Consider it pure joy

Happy Tuesday! Yes it is Tuesday and yes you are getting a blog. Back on track with my Tuesday posts. Small round of applause for me!

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. First, I misplaced my phone and when I findit, it was on the ground and the screen was cracked. At this point I think I just need a phone with an armored case. It was working for a day or two then stopped. I finally got a replacement phone yesterday after two weeks. Two weeks with no whatsapp. The day after, I found out my great aunt passed away. She was very close to the family and it was a tough loss. After that, it simply felt like I was wading through mud every day. I was getting things done but it felt like it was taking forever. The funeral was the following week on Thursday July 1st. And my busiest weekend for Tropsical was that weekend.

Now the week of the 21st-27th, our local electrical company lost power a few times. I had a pretty sizable inventory of pops in the freezer. I lost over 300 Popsicles. I then focused on restocking and even changed how I organized the freezer. So the weekend leading up to the funeral, I was busy daily producing Popsicles. Friday night, electricity goes again. Thankfully, I didn’t lose any pops then. Saturday something told me to move half of the pops necessary for the second event. I ended up losing 200 Popsicles Saturday afternoon. I rush to make a new batch in time for the event. With ten minutes left before they are ready, electricity goes again. When I started the business, I shed some blood during my setup and I feel like I sweat every time I make my pops. At this point, I can officially say Tropsical has gotten my tears. It is by the grace of God that I made it to the wedding.

I survived the weekend madness although ultimately I could not make it to the event on Sunday. Sometimes you need to know your limits and when you are physically and emotionally drained, the right thing to do is take a break. Although it wasn’t really a break because my son had his graduation on Sunday. This weekend tested me and there were a few times I wanted to call friends for support but I realized I would only be looking for sympathy. I was already doing all that could be done in the moment so there wasn’t much help anyone could provide.

This weekend taught me to trust God and myself. God will guide us if we listen. The solutions to my problems came to me in little whispers and had I been focused on the problem, I wouldn’t have found the solution. At one point, I posted a scripture which I will post below. I persevered and trusted my ability to provide the service requested. I didn’t get hung up on what went wrong but focused on solutions and came up with a plan to avoid the same thing from happening again. A lot of times we see the success stories but don’t know what it took to get there. I am sharing this so someone else who is struggling can know that it isn’t always rainbows and sunshine but if they keep going, they can succeed.

I am even more confident in myself and my abilities. Starting my own business has taught me so much about myself. Building a brand is hard work but it is rewarding. I truly love Tropsical and I love hearing feedback from clients. Last year, I started with no real idea where it would take me. Late last year, I said I wanted to supply pops for a wedding. Today I can say I have been a part of two lovely weddings. I am excited about the future and the new adventures ahead. So if you are doubting yourself, this is your reminder to cut that out, get focused and believe in yourself! You got this! Whatever dream or goal you are in pursuit of, seek God and know that you are capable. Have a wonderful week and be sure to follow @tropsicalsxm. Now that the phone situation is fixed, my regular posts will resume.

There is purpose in everything

It’s amazing how you can plant a seed and not only have a plant but eventually fruits. I know I wrote a blog about bearing fruits already so I won’t focus too much on that. A plant was my inspiration for today’s blog so hence all the plant talk. I think plants have life figured out. Plants simply are. Their only focus is to do what they are supposed to do. Plants produce the basic food for all living organisms and they make oxygen. But they do all of this without a thought or worry. I feel like there is such a natural and easy going flow in nature and animals.

And I know you’re reading this and wondering where I am going with this. Humans are more evolved than animals. As we evolved, it seems we complicated things. Our freedom of choice has made life complicated. Each group thinks their choice is best. We worry about what to consume and how to act. And the possible outcomes are endless. What happened to simplicity? At our cores, who are we? I like to believe that we are beings of love because God is love and we are of God.

Our innate choices should reflect love.

