Monday, August 28, 2017

Change and Personal Growth

"We cannot become what we need to be 
by remaining what we are."
-Max DePree

Time and change have taken my baby and are transforming her into a young lady. My nine-year-old daughter, Miranda, will be turning ten years old in a few months. Last week I told her that we needed to start to focus on the theme of her birthday celebration. I like to take a few months to find decorations, invitations, and all the materials needed for a great party. Since we have a large family, every year we have a big birthday party with fifty-plus guests. It’s a very elaborate celebration. For the last nine years the themes for her birthday parties have been Disney Princesses. It’s a great time with family and friends and something that we all look forward to every year. But this year the tradition will end because my daughter asked if she could have a spa birthday party with her best friends instead. I tried to convince her to not change the tradition, but I quickly realized that I was fearing and fighting change. I wanted my little girl to still want Disney Princess theme parties, but she is growing up. She is seeking change, and change is inevitable. I was surprised at my resistance to her growing up. I, someone who advocates change and who understands that we must seek change if we want to grow, am truly having a tough time letting her grow up. I understood why fear appeared in my heart. Fear appears in our hearts because change and fear go hand in hand. We fear the unknown that comes with change. I told myself that it was normal to fear change, but I also reminded myself to embrace it and not fight it. Here are three tips on why or when you should seek change and not fight it.

Seek change when you are seeking self-improvement.
Are you doing something that is compromising your true potential? There is true greatness in you that needs to be uncovered so that you may fulfill your best self.  Are you seeking to move up in your career? Are you seeking a different career? Do you want to get healthier? Then you must pursue change. In these cases, change is essential for your personal growth. You are actively pursuing change because you understand it will result in a better you. This type of change will happen when you go after it.  Yes, making changes for your personal growth can be uncomfortable and requires a lot of work, but it’s necessary for you to discover your true self.

Seek change for a better life.
Are you happy—I mean happy, not just content—with your personal relationships with your children, partner, and family? If you said yes, skip this section. If not, then you must seek change. I believe that in personal relationships you should never be only content. In these areas, you should seek happiness. The trick to being happy with your relationships is to be the change. Remember a couple of weeks ago, I talked about being the change you want to see? Well, you must apply that same principle in your personal relationships. Don’t seek to change others; seek to change yourself.

When change finds you
Change is inevitable. You don’t need to seek change all the time because it will find you. Change that finds you can be an unexpected death, divorce, or job loss. It’s the way life reminds us that nothing is constant and that nothing is forever.  Again, I know it’s scary, but in the end you will see that change was necessary for a new beginning. In my case, my little girl is growing up. I knew she would grow up, but it caught me off guard. This unexpected change reminded me of my mortality. It reminded me that change is part of life, and that I must embrace it. I was also reminded that I must embrace who my daughter is becoming and continue to support her in her growth. She was my beautiful baby. Now she is becoming a beautiful young lady. Change can open doors to ever more wonderful things, if you decide to accept it graciously.

If you want to have a life of daring and adventure, embrace change. Don’t fear it. Change reminds us that we are mortal; nothing is constant in our lives. Also realize that change exists to push you to do new and wonderful things in your life. Change also shows you what you are made of. Change may push you to your limits, but it will also make you limitless.  Until next Monday, Believe, Change, Become!

Sending many blessings and love your way!

Nancy Salmeron😊

Monday, August 21, 2017

Why Should You Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch?

"Believe you can and you're halfway there."

-T. Roosevelt

Recently I read a sign that made me smile. It said, "Don't count your chickens before they hatch." It made me smile because I think that this idiom can make us skeptical. I believe this expression takes us away from positive thinking.  Can you plan for a future without faith? Can you follow dreams without hope?  Some would argue that it is wiser to be realistic even if it requires a pessimistic view.  I would argue that being realistic is a dream killer. Would we have Disneyland if Walt Disney had been realistic and had a “real job” and never pursued his dream of animation? Would we have an Oprah Winfrey if she had not believed that there was something better for her than being a news anchor? I call people who count their chickens before they hatch optimists. They have only positive expectations and prevail most of the time.  When they don't prevail, they readjust their sails, and try again! Those who don’t count their chickens before they hatch are pessimists. They buy into such views because they don’t want to get excited over something that may not happen. In their viewpoint, it's better not to, as Wikipedia puts it, "expect all of your hopes to be fulfilled."  This view is based on fear.  When we think this way, we can talk ourselves out of wonderful things.  We know that Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein would not have accomplished what they did, if they had not believed in their dreams first. They stuck with working on their inventions because they were people who “counted their chickens before they hatched."  Look around you. Every invention or creation that was ever fulfilled started with the visualization that it was possible. It started with the belief that it could and would happen. Here are three tips about how to live in optimism and count your chickens before they hatch.

