For many years, I put everyone before myself. I thought about others before I taking care of my own needs.
One day I looked in the mirror and did not recognize the person staring back at me. She had no idea who she was—she was so many things to so many people, and nothing to herself. I had become a woman who had given my all in relationships only to end up single and alone.
I knew I had to make a change. Deep in my soul, I knew I was created for more. I set out to be who God created me to be.
As I prepared myself to live at a new level of life, I knew I had to change my thinking, in effect transforming my character and behavior.
Part of transformation includes knowing one’s flaws and imperfections, and learning how to manage them.
Transformation does not make one perfect—it merely makes one aware of “self,” and that is a beautiful thing.
During the early days of my transformation, I felt there always had to be some type of movement. I knew I should be doing something, although what it was exactly, I did not know.
Sometimes, the best thing I did was be still and present in the moment. I had been on an emotional roller coaster for years and needed some time just to be still, without trying to control anything. I needed just to be.
In the space of just being, I found I was freeing up space for myself.
My transformation started to take place because I made myself my priority.
The moment I made the decision to change, I got clear about things in my life. I wanted more for my life—more than working for someone else, more than living for others. Soon, I wanted to empower and encourage other people to create the lives they want.
I began to speak life into my life.
I removed the word “can’t” from my vocabulary and replaced it with “I choose not to.”
I saw that my life had been a big “what if?” I had spent so much time in “what if” that it had become my reality. It was comfortable. My “what if” conversations meant that I did not have to take responsibility for my actions, thoughts and feelings—if something didn’t work, I could blame others. “What if” meant I didn’t have to take action to create anything.
Changing my own thinking was a process of growth and development.
I started to attract people who, like me, had a vision of wanting to own their own businesses, who were willing to help me reach my goals, who were doing things I wanted to do. I was a willing student, submitting to and learning from them.
Next, I stopped blaming others for what I was or was not doing, taking control of myself. I stopped doubting my abilities and started creating possibilities for my life.
One method I used to create possibilities was to create a vision board.
My Vision Board helped me attain my goals. I learned that, when we have dreams, we need to set goals. My goals made demands on me, which made my future clear and defined. One goal was to put my “all” into whatever I did. If I know I’m not going to give my all, I will not start. My goal was to be very clear about what I wanted.
Goals can become even more powerful when we put them on a time schedule. Of course, I did not always meet my schedule, and when that happened, I did not hang my shoulders and get discouraged. I simply reviewed why I did not meet the schedule and then looked beyond the moments of failure to continue on toward reaching the goal. For example, my goal to start Bare It All (my weekly internet talk show) came to fruition several months after my scheduled time because I was lackadaisical. Once I got serious and found people with like vision, I accomplished the goal.
In order to see what was possible, I had to have faith and vision, and vision takes heart and courage.
I had to create a vision of who I wanted to be and then live into that picture as though I had already arrived there.
My personal vision is to help people design lives they love, and in order to do that, I have to be the example. I want to ensure that my vision lives well beyond me. I realize my future will always challenge myself to be more than I am.
When I decided to take a chance on myself, I created possibilities for my life that I never thought about, writing a book, hosting my weekly podcast, and starting my transformational coaching business, Sistas Speak, LLC. Our purpose is to, “inspire women to live beyond their reasons and justifications and live life fully.”
Daily, I try to stay true to my word, to myself, and others. I can only control myself and that is just what I did. I controlled my thinking, my conversation, my behavior and created possibilities for my future.
“You can’t fall if you don’t climb.
But there’s no joy in living your whole life
on the ground”
Author: Dr. Raquel A. Stuart
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Coleen Galvin