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When was the last time you celebrated you?

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It’s finally here, the time of year when we see if we have staying power or not.

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Twelve days of January have gone and those who set big resolutions are asking themselves, “What was I thinking?”

Those, like myself, who didn’t even think about resolutions, are breathing a sigh of relief and celebrating the season for what it really is, a time of reflecting and rejuvenating in order to approach 2016 with new vitality and focus. Now is the time to make the first two or three months of this new year really meaningful.

Here is one thing that should get you geared up for a successful 2016.

Honor yourself.

You made it through 2015. Things may not have gone exactly the way you planned, or maybe they did. Still you made it. Give yourself a pat on the back. This is the time of year to pause and celebrate the person you are today. Yes, there are still changes you want to make, but for now, celebrate and honor you.

For those of you who journal, take the time to memorialize what the past 12 month journey of 2015 was like. Write about the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs, the setbacks and steps forward. Embrace it all. Those experiences have allowed growing and excelling to take place.

What about your expectations, goals, and aspirations for 2016. Yes, now is the time to write them down and plan out what it will take to make 2016 the year of expansion and accelerated growth.

For those of you who blog, then share your story with us. Teach us how you did it; what you learned, and show us how we too can achieve great success through, dare I say it, hard work and determination.

Share your stores of how important it is to be kind and generous, thinking of others as much as yourself. Let us know where you came from and how far you have journeyed. Yes, it doesn’t hurt at all to remember your roots.

Finally, tell us who gave you love and support during this time of change or growth. Who were those influencers and supporters of all you accomplished? Hey, having an attitude of gratitude can propel you way faster than you ever dreamed.

Indulge yourself. You have a full year ahead of you. Take this time to focus and plan. You owe it to yourself.

“Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Change is Inevitable

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I wanted to share these words of encouragement from a fellow blogger whose mission is to inspire and motivate those who land on their page.

Change is our biggest fear, but it is also a part of living.  At the end of the day change is going to come. How we react to that change will determine the outcome. It will be positive if we embrace it and negative if we fight it.

Courage means taking action.

Aminellie says when change comes, “Do not crumble” and “Hold on“. I am in total agreement with that.

Now then take these words of inspiration and motivation from Aminellie and Kick Fear Now.

You Get What You Ask For

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“Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your pegs.  For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left.  And your descendants will possess nations, and they will resettle the desolate cities.”  Isaiah 54:2-3

I was told that 2014 is the year of expansion so I prayed, “Lord, enlarge my territory”.

The vision for my life was more than what I was experiencing.  I was depressed and disheartened. Each time I tried to make progress something or someone came along to distract or discourage me. Eventually, with back-to-back delays, I realized that if I did not do something soon discouragement would derail everything that I had worked so hard to accomplish.

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My dreams, goals, and plans were still there.  I was more than willing to step into new territory.

My expectations were high.  My heart wide open.  Yet, here I was at a dead-end.  Not sure what to do, where to turn, or how to move.

How had I come to this point?  When did I step off the road that was moving me towards success?  The peace I had once experienced was now replaced with chaos and turmoil.  I searched my memory and racked my brains to see what had caused me to make this detour. Even more importantly, how was I going to get though it?

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What or who had caused me to take one detour after another?  I wanted to move forward, but was not sure which direction to go or even how to start.  Each time I attempted to move the question arose, “What price are you willing to pay in order to move forward?”

One thing about expansion is that it requires you to move from a place of comfort and familiarity.  You have to leave behind what you know in order to step into what will at first be new and strange. Questions will fill your mind.  Doubt will rise up. Uncertainty will show itself.

Growth and expansion is often messy and chaotic.  Things do not always go according to your plan.  Deadlines are rarely met and delays often set us back.  But despite how it looks you must still continue with your plan.

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When you ask for something that involves change, you will get what you ask for.  What you have to remember is that despite great plans and good intentions obstacles will come your way. All you have to do is learn to pick yourself up after each setback.  Don’t give up because it hurts. Instead, keep your eyes on the prize.  Stay focused on your ultimate goal and take whatever steps you need to in order to get there.

I asked  for my territory to be enlarged.  The price that I was willing to pay — Proceed with Caution.  I got what I asked for.  How about you?

What have you asked for in this year of expansion? What cost are you willing to pay to achieve success?  If you have already begun the journey, what has been some of the challenges or setbacks you have faced?  How have you overcome those obstacles?  Please let us know.  It might help us to get moving towards our dreams a little bit quicker.

Curb Your Dog – Curb Your Fear

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You know what makes me angry, people who don’t curb their dogs. Believe you me, I don’t have anything against dogs or their owners. Dogs are wonderful companions.  Many a pooch has passed through my life at one time or another.  In fact, at one point we had 4 of them at home, all running around and causing havoc. No, what gets me mad is dog poop.

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Yes, you got it, dog poop. And not just dog poop, but dog poop that is in the middle of the sidewalk. You know the kind, dog poop that you have to dance around or jump over in order to get to the curb without stepping into it.  I get even angrier if I’m not looking down and step right into a pile of dog poop.  Oh yes that has happened to me. Why don’t people just curb their dogs as the sign says, and — because it is the law.

Unrealistic fear, like dog poop, gets me real angry.  That’s why I wrote the book Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You.  Fear used to get in my way of doing the things I wanted to do and you know what, that made me angry, so angry that I decided to do something about it.

