endless possibilities

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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Graduates, Get Ready to Soar

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The graduates are coming!

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One by one they walk up the steps, move across the stage, and accept their diploma.

The time it took to accomplish this wonderful goal, whether 2 years, 4 years, or even more, will now be fully sealed and secured by this rolled up piece of paper.

All those late nights, tests and papers, essays and presentations are now behind.

No more pulling your hair out or burning the midnight oil while you guzzle down cans of energy drinks.

The hard work is done.  Your labor was not in vain.  The years of sacrifice is evidenced by this beautifully embossed diploma.

Some graduates walk across the stage looking very serious. With determination and purpose, their minds are already mapping out the next five years of their lives.  Others walk with a smile on their face, a little bit of disbelief still in their eyes. They are pleased with their accomplishment, yet unsure of what to do next.  Nevertheless, they are satisfied with a job well done.  Then there are those that strut across the stage, big grins on their faces.

One turns and looks at the crowd, pumps a fist in the air and lets out a big “Yes”.  A cheer comes from where family and friends are seated.  It was a rough ride, so victory is all the more sweet.

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Many of you have wanted to give up along the way. The assignments were hard, the pressure too high, and the setbacks just never seemed to stop.

For you who stayed the course and did not throw in the towel, you have earned this milestone celebration.  You are people on purpose.  Fear once held a big place in your life, but not now.  You will accomplish anything you set your mind to because courage is now a part of who you are.

For you who stepped off for a moment, but stepped back on, I’m proud of you. You’ve come a long way in keeping unrealistic fear from taking its grip and hold.  You have truly earned your diploma.  You are a champion because of your determination and perseverance.

For you who have stopped and started, screamed and shouted, thrown in the towel and picked it up again to complete this course. I salute you. Go on and raise your hands in triumph because you did it.

Now, my question to you is – What’s Next?

Well, I say that it’s time to expand your vision, raise your sights higher, and move to the next level. Chapter 2 is about to begin.

You have your plans and goals, your dreams and visions. It’s all about moving forward courageously one action step after another.

Now, with that degree in your hand step triumphantly off the stage.  It’s time to step forward to success — your success!

Watch out world!  The fearless Graduates are getting ready to soar.

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.

 

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.

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.

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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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Stressed to the Max — No Way

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Well it’s that time of year again.  The end of the old year and the start of a new one.  Resolutions, goals, changes, risks, moves, plans, and the list goes on.  In other words, this is the time of the year that we look back at what we have done, how far we have come, and use what we see to look ahead and move forward. Yes, this is a good time.  There is a lot of excitement, much celebration and a great deal of chatter. 2013 has gone and 2014 is here.

How are your bucket lists going?  Thanks to Dana Sitar you should all be on your way to creating some great ones, especially those of you who are busy blogging, writing a book, or tweeting your hearts out.  Many of you have come real far in your journey of kicking unrealistic fear from your lives and I am really excited about that.  By writing down your goals, dreams, aspirations, or bucket lists, you have something to focus on when unrealistic fear tries to stop you from doing all those things you know that you can do.

I extremely excited for my friend the Fly Away American.  If you haven’t stopped by her blog please do.  Now that’s a lady who has kicked fear, moved to more than one new country, and is having fun sharing her journey with us.  Go Jessica!  I can’t wait to hear about your journeys in 2014.

Mustard Seed Budget continues to keep me grounded as does my friend over at the Better Man Projects.  Courage begins from within and whether it is starting a new ministry, business, or project, doing it with little or nothing is not always easy.  The key is to continue on and believe in yourself.  With patience, determination, and some staying power you will succeed.

As for those stumbling blocks that come to distract us from our journey, they have to be dealt with.  The past few months have been rough for me.  I was stressed to the max, overloaded, and bursting at the seams.  I am the first to admit I was tempted to throw in the towel, but that thought did not stick around for long.  I stopped, rested, and reassessed.  The stumbling block is now a small hurdle that I will get over.

So, I am in for the penny and in for the pound.  A new year is ahead and I am ready to take whatever 2014 brings.  What about you?  Are you ready for 2014?  I hope you will stick around as together, we KICK FEAR TO THE CURB, NOW!

Kick Fear Book