Have you ever wanted to do something but your fear kept you from going for it? Or maybe you just felt like you didn’t have the time or energy. Do you wonder what it would take to enable you to muster up the strength and courage to go after your dreams?
Realize this truth, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). The NIV translation reads, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but give us power, love and self-discipline”. Doesn’t that reflect someone who is courageous, strong and ready to fight for what they want?
Thankfully, you can pursue whatever you want in life by putting some simple strategies to work that will reveal your inner warrior!
Use these strategies to help you create the life you desire:
1. Get acquainted with your physical strength. Pumping some iron will help you recognize your physical strength, which is an important step to revealing your inner strength. If you love aerobics, get your heart pumping and do them with a vengeance, as long as your doctor approves.
· If you’re interested in improving your balance and flexibility, practice yoga to strengthen those. The point is that feeling physically strong will help you go after your dreams in other aspects of your life. Think of yourself as a warrior-in-training.
· For me, strengthening your spiritual strength, your inner man is important as well. Building strength requires nourishment as well. Isaiah 30:20 mentions adversity being like bread or food and affliction being like water or drink. I’m paraphrasing of course but you get the idea. Allow your difficult times to build your faith, endurance, perseverance and character.
2. Know that you can do it. Just like the children’s story, “The Little Engine that Could,” so, too, can you do what you desire. Yes, you must have faith in God, but you also must believe in yourself. Don’t waiver in this. You must know and believe, deep down inside yourself, that you can achieve your greatest dreams.
3. Keep your focus. Sure, you’ve got to go to work, raise your family, and live your life in the here and now. However, stay focused on your dreams by keeping reminders in your car, bedroom, living room, and briefcase or purse. Post-it notes can come in handy here. Make a vision board with images and words about your goals and dreams and hang it on a wall where you’ll see it often.
4. Refuse to let anyone or anything stop you. If you’re 35 years old and you still want to go to college, start taking courses one at a time during your off-work time. If people say, “You’re too old for that” or, “You’ve already got a job. There’s no need for that,” just ignore them. All you need is a yes from God and you can stand on that even in the toughest storms; the foundation, the rock is solid. A warrior is single-minded and isn’t deterred by others’ perspectives.
5. Educate yourself thoroughly. Do you want to move to California so you can surf on the weekends? Read everything you can about the California coastline, the cities and towns found along the ocean, and the locales for the best surfing. Study it. Learn all there is to know about the area. The more you know, the more you can do. So, as you see, it isn’t solely about getting a college degree, but in researching where you want to go, you are better prepared for when you get there.
6. Allot time in your week. Take small steps each week. For example, if your dream involves visiting all 50 states in the US, start by planning time to create a budget that allows you to visit 2 states a year: one relatively close by and the other further away.
· Also, schedule time to research the 2 states you plan to visit this year. This strategy is closely related to keeping your focus (#3) because if you’re regularly allotting time to work toward your goals, the minutes you spend on doing related activities will bring you closer to the dreams that are your focus. A wise warrior plans ahead. Be intentional.
7. Share your goals with your friends and family members. They’ll most likely be interested and thrilled that you’re going after what you want in life. They might even be inspired to try to fulfill their own dreams. Use discernment here. If you know them to be a dream assassin, stop telling them.
8. Love yourself. A concept that sounds simple yet is incredibly complex, loving yourself will help you see that you’re truly worth the time, effort, trouble, space, and money to stay focused on whatever you seek in life. A warrior is truly proud of what he can achieve.
9. Use Wisdom. The Bible tells us that wisdom came before everything. Wisdom was right by God’s side when He created the world. Wisdom is the foundation of life and favor is given to those who find it. Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment.
You absolutely have the right to go after your dreams. When you follow these steps to uncover your inner warrior, no person or situation can stand between you and achieving your dreams.
Although it will take work and practice, revealing your inner warrior just might turn out to be the greatest adventure of your life!
There is already a champion that lives inside of you. Strengthen your inner warrior and fight for your destiny.
