisher. There’s a project your supervisor or client is waiting for and you are at the verge of not meeting your deadline because you think the report needs “just one more thing”.

Vince Lombardi, one of the greatest football coaches of all time said, “Perfection is not attainable but when we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” In the midst of striving for perfection, you will push yourself outside of your comfort zone…which is a GOOD…no GREAT thing. Worse things could happen. But doing nothing because you are paralyzed by fear doesn’t make space for growth or improvement. Yes, I said the “f” word and I will talk about that more later. Oh what the heck, let’s talk about it right now. Did you know that paralysis of perfectionism is based in fear? What are you afraid of? Who are you afraid of disappointing? If you fail…SO WHAT. There are valuable lessons to learn that only present themselves when you fail.

Don’t allow the fear of failure keep you from getting stuff done and being extraordinary.

With love,

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P.S. Registration is open for the Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016! Click here to register!

 

 

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are


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Photo Credit: New York Times

 

I’m a huge Jay-Z fan and one of my favorite songs is “Public Service Announcement”. (Watch his performance at Carnegie Hall here). These lines right here speak volumes of truth:

“No matter where you go, you are what you are player
And you can try to change but that’s just the top layer
Man, you was who you was ‘fore you got here.”

Now let me tell you why this can be applied to absolutely everyone, whether you sell out arenas or work a 9 to 5. No matter where you go, there you are and you take ALL of you with you. What do I mean by that? No matter how much you try to run away from a situation, you take ALL of you with you to the next situation. Your insecurities, bad habits and idiosyncrasies…all of it. When you don’t face that reality, you may think that leaving a situation that isn’t “working” for you is the best thing to do. Until the next situation doesn’t “work” for you either. A situation can be a job, a relationship, business venture, friendship, organization, church, etc. If you keep leaving to find a new situation because you think it will be different from your current situation and the same old issues continue to show up…the common denominator is you.

Every company isn’t horrible. The excitement of a new job will fade quick because “They are just like the last company I worked for!” is likely to come out of your mouth within a month. Every romantic relationship cannot be “not worth the trouble”. Finding a new romantic interest is not going to erase your memories of the last failed relationship because you haven’t fallen in love with yourself first. You don’t lose friends because people are untrustworthy. You aren’t authentic and you are wearing a mask and people who you claim are your friends deserve more. Stop it with the excuses. Own up to who you are.

Am I being a little harsh? Yes. Judgmental? Probably. But I don’t work at a bakery and never have so I don’t sugar coat anything. I call it how I see it. And if you have been reading my blog long enough, you will know that I’m transparent enough to admit when I’m making excuses. I’m not telling you to change. I’m hoping that you will become self-aware so that you can eliminate the barriers that keep you from being extraordinary.

With love,

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Masks Are For Masquerade Balls

Masks Are For Masquerade Balls

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I have a secret. I’m an avid people watcher. Not the creepy, stalker type of watcher but the observant, “I don’t miss much” type of people watcher. Do you know what I’ve noticed? The old saying “fake it until to you make it” has trapped a lot of us into wearing a mask 24 hours a day. Oh, you don’t know what I’m talking about? I’m talking about the mask that says, “Everything is great!”. The mask that says you have it all together. You know, the mask that tells everyone your family is perfect, your finances are stellar, your job is amazing and your company is thriving. But in reality…

…you wish you could run away from home

…you are one paycheck away from not being able to pay your mortgage

…you and your significant other are fighting like cats and dogs

…there isn’t a day you don’t mumble under your breath “I hate this job” at least five times

…the amazing idea you had to start your own business is starting to feel like the dumbest thing you’ve ever done 

Sounds familiar?

There are two huge disadvantages to wearing a mask. Remember when you wore a mask for Halloween when you were a kid? Remember how the holes that were cut out for your eyes never lined up properly and your vision was impaired? The same thing happens when you wear the “everything is perfect” mask. Your vision of others become blurry. So instead of seeing circumstances for what they really are, you try to make them into what they should be based on the mask you are wearing. Secondly, when you are wearing a mask it is impossible for people to have an authentic relationship with you.  Two people trying to have any type of relationship while either one of them is wearing a mask can be catastrophic. It is essential to meet people exactly where they are. When you don’t show up as who you really are, the other person may feel the need to pick up a mask they had no intention of wearing. They feel obligated to put one because you were wearing yours and the deception continues back and forth until…

Communication breaks down…

Trust is broken and lost…

Relationships are damaged…

Amazing opportunities are missed…

All because of the stupid masks we wear because we are afraid to show the world who we really are.

Take the mask off.  Someone needs to see your real emotions, pain, struggles and success. Your journey has the power to inspire someone move beyond accepting a mediocre life and propel them to being absolutely extraordinary. You never know who you might encourage to take off their mask when you show the courage to remove your mask first.

 

With love,

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