Are you Afraid of Success? Overcome You Fears and Begin Thriving

Success is pursued, celebrated and the reason so many of us invest tons of money in education and trainings. With that being said; how can anyone fear success?  Why would anyone fear thriving in their career?  Why would anyone fear living the life they worked so hard to obtain? Why would anyone fear making a difference?  Why would anyone fear leaving behind a legacy as a result of their hard work?  With success comes power and with power comes responsibility. Fear of success is similar to fear of failure. These fears get in the way of you being the best version of you and achieving your goals.  The following are reasons most people fear success:

You consistently spend a lot of time questioning your competence.  It is normal and healthy to have a dose of “humble pie” every once in a while and seek guidance from mentors.  If you find yourself spending a lot of time second guessing every decision you make, second guessing or down playing accomplishments and turning down opportunities that could open more doors for your success; you may fear success.

Self-sabotage:  Creating excuses why we didn’t get something done, telling ourselves mediocre is good enough or believing that huge goal we set is just too big.

Change: “Change or get left behind.” Change is a messy process and you WILL experience this process if you choose to pursue success. Most of us fear the unknown on the other side of change.  Keeping this in mind, there is a huge investment in remaining the same or “being left behind.”  Will I be okay with who I become as a result of my success?  Some fear they will become a “mean spirited” person, develop addictive qualities or lose the qualities that make them unique.  Are you afraid of whom you will become or the results you will achieve (or not achieve)?

Procrastination: Procrastination is a symptom of fear. The only way to overcome this is to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Avoidance: You spend more time talking about your projects than you do completing them.

It’s too hard!  Remember if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Your journey to success will be filled with tests.  Without these tests there are no testimonies.  Your journey can and will help someone else.

 

Ask yourself these questions as you get to the core of your fear of success:

Why are you standing in your way? Past learning experiences often influence our behaviors in the present. What past experiences are holding you back from success?  What do you need to let go of? What have others said to you to discourage you from moving forward?

What does success look like to you? Success is a subjective experience.  Get clear on your goals and define why you are doing this?  Do you want to help other people?  Do you want financial freedom? Begin by identifying a small success. It could be something as simple as making it through the day without second guessing yourself or completing a task.  Stacking small successes will lead to the big successes.

You’ve achieved success, what’s next? You fought through your fears and achieved success. Visualize this scene.  Are you happy? Will you celebrate? Do you feel accomplished?  Will you set more goals?

Success is not an accident, it’s a choice. You will be successful, when you make the decision to get out of your own way and be successful!

 

I want to hear from you. Have you ever self-sabotaged your success?  How did you get out of your own way in order to be successful?

Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual life coaching and counseling.   For more information or assistance with adjustment and life transitions, please contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com.

 

 

Are You Afraid of Success? Overcome Your Fears and Begin Thriving

 

Success is pursued, celebrated and the reason so many of us invest tons of money in education and trainings. With that being said; how can anyone fear success?  Why would anyone fear thriving in their career?  Why would anyone fear living the life they worked so hard to obtain? Why would anyone fear making a difference?  Why would anyone fear leaving behind a legacy as a result of their hard work?  With success comes power and with power comes responsibility. Fear of success is similar to fear of failure. These fears get in the way of you being the best version of you and achieving your goals.  The following are reasons most people fear success:

You consistently spend a lot of time questioning your competence.  It is normal and healthy to have a dose of “humble pie” every once in a while and seek guidance from mentors.  If you find yourself spending a lot of time second guessing every decision you make, second guessing or down playing accomplishments and turning down opportunities that could open more doors for your success; you may fear success.

Self-sabotage:  Creating excuses why we didn’t get something done, telling ourselves mediocre is good enough or believing that huge goal we set is just too big.

Change: “Change or get left behind.” Change is a messy process and you WILL experience this process if you choose to pursue success. Most of us fear the unknown on the other side of change.  Keeping this in mind, there is a huge investment in remaining the same or “being left behind.”  Will I be okay with who I become as a result of my success?  Some fear they will become a “mean spirited” person, develop addictive qualities or lose the qualities that make them unique.  Are you afraid of whom you will become or the results you will achieve (or not achieve)?

Procrastination: Procrastination is a symptom of fear. The only way to overcome this is to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Avoidance: You spend more time talking about your projects than you do completing them.

It’s too hard!  Remember if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Your journey to success will be filled with tests.  Without these tests there are no testimonies.  Your journey can and will help someone else.