Be clear on your desires.
What do you desire? Do you really want those chickens to hatch? Be clear on your life goals and dreams. If your desire is to be a chef, what type of food do you want to cook? Do you want to own a restaurant or work in a top-rated restaurant? Don’t be afraid to dream big and to ask for big things. If you are desiring to be the CEO of your company, it’s because it’s possible for you. Don’t limit yourself by playing small. When you play small you are taking away from your God-given potential. As I got clear on my desires, amazing people showed up to help make my dreams a reality. I know that this will be true for you also.

Visualize and believe that it’s possible.
Why not try visualization? You have nothing to lose and many wonderful things to gain. Visualization is the first step to your dreams. To visualize is to use your imagination through pictures or mental imagery to create visions of what we want in our lives.  Next you must believe in your dreams. To believe is to know without a doubt that what you desire will become.  When you play it, safe and don’t count your chickens before they hatch, you bring doubt to your dreams. I believe that this idiom cuts your wings. If you want to pursue something that you have never done before, you must believe that it’s possible. When you truly believe, you are halfway there!

Let go of negativity.
Negativity, be gone! As someone who counts my chickens before they have hatched, I had to let go of worst-case scenarios. I needed to stay positive and only expect positive results. When problems appeared, I learned to see them only as detours to my destination. Don’t complain about your failures; learn from them.
I used to be scared to count my chickens before they hatched.  I guess I believed that if I thought positively, I would jinx or bring bad luck to my desires. In my humble mind, positive things could not happen to me. I also believed it was better not to have high expectations, so that I would not be disappointed.  You know the strangest thing?  I couldn’t believe that great things could happen to me, but I expected bad things to happen all the time!  In other words, I assumed that I was not going to get any chickens, and was not able to stay optimistic that my eggs would become chicks. It’s funny how our brain works, or should I say, it’s funny how the brain works us?

I hope that I have influenced you to “count your chickens before they hatch.” You are EXTRAORDINARY, and for this reason you should only see the possibilities, not the limits, of your dreams.  Remember, dream big. Only have positive expectations.  Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.
Sending many blessings and love your way!


Monday, August 14, 2017

How to Deal with Tough Times

"Be strong because things will get better.
It may be stormy now,
but it never rains forever."

I am amazed at the resilience of our human spirit. A few days ago, I walked into my favorite coffee shop, and I met a stranger who became a friend. I normally don’t stay to drink my coffee, but something compelled me to stay this time. A woman with a gentle smile was seated at the table next to mine. She said hello, I introduced myself, and it felt like we were long lost friends.
To keep her anonymity, I will call her Stacy. Her husband had just passed away due to cancer. Since she was a stay-at-home mom and had no formal income coming in, she was in the process of losing her home. She planned to move with her two children into her brother’s home and live with his family of five. I asked her how she was handling this very difficult situation, and she said, “I take it a day at a time and count my blessings every day.” This made me think about the topic for today’s blog, which is how to deal with hopeless times.
If you are going through difficult times, this post is especially for you. Here are three things that will help you to carry on when you are feeling hopeless and defeated.

Embrace, or at least accept, change.
Accepting change is crucial in dealing with difficult times. It is my belief that one reason that we struggle with tragedies in our lives such as death, losing a job, separation, or divorce is because we can’t accept that our life will never be the same. We are creatures of habit. We like to know what to expect. When our life changes, we fight it and dwell on the past.  In my case, the death of my beloved cousin, Sam, impacted and changed my existence. Losing her to cancer when she was only fourteen was hard to comprehend or accept. I could not believe that she would no longer be part of my life. But I finally embraced it when I realized that although she would not be part of my future, she would always be in my memories. I have great stories to tell about Sam, yet I understand now that my acceptance of losing her helped me move on to a better place. Let go of the past, and accept what is. Remember life is constant change. Things always get better if you give life a chance!

Change your lens or perspective.
Zoom into a better lens. Some of the problems or tragedies in your life are a subset of other things that may be going on in your life. I know it’s difficult to change your perspective when there is a death of a loved one, but as with other problems you need to focus on the grand scheme of things. Fear of the unknown may pop up because of a change, yet understand that unless you face your fear you will not be able to change your view of your life challenge. In my case, with the death of Sam, I finally understood that cancer had made her body weak, and we had to let her go. It was no longer about us and how much we would miss her. It was about her pain. By changing the lens on why she needed to give up the fight, my perspective shifted into surrender and acceptance. Sometimes it’s okay to surrender the fight to shift your perspective.

