April 17, 2014

What To Do When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

star quoteWe all know the phrase, “Practice makes perfect” and “Perfect practice makes perfect.” However, it usually provides no solace when all you do is practice and it never gets perfect. But of course, being the optimistic people that we are, we keep positive believing that it will get better. But it doesn’t.  All it gets is worse and even more frustrating. Unfortunately, sometimes we need to accept that our best isn’t good enough.

In a perfect world, all our handwork will pay off after a few weeks of dedication bringing us to the top. But in this not-so-perfect world, we sometimes never make it to the top and instead fall flat on our butts. At that point, we have one of two options:  1. accept the reality that you’re not good enough and give up. or 2.  keep your chin up while continuing to practice till your best is good enough.

Two days ago I fell into the option 1 category. Yes, I was on the verge of giving up and breaking down. In fact, I did breakdown. And it was all because I was not good enough when it came to dancing and memorizing choreography. I have the pleasure of dancing for the Trenton Freedom football team. Each week we learn new dances and I was in the back for most of those dances praying that one day I’d make it to the front. Of course, after weeks of hoping I’d make it to the front I failed miserably. Despite practicing the routine for weeks, I couldn’t get the choreography correctly leading to my demotion. Yes, I lost my spot at the front of  the pyramid because my best wasn’t good enough. I felt embarrassed. I felt hurt. I felt frustrated. I felt defeated. Most of all, I felt like a failure.

It broke my heart to know that no matter how many hours I spent practicing this routine, I couldn’t get it. My inability to get the routine cost me the coveted spot in the front center spot of the field. I wish I could say I dusted my shoulders off and kept at it after the devastating news. But I did the exact opposite. I ran to the bathroom trying to hold back tears as I accepted my reality of not being able to cut it as a professional dancer. I was so hurt and disappointed over my poor performance that I was barely present for the rest of practice.

The bad feelings and the desire to quit continued into the next morning. In fact, I got very close to calling the dance team coordinator to apologize and resign… until I reminded myself why I wanted to be there and what I did to make it.  Just to make it on the team, I had to audtion and practice a routine. That meant the coordinators had already seen something special me. They saw my potential. The last thing I wanted to do was give up and make them think my potential was non-existent.

Despite the disappointment, I decided to keep at it and reevaluate. Obviously, I lost my spot because I was doing something wrong.  I had to change my method of learning choreography. Each time I practiced, I would run the routine over and over while watching television. Maybe it was time for me to eliminate the unnecessary and just focus on the choreography.

Next, I tried to pinpoint the problem. There had to be a reason why the choreography wasn’t sticking despite all the practice. Clearly, my memory was a problem. To rectify, I had to be willing to learn how improve  my muscle memory and recount choreography accurately.

The last step, though the easiest to recognize, just might have been the hardest to conquer. I needed to get out of my head. Clearly, I let the pressure of being in the front center spot get to me. I let it bother me so much that I fumbled steps I already knew, and made myself believe I couldn’t do it. Of course, that only lead to me screwing up the routine and disappointing myself upon realizing my best wasn’t good enough. Instead, I need to stop overthinking the routine and my abilities so I could believe that I really can do it.Sure my best wasn’t good enough to keep my spot as the center stage dancer. But if I’m going to be a stage right dancer, I’m going to be the best stage right dancer that stadium has ever seen.

So I challenge you to live like me. The next time your best isn’t good enough, reevaluate, find the problem, believe in yourself and shine like the start you are. You may not be the star, but that doesn’t have to stop you from putting on a good show.

 

What do you do when your best isn’t good enough? Have you ever wanted to quit?

TERRIfic Quip: It’s a slow process. Don’t make it slower by quitting.

