Courage

Quote

‎”Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow'”

-Mary Anne Radmacher

Have you whispered quietly those 5 simple words, “I will try again tomorrow’?

I have coached many people who have to pluck up the courage to speak those words when they talk about their life goals and dreams. I find this especially true when you are just starting out in a new journey and it takes a few attempts to get it right. Maybe you have decided to change careers, pursue a new relationship or repair a broken one. Whatever your task I know it takes courage and determination.

Do you look at those around you who are further down the path of experience then you and think they have the courage of a lion? That there is no other way they could have got to where they are today without the fierce roar inside them? I can guarantee that at some stage or another those people whispered ‘I will try again tomorrow’.

Life isn’t about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how many times you get back up! If you are feeling defeated and as though you can’t go on, take a moment to gather your thoughts, dust yourself off and believe in those 5 simple words ‘I will try again tomorrow’.

You are a ‘Beautiful Thing’

This week I heard a song by US band Gungor –  Beautiful Things

If you listen to the lyrics it speaks of the distinction between staying who you are in the same old circumstances, and the transforming power of God which takes our chaos and turns it into a ‘Beautiful thing’.

“All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You”

Have you ever thought “How can something good come out of the chaos and pain I am surrounded by?”, I know I have.

For me, this song makes me look at my life, which is at times so chaotic that I don’t know which way is up, and at other times so mundane that watching the grass grow seems like a fun afternoon activity. My life, which reaches the giddy highs of joy, laughter, friendships and relationships and other times crashes to the lowest of lows with sorrow, fear, sickness and a feeling as though I have really made a mess of it all. Whatever pace I am going at or how I am feeling, I always come back to the question of how can something good come out of what I am going through right now?

The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “…that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (New Living Translation)

I have found that when I try and live my life in my own strength, my plans don’t succeed. All that I try to do to make right seems to fall apart at the seams. However, when I allow God into my life and circumstances my chaos and pain seem to work together to create a ‘beautiful thing’.

If you’re wondering how to receive this ‘new life’ because the one you are living at the moment seems like it’s spiralling out of control, may I suggest you look more into the life God wants you to live. One that He created for you, and you alone. What are the promises in the Bible that speak life into your situation? Do you know who Jesus is? Have you handed over the reigns to your life over to him?

Have a look at your circumstances that surround you at the moment and try and find the good amongst the pain and chaos.

When I grow up, I want to be a…… (Part 2)

Part 1 of the post ‘When I grow up, I want to be a….’ I talked about the differences between our passion as a five year old which we so enthusiastically proclaimed, versus our passions as an adult and how we have either put them to the side to make a living, or we are too fearful on how to take steps to actually pursue our passions and dreams.

Have you been thinking about what is stopping you from pursuing your passion? Are you like me and come up with excuses as to why it’s not possible? Here is a small list just to get you thinking whether or not you are making the same excuses I did:

  • My passion couldn’t be a ‘career’. It’s just something I enjoy doing on the side.
  • I am the sole provider of my family at this point, I don’t have the time or resources to be able to do what I love.
  • I can hardly focus on things I need to do today, how can I focus on things I want to do tomorrow?
  • I don’t have what it takes to do something I love, I will just stay here in my comfort zone.
  • And probably the least significant but the most detrimental…. I need to refresh my Facebook page over and over again just incase I miss what’s going on in someone else’s life! I don’t have time to live a life of my own?!
My encouragement to you today would be to have a look at what is in your world right now that is something you love (other than Facebook!)? Is it talking to and encouraging people? Is it a night course you are taking just for a creative outlet for you, but deep down you would love to do it full time? Are you volunteering your time in an activity for a certain group? Whatever it may be, think about how can you make this passion your career.
How did I make the change? How did I go from office admin to pursuing my dream of being a speaker and life coach? Well some simple things that I have done to follow my passion are:
  • I have started this blog site. For me it’s actually a big step. I’m not much of a reader or writer (I actually consider myself far from it) but I know that this is a great way to communicate to the masses (and individual) about the passion that is on my heart to do life well.
  • I have studied a part time course for a year on Speaking, Writing and Leadership
  • I am currently doing my diploma in Life Coaching
  • I have taken opportunities to speak to crowds as big as 1,600 people encouraging them towards their goals
Some of the above steps have been easy, and others… well quite hard. But all it took was a step.
Have you forgotten what you wanted to be when you were five? How about you take some time now and think back to what  your answer could have been. Alternatively, what is your heart saying now? Do you know what your passion is but you just haven’t pursued it?
Here’s some small practical tips for this week:
  1. Identify what your passions are – What did you want to be when you grow up? What do you love doing if you could do anything at all?
  2. Identify excuses – What are you telling yourself to think you can’t follow your passions? Write these excuses down and go through each one to figure out how to overcome these excuses.
  3. Start thinking about how you could pursue these passions – Who do you need to contact to help you? Is there a course you need to study? What is in your world right now? What are the steps towards stepping out and making your passion something you do everyday?
  4. Give realistic timelines – It’s all good writing what you need to do, but it’s more important to put a time line to it. Make some short term and long term goals. If the idea of setting goals and timelines is a scary or foreign to you, remember that “goals are just dreams with deadlines”.
I would love to hear how you go with making your passion your career! Feel free to share any further comments or helpful tips that you discover along the way.

