Are They Against You or Are You a Coward?

I had this revelation yesterday, Friday June 16th, where I asked myself if our perceptions of people being against us are real? Or are they reflections of our fears? 

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I've been spending a lot of time reflecting.  (As a writer I have to, it's how I tap into the good stuff.) And, in my reflections I identified that maybe I was afraid. I'm not afraid of taking leaps of faith as it relates to business but personally, I just got to the point where I felt comfortable facing my feelings. 

Obviously, I face them in my writing but that's different. At that point, I have Internet courage.

Internet courage is that boost of confidence you feel to say and do whatever you want because the people you're saying it to or doing it in front of can't immediately react....or at least they can't react in front of you.  

There's a wall there, more like miles and computer screens, and the presence of it all just makes you feel comfortable.  

So yea, I have Internet courage when I write. I can freely share my thoughts and feelings with you all because ultimately, I can shut down the app, turn off my phone, or simply ignore you.  

The same isn't true in real life. In real life, facing your emotions as it relates to others is different. Because well, they're there, looking at you and waiting to judge you...or so I once thought.  

I talk a lot...to people I trust or have built some type of relationship with. Otherwise, I don't say much at all. Mostly because I am observing to see if you're trustworthy, if I can let down my guard. And, oddly enough, some people who are closest to me biologically are the hardest to talk to. I think I've discovered why.

I have in my mind the way certain relationships should be and I'll be honest and admit that I like to play passenger to the relationship's facilitation. I prefer for them to take the lead.

So, let's say they don't and I perceive their lead aversion to be anti-Laneshia, I've just allowed an idea to manifest about them that may not even be true. When in reality, I was fearful of rejection. 

That fear caused a lot of things to go unsaid; a lot time to pass that we can't get back, and arguments to occur that were unfounded.  

But the first step is realizing you have a problem, right? I realized and accepted that I had Internet courage that needed to manifest itself into real life courage. The same leaps of faith I took with regard to business, I had to take in relationships with friends and family. And, I couldn't expect for them to take the lead all the time. 

To take it a little deeper, I realized that even in business, I was limiting myself out of fear. Sure I would jump but it would be baby leaps compared to what I was capable of.  

I share all of this to say limiting beliefs can take their toll on every part of your life. Even when you're feeling confident and taking risk, you have to check your belief system to see if you're confident in your ability to create positive results.  

We go into things, taking chances but still thinking negatively and end up blaming others for our own fears and limiting beliefs.

I had a conversation with someone the other day and they were telling me about a job they had applied for. They told themselves that if they didn't get the job, they were quitting. And, then blamed the job for the bad juju they brought on themselves. 

Check your belief systems and ask yourself if people are really against you or if you're a coward...fearing rejection so much that you create it.  

 

"You Can Either Do Something or Do Nothing"

I went to see Wonder Woman and I left the theater inspired, enlightened, and hyper aware of everything around me. And, I was the ultimate geek and actually took notes. There were so many gems that I decided to dedicate this week's content to Diana Prince. I know what you're thinking, "she's going to spoil if for all of us." Nope! I'm not, I am only going to share the message, not the movie details because I am that awesome.

Wonder Woman

The overall message for today is just as the title states: You can either do something or do nothing. This is one of the first notes I made. It resonated with me because often times we talk about things, whether they are goals or frustrations and we immediately create obstacles. When the thick of it it's as simple as acting or not. 

Have you ever had that friend (or been that friend) who was always talking about what needed to be done but never did anything? I think I may have been there before, where I know what I want to do, I know what I am capable of doing but I allow a million excuses to stand in my way. This movie is a reminder that action is the only thing that will get to where you want to be, and that action will get you there a lot faster than sitting idly ever will. I don't care how much conviction is in your voice when you speak or how good your intentions are, it boils down to what you do. Where you are right now is a result of your actions, or lack thereof. When I heard this statement, it became clearer to me who impedes our growth. It's us. We stand in our own way.

Wonder Woman

If I've learned nothing else over these last few years, it's that our goals are the second floor and the stair ahead of us are the steps we have to take. It's all uphill. Anything worth having is going to look hard at the beginning; it will even feel hard. But once you take that first step, it gets easier to take steps. It becomes easier to bet on yourself; it becomes easier to take the chance, to expend the effort because you begin to realize that those steps get you closer.

