Tuesday, April 30, 2013
1. Go Au Naturale: Wear natural fabrics. Apparel made out of cotton, linen, and even lightweight wools, is breathable and will keep you cooler than most man made fabrics.
What's easier - saying something positive or wallowing in negativity? Surrounding yourself with encouraging people or going back to the same people who bring you down? Chasing your own passions and purposes or choosing to put everybody else before your own well being? As women, we tend to feel that the more weight we carry, the "stronger" and more "important" we may feel. But, what we don't often see is that the weight we've become accustomed to carrying is also dead weight. And while we like to think that we're simply helping or saving others, we're really losing ourselves. What are you honoring with your actions?
Inside of each of us, is a power that lies dormant - ready to be activated by our faith, passions, purposes, and believes. Each time we don't answer to our calling or allow others to pull us away from who we are, we loose a piece of that power. We must each make the conscious decision that we will use our power to not only serve ourselves, but serve others as well. How can we be sure that we are using our power in the right ways?
1. Honor What Makes You Unique. The beauty in our flaws and differences, is that we can always be our own unique person. What may work for you may not work for the next person and vice versa. If you take more time turning what makes you different into things that you can celebrate, you'll not only feel good about yourself but you'll tap into your own solutions for whatever issues may come along.
2. Honor Your Mistakes. It takes a strong person to admit when you've messed up. Nothing says 'strong character' like accountability. Nothing says, 'I'm working on being a better me' more than taking control of the down sides of you life. You missed out on an opportunity because you let a bad relationship cloud your vision? You didn't give that new project your all? Didn't send that follow-up email when you should have? We've all been there. You may have lost a lot, but you will gain a new set of strength and skill from bouncing back.
3. Honor Your Gut. I'm not talking about the unwanted weight you've been wanting to lose. Your gut, your inner voice, you instinct, you conscious, that little voice in the back of your head that tells you when something isn't right, is very crucial to listen to. One of the biggest ways to test your own power in your life? The next time your intuition tells you to take heed to something, do it and watch the outcome. You are your biggest asset. All of the choices, decisions, plans, mean nothing if you're not completely trusting yourself.
4. Honor Your Support System. Whether you know it or not, there's a whole army of people behind you - near and far - who are rooting for you. Take the time out to send a small thank you and show your gratitude. You never know when someone will need to hear it. Honoring your own power is just as much about serving others, as it is serving yourself.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Taking risks and exploring uncharted territory can be frightening. But, I believe that if you have a dream and a true passion for something, you shouldn't let fear stand in your way. You should pursue your passion at most costs. You’ll never know what can be unless you try. So, be bold, be courageous and TAKE RISKS.
When you take a risk, there’s a chance that things won’t work out as you planned. There’s a chance that you may “fail”. That fear of failing is often what keeps a person from taking risks. What sets a person apart from everyone else is often the fact that they took a risk, an educated risk, and succeeded. Educated risks consist of great preparation and are best utilized when preparation meets opportunity. Here is my personal story of taking a huge risk, actually two risks, in my career:
The first risk was when I opened a private practice during my first year of a Ph.D. program in Counselor Education. I had earned my Master’s degree in Counseling 5 years earlier and had worked for a number of practices and agencies and thought, “If they can do it, so can I. If they can run this business, then surely I can, too.” After a year of my practice being open and trying to get clients and learning how to run a business and exhausting every single penny that I had put in my savings account, I called it quits and went and got a job…two jobs to be precise…because I needed a steady paycheck. I needed to make a living and what I had been doing for work and how I had been doing it for that past year was not paying the bills. Needless to say, my first endeavor as a private practitioner didn't work out as I’d planned. People would say that I failed. I say that it was a great learning experience. I learned some tough, but valuable lessons.
Fast forward to when I took the second huge risk of my career. This was when I left my great paying, management-level, full-time job. I was also working a part-time job. Over the four years leading up to this point, after the failure of my first business, I had completed my Ph.D., and my desire to open a private practice had grown and had become so strong that I had to do something about it. I really liked my current job and the people with whom I worked, but I had an idea and a passion that I was ignoring. One day, I realized that I was compromising my happiness and to live with knowing that for the rest of my life was unacceptable. So, I took a risk. I quit my full-time job and budgeted my life to survive off of only my part-time job because I was working on my business plan and that was a full-time job in itself. I was PREPARING for an OPPORTUNITY. I worked on my business plan every day for 6 months (preparation). Finally, I had enough money in savings (the opportunity) to try my hand at private practice again.
Four years have passed since I opened my practice. It’s grown into a group practice filled with wonderful people and I’m comfortable with saying that things are going well. We’ve had many successes. I had a dream and pieces of a plan that couldn't be realized as long as I put all of my time and energies in someone else’s dream. I prepared myself and I took a risk by following my passion. I am living out my dreams and my mission in life on my terms and I know that this would not be possible if I had not taken the risk.