How to say…….”No”

No.

That’s a hard word. It’s very, very hard to say…and it’s really hard to hear. I have been practicing saying “no” in my life, and it’s not a lot of fun.

I worry a lot that I am going to hurt someone’s feelings.

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When you hear “no” sometimes you feel rejected. So saying “no” to someone else makes you wonder if they feel like you are rejecting THEM……not just what they are offering. This is a tricky situation because you are left feeling torn between protecting your time, and hurting someone’s feelings.

However…

In the end, you have to be more protective of your life (your time) than you are of the way you are perceived. You cannot control what other’s think or how they feel.

You can’t. Ever.
People gonna think….what they gonna think….

I love the scripture that says, “as much as it depends on you, live at peace with all men”.

“As much as it depends on you”……
But some of it doesn’t depend on you, and is left out of your hands.
Like the way people may perceive your “no”.

Say “no” respectively with as much authentic appreciation as you can…..but know its okay sometimes to respectfully decline.

If you don’t want to do something, or if you literally do not have the time for it—for heaven’s sake run from it!!  Those who cannot understand or respect that are not worth the precious effort that you invest. 

“No” is a very hard word to hear and to say. However not saying it causes ALOT of regret and ultimately adds stress to your life.

Feeling “obligated” in relationships is a violation of boundaries that will ultimately drive a wedge in those relationships — that although you meant your “yes” to prevent conflict, actually pushes you further (emotionally) from that person. Because they don’t really know how you feel, and you will probably end up bitter/annoyed with them. And how is that fair to them? Or you?

So say, “no”.

Its okay.
It really is.

And for the record…I wrote this blog so I could read it;)

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When knowledge is not enough

We love information. We look for it, dwell on it, and pass it along. It helps us feel a little more in control—because we KNOW whats going on. We wanna know who said what, how they said it, and why. We wanna know who has Ebola, and how they got it. We wanna know what 70′s TV show “we are”…based on 10 Facebook questions. We love information.   images (2)Most of the information we have, isn’t really the truth. But honestly? Who really cares? If our minds are busy with random facts, we get a little fix. We feel like we are being productive, we feel like we are involved, we feel like we are apart. Knowing is not enough though.

  • How much do you know about fitness?….. what do YOU DO about it?
  • How much do you know about human trafficking?….what do YOU DO about it?
  • How much do you know about what you want out of life? ….what do YOU DO about it?

Knowledge is limitless…yes. But its also useless if its not used as a reference point for our actions. Raising awareness is awesome- but how many of us are “aware” ….but do not care? I would rather be the person running off 10% knowledge and DOING SOMETHING with that 10% than be the most well-informed, prestigious woman you know who doesn’t bother to lift a finger. We have to quit talking at some point …and start doing. There shouldn’t be so many hurt, dying, and confused people in the world. We have enough facts, we have enough statistics. The world was never influenced by people who just knew a lot. We need people with enough courage and backbone to step out and DO something. images

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Naked

One of the hardest parts….okay THE hardest part of “starting something” is being naked.

Yup. Naked.

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This goes before the part of actually doing this “thing”

(like creating your new Facebook page, writing your first blog, implementing your new workout, filing for your LLC, setting a date for your new devo/accountability group, etc etc).

This is the stage where you just admit to someone, “Hey! I wanna do this________”.

Most people go, “Awwwwwww yeah! That’s awesome!”

(AKA, “That’s cute you sweet little kid, and precious. You are precious.”)

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People might not take you seriously. And you feel kinda naked.  This is something that is very personal to you, something you may want to do with your LIFE, andddd you kinda feel left like you are defending it. Trying to prove to people that its reasonable, or grown up.

So most of us in this stage, the naked, the exposed stage…...just stop right there.

We never actually follow through, because even mentioning that idea, made us feel stupid. Or like a cute little kid eating a lollipop.

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That’s why I skip this stage. Now when I have an idea, or want to do something- very few people know about it until I am already doing it. 