April 1, 2014

The Problem with Your Motivational Quote Obsession And Why It Needs to End

successstartshereYou hop on the computer ready to do your normal social networking promotions for business while listening to the radio when you hear a line from your favorite song, “Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.” Naturally, you feel instantly inspired and decide to make it your Facebook status. Before you know it, you’re all over Facebook and it’s time to close up shop.  No worries though. You’ll make up for lost time tomorrow. Except tomorrow comes and you are feeling too depressed and unsure about your future to get any work done . That’s when you jump on Pinterest and get pin happy when finding all the motivational quotes assuring you to keep going because, “Your past is just a story. Once you realize this, it has no power over you.” Then you read the perfect quote that speaks to your soul and current situation. “Take pride in how far you’ve come and have faith in how far you’ll go.” Feeling better about yourself, you go about your day confident in your abilities while turning on the tv and surfing the internet.

Does the above sound familiar? I’m sure it rings true to a lot of people; myself included.  However, there’s one major problem with that scenario. Sure you now feel confident about how far you’ve come and have faith in where you’ll go, but you haven’t gone anywhere. Why? Because you let all your potential, motivation and zeal to do something rest in a motivational quote you found online. Rather than actually doing what the quote was supposed to motivate you to do, you chose to make a meme featuring the quote, pin it on Pinterest, and then put it all over your room.

Sure, it’s great these quotes and uplifting memes helped you feel good about yourself and inspired you to do something. But the truth is they’re pointless if you never do anything. Don’t feel bad. I’ve been guilty of getting so quote happy that I’ve never applied the lessons to anything a time or two in the past. It happens to the best of us.

It’s about time we face the facts. We can believe we can do the impossible just like the quote says all we want, but the impossible won’t start happening until we learn to mix in a healthy dose of doing along with the believing. It’s really no different than teaching a young child a valuable lesson while he nods in agreement only to find out your words of wisdom have gone in one ear and out the other.

Remember when your mother would tell you how important it is to  not say anything at all if you have nothing nice to say? You always remembered it right after picking on your younger sibling. Of course, simply remembering it didn’t stop you from being mean to your brother. Well, that’s exactly what you are doing when it comes to those motivational quotes. Rather than just fawning over that inspirational quote, make sure you actually practice what that quote inspires you to do.

If life after the quote is still difficult, try doing this little exercise. Say your favorite words of inspiration aloud and then follow it with what aspect of your life you plan to change or what you plan to do. For example,  “I have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce. That means there’s nothing stopping me from catapulting my business in two months. I will do everything I can today to get the word out and work on my blog posts.” Then make it happen. Remember, actions always speak louder than words… even louder than a few words of motivation.

 

Have you fallen slave to the motivational quote? How did you snap out of it and get things done?

TERRIfic Quip: As Nike would say “Just do it”

March 11, 2014

The Real Reason Why You Hate Yourself Right Now

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are anything like me, you’re probably sitting in front of your computer with your hair barely combed, clothes in a mess and feeling sluggish. You’re probably browsing the internet or watching television looking on in awe at the fabulous accomplishments of random strangers and wondering what you’ve accomplished. Upon realizing you haven’t accomplished anything, you start feeling discouraged about your own life. In fact, you’re pretty sure at that moment in time you might actually hate yourself. Or what about when you have a day off from work, decide to sleep in, barely get into your sweats, do nothing all day, feel blah and hate everything about yourself?  … Ok, maybe hate is a strong word. But you’re probably not happy with yourself. As depressing as it is, this is a natural feeling. We’re all bound to feel a bit lackluster and disappointed with our lives every once in a while.

There’s an easy fix to what you are feeling and it’s hidden within the scenario I posed above. And no, the problem isn’t that you are comparing yourself to others and need to be happy with who you are to hate yourself less. However, that’s a good guess. Believe it or not the problem and solution lie in the first sentence of the paragraph. – “… hair barely combed, clothes in  a mess and feeling sluggish.”  Some may call it shallow, but the problem is definitely in how you look.

No, I’m not saying you need to look like a super model or that you are ugly so you live an ugly life. I’m saying it pays to put some extra effort into your appearance.  In the example above, you looked sluggish and therefore, you felt sluggish.  Unfortunately, those sluggish feelings then lead to a downward spiral of reduced productivity, dissatisfaction with life and then ultimately hating yourself.  Sure, you may think I’m over exaggerating but this happens much more than you think. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “When you look good, you feel good” so the opposite must be true as well.