Are you facing adversity in your life? Join the club. Life is constantly handing us challenges to overcome. A big part of living is dealing with adversity. While it’s not enjoyable, it’s a part of life that you can expect to encounter. So, learning how to deal with adversity is worth your time and attention.
There are several factors that determine your ability to deal with adversity effectively:
1. Experience. If you’ve successfully dealt with adversity in the past, you’ll be more capable of dealing with it in the future. Experience can also give you more self-confidence.
2. Self-confidence. When you believe you can handle a challenge, you’re more likely to do so. Self-confidence helps to reduce your stress and maintain a positive mood. When you have belief in yourself, challenges are easier to overcome. Check out this resource for more ways to build self-confidence.
3. Social network. Life is easier when you don’t have to face your challenges alone. A strong social network can solve a lot of life’s sticky situations. Is your car not running? That’s easier to deal with when you have 10 different friends ….and family members that can give you a ride while you get your car repaired.
4. The ability to focus on solutions. When you focus on your adversity, your challenges become bigger and scarier. Focusing on solutions is much more effective and will resolve your issue quicker.
5. Your ability to manage stress. Are you easily overwhelmed by stress? It’s going to be a bumpy ride. However, if you can manage your stress, you can rise to your challenges more easily. Pray, listen to music, or participate in other activities that release your stress and relax you. Reduce everyday stress with these tips.
Enhance these qualities in yourself and your ability to face your challenges successfully will multiply.
The best time to work on these items is when life is under control. It’s not easy to build self-confidence when you’re facing a huge challenge. It’s like the guy that decides not to fix the hole in his roof because the weather is sunny and no rain is leaking into his house. Work on your resources when life is pleasant.
Deal with adversity effectively and regain control over your life:
1. Understand that adversity is a part of life. When have you ever not had a challenge of some sort? Barely lol. There’s often something that comes up to oppose you. When one issue is solved, another one can pop up to take it’s place. So dealing with adversity is just part of life.
2. Look on the bright side. Adversity is good for building your internal resources. You become a stronger person and more capable of handling adversity in the future. You might not appreciate this fact now, but it will prove helpful down the road. Trials come to build character and faith.
3. Focus on what you can control. Most of the things you worry about are out of your control. What’s the point in fretting about it? Spend your resources wisely and address those things you can change.
4. Use your time effectively. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and waste your time on worthless activities. Now is the time to use your time intelligently. Spend it on changing your situation. Once you establish good time management skills, using your time to change your situation becomes a mixture of time management, prioritizing, discipline and focus. Need help getting those time management skills going? I got your back. Click here.
5. Remind yourself of the good things in your life. It’s not all bad. There are plenty of good things and people in your life right now. You’ll feel better, and be more capable, if you remind yourself of this fact. Be grateful for what you do have.
You’ve dealt with adversity in the past and you’ll have to do it again. Managing and overcoming adversity separates those that are highly successful and those that struggle.
Learn to enhance your ability to overcome adversity. Build your internal resources and learn lessons from your past. Focus on solutions rather than the challenge. Manage the adversity in your life effectively and you’ll enjoy greater success.
If you want to go deeper into overcoming challenges and adverse situations, click here for a free e-book, action guide and worksheet "How To Overcome Trying Situations By Changing Your Mind".
Be blessed and not stressed loveys.
Until next time,
A lack of confidence can affect every area of your life, from your job performance to your personal relationships. In reality, how you perceive yourself has a powerful impact on how others treat you.
Some factors in bolstering self-confidence may be beyond your control, but there are some very tangible things that you can do as well. Using these tips will help you reach your full potential as a successful and confident person.
1. Dress confidently. Dress like the person you want to be and you’ll feel yourself become that person. When you look good, you’ll feel good. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend a fortune on clothes. It’s better to buy a few really nice pieces than a bunch of cheap ones.
2. Walk faster. People who walk confidently keep a brisk pace because they have things to do and places to be. Simply quickening your step will help you feel more confident.