Its important to guard your heart. No matter what “stage” you are in….

Admitting it Stage

Starting it Stage

Doing it Stage

Not quitting it Stage

Still not quitting Stage

Still going Stage

Waiting Stage

………Succeeding Stage

Applause never comes at the beginning. You don’t go to a movie theater and  see everyone clapping and shouting at the beginning. Nope. They sit quietly till the end, and then tell everyone how great it was.

Your “applause” will come later. Till then, guard your heart. Plug your ears. Don’t take criticism to heart. People come and go. Its easy to talk -its harder to do. Be a doer.

And only listen to doers. You don’t need approval before you begin. 

 

Flash Back Friday: Originally Posted on July 18, 2014

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The Greatest Tool in Your Box.

Does your brain get in the way sometimes?

I know that sounds silly. But so many times we rationalize ourselves out of things.

 

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If you desire to paint, your logic can help you come up with strategies (a game plan) that will lead you to paint (maybe even make some money at it!) Or your mind can come up with all the reasons you shouldn’t…or how it is irresponsible.

If you desire to go back to school, your mind can help you move your life around to allow you to do so. Or your thoughts can talk you out of it.

If you desire to get in shape, Your thoughts can be your greatest motivator, or they can tell you that “there is no point”.

Your mind is your tool. It’s something that you can use to direct, plan, and ultimately change your life. Or it can literally destroy you.

Literally.

However sometimes it’s easier to act like we have no control over our minds. Like it is some uncontrollable monster that acts solely on its own. We can go our entire lives and think this. But ultimately we have to come to a point of responsibility….and train our brains, instead of being controlled by them.

I believe anything that you were “meant” to do requires some (okay, a lot of) discomfort. Willingly putting yourself in discomfort requires us to shift our brains from thinking “why” we shouldn’t….to “how” we can.

For me, the only way I have made (some) progress in my thought patterns, has been deliberate submersion of books/tapes centered around who I ultimately want to be. What we fill our minds with will dictate how we think, how we think dictates our lives. Period. No getting around it.

Your mind can be your greatest tool if we learn to use it and not be controlled by it.

 

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(When you need) Constant Approval

 

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Sometimes I pull out old journals and read them. I have been keeping one every year for the past 10 years. They are my most valuable possession. Hands down.

I am not sure where I heard the above statement. It was written in one of my old journals, and it applies just as much to me today as it did when I wrote it (2009).

It feels really great when you hear the applause of others. When you have a lot of friends, and people think what you are doing is awesome.

Sure. We all want that.

But do you need it? Is the value in what you do, determined by what someone else thinks?

I mean really, truly think about it. Are you at the mercy of others?

Are you beautiful IF someone says you are? Are you smart IF your professor gives you an “A”? Are you creative IF someone buys your work? Is your life purposed IF someone thinks it is?

I don’t know about you, but that is way too many “ifs” to place on something as valuable as my self worth. You need self esteem to move forward in your dreams/goals. And I’m not willing to give my dreams up, in search of the temporary gratification and “feel good” of making someone else happy.

Few people will remain constant in your life. There is you (obviously), those who are the “unmovable ones” in your life (you know who they are), and God. Everyone else’s opinion…………can move right along.

People bounce in and out of your life. I still haven’t quite figured that one out, but it’s a fact. And most of the ones IN your life, know only a small fraction of you and your story (I’m not trying to be depressing here, just trying to cast some perspective). Most people don’t take the time out to really get to know YOU, so why alter your entire being for someone so fleeting? Why change the CORE of who you are….for that quick, moment of approval? No thanks.

If you ever have played a slot machine you know you put something in of value for the hopes of receiving something greater in return. Usually you don’t receive anything in return, and ultimately loose what you put in. Our self worth is far too valuable to toss towards random people hoping that it returns back to us. You will end up loosing everything.