Your appearance can make a big difference in your job, how you feel about yourself and the way people treat you. . That’s not necessarily a bad thing and it doesn’t always mean hat people are harshly judging you.  It means you have the power to shape your life and the way people view you very easily. Be honest, you’ll probably treat someone who takes pride in themselves and tries to look their best everyday at the office much better than you would treat someone who doesn’t make an effort and only looks average at best.

The way you dress and present yourself can even have a positive effect on your health. My mother always made a strong effort to make sure I knew that fact and lived life accordingly. As a child, I spent a lot of time in the hospital. Each time I went, the doctors would always suggest I could be in the hospital for weeks to a month. As you could imagine, this would make me very miserable and sad. Of course, that didn’t matter to mom. Much to my dismay, my mom always dressed me in my favorite skirts and dresses while in the hospital.And as a typical child, I argued with her saying “I don’t want to wear a dress because it will get messed up with medicine and stuff in the hospital.” To which my mother responded, “That will make you get better faster so you won’t mess it up. When you look good, you feel good” It turns out mother knew best. In addition to the nursing staff complimenting me on my favorite dress and skirt, I never ended up staying in the hospital for the full month. While one might argue my early departure was because children recover faster than adults, my mother to this day is convinced it has everything to do with making me feel good by looking my best even in the hospital. Could you blame her?

I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel like a rock star when dressed in a pair of killer heels, hair did and dressed to impress. That rockstar feeling usually continues throughout the day. Why wait to look your best and feel those rockstar moments on only special occasions? Your wedding day, date of your performance review, or holiday party shouldn’t be the only times that you look and feel your absolute best. Everyday is a a day worthy enough for you to break out your favorite shoes and slick your hair back in a special way. Once you do, you’ll feel like you can conquer the world.

So I challenge you to look your best on a snow day, beautiful spring day, when you have a cold and every other day. Together we can eliminate all the self-hate and feel inspired to conquer the world one good hair and “best dressed” day at a time.

Do you try to look your best everyday? How does it impact your day to day life and how you feel about yourself?

TERRIfic Quip: Always wear your invisible crown.

 

 

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March 6, 2014

How to Do the Impossible

Since before I started this, blog I believed and actively proclaimed that I can do the impossible. Regardless of the naysayers, the realitiesbelieve of my current situation and financial struggles I continued to recite it  daily. But despite that daily proclamation, nothing ever changed. I never got any richer, I never changed the world and I never revolutionized an industry.

Ultimately, this made me feel like a failure. I thought, “how could I declare that I would do the impossible everyday, yet nothing happens.” I had to be doing something wrong. So I went over it in my head repeatedly to figure out what happened. Did I identify my strengths and weaknesses? Check. Have I conditioned my mind to believe I can do any and everything? Check. Have I remained determined? Check.

Everything appeared to be in order… until I went back to that second item. “Have I conditioned my mind to believe I can do any and everything?” You bet I have. In fact, my mind is so conditioned that I’ve tried to do every and anything. And therein lies the problem. Because I knew I could do anything I never defined what “doing the impossible” meant to me. Sure some people might say being able to support myself as a writer or making the Trenton Freedom dance team could be considered impossible. But I didn’t see it that way. Yes, they were accomplishments but nothing I would call impossible. Hence the reason why I felt like a fraud. I needed to determine the impossible in my terms and find a way to make it happen. Otherwise, my daily proclamation of my ability to do the impossible would continue to just be talk.

It turns out my issue was pretty common. I’ve  heard from many people who believe they can do everything but haven’t done anything. Don’t believe me? Ask any college grad what they plan to do out of school.  Most likely, you’ll hear a lot of “I’m not sure yet” or “I’m keeping my options open.” It doesn’t mean they don’t have a bright future or any direction. Their uncertainty means they know their education has helped make them capable of anything. They may be thinking, “I have the world in the palm of my hands. Why limit myself.” You may have identified with these feelings as well. You were so confident in your abilities to do so many things you didn’t feel the need to define anything.

