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How well do you know your purpose?

How well do you know your purpose?

Knowing your purpose is good for your health Little did I know, that knowing your purpose is important and good for your health! Both mentally and physically. Upon deeper reflection, this makes total sense. After all, an individual who wakes up and goes about their {read more}

Sad news…

Sad news…

Well blogfam. I appreciate yall so much. This post comes with the sad news, that my side kick, and the dynamic part to the duo has crossed the rainbow bridge. My sweet Bianca Bear, Bianca Potts, Muffin, Potts Smith has left us. She passed peacefully {read more}

Daily Affirmations: August Edition!

Daily Affirmations: August Edition!

These affirmations are designed to listen to in the background, read aloud, or say in your mind. Affirmations can be helpful to relax, re-center yourself and remind yourself of the intention you have for the day, the month, or even the year.

This affirmation track contains the following affirmations:

  • As I move into this month, I let go of anything that is no longer serving me.
  • I will let go of the previous versions of myself that I no longer identify with.
  • As I move throughout each day, I will seek comfort in who I have become and the person I am.
  • This month, I will take time to rest, allowing my body and mind to recharge.
  • I give myself the permission to be more sensitive to my intuition and my inner voice.
  • I will listen to my body and meet its needs, through nutrition foods, regular movement and meditation.
  • I will honor my feelings when determining next steps and move at a pace that works well for me.
  • Where needed, I will shift my attention and energy, staying loyal to myself and my personal needs.
  • Each day, I will do my best to get into a state of flow by focusing on the task at hand.
  • This month, I will give myself credit for my evolution and progress.
  • I will continue to believe there will be successful outcomes on the things I am working on.
  • Before I go to bed today, I will remember my intentions from this practice and allow myself to be satisfied with how I showed up today.

Better than Peloton? Why Planet Fitness Gym is Better

Better than Peloton? Why Planet Fitness Gym is Better

Hey everyone! As you know, I LOVE working out. The gym is my happy place. Cardio, Lifting, Yoga… doesn’t matter the activity. I LOVE getting my sweat on. Moving my body makes me happier than any other activity… In this video, I go through why {read more}

Book Review: Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Cloud

Book Review: Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Cloud

Today’s post is another book review!  This time, a leadership book called, “Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and being RIDICULOUSLY in charge” written by Dr. Henry Cloud.  This book gained my attention because I have read some of Dr. Cloud’s other  Boundaries books, and took {read more}

Building up belief in yourself

Building up belief in yourself

Life can be strange. It ebbs and flows. Thoughts come and go. People come and go. Advice is given and taken back. The seasons change, and we just keep going through the solar system. Life continues on, and small worries, big worries, blue worries, red worries can cloud us. But alas, this is simply what it means to be human. Sadly, a large part of my own anxiety comes from lack of belief in myself and fear over what people think of me.

Especially here lately with social media and the 3 seconds we give something our attention. For me, I can’t even begin to imagine all the little squares I pass by everyday while scrolling through Instagram. Often times these little squares have pieces of advice. So right after you see the gorgeous woman with the perfect outfit, baby and husband, you get to be told how to live your life. It almost screams out, “You don’t have this life because you are doing it wrong!!!”. Anyone else feel this way or is it just me?

With or without the gram, you’ve probably heard the advice, “Just believe in yourself”… If you’ve been with my blog for awhile, I’m sure you have even seen this, written by yours truly! It wasn’t until recently that I could put actual action into this and ‘take’ the advice. So, hopefully this blog helps to break down, at least, what I mean when I say, “believe in yourself.” Because, once you can more steadily and consistently believe in yourself, the less you will look outside of yourself for validation.

Before we jump in, advice you can immediately take: get off the gram for a few days :). It will do a world of good for your mental health.


Hopes and Dreams

As you move through life, there will surely be time when it feels like you can reach out and touch your hopes and dreams. Cherish these moments. In fact, try and get yourself in a frame of mind where this is most often the case.

And, let’s be honest, there will be times that feel like you’ve fallen in a deep pit and those hopes and dreams are so far away and unachievable not even a miracle could come fix it. DO NOT DWELL in this pit. If you feel your mind going into this space without any circumstantial evidence it is true, quickly divert your attention to something completely different. If you have had a setback – large or small, learn from it, dust off and get back on track.

This could look different for everyone. Perhaps you didn’t get the seed money you were hoping for, adjust, and keep going. Or maybe you were rejected by the third person in a row… dust off, do some deep reflection on how you feel about yourself; get yourself in order and try again.

The truth is, if we really truly believe in ourselves, what we are selling, or what we are doing; it will come to pass. So instead of dwelling on what is happening externally, look inward and build up the belief in whatever it is you are trying to do.