Getting ahead in life literally requires a shift in mindset for a lot of us. We have to believe that what we want is possible. We have to believe that we are capable and we have to do the work. Don't get stuck on what you don't have or what you don't know. Take the first step and learn as you go. The glass has water in it, do you view it as half full or half empty? That's what it amounts to when you're looking in the mirror. Will you focus on what you have or what you don't?

As soon as I left the theater, I texted a few of my friends to see if they had plans of seeing the movie. It was that good. The messages I share this week are based on my perspective; I would love for you to share your own. 

Are you doing something or doing nothing?

Morning Meditation

If you follow me on Instagram then you've seen this Morning Meditation kick that I've been on. Every morning, at least 6 days per week, I am sharing kick starter posts. Some people may think it's for the masses but it's really for me. It's my way of putting my thoughts and feelings into the atmosphere in hopes that they'll manifest into awesomeness. 

Not too long ago I released a journal, 21 Steps to Self Discovery, and in it I ask where does your mind go in the morning. This question was intentional and influenced by my own experiences. There was a time in my life where my mind went to what I hadn't done; the things I wished I had. It didn't take long for me to realize how toxic of a start that was. I mean really.   

And, what makes things even more interesting is that I am passionate about pretty much everything. That passion leads me to constantly think about things and they end up showing up in my dreams. Imagine if you're worried and you're dreaming about that worry, naturally the first thing on your mind will be...yep, that worry.  I had to change it. 

I started being more intentional about my thoughts. I started having more faith. I started believing in my gifts and trusting where they would take me. Now, the reality is I am still passionate, and that passion shows in everything I do, even my sleep but because i have transitioned my mind's defaults space to be positive, I wake up that way. Quite naturally, I want to continue existing in that space so I put my good vibes out into the world. 

The fact that others are positively impacted by my posts serves as icing on my already lips smackingly delicious cake.  

Cake

5 Steps to Goal Setting

Over the last 5 months, I have gotten up close and personal with my discovery process. This required me to ask myself some hard questions in an effort to understand what I wanted to do and how I would go about making it happen. You see, I am cut from a different cloth. My desires are much different than go to school and find a job, I did that and that was cool but I found that I wanted to create my own opportunities. Since this discovery, the road hasn't been easy because I have literally just been trying out my skills. When I decided to get smart with my goals, life started to make a little more sense. 

Specific

When's the last time you looked at your goals and assessed how specific they were? For me, I do this frequently, it helps to keep me grounded and moving forward. Getting specific means breaking it down...all the way down. I always use weight loss as an example because so may people can relate. Imagine that weight loss is one of your goals. Your chances of reaching that goals increases when you put a number on it. Instead of saying I want to lose weight, you say  I want to lose 15 lbs. You are saying the same thing but the latter holds you accountable. In addition to being specific with the number you want to lose, you also need to be specific with what you will need to make this goal happen. Will you need help, who from? What do you plan to do to lose this weight? Where will you do it? And, one of the most important questions o all is why. Why do you want/need to lose weight? When you ask yourself this question, get real honest with yourself; it's the answer that will keep you going in many cases. 

Getting specific means breaking your goal all the way down.

Measurable

Once you identified the specifics of your goal, you have to make it measurable. This means assigning a tracking method. Taking it back to losing weight..it's easy to measure being successful because the scale will it us know, right? Here's the tricky part, it's always good to create an alternate method of measure. Why? Because if the first one doesn't produce the results you want, you will have another way of measuring progress. In the case of weight loss, use inches lost or body fat percentage. If you're working, something will move. All too often we get frustrated and quick because our method of measurement isn't showing favorable results. Don't set yourself up for disappointment by putting limits on how your success can be measured.

Always create more than one method of measurement.

Actionable

This is the fun part. This is when you get off your butt and do the work. When the new year began, I said I wanted to write. Instead of putting the goal out there and letting it sit and fester, I knew I had to put in work. I set a goal of what I wanted to write, how much I wanted to write, to how many readers I wanted to reach, right? Not only that, I created action steps like writing every day, connecting with other writers, securing contributing roles, and growing my audience as things I needed to do to reach my goal. Goals don't work unless you do. The same is true for our weight loss example. If losing weight is your goal, your action steps may include clearing out your kitchen and replacing your foods with clean eating options. It may also include upping your daily water consumption, getting a physical so you're aware of any limitations and getting active. 

Goals don't work unless you do.