I like to call it classic “college grad syndrome.” I never thought  that after so many years of being out of school, I’d be struggling to define my future or my impossible feat. I thought knowing what I wanted to do and believing in myself was enough. Luckily, breaking out of this syndrome only requires your defining of impossible. It’s pretty clear that you can’t do the impossible until you know what it is. So how am I defining the impossible? Selling 300 copies of my ebook 100 Things You Should Always Say – Dream Catcher Edition in the month of March. Help me make it happen!

How do you define the impossible? How close have you come to doing what you consider the impossible?

TERRIfic Quip: Find your inner light and let it shine.

February 25, 2014

How Learning to Grieve Can Actually Make You Happier

Tears can be more therapeutic than we think...

Tears can be more therapeutic than we think…

“There’s only three more days left in February.” Hearing those words are like music to my ears. Why? Well, despite declaring 2014 the best year of my life, these first two months have been nothing but the complete opposite. And of the two months,  February has been hell on earth for me. Despite that, I kept marching to my upbeat tempo fully believing that things would turn around.

That upbeat March continued until Friday when my world came crashing down on me as I read an email that would shrink my ego as well as my hope for a better life. Despite my attempts of lifting my spirits, nothing worked – not my happiness jar or colorful umbrella, my tub of play doh, ebook, or happy post-it notes. Therefore, I did the only thing I could do at a moment where I was too weak physically and emotionally to find my ground. I cried. When simply crying didn’t work to make me feel better, I went to the only place where I felt like I could escape from the world – the shower. With the water temperature set on hell and the soap failing to wash away bruises I sat on the floor helpless and naked while I cried until it seemed as though I had no more tears.

Not even the tears mixed with warm shower droplets were enough to make me feel hopeful about my current situation. I wasn’t just  grieving my recent turmoils. I was also grieving my reaction. I asked myself, how could someone who makes a living writing about finding happiness, success and staying positive be reacting so adversely? How could I have given up hope when I’m constantly preaching to people that one of the most important things about life is to live it with hope? Realizing I was a fraud selling happiness to hundreds when I was a wreck belittled me even more. Rather than snap out of it, I did the only thing I could do. I cried some more and fit in  several sobs asking, “Why me?” Of course, I knew there was no amount of grieving that would suddenly erase the past and make me happier. Little did I know, I was far from the truth.

Despite being very private about my personal feelings, I somehow felt compelled to ask for warm thoughts and positive vibes on a forum I visit frequently. Without saying too much, I explained to the forum members I was having a rough month and had given up hope despite preaching the importance of always keeping hope alive to others. To my surprise, not one of them told me I was a fraud. Instead, they offered kind words and commended my ability to break down and grieve. Some even used many of the phrases I use on this blog to help others maintain their happiness. Yet, it was the one comment explaining that self pity and grieving can be therapeutic is what turned everything around for me.

As I sat quietly in my bed in the dark for a few hours, I allowed the negative thoughts to continue. I cursed the situation, the people who put me in this situation and myself for allowing it to happen until I felt suffocated by all the negativity and tired myself out.  After a short nap, I felt a bit better. The next day, I felt much happier than I had since the year started. That’s when I realized the comments from the women on that forum held much more truth than I thought.

Because of them, I’ve realized I’ve done readers of this blog a disservice. I’ve made it seem as though grieving should be avoided at all costs. By no means should you be mad at yourself for letting bad feelings take over. And you should never suppress your darkest feelings all in the sake of being hopeful.  Don’t force it to be something it’s not.  Doing so is not being true to who you are and will always keep you from being as happy as you could be. Instead, embrace the feelings of loss, depression and sadness and ride them out. We can never get over it if we don’t accept it. We cannot get better if it’s still in us.

Had I allowed myself to actually grieve and wallow in self pity earlier in the year, perhaps I would have been much happier. After all, I’d only be pretending to grab onto a happy future if I’m still holding on to a bitter past and even more bitter thoughts. So despite the contents of this blog, I encourage you to let the tears fall so genuine healing can follow. Only when we accept even the coldest of feelings within us can we begin the process of living happier again.

… And don’t worry about being a fraud for wanting to give up hope. Allowing yourself to grieve will somehow only make you all the more real.

