Friday, July 6, 2018

SELF-REFLECTION REQUIRES SURGERY


Self-reflection has to be one of the most difficult of challenges. If we are going to be honest with ourselves when we do it, it feels like having major surgery without anesthesia. It hurts when we dig into ourselves. It’s painful when we strip away falsehoods we’ve been telling ourselves about ourselves. 

Cutting away everything that is not genuine, honest and true within ourselves can be absolutely excruciating to our heart, mind and soul. But, getting to the real heart of who we are requires that kind of surgery and looking within.

If we can’t be totally authentic, then we can’t live truthfully. In the end, that’s what hurts the most. However, "self-reflection surgery" can make a major difference in the way we are and the way we live. If we approach it earnestly, it won't be painless, but it will be worth it.

Here's some tips on getting started:

Self-reflection is not a beat up and bash yourself session. When we look at our faults and flaws, we want to do so sensitively and carefully. Admit those things about yourself that you know are not favorable, the things you know work against you. Write it down, and declare war against it. Work on yourself hour by hour, day by day, until you release the actions and behaviors you don't like about yourself.

Self-reflection is growth. The whole idea is to prune away things about yourself that don't enhance you as the person you see yourself becoming. Pruning makes room for new growth, healthier growth. Let go of your bad attitude. Let go of your attacks on people. Let go of blaming. Let go of hurting others. Look for ways and reasons to present your best self to the world.

Self-reflection is one of the most powerful and positive things you can do for yourself.  You really want to be awesome? Noticed? Attractive? Loved? Respected? Get your "surgical tools" ready! List everything that you need to do to be everything you need to be. If you need help, get it from a counselor or life coach. There is no reason to wait. There is no reason to procrastinate. Let that person who helps become a "mirror" for you, too. It will take some time, but each and every effort you make is taking you into the most powerful and positive way of living, doing and being. You deserve that. ~ S.R.F.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Leave the Door Open

Have you ever said no to something without even thinking it through? Maybe you didn't feel there was a need to, however, there are times when we should take pause before we close the door. Oftentimes, we hesitate to see the big picture. We feel like whatever we know at the moment is enough, and again, that may be true. But, what if we left the door open a little bit, could that possibly be the very door of opportunity that we wanted to open? It's definitely food for thought:

1. Before you close the door, think about what is really going to happen. Is that the end result you really want, or is your "no" in defiance or some other reason? Are others involved? Will your "no" eventually cause problems? Is your "no" going to continue an argument or chaos? If so, you may want to leave the door open for better and more positive communication, the kind that will bring about a positive and successful path on which to proceed.

2. Is the reason you said no because of fear? Our fears will cause us to shut down opportunities because we think we may fail hard in the sight of others. We think we won't succeed, so we act as if whatever it is lacks in importance. Don't say no to an opportunity. Say no to your fear.

3. It's sad, but true, that some of the people closest to us don't want to see us grow and succeed. We buy in to the negativity and lack of support, so we fantasize about our goals and dreams, but because of the "approval" we think we need, we say no to our futures. We allow ourselves to be dictated by what others believe we can and should do, and we end up doing nothing. It's a huge sacrifice to make, so in our own best interest we must muster the conviction to say "yes" to ourselves, and "no" to the others.

Leave the door open, even if you don't discuss it openly with anyone else. Pick it apart. Process it. If it looks like it can work, go for it. If not, let your no be your no, and no one else's. Take charge of the doors that open and close. If it means a successful move is in front of you, leave the door open. Peek in and see what you think. ~ S.R.F.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Overwhelmed? Handle Your Tasks Like a Boss!

Many of us have long to-do lists, and loads of other responsibilities on top of those. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. We could cut the lists down and unload some of the responsibilities, but too often we still feel like what-the-what else can I do? Well, don't dismay! There are a few things that you can do now to get over being overloaded and overwhelmed, and start handling your life like a true boss! 


1. Get some help. Seriously.  
I heard an amazing story about a true superwoman a few years ago. She was the special guest speaker for a class I sat in on at the corporate university where I worked at the time. She was married with kids. She was working full time. She had just obtained her degree and was headed to law school. She had one child while in school, and said she still wasn't finished growing her family yet. She said she had no choice but to become a good manager of her life. She solicited friends and family members to pick up her kids. She had someone help them with homework. She had relatives prepare dinner nightly for her family. She had help come to keep her house clean and neat. And, with all of this, she somehow still made sure her kids and husband felt her love and presence.