Realistic

Getting real with your goal setting can be difficult because it's at this point that you identify how feasible this goal is for you. Let me preface by saying, it is okay to dream big; I encourage it. But make sure you that you have a plan. Now that that's out of the way, let's discuss how realistic our goals are. Sometimes we set right now goals that don't match up to where we are right now. Before you close the post and delete and block me, hear me out. Let's say you've been trying to lose weight for years and it hasn't worked for you. Not because you have the medical incapability to do so but because you had some really bad habits that you need to get over and it just wasn't easy. So you failed over and over and over again. You would probably get frustrated, right? You might even quit. That's precisely why you have to set goals that are realistic for where you are now. 

The fact of the matter is bad habits are hard to break and change, even if its for the better, doesn't happen overnight. So, now what? Set smaller goals. Take it from me, a person who set out to lose weight for years. I would come out of the gate with these astronomical numbers in mind because all I saw was the end result. It wasn't until I accepted that my goal would be a journey and set a smaller more feasible goal for where I was then that I began to experience success. And, over time I was able to hit the big numbers I wanted but not before I knocked those small ones out of the park first.

Set goals that are realistic for where you are now and then build.

Time Stamp

Attach a time stamp to hold yourself accountable. There was a time in my life where I was a serial dreamer. I had goals coming out of every part of me but I wasn't doing anything with them. It made me feel good just to have them and well I guess at the time I just wasn't ready to be an active participant in my dreams. Things have since changed, and I can't express enough how important deadlines are. 

If you walk into my office you will see a white board with my weekly to-do list, you will see my planner, my calendar, and a bunch of notes scribbled on my pad. That's not to mention the calendars and lists in my phone. Imagine how unproductive I would be if I did not set deadlines. Outside of just making sure I am doing what I said I would do, deadlines give you a clean slate to move on to other things. For example, I told myself I wanted to lose 20 lbs before I would become licensed to teach Zumba. And, well the licensing was happening on a specific date. My deadline was set for me. So what did I do, I crushed that goal and lost an additional 10 for good measure. I don't know if I would have been as successful if I didn't have a hard date I was working towards. The same thing goes for you and your goals; create a deadline to hold yourself accountable or watch the dates fly past you as you and your goal remain stagnant. 

Attach a time stamp to hold yourself accountable.

Setting and reaching goals in theory isn't that difficult, the part that makes it hard is the application. You have to be consistently persistent to see the movement you want to see and even then you need to be patient, good things take time. And, considering time is our only real luxury, you can't afford to waste it. 

Until next time,

LL

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How I Master Intentional Living

Be Intentional.  That has been the theme for the week. Acting in purpose and on purpose has been extremely important for not only my business but also my sanity.  Once I determined what it was that I would do, I had to be very specific with how I would do it.  

I always knew that my purpose was to help people but I wasn't sure how I would do it.  I started helping people through accounting.  In this phase of my life I was evaluating numbers and how to save money so the managers could make more.  Although I did well, it was a struggle to get out of bed every day, I wasn't connected to the work I did and the stress I felt was not healthy.  I needed to move on, and Forward I went. Since then, I have found myself helping others in different capacities but it wasn't until the last year that I really felt like I could make a difference in a way that I could connect to.  

So, I did the hard part, I figured out what I should be doing and how to do it.  The next thing for me was to figure out how to work to my potential.  It's so easy for us start something and not give our all then blame the venture for not producing the results we want, right?  I didn't want that to be my story.  To prevent that I made some very specific goals and guess what, I stuck to them.  Over this last week I have really been thinking about this intentional living thing and I have found 3 ways to actually do it.  

|Find Your Reason|

I am one of those touchy feely, deeply feeling, everything has a reason types and as a result it is my belief that we must find our reason.  After we've established what we will do and how we will do it, we have to figure out why we should keep doing it.  I know that may seem crazy, especially if you're at the beginning of your journey.  Like, why should I already be thinking about keeping it up if I just started?  Well because sometimes things don't go as you intend. Sometimes it takes longer for things to click than you would like, which means there's the chance you may become discouraged in your wait.  Your reason has to mean something to you; it is the one thing that will keep you going when you feel like quitting.  

|Wake Up & Think Up|

The start of our day influences the finish.  That's why you see so many people talk about meditating in the morning, or prayer, even yoga. Because, its such a big deal to find a happy and peaceful place from which to build your day.  It will impact your attitude, your productivity, and your thought processes.  Before I took the leap of faith, I would wake up in a funk.  I was able to last as long as I did because I would blast gospel music all the way to work or sometimes I would sit in silence to calm my roaming mind.  Had I not done anything, my attitude would have been terrible.  I may have even been fired.  As I compare then to now, I wake up so differently.  I feel good, I look forward to the opportunity in the day, and I genuinely feel a sense of happiness.  I attribute that to figuring out what I should be doing, identifying why I should keep doing it and thinking that its actually possible for me to do it.  