How do you deal with grief? Have you ever felt happier after you grieve?

TERRIfic Quip: To be your happiest self, you’ve got to be willing to lose yourself from time to time.

 

February 19, 2014

The One Word That’s Hurting Your Future

There is a commonly used word in the english language that is certainly hurting your future. It’s not a curse word and it has nothing to

The One Word You NEED to Stop Saying Now!

The One Word You NEED to Stop Saying Now!

do with offending anyone.  It’s a widely accepted word that is used multiple times on a daily basis. In fact, if you look back through my blog posts, you’ll probably find this word mentioned a lot more times than I would like to admit.

Can you guess what this detrimental word is? If you’re like most people the first word that comes to mind is probably “no” with the second being “can’t”. While both those words can surely hurt your future, it’s not the word I’m referring to. The word I’m thinking about and suggesting you need to strike from your vocabulary is “should.” Are you scratching your head? I figured you would be.

You’re probably thinking, “how could saying should or shouldn’t be detrimental to my future?” Whether you realize it or not the word “should” is doing a lot more to hurt your future than you think. Don’t believe me? Let me count the ways…

1. It’s a toxic word.

“Should” only focuses on the things you are doing wrong as opposed to things you are doing right. There is nothing positive about the word, because it focuses on negative. And we all know that negative thoughts lead to a negative life. Nothing positive ever comes out of negatives.

2. It denies reality.

How many times have you said, “I should lose weight.”? Now how many times can you recall saying that phrase alone resulting in any weight loss? Probably not that much. That’s because saying should does not allow any room for self-acceptance and has absolutely nothing to do with commitment to change.

3. There’s nothing definitive about it.

Should is a wishy-washy word. When we say we should do something what that really means is I hope I do something but I’m really not sure if I will. Say “should” still leaves you some room to not do anything all.

4. It’s judgmental.

“Shoulding”  on your self is clearly bad, but doing it to someone else is just as harmful. Imagine saying, “You should really update your resume” to a friend. Your comment could be coming from the best of places, but all your friend hears is your judgement.  Rather than feeling encouraged, your friend may feel bad and unworthy.

Now, I’ll be honest. Removing “should” from your vocabulary is not an easy feat at all. I even had trouble coming up with a title for this post without using the word. I never realized how often I use the word. However, since starting my quest to save my future from the demise of “should” I discovered a few alternatives.

1. I began focusing on the “why”.

For weeks now, I’ve been saying that I should get up at 5:00 in the morning to work out. However, it rarely happened. Once I said, “It’s important I wake up at 5:00 am to workout so I can get back in shape for bikini season,” I felt more motivated. I was also more likely to wake up.

2. I acknowledged my feelings.

Saying “should” denies your reality. It usually stems from some form of dissatisfaction but rarely acknowledge it. So instead of saying, “I should be upset about weight.” I’d say,  I’m not happy with my weight. What can I do about it?”

3. I willed it into to existence

This is probably the easiest swap for “should”. Instead of saying I should do something, I simply said I will do something. Saying will instead of “should” removed the option to back out and was the first step in holding myself accountable.

The end of cursing your future by saying “should” will take A LOT of time. However, when you are successful in it, you’ll soon find that you’ll have much more success under your belt, a happier disposition and brighter future.

Having made the commitment to stop “shoulding” yourself? Or has should been detrimental to your future?

TERRIfic Quip: The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

February 12, 2014

Why I Admire the Hustle of Strippers

file5441261244207Yes, you read that right. I admire strippers. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with my newfound love of pole dancing. Yes, many strippers make ends meet by dressing in scantily clad outfits or (sometimes nothing) and gyrating against a pole or man in the hopes of getting some big bucks. Many strippers bring home hundreds to thousands of dollars per night, which isn’t bad considering how long it takes many people in traditional careers to make that amount. While the take home amount is enticing, it’s still not what many would call a dream career. Dirty job or not, there is no denying strippers are amazing business people. Why? Because they know how to hustle.

