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Now is Your Time

I can be my own worse enemy at times. The negative self-talk, self-doubt, and excuses as to why I can’t do something sneak in for me just as much as they do for you. This toxic self-talk often creeps in after writing the first article for a new client. I wonder if I’ve met their goals with the content. I wonder if I wrote the article in a way that helps tell the message they want to tell.

I question if my freelance writing ability is good enough when all logic points to YES. I’ve been freelance writing for over 3 years. I’ve rarely run into an issue where major revisions were needed or a client wasn’t impressed with the quality of my work. I have only had one negative experience with someone who seemed to be taking her anger from hiring people with horrible work ethics out on me.

If I pause that self-doubt and listen to my reasonable side of the brain, I can quickly bring my self-doubt back to a positive place. Logic and experience will tell me that I’m a great freelance writer and I’m a valuable asset to my clients, therefore this new client should feel the same way.

We all fall prey to our negative thoughts. The most confident people may struggle with self-doubt when they’re trying something new or doing something that’s outside of their comfort zone. The difference is that the more confident people have mastered the art of controlling their minds. The self-doubt is squashed as quickly as it sneaks into their conscious thoughts!

Have any of you ever doubted yourself? Have you ever found yourself thinking that you’re not good enough for this person or that job?

If you answered yes to either of those questions then take solace in knowing that you’re not alone. We all struggle with self-doubt occasionally and we all question whether we deserve the good that comes into our lives. Not a single person out there is perfect. We all have imperfections. We’ve all fallen off-track before. We’ve all made mistakes.

Now is your time to let go of the doubt, to stop holding yourself back because you made a mistake before. It’s time to shine and know that you’re amazing just the way you are! You have something to add to this world, whether it’s your personality, your skills, your job, or your lifestyle; everyone has something that brings value to this world!

The key is to KNOW your value! It’s time to think about what you have that sets you apart from everyone else and makes you unique. You may not see what makes you unique yet. You may not know what sets you apart from the crowd at the moment, but I do know you will know what it is soon enough!

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What Makes You Question Your Abilities?

I’ve spent many hours (and I’ll spend many more over the course of my life) asking myself this question. When I sit down and use experiences to convince me of my self-doubt thinking patterns, it always confirms the thoughts make zero sense. I can’t share one example that provides me with proof beyond a reasonable doubt that my negative self-talk is coming from reality. What I do find is that I go back to a spot in my past when I felt I had to live up to other people’s expectations.

As much as I feel I’m too old to have my childhood influences impact my life, that stage in life set the foundation for my core person. Just like me, you could go back in time and realize that your self-doubt can be linked back to some childhood influences that led you to doubt your ability or skills.

Take a moment to write down any influences that you’ve had over your lifetime that could be causing you to question your abilities.

Write down how you feel when reading each item you’ve listed as influences. Try to give at least 4-5 feelings with each experience/influence. Note which feelings come up frequently. Perhaps sadness or ugly or some other negative feeling comes up with each of these influences you wrote. Whatever emotion you seem to cling to for each example will help you dig deeper and learn to handle the feelings associated with each influence so that you can move forward in controlling your self-talk.

For example; when I think about my childhood and be HONEST with myself I often go to a place where I felt sad, scared, uneasy, alone, not important. If I were to write all of my examples of childhood influences down, you’d see that sad, scared, and alone fueled most of my childhood. I never felt secure, safe, and confident about life during childhood and now those are very important things for me today. I want to feel secure, safe, and confident but that negative self-talk creeps in because I never felt I was good enough for those feelings. I had to acknowledge those feelings in order to start taking control of my conscious thoughts!

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How to Use Those Feelings from Childhood

Now that you have a list of those feelings and you’ve come to realize that you’re struggling with negative self-talk regularly or on occasion partly because of those influences, it’s time to use those feelings from childhood! Do some journaling for 14 days, use this journal. Write down a few major things (good or bad) that occurred that day. Be sure to note how you felt beside each of these experiences.