Even if you are unsure of your purpose in life, you should still have an understanding of who you are and what you do. The plant that inspired me was a desert rose. Two lanky stems, maybe ten leaves but the stem was bending from the weight of three flowers. Honestly, if there were no flowers, I would have assumed it was dead. It was just an odd image. Despite looking like it was dead, with no bounty of leaves, the plant was able to fulfill its purpose and bear flowers. Sometimes we think we are bare and have nothing to offer God. But He can perform miracles. All we need is a willing heart. If you feel like you have nothing left to offer Him, offer your heart.

No matter where you find yourself right now, you can make your life better. In a song by Koryn Hawthorne, she sings that there is no place where mercy and grace can’t find her. And it’s so true. No matter what negative thing we label ourselves, God doesn’t see us that way. He extends His mercy and grace always. So today, stop beating yourself up for past mistakes. Know that you can be used for good right where you are and start working towards making better choices. Wake up every day with the intention to do/ be better than you were yesterday. It doesn’t take big moments, it takes a series of small moments to become who you were meant to be. You got this!

Dare to love yourself

Birthday shoot!

Thirty four. It has been a journey. I feel like the first seventeen years were 80% bliss and 20% pain. The last seventeen are a bit different. I can’t say that they were baaaaad so different will do.

I am definitely not the person I was for the first half of my life. I have matured and learnt so much. I have been affected by the hurt as much as the joy, sometimes even more. Hurt is inevitable in life but it’s how we deal with it that makes a difference. For the majority of my teenage years and early twenties, I held a lot of emotions in. I started speaking out more after a while and now I’m labeled emotional. Usually I cringe but honestly, I don’t mind being emotional. I am passionate about things like my family, my close friends, my business and more, so it’s only normal to feel things deeply. When I am disappointed or hurt, I feel that deeply too because I try my best not to hurt or disappoint others.

I have even gone as far as putting my needs and wants aside for others because I cared about their needs more. This is definitely not where it is at. Although you should try to help others when/ if you can, you shouldn’t put their well being before yours. That’s a sure way of being disappointed. Another side effect of people pleasing is not actually knowing what you like. Before the birth of my son, I had a pretty decent list of things I liked. But now with two kids, it’s harder to find time for myself and the things I like. Plus COVID altered the world as we know it.

One of the challenges I have had since last year was the establishment of boundaries. Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. Certain boundaries are easy to maintain, but there are so many little things that affect those boundaries. You may think it’s not a big deal to make an exception but then you may realize that the other person has taken the exception to be the rule and you have to reinforce the boundary again. Boundaries are there to protect us. There may be times when you set a boundary and someone gets upset. That’s not your problem.

As a people pleaser, you may think it’s not a big deal. But every time you push a boundary back for someone else, you are telling yourself that you are not worthy. Little by little, your self- worth will diminish and ultimately lead to making wrong choices. One way to remember your worth is to set healthy boundaries AND enforce them. People make mistakes and it may be that the person didn’t intentionally mean to hurt you but you should not be afraid to cut that person off if they continue to disregard your boundaries. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself.

You set the standard for how others should treat you by how you treat and respect yourself. In life, there will be disagreements, some you will be able to resolve and others you won’t be able to. Ultimately every person has to remain true to themselves and their values. We can agree to disagree without it being an issue.

Be sure to take time to find yourself, understand who you are, what you like, dislike, what your triggers are and how to heal your trauma wounds. Make lists. Set boundaries. Honor yourself. And don’t be afraid to dig deep. Remember, you got this!

Stand firm in your choices…

Set your goals & don’t cheat!

Are these your goals this year?

Hope everyone had a happy Tuesday!

I really wanted to stick to my habit of posting earlier in the day but I also didn’t want to rush content so here we are.

