Overcoming challenges

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Life is beautiful. Life is a gift. Life can be filled with a series of wonderful moments of joy, love, achievements, peace, laughter, and magical moments.

However, that’s not always the case 24/7. As much as we enjoy life and appreciate life, we all know that it’s not only the high moments in life but, we get the lows as well. The downright heartbreaking, tough, sad, confusing, perplexed, and challenging times.

As much as I’d love to have a residential address in the town of Pleasantville (in reference to the movie), that’s not an option.

At one point or another in time, we will all experience challenges. No matter who you are, what tax bracket you’re in, your lifestyle, mindset or zip code.

You can be one of the most positive, optimistic, bubbliest people on earth. It’s inevitable to avoid. So with this fact known, how do you overcome some of your challenges? Also, what are some practical and effective steps to take?

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A good first step is to take a moment. Breathe and evaluate the situation or circumstance. Taking calm deep breaths will help you to remain calm as well as to properly evaluate your challenge with a clear mind and level head.

Another is to pray and lean on our creator for strength, guidance, and direction for whatever you may need. I’m a witness that prayer works! Lord knows we cannot lean on our own strength or understanding.

Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.”

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/7-great-bible-verses-to-lean-on-for-tough-decisions/#ixzz5pWU7Olla

Here are a few more steps that I usually take:

  • Focus on the solution not the problem
  • Look back at how far the Lord has brought you. Look at how you’ve overcome challenges in the past that seemed like you would never overcome
  • Remain hopeful and positive
  • Be encouraged in the word of God and stand on his word
  • Find support in people who delight in your happiness
  • Keep a journal to get your feelings out (keeping them bottled up is unhealthy)
  • Talk with a Life coach. Say Life! is a great recommendation! 🙂
  • Think of practical step by step actions in which you can slowly but surely overcome this challenge
  • Don’t beat yourself up!
  • NO Negative talk or self sabotaging!
  • Focus on your strengths!
  • Focus on ONE step of action at a time VS. everything as a whole. This way you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed and you’ll have quicker timeframes of success in smaller, reachable actions which will keep you moving forward.
  • Lastly, don’t give up! Keep moving forward!

These are just a few basic steps and reminders to keep you going! Please know you are not alone. Reach out as needed and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t look at others who seem to have it all figured out and think some people don’t struggle with challenges. Everyone deals with their own unique set of challenges. This is in reference to social media posts as well as in daily life.

Be encouraged. Keep it moving and expect to overcome. May all your dreams come true and you come out on the other side of your challenges stronger and wiser!

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Uniquely you…

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I must say, I love people. I love all God’s creations. ALL people are beautiful. Fearfully and wonderfully made. God places a high value on our bodies as well as our hearts. We are an intricate and fleshly fine-tuning of divine wisdom, a creation “a little lower than heavenly beings,” but capable of being the crown of honor and glory.

Yes. We are precious, unique creations. We are blessed, our minds bodies and souls are blessed. Do you receive that?

In today’s world, being unique can be considered as being “weird” or at the other end of the spectrum, one can view being unique as a something of value to have, a good attribute, or a way to stand out from the crowd and be noticed more (if you are physically unique.)

However, I’m speaking on the type of uniqueness that makes you, you, Yes. We (at times) want to be accepted, fit in, or maybe simply not stand out. We all know there’s a time to pull back, hold back, be silent, speak up, be bold, etc. Ultimately, we are created to use 100% of our creation to the fullest, in a positive, beneficial, and glorifying way. With all the people in the world, you’d think that there would be more people in the world who would boldly declare their uniqueness. Now, I’m not one to judge. Lord knows that I struggled just like many of us with self esteem. However, I’ve grown to learn and love who I am. I love and except myself completely and that’s a good thing.