 

Ask yourself these questions as you get to the core of your fear of success:

Why are you standing in your way? Past learning experiences often influence our behaviors in the present. What past experiences are holding you back from success?  What do you need to let go of? What have others said to you to discourage you from moving forward?

What does success look like to you? Success is a subjective experience.  Get clear on your goals and define why you are doing this?  Do you want to help other people?  Do you want financial freedom? Begin by identifying a small success. It could be something as simple as making it through the day without second guessing yourself or completing a task.  Stacking small successes will lead to the big successes.

You’ve achieved success, what’s next? You fought through your fears and achieved success. Visualize this scene.  Are you happy? Will you celebrate? Do you feel accomplished?  Will you set more goals?

Success is not an accident, it’s a choice. You will be successful, when you make the decision to get out of your own way and be successful!

 

I want to hear from you. Have you ever self-sabotaged your success?  How did you get out of your own way in order to be successful?

 

Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual life coaching and counseling.   For more information or assistance with adjustment and life transitions, please contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com.

 

Overcoming YOU! 8 Powerful Ways of Conquering FEAR

imagesN0IBMQDZFear is one of the few natural emotions. We are born with two fears; the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned responses brought to the child by its environment and taught to the child by its parents. The purpose of natural fear is to build in a bit of caution. Children who are made to feel that fear is not okay, it is wrong to express it, and in fact, that they shouldn’t even experience it; will have a difficult time appropriately dealing with their fear as adults.  Fear that is continually repressed becomes panic, a very unnatural emotion.  Perhaps, viewing fear through this lens could explain why many of us struggle with conquering our fears.  Facing your fears can be a process and overcoming these fears will happen in its own time.  Fear does not have to be a part of who you are.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear as you traverse through your unique journey to overcoming fear.  YOU are the constant in everything that happens or does not happen in your life.  Oftentimes fear is a huge barrier in making a decision.  How many times have you allowed fear to be the driver while you ride shotgun?  You cannot have faith and fear, you must pick one.

If you choose faith: Check out these 8 powerful ways for getting on the other side of fear:

  1. Identify: Be specific in identifying your fear(s). What are you afraid of? What is wreaking havoc in your life? What pictures are you creating in your mind? Where do you feel the fear in your body? How do you react to the fear? What triggers this fear? Be an observer of what is going on within you!
  2. Journaling: After identifying these fears, get them down on paper. Getting these fears on paper is another strategy of getting this negative energy out. Seeing these fears on paper can help you make sense of them.
  3. Counseling/Coaching: Getting an objective perspective and talking through these fears with a licensed professional is another powerful way to assist you in conquering your fears. A professional can help you examine if you have a fear of success or a fear of failure. While therapy can be powerful and even life changing, make sure the therapist is a good fit for you.
  4. The Now: Be present in the moment. Oftentimes fear comes from past learning experiences and anticipating future failures. You have no control over the past, but you do have control over the present moment. Grounding techniques through breathing is a great way to get back to the present. Try the “4-7-8 Breathing Technique.” Place your tongue behind your teeth. Breathe in quietly for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.
  5. Gratitude: Instead of ruminating within your fears, spend that time expressing gratitude. What are you grateful for? If you are fearful of public speaking, be grateful for the opportunity to speak in front of people. If you are fearful of taking a test, be grateful that you have the qualifications to take the test.
  6. Awareness: Be aware of your thoughts, daily routines and habits. What are you reading? What are you watching? Who are you spending time around? Some ways to combat your fears are to read on your specific fears, watch a motivation video and/or spend time around successful people. Any successful person has overcome some form of fear.
  7. Nutrition: The food you eat can have a huge impact on how you feel. All the sugars, additives and other chemicals in some foods can have an effect in creating balance in our minds and bodies. Find a balanced diet that works for you and make it a lifestyle
  8. Be a verb: The only way out of your fear is through it. The more time we spend ruminating within the fear, the more power we give it. When we take action, we weaken the fear. Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will! Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Whatever fears you are facing, please remember that YOU are bigger than your fears. Your WHY is bigger than your fears.  Your largest fear carries your greatest growth.  If you are not growing, you are dying.  Do not let fear determine this fate.

“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Robin Sharma

I would love to hear from you!

What fear is keeping you stuck? What fear(s) have you overcome?

 

Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual life coaching and counseling.   For more information or assistance with adjustment and life transitions, please contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com

 

 

The Ups and Downs of Yo-Yo Dieting: Tips for Maintaining Your Waistline during the Holiday Season

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Those of us raised in African American families are well aware of the dietary concerns in our community. For these reasons, we find ourselves eating cleaner in the 21st century. The importance of this article is to reinforce awareness of an ongoing problem of high blood pressure and diabetes especially in the African American community.