After 14 days of journaling review what you wrote in the journal. Start connecting the dots with your experiences and feelings. Do you notice a pattern? Have you been doing different things each day but end up feeling the same way with each event? Do you find that you’re journaling negative things and negative feelings? Is there anything positive you wrote during that 14-day stretch?

If you didn’t write one positive thing or feeling during that 14-day journaling exercise then you’re going to need to do some work! Being more negative than positive or focusing on the bad experiences and feelings during this 14-day journal exercise will tell you all you need to know about why you’re constantly struggling with self-doubt:

You’re focusing on every bad experience and bad feeling every day!

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Use The Journal to Reduce Negative Self Talk

After you complete the 14-day journal writing project and evaluate what you wrote, it’s time to be more intentional with your journal writing. Now I want you to journal for another 14 days. During this time you can only write down positive experiences that happened that day and the feelings associated with those positive experiences. Your feelings can be neutral, positive, or negative but they must be honest feelings! The experiences, however, must be something GOOD that occurred each day during that 14-day period.

After this 14-day journal experiment is complete, you’ll evaluate what you wrote. Read every journal entry and your feelings. Do you find that you start to smile while reading these journal entries? Are you sitting up taller? Do you feel more confident? What does your current body language tell you about these 14-days of journaling about the GOOD in your life?

There’s no right or wrong answer. This is a personal journey for each of us but I can tell you that I’m willing to bet you feel much better about yourself and your life after journaling 14 days with nothing but positive experiences jotted down!

If that’s true, then this means journaling is a tool that will continuously help you reduce negative self-talk and start seeing the real person you are today. The real person who no longer defines their life from childhood influences. The real person that takes life by the horns and says “I’m good enough!”

It Doesn’t Stop Here …

I know the journaling exercises helped you transition your thoughts and feel more confident. While this step won’t diminish the childhood influences that still impact your thought patterns, it will slowly help you overcome those obstacles and start living the life you deserve!

Now is your time to shine. Not tomorrow. Not a year from now. NOW is your time to shine, baby!

I know these steps helped me remove negative self-talk so that I could continue living my life’s purpose easier. Go ahead and buy a journal! Start using my steps listed above to reduce negative self-talk and eventually get rid of self-doubt altogether! Take this exercise a bit further by signing up for this program that helps you adjust your mindset while you sleep!

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Living in the Moment with a Grateful Heart

I caught myself walking up the stairs in the dark, carrying a one-gallon water jug ready to handle the nightly ritual of tucking my sons in. This is my nightly routine every day from Monday through Friday. I go upstairs around the same time each night to get my sons into bed, for yes they do have a bed “time”.

I make sure they’re tucked in and ready to fall asleep, but this isn’t a story about my bedtime routine for a preteen and teen, no. This is a story about how my mind tried to take me away from the magic of this routine.

Let me get back to the moment; I was walking upstairs with a one-gallon water jug in my hand to get my sons tucked into bed …

For a brief moment, I caught myself dreading this walk up the stairs.

I started thinking about how my knees hurt when I go upstairs.

I started thinking about how one son would give me that “wait a minute” even though he knew his bedtime hour was coming.

I started thinking about how I had to fill the water bottle for the other son.

I started thinking about how tired I get going up and down the stairs.

For a brief moment, I caught myself thinking without a grateful heart.

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I was being negative for a moment. I was focusing on everything I didn’t appreciate about this moment. The moment when it’s time to tuck my 12 and 14-year-old sons into bed. While I don’t really tuck them in like one would when tucking in a toddler, I still put their blanket or sheet over them, hug them, and let them know I love them before saying goodnight.

This ritual may involve a walk up the stairs in a dark hallway.

This ritual may involve my knees aching for they don’t handle stairs like they used to.

This ritual may involve the older boy trying to push his bed “time” out a bit longer.