Building belief

 Step 1: Being honest with where you are compared to where you want to be

I’ve learned the first step in believing in yourself is to be super realistic about where you currently are in life. And the distance between where you are and where you want to be. Having these two pieces of information will help put things in perspective. As well as allow you to start to see the path forward.

For example, if you’d like to become an expert in your field, but only have ten hours of experience with that chosen field; you know more time and energy needs to be placed on the topic. This could come with consistent studying, being apart of discussion groups on the topic and potentially going back to school for a more advanced degree.


Step 2: Taking action toward improving

This second step is potentially the hardest: it is taking the steps toward becoming better. This is where you start down the path previously identified. Keeping in mind, you may trip and fall along the way. You may get half way down the intended path and realize you no longer want whatever it is you’ve been working toward. Or, you may skip freely down said path, enjoyably and effortlessly. No matter how many bumps in the road, in order to start gaining belief in yourself or in what you are achieving, and that it ‘matters’; you must take these actions steps.


Step 3: Measurement of small and big progress

Being able to look back, even in the past 24 hours, or perhaps years and admit to yourself how far you’ve come is super important. On the flip side, being able to see where you haven’t improved, or made progress is equally important. It is the honestly and reality in this step which allows it to grow your belief. The more honest you are with yourself about your progress, good or bad, the more the outcome makes sense. And with honesty and sense, you can be empowered to make changes, or keep charging ahead.


Step 4: Internal feedback through practice

Once you’ve made enough progress toward a milestone, it is time to act as though you are presenting your finished product and practice ‘selling it’. I realize how odd this might indeed sound, but bare with me! Visualize in your mind presenting your work, maybe it is your thesis, or a new dance. Or maybe, it is a hairstyle you need to learn for beauty school. Perhaps, it is the puppy you’ve been training. You get the point – it doesn’t matter what ‘it’ is. So, visualize bringing your ‘it’ into the real world for others to observe, and see! For at least 30 seconds picture how it would go in your minds eye. When you are done come back to this post.

Did you do it? If yes, how did it feel?

Were you worried because it isn’t ready yet? Did you nervously laugh knowing your new puppy will probably pee on someone’s carpet?

Or, were you super confident? Maybe that new up-do you’ve been practicing is ready for a bride! Were you excited about the thought of someone purchasing your product? Knowing you can fully stand behind it?

This internal feedback while visualizing is AMAZING feedback. It easily and quickly done without risks.  And it allows you to identify where your heart is, in terms of how you are feeling. It is a way to translate feeling into information; so you know which action to take next.


Step 5: Take action

They say there is no better way to feeling empowered or overcoming fears than taking action. And, that is just what I am suggesting in step 5. Once you’ve done your visualization feedback in step 4, it is time to use that and take action either way. Until you’ve grown your self-belief to the point where you’ve gone live, achieved your goals or put out into the world your creation, KEEP GOING. Scroll through these steps at each milestone until you are there.


What does this look like when applied?

 Learn. Adjust. Move Forward.

When these steps are applied, there is no doubt you will be a) on a path and b) moving. Again, there is no guarantee of sunshine and lollipops every step of the way, but the movement forward will create learnings. Eventually, your belief in what you are working on, and in yourself will grow. Again, not through doing the same thing and hoping for different results, but through learning, adjusting and moving forward.


Questions to ask yourself

First and foremost, where are you currently with self-belief? Do you believe in what you are working on? Do you feel who you are is valuable. Is what you are working toward worth your time?

Secondly, is what you are doing today, honoring your future? Meaning, if you think of your hopes and dreams for even next month, or next year, or 10 years from now; is what you are doing today getting you closer or further away? If you aren’t yet actively working on what you want, ask yourself: “do I believe my hopes and dreams are valid?”. And, “Do I believe my hopes and dreams CAN actually happen?”.

Lastly, ask yourself, “Where have I given up too soon in the past?”. “Where did I invalidate my own worth and take a decrease in self-belief by slowing or stopping the pursuit of my dreams?” And to complete this section, “What and where should my time and attention be going to reinvigorate my journey?”


Connect

If this was thought-provoking or helpful, I’d love to hear about it in the comments down below! In the words of Wim Hof, “All the love, all the power”.

