future and power

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.


Kick Fear to the Curb – The Book

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September and the first part of October has found me at that anticlimactic stage where I have finished a project, but the overwhelming feeling of joy and satisfaction at having completed something significant, to me at least, just hasn’t arrived. The years of research and writing, proofing and editing, honing and fine-tuning has ended.  I don’t know how many hands it has gone through, nor the amount of eyes that have reviewed and scrutinized, constructively criticized and painstakingly commented.  It just feels like a lot.  I’ve cut and omitted, put down and picked up, wrote and re-wrote, taken out and put back in.  Finally, with much coaxing and persuading, I realized it was time to let my baby go.

Kick Fear Book

Writing my first book, Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You, was no easy task.  Nevertheless, it was a goal I set and I was not going to stop until I had accomplished it.  It was a labor of love from me to my audience.  It was a topic that needed to be addressed because too many of us have allowed unrealistic fear to stop us from living life — a full, rich, successful life.

In a world that is filled with so much fear, doubt, and uncertainty about the future, it is easy to become discouraged.  Yet, we need courage to live this life.  Furthermore, that courage has to be built up and constantly maintained.  This is why I wrote the book, to encourage you to take action, even if only small steps.  Fear should not be hovering over your life, holding you back from stepping into your desired future.  It’s time to put unrealistic fear right where it belongs, under your feet.

During the time of writing the book that will get you to Kick Fear Now, I learned a new language, traveled to exotic places, met new people, developed friendships, climbed several mountains, earned a Masters degree in Emergency Management and more than anything else, learned how to harness the power I have within me to keep unrealistic fear where it rightly belongs.  In other words, I found courage to be me.

Now, my mission is to get this book into your hands so that you can find the courage to be you, the vibrant, fearless, courageous you. If I can encourage you to stop being discouraged and allow your courage to propel you into the unknown then my mission will be accomplished.

I want you to Kick Fear and I will help you to do it – NOW.

Lessons Learned From Machu Picchu – Part 2

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What started out as a bucket list item turned out to be another learning experience on this journey of self-discovery.  I thought I was going to hike up a mountain for 4 days and arrive at my goal tired with muscles hurting, but exhilarated at knowing that I had “done it!”  This was my plan. Alas, as many of you know, even the best laid plan has a way of changing course on you.

Our wonderful porters

Lesson Learned:  Preparation is the best tool when trying to accomplish any goal, but despite the amount of preparation and training you do sometimes your plan, or plans, will change.

It will be difficult, but there comes a time when you realize Plan A is not working, so it is better to move on to Plan B.    On my hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru, altitude sickness got the better of me and my carefully made plans were slowly falling away.  Here, in a nutshell, is what happened.

The first day and a half of climbing was fine.  We moved at a steady pace up the first section past Piskakucho and when we reached camp at Wayllabamba some 2980 meters above sea level the altitude was almost bearable.  I say almost, because when I arrived at the camp I immediately proceeded to vomit up everything I had eaten that day.  When nothing else would come up I stood up straight only to find my head spinning like a whirlpool.  I did not realize it yet, but I was experiencing my first bout of altitude sickness.  I felt that after I had some hot tea and a good night’s sleep all that would be over.  


Lesson Learned: Always be Prepared for Any Outcome

I woke up the next morning feeling less than 40%, but decided that I would be alright.  A cup of tea, some quinoa porridge, and I could press on.  My stomach was still queasy.  My eyes were bloodshot, but I was okay.  I was ready to take whatever day two had to give me.  Big mistake!

Things did go well, for a while that is.  I did move at a slower pace than most. The hike got steeper and my breathing became more labored, still on I went.  My lungs felt as if it was trying to break free of my chest.  My heart was racing fast and furious.  The thud, thudding grew louder in my ears with each agonizing step that I took.  All I kept asking myself was, “What is going on?”  “Why do I feel this way?”

Our wonderful guide, Vlad
Our wonderful guide, Vlad

Lesson Learned: Regardless of how many people are in the group or on the team, you are still responsible for your own actions.