Strippers know how to do the very things entrepreneurs need to do to succeed but won’t. They know how to differentiate themselves from competition. They know how much their time is worth and what they need to do to earn it. They know what they want to accomplish and have drafted a plan to get there. They understand their target audience and market accordingly. Lastly, they have a goal and resort to any means necessary to obtain it. 

Very rarely do you come across a stripper who’s life long goal is to be a stripper. (At least, I don’t think so.) A study done by the Univeristy of Leeds, concluded that 40% of strippers did so to boost their income after failing to make enough money at other positions.  In addition, one out of four strippers have an undergraduate degree.  I’ve heard many stories of those who had dreams to go to school, start a business or simply get out of the projects and stripped as a means to an end. Stripping may not be ideal, but because they saw the bigger picture,  these men and women were willing to take the risk if it meant bringing them that much closer to their dream. They hustle and do what they need to.

Mean while, entrepreneurs shy away from selling themselves on a daily basis even though it could mean the difference between landing a big client or win them a notable award.  It’s about time entrepreneurs borrow some principles from strippers. No, I don’t mean you need drop some clothes during your next client meeting. You need to learn to think like a stripper. Be willing to push yourself to the limit. If a stripper can allow herself to be vulnerable and expose herself  in order to live though it may not be ideal, there’s no reason why an entrepreneur can’t take the necessary risk to improve business though it means leaving her comfort zone.

I challenge you to think of any successful entrepreneur that hasn’t practiced the same principles as strippers. Whether or not they like to admit it, most entrepreneurs think like strippers as they master the art of the hustle. They’ve learned how to hustle to get desirable clients, understand their target audience and work their butt off to accomplish what they want. Though it may be dirty work, those stripper-thinking entrepreneurs are the same ones who can now do a happy dance as they think of all they accomplished and inspire others to do the same.

If thinking like a stripper means I’ll soon be dancing to a different tune, I’m all in. Are you?

In what ways do you think like a stripper? Do you think you mirror strippers by hustling your way to the top?

TERRIfic Quip: Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.

 

January 14, 2014

14 Things to Say Yes to in 2014

Since we are officially 14 days into 2014 I figured it was only fitting to reevaluate my goals thus far and reflect on my progress. Yes, 14 

14 Things to Say Yes to in 2014

Thumbs up to a happy new year!

days may be too soon for some, but it’s never to early to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. After all, it would suck to spend six months working towards a goal only to find out you wasted your time doing something that isn’t helping you obtain it.

I’m sad to report that I realized some things haven’t gone as planned during my two week evaluation of the year. Despite declaring 2014 the best year of my life, it wasn’t going as fabulously as I had hoped. Though it may be too premature to evaluate my goals, one of which wasn’t exactly working out the way I had originally planned. And which goal was that you might ask? The goal to be the happiest I’ve ever been by being carefree and living in the moment.

I thought it was a great goal. Actually, I still think it’s a great goal. The only problem is I’m not the happiest I’ve ever been and I couldn’t figure out why. So I decided to reflect. Unlike most of America, I’m still holding on strong to my resolutions. I’ve said no to overspending in order to save more. I’ve said no to drinking sugary drinks in order to live healthier and I’ve said no to taking too many breaks so I can work harder and make more money. If I was doing everything right, what was the problem? Why wasn’t I as happy as I expected I’d be.

It wasn’t until I thought again about how I’ve been working towards my goals that I figured it out. My life had become about saying no. Though it was all for a good cause, “no” can be such a limiting and negative word that truly started to impact my life. So starting today I’m implementing a new rule. I vow to say “yes” as much as possible to get back on track to living a happier and full life. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on other goals. It’ just means I’ll be open to saying yes to more opportunities to allow myself to live in the moment. And to make my life and yours’ easier, I’ve compiled a list of 14 things we should all say yes to in 2014. Who’s ready to “yes” their way to a happier new year?!

1. Help.

I get it. It’s hard to admit you can’t do something on your own; especially when your dream has always been to become a superhero just like your mom and dad. However, it’s about time you recognize that saying “Yes” to help doesn’t mean you are weak. It only means you are strong enough to hold onto that helping hand even when your back is against the wall. No superhero – including mom and dad- ever got anywhere without asking for help. Even Batman needed Robin to conquer the world from time to time. Be open to saying yes to help when the need arises and I guarantee your 2014 will suddenly look a bit brighter.