|Go For it, Even if You're Alone|

One of the biggest lessons that I have had to learn is that our path won't always come equipped with a partner.  Aside from God, there is no buddy system.  So sometimes you will have to do the work by yourself.  To some of you this may be common sense, while to others like myself who feed off the energy of others, its a hard pill to swallow.  I like bouncing ideas, talking about what's happening, and sharing my wins but the reality is not everyone is on the same timeline, which means they may not have anything to share.  I have also encountered those who are the president of the talk about it club.  This club is for those who love to talk about how they will improve their lives but aren't actually committed to doing the work.  I try to keep a working distance, this club can be infectious.  I needed to accept this;  it was important for my journey that I understood that its okay to do it, whatever it is, solo.  

So, what does all of this mean?

It means that in order to be intentional, you must find a reason to do so, you must wake in a positive state of mind so that you can be productive in your forward movement and you must be okay with progressing toward your goals alone.  These are all things that, if not done, could stagnate you.  

Are you living intentionally?  

How to Find Your Happy and Live There

These last two years have been a roller-coaster ride, up, down and around.  I left my job to design my own path and along the way I discovered I had spent like 10 years walking in the wrong direction.  Actually, the direction wasn’t wrong it was just contrary to my belief system. What’s crazy is I needed that contrary to get to where I am now.  I needed that wrong direction to find my happy place.  Do I sound crazy yet? Okay, let me slow down.

Remember on Monday when I shared my thoughts on Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes? I was all excited about this season that we’re in and how saying yes gives you the permission you need to be great.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, get caught up.

All caught up, cool!

Her book made two things very clear for me:  I needed to say yes more, more importantly, I needed to do yes; and, in saying and doing yes I would find my happy. Before I took the plunge off the deep end into this sea of entrepreneurship, I was grinding. Much like I am now, just with a completely different end result.  That time of my life was contrary to my belief system because it wasn’t even close to how I wanted to spend my life.  I was an accountant, wearing suits, crunching numbers.  Can you even picture that?  I lived it.  I did well enough to get promoted a few times, make some decent money and inspire a few people but I wasn’t happy.  But, I was content with the lifestyle I had chosen for myself.  It wasn’t until I started listening to those voices inside my head that were telling me to jump.  Jump into my yes.  [Let me interject here, my jump is not your jump. Just because I left my job to create my own path does not mean that’s your destiny.  Your path could be rocking and rolling up that corporate ladder, and that is okay.]

If you know me or at least read my about then you know how volatile entrepreneurship has been for me. Especially since I am figuring myself out in the process.  Crazy, right?Maybe not. The contrary part of my life showed me what I didn’t want to do.  It also highlighted what I love to do, which is help people.  And, in almost every venture since then that’s exactly what I was doing.  Being a supervisor was by far the best experience because I learned to manage different personalities, adjust my task list for the day at a moments notice, and coach people to their best.  Even though I was in my contrary I was being prepared for my life as a visionary.  That taught me to embrace my now.

I have provided you with some clarity, lets get to the point.

What is happy? For me happy is an alignment of how you feel with what you do.  It isn’t always career related, but for the sake of today’s post, that’s our focus.  So, how do you find your happy?

  1. Identify the areas of your life you would like to improve. A lot of time we get comfortable complaining with no real intentions on improving.  The reality is, that mentality is counterproductive.  If you really want to see a change in your life, you will have to do the work.  Make a list of the areas you would like to improve and set a timeline for doing so.  Take a look at some of the areas I highlighted for myself.
  2. Identify your fears. If you’re still reading, chances are you want to know how to find your happy. Your happy is on other side of your fears.  Identify what those areas are and work to overcome them.  I don’t necessarily subscribe to the thought that fears aren’t real; they are as real as your mind tells you they are.  Frankly, it isn’t always an easy task to get over them.  It takes work. Work that you’re prepared to do considering that you’re ready for your happy, right? Check out my quick guide to overcoming fear.
  3. Identify what gives you that happy feeling. When talking with people about their happy place, I always tell them it’s already inside you.  You just have to be still and listen.  Align your thoughts with what makes you happy, then align your actions.
  4. Embrace Your Now. I saved this one for last because it’s kind of a big deal.  I’ve been talking to you guys about moving forward and improvement, right?  Well, I want to make this point very clear.  Embrace your now, be present.  There are so many lessons in what’s happening to you today.  There are so many reasons to be thankful today.  There is so much good in today.  I don’t want you to get so caught up in tomorrow or 6 months from now that you neglect to be grateful.  One of the main contributors to my unhappiness was my insatiable appetite.  I was always looking forward to some point in time that was not today, that wasn’t even close to today and even if I closed my eyes it bared no resemblance to today.  I’m sure with that description you can see why I was unhappy.  I was tying how I felt today to some point in the future that would take some serious time to reach.  This, my friends, ain’t it.  It will put you in all kinds of funks and nobody has time for that. Embrace your now, live in it, love in it, create your happy in it.