This woman was a master at doing life skillfully, and that was the takeaway she wanted all of the professionals in the room to grasp. Her message was inspiring and empowering. So, why not give it a try? Ask trusted, reliable friends and family to help out with some of your errands and chores. If that doesn't work, hire someone to be your personal assistant for a few hours a week now and then. A lot of unload can happen in three or four hours, and it's worth the fifty or sixty bucks you invest in someone. It's a win-win all around.

2. Get a professional organizer to come in for a consultation with you. He or she can help you find the weak spots in your days and hours, and help you structure your life in a more efficient way. Many of the things on our lists can be taken care of in a short amount of time, sometimes within minutes. But, when we keep adding things to the lists instead of taking care of them and taking them off, the potential for stressing and feeling out of control is great. Once you organize your thoughts, you'll organize your lists and manage the time and dedication needed to handle matters, and at the same time you'll be organizing your life. It's a sure formula.


3. Get online and look for support groups. There are many, many busy people just like you. Join them in conversations. Go to their meet-ups. It's a great way to de-stress and learn some new life skills for handling the tasks of our daily grinds. Find out what their balancing acts are like and what they do to cope with life, work and family. Be honest, be open. Learning one new, really great skill, or embracing a new idea you had not thought of could change the game for you. You could go from being overwhelmed to underwhelmed in no time. It can happen!

Juggling the tasks of daily life can be more than a notion, I know, but they can be handled. Decide to make some boss moves today. Try a thing or two or three from this list and see if that does the trick. You may be pleasantly surprised, and it just may take the load off. ~ S.R.F.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

LIVING UNAPOLOGETICALLY: NOT SORRY


Somewhere out of someone's genius came this new, slick catchphrase "Sorry, not sorry!" It's the clapback to those who dare to challenge the boldness and uniqueness of the way many choose to be and live, and theoretically it serves as an answer that pretty much settles the matter. People are doing life the way they choose and they are not sorry.


What is the defining difference between those who go boldly forth to embrace life and those who shrink back in life in fear of what others may think of them? Here are some thoughts:

1. Those who are living unapologetically know who they are and how they came to be who they are. They dare to be authentic and they are not sorry that they don't play fake.

2. Those who are living unapologetically are confident about how they live their lives, without needing approval or acceptance from anybody else. They live the life that brings them satisfaction and happiness and they are not sorry about their choices .

3. Those who are living unapologetically are not fazed by the opinions of others, particularly negative information and vibes. They care about bigger, more important things, things that really matter. They could care less about what others think unless it carries value, and they are not sorry regarding those they shut their ears to.

4. Those who are living unapologetically are not intimidated by what the majority is doing, and won't be swayed by the popular stance just because everyone else is on board. They believe in what they believe, even if it's unpopular with everyone else, and they are not sorry to stand on their own views.

5. Those who are living unapologetically are free from norms if it forces a negative impact on their way of life and work. Their independence is a priority above all else and they are not sorry about how they set the personal standards in which they create and live.

6. Those who are living unapologetically have a level of self-assurance and self-acceptance that keeps their head above the crowd. They are not typically looking down on others, but if they have to keep certain people at bay, they do it and they are not sorry about why and how they do it.

Living unapologetically is something you grow into. The more you learn about yourself and others, the more you understand that you don't have to be apologetic about how you do life. Live confident. Live bold. Live out loud. Live with zest. And, above all, live with conviction about who you are and what you believe. For that, my friend, there is no need to be sorry. ~ S.R.F.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

YOUR SELF-WORTH: IT'S A MINDSET

Are your days filled with blues, blahs and complaining because you just don't feel like you've got your act together? Does it feel like your self-worth and self-esteem has sunken to an all-time low? You don't believe you've accomplished enough in life? Well, don't dismay any longer. What you think is reality, may only be your mindset, and you can master that.

It's tricky. 
We convince ourselves of our own unworthiness for various reasons. Someone may have told us we were unworthy. We may have tried something and failed, and now we feel like a failure. Certain things may not have worked out well for us in life, work and relationships and we feel pretty lousy about ourselves as a result. Surely, these situations can have a tough impact on us, but it should be temporary, not a lifetime of beating up on ourselves, or a life sentence of self-punishment.

Know the truth.
The truth is, just about everybody experiences some of those feelings, but not everyone takes it lying down. You see, things are going to happen that challenge us to question our worth. However, we have to be smart enough and wise enough to challenge those questions right back, and make sure we give ourselves solid, right answers. We will become whatever we tell ourselves. We must tell ourselves we're worthy.

