You Are Not the Biggest Loser


ohsarahrose / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

I used to think the discomfort I felt was because I failed to make the right decision about something along the way. Right and wrong decisions do not signal the end of my story. Maybe the decision I made, in hindsight, was not the best choice.  And I find myself in a round of “what the heck were you thinking?” Which can quickly turn into an episode of you are the biggest loser self talk, unless I choose to stop that train of thinking in its track. I try to acknowledge that perhaps I could have said or done things differently and move on.  I can either make the most of the OPPORTUNITY to correct or redirect or I can beat myself up indefinitely.  I am choosing the former.

I’m allowing the family and friends both new and old to gently help me re-frame my thinking when I go into a Biggest Loser Tailspin. I am choosing to re-frame my thinking regarding the future and the endless possibilities before me. It’s not easy to believe that I can continue to grow and experience better. I am trying to pay attention and be open to the opportunities as they present themselves.  I am giving myself permission to take the risk and seize the opportunities big and small. How are you actively working to re-frame your internal dialogue? Do you ever have biggest loser moments, I’d love to hear from you sound off in the comments.

Risk Taking Required

Indecision is a Decision

It 9758602213_26d73ba5ba_zseems that every decision has a consequence, this we all know well. It recently dawned on me that decisions have both consequences and opportunities attached to them.  I often put off making a decision for fear of making the wrong decision and I am learning that my indecision is a decision in itself.

I made up my mind to do some things differently this year. Starting with not to keeping private some of the changes I wanted to make. I actually verbally told family and friends about those decisions. Seems like a no brainer to share what you are excited about. However, I’ve found it much safer to keep things in my head or journal. That way I’m only accountable to myself. Great idea in theory bad idea in practice because I pretty much suck as my own accountability partner. I was secretly frustrated because I wanted to see some things shift in my life but my journaling in my head way wasn’t working.

Accountability is Needed

I needed some accountability to reach my goals. And being accountable is risky. After all if you are formally accountable you run the risk of someone else knowing that you talk a good game but when it comes time for action you don’t follow through. Not a good look. I realized that if I wanted something different I’d have to do something different. I took a risk and attended the Happy Black Woman blogging event in October. I had the nerve to say on a mic that I wanted to connect with women. I couldn’t believe I said that to a room of strangers. I had already prepped myself that if I didn’t connect with anyone out of it would be cool because already had solid group of girlfriends back home. It was a huge risk for me to put myself out there and be open to the idea of widening my circle. I am so glad I did! I met so many wonderful ladies who were yearning to make the most of the opportunities before them. The result of taking this small risk is a connection with some fabulous ladies who are committed to seizing the opportunities that appear through intentional risk taking. We are moving forward in all of our glorious imperfections and it is exciting!

Photo credit: mikie t / Foter.com / CC BY

Inconsiderate People: 4 Things You Need to Know

Some people just aren’t going to like you, your style or your approach.truth-257159_1920

In some situations it doesn’t matter how much you bend or how often you rephrase or adjust your approach, some people just won’t like it. Not necessarily because of the substance of what you are presenting or offering. I’d like to say that it’s because of the words utilized or the way information is presented. Nope sometimes it’s really simple, some folks just don’t care for you, and you are not their cup of tea. And guess what, that’s ok.

The last part is a really difficult thing for me to get my head around sometimes. I know we can often say ‘man whatever, I don’t care what so and so thinks.’ Well, I’m confessing a lot of times I do care and I realize after this week often times I’m caring a little bit too much.

Bad behavior is bad behavior, regardless of the reason.

I have a bad habit of looking for reasons aka excuses for other people’s bad behavior. And in all honesty I’m good at finding reasons for my own bad behavior too. I know in my head that people make choices in how they choose to speak and respond to others. And some people will choose to respond in rude and inconsiderate ways. But I too get to make a choice in how I respond when people come at me like they’ve lost their ever loving mind. And trust me some folks as of late seem to have lost all of the good sense the Lord gave them. I’m learning that while it is noble to turn the other cheek it is equally as noble to stand up for myself. It is appropriate to let others know what type of behavior is acceptable. And I can exercise my choice by how and when I establish and maintain appropriate boundaries.