My journey seemed brighter, like the sun had marked its territory over my hear.  

And, every step felt lighter, the relief of my burdens I guess.  

The excitement of it all sent palpitations to my chest.  

Overcoming my fears gave me the courage to finally say YES!  

“My Soul Says Yes”

So, what does it all mean.  It means that you are directly responsible for your happy.  You have the ability to impact your divine alignment.  Once you set your goals for what you want to improve, continue to track it.  Work to make those improvements and hold yourself accountability for getting the results you desire.  |Live in Your Happy| Work to overcome your fears, don’t let anything hold you back from the yes in your life.  |Live in Your Happy| Uncover those sources of happiness in your life and find ways to experience them over and over and over again.  |Live in Your Happy| Find the good in today, after all tomorrow isn’t promised.

Are you living in your happy?

'Tis the Season of Yes

I made up my mind that 2017 would be the year I reacquainted myself with a couple of my first loves: reading and writing. Thanks to my mother, I’ve always loved to read. It was nothing to see my mom reading in bed or on the couch, so in my eyes reading was normal; it was expected. So I read too, a lot. Interestingly enough, reading and writing go hand in hand. When researching how to improve my writing, I continually found reading as the top answer. I’ve ordered two books since the start of the year, the first one was a miss.  I just couldn’t get into it but the second one, man oh man.

Year of Yes….

If you’re living and breathing then you know who Shonda Rhimes is.  She is the genius behind Thursday night drama.  The creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.  I will admit that I don’t watch any of these shows; I appreciate their awesomeness and I love the hype but I just don’t watch a lot of TV.  Nonetheless, I love Shonda.  She’s a writer, duh.  So, this book, I am all for it.  If you haven’t read it, don’t worry I won’t spoil it, at least I will try not to.  What I will do is share with you some of the things that stood out to me.

|YEAR OF YES|

The title of this book stems from a conversation between Shonda and her sister. Essentially, her sister made the comment that she [Shonda] always says no. From that conversation, a book was born.  Shonda took it upon herself to overcome her fears, and say yes to more opportunities.  Lets discuss the word yes.  Yes agrees, it affirms.  Yes is positive.  If yes is so good, why do so many of us stray away from it?  Probably because of the responsibility tied to it.  In a lot of cases, including Shonda’s, it involves overcoming fear.  One of the most profound moments of the book was when her sister said “it was like you needed permission.” As I read this I found myself thinking about how much Shonda had accomplished up to this point.  She had done some pretty awesome things; even still there was a lot she was missing out on.  Think about that, think about your own life.  As far as you are now, what could change with giving yourself permission to do and be more? Personally, I struggle with the spotlight.  I know you’re like, yea right. Seriously, I do.  As much as I do, there is still more that I don’t do.  After reading this book, I’ve concluded I need permission.  Permission from myself, to say yes.  There are opportunities that I allow to pass me by and its because of the responsibility.  Being responsible is being consistent, its planning, and executing and sometimes I get stuck planning.  I’ll admit it.

| THE IMPACT OF YES |

Once she gave herself permission all kinds of things started happening.  For one, although her yes appeared to focus primarily on her work it impacted other areas of her life.  Saying yes was becoming a habit and she was happier, lighter, more courageous. Most importantly, she became more confident.  As much as she had accomplished, with all of us counting down the days of the week to her night and she would still hide herself. This book shed light to the infectiousness of positive vibes.  We post the memes on social media, we create the statuses, but how many of us are actually living by that message? There is a responsibility to living up to those positive vibes; frankly, its easier to be negative.  It doesn’t take work at all to allow the downs of life to overwhelm you.  The responsibility is in the getting up, the staying up and giving yourself permission to be happy, right where you are. I’ve had conversations with friends about being happy, and we would discuss things we feel may be missing.  Now, I feel being happy is a state of mind, it isn’t things or at least it shouldn’t be.  If you tie your happiness up in things and/or people, you will never have control over it. You will always be chasing it or trying to keep it, instead of just enjoying where you are today.