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I would like us to stand up and be who you were created to be. Social media, family, friends, magazines, etc. can mislead people. It can take affect on children as well as adults. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses?” or maybe you want to know what’s in? What are the latest trends? Is this style, hairstyle, word or phrase, played out? There are plenty of questions that come to mind. Now don’t get me wrong, to a certain extent I feel that it’s okay. I mean, we’re all in this world and if you like fashion, for example, that may be a legit question to ask. However, I feel when it comes to something that you’re really passionate about or really like and you decide to put it back simply because the item(s) or outfit may not be accepted or may not be trending…then that may be a little much.

Please feel free to where your hair the way YOU want to wear it. Dress how you want, and express yourself how YOU want. Be YOU. Now, I have to state a disclaimer. Have your ever heard someone being rude, disrespectful or vulgar? Then, immediately afterwards they state, “Well, That’s just how I am, “That’s me!” That isn’t what I’m speaking of.

We all get one life here on earth and again, there is approximately 7.7 Billion people on earth. Everyone is created as individuals. Therefore, you may see some things that you would wear, hairstyles that you wouldn’t think to try, hair colors, outfits that a little too much for you, accents that you may laugh at, ways of living, or people doing things in a way that you wouldn’t. I truly could go on and on with this. But, I take it you get the point.

So, my question is why do we feel the need to comment on things that don’t matter? Why do we tend to comment, speak on or make judgements on other peoples decisions or way of life when it has no direct impact on our lives? Thankfully, we live in a country in which we have freedom of expression. That’s a beautiful thing.

I can go deeper into this subject. But, I won’t. I just would like you to embrace your uniqueness, on all levels including your (beauty inside and out) your looks, feature, distinct characteristics, your voice, your personality, your style, your unique qualities.

There is only one of you. You are beautiful, you are special, and again, you are unique. You are needed. We don’t need another them, we need you. The world needs you to bring all that you were created to be to the forefront. What’s your style, your message, your views, your dreams, hopes, talents, abilities, what your blueprint? How will you leave your mark in this world?

Shine your light TODAY! Make a wonderfully, positive, and unique impact in life! For I am a gift and so are you! What are you waiting for?! You been dreaming long enough! You’ve written things down, secretly, hoped and dreamed. I’m sure you’ve had things you’ve wanted to try out. Places you’ve wanted to go, a move you’ve been wanting to make but didn’t (maybe in fear of this or that) Don’t hold back. Your time is NOW. Step out and go for it! Only surround yourself with people that are FOR YOU. People that encourage you, support and love you for you. Be courageous and Bold and most of all BE YOU!

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D.I.Y. Problem Solving Techniques… That Actually Solve Problems!

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This one is for the do-it-yourself loving, roll-up-your-sleeves slaying, never-ask-for-help heroes. The ones who inspire, create, and are known for proudly saying, “I got this.”  We stand in solidarity with all of you floor- tiling, dog- training, language-learning, video watching-crock-pot creators. We applaud your spirit and tenacity. We know you don’t stumble upon information, so landing on this page was an intentional act. You are either facing a problem, crisis, stressed, need some motivation, or are looking for a checklist of how to fix your situation. 

We know you are no stranger to reading directions, so we have listed below three steps that will help you solve any problem. 

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1.     Write On: Set aside fifteen minutes and write down the problem. Write down what it is, who/what it effects, and why it’s important to solve it. The reason we recommend writing it down with a pen and paper is the act of writing slows you down. You can’t be thinking of ten thousand things to do when you are trying to focus on one. Writing actually makes you concentrate, and this leads to finding better solutions. 

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2.    Own It: This part is sometimes tricky if you’re feeling stressed or angry. However, if you’re going to fix something you have to take ownership of it. For instance, if you write: “My boss expects too much of me on the weekends” you instantly become a victim of circumstance. You are not a victim, so don’t place the burden of responsibility on the other person. Instead, empower yourself by writing, “I am not meeting my boss’s expectations on the weekends.” This statement creates a problem you can change and doesn’t leave you feeling helpless. If your problem is a relationship make sure you apply the same rule. Instead of writing, “My husband/wife won’t listen to me” write “I am not communicating with my spouse in a way that meets my needs.” This statement will lead to real, tangible solutions.  See the difference? 

