Are You Staring at A Closed Door

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, we do not see the ones which open for us.” Alexander Graham Bell

I remember being at National Conference and hearing Cindy Monroe, our CEO and founder, talk about running through the doors of opportunity.  I have to admit, it was a little scary for me (and sometimes still is).  For me, it meant stepping out of my comfort zone, having faith things would work out and most of all being willing to make a change.

Over the last few years, I have seen many doors in my life close.  They may have been open for a minute but I hesitated or FEAR stopped me.  Those doors have closed and despite my best efforts, nothing is going to open them again.  Yes, I have lingered way too long staring at the closed door, wishing for what could have been all the while missing new opportunities.  

Has a door recently closed in your life? Have you lost a job? Maybe a relationship or marriage ended?  Maybe you were hoping for a chance at a new opportunity and it fell through?  The door you wanted to remain open is now closed.  Are you still staring at the closed door?  Chances are, if are are, like me, you’re going to miss the new opportunities waiting for you.

I totally get those closed doors are sometimes are own fault – we let fear take over, we didn’t want to step out of our comfort zone, the list goes on right?  But there are those times when change is brought on by things beyond your control.  It is those times I find are the hardest to get back on track.

So, here are some tips I found which might help:

1. Mourn the loss.

Grief is part of the process when an unwelcome change intrudes on your life.  It can be devastating.  Give yourself permission to grieve the loss – whatever it is.  Then, acknowledge the lessons you’ve learned. Yes, there are always lessons to be learned.  Once you’re done, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward (start all over again).  Are you humming a Disney song?  Feeling sorry for yourself will do nothing but send you on a downward spiral to self-sabotage.

2. Make a decision to face forward.

Are you hoping the door will reopen if you hang around?  Guess what? At some point, you have to stop lingering at the closed door.  Chances are it is NOT going to re-open. So,  walk away and take steps on the path unfolding before you. Face forward rather than backwards. Would you drive your car backwards if you missed a turn? Believe it or not, change can offer new hope and opportunity.  A decision takes courage.  For many, it a step out of their comfort zone or having faith in things unseen.  Courage is a choice.  Will you make the choice?

3. Be open to change.

Be careful of the comparison game.  Don’t compare new opportunities to old opportunities. Recognize new opportunities sometimes have very different benefits from old ones. They sometimes address different needs and wants, bring you joy in ways you were missing before. Sometimes they stretch you in ways you haven’t been stretched. Embrace the challenge with gratitude and perseverance.

4. Walk through the open doors.

New life, new work, and new opportunities will open up on your path. Walk through them!  Know you are not alone when you walk through those open doors.  There are others on the same journey if you are willing to embrace the opportunity.

I know you have heard it before but it bears repeating….. Sometimes doors close because we are not supposed to walk through them.  Other times, they close because they were meant only for a season. Just like people enter our lives for a season.  We need to learn the lessons, live with courage, and enjoy our journey.  I know it isn’t always easy.

Face forward. Stop staring at the closed door and take a step towards the future that is waiting to unfold.

What is the “closed door” in your life? Are you ready to leave the closed door alone and trust a new and better one will open?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

A Wedding Anniversary

WOW!  It doesn’t seem possible but six years ago today, I married my amazing hubby.  For those of you who know our story, sorry for the repeat but it is a true tale of unconditional love which lasted over time.

Rob and I dated the summer BEFORE high school – I was from OTHS and he was from Neptune. A strange mix during those years, I mean our schools were rivals.  He walked into my house with a friend of the family and our eyes met.  The rest was history.  There are some pictures which along with some stories have helped me to remember.

Opposite schools, different backgrounds – not a great match.  I caved under peer pressure and the desire to fit in my first year in HS.  We broke up and never spoke again. He went his way and I went mine.

In July 2001, I received a note in the mail from him. He said after a year of searching, this was his last attempt to connect with me. The search for me started because of a roadside memorial said “HOPE”. He wanted to make sure it wasn’t me.  The easy thing would have been to reach out to my dad but who does things the easy way, right?

When I saw the note, I smiled but then there was a look of amazement across my face. Belinda was like Who is this? Tell me more? She had no idea who he was nor did she know much about my high school days so she was curious.

