Are you in the arena?

www.jenniferhester.com

www.jenniferhester.com

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 jenny@jenniferhester.com. 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.

Help!! I’m an addict.

www.morguefile.com

www.morguefile.com

I have a dirty little secret. I am an addict. I am addicted to the good stuff. The sweets, especially the chocolate stuff. It’s an everyday battle not to consume some sort of sweet goodness. I also have other addictions, some that are not so sweet. These are more personality/prideful/self-absorbed addictions and they are just as hard to control at times. I fail at controlling them at times. I am an independent person, so I don’t like letting others have control. I am a control addict. Part of this is fear induced, part of this is pride induced. I fear others cannot manage their own lives, so I tend to share, really coerce them that my way is best. I use to want to show everyone else their flaws without taking a look in the mirror first and fixing me. I say, “use to” because I have truly come along way with this issue. In my upcoming eBook, 21 ways to Invite Excellence into your Life, I discuss the ways in which I discovered self-awareness and how it made a life changing difference in me.

 Do you have a secret addiction that is detrimental to your relationships? I’m not talking about the so called “taboo” addictions of drugs, alcohol, sex, or pornography. I’m talking about being a nag addict, last word addict, or control the household addict. Addictions are not just drugs and alcohol. Addictions take many forms in society. When we allow something to be placed above our family or health it could be considered an addiction. An addiction can also be something as little as having to have the last word in an argument. Something inside of us just can’t let go of that last word. We can’t walk away and let it go. This is a sign that there are other things in control of our mind instead of us. We allow these little things to go unchallenged, thinking they are only little things, but are they?

In your marriage, do you constantly nag your husband about getting projects completed? Do you always have to have the last word? Do we think that because we don’t have a “taboo” addiction that our addictions are okay? Our addictions can be just as detrimental to our marriage and other relationships as the taboo addictions. They build over time. We take away the other persons’ right to self-manage their life. We feel a need to be overly involved with how they should act or not act. Growing and learning is what life is about. This isn’t just about reading books and learning new topics, but about self-awareness. Looking inside and taking ownership of our little “addictions” is the first step.

Many of us don’t consider these an issue, but if we expect others to clean up their act, then we should first start with cleaning up ours. Your challenge this week is to look and see if you have some hidden addictions in your life. If you’re not sure, ask your spouse. Just kidding, don’t ask the spouse. Start with being present in your interactions with others and see if you notice any addictions. This is a great way to begin self-awareness and to Invite Excellence into your Life. Go out and let your AWESOME shine!!!

Do you have emotional baggage!!

Want to know a great way to start out your new year? Make a choice to let go of your emotional baggage. What is emotional baggage? It’s when we lug around our past like a bag full of dirty laundry. It goes everywhere we go, yet we try to hide it in our day to day activities. Instead of facing our past and making peace with it, we keep cramming it back down deep inside letting it fester. We all know what happens when you let things fester. This festering is a continual pain that won’t go away. We continue to hide from our past issues, put on our smiles, and pretend everything is fine.

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If we want this year to be different, we must let go of the garbage. That’s right, garbage. That’s what those old haunts from our past is. Something that wants to drag you down and not let you be what you are designed to be. Our past does not define our future. I recently read an article by Joyce Marter, LCPC that gave 10 tips to lighten your emotional baggage that I want to share with you.

1) Release any shame you carry, for shame is the heaviest burden.

2) Let go of any guilt that is unnecessary and free yourself to lead the life you want.

3) Forgive those with whom you are angry or harbor resentment, including yourself.

4) Accept the past and be grateful for the wisdom it has granted you.

5) Focus on liking yourself rather than pleasing others.

6) Choose to be your best cheerleader, rather than your worst critic.

7) Change your boundaries in relationships that are no longer working for you.

8) Practice gratitude, rather than focusing on that which you have not.

9) Replace self-sabotaging behaviors with self-love.

10) Let go of fear and defensiveness and allow yourself to be vulnerable and authentic.

I desperately want to be authentic and transparent. I believe these are great attributes, especially for someone who wants to grow and be all God wants them to be. These are not possible when you drag your past around with you. One of my goals for 2014 is to focus on making these attributes more prominent in my life.

What would you like to achieve in 2014? Leave me a comment with your plans. I hope these 10 items help you to continue to Invite Excellence into Your Life. Go be all God designed you to be!!!!!

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!!!

Attack the enemy from all sides. Part 1

Our enemy comes at us with a fury. I am referring to the enemy of negative thinking and the fears that accommdate them. Steven Pressfield refers to them as Resistance in his book, “The War of Art.” I have come to the realization that you must throw everything you have at conquering these thoughts. There are several techniques that I use to keep them from consuming me.

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sporeflections.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/warrior_msleal_full.jpg

First, I use the audio books that I keep in my car and on my iphone. I listen to Zig Ziglar, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, Steven Pressfield and Joyce Meyer. I spend 30 minutes to an hour in my car everyday. I can inject great thoughts into my subconscious during this time. This allows for 2 1/2 to 5 hours per week of personal development. You will be amazed at the amount of books you can get through this way. The libraries are full of audio books also, so check them out for cost free listening. It’s also a great way to check out speakers on their dime to see if you are going to like them.

Second, I turn of the TV, escpecially the news. I don’t receive updates for breaking news or any other news reports. If something major happens and I need to be aware, someone typically mentions it to me. Most of the things that the news reports do not affect me, nor can I do anything about them. I try to affect those that I can without worrying about those things that I cannot. The news lives and dies by the shock factor and negativity in this world. I don’t live in the dark, but there is no reason to put this type of negativity and worry into my mind daily.

What are some techniques that you use daily to fight the enemy? Leave me some comments, maybe I could use them in the posts. Remember to Invite Excellence into your life everyday!!!