In her book, Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion, Carol Tavris explains that fear and anger aren’t that different. She says that “any event that is unfamiliar, intrusive and compelling – and that potentially requires you to respond – will stimulate the production of adrenaline, and, to a varying extent, noradrenalin as well.” What differs, she informs us, is each individual’s reaction and behavior.

I don’t know about you, but stepping in a pile of dog poop is very intrusive and so is living a life filled with unrealistic fear.  Poop and unrealistic fear need to be curbed, out of your way of moving forward.

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Why did I choose the curb as the place where unrealistic fear should eventually end up? The curb is an edge built along the street to form a gutter. It’s a raised edge that is meant to confine or strengthen the sidewalk. The gutter is recessed underneath the curb.

Anything that gets to the curb will eventually end up in the gutter.

There are so many of us that allow fear to be the center of attention in our life experiences. Every time you’re ready to do something, be it great or small, here comes unrealistic fear. First, it triggers your memory to search for a similar, long ago experience.  Then, it forces you to dwell on the bad feelings that took place with that situation.  Next, it uses those same emotions to put doubt and fear in your mind.  Before you know it you are hesitant, reluctant to take that chance of feeling that way again. But, this should not be how you react.

Just like bypassing that dog poop, with unrealistic fear you have to take action.  Do everything possible not to allow it to throw you off your path.  Move around it, jump over it, dance if you must, just don’t let it stop you from moving forward.  For me, I put unrealistic fear where it belongs — below, not above; underneath, not on top.

You should be the one looking down and gloating at fear, not the other way around.

So, if you are ready for a change and unrealistic fear is blocking your way, kick fear now and keep on stepping right into the life you always dreamed of living.

 

Only You Alone Can Do This

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“We can aid each other in the independent visions God has given us, but we each as individuals have our own mountain to climb, our own journeys, and our own accountability to God.”

Tonia Renee Lee, Live Inspired, Not Bound!

Kick Fear Like An Olympian

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The 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia has certainly seen its fair share of winners and losers.  Athletes that were expected to be the golden stars have received no gold medals and those who were unlikely to be placed in the top 8 are the ones standing on the podium holding gold, silver, or bronze.  The Winter Olympics, just as the Summer Olympics, is exciting, colorful, and spectacular to watch.  It really doesn’t matter which country you favor, somehow you always end up rooting for the underdogs.

In the January/February edition of Women’s Health magazine there is a wonderful article by Jen Ator entitled, Find the Winner’s Edge.  Jen’s article looks at 4 Olympic athletes who are on the winning edge and reveals the “six mental traits that separate the average from the extraordinary.”  These six traits: perseverance, self-awareness, resilience, perspective, focus, and discipline, will definitely carry you to victory regardless of whether you are trying out for a spot on the winter Olympics or getting rid of unrealistic fear so that you can live a courageous, fearless life.

Olympic athletes really do put their bodies and minds through some grueling workouts.  No matter how hard it gets, how sore their bodies feel, or how daunting the goal may seem, they don’t give up.  They are going to get a place on the Olympic team.  They will represent their country.  They will be a winner.  This is the mindset it takes to accomplish their dreams.

“I refuse to be deterred by failure.  A little failure today is not a failure if it leads to success tomorrow.” ~ Lolo Jones, Bobsled

“You have to be smart enough to know when to push yourself and when not to.” Gretchen Bleiler, Snowboarding

“I had no idea how I’d do it, but I never doubted that I would.” Amy Purdy, Para-Snowboard Cross

“I don’t by any means wake up motivated every morning. I’m often relying on my commitment, not my motivation.” Emily cook, Freestyle Skiiing Aerials

A winning mindset does not happen overnight.  It takes those six traits mentioned above and a whole lot of courage to come out on top.  More often than not it feels like a very lonely journey.  The key to remember is that you are never alone. 

I hope you will take a little time to read Jen’s article.  You may not be training for the Olympics, but you are working at this thing called life.  Sometimes we need a dose of encouragement to help us Kick Fear Now.

Why not kick fear like an Olympian.  I dare you.

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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/4378452948/”>Kris Krug</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Words are Fearless

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I just love words.  The way they look when you string lots of them together.  It makes me feel good when they fill up a page and form lines of poetry or prose. Words sound so exciting.  I enjoy hearing them being read and seeing them acted out. I don’t even mind whether they are fiction or non-fiction. 

I’ve always had a way with words.  As a little girl I would stay up during the night writing in my diary.  There were short stories and poems, a young girl’s thoughts and dreams, and lots of goals and ambitions. Later, I moved from the dairy on to a journal.  I would write anything and everything.  It really did not matter.  You see, I just enjoy words.

I keep writing words, lots of them in fact.  Words to get into college, obtain scholarships, get good grades, get not so good grades, recommend myself, recommend others, start a business, get a job, get a higher degree, and even words to get out of college. 

So what does a person who loves words, has a way with words, writes lots of words, do?  All the words I wrote and the knowledge I accumulated were of no value unless they were shared.  I knew I had to take my words to the next level, but fear and doubt would quickly appear and make me think twice.

The funny thing is that words often take on a life of their own.  I could not stop them.  They wanted to be published.  They knew that they could be of help if only they were placed in someone’s hand.  So I continued to write words on a topic that I knew a lot about, Unrealistic Fear.  The words soon grew into a book.  The book of words did get published and is called Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You. 

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What about you?  Where are your words?  Are they asking you to let them go so that they too can be placed in someone’s hand?  

Kick Fear Now and set those words free.