What are you reading? Top 5 from 2020

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Assuming you agree 2020 proved to be a year like no other—at least in our lifetime—you might find yourself in one of two camps: during the past 12 months, you read more than ever (whether to escape reality or to preserve your mental health or all of the above); or, you remained unable to read anything other than your pervading news feeds (understandable). Regardless of which camp you reside, if one of your New Year’s goals includes reading [more], check out my Top 5 from 2020:

  1. Greg Olsen’s “Lying Next to Me“—for fans of suspense
  2. Gay Hendricks’ “The Big Leap”—addresses limiting beliefs & finding your “zone of genius”
  3. Scott Allan’s “Do it Scared”—shares techniques to charge forward with confidence
  4. Alice Feeney’s “Sometimes I Lie”—takes readers on a psychological thrill ride (eked into 2021)
  5. Tina Radcliffe’s “Finding the Road Home“—for lovers of stories with heart, humor & faith

What book did you read last year and recommend?

Image courtesy of zole4 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The home stretch: bidding farewell to 2019

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How’s the year wrapping up in your world? Mine resembles a project still in the works: missing pieces to the puzzle; loose ends, tangled and frayed. Unfinished business: words left unspoken; goals unrealized. As well as one certainty: I don’t want to arrive at the end of my life or the end of next year—or the end of next month—without seeing progress. Although baby steps still mean we’re moving forward, we might fall on our hindquarters, take two steps back for each one we advance or veer off the original course. But we shouldn’t drop to our knees where we are and stop—unless it’s to pray. So as we bid farewell to 2019, I pray for: a clear vision for the New Year, favor to succeed, strength to overcome, confidence in our convictions and the peace that passes all understanding. And that any loose ends or unfinished business or missing pieces to the puzzle serve as stepping stones from one chapter to the next.

Cheers!

Image courtesy of Krishna arts at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Walking proof: the catalyst to inspire

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After a recent sweat session—aka Bikram yoga class—I conversed with a young lady who practices at the same studio. Her story inspires: 50 pounds heavier last year, she suffered with depression perpetuated by the chronic recitation of self-defeating thoughts and words. One day, she began to listen to and read positive affirmations daily and also established an at-home yoga practice. These new habits served as the catalyst for the person she is today, one who exudes confidence from the sparkle in her eyes to the smile that lights up her face. She knows she’s amazing and beautiful (she repeats this mantra habitually). What’s her secret? She mentioned synchronicity—the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. Yet we both know it’s what I tout in my posts: That what we think, what we believe and what we speak are essential to attracting abundance in our lives. This young lady is walking proof.

What does your life prove about you?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

How to boost your confidence today

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Boost your confidence

A couple months ago I was invited to byline a guest blog post for my alma mater’s literary publication. Although I’ve contributed pieces in the past that have garnered positive feedback, I agonized over this particular post for weeks. I even consulted my big sister, a freelance editor, for her expertise. While I pen my own blog, there’s something unnerving about putting myself out there where former professors and peers and other literary critics might take a peek. Perhaps it’s because my prose has been limited to on-the-job copy edits and interviews—or lack of balance in other areas of my life—but confidence in my writing ability has plummeted. Let’s be honest: No (wo)man is an island, but we must first be our biggest advocate. When I approach my day wearing a smile (even a manufactured one) and slip on a positive attitude (along with my sassiest heels), the world sees what I want it to see. And I begin to, as well.

What boosts your confidence?

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Fear is *not* a favorite F word

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Fear

Fear can be debilitating. Fear of… failure, the unknown, change, making a mistake, saying the wrong thing, getting hurt, causing pain, running out of time, missing out. Regret. The other day, I made a decision, set my plan in motion and, for several hours, I felt at peace about it. Only, when it came time to execute ‘said’ plan, fear seized and held me captive, resulting in an aborted mission. The solution? I must confront my fears, head on, instead of running away from whatever situation I’m facing. Otherwise, I will never be able to make peace with the past and move forward into the present that’s waiting for me to delight in. But this requires courage that I have yet to access, and confidence to trust in the process. It also requires daily positive affirmations that, indeed, I am good enough. And keep in mind: There are no mistakes. Just life lessons. So that’s one fear we can all say goodbye to.

What is your biggest fear?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Replacing discouragement with hope

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

While it is wise to accept what we cannot change about ourselves,
it is also good to remember that we are never too old to replace
discouragement with bits and pieces of confidence and hope.
~ Elaine N. Aron

More and more lately, I’m realizing that the only thing I can control is myself and my reaction to others’ actions, as well as the situations I find myself involved with.  While there are certain qualities inherent in our personalities, for the most part I’m okay with my own personal “quirks,” if you will.  It obviously doesn’t help to wallow in a self-defeatist attitude; however, for those areas which I know can be improved upon, this is where I can exert some control.  So while I’m unable to change another’s circumstances to benefit myself, or to rush or slow down time for my own agenda, I can make a choice to replace any discouragement and frustration with confidence that I’m doing the best I can with the tools I possess.  And hope that my future will be better for it.

Do you beat yourself up over the things you cannot change about yourself or others?