3. Keep good posture. People can tell a lot about you by the way you carry yourself. If you have slumped shoulders and cannot look people in the eye, you’ll leave a negative impression on them. Keep your head up, make eye contact with others, and stand up straight and tall. You have nothing to hide.
4. Be grateful. Gratitude creates a state of peace in the body. A peaceful mind radiates confidence. Make a list of the things you appreciate about yourself and be grateful for your past successes. Tell those you love how much you appreciate them being in your life.
5. Compliment others. In addition to showing appreciation for what you have, it’s also important to show others your appreciation. If you think negatively about yourself, then you’ll have a tendency to criticize others. Break this habit by praising others on a daily basis. Seeing the best in others will bring out the best in you.
6. Give back. Contributing to the success of others will not only help you feel better about yourself, but karma will reward you in the end. What goes around comes around, right? Volunteer your time to help those in need or make a monetary contribution to your favorite local charity.
7. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Many people keep quiet for fear of saying something silly. Taking an active role in discussions will distinguish you as a leader amongst your peers. They will quickly recognize that you have confidence and plenty to offer.
8. Exercise regularly. If you work hard to create a better physical image, you’ll not only be healthier, but you’ll also have more energy. Both of these things will contribute to your self-confidence, as will the compliments you’ll receive.
9. Sit in the front row. Most of us have a tendency to try to blend into the back of the room somewhere. We don’t like being noticed. Confident people sit up front where they can take part in discussions without fear.
10. Take a chance and try something new. Learning a new hobby or activity will broaden your horizons and help you feel “alive.” Anytime you spend stretching your mind improves your overall self-confidence.
The more self-confidence you build in yourself, the more likely you’ll be to succeed. No matter what task you choose to conquer, you’ll do so with enthusiasm. Any setbacks you encounter won’t bother you because you’ll have the confidence necessary to continue.
Those who are insecure often find life to be a struggle, but with self-confidence, you can find it to be a joy. Why suffer when you can soar!
Sometimes the people closest to you (family, close friends, children) are ok with saying the most hurtful things to you simply because they're comfortable and allowed to. You've spent so many years turning the other cheek, continuing to do for them in the exact same way with no accountability, no boundaries and no voice. All because you fear conflict or because you feel obligated to do what "everyone else" says you should do in that role. I'll share the example of what just happened that led me to say that.
My kids are ok with disrespecting me while they respect everyone because there's little discipline, no uncertainty or fear of what I'll do. I'm not talking about beating them either. There's been little accountability over the years because I was feeling guilty. Guilty for the moments where I was "less than" based on someone else's standards. And kids are smart, they can manipulate that to get what they want.
In my mind I felt obligated to walk on eggshells because the behavioral issues and trauma they encountered only came into their lives because of my choices and mistakes. I felt like I owed them the ability to do whatever they want, to take whatever frustration and resentment out on me because I deserved it. How many times have you let someone mishandle you because your past mistakes tell you that you don't have a right to do otherwise?
I brought my past into my present and refused to give myself grace for growth based on the actions and beliefs of others who can't even see me clearly. Then God gave me the last two babies. The two that came after I started changing, after I started becoming a better me. And I realized something, they're all doing just fine. Nothing will be perfect, especially in parenting, someone is ALWAYS going to have something to say about the way that you do things.
There's no manual that covers all aspects of parenting. As young, or new, parents at some point we must get to the point where we transition from taking only the advice of those who went before us and into trusting our own abilities. As much advice as my family can give me, they can't parent for me. God made me their mother for a reason, there is something in me that is perfect for helping to mold who they are meant to become. I can't do that if I'm too busy being who everyone else says I should be.
Times are changing, generations are evolving. My kids deal with things that I never had to face as a child so my parenting has to evolve past how I was parented, to an extent. Some stuff still works now lol. So I've had to mesh the newfound thought that, children have a psychological and emotional aspect that must also be nurtured, with the sternness that doesn't spare the rod.