Sure, this ritual may involve obstacles and challenges in one way or another, but this ritual is good. I am truly blessed to have a close relationship with my children. I’m truly blessed to have already raised one child who is now looking to go out into the world living their own life on their own terms.

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I am truly blessed to be here on Earth, walking up those stairs to tuck my sons into bed, aching knees or not.

This, my friends, isn’t new to me. The brief moment of my mind telling me everything I *should* dislike about a moment. My mind trying to suck me down into a spiral of negativity that doesn’t belong in this moment.

The privilege of being able to tuck my preteen and teen son into bed is something that I should be grateful for. The privilege of having two sons who still don’t mind having their Mama come put a blanket on them, hug them and tell them she loves them.

This privilege is something that not every Mama gets, and with that thought, I must remind myself to always live in the moment with a grateful heart. I adjusted my thoughts in the short time it took me to walk up the less than 20 steps to the boys’ bedrooms.

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I gave a good hug and a kiss on the cheek to my youngest son. I put the blanket on my older son and locked hands with the “I love you sign” and told him the same thing I’ve said to him at bedtime since he was a toddler.

All in all, during this brief moment of walking up the stairs my mind went from getting myself upset about all that I didn’t adore about this moment to focusing on everything I’m grateful for in this moment.

I did it all in less than 30 seconds!

It’s amazing what a person’s mind can do.

Our brain is an amazing tool, and it has the power to transform our lives. With just under 30 seconds I was able to put myself into a positive mood, smile when I gave my sons their bedtime hugs, and walk downstairs to write this article.

So, how can you live in the moment with a grateful heart?

In the past, I would have said something like, “well, that’s simple”, but truth be told it isn’t that simple. You really have to be aware of what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling in the moment.  The art of being self-aware comes naturally to some while taking a lot of effort for others.

I firmly believe the best way to learn how to live in the moment with a grateful heart is to always work on self-improvement. You’ll need to get a 52-week Guided Journal and perhaps some positive affirmation cards. You can make your own positive affirmation cards simply by clicking through to use this website and write your positive affirmations on paper or index cards.

I highly suggest you do buy a guided journal or simple gratitude journal though. 

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Self-improvement comes in many forms but for the purpose of today’s “lesson”, I’m focused on helping you become more self-aware. Once you start to use the guided journal to write down everything you’re grateful for and journal your thoughts each day, you’ll soon find that a grateful heart comes naturally.

You’ll start to see life through a different pair of eyes.

You’ll start to be more aware of what you’re thinking and feeling during the day.

You’ll start to see beauty all around you.

You’ll start to recognize when negative thoughts creep into your mind.

You’ll feel more confident about yourself and your life.

You’ll find yourself physically stopping in a moment to pause your thoughts so that you can redirect them to be more grateful with each moment you live.

Yes, I did physically STOP going up those stairs that night. I stopped so that I could recognize the negative thought patterns and correct them. 

The best way for you to start living life in the moment with a grateful heart is to give yourself some leeway. Do not place unrealistic expectations on yourself as you work to be more self-aware. Use the journal and positive affirmation cards to assist in the training process of controlling your mind.

Take each moment and each day one at a time. If you spiraled into a negative tantrum today, that’s okay. Jot down your thoughts and feelings in the journal and work through it. Recognize what happened, how you felt, and what you can do differently the next time to regain control of your thoughts and feelings.

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This is going to take practice and you’ll need to continue to repeat the same steps each day until you become a natural-born mind controller.  I know you can do it, you just have to have some faith in yourself and a commitment to want to live with a more grateful heart.

I’ll be back with some more goodies and tips to help you along with this process, but for now, just take this one baby step forward by purchasing a 52-week guided journal and make those positive affirmation cards to read every day.

Why is it so hard to live in the moment?

It's so hard to live in the moment because our subconscious mind has been trained to go into autopilot. It isn't until you work hard to train your subconscious mind a new behavioral pattern that living in the moment becomes easier.

