change

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

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.

The Shocking Truth About Unrealistic Fear

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Have you ever watched fear in action?  You probably have many times.  In fact, unknowingly you stood and watched as fear worked to immobilize and stop someone you know, love or care about from being productive and successful.

This week my 88-year old mother arrived at my home.  Unfortunately, she has not been feeling her 100% usual self.  Her body is not cooperating with her and the symptoms she is experiencing has changed her in so many ways.  This once vibrant, fast-moving, always on the go business woman is now scared, full of anxiety, and because of the unknown, is accepting defeat with every intention of giving up.

Fear of the unknown will do that.  It will make you put off, postpone or avoid getting the right treatment for the ailment you have been diagnosed with.  It will make you listen to everyone else, including that negative chatter going on in your own head.  Meanwhile, the professional or expert who can answer all your questions is the one you refuse to accept as being right and stay away from them as much as you can.

The shocking truth about unrealistic fear is that unlike watching a scary movie, observing fear in action right in front of you is neither exciting or entertaining.  In fact it is sad.  If fear of the unknown is your unrealistic fear then I urge you to stop putting of what you know you must do.  Whether it is getting a second doctor’s opinion, ending a bad relationship or reaching out to that person you have been avoiding for so long, the situation needs to be addressed once and for all.

Facing your fears is scary, but delaying what eventually must be done could lead to an even more frightening outcome.  What unrealistic fear has stopped you in your tracks?  What thing do you need to do but having been putting off because you do not want to deal with it?  Is there anything you can do right now to soften the process?

No matter how bad the unknown looks or feels, wait no longer to take the right action.  Just Kick Fear Now!

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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.

Use Your Built-In Mechanisms to Overcome Your Fears

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I was pouring over the photographs and reading some of the essays in the book Perfect Waves: The Endless Allure of the Ocean, when I came across a piece entitled “A Primitive Fear”. I read the short essay with interest, especially as I was sitting in a hotel room looking straight out at the ocean.

Early Morning Walk

The waves were calm.  The beach was quiet, with one or two early morning walkers strolling along the sand on this brisk, yet chilly January morning.  “Fear of waves,” the essayist tells us, “reaches down to our most durably coded genes and brings our most primitive instincts and survival reflexes back to the fore.”  (Perfect Waves, p. 58).   Thoughtfully I digested these words.

The Lone Swimmer

As I scanned the calm waters outside the window I saw a lone swimmer out in the distance. I am sure he was enjoying the emptiness and tranquility of this vast watery space all to himself. Meanwhile, my mind wandered back to October 29, 2012 when the storm surge wreaked havoc on New York City and much of the East Coast in the form of Hurricane Sandy. There was nothing calm about the waves at this event. Yet, many people faced the elements to catch a glimpse of this powerful act of nature. The rush of adrenaline and endorphins that come when you face your fear is perhaps what kept these people looking on.

“Run or fight. Submit or react. Fear can prove a tremendous motor. It can allow us to evaluate a crisis more quickly and accurately.”  (Perfect Waves, p. 58).

Getting rid of unrealistic fear begins with facing your fears. When you face your fears you are giving yourself the opportunity to use the built in mechanisms, such as reflexes, intuition, experience, and senses, to overcome them. When you face your fears head on you are able to 1) assess the situation, 2) determine whether it is real, immediate or dangerous, and 3) make a decision. If you don’t face your fears and take action against them they will always be a reminder of your shortfalls.

“So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Know Yourself

I love to swim, but not being a strong swimmer it is rare that I take the plunge and swim away from the shore. In fact, the swimming pool will do just fine for me.  I know my limitations. What about you? Have you faced your fears and made an assessment? What is one major fear that stops you from stepping into the life you are always dreaming about? Today, take the plunge and face it head on. The tools to help you do this are right within your reach.

Nouqueret, Pierre, Editor. Perfect Waves: The Endless Allure of the Ocean, Abrams, NY, 2006