Do you know what your vision is for this year? We are now officially in February, and although January seems to drag, the rest of the year speeds by. I took some time last month to kind of map out my goals and vision for the year. I really plan on being intentional and saying yes only to things that make me happy or get me closer to my goals. In order for me to do that, I need to know what my goals are. I wrote them down in my planner so I can look at them and be reminded of the plan. So now it’s on me to be disciplined and follow the guidelines I set for myself.

Knowing why I am doing something helps me accomplish it faster. One of my goals is to cook more at home and not eat junk food as much. The end of last year got really busy and I slipped into the habit of eating on the road. I know I want to cook more at home because I want to be healthier and therefore my body needs proper nutrition. Thinking of it as supplying my body with the fuel it needs, makes it much easier for me to cook because I feel like I am doing something good for my body, instead of just seeing it as I am not allowed to have something (junk food in this case). In life, there are some rules and boundaries in place that are there to make life easier. For every choice, there is a consequence. You shouldn’t smoke because it isn’t good for you. But we know that there are still people who smoke. Since they didn’t adhere to the rule, they are now at a higher risk of having serious health complications. We know not to touch a hot stove because we will get burned. That doesn’t stop people from touching hot things but they are then prone to the consequences of ignoring the rule.

Honestly, even with my plan, I felt like I was not doing enough and it was only after saying it out loud during a coaching session, that I really admitted to myself that I was playing safe. Running your own business can be daunting. Like it is definitely amazing to be your own boss and see an idea come to life but the details of bringing that idea to life can be overwhelming. It feels easier to just wade in the shallow end rather than jumping in. But what do we really get from that? Growth isn’t found in our comfort zones. It is important to challenge yourself and keep raising the bar because that’s the only way you and ultimately, your business, will grow. It is trying and failing and then trying again (and again) and finally succeeding that makes the difference. You may or may not accomplish your goal on the first try, but if you don’t try, then how will you ever know?

One of my goals this year is to stop shrinking and stand in my awesomeness. There will be a lot of times when I will probably feel uncomfortable and nervous but unless I show up, how will I really know what can be? I have been feeling unmotivated because I haven’t been challenging myself. I know that I don’t like doing routine work so why would I accept doing routine work in my business? I manifested a pretty cool opportunity for my macrame business in October/ November last year. It is an 8×8 foot curtain. I was so excited and got halfway through in no time then took a break due to the holidays. After the New Year, I was dragging my feet to begin again. Then I realized that this was something I prayed for. How selfish of me to look down on the opportunity. I also knew I could do it because I had already completed half so part of the challenge was done. I had to re- challenge myself and now it will be completed by this weekend. It is important for me to spice things up and keep them interesting. Let’s not talk about what I want to do with Tropsical just yet! Just know that those Tropsical pops will be everywhere.

In life, there are things we know we should do to achieve the goals we want. The difficulty is in overcoming our blocks to do them. A crazy comparison came to me earlier. When we go to the gym, we may hire a trainer to help us reach our fitness goals. The trainer will suggest workouts and possibly even advise on nutrition. But we are the ones who have to do the work. If we try to “cheat”, we are not hurting the trainer, we are hurting our own selves. We prolong our journey and the finish line keeps moving. God is like a trainer, He can and will provide guidelines but if we don’t follow His will for us, we are only hurting ourselves. We all need some help achieving our goals.

Cassandra Fleming (FB) started career coaching last year and can help you reach your goals.

Zoya Hyman and Tasheena Maccow Thomas are both wonderful ladies who can assist you to navigate your thoughts and process your feelings.

Claire is hosting a virtual vision board workshop so sign up and complete that vision for 2021.

Just Creative SXM is an amazing event planning company who can turn your dreams to reality.

Floriane Javois is an inspiring makeup artist and is hosting her first workshop in April. Check out “The beauty life by Flo”.

Cameron Cam Era Hyman is a talented creative who launched his “yuh mom” vlog and has started his Black History Month project so be sure to stay up to date.

Namaste Cuisine and Entertainment is a catering company that will have your mouth watering.