If you are struggling with this step, rest assured, we have been there and can help. (By calling you are taking control of your life, and don’t worry no one will take away your title of D.I.Y. expert)

3.    Solve it: Now that you have taken control of the situation, by owning the problem, you can solve your problem. Consider creating a chart to help you see everything clearly. 

Problem Solution
I have to work on the
I will ask my boss how I can be more productive during work
I am not communicating
in a way to ensure my
needs are met.
I will change my approach and be
I am not losing weight. I will be honest about my food
intake by charting it.
I am not getting the results I want in school. I will re-evaluate my time
management and allow more
time to study. 
I am never on time and
stressed in the morning.
I will get up 30 min earlier and allow myself ample time to start the day. 
I am unable to get my work done on time because I get
I will disable my social media during the hours of ___ till____

 Often problem-solving seems complicated, but it’s not. The hard part is being honest with ourselves and owning our contribution to the problem. It’s tough to do, really tough. If you have any doubts about this, watch opposing political commentary, and you will see a plethora of examples. We live in a world that has mastered the art of taking no responsibility for their actions. And the truth is we all have done it, but the difference between them and us is now we take action, own it, and solve our problems. We don’t accept a situation that we can’t change, because we know we can. We are D.I.Y experts, and we will not leave our most important project, our life, in someone else’s hands.

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Enjoying being in the moment and exactly what it means…

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Being in the moment can be beautiful and very fulfilling. A single word for being in the moment is mindfulness.

Mindfulness, as described by the Oxford dictionary, is described as
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

In the hustle and bustle of busy lives, wearing many hats, rushing on to our next set of duties and responsibilities, accomplishments and checking off our many, never ending to do lists, we could find ourselves on auto-pilot and not fully being in the moment. That leads to being unfulfilled in a task or it may even cause dread to begin it.

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash woman sitting facing the sun silhouette
Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

Being mindful is essentially being in the moment and when we go about our daily routines at home or the office such as (washing dishes, laundry or eating, sending emails) it causes us to do just that–to be in that moment. When we are mindful it compliments our appreciation for life, what we have and also why we’re doing what we are doing. If we’re not in the moment, then our “accomplishing self” is task-driven, therefore we’re on autopilot to get it done. However, try connecting with your senses–for example, when we eat. We can take the time to be appreciate our food visually, indulge in the aroma, and truly be in the moment enjoying the texture, flavor and the delight of our taste buds’ satisfaction. Okay, so I guess you can tell I’m a foodie. LOL.

On a more serious note, it’s the difference between being hearing someone vs. listening. Living vs existing. Feeding yourself vs enjoying a meal. Completing a task vs. living in the satisfaction of your ability to have things to take care of that sustains you.

Being mindful can add value to the important relationships of our lives. As I stated before, listening as hearing someone is to different things. Have you ever been told that you’re not listening? Are you guilty of thinking that you know what someone is about to get to, so you began speaking or finish their sentence? What about checking out of the phone conversation when someone else randomly starts to speak to you in the background? Or, simply having your mind wonder while someone is speaking to you?

We all want to have someone to truly provide a listening ear and sense that someone is truly engaged, hearing, and listening with their mindful, undivided attention. That adds value to the relationship. It builds trust and security in the relationship. I now see things in a whole new light as far as people and interruptions. I’ve learned that interruptions are opportunities to serve others. They called you because they need you, they need a listening ear or feedback. Use opportunities to serve others and be a blessing to others. I used to think–snap back at people when they would be rude. Then I understood that they may be going through something and that it wasn’t personal. Hurting people hurt people. Through my growth, maturity, and wisdom gain. I’ve learned a lot and often times people have come to me and apologized because first of all again, I know its’s not personal, and I’m an empath and not moved by their low vibrations. I’m compassionate and focus on the bigger picture of our encounter. Being in the moment, responding vs. reacting, can make a big difference in your day-to-day mood and mindset and understanding of yourself and the people you deal with as well. Scroll down to check out more on responding vs. reacting. It’s all concerning being mindful, and trust me, it’s valuable info that you can use for self-development.