Quit cheapening yourself. Most of us are so incredibly blessed. We are ALIVE. Most are healthy (can use all of our limbs) We live in freedom, and have choices. Most of us are not starving and have somewhere to sleep tonight. etc.etc.etc.

We have unlimited potential. We are incredibly blessed.

Move beyond approval. For those who really matter…you already have approval. Everyone else can move right on along….

Live. Thrive. Take Chances and don’t even bother to look around you when you do.

Give yourself applause and proceed.

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The Authentic

Its scary to be authentic.

 

authentic [ ôˈTHentik ]

of undisputed origin; genuine

To be authentic, you have to be okay with being known. And that’s where the hang up is for most people.

“I don’t want you to really know me, because you may not accept me. ”

So with good intent we put up a block, a wall, a mask, in order to pass inspection and not be judged by others.  We pick and choose what people see based on what we think they would be okay with. We have traded authenticity for acceptance, and what a cheap “acceptance” it is.

The people who truly love me, have been unmovable in my life. Shame on me for ever valuing the opinions of someone else above theirs, and all at the sake of my own authenticity.

We have traded our  unique contribution to the world, for the safety of hiding.  But in order to keep from being rejected we have to be okay with never making an impact. Because true change only comes from those who are willing to be exposed.

When you open yourself up to praise, you equally open up yourself for pain, and rejection. What catches people’s attention, and what really helps bring healing and change to the world are those who are willing to take the hits that come from their authentic life, for the chance that it may bring good to those who know them.

And it will.

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There will be people who hate you. They will find reasons to get mad at you because you make them uncomfortable. Its happened to me so much this past year. But for several years I lived a life looking out of the corner of my eye worrying so much of what others thought, that I almost destroyed my life. When you aren’t looking where you are going (because you are preoccupied with whats going on around you) you are bound to trip and fall.

In order to have TRUE relationships, and TRUE fulfillment, we have to be okay with those who don’t “agree” with us, or understand us. However, the relationships, the satisfaction, the purpose that is added to your life through that is so …SO worth the petty fake little side relationships that you give up.

The lives you have touched so far in your life have more than likely come from you being authentic, real, and genuine. It comes from you admitting that you don’t know the answer. Or being okay with saying that you screwed up. Being okay with saying, “Hey this is me, fully truly, apologetically…….me”.

The world turns and moves for people brave enough to be authentic. I think we all want to be this.  We just need to realize that it’s possible.

If something makes you uncomfortable, sometimes you need to embrace it whole heartedly. Run to it and hug it. Because through  your own discomfort, you can grow and become everything you were meant to be. The world needs the brave and authentic.

 

 

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The little, tiny, lifesaving list.

There are SO many voices. If I were to listen to and apply all the “advice” that I am given…I would need about 50 more hours in the day to…..

make Pinterest crafts/make all meals homemade/ sell 50 products/ have a 4.0/ but don’t go to school because women need to “focus on family”/ but still get my PhD cause I am a woman and women need to “conquer the world”/be involved in the community/but not too much because I need to make my house look perfect (with Pinterest’s help)/ eat clean- so I can live long/ not eat clean because that annoys people/ go to the gym to look good/ but don’t look too good because that annoys people/ go to all meetings/bring dishes to all those meetings/have more kids/dont have more kids/be authentic/but don’t admit to having any problems ….and learn Spanish. ………….etc.etc

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Brene Brown (PhD , Researcher, Author, my superhero) recommends taking a littttttle piece of paper (like one inch by one inch) and writing the names of the people whose opinions truly matter to you in that space. It is intentionally small, so you are forced to narrow it down to your top 3 or 4 people. The people who will love you in your pretty-life-awesome moments, and wont change their opinions of you of you in your tearful-Oreo binge- ugly moments.

When the time comes to make tough choices, to keep going when people are ragging on you, when you feel like you can’t take one more ounce of criticism….pull out that piece of paper.