| YES ISN’T ALWAYS YES |

Yes, you read it correctly.  Yes isn’t always yes.  Sometimes its yes to saying no.  Fear impacts so many areas of our lives.  It doesn’t just impede our ability to move forward with our goals, it also prevents us from facing difficult situations.  Have you ever wanted to tell someone no but didn’t want to deal with their reaction so you either avoided them or agreed to do something you didn’t want to?  If you’ve answered yes, this is about you. Shonda talks about this too; give yourself permission to say no.  Yes to saying no. Chances are the response you receive won’t kill you. The difficulty is actually in the avoidance; its in the situation you put yourself in by agreeing to something that isn’t in your best interest.  Give yourself permission to put yourself first sometimes.  For a lot of us, this will be hard but it is necessary.  You can’t be of service to others, if you aren’t first of service to yourself.

This book was good, like really good.  It was an easy read and finishing it last night was such a perfect segue into this week’s theme: happiness.  If you haven’t read the book check it out.  I would love to read some of your thoughts on this book.  Feel free to comment below.

Say Yes to Self Discovery.

Quick Guide To Overcoming Fear

Fear is crippling. 

Have you ever watched small children play? They climb out of cribs on their own, they flip off chairs, they run up to animals and they will pretty much put anything in their mouths. You know why, because they’re fearless. At that age the world has yet to place limitations on their “I can do anything” attitude. So they keep trying until they get what they want; they don’t even process failure. 

At some point down the line, things change. We become more timid, more apprehensive to try things. We take longer to take that first step, if we take it at all. But why? Because we suffered heartbreak, disappointment or failure of some kind. Thing is, these things are unavoidable. There isn’t an armored suit, a stoned heart or a frame of mind that can prevent at least one of these from happening. So how do we overcome it? How do we get over the things that cripple us, intimidating us into being fearful?

  1. | Acceptance | The first step is to accept that it’s inevitable; that somewhere along the road something will not go as planned. It may be a small disappointment that you’re able to quickly shake off or it may be a big boom that shakes your world. In either case, once it’s done it’s done. The only thing you can do is move forward.
  2. | Create a Plan | You’ve accepted that your plan has gone awry, now what? Create a follow up plan. In a lot of cases people become so stigmatized by disappointment that they stop moving. When in reality, that plan didn’t work because it wasn’t for you. Instead of getting beside yourself because you’re at square one, be thankful because you may have been saved from a bigger disappointment down the line.
  3. | Don’t Get Stuck | This step could have easily been combined with the previous one, but its so important I decided to let it stand on its own. Do not, I repeat do not get stuck in the planning stage that you fail to execute. I’ll tell you from experience that fear can have you under its spell while giving you a little breathing room.  You will think you’re fine, because you’re planning until you realize that’s all you’ve done. Don’t become an expert planner unless that’s your business and you’re getting paid do it, otherwise put some concrete timelines on those plans that fall within the SMART parameters and hold yourself accountable for staying on track.
  4. | Believe in Yourself | We are our own worst critics. We experience disappointment and allow it to manifest itself into doubt. Failure is in the thing, it’s not you. If you set a goal and don’t reach it, check the steps between you and the goal. There’s something along the way that needs tweaking and frankly, you stopping now won’t get you there any sooner. Now, excuse me while I get up in your face. No one should believe in you more than you believe in yourself. (Except maybe God, but he’s not one he’s all) No one should care about your goals more than you. It’s awesome to have supporters, but it’s you who will have to do the work. The reality is, cheerleaders don’t get playing time. So whatever you need to do to recharge your belief system, do that. Perhaps this step should have been #1. 
  5. | Execute | This part of the overcoming process is crucial; it is the culmination of everything prior to this point. You’ve accepted that failure happens; you’ve created a plan of SMART goals; you’ve committed yourself to moving forward and you believe in yourself. Now, it’s time to do work. I think it’s important for me to reiterate #3: Don’t get stuck. Executing is the hard part; I won’t sugar coat it. It’s when you have to stop talking and actually do something. During this phase it’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this will help you outsource where you need to. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, especially if asking for help will positively affect the outcome. Remember in #4 when I said Believe in Yourself? That’s doesn’t mean be unrealistic. If you know you’re not strong in an area, enlist the help of someone who is.

