Are you in the arena?

Many people will not pursue their dream due to fear. One particular fear is the fear of what others will think. I must include myself in having that fear. I was almost paralyzed by fear of others opinions of my work. How did I overcome this fear? By surrounding myself with like-minded people who encouraged me to continue with my work. Every day I keep taking steps toward my goals. Some days my steps are larger than others and some days I feel as if I am crawling on my hands and knees.

When I was in the process of publishing my book I wanted to quit daily because of the barrage of negative and fearful thoughts that went through my mind. I’m glad I didn’t quit. Meeting that goal is one of greatest accomplishments in my life.

I’m a huge fan of Dr. Brene` Brown, author of “Daring Greatly” and her research on shame and vulnerability. She has some wonderful insight on how to view this fear of others opinions.  Dr. Brown also talks about critics in some of her work and I find it important to share that insight as you embark on your journey. If you are interested in learning more about her you can check out her Ted talks here.

Dr. Brown shares a great reference from Theodore Roosevelt referring to his speech, “The man in the arena”. You can click here to see a full excerpt. In summary of the speech it is basically saying, do not care about the critics and haters, unless they are in the arena getting their ass kicked with you. I love that.

It’s easy to stand outside the arena and criticize. I would have to agree with Dr. Brown, unless you are in the arena with all of us, bloodied and beaten, then we should not give the critics our time.

Dr. Brown also shares in her work,“the greatest pain I’ve ever seen is from people who’ve spent their lives outside the arena, wondering what would’ve happened had I shown up?”

I understand that pain. I have known for years that I was destined for more than what I was allowing myself to accomplish. I was afraid of what feels like everything sometimes. It’s hard trying to figure out where to even start and then when you do start, it’s hard to stay on the path or know which way to turn. I understand, I have been there and still walk that path.

If you are just getting started on your dream, be aware, that you are going to have “nay sayers” telling you that you can’t. Some of them will be those closest to you. Do not give them time in your mind, unless they too are in the arena. Surround yourself with those in the arena, they will be honest and supportive. Seek out those companions for feedback.

My challenge to you this week is to seek out others who are pursuing their dreams and invite them into your life. Turn a deaf ear to those outside of the arena for they are letting fear run their life. As always, I am here to help you in anyway get started and begin your journey to your best self. Shoot me an email at Wishing you all peace and success.

Overthinking can lead to underachieving.

Photo by Lori Vowels Photography

Photo by Lori Vowels Photography

On entirely too many occasions I think about and analyze other people and situations. My poor husband is in the cross hairs as much as anyone. I constantly analyze why he does things the way that he does. I also analyze when he doesn’t do things and why he didn’t do them. He has told me often that I think way too much. He says he is a simple man with simple ways, that’s it in a nutshell. Quit over analyzing, but I think it can’t be that simple. Let me dig around in this awhile longer and see what I come up with. That’s usually where I get into trouble.

I often let this habit overflow into my dreams. I think about my dreams that I would love to accomplish and then I begin to analyze them. This is when the negative perceptions kick in and I start showing myself all of the reasons why I can’t achieve those dreams. This overthinking causes me to cower away from large daunting tasks. This is why many are considered underachievers. We are underachievers because God has given us the talents to achieve our goals, we just choose not to pursue them due to overthinking. Stop making it so hard. Go for it. These fears that we drag up can be paralyzing at times. We allow the fear to stop us from even taking the smallest steps toward our goals. Most of these fears are unfounded and untrue. We need to follow our dreams and give the world our gifts.

To defeat the overthinking dilemma I tell myself that looking at the big picture is too overwhelming. I need to begin with setting the beginning goals. Take small steps toward achieving the beginning goals and build from there. One small step at a time is all that needs to be done today. Put all those questions and what if’s out of your mind.  Take small steps and accomplish your tasks one at a time. Don’t sit and think about every scenario that may go wrong. Don’t worry about what tomorrow may or may not bring. Let tomorrow worry about itself, let’s focus on today. Just work on the task at hand. Don’t look out into the future with doubts, the future holds all our possibilities and dreams. Look to the future only with positive thoughts and encouragement.

Don’t let overthinking deter you from achieving great things in life. We are destined to be more than what we allow ourselves to be. Leave me a comment and let me know if you are an over thinker also. How had this habit kept you from achieving goals in your life? Be sure to sign up for our blog post so you can continue the journey of Inviting Excellence into your Life.

Confidence through the eyes of a child.

This weekend I took my two youngest children to an annual street festival that our hometown puts on. It is filled with bad for you fried food, rides, games, and music. We got our annual funnel cake which is nothing but fried batter topped off with powdered sugar. A donut on steroids basically. The richness along with the grease weighs heavy on the stomach, so a few bites is all that is needed before the stomach cries uncle.

As we sat and ate on our nutritious void treat we discussed the events of the day. My two youngest, Emily and Andrew, are 12 and 9. They love the games at these festivals and both are extremely competitive. Emily had just one the last game they had played. That’s when the boasting began. Emily made the comment that she wasn’t sure who was going to win as it was a close game. Andrew chimed in to say that no one really thought he would win except the most important person, “me”. At that moment I thought what an amazing young man. He was expressing confidence in his self when no one else did. If only, if only, we all had this kind of confidence what amazing things we could accomplish.

I am proud of all three of my children. They are all unique and beautiful in their own way. I hope and pray that they all carry Andrew’s confidence in themselves which will allow them to follow their dreams if life. What about you? Do you have this kind of confidence to believe when no one else does? If not, think about why that may be. What can you do to change it? Press in to the uncomfortable side of this realization and tackle it head on if it’s a problem that is holding you back in life. This is a great way to Invite Excellence into Your Life. Go out this week and show the world your AWESOMENESS!!!!

Attacking the enemy from all sides. The Conclusion

JubileeVISUALIZE400So for the last couple of weeks I have shared how we can conquer the enemy of fear and negative thinking. Another technique is to tell the enemy to go suck an egg that you are not buying his crap anymore. Then you need to share some positives about yourself. Make a list of all the positives in your life. You are a great spouse, parent, sibling, employee, child, friend, etc. You get the point. Have some positive affirmations ready to sling at the enemy. We are more than we allow ourselves to be and it’s time we quit hiding behind humility and admit our awesomeness. LOL We need to take ourselves with a grain of salt sometime. Be prepared to combat negativity with positive thoughts.

Photo courtesy of Andy Dooley.

Last and not least, spend time visualizing the future that you want for yourself. Don’t let fear and negativity into this special time that you set aside to dream. We all have dreams. Some of us just forget to remember them. Don’t have any old dreams you can remember, then make some new dreams. Visualize yourself at your best, doing what you love and the crowd cheering you on for doing it. Visualization is a powerful tool to our subconscious. Our minds go to work to accomplish the pictures that we paint. Start painting your dreams in your mind today and be thinking only positive thoughts. When you come under attack, kick him to the curb. The attacks are only thoughts, they don’t control you unless you let them.

Spend time this week focusing on your comeback responses to your negative, fearful thoughts. Don’t you dare let that good for nothing blankety blank drag you down with his lies. You are better than that. INVITE EXCELLENCE into your life today because you are awesome and you deserve it!!!