As I “pen” this blog, the scripture that I just referenced helped me remember what we need to do: LOOK UP! In Him is where all our strength, help, hope and refuge lies! It’s crazy how the devil will do everything in his power to keep your head down, buckled over in despair. And it’s simply because that if you look up toward God, you will begin to receive exactly what you need. It’s as if you’re absorbing the sun beams for physical and emotional energy, like a recharged battery; and it’s because His presence is beyond those clouds in the sky!
3 tips for overcoming the emotional roller coaster in your mind
This is a visual graph of the story of my life as an entrepreneur, and I think others out there might find it familiar. Fortunately, these peaks don’t happen every day (at least not for me), but they do happen frequently enough to make one feel like her life is a literal roller coaster! Just when you feel like you’re making strides, and are in a place of stability, the bottom drops out; and everything you thought you could rely on is no longer there. If this happened to you on a regular basis, how would you respond?
When I became a full-time entrepreneur about a year and a half ago, these peaks and valleys scared the living day lights out of me! Fear paralyzed me to the point of not even being able to focus and work. I had literal panic attacks, with shortness of breath-something that I had never experienced before. When I left my former job to pursue my online business full time, I was confident that I was in a good place to do so for several reasons: I had acquired a fourth client, had a decent savings; and crunched the monthly budgeting numbers to ensure I would have enough money to pay expenses. So I happily left ( I was miserable at that job anyways and created this plan in order to move on) to begin a new thing. Little did I know that it would be hard to find a schedule that worked for me in order to accomplish my daily tasks and balance my home life. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, without any structure or organization. Two weeks into my new venture, I lost the client that I acquired right before I resigned from my full-time job. That moment in time shook me, because I knew that I was counting on that money to keep the business afloat. It brought me to my knees, crying and praying incessantly. That SAME day, I received a phone call from a small business owner who was referred to me, inquiring about my services and she’s still a loyal customer today. The spikes from the graph are real! Just when you think you’ve lost it all and everything is spiraling out of control, something happens that makes you feel as if you’ve gained a sense of normalcy. There is no way that one person can manage these drastic changes alone. I’ve discovered a formula that gives me the strength to keep moving forward and I’m sharing it in hopes that it will help someone else.
Faith A habit of daily prayer and faith have helped me to keep moving when I am afraid. Prayer brings me the sanity that I need to continue working on the things that I have control over, even when it feels like everything around me is falling apart.
About a year ago a successful entrepreneur recommended that I read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”. One of the assignments from this book was to write a clear and concise statement of your goals and the steps you plan to take to achieve them. I took the time to complete the exercise, and every morning before I begin working I repeat my action plan. The excerpt below is the part that I mentally ingest into my spirit the most. It gives me the shot of courage that I need to keep pressing forward when I feel helpless and have no sense of control:
I will sacrifice time to gain additional knowledge and financial hardship until my business becomes a success, temporary suffering in defeat, and being uncomfortable from uncertainty. I will make a daily habit of talking to God in prayer. I will not give up when situations look bleak and unpromising. I will continue to persevere and keep moving even when I am afraid.
Persistence There are so many days that I feel like giving up. Just about every day, I ask myself, “What am I doing?” and I question my decision to become an entrepreneur. I thought that taking the risk of working for myself would be rewarding and wouldn’t come with any regrets. Boy, was I wrong! I have learned that what I did when I resigned from working for someone else was exchange one set of problems for others. But just when I’m at my lowest, something positive happens, where an effort to help someone actually works; and, it gives me the boost of energy I need to keep going. The moments in between are excruciatingly hard, but it’s worth it to continue trying in order to feel the sensation of success!
You’d think that stand-up comedians would be the only people who would need improvisation skills. Nope! Not the case! As an entrepreneur, there are so many hats that you have to wear during the day: laborer, accountant, marketer, etc. Then there are the unexpected things that distract you from daily tasks; and, if you aren’t careful, they will frustrate you to the point of giving up.