I wasn’t looking for a relationship.  I was content for it to be “Belinda and I” (or you and me kid) till she went to college.  Little did I know, God had other plans for us.  Rob and I emailed for over 3 months sharing all aspects of our life.  I shared tales of my past as did he.  We connected but I never let him believe we would be anything more than friends – I wasn’t interested.  My heart was opening up but “love” just didn’t seem to be in the cards.

On October 12, 2001 after working the midnight shift, Rob drove to EHT to spend the day with me at a craft show.  Yes, a craft show.  He knew I would be there all day and it didn’t matter.  He walked in the door and our eyes met – my heart skipped a beat.  NOPE!  I wasn’t looking for a relationship.  The day was busy with lots of kids, I was making American Girl doll clothes back then.  At the end of the day, he helped me pack up everything and we went back to my house for dinner.  Belinda was spending the day with friends so we spend hours talking and reconnecting. He showed me a picture of me from the summer we dated which he kept all of those years.  It was the first of many trips Rob would make to EHT over the next 5 years. He traveled to EHT to spend his days off with us every week.  He traveled to cheering competitions, sat through practices, and went to craft shows.

One year later, at Christmas, Rob proposed and I accepted! Yes, we were engaged for almost 9 years before we got married. He was concerned about Belinda. He didn’t want to change her life as she was in high school – a competitive cheerleader, active in church and EHT was the only home she had ever known.  They had their ups and downs.  This was the first man in her life besides my dad and her best friend’s dad.  He would give her the world. She is the daughter he never had.

When Belinda left for college, I sold our home in EHT and moved to Brick. Not an easy move for me, Miss Independent.  I had been in my own home for about 20 plus years and had built a life there. Once Belinda became a resident of North Carolina and was in her final year of college – the wedding date was set. I was calm and just thought it would be a routine kind of thing.  I mean could a piece of paper and a ceremony really make a difference?

I was a nervous. Why?  It was a simple ceremony with a few close friends and family. As my dad started to walk me down the aisle, the reality hit. This was really happening – I was getting married. I almost passed out walking down the aisle and the pictures show the slight look of panic.  It passed as I saw Rob, just as nervous standing with Pastor and Belinda smiling at me. It was an amazing day – the weather was beautiful, our families were there and we got to celebrate with those who mean the most to us.

I wouldn’t change a minute of the last 16 years. We have had our rough spots but we have worked through them. Health issues about the last few years have taken a toll on both of us.  Rob’s unconditional love has helped me to grow as a wife, a mom and a person. We are definitely opposites but we do compliment each other – opposites attract, right?

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, my hubby. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Gaining Confidence Is An Ongoing Process

I have been having one of those weeks…. yup, fear and doubt has crept in.  My confidence has been shaken and I am wondering what my purpose is in life.  What happened?  I’m not sure except I have had some weird health days.  Days of feeling unsure.  Most days I can shake it then there are some when I need a confidence booster.  Surrounding myself with supportive  friends and family is part of it BUT sometimes I need to work on me.

Here are some things I do to help shake those nasty inner gremlins:

1.  Share Your Gifts & Passion with Others

Everyone has gifts and talents even when our confidence is lacking.  When I have days like this, I start writing.  Because I know sharing my struggles with others is one of my gifts.  You have accomplished great things – don’t downplay what you have achieved.  I know I am guilty of this all of the time.  The truth is, we are all good at something and there is always someone who wants to learn.

2. Forgive Yourself for Your Mistakes

When I have days like this, I tend to focus on all of the mistakes I made in life. Remember negative thoughts brings more negative thoughts.  When we hold ourselves or others to high standards expecting perfection, we are usually left feeling less than, a failure, and unworthy. Give yourself a break!  Self-forgiveness is an important step towards building your self esteem and confidence.  Everyone make mistakes, you are no exception and you deserve to be forgiven.

3. Pay it Forward or Pay Yourself

Are you looking to right your wrongs or make a change due to mistakes from your past which may be holding you back?  We can’t wave a magic wand and make them go away BUT we can change the outcome.  Didn’t make school a priority in your life?  Go back and take some classes.  Maybe you weren’t there for friends and family – make amends.  As a recovering addict, my mission is to help those who are struggling because others helped m.  What mistake can you forgive yourself for so you can move on?