Responding vs. Reacting


Also, here’s a quick bible scripture concerning our listening and reacting…

James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

Here’s a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche that drives my intention home:

“To learn to see- to accustom the eye to calmness, to patience, and to allow things to come up to it; to defer judgment, and to acquire the habit of approaching and grasping an individual case from all sides. This is the first preparatory schooling of intellectuality. One must not respond immediately to a stimulus; one must acquire a command of the obstructing and isolating instincts.”

Take the time on any given day to FEEL, SENSE AND SEE all the beautiful around us. There are people that walk around in and out the homes not taking the time to observe the beauty and blessings that before us. Such as the beautiful sun that rising for us daily, the weather is something EVERYONE notices and talks about. But, take it a steps further what about the sky that’s (at times) looks as though someone painted it, or what about the nature in general, the birds, flowers that bloom. The joy in someone’s smile, the innocence and imagination or the children in the world, the kindness of a strangers opening doors, blessings you to have a nice day, people that go above and beyond to assist you.

Take it all in. It’s here for you to encounter. Be still, quiet the mind and just be. -Katrina Marie

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The great time to practice and learn to be mindful is while you are walking, driving, running, cycling–things of nature that put you in the best state to calm the mind. Engage and take in your surroundings. It also gives way for your intuition development–having you tune in and be receptive, as well as for room for your creativity to flow. Take time out for you and all that you’re blessed with moment by moment, minor or major. It’s hard to be mindful when you’re mind is FULL. Best wishes on your Journey to your best self!

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I’m leaving you with a link to 10 Mindful exercises for you to try out so that you can enjoy your moments..


Lastly, here’s a spiritual breakdown of the definition of mindfulness:

http://Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation and through other training. Mindfulness is derived from sati, a significant element of Buddhist traditions, and based on Zen, Vipassanā, and Tibetan meditation techniques. Individuals who have contributed to the popularity of mindfulness in the modern Western context include Thích Nhất Hạnh, Herbert Benson, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Richard J. Davidson.

Peace of mind, Joy and fulfillment to you on your precious life journey!

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Staying free from distractions

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Distractions are everywhere and sometimes staying focused is easier said than done. How do we stay free from distractions in a world filled with them?

We like to think that we have everything under control. That’s not always the case. As hard as we may try, distractions can be relentless–eating away at our time and quality of time with people we value.

We’re all familiar with Merriam-Webster’s main definition of the word distraction. It’s described as: a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else. This could be a variety of things including…

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Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Social Media

This is surely one of the biggest distractions there is. Social Media can be very useful–a great resource and asset. However, if you’re not focused, it can pull you away from what you were there to do in the first place. We’ve all been there. We hop online and somewhere down the line we notice a post, something interesting or something we’ve been contemplating or wanting to look into. We click on it. Get engaged. One engagement leads to another. Next thing we know 10 mins has breezed by!

Silencing those pesky alerts and notification can help. Remembering our primary focus. Being our own boss. Our own accountability partner. Maybe give ourselves a reasonable time frame to be online can help. Remembering our goals and desired outcome can push us through. Lastly, experiencing success gives us an adrenaline rush, filling us with happiness, joy, and drive to create more success. We need to feed our focus and starve distractions.

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Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash


Smart phones are sort of in the same category as social media, simply because we have access to social media alerts on our phones. Which, leads me to speaking on disabling those pesky alerts, beeping, buzzing, ring tones and notifications.