Remember to count your blessings.
To count your blessings may sound like a clichΓ©, yet it’s always a best practice when dealing with difficult times. What helps me count my blessings is the understanding that it could have been worse. If you look around, there are blessings to count. In the case of Stacy, it could have been worse if she did not have her brother. She could have been homeless with her two children. Stacy told me that she was also grateful for the support of her friends. In Sam’s case, it could have been worse if she had suffered with chemo longer than she did. I miss her, but I am happy she is no longer in pain. Count your blessings if you are going through tough times, and don’t forget that in due time, this too shall pass. Remember nothing is forever, and you have the spirit of a lion!

In conclusion, your problems or your life’s difficulties come to you to teach you something about your spirit. They remind you of your strength. Whatever you are going through, or will go through, is given to you because you can handle it. Nothing is forever, even our pain, and worries will transform into happiness and joy. Have faith in yourself and find strength by accepting change, changing your lens, and counting your blessings! Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.
Sending many blessings and much love your way!


Monday, August 7, 2017

How to Stay Consistent with Consistency

“Your dreams depend on determination and consistency to come alive.”
                                                                                     -Nancy Salmeron

As I thought about today’s post I realized that I am a creature of habit. My morning routine starts with drinking a cold glass of water and taking my vitamins. I then make my bed and brush my teeth. Next, I drive to the gym where I do some cardio, go back home to meditate for twenty minutes, and then have my oatmeal and black coffee. This is all before 9:00 a.m. This is how I start my day, before I start my workday. I then attend to my scheduled appointments.  My routine changes if I must go out of town, but for the most part I am constant with my routine, and I like it this way. I am a person that strives to commit to consistency. I am also a person that holds her commitments to a high standard. If I say I am going to do something, I do it. If I say I am going to be somewhere, I’m there. I believe that this commitment to consistency is what has made me able to meet my goals and accomplish some of my dreams. What about you? How do you feel about consistency? If you are seeking to improve or change any aspect of your life, you need to implement consistency. But consistency can be difficult to start or keep up. Here are five tips to staying consistent so that you can accomplish your dreams and goals!

Think about your why.
Consistency is essential in reaching short and long-term goals. Think about that goal or dream you are seeking. For example, perhaps you have a goal to lose weight. Why is this important to you? Is it for health reasons? If your reasons will truly impact or change your life, then you will do it. If you don’t have a big enough why you will fail to stay consistent. My why for wanting to be healthier is so I can live longer for my family and have more time to live out my purpose, which is helping others find their passion. Your why should push you to be consistent with the small steps that you need to take to reach your goal. A powerful why will make a big difference in your ability to stay consistent with new behavior and reach your goals.

Focus on one goal at a time.
To be consistent and successful you must stay focused. When you have too many goals that you are working on, you will not get any done. Identify your most important or essential goal that you need to accomplish first, so you can finish it and move onto your next goal. I have experienced that when I try to focus on too many goals at once, I don’t know where to start. What I suggest is to focus on one thing at a time. Once that goal is accomplished, feel free to move onto your next goal.

Schedule a time to work on your goal.
When I started blogging, I decided that I would commit myself to my blog every Monday morning. This time is sacred for me. I don’t schedule appointments on Monday morning that would take away from my commitment to work on my blog. This is part of my weekly routine. I feel accomplished when I finish my post every Monday morning. I am committed to my blog 100 percent! Once you identify your priority goal, you need to put a regular time to work on it in your calendar and stick with it. If you do it long enough, it will become part of your routine, like sleeping or eating.

Watch out for negative feelings and inner critics.
I must ignore negative inner voices that tell me that I am wasting my time. These voices want to discourage me from doing something new, because they want me to stay in my comfort zone. I must silence the voice that tells me that going to the gym to work out is a waste of time and that I should go back to sleep. We all struggle with these negative inner voices that want to sabotage our dreams and goals. Ignore them!

Get back on the wagon.
Yes, I have fallen off the wagon a couple of times. I have gone back to sleep instead of going to the gym in the morning. However, then I will find a time to work out in the evening. Understand that falling off the wagon can happen, but know that you can get back on. The point is to be consistent with the tasks that will get you to your goal.  

To be consistent is to be on the path to your goals and dreams. It may not be easy, but once you make consistency part of your routine, it’s hard to be inconsistent. Remember, it’s the small steps and tasks that you do today that will make a great difference in your life tomorrow. Give your goals and dreams the time and dedication required, so they may come alive. Know that you may get off track because of distractions, but also know that you can always get back on track. As part of my commitment to being consistent with myself and my readers, I want to thank you for being a consistent reader of my blog. You push me to keep on blogging. See you next Monday! Don’t forget to BELIEVE. CHANGE. BECOME.
Sending many blessings and love your way!