Keep It To Yourself….

keep it to yourself.2Like others, I am bothered whenI hear things like “that person doesn’t like you” or “she has a problem with you.” Look, Whatever!  Yes, I will admit it, it bothers me. I have learned to push back when someone tells me that someone feel that way about me. I push back when I have felt the animosity from a person first hand also.

You see we all have someone who do not like us. Wow, you thought everyone you met like you? Well, they don’t. What a revelation, but it is true.  The most popular people have folks that find something wrong with them. The most unpopular do too.  What makes the world go round is to recognize early if you can that we are all different and we may not like the same things nor can stomach some of the people we have to interact with.  That’s just reality and it’s okay.  My problem is with my friends and pseudo-friends.  I love you but….let me tell you a couple of things. You probably think you are doing me a favor by making sure I know that someone does not like me.  I get it.  However, please do me a favor.  Keep it to yourself.

That’s right, keep it to yourself. You are not helping the situation at all and if it bothers me to hear, I can imagine how it might destroy someone who is not as confident as I am.

You may think that you are just saying something either to help me (or to be mean to me pretending to help) but don’t. My life is full, filled with happiness and joy and on a positive trajectory. I am winning.  I don’t want to be brought into a negative space.  Honestly, I don’t believe that is your intention at all; at least I hope not. But that’s what happens when hurtful words are used even when those words are no intended to be used as such.

keep it to yourselfLook, even the best people who are positive and optimistic can be brought down, albeit for a little while, with those comments or opinions you are passing on.  Now let me ask you something. Do you feel good about yourself when you pass on that “stuff?” I bet not.

Okay, so maybe you didn’t know this. Soooooo now you know. Also know this, “Haters gonna hate.” That’s just a fact of life. I have always believed and stated when a person is focused on me, they probably want to be just like me. Of course the hater will say that’s not true. But to all my haters, yes it is.  I can’t say that I blame you though.  If I were you, I would want to be just like me too!

Stop Second -Guessing Yourself

confidently2Have you ever made a decision only to go back to it over and over again wondering whether you made the right one or not? I have.

Like you, I have made so many life decisions. Especially when it comes to my professional life. I have always been driven to succeed. To me, I take a no hole bars approach to my life. I take an attitude of “the sky is the limit” approach.

Earlier in life, I would just make a decision without thinking of the consequences and go for it; many times it worked out. I think God knew I was young and silly, so He sent angels to watch out for me (at least that’s what I have told myself throughout the years). Later in life I learned the importance of praying before I made a decision. I had heard others say that people do things and pray about it afterwards, asking God to bless it, when they should have prayed about it ahead of time to see if it was God’s will.  That made sense to me so that has been my practice ever since hearing it. On the big important things, it was especially critical for me to stop and pray first before moving forward.

Once I have prayed about it and waited to hear from God, I feel good about moving forward. Here’s the problem though. Suppose you prayed and felt that you heard from God, so you moved forward believing it was Him only to find yourself going back and forth re-thinking or even regretting your decision?  What if you made the wrong decision? What if you didn’t hear from God as you thought you did? What if?

Let me help you with this issue.  I went through this just recently. I made a life-changing decision that would affect not only me, but my family. I prayed and prayed and made my decision only to question whether I had made the right one.  Early one morning during prayer as I talked to God about my insecurities, what came to me was this:  “Stop second-guessing yourself.”

Hmmm. It think it came to me from the Holy Spirit because I was saying to God that I had prayed and prayed and felt I had His answer and now I don’t know.  When I looked at other elements of my decision, I thought to myself well this change puts a dent in my 5 year plan, yet, I wanted to go with the decision I had made. I needed  to make sure God had blessed it.  As I sat in my “prayer chair” again, the words resonated in my mind, “stop second-guessing yourself.”  I smiled because I accepted what I was hearing.

The word TRUST carved into a stone wall. 3D render with HDRI lighting and raytraced textures.
The word TRUST carved into a stone wall. 3D render with HDRI lighting and raytraced textures.

Many times you will make the best possible decisions you can with the information you have. You do your best to do what’s right. What happens is people who don’t want you to do something or maybe they want you to themselves, will speak things into your life that make you second-guess yourself. On the other hand, your mind will play tricks on you and have you question your decision and if you are not careful, fear will consume you. When that happens, tell yourself what is written in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline.” If you have to say it over and over again, do that.