Enneagram Personality Test

Enneagram Personality Test

Alright BlogFam, you asked for it, so I did it. Yes, after years of the Enneagram being popular, I finally took the test. The results were not overly surprising, and I’d love to know what you all score. The free test I took can be {read more}

5 Unconventional Skincare Hacks

5 Unconventional Skincare Hacks

As many of you know, last year the dermatologist found skin cancer. This resulted in me having a Mohs Surgery in May of 2021. It also propelled my skincare routine into a whole new realm. In this video, I discuss 5 unconventional skincare hacks. These {read more}

Half-Year Check-In

Half-Year Check-In

For my readers in the United States, Happy Independence Day! For those elsewhere, Happy Monday! To all, welcome to today’s blog. More importantly, welcome to the official second half of 2022. We’ve made it this far. It’s time to assess where we are by doing a half year check-in. Perhaps this year is going swimmingly for you, and perhaps it is time to readjust and get back on the wagon.

If you are interested in my own journey, go to the end of the exercise, where you will find some very open and honest reflections of my own first half 2022.

 

Revisiting goals for the year

 

Step 1: Word and Vision for 2022

It is time to go back to your original vision for 2022. Bring to mind your word of the year, and the associated focus areas and goals.

Many things, unexpected or otherwise can happen in 6 months! Does your word still fit you? Has anything drastically changed this year where you need to update your focus areas? Are there parts of your life you neglected to include from the beginning, which you’d like to add in now?

 

Step 2: Focus area deep dive

Now that you’ve determined, at a high-level if your word of the year still fits, and if your focus areas are aligned. It is time to go deeper into each area. If you could rank them, what would you say would be the top area, which you feel the best about? And, of course in rank order, all the way to the one that isn’t progressing as well. Once you’ve done this, would you choose to start putting your energy into a different one, or are you happy of what is coming out number one? Do you need to rebalance any of the areas?

 

Step 3: Reevaluate your Intentions and Goals

Once you have completed your focus area rank order, now it is time to go into your intentions and goals. Perhaps for 2022 you set the intention toward making your body healthier, and the associated goal is to cook at home 4 times a week. Are the goals you’ve set getting you to the intention behind it? Are there goals you need to re-create or start fresh because they just aren’t getting you to where you need to be?

How do you feel about the intentions you originally set? Are they aligning well with you you want to become before the ball drops on midnight January 1, 2023? Are your goals and intentions even realistic?

 

Step 4: Daily Habits

In 2021, I made a post about daily habit tracking. I am happy to report the habit of habit tracking really serves me well. I hope you’ve at least written down the daily habits you’d like to incorporate into your year, so that you can meet your goals and therefore make progress on your intentions and focus areas. If you aren’t tracking your daily habits because you are scared of all the 0’s that will add up, please adjust your habits to something manageable.

These can be as simple as ‘stay hydrated’, or ‘read for 10 minutes’. The more simple, straight forward and manageable they are, the more likely you will do them.

And, I assure you, if you start the daily habits TODAY of the person you want to become in even 2 months, you WILL feel better about yourself. I talk more about my struggles earlier in the year with this in my personal half year assessment below. I encourage you to start tracking your habits today!

If you already have been tracking your habits – awesome! I hope you can see your 1% improvement in the areas on your tracker, and thus see yourself transforming into the person you wanted to become this year right before your eyes! Give yourself credit!

 

My half-year assessment

 

MY WORD OF THE YEAR: BOLD.

This word has been a challenge for me. Over the years I had become a shell of myself for many reasons. Mostly, I liked the quieter, less intense version of myself; however I knew there was room for growth. There were areas in my life, especially in my day-job where I had lost sight of my own value. When I selected my word for 2022, I did so thoughtfully and carefully. I didn’t want something ‘easy’. Instead, I wanted to look myself in the eyes and conquer the limiting beliefs I had let take over. Those limiting beliefs specifically surrounded my self-worth, my ability, my intelligence and my experience.

This is hard to admit, and as I edit this post, it is hard to read back. Over the years, I had let these limiting beliefs grow in my mind like a chia pet. Looking back, I see how unhealthy my thoughts were, and worse, how I was operating out of fear and so easily manipulated. It saddens me to this day.

Funny… not funny though, how something new, and empowering can come from so much destruction, self imposed or otherwise. As I was reflecting in December 2021, I knew I had to make big changes in my life. And this is where the selection of the word ‘BOLD’ was born.

The changes I knew I had to make surrounded my inner self-talk. My showing up for myself everyday through self-encouragement, healthy habits, self-discipline and self-appreciation. I knew I had to shine a light into the dark parts of my mind and start pulling out the things I knew were inside me; but hiding out of fear.

 

 

 

FOCUS AREAS:

If you read my original post about my word of the year, you will know that I added a 5th focus area for 2022, “Relationships”. I did this because 2020 and 2021 were harsh with long periods of isolation, and only the very beginnings of reunions. Not only that, but I wanted to be much more intentional about connecting with people, regardless if I’d be seeing them in person or not. I am so glad I added this, especially because it opened my world up to getting to know people I’d known only in a professional capacity much better. In addition, I intentionally prioritized getting to know people on a deeper level over other things. It, so far, has made my life much richer and more enjoyable.

