Self-assessment

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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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!

Focus on the Future

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Up we go again whew!

Sometimes you have to just step back and take a good look at you.  I mean really stop for a moment and take stock of your life.  Are you happy with the life you are living?  Is the situation or circumstance you find yourself in what you really want?  Are you at the point in your life where you can say, “Yes, this is where I should be?”

It’s January and most of us are feeling tired and lethargic this second week of 2014.  All the hype and excitement of the year end celebrations are over. New Year’s resolutions have been made and most have already been broken. So many are anxious and worried that another year has passed by and they are not where they want or should be.  Yet, many are also excited at the newness of a New Year, knowing that this is a time of new beginnings and there is a whole year to get things right.

Whichever group you are in, the fact is you still need to do an assessment of where you are right now and where you are heading in 2014.  Here are some things to get you started on your own assessment.

Uphill from classroom

Ask and answer these few questions.

1.     Are you allowing past failures and successes prevent you from making progress.

2.     Do you feel guilty about the goals you set that did not get accomplished or the task you began and never finished?

3.     What about your present successes, are they keeping you stagnant and complacent?

May I suggest that you don’t stop now? There’s no need to keep looking back.

Keep moving forward despite your failures.  Keep pressing on regardless of yesterday’s success.  Don’t let fear and doubt let you lose sight of what is ahead for you.

Your life is a work-in-process which means you will continue to experience change.

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Forget the past.  Focus on the future.  There’s an amazing journey ahead just waiting for you to take action.  I dare you.  Take an assessment.  Then Kick Fear Now and start living the life you have always dreamed of.  You can do it.  Yes, you can.

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Sometimes you have to hear good advice several times over before you determine to take action. I concur with everything that Vipul tells us to do such as understanding and confronting your fears, using different exercises, such as deep breathing and affirmations to keep you positive and focused. In fact, why don’t I let you hear what he has to say. Remember, in order to Kick Fear Now you have to begin somewhere.

4 Things You Need to Know About Unrealistic Fear

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“Fear is disruptive, causing us to turn our attention from our real purpose.”
Deborah Gray Young

There are four major things you need to know about unrealistic fear.  If you can identify them quickly you will be able to begin the process of controlling what or who is in charge of your life. The pattern always repeats itself, silently moving from one platform to another.

Here is what you need to know:

Fear is a saboteur.

It will do, and use, whatever is necessary to hold you back.

Fear is a stealer of time.

It will delay, prevent, or stop you from moving forward.

Fear paralyzes.

It will cripple your movement, making you powerless and ineffective.

Fear is a dream killer.

It will use all the tools in its arsenal to stop you from realizing your dream.

Which one, two, or all of the four major characteristics of unrealistic fear has been preventing you from living a productive and successful life?

What fear phobia has become an imaginary mountain in front of you, blocking your movement and progress?

Oppressive and Burdensome – That’s Unrealistic Fear

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One thing that scares me is writing this blog. I can come up with every excuse why I don’t need to write. “People don’t want to hear what you have to say.” “Nobody is going to read it anyway.”  “What makes you the expert on this topic.”  “Aren’t you supposed to be doing this, that, or the other.”  Trust me I can find a thousand excuses to get out of doing something that I am afraid to do.  Like me, I am sure that you can find plenty of things that scare you.  You probably also make every attempt to avoid the pain and discomfort that comes with doing them.

This yoke is heavy
This yoke is heavy and I don’t like it

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.”

When I thought about this for a moment I realized that this is exactly what we should be doing if we want to break the cycle of stagnation that comes from living a life that is controlled by unrealistic, irrational, unjustified fear.  Like a yoke around an ox’s neck, unrealistic fear is burdensome and oppressive.  It stirs up the past when you are trying to live in the present.  It enjoys rehashing old things that are long gone, using them to stop you in your tracks, and from experiencing the change you so longingly desire.

In a Ladies’ Home Journal article, Free Yourself from Fear, Dr. Phil McGraw describes how we make so many wrong decisions when unrealistic fear dominates our life. Thankfully, he gives us 7 Steps to living a fearless life, one of passion and purpose.  I have listed them below.

1. Decide what you really care about.

2. Examine where you are now.

3. Make a life decision.

4. Acknowledge your fears.

5. Challenge irrational fears.

6. Make it happen.

7. Get help.

The article, published in September 2008, was very instrumental in propelling me to write my first self-help book.  I realized that if I did not do it then, I would never do it at all.  Dr. Phil said, “The difference between dreams and goals is a time line and an action plan.” You have to take action, even if it is only one small, simple thing done each day.  The key is to chip away at your fear until you shut it down.  You control it, not the other way around.

CAUTION – Beaver at Work

In 3 days time we are going to end 2012 and step into 2013.  Many of you are probably thinking about making some New Year Resolutions.  I believe there is no time like the present to start taking action.  Today, you can start by doing one thing that really scares you.  Remember, a simple action, done consistently, always produces results. Why wait till January 1, 2013. Kick Fear Now!

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Photographs by One World One Family @Just1Thought

To read the entire article:  McGraw, Dr. Phil. Free Yourself From Fear, Ladies’ Home Journal, September 2008: http://www.lhj.com/health/stress/relaxation-techniques/free-yourself-from-fear/?page=1

Blow Your Own Trumpet and Toot Your Own Horn

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One thing about the holiday season is that there are plenty of messages that will inspire and motivate us to action.  Last night after I came out the movie theater from watching the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I decided to walk along 34th Street before catching the train home.  As I looked around at the bright lights, decorations, and people doing their last minute shopping, my eyes were drawn upward.  High above the crowd, on the façade of Macy’s Department store, lit up in bright yellow lights and large enough so it could not be missed, was one word — Believe.  A simple message, but a powerful one nonetheless.

Inspiring messages are all around us
Inspiring messages are all around us

Don’t be afraid to dream big dreams or believe that they will come to pass. Just remember that you need to take action steps to make sure those dreams become reality. Of course, this is not always that easy to do but that does not mean you stop dreaming, believing, or doing. So you didn’t keep all your 2012 New Year’s resolutions and you did not do everything you wanted to do. Well, guess what, that’s okay.

You know, at the beginning of this year I set some big challenges for myself. In other words I dared to dream big and I believed that they would all happen. Well the year is almost over and I have not crossed every one of those goals off my list. I am sure that is also the case for many of you. Despite this fact I still believe I will be successful at them. This time, I have not resorted to feeling sorry for myself.  I now know better than to allow fear and doubt to take control. Instead, I have congratulated myself on the things that I have accomplished and given myself a pat on the back.

The little things are often the most important
The little things are often the most important

It is so easy to look back over the year and say to yourself, “I haven’t accomplished anything” but how wrong you would be.  This holiday season I strongly suggest that you take some time for you and list all the things that you have accomplished this year. Please don’t forget the small things.  Sometimes we overlook these little successes and they often are the most important.  Think of what you have done, how you did it, and what the outcome was.  Give yourself feedback.  Use this information to build upon and define what you will do next.

Toot your own horn
Toot your own horn

Now give yourself a gift for all your successes.  If you dare, take time to bask in your achievement. Celebrate.  Blow your own trumpet and toot your own horn.  Why?  Because it is the holiday season and you deserve it.