Let me stop here for now before this list becomes too long. Whatever your goals are, there are people who can assist you and inspire you. Write those goals down, create the vision and be intentional. Remember, you got this!

Also if there are typos, my screen is cracked (again). My mom is definitely going to hang me. Someone help me to remember to put on my screen protector next time! Thanks in advance

Under the influence

The past few days have been interesting to say the least. Although I don’t necessarily feel overwhelmed now, I feel like if I add anything else then I would be. There are a lot of reasons why. First I feel like I need to check in with God on a few things but then secondly because I haven’t been practicing much self care.

Late last year I started unlearning some habits and going over my life with a fine tooth comb. When we self reflect, we can dredge up a lot. Add the holidays and the emotions can be all over. A disagreement with a good friend also joined the mix and it has been a rollercoaster. So picture this, you decide you are going on a diet because you want to be healthier. You are all excited and then boom, suddenly it is as if these companies took out extra ads just to tempt you. Yummy treats are currently being offered to you. Some may be easy to turn down but when they present you with that Tropsical pop (ha! Sorry couldn’t pass up that plug but feel free to insert your favorite treat) then things start to get tougher.

We all have traits and behaviors that we picked up as children. The majority of them we picked up unconsciously. As we go through life, different people and experiences will shape us. For example, my love of plants and Pomeranians come from my mom but my love of black comes from my childhood friend’s mom. I grew up surrounded with lots of parental figures and my childhood friend’s mom was also my mom. I spent lots of time at their house and I am grateful for the opportunity to have new experiences. Although as we grew older, we grew apart, I can’t think of my childhood and not see her. I will probably come back to this in another blog.

Sometimes we hear childhood trauma and we automatically think of horrible cases. But trauma can be very simple and subtle. Feeling vulnerable, alone, terrified or overwhelmed is traumatic. It can make you feel like you can’t trust or rely on anyone to keep you safe. Actions have consequences. So the way we interact with one another will cause various people to react in different ways. There is research about the effects of yelling at kids and hitting them. There may be some experiences we had that were traumatic and have shaped who we are today as adults. It’s important to understand why you do the things you do and what makes you tick and why. A lot of behaviors we adapted were ways for us to survive and navigate in the world we were living in. And many people dismiss trauma because they had a good childhood. You could have had an amazing childhood yet had one traumatic experience that led you to change your behavior and now that behavior is not beneficial to you.

It’s not easy though. It’s hard to face things that we may have suppressed or ignored for years. It also feels like the more you uncover, the more work you have to do. But I think it’s necessary. And as creatures of habit, our bad habits also provide a fake sense of safety. It’s really important to know yourself in order to love yourself. And if you don’t love you, how can you expect someone else to love you? Self love and growth is a lifelong journey. The sooner you start, the more time you will have loving yourself. Also please note that as you work through trauma, it is always a good idea to seek professional help. You really need support as you uncover truths.

There is a lot more to get into but for now I will leave it here. Hope you have an amazing week and remember, you got this!

Reflections for re-direction

Last Sunset of 2020

It’s 2021!! Thank God! I know a lot of us were sick of 2020. The new year has brought some changes and a new direction for me, but let me rewind to 2020 first to bring you up to speed.

I decided I would celebrate my birthday in March and began making plans. Friday night was Girls Night Out and Saturday night was a lovely dinner with some special people. Honestly I was feeling like I overdid it Friday night but then lockdown happened and I was happy that I got to party and spend so much time with my friends. My birthday weekend confirmed that “partying” is no longer for me and I am O.K with that. After the hurricane and the birth of my son, I really didn’t go out much (at all) and I kind of felt like I was missing out but that weekend confirmed that I wasn’t.

Tropsical. Oh Tropsical. I love the pops and pouches with a passion. Officially accepting the title of entrepreneur and living that life is teaching me a lot about myself and life in general. It’s only been about 6 months and I am excited about how the brand will grow. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes to make things happen. Being responsible for every single detail can be terrifying but also rewarding. So salute to all entrepreneurs out there. One piece of advice I will give is: just start. You may not feel ready but in some ways you are never truly ready. The journey helps prepare you.