I can choose not to internalize.

Now this piece of the puzzle I can’t say with full blown confidence but I’m working on it. Through some encouragement from my husband, family and friends they reminded me that who I am and what I stand for is not wrapped up in one interaction with someone I have never met in person. Most of us can take constructive criticism, however it’s something totally different when that “criticism” is sprinkled among personal attacks surrounding ones intelligence and capabilities. That my friends is hard to work through. I know that too often when people lash out it is often out of insecurity or learned behavior. The person levying the attack or tirade is likely experiencing something that I know nothing about. (Yikes, reason/excuse) But know this beloved (in my best Iyanla Vanzant voice), personal circumstances do not give one a pass for bad behavior.

We can choose to accept the statements as truth or we can remind ourselves of who we are. I had to remind myself that I do know what I’m doing and I’m not too dense to comprehend basic business principles and disciplines. Yes, ya’ll it got to that level!!

I can do something about it.

I don’t have to idly sit by and grin and bear foolishness. This is my life and I can choose to surround myself with positive people. And those who may not be positive or stuck in a rut I get to choose the level of interaction with them too. I understand that you can’t just cut off every rude nasty person because unfortunately we may work with them or in some cases live with themJ I’ll share with you some sound advice my grandma gave me. I consider her to be a wisdom expert, she has lived 90 years so I’d say that alone qualifies her. She tells me often “I decided a long time ago I was not going to allow someone else to steal my joy”. Now grandma is so sweet and diplomatic and most times so am I. However today I’m translating her advice into “Ya’ll can act like fools if you want to, but what you won’t do, is cause me to be someone I’m not. I choose to have joy.”

Have you ever found yourself faced with disagreeable grumpy people? What are some things you do to  work around bad attitudes?

4 Ways to Shake Perfectionism: Breathe, Pray, Move, and Listen

As I worked like a crazy person into the wee hours of the night. I felt my anxiety levels rise and my mind began to shift to all the ways and reasons why I couldn’t do the task placed before. For some reason the fear and uncertainty of what my client would think virtually paralyzed me. The work had been done for about an hour yet I read and spell checked, checked fonts and checked the alignment of the graphics. Only to grow more uncertain. While attention to detail is a great skill to have it seems to me there is something inherently wrong with allowing that attention to detail to consume you and prevent you from considering a task complete.

I am slowly realizing that things that pop up in my professional life are often found in other areas of my life as well. The desire for everything to be just so often keeps me from getting started. Until I have conversation with myself saying “Just start! What’s the worst that can happen” and this seems to be when, if I’m not careful, my anxiety kicks into overdrive. I start rehearsing all the ‘worst’ that could happen and before I know it the precious time I need to
complete the task has evaporated.

So while I haven’t totally mastered letting go of my desire to want everything to appear perfect I do implement some techniques that help me snap out of it, focus and get things done.

Breathe

Close my eyes and take 10 Deep Breaths. Now that seems simple but if you are impatient like me taking deep breaths can seemingly take to
o long when you are under the pressure to get some work done. I generally spend the first 3 breaths thinking ‘why don’t I feel calmer, I should feel calmer by now”. By about breath 7 I’m feeling some of the stress leave me.

Pray

Whisper a prayer. There is a time for long drawn out prayers and sometimes I do that too but if I’m feeling extremely anxious, I keep it simple and say “God I need your help here I am freaking out, please help!” Sometimes it gets more elaborate than that but that is always my starting point.

Move

Take a 5-10 minute break and actually go outside and take a walk without music or cell phone. Just a quick step outside for fresh air does wonders.

BreatheListen

Put on some good tunes to help remind me of the greater plan for my life and how every circumstance surrounding me is pushing me closer towards my purpose, the very thing I was created to live out.

 

What are some things that you do to help yourself focus and complete the task at hand? 

Are You Being Held Hostage?