Overcoming Fear isn’t easy, it takes hard work and commitment to the process. In every instance that you press forward, you are starving your fears. The only luxury we really have in life is time, don’t waste yours feeling bad for yourself because you were disappointed. Shut Fear down before it becomes real to you.

Are you being crippled by fear or standing firm in your Forward?

Forward: 3 Signs That You Need To Move On

Do you know when it’s time to move on?

I have done my fair share of over staying my welcome in situations.  I remember feeling stuck, almost as if I was in that sunken space and had no control.  That was usually a result of me having put a lot of energy and effort into something and not being ready to walk away.  Like staying longer would somehow negate that I needed to move on.  So, I would give and give and give some more.  I would sow, sow and sow some more but my reality didn’t change.  It may have become a bit more bearable for the moment, but yea I still needed to move on.  I am at this place now where I am more reflective; I am more accepting of the truth no matter how hard it is to digest.  Let me tell you, that is a task.  I feel we tend to be overwhelmed with others opinions, whether positive or negative and those opinions shape us.  Those opinions influence how we live our lives.

It became clear to me that for far too long, I had taken residence inside of Fear’s home. Doing things that came easy or because of an onlookers encouraging words, not realizing that flying alone didn’t make me a bird.  “Forward

Moving on is hard to do, I feel like that’s a song.  Chances are, it probably is.  It’s something we all deal with.  Now, let me be crystal clear:  moving on isn’t running from things you need to face.  No, no, no beloved, moving on is ridding your life of toxic things, people, and situations.

Moving on is the thing we have to do to position ourselves for what’s really for us.  I remember being so stuck in my pre-move that it was all I could see or feel.  The thing about that pre place is that it doesn’t start bad.  It starts hopeful, exciting even and somewhere along the line it shifts.  Perhaps the shift is related to us settling or perhaps the settling of those around us.  Whoever is doing the settling, it becomes unsettling and we need to move on.  Here are few signs I identified as moving on indicators.

SIGNS THAT YOU NEED TO MOVE ON

It’s a Struggle to get out of Bed | When that alarm sounds and you feel like it just started raining inside your house, literally water everywhere.  You’re trying to shield yourself from the raindrops and they just keep coming, the struggle is real.  If facing your day is this then chances are you need to move on.  The reality is everyday won’t be sunny, but it shouldn’t be rain on the inside either.  I think it’s important to distinguish between the Monday blues and the daily blues.  Having the Monday blues is being sad because your weekend flew by, maybe you had an amazing weekend where you did everything under the sun and you want to keep doing it or you had a weekend where you did nothing at all and you want to keep doing it.  Either way, the Monday blues aren’t so much about what you’re facing on Monday as it is what you are missing from the weekend.  To have the daily blues is to be regretful about facing your day.  These type of blues that prompt you to pull the covers over your head as you mumble, why me Lord? No one wants to feel like this, no one should feel like this.  If you do, it might be time to move on.  Don’t make any hasty decisions by all means, but do figure out the root of your struggle.  Do weigh the options of whether this struggle is fruitful.  Do create a plan of exit, and if the shoe fits,  do move on.   

You No Longer Feel Connected | Some of us are feelers.  We feel or want to feel everything; we want to feel good, accomplished, progressive.  And, when we no longer feel that way, a little buzzer starts to sound inside of us.  That buzzing noise that you hear and/or feel is your connection indicator.  It’s that thing in us that either says, “I love this so much,” or “I’m not feeling it.”  Whatever the message, its good to listen.  It is my belief that our purpose is people, yes all as in everybody in the world.  Now there are some of us who get warm and fuzzy about purpose and others of us who couldn’t care less; if you’re the latter this isn’t for you.  As I was saying, our purpose is people.  The way in which we live out our purpose is what differs, but the message remains the same.  If you’re in a position where you can no longer serve your purpose, it may be time to move on.  And, that’s okay. It is important to understand what impedes our ability to carry out our purpose, if it’s a case of the Monday blues, get over it.  If there are actual things, people, or situations stopping you from living in your purpose, buzzzzzzz.  Remember a few sentences ago when I said some people couldn’t care less about purpose, well here is one of the ways it applies.  People will try to stop you from living in your purpose.  Those efforts will affect your connection.  You moving on isn’t running, your moving on is positioning yourself to be fruitful.