The final quarter of the year was a test! I really started getting serious about my personal growth about halfway through the year but those last three months almost took me out. The struggle was real trying to juggle my personal life as a single mom with the professional side. Between milestone celebrations and orders, I felt like I barely had time for myself. (That’s because I didn’t). I work hard but I tend to neglect myself. For example, I will work 8-10 hours and “forget” to eat. Also I underestimated Tropsical. Thanks to everyone who purchased from me. Y’all are the best!

December 2020 showed me who I was. Some things I am proud of, like how much of a bad ass I am. Yes I will toot my own horn because I usually don’t. But y’all have no idea how many late nights and early mornings I had. ( Unless you are an entrepreneur yourself and I salute you)

But it also highlighted my weaknesses and some things I thought I had dealt with. There was a period of my life where I really didn’t like who I was and I had to get serious. A lot of soul searching and work led me to Empower ( an empowerment conference held a few years ago) and a person I was happy with. A recovering alcoholic may think they are doing good because they haven’t had alcohol but they also avoided being in the same room with a bottle. The true test comes when you can sit in the room with the bottle and not feel the urge to drink. I feel like similarly we avoid situations that we know will bring out the worse but we should also be able to handle ourselves in those situations as well.

Tired and cranky is not a good look on me. Neglecting myself can lead to resentments and that’s not what I want for myself. In 2020 I did the hard work of naming my habits and weaknesses so I know what needs to be healed. The amazing thing is we all know the answers to our own questions. We know what we need to do in order to heal. The difficulty is in doing the work. Every day you have to wake up and be intentional, obedient and disciplined. Create a routine that you feel comfortable with and go for it. There are always exceptions to a rule but those exceptions should never become the rule.

2021 I just want to be and feel better. I believe in Tropsical and in order for me to give my best to the brand, I need to be at my best. January has barely even started and I already “messed up” but I am not letting one mistake affect the rest of my year negatively. The reason I know I messed up is because I took the time to write down the things that I want and don’t want in my life. But we are also human. I mentioned in one of the previous blogs not to let an error be your setback.

Write down your monthly goals and then break them down into weekly goals. Then show up every day and do your best. Don’t beat yourself up when something doesn’t go as planned. Use it as a learning experience. Ask yourself why you slipped up and be honest with the answer so you can fix it next time. Life will continue to send you “tests” for you to improve.

Some things I want to mention:

• My awesome, creative friend has started a video blog on his Facebook providing moments of maturity every Monday! The first episode is already out so be sure to check it out! FB: Cameron “Cam Era” Hyman | IG: @itscameronhyman

• A vision board has helped me over the years and this year I am probably going to join Claire’s event which will be held later this month. She also has packages available if you prefer to work on one by yourself in the comfort of your home. Twitter: @E_Claire7

If you aren’t already, please follow me on IG @motherlovingdiva

Time for some deep cleaning…

It’s another week so that means another blog! It’s funny because I didn’t think anyone was keeping track but two persons reached out to me last week about the blog. So I took that as a sign to stay focused and committed.

I have a few thoughts running through my mind.