HostageMindIt seems like for every step I take forward my mind drags me back two steps. I’ve found myself in this viscous cycle of self doubt and uncertainty. I’d like to share five thoughts that sometimes creep up and keep me paralyzed and feeling like I’m literally being held hostage. Sadly, I am my own mental terrorist. I terrorize myself with the crazy things I have on repeat in my head. So here are my most recent five and some tips for how you can kick that terrorist thinking to the curb.

Other People’s Unspoken Expectations

You know the folks who would rather than speak up, they screw up their faces and purse their lips about something you did or did not do? You know who I’m talking about you just got a mental picture didn’t you? Lord knows I did. Well, here’s the thing you cannot act on what another person is unwilling to verbalize. Relationships are about communication and there is a lot of information conveyed in silent spaces. And here’s the newsflash..do they even say that anymore? I digress. What is being left unsaid you can do absolutely NOTHING about. That doesn’t mean ignore the elephant in the room, but it does mean you cannot stress yourself out about things that remain unsaid. You cannot force people to talk if they aren’t ready or unwilling. Don’t allow what isn’t being said to keep you from becoming, whole and healthy.You are responsible for your choices and yours alone.

I Have Too Many Responsibilities

Well my friend I’m about to tell you something you will be sad to hear…You will always be responsible for something. This very moment when your kids have lost there ever loving mind and your husband is tripping may not be the perfect moment to take 5 minutes for yourself. But that moment is the very thing we you need. And you deserve more than 5 minutes to get your head together. The perfect time will never exist, so go ahead and let that go. There will always be a reason why you can’t take tiny step towards what gives your very soul life. So staaaaaaaaaaaph (long drawn out southern stop) with the excuses already. Your children won’t starve if you go to the dollar store and buy yourself a little notebook and write down your “One day I wish…” ideas. Making space for yourself  to, at a minimum, investigate your passion is NOT being irresponsible.

What If I can’t Do it or I’m not Successful?

I’ll let you in on a secret, you can do it, right now you are afraid. And you are saying I’m not scared I just have (insert number of kids and ages) and I work here or I volunteer there and my husband needs this and my parents……you see how that just happened…just that quickly you/I moved into excuse mode about why it’s not worth taking a baby step towards walking in the purpose that is already within you. There is success in making the effort to keep the dream alive while you are in a season that may not ‘seem’ like the best time.

I Feel Like I’m Out Here on My Own

It might feel like you are on your own and that what you have to offer is not unique enough for anyone to care. But that is where you are wrong, no one else can tell it, sell it, make it, bake it, teach it like you do. I’d argue that voice of doubt is rising up because if the greatness that is in you ever came out the world would be a better place because you’ve been here. Do not get distracted by feeling alone, pray and ask God to show you your support system. It is already there and in place you just haven’t uncovered it yet. You have to switch your thinking by saying I am not alone and prepare to have your mind blown by the and cheerleaders that seem to fall out of thin air.

How is What I Have to Offer Better or Different?

It is very easy for me to fall into the comparison trap, whether that’s family, friends, celebrities (kind of embarrassed that is even in the list but we are being honest right?) and their fabulous lives. I find myself saying oooh if I had their ability to sing I would sang and use my powers for good. Lord knows I want to be a singer, but alas that is not my gift and all the wishing in the world is not going to turn me into Jennifer Hudson. So my singing ability will not make me stand out from the crowd but my creative energy and unique perspective is indeed what is better and different. And when I say better I realize that the folks that I am called to help are looking for someone like me, thereby making me a better fit. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea and most days I’m OK with that being the case. I’m learning how to accept my life experiences are the very things that make me different and there are people who can benefit from hearing what I have learned.

What are some of the thoughts holding you hostage? Sound off in the comments.

Photo credit: GollyGforce – Living My Worst Nightmare / Foter / CC BY

Why Are We Going So Slow?

Mist Traffic JamOn the way to school this morning we were stuck in terrible traffic, brake lights for miles. My daughter asked, “Why are we going so slow?” And as per usual that simple question hit me right between the eyes. A simple question can shift everything if we allow ourselves the time to get quiet and answer.  I replied, “I don’t know” and continued to inch my way along in the lovely rain filled traffic. She went on to banter with her sister but as the rhythm of the windshield wipers went on I began to turn her question over in my mind.

