Making Mistakes?

The biggest mistake we can make is being afraid to make a mistake. ~ Joyce Meyer

In college I had a roommate who was funny, caring, and energetic. She was very bright, a pre-med student majoring in biology. Everyone loved to be around her; that is, until it came time for her to make a decision. What to eat, what to do, where to go… the options seemed endless to her and she didn’t have an easy time landing on just one.

Courses were limited to a certain number of students so we were urged to register early for classes in order to get a seat. One semester my roommate perseverated over the very best course schedule for so many days that, by the time she registered, two of her top choices were no longer available. While the schedule she ended up with looked fine to the rest of us, she was disappointed for days and felt like she was set back on her goals.

A depth of indecision like this can be a real roadblock. Perhaps born of insecurity, worry of what others may think, or fear of making a mistake, it stops us from moving forward. My roommate’s parents had high expectations of her as the first in the family to go to college. She then had high expectations of herself. But her fear of making mistakes led to negative outcomes and complete inaction.

Perhaps fear of making a mistake happens to most of us given the right set of circumstances. It can be almost terrorizing to make a decision. It has certainly been a limiting factor for me as I let fears of doing the wrong thing stop me from doing anything. But, awareness is the first step toward change and when we realize how our fears or beliefs are limiting us, we can make efforts to change them.

I have found that it takes immense energy to perseverate over a decision; even about something fun like what to do on vacation. If I spend time weighing options, listing ideas, becoming invested in each idea and considering the importance of each one, I’m overwhelmed by the planning and aggravated about what is supposed to be a fun vacation before it has even begun.

How are your beliefs limiting you? Is fear of making a mistake stopping you from doing something important? I challenge you to make a choice, step out in faith, and see what happens. Chances are you will feel much lighter by not allowing the decision to overwhelm you. Think of all the energy and time we can save!

Make it a good week!

 

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To Thrive

I really like words. Reading, writing, learning, and considering the use of various words — I dig it.

In the song called Thrive by Casting Crowns, the lyrics say:

We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives. It’s time for us to more than just survive. We were made to thrive.

These impactful words paint a dichotomous picture. We were made for more than ordinary lives, for more than just surviving. To survive is to remain alive, to subsist, to make it through. But we were made to thrive, to flourish, to grow, and prosper. Thriving is full of excitement, life, and growth.

I notice a difference in my life, in how I feel about my life and activities, in times of survival versus times of thriving. Heck, sometimes survival is excellent, the very best option. There are definitely times where I have been incredibly grateful for survival.

But during regular days, not the life versus death kind of days, sometimes it feels like all we can do is to survive from one day to another, rushing from place to place, never enough time in the day to get everything done. Never enough time to meet everyone’s needs. We look forward to the weekend, or days off, to get off the treadmill of weekday life and to have more time to ourselves.

But to thrive is an entirely different experience. I think of times when I feel like I’m growing, I’m excited, doing something that makes an impact. I feel like I thrive when I am creating a healthy meal, when I am having dinner with an old friend, unaware of the time as it passes. I thrive in new environments, in being part of a group that is moving forward on something. I thrive on the idea that the way I relate to others makes a positive difference to them.

What makes you thrive? Do you make efforts to use your time in ways that make you thrive?

Make it a good week!

Advice I would give my young self…

Lately I have been thinking about my age. Not thinking I am old or feeling close to my expiration date. But I’ve been thinking about habits and trying to make some changes.         I read somewhere that it takes 66 days or 66 times of doing something to change a habit… not a particularly easy effort.

It got me to thinking about habits I formed in my 20’s, the decade in which so much of my adulthood was shaped.

If I could go back and give my 20-something self advice that I would actually accept, here are a few things I would say…

1. Don’t fret. Truly, truly, today has enough worries of its own. You don’t need to worry about tomorrow or next week because they will arrive soon enough and take care of themselves. What other people think of you, how to handle an upcoming situation, worrying will not change a thing. The thing will happen and will usually be just fine. You can avoid wrinkles on your forehead from unnecessary fretting later in life.

