I get asked to do talks quite a bit. I both love and dislike it. Love, because how awesome is it that people think you are interesting enough to want to hear your life story. Dislike, because I’m not a detail-orientated person and hate preparing. Those that know me well will tell you – I am QUEEN procrastinator. As a result, I usually end up winging it.
Trying to semi prepare for a recent talk I did for “n Vrou vir elke seisoen”, I was stumped looking for an intro. One with a message for this very specific crowd keeping in mind the theme is a season for every woman. I lose focus half-way through and find myself scrolling through facebook. True as nuts- this one pops on my Facebook feed posted by Pieter Scholtz from Action Coach:
“When we go through seasons, where being strong is the only choice we have, we need to hold on to Gods promise in Isaiah 41:10 : So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Awesome, right? Thanks Pieter! So I have my intro and I start thinking- what is it about peoples life stories that intrigue us so? My take is this. The thing about listening to someone else rambling on about their successes, challenges and wins in the form of a life story is not to put it on a pedestal and ooh and ah, but rather, to spot and soak up the moments of grace they share in an attempt to 1) spot the moments of grace in your own life and 2) apply their lessons learnt to the relevant aspects of your life. We learn from each others failures, not so?
As I proceed to share my story of grace and resilience, aka my 32 year life story, I decided to share a collection of wisdom pearls I live by. Maybe they too will make an impact on you today.
1.Be unapologetic. For heavens sake stop apologising. “I’m sorry to bother.” Sound like you? Own the space you occupy and take up authority where you want to make your mark. I know, I know, easier said than done but practice makes perfect. Start in smaller safe spaces such as within your family, then friendship group, then work space etc. Forget the phrase “I’m sorry to bother”. You’re not. You are contributing to society, why apologise for being you?
2.Start taking accountability. “I didn’t have time” is the grown up equivalent to “the dog ate my homework”. Life may hand you a raw deal at times BUT you always have the decision as to how you will react to actions and situations. Stop making excuses and step up. Always.
3.Become your own cheerleader. No-ones doing it for you, and definitely not 24/7. The thing is: it is no-ones responsibility to motivate you! Not your boss, parents, boyfriend, or teachers. Only you. They can purely help create an environment that allows for motivation. The rest is all you.
4.Stop magnifying your failure. Rather, start embracing it as a learning curve. A journey starts with but a single step. Now, each win or failure is a move up or down those steps. My challenge is this: Start seeing it as a salsa! Learn to enjoy the journey with a swing in your hips.
5.Embrace your strengths, have grace for your weaknesses. You become what you focus on most. Are you focusing on your strengths or your weaknesses? Because honey, the answer to that question is what you are or will become. “As a man thinks, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7
6.Surround yourself with like-minded people. You become the 5 people you spend the most time with. Not love the most, or like the most – spend the most time with. Let that soak in and decide whether you need to make some changes or not.
7.Practice gratitude every single day. What if all you had today was only what you gave gratitude for yesterday? Start a daily gratitude journal and watch how your focus changes to whats positive in your life in contrast to the negative.
8.Find your why. “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek. I love this guy. I stalk his work as it is just that good. Once you start living in line with your individual “why” or purpose, a whole new world opens up.
9.Start setting written goals. Read them every single day. Change them, adapt them, but have them.
10.Now, pursue your goals with faith. Its not just faith but science too- practice the law of attraction. Someone once told me that faith is like a pudding spoon. You sit at a set table with no idea what’s on the menu. Yet, because there is a pudding spoon you accept that there will be pudding. Believe in your goals so, that you already give gratitude for them before they manifest. Mark says it well: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
So, swing your hips and treat your journey as a salsa! Have a beautiful October.