This two second interaction sparked a replay of questions I often have about a variety of ‘challenges’ facing my life. I ask the question loud and often, ‘God, why are things moving sooooooooooooooooooooo slow.’ And often times the answer is a simple and clear, because you, my dear, need to slow down.’ Instead of being mad about being stuck in traffic or moving slowly through your journey why not take the opportunity to shift your thinking. Pause in the midst of the slowdown, look around and ask, what is the lesson here? For me today the lesson was simple just because you’re a moving slowly towards your destination doesn’t mean you aren’t moving. Slow and steady wins the race.

I’m thankful for questions from my little people. Listen out for questions today be open to the answers found in your daily activities. Don’t be surprised if your eyes are opened to the slow and steady progress you are making. Today is a new day filled with possibility don’t let miles of brake lights discourage you.

Are you inching your way through a slow down today? What is something you can do to keep a positive attitude when you appear to be at a standstill?

Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Photo credit: mediadeo / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Be Less Afraid: 7 Quotes to Help You Embrace Change

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”–Maya Angelou

If you are not careful fear will rent space in your mind and keep you stuck with the ‘devil you know’. Any hope of being kinder, generous, fun loving—insert your own virtue here—will never materialize without courage. You can demonstrate courage today by first being honest with yourself, you are afraid and that’s ok. Today is a new day and you can chose, today, to be courageous!

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”–Maya Angelou

Sometimes I play this vicious game with myself, ‘man if I knew then what I now I would’ve done this or that differently.’ But the truth is even if I had all the information in the world I still may have made some of the same choices. Today I find comfort in knowing that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. With each day I have an opportunity to learn and do better. God has given me a life filled with opportunity. I have an abundance of gifts and talents. Each new day is filled with chances to make different and better choices

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”– Leo Tolstoy

We often sit around and discuss how much better the world would be if only people would be more considerate, helpful, honest etc. There is room for you to make the world a better place. There are things within YOU that the world needs to know, feel, and understand, but you will have to decide to make some moves.

Will you join me in deciding to grip change, rock the boat, tip the apple cart, and break the mold? Invest the time today to pick up that book, research that idea, put pen to paper, start your business,  your dream matters. The time is now let’s get to work!

‎”In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change — breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place.” — Susan L. Taylor

This quote reminds me of a  running joke that I toss around with my friends whenever crisis hits. I ask the question aloud “Who’s Jonah me or you?” I’m alluding to the story in the bible about Jonah running from God’s direction and instruction. His avoidance resulted in drama for himself and people around him.  Crisis doesn’t mean you have to fall apart, but rather it is a chance to let go of what is not working and begin moving toward something better. Are you in the midst of a shaking? What are some of the old habits being rattled? How about those ideas about yourself and what you are capable of accomplishing?

“We will be ourselves and free, or die in the attempt. Harriet Tubman was not our great-grandmother for nothing.” – Alice Walker

I am one of those people who looks to the past to gain strength and inspiration. I love slave narratives and historical fiction because I’m able to see the power and strength in all my ancestors endured. I’m inspired by their ability to find hope in the midst of adversity. Their commitment to pursuing freedom is more than inspiring it is empowering! Armed with this knowledge, how dare I think for one moment to play it safe or to live small?

Are you playing it safe? I’m sure if you look within your family’s history you too will be amazed to know that you are alive and well. So why not make the most of the life you have today. What is one thing you can do today to tap into the sheer determination and grit within you?

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”–Alice Walker

You have more power than you know it is your life and you get to make choices. What are you choosing to do or accept today?

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”–Mother Teresa

There is no use in crying over spilled milk and the sooner we realize that we cannot undo the past the better off we will be. We can plan for the future and that is a wise and noble action.  The riskier thing would be to take action today to move towards change and no longer allow fear to drive us.

We all have things churning with in us things we need to get done. People we need to reconcile with, folks we need to let go, classes we need to take, budgets we need to implement. Today is as good a day as any to begin.