Last week, I had a working vacation. My husband had to office out of his organization’s Dallas location, so my son and I tagged along because my family lives there. I enjoyed being around family, but my schedule was so different from the norm; and to top off all of the confusion, I spilled water on my laptop midweek. Talk about having to improvise. I used my phone and my husband’s computer (still doing this as week speak) to get major tasks out of the way. I also just found out that my computer won’t be able to be repaired because of the water damage. So guess who gets to figure out how she’s going to get another computer? This chick! But guess what? It’s not going to keep me from doing what I need to do. I’ll keep on pushing, praying, and waiting on God to open the doors that I can walk through to be successful!
Keep your head up, and keep going!
Learning to fly and excel in your dreams is not an easy lift-off. Here are three tips for enduring a shaky launch!
Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to go right? No matter what you did; whether it’s tasks that you can normally do blindfolded or a daily routine that usually flows seamlessly, all of a sudden becomes disrupted with frustration and difficulty. This was me last week. I even became a little more clumsy physically and scraped the back of my heel (still trying not to pick the scab)! Times like these make it easy to give up and just call it a day, which is exactly what the enemy wants you to do. But I’ve found that it’s even harder to get back on track when you end your day earlier because things aren’t going your way. It’s better to stay the course, and endure the shaky lift-off because it’s the only way to get in the air.
Just Do It Last week when it felt like I could do absolutely nothing right, I began to question myself. I asked, “What is going on?” and “Did I do something that caused this to happen?” And then, once one thing after the next continued to become a struggle, I began to expect everything to go against the expected outcome. This is a bad place to settle. My attitude was in the wrong mindset, but I’m so thankful that I continued to persevere and keep going. Things were harder and it took longer to accomplish tasks; but, at the end of the day ,forward progress was made. It wasn’t as much as I had hoped for, but every step counted. Choosing to keep going moved me farther than I would have been if I had decided to wait for circumstances to get better. What if they had never gotten better? Think of all the time that would have been wasted if I continued to wait for perfect conditions? It’s laughable!
Ask for Help Believe it or not, you are not alone in this process; but, you have to learn to ask for help when you need it. There are plenty of people who love and support you, but they are not mind readers! There are times when people can sense that something is wrong and you need help; but you will not receive the immediate assistance you need without opening your mouth and letting others know about it.
When you ask for help, remember to include the ultimate source of all blessings-God. He will send help in unconventional ways and through people you did not expect or even think of ! This is why daily prayer is so important. When you talk to God frequently, not only do you develop a better relationship with Him, but you learn to also listen for His answer and response to situations in your life. It’s a beautiful thing for this revelation to happen; and, it’s when you truly realize that you are not alone!
Stay Positive The lift off may be shaky, but it’s important to remember that it won’t always be like this. There will come a time where you will be able to reap the reward of your decision to start the engine and go! Take off won’t be the only time you experience turbulence; but those rocky moments will help you appreciate the ease and shear wonder of being in the air! So keep going because the only way to reach your dreams is to fly toward them!
3 Tips for Staying Positive and Focused to Reach Your Dreams
Have you ever been so focused on arriving at your destination that you didn’t even realize you were already there? Just the other day, I was following GPS directions to somewhere I had never driven before, and kept looking in every direction to find the place. I finally lifted my head and realized that the address was right in front of me! I had arrived and didn’t event know that I had made it! Sometimes in life, we get so caught up in the details of our goals that we never even notice the progress we’ve made to get there. Here are three tips that I found to work while being positive and focused to reach your dreams.
Ask for Guidance
You are not alone in life and you will begin to realize this once you start asking and searching for God.I take time every morning to talk to God (usually in the shower) and I ask Him for guidance. I ask Him to keep my eyes and ears open for what He’s trying to show me. I ask Him to help me see in my day through blessings and encouragement. My recent trials and new journey with entrepreneurship have truly shown me just how much I need Him everyday and I am so thankful for this revelation because it has taught me to seek His counsel and acknowledge His presence in my life!
Reflection: Search for the Answers
While you’re asking for guidance, it’s important to remember to search for the answers. Remember what you asked Him for and analyze the conversations and encounters that you have throughout the day. Did any of these engagements provide the answers to what you were looking for? At the end of the day review what you’ve gone through to search for your answer. Sometimes you have to be still in order to realize that the answer has been revealed, but you have to be in a place of quiet in order to recognize and receive it.
Talk About It: Remind Yourself Where You’re Going
We’re often taught that talking to yourself is a sign of insanity; however, I find that the older I get the more I do it! And now, I really don’t think that it’s sign of craziness, but a means of organizing my thoughts and plans. Call it what you want, but it works!