When I grow up, I want to be a…… (Part 1)

Don’t you love the eager answers kids give when you ask the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?“. You get responses like, “When I grow up I want to be… a FIREMAN! an ACTRESS! a DOLPHIN TRAINER! an ASTRONAUT! a NURSE! a HAIRDRESSER!” the list goes on.

I remember when I was asked this, I always thought it was a rhetorical question. “When I grow up a want to be a…. a…… aaa…… (ok is this where you finish my sentence and tell me what I want to be when I grow up)”. I had no idea what I wanted to be. I thought “can’t we just focus on the task at hand of recess, big lunch and how many times I can swing around the monkey bars?”. I guess I just wasn’t career oriented.

What was your response to this question when you were five years old? Would it be something wild and imaginative that you didn’t know how you were going to get there, but you knew in your heart of hearts that you were going to be the best at that profession or life calling this world has ever seen? Were you going to follow your hearts desire? Like most people in my grade, maybe you wanted to be the best marine biologist, just so you could have the closest relationship to every dolphin under the deep blue sea and get to hug every single one and name them all flipper? Did you follow that dream?

Today, if I were to ask you “What do you want to be when you grow up?” what would you say? Would you say that you wanted to do the same thing today as you did when you were five?

If you answered “no” to the question above, what changed?

“Well Amber I chose the profession I am in because ‘it pays this bills’, or ‘my life didn’t turn out the way I planned'”. When you go to work each and every day do you smile on the inside and know this is what you were created to do? I know I was a late bloomer when it came to knowing what I wanted to do, but when I figured it out I knew I had to change from where I was in my current career and for the first time in my life start pursuing my passion.

When I finished school, I went straight into full time office administration. The reason why I did this? Because the year before I finished school a relative sat me down at Christmas dinner and told me that “there’s good money in being a Personal Assistant”. Her words to me were, “You just have to work your way up from office admin and in a few years you will be on really good money as a PA”. I thought, “Really? Good money you say? Oh well, I never really knew what I wanted to do so I may as well give it a shot”. Consequently I set about working my way up the ranks to become a PA. Within a few short years I had not only reached my goal, I had exceeded it becoming an Executive Assistant.

I say all this, because although I made it to the goal that was put out before me, did I enjoy the journey and where I ended up? Did I smile on the inside knowing ‘This is what I am made to do!’?

My answer to this… Most certainly not! I was a good personal assistant, though I stood in awe of those who did an even better job. For me however, it didn’t make me feel as though I was using all my strengths and putting my God given talents into practice. To be honest I got so much joy when I got to speak to people one-on-one in the lunch room. I loved coaching them through their struggles and triumphs. Or when I was out with girlfriends and I got to encourage them to build strong foundations and personal goals, and move forward instead of backwards. Surely this kind of thing couldn’t be a career, could it?

When I realised that my passion was speaking to people and life coaching, I didn’t drop everything and pursue it with all my heart immediately. I actually baulked at the idea. I thought “as if I could just talk to people and encourage them. I couldn’t possibly leave the security of a well paying job and just step out and do that. How do I know that is genuinely what I am passionate about?” This was me facing the fear of stepping out and doing something about it! This fear is so natural when you start to face the unknown. Like a five year old though I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to be the best life coach this world has ever seen!

In my next post, I will go through some practical steps on how to over come excuses and get you thinking about how you can embark on your own journey to pursue your passion. Are you ready to start doing what you love!?