This is a tricky area because we have so much in the palm of our hands with the possession of our phones–phone calls, text, blog alerts, emails, calendars, reminders, social media, banking, music, productivity apps and more.

There comes a time when we simply have to put the phone down, silence the phone, and let people know when we’re available and when we’re not.

There is an option we have to go into your settings and personalize each app. We’re able to disable permissions that allow your phone to send you each and every irrelevant notification. Or, try using the silent feature, yet keep the phone flipped over and close in view just in case your expecting a call or message from someone. With that said, you can set it to vibrate (if that doesn’t bother you) and keep it close by so you can hear it.

We can take full advantage of all of the options we have as far a settings and alerts. It sure could be helpful. However, we are captain of our own ships. In control of our own actions and reactions. We all know where our strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to being focus or not.

I think it’s best to reevaluate in the moment of being distracted while it’s still fresh. What distracted you? How? Why? What could you do to avoid it? If it’s a thought that came to mind or something that you ran across on your phone, write it down to explore later.

At the end of the day, the question is did we give it our all? Did we overcome our obstacles? Did we gain what we strived for? If not, don’t beat yourself up. Reevaluate and move forward. Learn from your setbacks.

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Here’s a few scriptures speaking on the company we keep…

Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Proverbs 13:20
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm

People. Yes, People can be a distractions. After walking away from some people. I call them “Energy vampires” as I’ve learned. When you walk away from them, you feel drained. You may have been in good spirits. Then afterwards you were feeling “down”, upset, frustrated, discouraged, drained and just not in the mood, mindset or motivation and confidence that you had before they entered your space. BEWARE of people like that. They can sense and see your POSITIVE, BUBBLY, OPTIMISTIC ENERGY FROM AFAR and they want it. They may be wondering (and I’ve heard people say this, and maybe you have to,) why are you so happy. Have you ever noticed when they asked that their facial expression wasn’t one of being happy for you or one of happy intrigue? It’s a face of confusing and extreme curiosity. You may not get the, “I’m happy for you,” that you were expecting. Not that you may need it, but it’s good to have support and other times encouragement.

Every noticed when you approach someone or vice versa, you’re in a good mood and they clearly aren’t at their best? Or, maybe that’s “just them”? Perhaps they’ve been that way. Maybe they’re a Debbie downer or negative Nancy, a complainer, or one that plays the victim. People like that (energy vampires) have the potential to suck your energy from you because they are in low vibrating energies and mindset. They will drain you by the quality or direction of conversation. You will notice when you leave (as stated before) you won’t be in the same mood or mindset in which you came. However, they may be uplifted. Sometimes you will find them laughing, smiling, and tickled by pushing your buttons and simply draining and using your energy. I’m leaving you with a few links to check out so that you can be aware of low vibrating energies and how to recognized them and deal with them.

This link is concerning 8 Symptoms of a Low Vibration to Look Out For (whether it’s you or someone else)

This link is concerning 8 Symptoms of a Low Vibration to Look Out For (whether it’s you or someone else)


This one is 6 Ways to Shield Yourself From Low Vibration Energies Without Avoiding Anyonehttps://www.lifecoachcode.com/2017/11/17/shield-yourself-from-low-vibration-energies-without-avoiding/

Lastly, the second definition of the word distraction according to
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is: extreme agitation of the mind or emotions. With that said, Please, protect your mindset, guard your thoughts for they can be distractions also. Negative, self sabotaging thoughts can take us out of the will of God for us. They can take us away from our true potential, goals, values, perceptions and directions and beliefs. Their ego will constantly try to win and get your attention. Find ways to keep your thoughts positive, focused, and encouraging. Whether it be the scriptures, affirmations, surrounding yourself with any and all things positive, supportive people, songs, television content, videos, songs, TED Talks, quotes, uplifting beliefs, or meditation, keep yourself lifted!

I hope you found this helpful and for those who relate to the point of the content, thank you!