The holidays are quickly approaching and of course things are getting hectic. This is also the time of year that most people do some deep cleaning and rearrange their homes. My mother is a neat freak and is super organized. There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place. A few months ago a friend of mine (hey Cass!) shared a book with me by Marie Kondo. “Spark Joy” is about the art of organizing and tidying up and of course she discusses the KonMari method. I feel like my mother may be the Caribbean version of Marie Kondo. A lot of the advice in the book I had already heard from my mother, so it was pretty straight forward. But one of the things Marie Kondo mentioned is that the things in your house should bring you joy. If you pick up something and you don’t feel joy ( unless it’s a functional object), you should either discard it or give it away. I was then listening to a podcast and they mentioned Marie Kondo as well and linked it to life in general. I do feel it’s important to reduce the clutters in our homes and give it a good overhaul a couple times a year. It has been a really different year to say the least. I think taking some time to take stock of the things in our home and really determining whether they bring us joy is necessary this year. We have spent more time at home and for some that was a blessing and for others it was a curse. The same way we choose to surround ourselves with certain people and energies, we should maintain the same at home. For me, my home is supposed to be my safe haven. The place I can unwind after a long day. With a toddler, the mess can add up quickly so I have made simple adjustments to allow me to tidy up quickly, so I can spend more time with the kids or simply have a moment to myself.

But the same is also true for us. We need to kind of assess ourselves and clear our minds as we prepare to bring in the new year. The holidays will go by in a blur and the new year will be upon us in no time. We can start asking ourselves some important questions like, despite the pandemic, what has brought us joy this year? What habits do we need to adjust? What is working for us and what isn’t working? What are some goals we want to accomplish? We should be actively creating the lives we want to live. We have to hold ourselves accountable before we fall into stagnant modes and do things just because. How are we organizing our lives? Are we taking care of ourselves physically and mentally? Where do our priorities lie? We don’t have to wait until January 1st to make changes. We can start releasing bad habits and healing wounds right now. Have we spent enough time with our loved ones and with ourselves? Let’s finish the year strong and accomplish a few more goals before December 31st.

It’s funny how it can be so tough to obey God even when we hear his voice clearly. I have been hesitant about blogging and really wondering if I should continue. Fourteen consecutive weeks is a lot and I was proud of my accomplishment. Then my schedule got hectic and I was not able to post and since then I feel like it is sporadic. A few people approached me and encouraged me to continue but I have still been questioning myself. I am an imperfect human being and I try to share what is on my mind. I know a lot of times I hold myself to a higher standard than I would hold anyone else and I am learning to offer myself the same grace I offer others. Our schedules change and things happen but we need to appreciate it and learn from each season we are in. Beating myself up because I missed a week was only delaying my next blog. If we wallow in our own self pity then we won’t make the necessary moves. There are things in life that will require us to take the time necessary to overcome them and we may even need help but for minor setbacks we should remain focused on the goal and get back up and get at it. There is still so much that can be accomplished this year if we look forward and not complain about what we didn’t get done.

It is always the right time to take stock of your life and make the changes you need to live the life of your dreams. Every journey begins with the first step. Envision the life you want, be honest about what needs to be done and then tackle those goals one by one. Start saving or pay off your debt. Enroll in that course. Check off some of the things that have been on your to do list for years now. Ask yourself what brings you joy and start incorporating more of those things into your life. The only thing holding you back is you. I am late with my blog but I have a blog this week and I am going to ensure that I am not late next week. The next couple of weeks I will be clearing things from my life as I prepare for everything I want. Join me. And remember, you got this!

P.S. sorry if my posts are a bit shorter! Need to repair my laptop…

It is never too late to start something new

It feels like it has been forever since I shared my thoughts. Life got a bit hectic and I was focused on being present in the moments. My daughter was able to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion two weeks ago and last weekend was stock full of celebrations. My goddaughter turned one and had a cute flamingo and pineapple themed birthday party. I attended a baby shower and a very close friend’s daughter (my second daughter) also received the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Holy Communion usually takes place in May but due to COVID-19, things were postponed. I actually didn’t expect them to be able to receive the sacrament this year. In September we received notification that they would proceed but in keeping with social distancing and other COVID-19 preventative measures. Luckily her dress was already bought since March. Before you receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, you have the act of Reconciliation, which is confession. The girls were excited for their Communion but slightly nervous of about confession. I feel like we all feel a bit nervous when it’s time to confess our own sins. Although God is a forgiving God, knowing we did something that would not please Him, makes us a little anxious.