As mature and wise my kids may be at certain times, at other times, they're just hurt, scared children who have trouble trusting that they will not be hurt or separated from someone in their circle again. And hurt people hurt people or say certain things until they are taught and assured that things have changed and will be different. As I parent I violated their trust by allowing certain things but a good friend reminded me yesterday that taking responsibility for cleaning up my mess, doesn't always mean that I have to accept the blame for everything that is going wrong.
Yes, you made a mistake, yes there are consequences but no, that does mean they get to condemn you. That does not mean that you have to accept the lie that you're doomed to repeat those same mistakes. That does not mean that you can't come back from that and be better. I don't care how many times I've made the same mistake and it became a toxic habit or cycle, I can and will come out of it because my bible says, in Proverbs 24:16 "the godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked." If I was really as wicked or as evil as "they" say I am, that first time would've taken me out. I wouldn't have the courage to clean up the mess now. I wouldn't have the courage to keep getting back up and into the ring. I wouldn't have the courage to stand up and correct the issue.
The other week I did just that I stood my ground and have remained consistent since then. I've been on it and refuse to back down. I've taken my authority and my power back, not just as a parent but as a woman and it is paying off. I've set boundaries and don't apologize (because I'm not really sorry about it anyway) for doing so. I'm setting healthy boundaries where there once were barricaded walls of no resistance. Where absolutely nothing would get in or out. Not even love. My boundaries don't remove my love, they actually allow me to love better in ways that are healthy for me.
Someone I admire told a story the other day about an Olympic skier who trained for four years for his moment. As soon as the race started, he fell and his pole broke. He could've given up but he got back up and got back out there. Even though he was so far behind it looked like he'd never catch up. He kept going. By the last leg of the race, he'd gotten within the first five places. Then he ended up winning the gold. What if he would've remained defeated? Stayed down instead of getting back up?
See, the test for me lately has been trying to tell me that because I failed to properly discipline, failed to end a toxic pattern, failed to protect them before, failed to do any other task that can better my life; that I have no rights to try to do it now. So, because I once was so passive as a parent I can't "switch up" now and be authoritative. Because I allowed someone to come in and hurt them before, I have no right to protect them with all the fierceness I possess.
My best friend reminded me yesterday that setting boundaries has to include everyone in my life even my children, my parents, my significant other, etc. She also shared a quote that said, "what you allow is what you will end up with". It's never too late to do what's right if there's still breath in your body. I encourage you today to stand up. You don't have to do it rudely or disrespectfully for it to be effective. Just be real and be firm. They say that people can't change, that's a lie. Many people can change, they just don't want to. So they use that excuse that "people don't change" to remain set in their ways. YOU can't change them or make them do anything (good or bad) it's always a choice on their part. But you also have permission to hangs how you respond and what you will allow.
Sometimes, it’s not the big stressors in life that are draining away your ability to enjoy life. It can be the little, everyday stressors that create stress and anxiety. You’ll never experience a time in your life when everything is perfect, but having too many things wrong can seriously impede your ability to smile.
Allowing these little stressors to accumulate is common. They can seem like too much of a hassle to address in the moment, so we put them off until another day. This can be a mistake. Many of these stressors are chronic. They might be small, but we’re forced to deal with them day after day.
Try these ideas to manage the little stressors in life each day:
Even if you’re fortunate enough not to have any major stressors in your life at the moment, the little stressors can take their toll. Manage these chronic stressors and you’ll find that the quality of your life increases. Take steps to reduce the everyday stress in your life.
Time is the one thread that runs through all of our lives. Whether you're always early for an event, arrive as scheduled, or prefer to be fashionably late, you're probably also watching the clock. Wouldn't you love more time in your day to squeeze in more activities?
So how can you get more hours out of your day?
Consider these time management tips to enhance your productivity:
1. Preview your schedule for the day the first thing in the morning. Use your calendar effectively and you'll be able to spend your time more judiciously.
· With practice, you'll learn to recognize which tasks need more time to be completed and which tasks' scheduled time can be shortened.