 

Which quotes resonated with you? Have you considered creating a vision board with quotes? Let me know what you think and what steps you might take in the comments.

Be bold, be brave…on second thought just do nothing

Timothy Ferriss What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 BK, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio


Be bold, be brave…on second thought just do nothing

Most of 2014 was filled with a feeling of angst, discomfort, a smidgen of boredom and a whole lot of stagnation. I longed to do something more to be something more but had absolutely no clue how or where to start. I investigated a variety of things, opportunities within my current field, graduate school, never ending youtube “research” on all things natural hair. Nothing would bring relief from the nagging discomfort and the quiet voice whispering ‘You were created for more’.

Should I continue to try and make my way up the corporate ladder? Should I go back to school, full time, could I go back to school full time?

All of these questions flooded me towards the end of last year and it was like I awakened from a sleep deprivation coma that began 5 years prior with birth of our middle daughter. I was in a cyclone of never ending ear infections and sporadically sleeping children.  2014 was the beginning of the long ascent out of babyhood into a world little people with ideas and opinions. I could finally breathe and begin to think clearly. Yet I continued to allow the busyness of life, marriage, kids and work, to rule me.

During my daily routines I might hear the quiet voice in the drone of my never ending conference calls.  Yet and still I would hear and continuously push the whisper ‘You were created for more’ back to a secret corner of my mind. Occasionally if I sat still long enough I would entertain the idea that ‘You can have a greater impact than you think’ to inch up into the realm of possibilities.

Master of Doing Nothing

I had become a master of not sitting still with my thoughts and dreams. If I’m honest, I thought there was no way life can be better than it is right now. And let me say my life by no means sucks, sure there are ups and downs but certainly nothing to be depressed about. I realize now that I was viewing my life with constraints and limitations, fear of the unknown had me in its paws and I didn’t even realize it.  I was content, so I thought, just going through the motions and becoming a martyr in my own life. There was no time to be bold or brave.

2015 change starts with me?

Throughout 2014 I avoided the idea of a life coach but in 2015 something shifted in me and I was open to the idea. When I got an invited to attend a free Teleclass  Best Year Ever…Set and Achieve the Goals You Really Want In the New Year!, hosted by Coach Rita Goodroe I took what seemed like a huge risk at the time,  and I joined the call. She talked about how after a failed relationship she helped herself get over the break up by shaking things up. Rita challenged herself to 35 dates in 35 days.  In that process she was able to take a look at herself and make some adjustments. When she talked about the process it’s like a light bulb went off for me. All of a sudden all of the lip service I’d given many others over the years became nearly deafening as the words rang back to me. “The only person you can change is yourself”.  Rita asked us to think about what we would like for our lives to look like by the end of the year. And the question she asked next rocked me, ‘What would your situation/life look like if you choose to do nothing?’

Yeah, Change Starts with Me!

Boom!  Went the cannon and I was convinced any change, any improvements I’d like to see in my life they start with me. So at the beginning of 2015 I committed to myself to begin the process of self-evaluating, adjusting and changing. While it hasn’t been comfortable and most times it can be downright terrifying, it’s all been worth it. I remind myself that I made a commitment to try and take the risk. I made the decision to be brave and bold and refuse to do nothing.

And Change Starts with You!!

What is one small thing you can do today to begin the process of shaking things up in your life? It doesn’t have to be a full blown strategic plan. It can be something small like simply deciding to attend a free webinar or class. What’s something small you can commit to do today?  Please add your comments below.

Be Bold, be brave, and refuse to do nothing!

Let’s Get Ready to Bloom!


Hi there! I’m am a management consultant by day and  a cheerleader for the underdog. I believe that some of the best lessons are presented throughout our lives through our work, friends and family.  My hope is this site will serve as a catalyst for taking risks and moving out of our comfort zone. To become intentional about blooming inspire of our past and even our present circumstances. Hopefully, you will find the content here  insightful and transparent. And maybe, just maybe, you too, will be inspired to become a Successful Bloom!IMAG1306