I feel like my weekends were fresh starts. Confessing your sins and asking for forgiveness. The pending birth of a healthy baby, and the celebration of life. The girls started a new chapter in their religious lives and I pray that they will continue to nurture and grow their relationship with God. My goddaughter is one and she has so much life to live. She is going to learn so much within the next year. The beautiful thing is that everyone was surrounded by love those weekends.

Don’t be afraid to take the next step and do something different. No matter what age we are or where we are, we can always start a new chapter in our lives. Surround yourself with the right people and go for it! I feel like we are always molding our futures. I mentioned in two interviews that when I started Tropsical, a lot of the things I needed, I had actually purchased two years prior. For two years they were reminders of something that was on hold but when it was GO time, they were already there. The relationships that have helped grow my business were relationships I nurtured before the idea of the business.

We try to rush things and we want to be successful overnight but that isn’t the way. Most people will tell you it takes some time. What you see as overnight success is usually the build up of multiple years of hard work. If you have a dream but you’re worried that you don’t have the finances, please just write your dream down. Write it down and then break it down into baby steps. Be very detailed about all that you think you will need. Then start working on ticking those things off. You may skip some “easy” ones but over time you will realize you are acquiring the things you need.

Also, find a small group of people who truly support you and share some of your ideas with them. They may have creative ways to overcome some of the hurdles. They may even inspire you to change things up a bit but they will also offer support when you are feeling down. Your support group may also make necessary connections that you need to move forward. They are an extension of your network. Networking really gets the ball rolling. Don’t always be afraid to share your challenges, because someone in your circle may just have the solution for you.

This week take some time to write down your goals and your plans, visualize them and start laying the foundation. Don’t be afraid to start a new chapter in your life. It may be the best one yet! Remember, you got this!

The rainbow always comes after the rain. Some times you just have to look a little harder!

Fear less…

As human beings we tend to worry about things. As time goes by and we get older, we worry about so much more. As kids our fears are usually simple, the fear of the dark or the fear of the boogey man. There are rational and irrational fears. But for someone with an irrational fear, that fear is real for them. Fear has allowed us to avoid danger and survive but fear can also paralyze us. FOMO or fear of missing out was trending a while back and for me, I have had to remind myself that what is truly for me will not pass me by. With everything happening in the world these past few years, you see more people suffering from anxiety.

I love flying so when I meet someone with a flying phobia, I have to take a step back and understand what they are going through. It’s not that I have not thought about what could go wrong, but in this scenario, I feel like the benefits outweigh the negative. I use the time to read or watch a movie or catch up on some work. For others, it is a horrifying time. On the other hand, I have arachnophobia (fear of spiders). Logically I know the possibility of a spider jumping on me and biting me is low but my heart starts beating out of my chest when I see one. Had I been on that season of America’s Next Top Model, I would have quit the moment they brought those spiders out.

Our phobias are easy to discuss. But the fears that really hold us back are whispered in therapy sessions. I have been hearing people mention the fear of failure more often. Failure is so subjective and determined by our own expectations. Has someone failed because they did something different to how it has always been done? Has someone failed because they did not complete a 4 year degree in 4 years? What really is failure? I may have a goal of owning a mansion, whereas someone else may want a condo. We all have private battles to fight and for some, just getting out of bed may be an accomplishment.

We can be so afraid of failure, that we do not even try. Have you ever seen a vacancy ad and talked yourself out of applying? Or you turned down an opportunity because you were not ready or was just unsure? We are so full of potential but sometimes the fear of disapproval from our family and friends stops us. It’s normal for fear to stop us in our tracks, but it is also OK for us to challenge it. Everything begins with a thought and that’s amazing. We can control our thoughts. It takes a lot of effort and discipline but we can. The next time you feel anxious, ask yourself what is causing you to feel that way. Ask yourself if the thought has any truth to it. Ask yourself what’s the worst case scenario? (Spoiler alert, the answer ultimately is death but you will die some day any way)

Use your fears to challenge yourself. Push yourself to your limits and see how far you can go. Put in the effort that is needed and then add a bit more. Chances are you will excel. If you do something and you are not perfect at it the first time, then try again. Trial and error can result in success if you do not give up. We were not meant to be worry warts. We were given a spirit of power, love and discipline. Sometimes we forget our power and fear creeps in like fog. Reminding ourselves of the truth and focusing on the good, helps us to dispel the fog of fear. Start with the seemingly small things to build your confidence.