Can we live in the moment?

Yes, we can live in the moment. Since the only part of our life that's a guarantee is right now, that means you're living in the moment quite literally.

How do I become more present?

You can become more present by training your subconscious mind new behavioral patterns and thought patterns. In time, you'll learn to pay close attention to the person or event you're around at the present moment.

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Using a Vision Board to Remain Focused

There will always be triggers that arise in life to deter you from your current path. These triggers are different for each person, however, they have the same effect. A trigger can be something that happens in the present day that triggers a memory to pop up. This trigger can cause nightmares to occur, negative self-talk to start again, and other negative actions or thoughts to sneak in.

I have had various triggers show up unexpectedly and so do my kids since my previous relationship. My oldest shared something with me that made me realize just how much my emotionally abusive relationship impacted not only me but my children. I’m not sure what triggered this circumstance with my oldest, but it reminded me that triggers can happen even years after a traumatic experience happens.   

So this situation reminded me of simple ways we can work to remain focused on our present day. Each day is a chance to be stronger, happier, content, better than yesterday, and so on. I like to live as if today is the only day I have because it’s true that we only have a life at this moment. After all, the next moment is truly unknown.

The future can be quite unpredictable, so when we focused too much on the various what-if scenarios or worry about our future, we’re depleting our energy for today. This, my friends, is why I wanted to share some tips to make a vision board. A vision board is a fabulous tool that helps you live each day with a focus on what you desire most and wish to achieve in all areas of life.

How do you use a Vision Board?

A vision board is a collage full of images and words that help you focus on wishes and goals. A vision board can be made with scrapbooking materials, poster board, and old magazines, or created using a photo editing program to combine multiple images to represent each of your wishes and goals.

You’ll use a vision board as a visual tool to help you aim forward and always focus on what you desire most. This concept goes along with something I strongly believe in, our thoughts manifest our future.

You’ll use a vision board placed strategically in your home or office to provide you with a visual representation of what you should be focused on achieving. The wishes and goals on a vision board tend to come true in some shape or form if you truly use this board as a way to keep your thoughts focused on each wish and goal pictured on your vision board.

Have you ever used a vision board?

Yes, I have used a vision board before. I had a vision board many years ago and all but one wish/goal on the vision board came true within just a few years. This, my friends, is why I highly recommend a vision board to help guide you in living for today in a way that helps you achieve those goals and wishes in the future.

How to Use a Vision Board to Remain Focused

Start Thinking

Sit down and write a list of things you hope and wish for. These can be wishes, dreams, and goals. There’s no law of what you can or cannot put on your vision board. Use inspiration from the internet or old magazines to ignite that dreamer mentality. Write down everything you desire most for your future both in the long term and short term.

Find Pictures and Words

Now that you have your vision board list of wishes and goals, it’s time to find pictures and words that represent these wishes and goals. I always used old magazines to make collages as I was once addicted to having far too many magazine subscriptions, but you can use images from the internet and print them. Get a good collection of images or words that fully represent your wishes and goals.

Glue Them On

Grab a piece of poster board or cardboard, even cardstock paper works to use as the backdrop for your vision board. Name the vision board, if you wish, using a sharpie marker at the top of the paper or cardboard. Next, you’ll start cutting out the images, words, and magazine clippings so that each is trimmed up and glue them on your vision board.

Less Cost, Better Performance

Why Put the year on Vision Board?

I like to include a year on my vision board, not necessarily on the front, but a small note on the back. This helps me track how long it took for each vision board’s wish/goal to come true. As I said, the first vision board I ever made and used correctly ensured that every single wish and goal came true except one within three years.

How do you use a vision board?

Now that you have your vision board all created and you documented the year this particular vision board was made, you can place it in your home or office. Find a spot that you’ll be able to see this vision board every day. You’ll want this vision board to be seen so that it helps you remain focused on your wishes and goals.