2. At work, if you're responsible for leading a meeting, be prepared. Write the meeting agenda in advance.
· Stick to the time allotted for each agenda item.
3. Keep your focus on the task at hand. If you need to finish writing a report, stay with it until the report is completed.
4. Take active steps to screen out distractions. If you work better with soft music playing in the background, arrange to listen to your tunes while you complete your tasks.
· If you're on the job, close your office door to deter people from stopping in to say, "Hi," or ask a quick question.
5. Stand up. If someone calls you into their office for a minute to get your opinion on an issue, avoid sitting down. Impromptu meetings are shorter when at least one of you stands.
6. Have confidence about limiting chitchat at work. Don't be afraid to tell people you can't talk right at the moment. Rather than getting perturbed, your associates may praise your work ethic of finishing your projects before taking time to chitchat.
· You're also setting a great example for the other employees.
7. Get comfortable with saying "No." Being assertive is the hallmark of effective time management.
· When you take on more projects than you have time for, the quality of your work may suffer. Plus, your most important tasks don't get addressed in a timely fashion if you have too much to do. You're more likely to get more work done - and do it well - if you aren't overwhelmed by taking on too much.
8. Use your planner at home as well. If you're struggling during off-work hours to manage your time, feel free to also use your planner there. Write in your schedule when you want to work on certain home projects, like washing your car or cleaning the living room.
9. Set timers or alarms to keep you on task. For example, if you plan to clean your bedroom for an hour, set the alarm on your cell phone. Stop working on the chore at hand when the timer goes off, but not until then (unless you complete the task).
· Playing "beat the clock" can be highly motivational. Plus you're likely to get more done.
· For particularly troublesome tasks, set your alarm in smaller increments - even 15 minutes - and take a short breather when your alarm sounds before you re-focus on your task. In particular, you may find that physically challenging tasks are much more manageable if broken into smaller, more do-able "pieces."
Managing your time effectively will make you more satisfied and productive. Practice these tips to get a handle on everything you want to complete. A well-managed life is within your reach!
I pray the Lord helps me not to let my heart harden. I only want what you want for me. I only want to focus on that. Help me restore order within myself and within my home. My heart is not growing sick from hope deferred. I am not cursed due to my past mistakes. I am not cursed due to the sins of my ancestors. I put the cross of the Lord between their sins and my birth. It ends with me. Thankful that He sees the depths of my heart and STILL loves me. Thankful that everytime the enemy tries to shut me up, I keep on talking. Thankful that I'm maturing enough to know when I'm being attacked (and have the strength and courage to go to war) and know when I just need to get it together lol (it's me oh Lord lol). Thankful that I can take the advice that's for me and leave the rest. I renounce every ungodly soul tie even the ones that weren't created through sex. I come out of agreement with any vows and contracts I made in the past that attached me to things and people not aligned with my destiny. I turn my back on and tear down any idols I've made whether money, marriage, my ego, my children, success, etc. I'm baby stepping this with the Lord and I cast my cares onto Him. Even if He has to carry me through this, I'm OK because I can't afford to lose. There's too much to be done to give up. Too much to be done to be disobedient. Too much to be done to go back on the run. I have the ability to see this through because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have the authority to speak to my storms and tell them to cease because greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. I have the specific strategy to recover all and nothing outside of what God says matters. God is stretching my capacity and building my endurance. My hope is built on the Lord and nothing else. My mind is renewed and refocused on Him. Mine eyes look to the hills because I KNOW my help is coming from him. I speak life over myself, my family and friends. I embrace my process with joy because I know I'll be changed for the better. I am more than a conqueror. I shall subdue. I shall pursue my dreams and purpose. I will not run from my calling. I shall run towards my fears, facing them head on, without backing down; standing in my truth and celebrating my triumph because I've already won. I have a NOW praise because I've already WON! I see myself already finished, already on the other side of this. And WHEN I get there, all I'll do is thank God because he didn't leg me fall and #Ididntquit
Someone needed to read this moment of transparency. We all fall short. Give the same grace you seek.
