Do Not Feed the Fear

I am sure this has been said by many great thinkers and a few books have probably been written on this topic alone, but for me this statement is personal.  I have used this as my personal mantra to step into the unknown and believe that everything will work out.  At every major turning point in my life where I had to make a major decision, I was afraid and feared what I did not know.  Despite the fear that I had or that others had for me, I was able to focus on my dreams and not feed into my fear.

When I got accepted into college and did not have a plan in place to get me from one year to the next, I focused on graduation, making my family proud, and completing what I started.  When I studied for my nursing boards while working full-time, I focused on passing, making more money, and making the past 5 years of my life worth every moment.  When I decided to leave nursing and pursue a legal career, I focused on gaining knowledge, expanding my network, and having access to different opportunities.  You have to have a focus and it cannot be your fear.

As I countdown the days to embarking on a new journey, I naturally have fears that run through my mind as I pack, but I only allow them to rest for a moment.  I think about it and push it out by thinking of all of the great things that I know are coming and can come from this next opportunity.  Many times we begin to discuss our fears with others and allow that negative seed to plant and grow roots in our minds and spirit.  That fear keeps you awake at night, it keeps you from making sound decisions, and it keeps you from stepping into your destiny.

Someone recently told me, “You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”  Although I initially thought that I hate being uncomfortable, I realized it is only when I am uncomfortable that I actually take the risks that yield great returns.  I have been in DC for 11 years and had plans on staying for at least 2 or 3 more. I had to be broken down and detached from my place of comfort, so that my heart would be open for this opportunity.  If I would have been presented with this opportunity months ago, I would have turned it down because I would have been waiting for my ideal job.  My brokenness, my desire to get back working, and my openness to my personal definition of “ideal” is what allowed me to interview for this position and move my entire family there knowing that this was the right decision for us.

What I have learned over this part of my journey is to Fear NOT.  I do not fear because God is with me.  I do not fear because my steps are ordered.  I do not fear because everything is working together for my good.  My faith has sustained me even when my mind could not rationalize my reality.  You have to grow through every season, especially the ones that are tough to get through.  Many people talk about having tunnel vision but never discuss how hard it is to get through the tunnel to the light. As you walk through the tunnel you have to stay focused on the light and not fear the darkness that surrounds you or your situation.

Do not feed the fear.  Let your faith sustain you.  Greater has to come.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

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Don’t Be The Hold Up To Your Blessing

Desiring to be at a certain place at a certain time, prevents us from being at the right place at the right time.  When we are not where we want to be at a certain point in our life, we turn and begin to point fingers at everyone and everything that could have possibly prevented us from accomplishing our goals.  We complain and validate ourselves instead of taking time for introspection.  We waste time defending our credentials instead of yielding ourselves to the process of being humbled and learning patience.

The time we spend refusing to listen and learn is time that could have been used to get through and to where you are supposed to be.  Our posture is preventing us from passing through this phase.  We refuse to be broken down, we refuse to cry, we refuse to scream, we refuse to get on our knees and pray, so we suffer.  Our strength becomes a barrier to our heart. We want the blessing but we do not want to change who we are, how we think, or increase our faith.  We feel as if what we have been doing is good enough and anything more is simply icing on the cake.  But if you want to get more, you have to give more.

You can’t move higher in any area of your life without increasing your sacrifice, your skills, and your stability.  Many times we give just enough and end up with more, but there comes a point where you can only exude excellence and your sacrifice to get there, remain there, and grow from there is great at all times.  You cannot be running around wasting money, time, and your talents and expect to get to the level that many others never even get to see.  You can want more but if you do not give more of yourself and invest into your dreams, you will continue to gain but never achieve your ultimate goals.

Many people are very talented.  Therefore, when you proclaim to be talented and want to be recognized for your talent, you have to continuously refine your skills, take notes from the greats, and increase your value.  People are not going to simply see your talent and elevate you, but they must see that you are passionate, progressive, and punctual.  Timing is everything.  If you don’t see the urgency in being better than other people won’t rush to ensure that you are given that crucial moment to prove yourself.  Once you set yourself apart others who SAY they are great, you will be recognized as the one who can stand among those who you have looked up to your entire life.

Being stable has everything to do with being able to focus on the prize and not being swayed by the popular or easy choices.  Being stable has to do with being mentally prepared to go through some anguish, lonely nights, and potentially a road of many failures before achieving success.  Being stable is not selling yourself short because you want more now instead of the grand prize later.  You have to possess the fortitude, patience, and drive to keep going even when people stop believing in you, stop supporting you, or start to talk about you.  Your mind has to be prepared to not begin to be consumed by doubt, fear, or negativity.  You have to be stable and be able to steadily walk the road to the end.