Each day you’ll wake up and look at your vision board. You’ll start and end every day reviewing those items you put on that vision board. You’ll daydream about how these things will be true for you. Please remember that you can’t put a date for each wish or goal on your vision board.

A vision board is not meant to work as a goal calendar, there’s no date assignment for when these wishes or goals will come true. This is merely a tool to get your mindset in the right place to practice more of the Law of Attraction in your everyday life. The vision board will be used to keep your thoughts focused on what you will have in your life, rather than when you’ll have these wishes and goals in your life.

That’s the best tip I have to share, do not focus on a “when” such as a date or timeframe when using your vision board to remain focused. Rather, you’ll want to use the vision board to keep your thoughts focused on what you desire and will have.

The key is to transition your thoughts towards the affirmation that you will have these wishes and goals, as opposed to a deadline or hopeful statement. The Law of Attraction only works if you firmly believe that all you have on that vision board IS to come true, rather than hoping that they may come true. 

Supplies for the Perfect Vision Board

Below is a list of supplies for the perfect vision board. These are supplies that I’ll be using to make my new 2020 vision board this year.

You must start your day by looking at your vision board and feeling as if each of these wishes and goals will come true. There’s no room for doubt when using a vision board, this is a visual representation of your truth, a truth that will happen in the future. 

Remember that a vision board is focused on wishes and goals. There’s no wrong thing to put on that board. This is a vision board based on your personal and/or professional wishes and goals. It’s not something anyone should dare judge you on and most certainly not something you should critique yourself on.

Remain confident and reach for the stars, anything’s possible when you use your vision board to layout your plans and remain focused on the fact that they will happen.

I hope that each of these tips shared today has inspired you to get creative with a vision board soon. This is an excellent way to help your mind stay focused on what you desire most so that you can achieve success with all those wonderful wishes and goals that matter to you.

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What does it mean to be more intentional?

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Being more intention means that you are more purposeful with your words, actions, and all other areas of life. You will live a life that is always focused on your true purpose in life with a mission to continuously grow every day.

How can I be more intentional?

This may sound like a crazy idea, to live a more intentional life, but it’s rather easy. It’s easy as soon as you see just what being more intentional means. Well, okay, in all honesty, it’s easier when you get a good grasp on the person you want to be and what your true purpose is in life.

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Examples of Being Intentional

  • Say no more often than you say yes.
  • Declutter your home.
  • Practice and express gratitude daily.
  • Don’t offer time to those who don’t comprehend “give and take”.
  • Set healthy boundaries.

My Intentional Life

I’ve received a second chance at life as I venture into a year when my first child graduates high school and turns 18. A second chance in life with the family I helped create. A second chance at using all that I’ve learned and had tossed at me over the past five years for the better good of the world, my family, and myself.

The last 7 months have hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t mean this to be a negative statement. The reality of the last 7 months is that I watched a situation that would otherwise destroy a family, make it stronger. I watched siblings learn to have more appreciation for each other. I watched two parents smile, and not look back, instead continuously work to move forward every day with a positive attitude towards each other and their family.

A lot of magic has happened. That’s not to say there’s still not challenges or financial issues, or the fact that it could all crumble down. The thing is? I don’t even focus on that, life is unpredictable, everyone should accept that simple fact. The key is to really focus on those little moments that remind you of the core person you are. These little moments will give you something to focus on whenever your anxiety and worries try to sneak in.

When you live a more intentional life, you’ll soon find that things come easily for you. That good things happen. That your life starts to fit together pretty well. That people actually want to be around you. That people enjoy the energy you put into the world. That you feel more confident and happier in your life.

It’s all positive from here, babes!

What does it mean to act with intention?

An intention refers to an idea or plan that you intend to carry out. Now, whether this plan happens the way you intend or not, is entirely up to that whole unpredictable life thing and your attitude. I will say that when I used to live a more intentional life, a majority of my plans did happen based on my vision of said plans.

“The discontent and frustration that you feel is entirely your own creation.”