About a year ago, I had the opportunity to spend time with a successful entrepreneur and she provided a book recommendation that has been so valuable to my growth in this area. Napoleon Hill’s, “Think and Grow Rich” shows that wealth generation starts with a positive mindset and that the formula for changing your attitude is through daily affirmations of your goals. Write them down and repeat them aloud daily. This form of auto-suggestion will seep into the depths of your soul to the point of belief and you will eventually begin to act upon the things you desire. So remember to actively reflect on your goals by saying them aloud. Not only will they keep you focused, but they will transition your dreams to reality!
While you’re doing these things, you’ll need to remember to look up from time-to-time. You may just realize that you’re closer than you thought you were…and that you just might have arrived!
Have you ever had a gut wrenching pain around the time that a new challenge presents itself? Do you ever feel anxious or throw up as the time to deliver what you promised approaches? Do you wake up before the early alarm clock sounds in nearly a panic attack; having to take deep breaths to calm down? Then you are not alone. These feelings are normal and serve a purpose. You may not like it, but fear prompts action and here’s why it needs to remain present in your life!
When fear sets in, it presents a call to action, but you still have a choice. You can either let the emotion consume you and do nothing, or start moving and attempting to complete the task that ‘s giving you anxiety.
Listen to the Fear Alarm
Fear is a reminder that something is unsettled and needs attention. It won’t go away until you address it. That gut-wrenching feeling that can bring up nausea is there for a reason. We can try to pretend you don’t know what’s going on and avoid the situation, but in our heart-of-hearts, we know why it’s there. What’s so funny is once you begin working on tackling the problem, you forget the reason you were afraid and the fear subsides. This leads me to believe that God allows fear to set in order to get us in motion. Once we prove that we are willing to meet the challenge he removes the feeling that got us moving. Mission accomplished! Be sure to respond to fear’s alarm clock; it was set for a purpose!
Avoid Opportunity Costs
I’m writing about this topic because I have a personal struggle with laziness and procrastination on the DAILY. Every morning, I wake up before my 3:30 a.m. alarm sounds off. I like to think it’s God’s way of whispering “time to get up and do work”. But at least once (ok, maybe twice) a week, I turn the alarm off and roll back over for more sleep. When I finally wake up two hours later, I regret taking the extra hours of rest because I lost time to be productive for my business. My mind runs through the thoughts of what I could have accomplished had I woke up at the designated time. There’s a reason I set the alarm for that time. Reminding myself of the “why” helps me get up when I’m overwhelmed or just plain tired put my feet on the ground and start moving.What opportunity costs are you risking because you choose to ignore that feeling of fear or anxiety? Listen carefully, it’s attempting to nudge you in the right direction.
The fear factor is real! It will cause to become so overwhelmed that you stand still and do nothing. Don’t allow fear to sink so deeply into your soul that you can’t lift your head and call on God for the strength to move! This is why it’s so important to respond to fear’s call as soon as you hear it; because, once it resides in your inner being, it becomes harder to move and take action!
Action doesn’t always look like you’re running toward achieving goals and tasks. Sometimes you have to start with baby steps, and that’s ok; they still equal forward progress! Once you become committed to moving, God will continue to supply what you need to get through it. You have to show a desire to get out of your situation and move on before you can receive the additional support to carry out the mission. He truly helps those who help themselves!
Be grateful for being disturbed with fear. It’s a sign that God has a purpose for your life and he wants to move you toward your promising future!
Yours in the Bond,
There’s a presence in your solitude. Look for the teachable moments in the stillness of the moment.
Do you ever feel like life has dragged you into isolation? That no matter what you do to succeed results in failure and distances you from your goals? Or do you feel that you are the person that is standing in the way of your own success? The irresponsible steps and mistakes that you subconsciously make end up making a huge impact on your life. Trust me-You are not alone. These are feelings that most of us experience. There is a reason you are being set apart. Here’s why.
You’re Growing: Sometimes God isolates us so that all we can hear is His voice. Life’s many distractions bog us down with all types of unnecessary white noise. You have to be still and listen for His guidance. There are times when I feel like everything is going wrong-wrong to me means that it isn’t going as I planned. But I’ve realized that if I just keep moving and pressing forward, He always works it out! And it is usually in a manner that no one could have even dared to dream! Look for God during dark moments. Instead of holding your head down in defeat; hold it up to seek and feel His presence. He did not bring you this far to leave you!