2. Go easy on yourself. There is no need to beat yourself up (figuratively) for making a mistake or for saying the “wrong” thing. Most people do they best they can most of the time — and that includes you. Be realistic, don’t be a jerk, but be gentle with how you view yourself.

3. Develop good habits. Don’t wait until later. Decisions you make now about how you eat, whether or not you exercise, whether to make reading a part of your daily routine, and most other habits, will stick with you. It doesn’t get easier to develop good habits as you age. And developing them while you’re young provides more time to reap the benefits.

4. Stand tall. You are a tall woman, tall enough to touch the ground at 5′ 9″. There is no need to stand on one leg with the other bent to appear shorter. And no need to feel “less than” because you’re big. Be proud of who you are and show it with your posture. Wear high heels when the time is right. It doesn’t get easier to start later!

5. Consider gratitude. Life will bring challenges your way. People will disappoint you, and your heart will be broken a few times. But you will also have many successes, exciting opportunities, and your heart will be filled with love. Try to consider what you are grateful for every day; gratitude for what you have, for your relationships, for simple things like sunshine. It will help from falling into and remaining in negativity.

I am sure there are many more tidbits my 20-something self would benefit from but these are the few that first came to mind. What would you tell your young self, your 20-something self or your teenage self?

Make it a good week!

The You-est You

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.

Michelangelo

When I was in high school I had an idealized image of being an adult. I couldn’t wait to be older, have a job, a dog, and a condo in the city. My image was a life of success, contentment, independence and maturity. I would have a job I loved and was good at, enough money for needs and a few wants, and would not settle for anything less.

I looked around at adults I knew, at how they participated in their lives. Some people worked every day and disliked what they did. Some talked about being excited for retirement, looking forward to the days when they could do what they wanted. I remember wondering how people could live like that, spending days waiting to get on to the next one. I felt this was the type of person I didn’t want to be.

When I actually matured into an adult I began to see how people could stay in a job, or in a life situation, they didn’t particularly like:

  • Money may be a factor; once we earn a certain amount of money or family members to support and bills to pay, it can be very difficult to let it go and make a financial change.
  • In general, people don’t like change and it seems that many prefer to stay in what they know rather than trying something new.
  • Inertia may set in; it feeds on itself, that feeling of sluggishness with the familiarity and monotony of every day life.
  • Lack of self-confidence; I believe many people, women especially, feel incapable of making a change, learning a new role and doing it well.

There are probably many more factors (please feel free to comment below!) and they share a similarity. The ugliness of each of these factors, real as they are, is that they hold us back from being our best selves. They change our perspective toward negativity. We may not give 100% to the job or the relationship and, therefore, we don’t receive back 100% satisfaction. It is a self-perpetuating cycle. We fall into a hole and wait for some set of circumstances to come along to get us out of the hole. Over time new goals may not be set, much less reached.

What I want to encourage you to consider, if you are in this kind of place, is you can get yourself out of the holes you are in. You are the You-est You there is and the world needs You to be your best self. Reassess your goals, remember your dreams and ideals from the past, and reconsider aiming for them.

Make it a good week!

3 Signs that you are Waking Up!

Happy Friday! Today I am reblogging a post written by Jeff Moore. He started following my blog last week so I checked his out. His motivational, positive, empowering message are amazing! This one particularly spoke to me, about the ways in which we know we are ready for something new, something big, when we are ready to wake up to our lives! I hope you enjoy it like I have. ~ Jennifer

Everyday Power Blog

wake up

The Japanese call it Satori, the Buddhists call it Enlightenment, and us American’s call it “go out and get a job” – just kidding! We call it consciousness.

Regardless of what you call it; we all at one point or another seem to WAKE UP!

When you have woken up, you know it! Here are three signs that you are well on your way!

1. You find yourself disgusted!That’s right! Down right disgusted! Disgusted by the idea that you have settled for too long. Disgusted by the idea that you have not taken responsibility and have allowed certain things to stay in your life for too long! Thankfully, at the blink of a moment, that can all change.  Become aware of why you were doing what you were doing.  Embrace a fresh view on what you have been trying to avoid. Let this disgust motivate…

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