When doubts begin to threaten your peace: remember to look up

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Yesterday morning, as I drove through my neighborhood to work, my thoughts turned inward. Doubts began to intrude on my peace. Tears sprung to my eyes and I blinked to keep the waterworks from spilling over onto my cheeks. And then a beautiful thing happened: I remembered to look up. At that moment, the sunrise bursting through the clouds served as a reminder which I continue to reflect on time and time again: I am loved. I am here on this earth for a purpose. I matter. Even when I feel invisible or misunderstood, the Creator paints a canvas of hope upon my heart in order to reflect outward onto a hurting world. Dear friends, it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday frenzy. To feel insignificant, overwhelmed or broken. Even as I type these words, my heart squeezes with emotions I have yet to explore. But it’s enough, for now, to know that I need only look up.

What is your panacea when doubts take hold?

Mixed messages: how to make sense of it all



Mixed messages play havoc with logic. Just when you think you understand a simple concept, doubt creeps in and you begin to question your sanity, your ability to reason—everything you thought to be true. In the publishing world, there is frequent interaction between publisher and advertisers, authors, sales reps, subscribers and so on. As concise as one can be through email, there is often room for interpretation on both sides, which may lead to miscommunication, lost time and, not uncommon, bruised feelings. With the majority of business and social communique handled via digital means, it might require an old-fashioned phone call to right a wrong or lend clarity to a situation in order to move forward. It isn’t necessarily about the mistake or misunderstanding, because we are human and they happen. It’s how we react in the moment, mindful that relationships—business or otherwise—are always hanging in the balance. And that pride goes before a fall every time.

How do you make sense of mixed messages?

Photo courtesy of Pansa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Confessions of a fraud

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Fraud alert

Much of the time, lately, I feel like a fraud. Although I appear one way on the outside, I’m not feeling it on the inside. Admittedly, I’m doing a poor job of exhaling the old and inhaling the new. But I’m beginning to realize this means making one or more changes in my life. According to familyshare.com, I must stop:

  1. Comparing myself to others
  2. Waiting for the right moment
  3. Spending time with people who hurt me
  4. Judging others
  5. Running away from my problems
  6. Putting my own needs on the back burner
  7. Trying to be someone I’m not
  8. Being scared to make mistakes
  9. Trying to buy happiness
  10. Missing out
  11. Being a pushover
  12. Being too busy
  13. Blaming other people for my problems
  14. Relying on others to make me happy
  15. Doubting myself
  16. Eating out excessively
  17. Being complacent with my life

Ready or not, here comes the real me.

What behaviors do you struggle with?

[Image credit: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Salvaging our enthusiasm

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[Image credit: nattavut]

In many of my posts, I talk about picking up the pieces and moving forward: from disappointment, setbacks, doubt, roadblocks, heartache.  Whatever it is we’re trying to put behind us.  But how do we actually salvage the enthusiasm to keep going?  Perhaps we replace an old dream with a new one or find a hobby we’re passionate about.  Others give of themselves through volunteer opportunities.  Maybe you’re finally taking that long-awaited trip or you’ve alphabetized your office files.  Everyone is different when it comes to getting excited about facing each new day.  The key is to discover what it is that inspires you.  Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who stash a few of these prompts in your back pocket to take them out at will.  But for others, ask yourself if money, time or any other obstruction didn’t exist, what would be the one thing that compels you to action.  Then imagine your life depended on it.

What is the one thing that inspires your enthusiasm?

Outsmarting our demons

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[Image credit: frederico stevanin]

On average, I spend close to six hours at the gym per week.  Add to that another couple of hours pursuing other physical activity, like walking, hiking and swimming (learning to dance is still a goal for 2012).  My reasons are simple: strengthen my bones, keep in shape, maintain my sanity and fight this aging thing (kicking and screaming the whole way).  Over the past few weeks, however, each time I’ve slipped on my tennis shoes or weight gloves, I’ve been attempting to outrun, out row, out spin, out lift and out step my demons.  You know the ones.  The should’ves, would’ves, could’ves that haunt during waking hours; the doubts or regrets we take to bed each night.  That’s because no matter how hard we try to outmaneuver them, they’ll hang on until we fight back.  And just like we need to identify and address our “ickies,” we must outsmart our demons — no matter what it takes.

Do you have a demon or two that require outsmarting?