Anxiety is natural when you are making major life-changing decisions.  The question becomes, do you want to live a life that is full and purposeful or will you allow fear to stop you from fulfilling your destiny? When you make decisions, always pray about them first, wait to hear from God and when you believe you have and He says it’s okay, then move.  If he says no, then stay.  If He says okay and you are fearful to move, ask yourself, “Am I telling God that you don’t trust Him?”  I am sure you don’t want to say that, but your actions are.

Stop second-guessing yourself. Trust God and trust yourself.

 

Value or Disrespect

 

sassysayings56I don’t mind giving advice, but one area that I hate to give advice is in the area of dealing with abusive people, especially mentally abusive bosses. Some of the stories I hear infuriate me and the boss can be so terrible that I find myself wanting to punch them! But I would never do that and that would not be my advice to you either.

I don’t want to ever advise anyone to give up on anything, yet, I struggle telling anyone to stay with anyone who treats them like crap.  I want to fight for what is right and I like working hard for what I get. I get a kick out of the struggle. In fact I have a saying that reads “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it”.  I believe in tenacity, diligence, dedication and hard work. If you want something out of life, you got to do your part. One of my mottos could be that  diligence pays off. Yet, I want to tell the person who feels inadequate because of the actions of another person to leave.

It is easy to sit in a chair and write pretty advice.  It is easy to say what you should do once I have crossed over my own challenge of having to deal with a nasty boss.  So I won’t write the pretty advice but I will be straight up with you.  If you have a boss who is mentally abusive, who depresses you, dishonors you, disrespect you and you don’t think that person will ever change, leave.

That’s my advice. Leave.  Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”, and I agree with her. That lady was one wise woman.

You see I have had wonderful bosses who were positive, supportive and saw to it that I was developed and given opportunities. I have also experienced cunning and unethical bosses too. I have never, ever had a boss yell at me, cuss at me, talk to me as if I were stupid or talk down to me. I think God made sure that I didn’t because I don’t know how I would have handled them in my early years.

I have told you on many occasions how destructive words can be.  When you stay with a person, whether that person is a spouse, friend or boss, who has little interest in uplifting you or in making your life better, why are you staying with them? You don’t rely on others to make you happy; that’s not what I am saying, that’s your responsibility.  What I am saying is that disinterest or detachment from you is one thing, but disrespect is quite another.

We stay with spouses and friends longer in bad relationships, because we have vested relationships with them. We do not have that same investment with an abusive boss. I get that it is hard to walk away from a job when you need the money, but it is even harder to walk away from a marriage when one depends on the support of a spouse, but people do it everyday and find support.

I am not saying to just quit your job when you have an abusive or narcissistic boss. That’s a decision that only you can make. I just want to remind you that you are valuable and you are important. It doesn’t matter if you are the janitor or the CEO. And just so you know, even if you are dependent on a person for a job, that does not give them the right to disrespect you.

I can’t tell you what is enough, I can only tell you that you are enough. “For we (you) are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that (you) we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.

 

What Will You Do When Opportunities Knock?

opptyknockingI am not a comedienne at all, but sometimes I get one in there when I said “when opportunities knock, don’t send them to your neighbor.”

Recently a person I know had a great opportunity to show their skill and expertise but was too shy to do so.  Their boss automatically thought the person could take care of a major job without questioning at all if the person had the skill.  When the boss said to the person to take of it, they replied “Well, I will try; I don’t know if I can handle it.” Yikes! I asked them if they could handle the problem and the person said, “I think so.” Knowing full well that they could, as well as knowing that they had probably royally messed up a chance to show their skill, they called me after the fact and told me the story. then asked me “what do.you think I should do?”

What do you think, I said? “Hang up and go and take care of it! Don’t let them go outside the company and pay for another “expert” to come in and fix it when you can do it yourself.” It didn’t take much convincing. For them to pick up the phone and call me already said something about them knowing that they had made a mistake. The good news is that they recognized it and did something about it.

Once the situation was taken care and the person had successfully handled the problem, they sent me a message telling me that they had handled it. I congratulated them and went on my way.

Later, I was thinking of that particular situation and wondered many times the exact same situation had happened to others but they did not rush to self-correcwalkingthroughdoorofopptyt. How many times do you allow others to seek out someone else to do a job that you could do? The question that follows is, why?

Is it because you don’t want the responsibility? It is because you have self-doubt? Or is it because of laziness? I would like to think that the latter isn’t the case the majority of the time. I would like to believe it is because you are shy or fearful of failure.
I can just hear the wheels turning and the doubts beginning to pop up as you consider if you would have jumped in and volunteered your expertise. Many of us would say that we would, but trust me, others would not and it’s because of a lack of confidence or maybe the fear of being embarrassed or criticized if what they tried did not work.