Stephen Richards, Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free

Sometimes a roadblock will go up or a curveball gets thrown, but you will always act with intention. You will keep your aim on that plan or goal you’ve established and each day you’ll continue to follow through with your intention to pull this mission off.

Your intention is always a goal, a plan, or a purpose.

Why does someone live an intentional life?

I cannot speak for everyone but I can speak for myself. I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out how to climb up out of the financial mess, the difficulties that were created by me. Taking on more work to pay bills or raise funds for a home during our homeless days would have been rather optimistic, had I known my value. I charged too little for my quality of work and had to take on more projects to make ends meet.

You see, it wasn’t being homeless that made me come up with a mission to aim to live a more intentional life, it was an evaluation of learned habits and ways of thinking that happened almost overnight when I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. The gaslighting, the brainwashing, the constant mind manipulation had changed my method of thinking and living much deeper than one would have ever dreamed.

Therapy and research, as well as some self-help books and watching videos from real-life survivors of narcissistic or manipulative type relationships, helped me pinpoint what my next step had to be in life. Combine that with the beauty of forgiveness, and family, well it was a recipe of smack-me-in-the-face, I need to live my intentional life again!

I think that many people start to live an intentional life so that they can feel happier, healthier, and have a true purpose in life. Human beings need a purpose or a mission to feel as if they add value to someone somewhere. The connection that comes with intentional living is absolutely beautiful.

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What Connections Happen with an Intentional Lifestyle?

  • Deeper and stronger family bond.
  • Healthy boundaries come natural and others learn to respect that.
  • Happiness radiates off you onto others.
  • Life seems to make sense again.

When you start to live an intentional lifestyle you’ll find that you feel more connected with others around you. You will thrive to share this experience of living your intentional life with others to help inspire them to think about how they’re living and make changes to live better.

There’s nothing but positives that come from finding your purpose and what makes you tick so that you can transform your entire well-being with one simple act – living more intentionally.

How can I Start with an Intentional Lifestyle?

The key to starting your intentional life is to dig super deep into your soul. Okay, want a simpler tip? Sit down and think about how you’re being jerked around every day.

  • The kids need something, you jump!
  • The spouse has a problem, you jump!
  • The client needs this now, you jump!
  • This person wants you to do this or that, you jump!

Forget the whole finding your purpose in life part, start by looking at your current lifestyle. Write down times when you said yes instead of no. When you jumped right up to do something for someone else, neglecting your own tasks at hand or needs. Think about how often you’re being pulled in a different direction every moment of every day.

Learning to live an intentional lifestyle is learning to say no more often than you say yes. Learning to know what your priority is and only taking on someone else’s priority if you can. Learning to say I can’t help you right now, but maybe tomorrow and mean it. Setting boundaries for yourself is one of the biggest parts of living an intentional life. I say, if you need a place to start, then start with this question:

Who is pulling you during the day? Is it you pushing/pulling yourself towards your own intentions or is someone else pulling the strings?

If you answered the latter, then you need to stop right now! It’s going to be hard. People are not going to take kindly when you start demanding you get your worth. I will promise that the good eggs, those who truly care about you as a person, will stick by your side. That could be clients, personal friends, or relatives. In all honesty, the good eggs will congratulate you for finally standing up and demanding what you’re worth!

The only way this will get harder before it gets easier is if you’ve allowed far too many people to stomp on you for far too long. It will hurt when you watch those people lash out, walk away, or try to trample your self-worth, but babes, you got this!

Stay focused on your intentions. Keep your aim on the goal. Focus on the good eggs that give you that pat on the back for finally taking a stand to demand proper treatment.

You can do this. It’s all a matter of believing that you’re worth something more than what you’ve allowed yourself to think all these years!

And now, I’ll leave you with this …

“You need to love yourself. Love yourself so much to the point that your energy and aura rejects anyone who doesn’t know your worth.”

Billy Chapata