Our guide, Vlad, hung back with me.  Patiently, he coaxed and cajoled, trying to make me feel good.  Nevertheless, I could see in his face that he knew I was struggling.  His years of taking groups up and down the Inca Trail allowed him to assess the situation very quickly.  The altitude was taking its toll on me and I would not be able to tackle the next leg of the journey.  It was far too steep and the air would get much thinner.


Lesson Learned:  There is more than one way to accomplish any endeavor you aspire to attain. Your real challenge is to be flexible and open to what might happen along the way.

It was an agonizing time but I had to make a choice.  I could continue on, moving slower and in more pain, or I could turn around, somewhat defeated, and go back down.  The hike down would also be slow and painful, but the pain would be to my ego, not my heart and lungs.

I sat down on a big stone and suddenly the tears began to pour.  Tears for the pain I felt in my chest and the fact that I was finding it so hard to breathe.  Tears of grief because I knew I had to make a decision there and then whether to labor on or turn back.  Tears of relief because I knew that once the choice was made it would be the right choice.

mountains everywhere

Lesson Learned:  You do not have any idea how small and insignificant you are in this great big world until you stand facing a mountain or are surrounded by a range of mountains.

As I walked down the mountain with just the guide and porter accompanying me, I had a deeper revelation of what my purpose in life is.  The journey was not about succeeding.  Instead it was a journey of inspiration, motivation and exchange.  I was able to spend time with people I had never met before who touched my life in such a special way.  I was allowed to hear some of the dreams, desires and aspirations of several of them, as well as get to know them on a more personal level.  All because half way up the mountain my plans changed.


Lesson Learned:  Fear stems through everything that we do.

If we allow unrealistic fear to remain long after the perceived danger has passed, then we are allowing something that was only a short-term challenge stop us from moving forward in our lives.


Lesson Learned: It’s not about me, it’s about you.

My purpose is to give practical help to people who want to overcome the unrealistic fear or fears that stop them from accomplishing the goals and dreams that will lead to a successful future.  If you are one of those people who want to Kick Fear Now, then you’ve arrived at the right place.


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

Wishing and Hoping Does Not Bring Success

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Three days ago we all said “Good-bye” to 2012 and “Hello” to 2013.  Making resolutions are fine.  Putting together a bucket list is wonderful, but as Cheryl Pullins @iCoachWomen shared with us, “It might be a New Year, but if you brought old thinking, old habits and the same old stuff…it’s just another day.”

One such habit that many people sit around and do is hope that life will be different.  They spend much of their waking hours wishing, hoping and dreaming that someday their life will change.  Someday, Mr. Right or Ms. Perfect will step into my life.  Someday, I will land my dream job.  Someday, I will travel to another country, learn a new language, and meet new people.  Someday, I will stop working and start my own business, or write a book.  I think you get the picture.

The reality is that wishing and hoping does not bring success.  Without any action on our part there will be no materializing of what we desire.  In order for our dreams to become reality we must take action, any action, but preferably action that is based on a well thought out plan.  Let me give you an example based on my experience.

You all know by now that for as long as I can remember I limited myself from doing things because of unrealistic fear.  I dreaded speaking in front of an audience.  I feared being without enough money to take care of my children and myself.  I was afraid to share my writings with others in case they laughed at it or did not like it.  I dreaded making cold calls while I was a real estate agent.  In essence, I lived in my own world of doubts and fears.

Fortunately for me I woke up one day, actually it was more like every day for months. It dawned on me that life was going on without me.  All the things I dreamed of doing would be just that, dreams.  It was a hard fact to come to terms with, but when days turn into years and you are still in the same place, you know something must be done.

In my soon to be published book, Kick Fear to the Curb, I share with you five tried and lived steps that will take you from being fearful to fearless.  I spent years observing, researching, gathering information and later, counseling others. I know that change is possible.  I also know that the only way to get what you truly want is to face your fears.

Kick Fear teaches you how to do this by taking you through the process. It teaches you how to recognize and deal with unrealistic fear so that you can achieve the life you’ve always dreamed of living.  Taking action has taught me to be courageous and confident.  Taking action eventually led me to writing Kick Fear.

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What are some of the things that you want to do?  What old habit do you want to get rid of? What unrealistic fear do you want to face?  If you want 2013 to be your year of ACTION, then get ready to Kick Fear Now.