Say Yes, by saying No

Yesterday’s post about being successful came on the heels of watching a leadership training video for the National Society of Leadership and Success. It made me realize that I had some changes to make, starting with myself.

The video really highlighted our purpose in life and the dreams that we want to go after. It also stressed the importance of taking action and holding yourself accountable for reaching your goals.

On occasion I like to post about going after your dreams, and that achieving your dreams takes hard work. I think that most of us know that people just don’t go handing out tickets for the success train, we have to work hard to get on it.

set-goal-reach-goalSo last night I did some thinking about my goals, and when I want to reach them.  I also starting looking at things that were getting in the way of reaching these goals.

I have learned for the most part how to say no when I just can’t take on anymore, but I don’t always say no to myself. I have a tendency to think that I should be doing it all, and I end up doing marginally well, rather than being successful at just a few things.

There are just so many things out there that I want to do and be apart of and sometimes it is really tough to say no, especially when it’s yourself. It’s like staying home and studying for that big exam when you really want to go out.

So all this talk about success got me thinking about the areas in my life that shift the focus from where it should be.  I need to remember that if it doesn’t matter to me in the long run then I shouldn’t focus on it. Trying to tackle all these tasks really eats up my time.

Like I wanted to create an Etsy Shop, or work on my art more, but it really isn’t my main focus. My main focus is writing and my schooling. If there is time after those items are done, then I can think about other ways of spending my free time.

I have to remember that there are so many hours in the day, and they should be spent wisely, not on tasks that don’t benefit. I have to admit that it was hard for me to come to this realization, because generally I can rationalize my way into thinking that something fits in my life. Being honest with myself wasn’t easy, but I am hoping to stay more on task from here on out.

How to be Successful

Success can be defined in different ways. I like to define success by happiness and fullness of my life, and not by how much I make or what I tangibly own.

Being successful isn’t something that happens by accident. It starts by making the choice to be successful. This sounds easier than it actually is.

excellenceIf it were that easy to just get up each day and be successful wouldn’t we all be doing it? I would have written that book by now, and I would running more often if that was the case.

But the truth is, each day I make choices that contradict the life that I want to live. I choose to listen to the voice inside of me that keeps me from reaching my goals. I listen to the self doubt and I put my dreams on the back burner.

For example I know that I am good at writing. Sure there are plenty of people out there better than me, but that doesn’t take away from what I have to offer, or does it?

Logically I know the answer to that question. But deep down inside there is self doubt that limits me. No one has ever told me that my writing wasn’t worth reading, but still I question what I want to say, and wonder if anyone will read it.

It’s that very way of thinking that stops me each and every day from doing what I want to do.

Also, how many times do we say that tomorrow is another day? I think we do this just to make ourselves feel better. Yes tomorrow may be another day, but it is one more day that we don’t have to do what we want to do. Once today is done it is done, there is no going back.

To be successful we must make the choice to move forward. We have to challenge the stereotypes that have been placed on us, even when have internalized their negative meaning.

One of the biggest mistakes that I have made in my life and continue to make is worry about the what ifs. I limit myself because I am afraid of what might happen. I worry that I might fail, that someone might not like it, or I will get turned down. But living that way is not living. If I didn’t have it before I started my journey then how I can I miss it?

I am slowing realizing that there is more damage in not trying than failing.

The bottom line is that we all make choices, and we have to examine if these choices are in line with our goals in life. Where do we see ourselves and how do we get there? It takes courage to take those first steps, but once you start to see success there is no looking back.

Writers Envy

They say that the grass is always greener, that is until you get over there. I am also finding that writing is no different.

I am a poet at heart.  I like to write basic emotional pieces, no added fluff. I write the occasional memoir, and I thrive on non-fiction.

But…….Like always wanting hair that I don’t have, overtime I have become envious of other writers.

ConfidenceQuotes540I know several people who are beautiful poets. Their use of words is magical and flowery.  Some of my other friends have amazing imaginations and can create stories that I couldn’t even think of.

Then I look at my poems, plain and a little too narrative………

Learning to like your own work can be hard. I think that there is a small piece of us that will always hold that doubt until we get validation from other people around us.

It didn’t really hit me that I wrote something worth reading until I started my Masters program and got feedback from my peers.

I was surprised to find out that people actually enjoyed reading my writing. They even came up with examples of why they liked it-who knew?

I really don’t have the answer for having confidence in your own abilities. That might be something that just comes with time, the right attitude or maybe too much alcohol.

There are times when I am not really sure that I fully like what I have written, but at least I have come to terms with my writing style.

Yes I write for myself, but I also want people to read it too. However, my goal is not for everyone to like it, just the ones who like my style.

Writing: What I lack in knowledge I make up in effort!

I always find it funny when people ask me how to spell something or a grammar questions. It’s almost embarrassing, but I really don’t have a clue when it comes to the finer points of the English language.

Since grade school I have struggled to memorize nouns, pronouns, adverbs and things along those lines. I have no real clue why sentences are structured a certain way, I just know if they sound right….usually.

Some have criticized my approach to writing, mostly the elite English writers out there, but I figure I have something that many don’t–a passion for writing.

You can know all the do’s and don’ts to the English language, but if you don’t love writing, what is the point?

creativityWorking with students at various age levels I have also noticed that many of them lost their drive to create through story telling, because of the rigorous demands of testing, learning, and red pen written all over their paper.

How can you tell a child they didn’t do something right, when they have just poured their heart and soul into a piece of writing?

A while ago we had this debate in one of my classes that discussed the decline in the English language.

Some argued that we had become to lax and that the language was ruined, while others felt that language is like a living organism, always growing, changing and adapting.

I tend to lean towards the latter statement.  We are a far cry from the Shakespearean days, so despite how tightly people try to hold on to the roots of our language it just isn’t going to happen.

What it comes down to, regardless of the level of education, is a love of writing. You’re not going to offend words if you don’t use them properly. And if people don’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

Inspiring people to express themselves through art or written word should be the priority. Once we have fostered that love and devotion then work on the principals that tie everything together.