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Stuck in a Web of Lies? Use These Three Power Moves to Untangle Yourself!

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Imagine for a moment that the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there are no clouds in the sky. Feeling motivated by mother nature, you grab the leash and set out to walk your dog. As you reach the front door and step outside, you hear tornado sirens. You immediately retreat indoors and turn on the television. You find a credible news station, and it reports that there is a tornado on the ground! The frantic weatherman is running back and forth in front of a giant map yelling, “Take cover!” He then points to a glowing red triangle and gasps uttering, “This will be the storm of the century.”  Now feeling panic-stricken you run to the window, look out, and confirm that the sun is still shining and the day is still gorgeous.

man and dog walking near a sunny window

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Perplexed, you switch the station to watch another equally credible station, but on that station, there is a weatherman wearing sunglasses and smiling. He reports the weather will be picture-perfect all day long! This contradiction leaves you feeling unsettled. You start to wonder who to trust. One weatherman is confirming what you see, while the other is trying to convince you of the city’s inevitable demise. Searching for answers, you decide to log on to social media for some clarity. Much to your dismay, everyone there is arguing about which weatherman to trust, not the actual problem, the weather! Sounds completely crazy, doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s what goes on every day in our world. Someone we trust yells, “take cover” and we act. Some of us even spread the news so others can be informed as well. Better safe than sorry, right? Then it happens, the day comes, and we learn there was no storm of the century headed our way. They lied to us, and we believed them. We immediately feel enraged, and rest assured, that is a perfectly normal reaction. 

luis galvez teary eye

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No one likes to find out they were lied to, but being lied to is not nearly as bad, as what we do to ourselves following the lie. You see when we believe a lie, we not only stop trusting the liar, but we also subconsciously stop trusting ourselves. We begin to second-guess our ability to distinguish fact from fiction creating a feedback loop of negative self-talk. So, what can you do?

Here are three power moves to stop the negative self-talk and help you move forward right now!

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1. Applaud yourself for trusting!

Applauding yourself will not feel natural at first, but it’s as essential to your mental well-being as air is to your survival. You must reassure yourself that trusting people is a courageous act of vulnerability.  This sends signals to your brain that you were brave, thus reversing the negative chatter that is replaying in your head. It’s also a great response to the question, “How did you not see the truth?”  By reprograming your brain, you take back control of the situation. 

2.    Walk in Their Shoes.

I know what you’re thinking; there is no way I want to walk in their smelly shoes! I understand, but to lessen the impact of a lie, you must humanize the liar. They can’t remain an evil troll in your mind because that makes you far less likely to move forward. (No one can forgive an evil villain.) So, see them for who they are, a profoundly misguided individual, who let you down by lying to you. Nothing more, nothing less. The reality is we don’t know why someone lied to us. Perhaps they were hurting, sought attention, or they just repeated a lie they heard from someone they trusted. Bottom line- Imaginary evil villains are just that, imaginary. People are not imaginary. They are flawed, hurtful, angry, and insecure; but they are also trusting, loving, and capable of seeing anyone differently if they try.

3.    Get “Really” Real (after you have calmed down)

Be honest with yourself and speak your truth. Tell someone they hurt you, let you down, or forever changed the state of the relationship. Don’t tell the liar it’s okay if you know it will never be okay. That doesn’t help you take back your power.  Realize, that often, we seek a known, over an unknown, no matter the cost. But this creates more negative self-talk and will ultimately end in disaster. If you can’t move on, don’t say you can. 

Side note: I do believe some people can change. They can stop cheating, lying, drinking, etc. They can become better people and partners. However, they won’t be able to do so if they’re constantly reminded of their failures. This is not the formula for a healthy relationship and will prevent both of you from moving forward. 

Again, trust yourself enough to do what’s best for you.

The truth is being on the receiving end of a lie will never feel good whether it’s on the news, from a loved one, family member, or friend. A great mantra you might want to remember is, “I may not be able to trust others all of the time, but I can trust myself!” 

