Success Secret #43: I’m becoming the person I want to be…

This may sound strange for some but for many, you are doing the victory dance with me!

For so many years, I struggled with liking me.  I struggled with accepting the person that I am because I thought I wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t the critiques or comments from others that created my insecurities but my own negative self talk.  I would look around at other people and pick parts of their lives that I thought should fit into mine.

If I had a man like him, I would be happy.

If my hair looked like that, I would be happy.

If I lived in a house like that, I would be happy.

If I could buy all the clothes I want, I would would be happy.

If I drove that car, I would be happy.

If I had more money, my life would be perfect.

I wish I could tell you how many years, I spent on this mental rollercoaster of internal anxiety.  It was exhausting!  I was never satisfied because all I could see in my life was all the things that needed fixing.

This part is going to sound really strange… I was on a call recently and the moderator asked the group how they dealt with insecurities and inadequacies.  I paused for a moment to gather my thoughts in case I was selected to speak and it hit me…

I got over it! [insert another victory dance]

I quit reading all the self help blogs, articles and books.  I quit looking for answers to my “problems” because I realized that I wasn’t broken.  We have this misconception that life is supposed to be perfect and that everyone is supposed to like us and that all things are supposed to be great all of the time but they aren’t and they never will be.  We see every problem in our lives as an obstacle to our happiness instead of a part of the process.

Some people think I’m arrogant or stuck up because I don’t walk around broken and defeated.  They think I think I’m all of that because I walk with my head held high, shoulders back and confidently placing one six inch stiletto clad foot ahead of the next.  It’s not because my life is perfect or because I have everything figured out.  I decided to get over myself and stop dwelling in my deficiencies.

All that I am not makes me all that I am…

Somewhere along the journey I developed a relationship with God and in every place where I feel weak, inadequate, insecure or beat down; he has allowed me to lean on him and draw from his strength.  I no longer feel like I need the STUFF to make me happy.  I don’t need the approval of other people to validate my decisions.  My happy place is simply doing good for others, being good to myself and seeing the good all around me.  I don’t see my life as an incomplete puzzle that’s always missing the final piece to become complete.  My life is more like a never ending game of Jenga – it has its high moments where all the pieces come together and the low moments where all the pieces crumble – and I’m ok with both.

I will never arrive…

In the title I declared that I am BECOMING the person I want to be because I realized that perfection is not attainable.  All of the pieces won’t ever fit neatly together.  Social media has distorted our concept of happiness because we spend so much time looking at the highlight reels from other people’s lives through their tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram pictures until we forget that there is actually life to be lived.  Outside the few moments captured in virtual time, there are the real everyday ebbs and flows, hills and valleys of life and you can’t think that one day its all going to be smooth sailing because it won’t. In my mind, the arrival at perfect peace is death and I’m in no hurry to get there.

key-to-happiness

I found the keys to my happiness.

  1. My relationship with God.  I can do all things through Him when I am in line with His will.  I surrendered my life to be a living testimony of God’s ability to do miraculous things.  I try to focus on asking for nothing but wanting to give everything.
  2. I learned to love unconditionally.  I stopped wanting people to be anything other than who they are.  Not everyone has a place in my life.  I can love some people up close but some have to be loved from afar but I refuse to allow any negative feelings about anyone to dwell in my spirit.  I forgave everyone who has hurt me, especially those who never apologized.
  3. I realized that being the person I wanted to be was simply a matter of doing the things that she would do… 

I hope and pray that you find your keys too!

Order your copy of Success Secrets for the Young and Fabulous today.  It features profiles of nine professional young adults who share how they found their keys to success.  Available on Amazon.com

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Are you ready to become a wife?

Many women fantasize about the day they will get married but how many of us dream about being a wife?  Have you seriously considered the difference between your wedding day and the lifelong committment that you will be making to another person?  Have you thought about how your actions today are attracting or repelling the man of your dreams?

Finding Mr. Right may be difficult but how about keeping him and creating a happy home?  Enter relationship expert, Christine Pembleton…

Christine is hosting a 3 day conference in Phoenix AZ from March 4-6, 2011 for women ready to become a wife.  Sign up today for three days of sessions like learning the secrets to being an irresistible woman by adapting the Honey Girl Lifestyle and the things you must stop doing immediately if you want to have a loving and long-lasting relationship with your future husband. Registration also includes The Ready to Be a Wife Action Guide and immediate access to the Intensive Welcome Pack so you can start working on your relationship goals before the event.