I was getting some reflection time in and setting goals for 2018 and it hit me...I really will be 30 this year!! I often joke that I'm much older than 29 because I was raised by my grandmother and father but it really put things into perspective for me. I still have life ahead of me and I have already come so far in these past 30 years. I have seen and overcome more than I would've thought possible, had you asked me when I was 8 or 9, I wouldn't be able to tell you that my life would play out the way that it has.
I started to think about how monumental this year is going to be for me. Not just because I'm hitting a milestone age but because of the promises that are resting on this year from the Lord. So much is in store and I'm still in cheerful expectancy!
In addition to it being my 30th year, it will also be my 5th year in business. The very same day actually (best birthday gift ever lol).
I'll start with the significance of the number 5 which is God's grace, goodness and favor. I can definitely attest to the fact that adding that 5th child has given me a grace and favor like never before lol. But that excites me because there is much more that will follow in this 5th year of business.
Now let's talk about 30...it signifies dedication to a particular task or calling. A symbol of authority, leadership, or rulership. The Aaronic priests were said to be physically and mentally mature at the age of 30, thus making them ready to enter ministry. Joseph was elevated to power at the age of 30 and David was 30 when he became king. See where I'm going with this?
Some encouragement for my '88 babies lol. 30 is my year for dedicating myself fully to leadership and my calling. Guess it's not so dirty after all!
Peace and Blessings
Ok let me explain. Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly. Coincidentally my middle name Vanessa for a Greek name means butterfly. I am all about profound and beautiful transformations. I've talked about the legend of the Phoenix and the transformation that occurs after it dies. Beauty from the ashes over and over again. The butterfly also has an amazingly beautiful transformation process.
It originates as a creature that some might say is "ugly" or funny looking. Then it enters its maturation stage. During this stage the creature that some may mock, tease, despise and criticize; is hidden (catch it if you can). Hidden in a secret place while it rests and transforms. In this secret place the creature is being made new. Then the creature emerges. It breaks out of that secret place revealing its newfound beauty.
God has taken me through a similar process to both the Phoenix and the Butterfly. My old life and old self had to die so that, from the ashes, I could rise and fly again. I also went through a period of ridicule, shame and attack during a time when I wasn't at my best. So God hid me in His secret place. He veiled me so that He could mold me into a new beautiful creature. This formerly Caged Spirit is freed; flying in new beautiful majesty ready to change the world and shake the planet.
Each day spent in intimacy with the Father reveals more and more of my identity and calling. I encourage you to develop that intimacy. You never know what flightplan He'll put you on.
Peace and Blessings
These are the theme words for 2018 that I received for my family from God. In 2017 I almost gave up. On love, business, purpose, destiny, family and life. The enemy really tried to take me out, make me live in constant discouragement; and that pissed me off. Well it oissed me to purpose, to ACTION.
God told me that I better not give up and forfeit the return on the investment that He's made in me. He is finishing what He started. Stop letting people, including you, and their finite minds dictate how BIG HE IS! You made it to 2018, stop complaining; you still have purpose.
This year is the 5th quarter! That's what I received from a sermon yesterday. Things started to turn around a bit in the 4th quarter of 2017, so this whole year is going to be the extra 5th quarter that was needed to see a 360 degree turnaround!!! God is delivering EVERYTHING He promised last year. Everything that was held up is released! This excites me greatly because I have some important and valuable promises on me.
I was set back in 2017 and thought I was going to have to bulldoze my way through some stuff; some obstacles that arose. But instead I'm going to be catapulted OVER it all. Receive that for your 2018 as well! Forget what happened up until this point because it's ALL NEW from here on out! Rise up and possess the land. Period. That doesn't come with an "I guess" or an "I hope so" following behind it. You have to attach an "I KNOW so" to that. There's power in you and there's a CHAMPION in you. Go fight and WIN the year and the rest of your days!
The Catalyst Coach
Fly With Me! Hope you're ready for one heck of an adventure! You never know what will happen!!!!
Author and Women's Wellness Coach.