Know your worth.
You deserve success. You deserve love. You deserve to feel significant, honored and recognized. It begins with you believing that, in spite of anything else that seems to force you to believe otherwise. You must begin to master your responses to the negative replays that swirl around in your head, the ones that are telling you how unsuccessful you are, how unlovable you are, how less than deserving you are. You are worth celebrating, and you must look in your mirror often and tell yourself that very truth. You must tell yourself with conviction, until there is no room for those negative thoughts. It's a battle for your mindset, and it's a battle you can win.

Change your reality.
You can get your act together. You can shake off the blues. You can beat the blahs. You can accomplish and achieve the success you desire. When you change those thoughts about yourself, you will change your reality. Step by step, day by day, thought by thought, you will see a new and beautiful change in yourself, your life and your world. You are so worth it. ~ S.R.F.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Authentic YOU

Most of us have several roles in life. We work. We have careers. We have families, friends and associates. We have church. We have groups and organizations that we are affiliated with. With all of these, we have roles and those roles very often have demands. As overwhelmed and exhausted as we may become, we bravely put on our game faces and do whatever it is we think we need to do.

In the dynamics of it all, the spinning around, the lack of time management, the pull of "people are depending on me" syndrome, the question arises "Who am I really?" and why am I not taking care of myself and my own needs?

Sometimes we get so lost in the demands and responsibilities that we lose touch with ourselves, or even forget who we really are. It is at that pivotal point in our self-discovery that we must free ourselves to become our authentic selves. That authentic self is the person who is truly in touch with his or her needs, wants, desires and choice of obligations and demands.

Finding our authentic self will mean letting go of the things that are unnecessary in many cases. It means letting go of the guilt we feel when we can't be the one who is the "go-to" guy all the time. It means letting go of the worry that people may view you differently if you don't make those commitments that you really can't handle. It means letting go of the roles that are not critical to your well-being, the ones that give you very little return on your investment, the ones that drain the the life out of you.

Your authentic self surfaces as you make these strategic decisions about what is most important to you and in your life, because it narrows everything down to what makes you and those closest to you happy. It may take you a minute, or maybe days or even months to do the cutting away that frees you to be your best you, and that's okay. Take your time and observe the success. You'll see that the groups, the affiliations, the stuff that you thought could not survive without you, did just fine as the door opened for someone else equally as committed and qualified as you. And, also in that process, you will have successfully managed to discover the best role you'll ever have to live up to in life: the authentic YOU. Make that one your greatest commitment. ~ S.R.F.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Make It a "Can Do" Year!


We're at it again, right? We're making those resolutions for 2018, and some of them are the ones pushed over from those undone in 2017, aren't they?! That's okay, better later that not at all. We can get this done this year! We're coming out of the gates and into the year with our biggest "Can Do" attitude ever! We're focused! We're filled with faith! We CAN DO this!


Dare to!

First, truly dare to believe that what you want to do can be done. Erase your doubt. Get it into your head that there is no looking back, no quitting, no failure, no telling yourself that you tried but you just couldn't do it. Unless it's something like flying to the moon on your own wings, you can.


Roll, Baby!

Secondly, roll with the punches. Everyday will not feel like you are winning. Some days will feel like it's a great day to quit. Those thoughts will always cause a setback! Recognize that whatever is causing the frustration or feelings of failure, do not mean that you can't do it. It means that you need to apply a little bit more mental strength than you did yesterday to get it done.


The course may change, but not the destination!

Thirdly, you set a deadline, right? Well, that may change. The goal may get reshaped, due to certain other factors. People who were on course with you may change, too. In other words, there will be changes more than likely along the pathway to your goal, but the destination doesn't change because of it! Stay on task. Keep your destination in full view.


You can do it!

Lastly, when you develop the "Can Do" mindset, it may not be easy, but you'll surprise yourself at the things you'll actually get done! Your accomplishments will be many, and you'll be knocking out that list of goals in no time. You can do it and you will! ~ S.R.F.

Want more FOXOLOGY? Check out Silver Rae Fox on Blog Talk Radio!

Friday, December 15, 2017

IT'S CHRISTMAS ALREADY?