If we allow fear to stop us from even trying then we are robbing ourselves of our lives and dreams. Some things are meant to be done while scared. Trust yourself, trust that inner voice and keep your eye on the prize. Once we reach the end goal, we may look back and realize it wasn’t as scary as we thought it would be. If you don’t go for it, you will never get it.

Speak up … for others, but definitely for yourself!

Happy Saturday!

I tried my best to get this out on Friday but Thursday was a bit of a long day and Friday morning just vanished right in front of my eyes. As you know, a thought usually pops into my head and then is confirmed by seemingly random interactions or images. This week was similar and most of my conversations revolved around this week’s blog.

What I want to touch on this week is kind of two-fold. So first and foremost I want you to embrace where you are on your journey. Which takes me back to last week. If you did not read last week’s post, then stop and read it and come back to this. If you read last week’s blog, you would know I spoke about being grateful and appreciating what you have. I hope you made a list. Your journey may not have gone as you had anticipated or hoped but there are things (lessons, blessings, persons or actual things) you accumulated while on the journey that you would not have experienced if you did not take that specific path. 

Your path is unique to you and shapes who you are. If you do not like the road you are on then look for the next turn or alley and take a different path. It is never too late to change paths. I once read that when you don’t know where you are going, any path can take you there. I don’t think we need to focus on the path so much as ensuring we reach our final destination. We are hard on ourselves when we take a wrong turn and that negativity blocks us from seeing that we are on a new path filled with sunshine and all the things we like. Where you have been does not determine where you will go.Take a look at where you are at now and how far you have come and adjust your path accordingly but don’t focus too much on the negative. 

Secondly, I want to talk about speaking up for yourself. There is a lot happening right now and it may seem easier to speak up for others because it is the right thing to do but it is equally important to speak up for yourself. I was faced with a few situations this week where normally I would shrink myself just to avoid any conflict. Subconsciously I found myself speaking up for myself and lo and behold, there still was no conflict. Poof! That untruth was crushed. I could speak up for myself, get the issue resolved and the world did not end. In all of the situations I was respectful but stern.

You set the standard for your interactions. If you are constantly letting things slide, you are giving the impression that subpar service or work is acceptable. So here is my example without any names. I purchased a service from a local service provider and despite my efforts, communication was lacking and the service was terminated unbeknownst to me. When I found out, I normally would have left it and grumbled at the money I lost. This time I respectfully but firmly laid out my side of the story and mentioned that I found their response unacceptable. Lo and behold, I received a call explaining what went wrong and the representative took responsibility for her part and assured me she would find a solution. 

Speaking up for yourself gives you the confidence to trust yourself, and get what you deserve.There is no more internal war or the feeling that you got the short end of the stick. There may not always be a solution but the fact that you spoke up gives you peace of mind that you did everything possible to rectify the situation. Speaking up for yourself is also really important when it comes to setting and maintaining boundaries which I will touch on in another blog post. If someone is constantly doing or saying something you do not like, then speak up and let them know you do not appreciate it. It could make all of the difference.

The challenge this week is pretty easy. Pay attention to opportunities to speak up for yourself and also opportunities to embrace where you are one your journey. Sometimes a wrong turn can lead us to a shortcut or the scenic route to our destination. Speaking up builds our confidence, increases our self love and can sometimes allow us to get back on the path we are meant to be on. Do not lower your standards for anything or anyone. Have a great weekend!