4. Be Solution Focused

I always say negative thoughts brings more negative – positive brings more positive, it is the way of the Universe.  So, when you are always complaining about not having enough (of anything), nothing gets accomplished. Look for solutions when things aren’t going as planned. This will take some practice before it becomes natural.  In the end, you will be able to approach a problem from a mindset of how to solve it instead of WHY ME victim mindset.

5. Smile

I know it is hard to smile when you are feeling less than BUT a little smile goes a long way. You would be surprised how it can actually change your mindset. It makes me feel good to smile, and it can also brighten someone else’s day.  In some cases this is where I advocate, fake it till you make it.   I don’t mean being fake to others, it is about learning to pick your head up and feel good along the way. The more you do it, before long, you will forget you were “faking it” and actually feed better, maybe even GOOD or GREAT!

6. Fear is Your Friend

FEAR is huge when we are not feeling confident (at least for me).  I am trying hard to use fear to my advantage! Think about it – fear shows up when you are about to step out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself and build your confidence. This is your secret weapon to growing.  When you recognize it is about to get scary, you are about to expand yourself which is HUGE confidence builder.

Despite popular belief (and my constant writing about it) I do struggle with confidence.  I am always amazed how I am more confident around people I don’t know then I am around friends or business colleagues.  Those nasty inner gremlins love to play the comparison game.

Share your struggles and your successes with us.  Let’s BUILD each other up so we are all successful in our business (and our lives).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

What is YOUR Brand?

A few weeks ago I walked into a vendor event to hear “are you the angel lady that sells Thirty One?”.  It took me a minute but then I said “yes”.  I was totally surprised by the question but grateful the two things were linked together.

Obviously you know I am a Thirty One consultant BUT I also love to make and share my angels.

I have found the perfect way to combine my two loves to make a difference in the lives of others.  My traveling angel pins allow individuals to buy an angel and send one to a person who needs some encouragement.  Know someone who is struggling?  Let me know and I will send them a pin.

Where is all of this leading?  I have (accidentally) branded myself as “the Thirty One angel lady”.  Is it a bad thing? No! But I am grateful to have created my own niche of making a difference.

1. Realize branding does apply to you.

No matter what you do, branding can take your career or business to the next level.  Your brand reflects your reputation — what you’re known for (or would like to be known for). What was once called a reputation is now called a brand.  Don’t we all want to be know for something?

2. State who and what you are (not what you’re not).

Remember positive brings positive into your Universe.  Your branding should be consistent from beginning to the end.  Showcase your accomplishments and expertise but don’t overinflate to the point you can’t follow through.  Authenticity is the key.  I am all about giving back.  Hubby says my tagline should be “I will never be Rockefeller (rich with money)” because I am all about giving to others.

3. Honestly, ask yourself what is your value.

When was the last time you wrote down your core strengths. Prepare a list. Ask yourself what your top 5 accomplishments have been in the past 5, 10, 15 years. Which ones stand out as the most value to your business or your company?

Branding is all about impressing others not ourselves, right?  So, why not ask others what they see as your most positive attributes (family, friends, or colleagues). I know this can be scary BUT you may be surprised to find out how others perceive you. You may actually be surprised to see what things come to the forefront as your areas of expertise.

4. Understand developing a brand takes time.

This is HUGE!  I have been with Thirty One for 6 years.  I have done many things to try and “brand myself” but with the help of Desiree Wolfe, I found my niche.  

What does it mean? Every day, I share things which bring my brand (Thirty One and angels) into the spotlight.  I want to make a difference and I try to do it every day in some small way with everyone I meet.  Remember developing a brand is about adding value which results in you being seen and heard. It’s about distinguishing you from your competitors.

5. Create a blog and write what you know.

I hear the groans of those who say “I can’t write”.  How often are you asked the same question by almost all of your customers?  Maybe it is about a situation or a product or a service.  Guess what?  You answer the question a million times, why not write about it and share the answer.  It’s simple – choose a hot question in your field and just start writing by answering it in an article or blog post.  You have now proven you know what you’re talking about.