Remember whose opinions truly matter. The people on that one inch sheet of paper will be there till the very end. Most people you know now will not be an active part in your life in ten years. Their role can be valuable and important now, but if they are not pouring life into you…remember your list.

And add your name to that list.

In the end it will be you, God…and those few people. Apply outside voices only when helpful.

 

Flashback Friday:Originally posted on July 7, 2014

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Be a little crazy

born-for-more_newIf you think of all the reasons you shouldn’t, you never will. There are too many logical reasons why you shouldn’t venture out and pursue the life you want.

The number one reason: You are going to look a little crazy.

First of all I don’t  think most people pay as much attention to us as we may think. And the ones that do……if they weren’t critiquing you, they would be critiquing someone else. Its what they do, it helps them feel warm and fuzzy inside. Be glad you could be of service.

Intelligence is often measured through abstract reasoning/thought. When you think in abstract ways you move beyond the “here and now”….and are able to draw something more to a situation. You think creatively. You see different methods and more options. You are not limited.

Some people call this crazy.

I call it genius.

Moving beyond whats expected and willing to put yourself out there a little. Its not just enough to have a talent, or great ideas…you have to do something. You have to BE a little crazy instead of just think a little crazy. They may laugh at first…but later they will be asking what your secret is. You will have to tell them its ….”being a little crazy”.

 

 

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Move Beyond

“The Problem is not that we have too great concepts of ourselves that we cannot live up to; the problem is that our concepts of ourselves are too meager to let us be all that we were born to be

Prochaska & Norcross on Person-Centered Therapy

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It seems like a lot of people have an ego problem.  That a lot of people seem self absorbed, and not conscientious of those around them. However, I believe that most people don’t really know who they are. Regardless of how it may appear, very few people are confident and have much direction. They don’t understand what they are capable of, and the power that they have within them.

This power isn’t as simple and as boring as obtaining money or building a name for yourself. That’s simple. A lot of people have done that. And a lot of those people have died from substance abuse or suicide. What we were “born to be” goes way beyond certain cars or careers.

I think true confidence shows when you can move beyond issues pertaining to yourself and you gain a deep interest and respect for those around you. Its like when your child gets older and you feel more comfortable leaving them alone so you can do other things. You don’t run to their every sound at that point. You are confident that they are alright and you can place your focus on something else. This does not mean that you don’t love them, you just realize that they are not a baby anymore, and you trust them. When we are confident in who we are, we are okay with not having to have every material thing , every need met, every little hurt attended to….because we know that we are okay, and that there is a bigger task at hand.

We were made for more than attending to our own cries. We have greater potential than settle for an western view of success. We cheapen the act of serving and loving as if those were acts reserved for little old church ladies who have nothing else to do.

So that’s where I am at right now. I’m trying to move beyond little goals and small dreams that center around “me”. I want to be confident enough, to move beyond myself, and see a bigger picture. We were born to recreate and leave something behind. Cars, houses, clothes will be trash in the end. “All that we were born to be” moves way beyond these material things, and gives attention to those around us.

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Early Morning Logic

I get up early. A lot of people think this comes naturally for me. But it doesn’t.

But that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about that early morning conversation that I have with myself that I cannot trust. The one that says, “oh just this one time it doesn’t matter….” or “Go ahead…you deserve to sleep in…you had a long night”. Never trust your early morning logic.

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When things are hard, when emotions are intense…that’s not the best time to make a decision.

  • When you are in middle of your workout, that’s not the time to decide how long you will work out.
  • When you are in middle of a fight that is not the time to label your relationship.
  • When you just lost a client, or had a slow week, that’s not the time to decide the fate of your business.

Know what you stand for. Put it in writing. And do not waiver from what you decide when things get hard. When you are in middle of the “hard part” (waking up, working out, loving someone, serving, etc) you will tend to compromise.

Do not listen to that “early morning logic” it will tell you to do whats easy, not whats right.

 

*Flashback Friday * Originally Posted on June 9, 2014

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