We are the only person that can get in the way of our blessing.  We think that it may be others that hindered us but we are the ones that allowed those people to be in our lives past their expiration date.  If someone is weighing you down, no matter who they are, you have to separate yourself from them or they will drain or deter you from getting to that next destination.  Many people don’t even know they are being used by the enemy to prevent you from reaching your goals, but it is not their job to recognize their role, but yours and you have to be prepared to remove them from your life expeditiously.  The longer you allow those to leach on to and drain you, the longer it will take for you to be able to focus on what matters.

When we look back at the mistakes that we have made, we have to be ready to see ourselves for who we are and not what others tell us we are.  People may say that you are strong, driven, and passionate, but only you know where you have fallen short.  You know where you are weak and although your strength, drive, and passion may have been good for the level that you are on, the next level requires more.  I have learned to stop allowing my past to be my reason for not having great credit, for being so deep in debt with student loans, or for not being where I thought I should be.  If I did not go through those things, I would not have met the many angels that God has used to assist me along the way.  If I would have had a different life, then my compassion, empathy, and outlook would be different.

So I am learning to embrace my past and present and use it as my stepping stone instead of my shackles.  I have got out of my comfort zone and become okay with being uncomfortable.  I have decided that my path to greatness may not look like everyone else’s but I will get there when I am supposed to be there.  I have learned that the only person that is hindering me from receiving my blessing is me, myself, and I.  I no longer desire to be at this level, so I have decided that increasing my sacrifice, refining my skills, and working on my stability is what I am going to focus on until I get there.

Stop pointing fingers at others or your circumstances.  Instead focus on you.  Do not be the hold up to your blessing.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

When I Want to Give Up, I Remember the Why

Over the past 9 1/2 weeks, I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions.  It all started with the excitement of beginning the first steps to completing the final hurdle to complete freedom.  This soon glided into the endless feeling of being overwhelmed with the amount of information that I needed to consume daily, which then lead to mental exhaustion that made me fly back to feeling overwhelmed.  Then a sudden breath-taking drop came with the death of my grandfather, followed by the slow progression back to a level of focus that I needed to be productive and progressing towards being polished.

During many of the unproductive, completely overwhelmed and paralyzed due to exhaustion days, I wanted to throw in the towel, close the books, stop writing essays and stop practicing multiple choice questions, because I clearly was not going to make it to the end of this process better prepared than when I started.  I did not see the progress.  I felt that I was getting the same types of questions wrong and missing the same issues on the essays.  I decided that I would just go back to my old life, my old career, because I was never going to be ready for this daunting exam.  I kept telling myself everyday, “You are behind. You will never catch up.”  When I needed to rest all I could think was, “I am behind. I can sleep when I pass!”  I was angry at myself, at my lack of progress and at the idea of having to tell people that I quit.

Then after going months without seeing my son and days where he wouldn’t talk to me on the phone, we were able to connect with him on the iPad and I saw his precious face.  “Hi mommy. Hi daddy. Mommy. Daddy. Daddy. Mommy.”  In that moment, all of my stress, anxiety and fear melted away.  The only thing that was important was our special gift.  His smile, his laugh, his kisses…all of the things that I missed and the exact thing I needed to see to get my mind back in order.  After speaking with him and seeing his face, I realized that I cannot quit because I have someone watching my every step; basking in my successes and pushing me through my failures.

My son is my WHY.  For some people it is a car, a job or a vacation spot. For others it may be their mother telling them that she is so proud of them or standing next to their father who was sworn in as an attorney at the same place 30 years ago.  What your WHY is does not matter, knowing what your WHY is does.  If you do not have a WHY, you will give up during a breakdown MOMENT, instead of waiting a MOMENT longer and reaching your breakthrough.

After refocusing on my WHY.  I stopped telling myself that I was behind, and instead I told myself that I was where I needed to be.  Suddenly a burden lifted from my shoulders and I had renewed energy to make my WHY proud and complete the mission I set off to accomplish.  When you reach that moment where you cannot go on anymore, stop focusing on the negative, pessimistic or potentially disastrous outcomes and focus your energy on the positive, optimistic, and successful outcomes that you have worked hard to reach.  Focus on your WHY.  Keep pushing for your WHY.  Never give up because your WHY is waiting for you on the other side.

Your WHY won’t ever let you give up, so don’t give up on your WHY.  Why you do this.  Why this matters.  Why failure is not an option.  Why you can.  Why.  Stay the course.  Persevere.  Push through the pain.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.