Let’s go through each focus area with a bit more detail, also I’ve force ranked them, as I’ve instructed you to do in the steps above.

 

The deets

  1. Career & Side Hustle
    • Career: The first 6 months of 2022 have proven to have brought with it changes galore with my day-job. After 7 years, I finally had an amazing manager who was supportive and caring. Someone who I could look up to and easily talk to. Although this was the case, many factors lead to me needing to make a change. A BOLD change. After all those years, I knew I had sacrificed WAY too much of myself, my own needs, even my health at times. This was a lesson that took me much too long to learn. I am thankful I finally did and that I made a change for the better.
    • Side Hustle: As you may have noticed, I took a different approach with my blog this year. I did some studying at the very beginning of the year and approached this as more of a business instead of just a hobby. I don’t want to speak too too soon, because I’d like a full year under my belt before I claim success, but so far so good!
  2. Relationships: As I discussed a bit above, I am so thankful I added this to my focus areas list! It has led to much deeper connections, specifically me being more open. And much more fun. In addition, I’ve learned so much about people who I’d known for many years. Not to mention making previous acquaintances into life long friends and more. Previous to 2022, I was very good at meeting new people, and building my network, but those connections weren’t overly deep aside from close friends near by in NC, internet friends I’ve never met and the occasional work person turned confidant. Now, I can say my relationships are more like a flourishing garden, with lots of warm breezes, giggles and deep conversations.
  3. Healthy Body: Welp, I debated whether to put this as number 3 or number 4. This year started off rough for me, being sick for almost two full weeks straight but testing negative for COVID. My step count went from an average of 12,000 to 5,000 really quick. I kept up with some other activities but had to slow down considerably right off the bat. Once I was well again, I of course started traveling for work which greatly distracts from this goal. I did however, continue to eat extremely healthy, and move my body. When Spring came around I started getting outside a ton more and actually getting in proper shape again! Therefore I listed this at number 3.
  4. Mindfulness & Personal Growth: So, I almost took this off my list because it isn’t really fair to force rank it. I want to be honest with you all. Whilst these two topics are the literal inspiration behind this blog, I struggle. However, I always, always get right back to it. There is a particular day I remember in January where I couldn’t get my mind to stop wondering. I went back and read one of my own blog posts and it helped me. Eventually I know my mental chatter will calm down and align with my visions for the future, until then I will consciously manage it!
  5. Activities & Hobbies: Going into the year, I had so many hopes for activities and hobbies. Some of which I’ve accomplished and many more I’d like to enjoy. I ranked this last because in general, I was prioritizing my health and career over the extra stuff. Instead of doing something everyday to work toward my singing goals, or even practicing dance, I often found myself working on self-development or more career related activities. Something I’d like to change on the back half of the year.
 

INTENTIONS W/ MEASURABLE GOALS:

Below is the list of my intentions for 2022. While I am hitting on all of these, I’d say some of them are shaping up to be different than originally intended. For example, ‘learning new things’. This year I learned ballroom dance, but I also learned a lot about balancing the known and unknown and making a leap. So, the original meanings may have shifted or now include something more, but still my intentions are very much in line. At the end of this year, I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with the life I lived from January to December 2022.

  • Live a balanced life
  • Be present in every moment
  • Continuously work on myself
  • Give myself grace
  • Enjoy life everyday
  • Learning new things
 

DAILY HABITS:

My daily habits are so important to me. In January because of being ill, there were many 0’s instead of check marks because I simply wasn’t making progress on hobbies or working out. I did not let this discourage me, but I was honest in my tracker. Knowing I’d be here now looking back at the other moments and see progress was made! This goes to one of my intentions to give myself grace.  As February came and went and travel starting picking back up again, my daily habits became even more important. 

The one’s I consistently include month to month are typically:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • 8 hours of sleep
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Moving the body (yoga, walking, lifting)
  • Enjoying life
  • Activity or Hobby (1/day)
  • Connection

Page Break

Affirmations

Affirmations are such a great way to get on track and start out your day.  They can directly help with self-encouragement and replacing any negative thoughts or limiting beliefs with better thoughts.  On my YouTube channel, I have posted a few affirmation tracks, along with meditations which can help in this area.  

Guided Meditation

Guided Meditation

Each month, I am posting affirmations tracks or meditations on my YouTube Channel. This month, I have posted a Guided Meditation, which is a walk through the forest. It is less than 10 minutes by design, and can be used during the day. Or to fall asleep to. Enjoy!