You're probably going to spend a lot of money, so make it meaningful.
The year seemed to fly by again, didn't it? Here we are looking at one of the the biggest holidays of the year once again and taking a deep breath, because it seemed to come around so fast. There are all kinds of survival tips and tricks to help us get through the sometimes hectic days leading up to the day, so I thought I'd throw in a couple of mine, too:

You're probably going to spend a lot of money, so make it meaningful. Enjoy the shopping, the crowds, the wrapping, the eye-popping excitement that comes with opening gifts. The energy can be so invigorating at this time, so EMBRACE IT!

Find someone to give a gift to that totally doesn't expect it. Yep, I mean just walk up to them and give them a present. Yep, I do mean a stranger; a person you see on the street; someone with a look on their face that's crying for some love and attention, and a gift. BE THAT "DO-GOODER" and give them a piece of your joy.

Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. It's the day we recognize as His birthday, so you might want to CONSIDER WHISPERING A LITTLE PRAYER and saying thank you for your blessings. So many people get so caught up in the rush and bustling that very little thought is given to the fact that this is a day to celebrate our hope, and believe that someday there can be peace on earth.

Yes, the holiday is already here. ENJOY IT, with all of its craziness, and all of its joys. No "bah humbugs." No "Grinchy" attitudes. Just enjoy it, because the next one is just twelve months away. ~ S.R.F.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Is There Purpose In Your Pain?

Life can have some incredible challenges. Some surprise us. Some Overwhelm us. Some knock us off our feet. Some are so deeply painful that they immobilize us. As we seek answers that come to our minds and hearts during these turbulent times, we tend to ask ourselves another important question: Is there purpose in our pain?

When we experience physical pain, we know it's an indicator that there is "trouble" in our body. Whether it's a scrape or a serious invasion of some kind to our health, we know that the pain is letting us know that something needs attention, help and healing. It's the same with our mental and emotional pain: something is wrong, and it needs attention, help and healing.

That being said, we can often get treatment and medication for our physical struggles. However, it's very different when the pain is mental and or emotional. Heartaches, heartbreaks, disappointments and grief carry their own kind of healing time and methods, and it is different for all of us.

You will get through it. ~ S.R.F.
People who hope to help us will say, "You'll get over it." Some things we may never "get over" because of the intensity and the longevity of the pain. The encouragement that I offer is, you will get through it. As time goes on, the pain lessens and the ability to move forward gets easier and easier. YOU WILL GET THROUGH IT, if you just hang in there. It could possibly take a long time, but take the time, as much as you need. Fight the thoughts and feelings of isolation that want to overtake you, but know when your private and alone time is crucial for healing, too. It is necessary. Go out into the world when you feel strong enough, even if it's only a little bit more strength that you feel each time. Don't compare your healing journey to anyone else's. Each situation is different, and so are you. Do what works for you to eventually get you back to an emotionally healed and healthy place. That's the priority.

Is there purpose in your pain? From a very practical standpoint, the things we go through and grow through teach us that we can get through just about anything. And, for those who are on the journey with us, and those who are just watching, it's showing them that when the tough times come, they can get through them, too. A purpose may not be apparent, but your conviction to survive is. ~ S.R.F.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: HAVE NO FEAR

We are making decisions all the time. When to get up, what to wear, what road to take, where to stop for coffee, what to buy, who to date, who to marry, how many kids to have, where to live, what house to buy, when to change jobs, etc., etc., etc. It's daily throughout our lives that we are always making a choice about something.

We're always making decisions. We worry if it's going to be the right one.
Decision-making comes easier for some than others. Some people are very decisive, they know exactly what they want, when they want it, and they know what they have to do to get it. Others are very challenged when it comes to making decisions. They often lack confidence and trust in their own ability to decide, and therefore find themselves "twixt and between" decisiveness and indecision when faced with matters of challenge or change, and usually getting nowhere.

Someone once schooled me with the thought that making a decision, even if it's the wrong one, is better than making no decision at all. It was great advice. The state of indecision can be, and is very exhausting mentally and emotionally. You want this house, but you like that house, too. You want to move out of state, but when and where? You want a new job, but should you really look for another one? Should I? Maybe? How? What? When? Where? It can be a terrible tap dance to our mentality if we don't make some kind of move from that place in our thinking.