Your Stress is No Longer Healthy | Remember when you were in school and the teacher taught us about stress.  The stress that propels us forward, the stress that makes us better because we are working harder, that’s good, healthy stress.  The stress that makes you feel like its raining inside your house, or the stress that makes you anxious because you no longer feel connected, or even the stress that drives you to drink or engage in any type of behavior that drowns real feelings is bad stress.  If you find yourself doing things to hide how you really feel, your stress is no longer healthy.  It’s actually rather toxic.  I don’t want to get all deep into the physical implications of stress, you can learn more about that in my accountability group, what I do want to do is make sure you understand the difference. If its not moving you forward, chances are its taking you backwards.

Now, what I don’t want to do is create the illusion that life is easy, because baby it aint. Yes, I said aint! Life is filled with ups and down, uncertainties and for sures, these are things we really can’t change.  What we can change is what we accept as normal.  If you want to jump out of bed with a song in your heart, do that. (Forward) If you want to feel deeply connected to everything you do, do that. (Forward) If you want to consume your life with all the healthy stress as you propel yourself to your destined position, DO THAT! (Forward)  But complacency, don’t do that.

Is it time for you to move on from something?

Better in 180 Days

Dear Laneshia,

It’s time to make a few changes, nothing too outlandish but changes nonetheless.  You wrote the about page, so there is no one more aware of your scatteredness than you but it is high time we narrow your vision on a few things.  I am writing you this letter out of love.  I wouldn’t dare criticize you.  You know I love you, girl.  I have entitled this letter Better in 180 Days because that’s the time frame I am giving you to improve upon some very specific areas.  Now, you can say what you want, grumble if you must but do it you shall.  I am doing you a favor and numbering these, because I know how much you love your lists.

  1. Health and Wellness – I love the progress you’ve made.  I especially love how you have committed yourself to helping others.  However, you have been working towards this goal for nearly 2 years now and although I know its not all about timing, we both know you could have been there by now if you stopped messing around. Don’t allow stress to derail you.  Don’t make excuses for bad choices.  Don’t reward yourself with bad eating. I know you know all of these things, I hear you tell others this all the time so spare me the eye roll.  Put your big girl panties on and let’s crush this goal.  Don’t nobody want to hear you talking about reaching goals and you haven’t reached yours yet.  Yea, yea I know it makes you relatable but relate yourself to the goal, woman.
  2. Spiritual Growth:  We have talked so many times about going to church.  Less talk, more action.  Don’t allow the “I am spiritual” cop out keep you from congregating with people who could teach you how to grow closer to GOD.  You grew up in church. And, I hate to be the one to break it to you; you’re getting closer to death every day so this isn’t the time to be backsliding.  Get it together.  Join a church, become active and let the spirit lead you.
  3. Personal Growth:  You have come a long way, personally.  You have experienced quite a few hurdles, allow those experiences to make you stronger not give you an excuse.  Yes, I know excuses are tools of the incompetent.  I know the spiel, I was there with you.  Just because you don’t call it an excuse doesn’t mean your behavior isn’t proving otherwise.  Let go of all the things that plague your mind. All of the negative stuff open the window and let it go.  In the grand scheme of things, you can’t change it.  So, you might as well accept it and move on to bigger, better and more positive things.  I know it’s easier said than done but something is telling me you can do it.  Make like Elsa and LET IT GO!
  4. Passions:  So, you’ve decided that writing is here to stay.  I implore you to remain steadfast.  Your 2017 words are FOCUS and CONSISTENCY; keep these words at the forefront of your mind.  I feel that something is about to manifest in your life, but you have to do your part.  You have to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready!  I’m not trying to “motivational speaker” you to death, what I am trying to do is affirm that you are capable of doing great things in this field. You just have to stay committed.
  5. Network:  You’re pretty likable, last I checked.  Use this as a way to further expand your network.  You seriously need to take a hard look at some of the connections you’ve made online and make sure they are worthwhile, if they aren’t, cut them loose.  I want you to be very intentional in how you spend your time and energy.  If it doesn’t grow you, it grows on you.  You don’t need anything growing on you but hair. Take a step outside your comfort zone; I think you will be surprised just how comfortable you are with being uncomfortable.

Laneshia, I didn’t want to be too long winded.  I essentially wanted to highlight some key areas where you could stand to be greater.  Like I said, I am not preaching.  This letter serves as a reminder that you have a lot of potential, if only you’d allow it to manifest itself.

See you 180 days.