6. Interact more than less.

I’m still getting the hang of this.  I don’t want to be spammy or pushy or salesy. I do want to gain attention to me (as the brand) then my products and services which leads to more sales.  I may blog daily but I don’t consistently post comments on Facebook groups or on other blog posts.  You need to decide what works with your schedule and time ability.

Your online identity is a priority in today’s busy digital world. I heard “your online branding as a #digitaltattoo which is so true.  Once it is out there – it stays out there. Wonder where you stand right now?  Google yourself, your brand, or your product/service.  See what comes up.  The biggest compliment I have received is when someone I know as an acquanitence tells me they Googled a subject and I came up.

My angels help me stand out with my Thirty One customers.  The angels help them to remember me!  What is your brand?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Grow Your Confidence – Part 2

Last week, I talked about growing your self confidence and I received a lot of feedback.  I won’t say i am surprised because despite all of the overwhelmingly positive posts on Facebook and Instagram, there are people who struggle. They struggle with standing tall and proud letting their sparkle shine through.

So here are a few more things which might help you boost your confidence…

1. Take some time for personal care.   I will admit, I am the worst at this.  When I am feeling yuk, all I want to do is lay around in my sweats.  The truth is, we should really nudge ourselves to do something for us.  Now, I don’t mean spend a fortune. How about pulling out your favorite shaving cream and shaving those legs? The warmer weather is coming.  How about deep conditioning your hair? Or even soaking in a bubble bath?  Pamper yourself with something you enjoy doing for you. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. Giving yourself permission to relax and even PLAY, will pay you back ten fold.  You will gradually change your mindset so the fun times come more naturally.

2. Visualize and Reframe.  This is going to sound a little crazy since I always talk about how important positive thinking is BUT believe me it works.  Take a few minutes to reflect on the problems you are facing in your life. Feel the feelings associated with the problem.  Do you naturally assume the worst – let’s REFRAME the problem and the solution!  Nothing is hopeless but when you believe it is, all you will feel is unhappiness and that you are a failure.

So, I want you to pick one problem and look at it in a new light by recreating a positive outcome.  I know it can be tough but you can do it.  Imagine a positive solution and really feel the feeling of the new positive ending to your story. Now, make the new ending happen!

3. Make a List of Your Positive Attributes.  Yes you do have them.  We all do even if we don’t always see them.  For many years, I heard “you are your own worst enemy” and I know I am not alone.  It is time to make a list of your positive gifts (physical and mental). We need to find an inner love for ourselves, instead of looking to others for approval.  I struggled with this exercise for years and then with the help of a friend, I reached out to several close friends and asked for their help.  I asked them to describe me in just 3 words.  I was blown away by the response. Once I wrote them all together, I put them into positive mantras I could repeat until I really started to believe them…

4. Fake it till you make it.   I know this sounds easy and hard to believe it actually works, but trust me it is easy and it does work. Remember those negative thoughts like:”This day sucks”, “I feel ugly” or “I am not good enough” guess what? Those thoughts radiate and everyone knows how you are feeling.  You need to keep your thoughts in check, so when the negative self talk creeps back up- proclaim the opposite. This will help you to build your self worth cause the negative inner gremlins can get pretty sneaky.

5. Get enough sleep.   I know as busy women, who has time for a good’s night sleep, right?  What is the definition of a good night’s sleep?  Is it 5 hours or maybe less?  Maybe it means a night when the kids aren’t climbing in your bed.  When you are tired and your body is run down, it’s difficult to feel good about yourself. Your body is dragging, and the negative inner gremlins are ready to rear their ugly heads. As much as you may hate to hear it, your body needs a solid 6-8 hours of sleep – peaceful uninterrupted sleep. I used to live on about 5 hours then age creeped in and health struggles.  I am grateful my hubby got me into a routine of at least 7 hours of sleep.  There are days when I get less but I can tell because my sparkle dulls just a little.  I know it is not always easy but find a happy medium for you so you have the energy to fight off those nasty gremlins.

I would love to hear from you and know what you do to boost your confidence on those tough days.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!