How do you go about training yourself to be decisive? How do you teach yourself to say something to yourself to affirm what you should do? Here's one way: you dare to go ahead and make the decision, and stick to it. What happens as a result is rewarding: you immediately shut down the back-and-forth bantering going on inside your head. You immediately put yourself in position to pursue what you want, or don't want. And, here's the biggie: you put yourself at peace. That warring in your emotions is over. You've decided, at least for now. And, if it happens to turn out that you made the wrong decision, you can always decide on something else. That's the beauty that comes with decisiveness. You have the power of choice, so have no fear. ~ S.R.F.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

IT'S A PROCESS

It's a process, and when you work the process, the process will work for you.
So many times when we are planning and pursuing things in life, we wish we didn't have to work so hard along the way until something visibly manifests for us. That's the story, that's the deal. That is simply the way it is so much of the time. Things take time to occur, to develop and succeed, and there is always a process involved.

In many cases, timing may play a huge factor. The "time" doesn't come until we have done all of the necessary steps to get to what it is we want. Have you realized that there are no shortcuts to success? It's really true. We wish there were ways that were shorter, quicker and easier, but usually there are not. You have to put in the work, and when you do, eventually the time comes when it all comes together. You realize at that point, that you took the steps, made the sacrifices and made it happen. That's how it works. It's a process, and when you work it, it will work for you. ~ S.R.F.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

MAKING THINGS HAPPEN

Making things happen isn't always easy. It sounds very catchy and motivating when someone who's trying to encourage us says it: "Hey, make it happen!" Yeah, okay. Sure. Great. That's awesome, right? You hear what they said, but your big challenge is wrapping your head around a strategy. However sincere their intention was, sometimes we're left wondering "But, how?"

I believe in making things happen, whenever possible. I have to admit that theory has both worked for me and against me at times. I'm a person who can see the planned end from the beginning easily, so strategizing usually comes simple for me. The problem comes in when your timing may be off, or maybe "I wasn't supposed to do this 'thing' in the first place." Yep, that could happen.

I've learned the hard way to be very analytical about what is actually supposed to manifest in my life. I had to. I have ideas rolling around in my head all the time, so now I'm seriously careful about what I'm to choose for launching. I love creating projects, and I have very often. Some went well and others played out rather quickly, and sometimes sadly. It's the price you pay when you make your choices without the appropriate consideration and planning. Everything that looks good and sounds good, won't necessarily turn out well, and it can be tricky trying to make the best decision.

In choosing what to make happen, several things can be considered:


Why? 

Why should you make "it" happen? Why should you do it? Why does it matter? If you come up with great answers to these questions, then you've found all the reasons you need to keep processing your idea in your head.

Do you have the knowledge? 

Do you have the experience? Do you have a good understanding of what you're about to undertake? If not, get to work on that. Read. Talk to people. Find out what the "hidden" parts are, things that aren't obvious or on the surface regarding your idea. Otherwise, you may be looking frustration and failure square in the face. The good news is that you'll learn something from that, too.

Remember that things have a natural order. 

You can't put the cart before the horse and think you'll move forward successfully. I can assure you that even when you plan adequately, you will still face missteps, disadvantages and surprises. It's all a part of learning the "order" you need to construct and follow. Plans change, and they should, but it doesn't mean start without one. You need one, and you will need to stay open-minded enough to know how to make adjustments however and whenever you need to. The moment you say "this is not how this should be going" is a key indication that something went wrong, or that you're being directed to "order" things differently. Think it through, and determine what you should do next, and better.

Define your success for yourself.

If you're shooting to be among the "five-percenters" who are the richest in the world, that's great and it's not impossible either. Be well aware, that's not the only indication of success. If you want to go back to school and get a diploma or degree and you do it, that's success! If you are looking to start a business and you do, that's success! Whatever the goal is, satisfy your own craving. Satisfy the goal that's in your heart. The process of achievement, advancement and attaining things in life is not necessarily measured by just having money. There are many, many very happy people who are not mega-millionaires. Of course, you'll want enough prosperity to meet your needs, and hopefully the needs of others, too; however, don't get trapped into thinking you're not successful if you didn't land a spot in Forbes. Measure your own happiness and satisfaction, as well as what's in your bank account to come up with your own formula that equals success.

Make It Happen!

To do or not to do? Some things will come to us. Some things fall right into our laps. For most of us, though, we will need to create a step-by-step agenda to make things happen. We will have to be logical and strategic. We will have to learn, try and test things. Regardless of how you approach it, the "making it happen" process is always rewarding. Yes, frustrating at times. Yes, challenging at other times. Yes, you will throw your hands up in the air sometimes. It's all a part of the process, and here's the best part: Once it's all said and done, to be able to say "I did it!" feels like the best day of your life. ~ S.R.F.