Joao silas magnifying glass writing with pencil on paper

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

Don’t spend hours or days beating yourself up while reading books on how to spot a liar. That’s living in a constant state of victimhood. My grandma used to say, “If you are looking for a lie, you’ll find one. When you live this way, you are telling your subconscious mind the world is a dark place, and I will be ready. You aren’t living in a state of trust and love where you deserve to be living. Though, it’s human nature to reflect; you don’t need to relive the pain and turn into an amateur detective. Instead, spend that time building yourself up. 

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Here are some suggestions on how to change your negative self-talk now! 

Instead of saying:

I was lied to- I trusted deeply. 

I was betrayed- I loved bravely. 

I was foolish- I did not have the correct information. 

I was gullible- I believed what was presented to me by a deceptive person. 

I wish I’d never – I’m thankful for the lesson. 

They are evil- They chose to tell a lie. 

We are here for you and believe in you. If you need some help moving forward, we can help. Send us a message.

You Have a Lot of Choices Today, Being Comfortable is Not One of Them!

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We all get comfortable and follow routines that are familiar to us. We wake up, drink coffee, and get ready to take on the day. We go to work the same way, eat lunch at the same place, and drive home listening to the same music. We do all of these things without even realizing we have been on autopilot for hours. What is happening in our brains is not rocket science. Study after study finds that people inherently tend to gravitate toward the known; in other words, we love our little comfort zones. Psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson took on the idea of comfort zones back in 1908. They found that a general state of comfort resulted in fixed results and set levels of performance; however, if participants wanted to enhance their performance, unfortunately, they needed to get a little uncomfortable. This zone is what they called the optimal anxiety zone, and it’s just outside our comfort zones. If ideas of bungee jumping and skydiving are causing you to hyperventilate right now, go find a paper bag to breathe into, and sit down. This is probably not your optimal anxiety zone. So, relax and step away from the parachute.

Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash person on parachute over snow-capped mountains

Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash

No, no, no…The results clearly state that too much stress or anxiety can cause you to shut down. So, if you’re scared of heights, using the optimal anxiety zone theory might look like hiking up a hill or taking an elevator to the top floor of your office building. It’s pushing yourself past your comfort zone but not going to extreme measures. By getting uncomfortable, you prove to yourself that you can handle whatever life throws your way. So, each time you try a new dish, take that hike, or decide to go sliding down a water slide called the vertical blackout, you are sending signals to your brain that stress is okay and new situations aren’t scary.

What if I fail?

What if that new dish tastes awful, that hike was unsuccessful, or you bailed on taking the vertical blackout water slide.  That’s okay, give yourself a break and resolve in your mind that you will try again later. The problem so many people have is they fear failure. No one likes to fail. The word failure conjures up countless flashbacks of moments that were often painful or downright embarrassing. 

However, you must realize that even those moments taught you something valuable. In the book, “Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration,” Ed Catmull says it best:

“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.” 

Maybe the lesson you needed to learn was to study more before a test, take feedback with a grain of salt, or allow plenty of time to prepare for an interview. *Or maybe you learned that you should never put tortilla chips in the oven, because the oil explodes into an angry fireball!  (So, I’ve been told.)   

Photo by Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash Fire extinguisher

Photo by Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash

The lessons we learn have the power to change us for better or worse. By taking control of your mind and seeing even your biggest failures served a purpose, you allow yourself the freedom to step into your optimal anxiety zone and change your life.   

What is one thing that makes you uncomfortable that you will do today? Here are some suggestions to help you begin brainstorming.

1.    Speaking up when you have a new idea in a meeting.

2.    Going to that exercise class that plays your favorite music.

3.    Learning a new language.

4.    Learning a new instrument.

5.    Hiring a life coach!

6.    Going to a new restaurant.

We’re cheering for you!