Change of Scenery: As you grow, you need to rely on a different set of resources to carry you through. When we are unable to see the right choices or find the right path, God plucks us out of danger and puts us on the right track. Have you ever noticed how your circle of friends changed? Or how you stumbled upon a good technique that you turned into a habit and included it in your daily routine? He put these occurrences, friends, situations into your life to continue your growth process. There is power in stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things to gain positive results. Sometimes we just need a push in the right direction and the encouragement to carry on. You can do it!
Miracles Happen: Believe it or not, you are not in control! In spite of all the planning, forecasted or other prepared predictions, no man knows the future. Failure occurs because of unknown variables. There are things that our brains can not even fathom when planning a project, a trip, or other life events. When our efforts result in failure ,but we continue to get back up is when grace steps in. There are times that God allows us to try it our way and fail to test our faith. When you feel like a loser but don’t quit, and then finally succeed in an unexpected way is the moment that it had nothing to do with you. It was Him. He’s the reason you booked your next freelance gig; received an undeserved promotion. It’s because of Him that you overcame your battle with bad health or survived a car wreck you caused. He pulled you out and set you apart to let you know that you are not alone; He’s with you! If that isn’t a shouting moment, I don’t know what is! During moments like this, all I can think to say is “thank you, Jesus!” Don’t you agree?
Solitude is not a prison sentence. It’s a necessary state of being to help move you forward in life! Remember to be grateful for the stillness, listen for His guidance, and look for the miracles that are about to happen!
Yours in the Bond,
Have you ever felt stuck in a rut or found yourself looking for the inspiration to keep picking up your tired feet to keep moving? Sometimes, even when you love what you do, it’s hard to find the inspiration to keep going. Why? I’ve found there’s several reasons. Let me know if you agree:
You’re Drained: Giving it your all requires a lot of energy! Not only do you have to account time for work and following your dreams, but there has to be enough left in your tank for family, friends, and other daily tasks that present themselves. It can leave you feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything!
Unexpected Emergencies: There are situations that appear out of the blue that need your immediate attention: there’s a death in the family; your car quit running; your son is sick. These items take you away from your daily routine, putting you behind in what you planned to accomplish for the day. Now, not only do you need the energy to deal with what just happened, but to also finish the work that you planned on completing during that time period.
Negative Work Relationships: Has someone recently slighted you; promising to deliver one thing and not following through? What about the annoying co-worker or boss that continues to spew negative energy with complaints? Or your paycheck is short and you’re worried about how to survive the next few weeks?
I bet you’re wondering, “Is there any hope? Will my mojo ever kick back in? When will I ever be motivated again?”
Here’s some sure-fire tips to grease your motivation gears:
Remember Your ‘Why’: Revisit your ‘why’.There’s a reason you started your business, began looking for a new job or set a new goal. Remember what inspired you to take a stand and start the process. Your purpose is usually tied to fulfilling a dream or realizing that change needs to happen. My ‘why’ involves helping others and leaving a legacy for my child. I founded JRobinson DMS to help small businesses and non-profits create an online presence; allowing them the time to re-invest their energy into what they do best. I want to grow this effort to a profitable state, leaving my son the option of keeping the dream alive or selling it to the benefit our family. Remember your why when life gets tough and all looks lost. It will help you to dig deep and stay the course!
Remain Positive: Attitude is everything! What you think about has a way of coming to fruition. Find beauty in the little things. You’ll find that focusing on something positive will turn daily tasks and situations around. My mother sends me a scripture every day and the verse is usually about being encouraged or remembering the source of your strength. I wait for her text to begin my work day because I know it will provide the inspiration I need to give it another try to keep moving forward.
Stay Focused: Remaining focused is tough. Life throws you curveballs of distraction on a daily basis. There are things that happen that ruin your plans or routine, making it hard to get back on track. I’ve found when this happens, the best thing to do is focus on one task at a time. It’s important to prioritize what needs to be completed that day because chances are you won’t be able finish everything planned. Take a deep breath, count to 10, or what ever needs to be done to clear your mind and get back to it!