Want to know more?  Check out the event details for yourself… http://www.readytobeawife.com/intensive/ This is an event you will not want to miss.

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Stop expecting more than you are willing or able to give

I’m sure you can probably tell from the title of this post that it is probably about something personal happening in my life.

I am sick of people wanting to take, take and take some more but then they have nothing to offer.  What makes a person think that the world owes them something? What makes them think that everyone on earth exist to make them happy?

Guess what!?! Not only does the world not owe you anything but most people could care less about your happiness.  We are all struggling day-to-day trying to maintain our own sanity and happiness.  I try to do my best to help those that I can help but what makes someone think that my level of giving is going to supercede normal and rational boundaries of my own personal happiness.  No matter how greatly I think of a person, I think even more of myself.

On the converse, I also don’t think people should give of themselves to the point of self-sacrifice.  Life is all about give AND take.  You need to be in a mutually beneficially relationship with everyone in your life including your parents, friends, mates, children, etc.  You should not reach a point in your life where you begin to resent those around you because they are taking too much from you.  The fact is, they are not taking too much, you are giving too much.  No one can take more than you are willing to give.

Many of us create these unbalanced situations trying to fulfill some other need in our lives but guess what? At every level of your life, you have to deal with your issues as they are.  You can not substitute problems and solutions.  They are not interchangeable.

Anyway, I’m done ranting and hope that there was a peril of wisdom embedded in there somewhere.

Success Secret #19

There are so many hard lesson to learn in life.  Most of them come from your experiences, both the good and the bad.  I wish I could sit back and tell you that I have had all of these wonderful experiences that made me the person that I am today, but that would not be true.  I have been through things that I haven’t even told my mother about and I tell her almost everything.  I have been through things that I haven’t even talked to God about, yet.  I know that He already knows but just having the conversation will mean me really having to acknowledge and accept the situations.  Sounds so much easier than it actually is because somethings are just harder to accept than others. We don’t expect the people who are supposed to love us and care for us to be the ones that hurt us the most.

For a long time I held on to the pain of my bad experiences and it was almost like a crutch.  It served as the perfect excuse for me not to face certain situations or not to deal with certain problems.  However, getting up and putting on my big girl pants mean… Success Secret #19… you have to learn to let go.

A lot of the things that have happened to me could have easily broken me.  They could have destroyed my ability to love and trust.  They could have prevented me from ever wanting or having friends.  They could have bound me to a life of paranoia and solitude.  However, somewhere along the way, I decided that it was easier to let go of all of that negative baggage and to keep moving forward.  I hear people talk about their “haters” all of the time.  I honestly don’t get why they put so much focus on these people.  I know that there are people who don’t support me, don’t believe in what I am doing or don’t want to see me succeed but I put absolutely no time or energy into them.  I don’t even give them the privilege of a title like “hater” in my life. 

I am always encouraging people to live on the good side of life.  At every turn you will find the bad side and the good side of a situation.  You can choose to hold on to the bad stuff and focus on the negative but it will only bring you down.  Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting but it means not dwelling on or in the toxic stuff and focusing on the positive.  You have a choice in life.  Why choose to be unhappy?

5 Tips to Live Young and Fabulous

Many people think that living young and fabulous is directly related to your age, having lots of money and doing lots of things.  I am here to set the record straight.  Living a young and fabulous life is all about your mindset.  It is about the freedom that you feel when you are not bound to the expectations of others or any that are self imposed.  I am going to share my five tips to achieve a young and fabulous life.