2. Vacation

If you are a US resident, I’m willing to bet you had a certain amount of vacation days and let quite a bit of them go unused in 2013. After all, we are workaholics and like the idea of being needed. Not to mention, we’re usually afraid that actually taking advantage of our vacation days will somehow jeopardize our jobs. However, the truth is sometimes taking a little vacation is good for our minds and productivity when it’s time to get back to work.

3. Romance

I’m ashamed to say I’ve neglected my husband more than I should for the sake of accomplishing work goals. However, that wasn’t good for me and my relationship. Then there are the times we got brainwashed by the idea that romance is dead and that chivalry doesn’t exist anymore. I say screw work and what the critics say for once. People still like to wine and dine and surprise you with romantic outings. Accept it and say yes to it. After all, what’s wrong with feeling loved everyone once in a while?

4. The chance to travel

There’s nothing better than exploring the world around you. Get lost, try new foods and learn about the culture. You will certainly feel much more enriched.

5. Saying no.

I know this may seem a bit counterproductive. However, it really is time you learn to start saying yes to saying no. Some things just really aren’t worth your time. Don’t be afraid to say no to that co-worker that won’t stop asking you for favors or the new group project that just doesn’t feel right. Learning to say  yes to saying no to these things will lift a weight off your shoulders and definitely set you on the path to happiness.

6. Forgiveness

I know it’s hard; especially when you’ve been hurt. But refusing to forgive does more harm than good. Whether or not an apology is attached to it, it’s about time you learn to forgive so you can finally live again and be happy. After all, forgiveness is always more about you than it is the other person.

7. Being you.

Trying to be someone you’re not for the sake of a job, fitting into a new group, or impressing friends is never good. Attempting to be someone else makes life feel so limited and fake. Instead, accept who you are and be happy being you. It can make a world of difference.

8. Challenge.

The simple thing to do is take the easy way out. But then how would you grow, expand your horizons or learn something new? Instead, say yes to a new opportunity. You’ll be happy to learn what you are capable of.

9. Learning.

If the opportunity arises allow yourself to learn something new whether it be a magic trick on youtube or a new language at a community college.

10. A long phone call with a friend

Text messaging may be more convenient, but nothing compares to the live banter of a good friend during a good phone call. Plus, text messages never seem to make you feel as happy as a refreshing phone call with a far away friend.

11. Sharing with strangers

I know we were all taught as kids not to talk to strangers, but where’s the fun in that? Take a chance and ask a stranger to sit with you at lunch.

12. Dancing in the rain.

Yes, I mean this figuratively and literally. Once we learn to make the best of every situation everything seems just a bit brighter. Plus, it’s always fun to live like a kid again and have fun playing in the puddles.

13. Trying new things

Life can be oh so boring if you live in repeat doing the same old things over and over again. Allow yourself to live by experiencing new things.

14. Knowing your neighbors. Remember the phrase – “It takes a village?”

There’s nothing fun about walking by your neighbors on the way to work every morning and barely mumbling, “Hi.” Howevr,  it’s what most people do. It’s rare to find people who actually know their neighbors. This year, take the time to introduce yourself and build a relationship. It could never hurt to have a new friend in the neighborhood.

 

What things have you vowed to say yes to this year?

TERRIfic Quip: Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.

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December 27, 2013

Fearless Quest Week 17 – 23: Dare to Dance

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve fallen off my fearless quest for a while. But I’m back and I’m more fearless than ever! However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Though the posts may have stopped, fearless challenges have not.

After a few weeks of hiatus, I think it’s time I let you in on a little secret.  I’ve taken my fearless quests to a whole new level by attempting to live a dream I’ve always held close to my heart. I am training to be a professional dancer for a sports team.