May I suggest that you won’t know if you don’t try? May I also suggest that one thing that you will find out, if nothing else, is when you try,you show not only others, but you show yourself, that you are willing to take a risk. You demonstrate your willingness to help which shows that you care.  It shows that you have initiative, at a time in history, when it seems to be lacking.

You might not always get it right, but you will gain experience and, hopefully, good exposure.  You will increase your confidence, your boldness will develop and you will own your own decisions and contributions. This may seem difficult to digest, but once you step out and try, I don’t think you will ever look at problems the same again. You will grow.

Remember, when opportunities knock, open the door and invite them in. Don’t send them to your neighbors…

Love Without Conditions…

loveI read someone’s post recently that listed a whole bunch of things for his reader’s consideration. He said that someone asked him what advice would he give to his children.  He listed so many considerate, loving and well-articulated things he would tell his children;. Clearly he loved them.  But out of all the things he listed, what resonated with me the most was “love without condition”.  During the time I read his letter, I had just received mail from someone telling me of an issue in their family with a teenager.This parent was clearly upset and so totally disappointed with what had just happened.  I had already responded to the friend and then I read this guy’s post.  I immediately thought about the situation that had just been described to me and although I had pretty much said the same thing, the phrase “love without condition” would not leave me alone.

I began to think about it.  I pondered it and asked, What is “love without condition” anyway? Well, immediately Jesus came to my mind. He is the only person that I can think of who ever loved without condition. He loved humanity so much that He died for us. Yet, there are so many in this world who refuse to believe it. They say that this is just a story that someone made up.  That Jesus was indeed a good man, but there is no way that he is the Savior of the world. My simple response? But He is. You might say, prove it. I can’t. I just believe.

I believe that Jesus is the ultimate example of unconditional love. He reached beyond His little home town, His little team of disciples, He reached beyond His own people, the Jews, to embrace and include people that nobody else would  even dare sit with. Hey, but Jesus did. Jesus didn’t mind being around hookers, drunks, the lowest of the low, He didn’t mind sitting with women or people of different races, because He loved without conditions. He forgave regularly and He knew how to meet people where they were without condemning them. He loved them without conditions.

You might say, well, there are conditions, you have to change your life to be a Follower of Jesus; to be a Christian.  No, that’s not true.  I was messed up, like many others, and He accepted me as I was and then as time went on, my life began to change because I wanted to change.  Unless you have lived in some secluded & remote place where you have never had to interact with others or you have only been around people who are exactly like you, maybe you don’t know that. But even you and those like you, are not perfect. When you met Jesus, you were not then and you are not now! Yet He still loved and continues to love you.  In fact, the Bible says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

I am not going to even pretend that I have mastered, nor that I am anywhere near loving unconditionally, but I hope that each day I get a little better at being loving, patient, & kind,. I hope that step by step I can become what we are told to become by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 :4-7 when he says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Hey, that’s a picture of what unconditional love looks like!  And unconditional love is not just for the people we like, it’s for everybody no matter color, gender, creed or (wait for it….!) sexual orientation.  We are to love people and let God handle the rest. Look, don’t judge me because I believe in loving others regardless of where they are. Hey, my sin and your sin may be different, but it’s still sin.the-new-commandment

Being Different Is Good..

differentI think we forget that we are all different people.  Oh sure, we say we know that we are different and we come to table with different perspectives, but for some reason, at the end of the day, we still expect the people we encounter to make the exact same decisions that we would make if faced with the same situations.

The fact is, until we truly embrace the notion that we come to the table with different life experiences that filter how we see the world, we will never accept others for who they are.  You may say, that’s not important, but it is. Don’t you want others to, if not value your opinion, respect that you have a right to your own opinion?  I do.

I have been on social media sites and watched television or listened to radio, and I am always frustrated and disgusted when people are so closed-minded that there is no room for anyone else to have a point of view.