If you’re having a hard time committing to any of the suggestions mentioned above, remember that prayer works too! Ask Him for help with remembering your ‘why’, remaining positive and staying focused. He’ll give you the answer to keep pushing and to carry on!
Yours in the bond,
JRobinson, Owner and Founder, JRobinson Digital Media Services
God and life have a sense of humor; and sometimes, their humor isn’t funny to us…at least not in the moment.
Have you ever gone through a struggle and during that awful period felt hopeless, lost, and insecure? You’re human, so I’m confident you have. Anyways, when you’re on the other side of it and reflect on what happened, you’re able to see that it wasn’t that bad. You wonder why you were so worried…and sometimes, you laugh about it.
So how does one defeat his or her situational opponent? How do you get back up after you’ve been knocked down. I’ll share the few tidbits that these life moments have taught me.
[Related Article: Sandi Krakowski: How to Stay Strong in the Difficult Seasons of Life]
Keep Moving: Usually, when we’re going through a storm, we panic and shut down. We stop doing the things that we love; we stop putting our best foot forward; and we zone out. I challenge you to stay in the moment and keep moving! Most of the things we worry about are out of our control. Do things that you’re responsible for and have control over; the rest will eventually take care of itself. It may not happen in the timing you expected, but a change WILL come because you kept moving
Find a way to Vent: We all have different ways of venting our frustrations. Some of us talk to our closest friends, others write (or blog like me). Whatever your method, find a way to purge your frustration. It will give your brain the mental space it needs to focus on the tasks you have control over and help you deposit positive energy into your loved ones.
Prayer Works: Most of think we don’t have anyone to talk to; but there’s someone we oftentimes forget about, because He isn’t physically present. God is omnipresent (everywhere) and He’s just waiting on you to acknowledge Him. He knows your heart-aches and hardships, but he wants you to tell Him about them. He wants you to seek Him and ask for His help.
Even if you don’t believe in God or a higher being, talk aloud and confirm what you want to happen. Speaking positivity into the universe changes things, you just have to be patient.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NLT)
JRobinson, Owner and Founder, JRobinsonDMS
Have you ever had a to-do list filled with 10 plus items for the day and all you ended up marking off that daily tally was two? Or, have you planned on taking a couple of “virtual” steps to only move forward .03599? This is the story of my life lately; and it isn’t normal for me.
I’m a person that prides herself in being able to do a BUNCH of things in a day; happily marking things as completed on my iPhone’s Reminders app. To hear that buzz go off in my phone and realize that I’m not going to get to that task for the day irritates me; then having to reschedule the task for the next day really chaps my hide! I just feel like there’s not enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done in that day. Can anybody relate?
As I slowly move forward to finish whatever it is I’m doing in the moment, I send mental encouragements to keep going; that I’ll eventually be done; and eventually, I am finished. But what about the other 9 things that didn’t get touched because I was struggling to finish the one?
I feel like the progress I’m making is a like an old, decrepit, turtle “running” (you know it’s a really slow walk) to the finish line. So, to accommodate for my slowness. I wake up earlier to give myself additional time. But guess what? Something more urgent always comes up and I’m back at square one! What’s a chick to do?
In this midst of all this confusion and frustration, a thought occurs. What if I didn’t accomplish the one thing I’m getting done daily? I’d be even further behind! So there’s a positive note for slow progress-it’s still progress.
Entrepreneurship and motherhood are still relatively new for me, and I know that I’m not giving myself the time curve to adjust. I know that I need to embrace the learning and growth process, but the inner kid in me wants it all, and she wants it all now now(maturity at it’s finest, right?)! So here I am, standing in my current truth-I’m not going to be immediately great at doing things that are new. I’m accepting the fact that now is NOT the time to give up because nothing is easy anymore; to keep trying, keep pushing forward and taking that daily baby step.
I am confident that there will be a day where I can breeze through things again; and the completed work will be amazing. But for now, I’ll take that slow progress over no progress.
Are you in a situation where absolutely no progress is being made? Often,the best thing to do is to ask for help. And, if it’s in the social media and digital marketing arena, we can assist with propelling your business! Contact us today for a quote.
Yours in the Bond,
JRobinson, Owner and Founder JRobinson Digital Media Services