Auditions for the Trenton Freedom dance team are January 18th and I am scared out of my mind for several reasons. The are as follows:

1. I haven’t auditioned for anything since high school.

2. I lost almost all my flexibility!

3. I haven’t seriously danced since college and will be competing against girls who have danced their whole lives!

4. I am way out of shape and don’t think I have the look they want for their dance team members. (i.e. blonde/brunette, green eyes and a  sick pack)

In order to accomplish this goal and tackle the fear I’ve been doing a lot to better prepare me. These things include daily stretches, attending dance classes I’ve always been afraid to take (there is nothing like returning to a dance class  with prima ballerinas after a longlong hiatus), and committing to a clean diet.

So why have I taken so long to dish about my secret fearless quest? Simply put, I was scared. I knew that letting my loyal readers know about my quest to be a pro dancers would only mean that I would definitely have to do it. But it’s time I let the world know my plans. After all, my mother always said a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.  Therefore, I am speaking it into existence. I will be a Trenton Freedom Dance Team Member. Let’s just hope this fear won’t be as scary as I anticipate.

December 20, 2013

Give the Gift of Time This Christmas

Courtesy of Free Digital Photos

Courtesy of Free Digital Photos

The next time I see you, it will be at your funeral.” I never thought those words would ever leave my lips when talking about such a young soul, but somehow they were.  Though we barely had a relationship, her passing affected me deeply. Maybe it was because she was a fellow Sayreville alum or perhaps it was that she was so young and still had a lot of life to live. Or  it could be the fact that despite going to the same schools for a majority of my childhood, I never took the time to get to know who she really was.

Yes, from what I saw she was a sweet and lively individual. But other than a few Facebook messages wishing each other a happy birthday, we had no relationship. And besides her quotes in the high school yearbook and statuses on social networking sites, I didn’t even have a glimmer of her personality or true understanding of who she wanted to be. Honestly, she was like a stranger to me. That’s why the emotion that took over the day I went to her wake surprised me.

There I was crying hysterically over a girl I never took the time to know and couldn’t figure out why. I was always drawn to her but because I never took advantage of the opportunity to become her friend, she remained a mystery. While surrounded by the fallen angel’s closest friends and family, I stood quietly as they reminisced over their favorite memories with her. As silly as it sounds, I was secretly jealous of those who took advantage of their chance to know her. I quickly grew angry with myself upon realizing that other than saying hi as we walked past each other in high school my most intimate memory was a discussion on Facebook about weddings. I beat myself up for not getting closer to her preventing me from having any real intimate memories.

While I drove home that night, the tears wouldn’t stop flowing in mourning the loss. As I thought about that beautiful girl in the casket looking so much different than the girl I remembered but never got to know, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about who it could’ve been. I could have easily been spending the night at the wake for my childhood best friend, my parents, my younger brother or even my husband. It would have killed me if they left so abruptly. It also would have killed me if at their funeral, my most intimate memory would be of a shallow event that happened so long ago. In reality, that’s exactly what could happen.

As I grew older, I had less and less time to spend with loved ones. I’ve been too caught up adjusting to my new home to see parents as much as I should. Adjusting to my new life as a wife has kept me from spending as much time with my brother as  I’d like.  And building my business has prevented me from bonding with my husband at every opportunity. I’ve let so much time slip away. I know it was foolish because we never know how much time we have left together. 

That’s why I was ashamed at how long I wracked my brain figuring out the best Christmas gifts to get my loved ones that fit my budget when the answer was there all along. The best thing I could do is keep it sweet and simple. This year I’m giving my friends and family the promise to make every moment with them count while we build meaningful memories together. They may call me cheap and unimaginative, but at least I’ll know  I’ll be there when it matters most. 

So this year I challenge you to give a truly priceless gift: the gift of time. It won’t cost you a dime and you can guarantee it will arrive in time from Christmas. (No need to worry last minute shoppers!)

You can waste well deserved money on gifts like DVD’s and iPods. Or you can save your money and give a gift that will truly stand the test of time. It’s about time we make this Christmas and everyday after that count.

 

What priceless gift would you like to receive this year? Do you make sure you spend enough time with loved ones as much as possible?

TERRIfic Words: Life is a one time offer. Use it well.