I watched a lady get attacked recently because she posted to social media that she had decided to delay having another baby in order to purchase her dream home. What happened next was just down right crazy!  Others attacked her for making that decision.  On the morning news, the media reported the story and even stated that she indeed had the right to decide, but the reason she was attacked so viciously was because people on social media thought that she was out of touch with “everyday” people.  That there were too many other things going on in the world to worry about, rather than her writing that from her pristine life and protected life.  I don’t know her at all, but what I feel is that she did nothing wrong. That’s her life. For some of us, the issue would not be  sitting and trying to decide between having another baby or buying our dream home, my issue could be deciding between continuing working on a business that may not be producing what I want and spending thousands of dollars on holiday with family. I wonder if I chose to continue to put money into a failing business rather than speeding it on my family, if I, too, would be violently attacked. The point is, as humans, each of us have the right to make our own decisions based on what we feel is right for us and guess what? Maybe yours will be different than mine and vice versa.

Hey, chill.  The world would really be a better place if respect replaced exerting our own will. We will do so much better in love and in life, if we can learn to respect each other. Whether you believe the world was created or that it simply happened, that’s totally your own business and your opinion does not affect mine, nor does my beliefs diminish yours. I believe in God, you don’t and that’s okay. You not believing doesn’t affect what I believe at all. Right?

Having different opinions will be influenced by many things that have happened in each of our lives. Having different ideas about life is really more than okay.  It is wonderful because if we were all the same, the world would truly be a boring place. God loves diversity and that’s more than skin color.

Let “Status Quo” Be Uncomfortable

Expand-yourself-Get-out-of-comfort-zoneAre you afraid to be uncomfortable? Good. I find that when I am uncomfortable living a regular, everyday life, I do something about it.  I can’t sit still. I become restless and I have to do something. Anything! How about you?

There is a negative connotation associated with being restless.   I don’t see it as negative. In fact, I think restlessness can be a good thing.  For some, it is negative but for others, restlessness pushes us to action.  I say, restlessness can be stressful, but it can also be liberating.

In my book, It’s Your Life; Own It. No blame, No Excuses, one of the things I talk about is the importance of going after the life you really want.  I talk about how important it is to decide on what it is you want and then to plot a course to achieving that goal. I talk about how some people will talk, talk and talk about what they want and they never do anything about getting what they want. They make excuse after excuse about why it is that they can’t do something. The make every excuse as to why something can’t be done and they blame everything that they can think of as the reasons why that don’t move towards the goal.  When the real reasons may be as simple as being uncomfortable; taking a risk; doing something; anything.

Don’t you know of people who set goals and never achieve them? Me too. I have heard people say that they wanted to write a book or that they wanted to start a non-profit or that they wanted to start their own business, yet year after year, you see them and they are still saying the same things they said 3 years prior. You ask them what have they done to get closer to that goal and the answer is “nothing really.”   Have you helped someone lay out a plan to do something only to see them months, sometimes years later, and they have not done a thing? Of course you have. I certainty have.  Listen, they are happy being comfortable with the status quo; it’s that simple.

Are You A Goal-Setter or Goal-Achiever?

There is a big difference between a person who is a goal-setter and one who is a goal-achiever.  There is a big difference between dreamers and achievers and there is a real big difference between those who always talk about what they want to accomplish and those who get out there and actually accomplish the thing they want. Do you know what the difference is?  Comfort and Discomfort.

where-magic-happensMany are comfortable living just as they are day after day. They claim that they want to do more and to achieve a stated goal, but it’s just talk.  Then there are those who embrace discomfort; they are the risk-takers. They can’t imagine living day after day just dreaming their lives away.  They would rather take a chance; they understand that failure can happen, but that does not scare them. God bless those who are happy with comfort. It’s okay if that’s what they want to do; if that’s how they choose to live. I just would prefer that they would recognize what they are doing and that they would stop talking about achieving a thing that they never intend to achieve.  I wish they would recognize that they are living a fantasy and that’s okay too because it is their lives. I just don’t want them acting like the victim.  It’s okay but it’s not what I want for my life and that’s okay too.  I prefer to embrace being uncomfortable.  I prefer taking risks. Because by doing so, I have stretched beyond my wildest dreams. I have accomplished things I never thought possible.

The challenge here is to decide what you want out of life.  Recognize that most who are successful, take risks. They have learned to embrace the unknown and the uncomfortable.  Remember, we all like the familiar; we all want to live in comfort, but what’s frightening about that is that I will end up living a status quo life. I am terrified that each day will become mundane and that I will wake up one day and would have not experienced so much that God placed inside of me.  I would encourage you to think about what’s holding you back.  Is it that you are happy nursing what you are comfortable with or are you willing to take a risk and do something that you have always wanted to do?  Guess what? It’s up to you.

It’s Your Life; Own It…