  1. Be your own guide.  Don’t look to others for a road map to living your life.  I heard a woman say the other day that she felt that she was too old to wear patterned tights with tall boots.  At what age should you be too old for patterned tights unless they are fishnet or mesh?  Last Sunday, I saw a lady in her 80s with a skirt suit, stockings and short boots.  She looked fabulous and didn’t care what anyone else thought.  Although the first lady was younger in age, the older lady was living young and fabulous because she wasn’t concerned with the opinions of others and rocked her outfit.
  2. Realize that it isn’t about you.  I think we have covered this in one of the success secrets but as soon as you stop thinking the world revolves around you and that everyone is out to get you, the better your life will be.  Sometimes I think I take this tip a little too far because I don’t ever assume that other people’s actions have anything to do with me.  If they do, it’s not my problem.  I don’t have haters because people who may be working against me aren’t even on my radar.  I focus on doing what I need to do to be my best self.
  3. Give back.  We have all heard the old adage that it is better to give than to receive.  When you find yourself being a blessing in the lives of others, you will start to receive blessings.  So many times we do things looking for a reward or a payment. Have you ever lost something and couldn’t find it but as soon as you stopped looking, you found it.  The same is true with blessings.  When you are looking for them, you can’t see them but as soon as you stop focusing on them, good things start to happen.  Not because the fairy dust waits for you to turn your head to anoint you but because when you set an expectation for a blessing you have an idea of what it should or should not look like.  When you stop expecting, it is able to take on any shape in your life and you will be greatful for existence.
  4. Look the part.  I hope you all read my blog, I don’t look like what I’ve been through.  It is somewhat of a testimony but it essentially says that you don’t have to wear your troubles for all the world to see.  Being young and fabulous is about focusing more on the 80% of things in life that you have rather than complaining about the 20% that you don’t.  If you take a serious inventory of your life, you have much more than you lack.  I remind people to take a look at the victims of Haiti and even some people still struggling after Hurricane Katrina.  Even on your worst day, you are still more blessed and have lost much less than some of these people. 
  5. As you think it, you will become it.  Our thoughts manifest into our reality.  If you think positive things will happen in your life, they will.  Not because you have these magical abilities but because you start to see the goodness in your situation.  Every situation that you find yourself in can be viewed positively or negatively.  It is up to you to decide what you will take away from it.

Living young and fabulous isn’t about material gain but spiritual fulfillment.  When you focus your life on THINGS, you will never find happiness because you will never have enough.  However, when you focus is on being a good person and having a joyful spirit, I can’t even begin to describe how things will change in your life.

What are some of your tips to living a young and fabulous life?

Success Secret #14

This is another one of those hard life lessons.  I believe it is one of the reasons people have such hard times in relationships.  They don’t realize that people don’t change.  Sorry, had to give you the secret up front…  Success Secret#14 ::: people don’t change.

When I say people don’t change, that doesn’t really mean that someone won’t ever grow but I am saying you have to learn to accept the possibility that they won’t ever do anything different than what they are doing today and be able to live with that.  This lesson has helped me to deal with many situations because I start to think that someone may grow from an experience and they don’t.  I find myself disappointed but I shouldn’t be because I should not expect anyone to be any more than they are at this point in their life and hope that they don’t expect any more of me. 

Have you ever seen a pattern within one of your friends and a situation came up and you knew how they were going to act but you really tried to expect the best but they ended up doing exactly what you expected?  It kind of hurt.  Accepting that people don’t change is one of the best antidotes to that hurt.  I have begun to expect that people will do what follows their natural tendencies.  When they behave as I know they probably will rather than as I hope or wish them too, I don’t feel let down.  I try to love people just as they are, wherever they are in life.  Doing so allows me to celebrate their success and support them during times of difficulty because I have no expectations for anyone’s life other than wishing them all the best.

Women, we were set up…

I told one of my girl friends the other day that I thought women were set up.  I am sure you are probably just as curious as she was to find out what I am talking about.  As I explained my theory, it really made sense to her. 

Living happily ever after

As little girls, we watched these fairy tales that told us Prince Charming was on his way, on his white horse to rescue us from the drudgery of real life, to whisk us off to a palace and to live happily ever after.  Some of you may not have fallen for that but there are others still waiting for the dream to be realized.  Even if it wasn’t manifested as a result of a fairy tale, some of you did envision having a perfect body; a wonderful husband; cute and obedient children; an immaculate house; a luxury car; a successful career; involvement in a few social organizations and I am sure the list continues with responsibilities to your friends, family members and possibly co-workers.

Are you starting to see the set up?  How is it possible for any of us to attain all of that?  If you have checked off even half of those items on your list, you should consider yourself blessed because most of us are struggling to nail down two or three.  Part of my young and fabulous lifestyle is realizing that some of those things on that list are expectations that society has for me but they are not that important to me.

As I approached my 30’s, I didn’t see any knights in shining armour rushing my way so I decided to make some tough decisions about how I would take charge of my life and move forward.  That is not to say, that I don’t still have the fantasy in my head but my reality is that I would rather be great at a few things, like being a mother and having a successful career, than stressing myself out trying to be everything to everyone and chasing the cheese. 

This really should be a success secret but I am going to go ahead and spill it.  Having it all doesn’t mean having everything on that list.  It means figuring out what is important to you, what are your priorities, and going for it. If you will notice, the happiest people that you know don’t have all of those things but they have a few and choose to focus on what is good in their life instead of searching for what may be missing.

Guess what?  Guys, you were set up too! Come back next Thursday to find out how…