Last summer you reached your weight goal and fit into that dress you haven’t worn in over 5 years. In fact, you were able to show off your weight loss by wearing that dress to your 30th year class reunion. Fast forward to 6 months…life happens. You are experiencing work stress, having trouble finding the time to exercise and as a result of all the stress you resort to emotional eating. Food has become your outlet. Since this occurrence, you find yourself on the weight loss roller coaster also known as “yo-yo dieting.”

Do you find yourself in search of the latest diet every few months? Are you consistently looking for a detox after another weekend of bad eating? Maybe you feel guilty because you were sticking to your diet and over-indulged on Thanksgiving! You are not alone! Recent studies have shown that 54 percent of Americans are currently trying to shed pounds. Most people have tried everything; including detoxes, supplements, diets and packaged foods guaranteeing weight loss. Are you ready to say goodbye to yo-yo dieting and hello to lasting results? Before we go any further, allow me to elaborate on yo-yo dieting. Yo-Yo dieting is the cyclical loss and gain of weight resembling the up and down motion of a yo-yo.   In this process, the dieter is initially successful in the pursuit of weight loss but is unsuccessful in maintaining the loss long-term and begins to re-gain the weight. One seeks to lose the regained weight and the cycle begins again.

Tired of watching your weight go up and down…and up again? Check out these tips for maintaining your waistline!

Define your “WHY”: Most people begin their weight loss journey because they want to look good (on vacation, on the beach, in an outfit, for a major event). These are great external motivators. What happens once vacation ends or the special occasion you targeted as your reason for losing weight comes and goes? Having trouble searching for your reason “Why?” What will inspire you to make maintaining your weight a lifestyle and not just a trend or a hobby? Do you want to be around for your children? Do you want to be the example for your family? Do you want to prevent health related medical conditions? Your “why” will carry you through those moments when you feel like quitting.

Find a Healthy Outlet: This will require being proactive. Create a list of 5-10 activities you can engage in during times of distress. When you feel overwhelmed, instead of grabbing that bag of chips or box of cookies go to your list and choose something you can do for the next 10 minutes to allow your stress levels to subside. This can include taking a walk, writing a letter, listening to your favorite song or reading an article.

Balance: The holiday season is upon us and a common theme in most, if not all families include food. Food should not be your enemy. You can and should enjoy yourself at holiday parties without feeling guilty for having a slice of your favorite pie. However, this will require some planning on your part. If you plan to attend two holiday parties during the course of a week, be mindful of your eating throughout the week so that you do not have to feel guilty or suffer at those holiday parties. A big part of practicing balance with healthy eating habits includes making good food choices through meal planning.

Have a Plan: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The holiday season is also a busy time for many people. The shopping, cleaning, cooking, entertaining family while fun; can also become overwhelming. Plan your meals for the week. Spending a couple extra hours at the beginning of the week meal planning and organizing is imperative in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unforeseen circumstances will take place throughout the course of the week and if you are prepared with good food choices, you reduce your chances in making bad food choices. For assistance with meal planning click here.

Accountability Partner: Find an accountability partner or group. Choose people who will challenge, support, inspire and encourage you. Share your goals and your weaknesses with your partner. However, it is not an accountability partner’s responsibility to change your life; you must be willing to take responsibility by owning your weaknesses, shortcomings, habits and mistakes. “You will only hold yourself accountable to goals others know about. Tell someone what you’re up to.” ~Unknown

 

Dieting is temporary; lasting weight loss requires making lifestyle changes that will work long term. The journey is in fact just that; not a stroll in the park, not a hike in the woods, but a journey. You do not have to go through this journey alone. You can contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com for assistance with health coaching and meal planning.

How have you maintained your weight loss goals through the holiday season? What strategies do you use as outlets when feeling overwhelmed during the holidays?

 

Our Thoughts Become Our Reality: The Power of Positive Framing

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Last week I had the pleasure of being invited as the keynote speaker at a women’s conference. I was charged with captivating an audience composed of diverse, wise, sophisticated, spiritual and compassionate women. I was honored, excited and slightly nervous as this was the first time I was asked to be the keynote speaker for an event. I would not allow my fear to overtake this moment as I had powerful and life-changing information to share with this beautiful group of women; and I am not a hoarder of information.

What is framing?

Framing is seeing the world without distortions. It is not putting on our “rose-colored” glasses and being oblivious to what is happening around us.   It is merely viewing life through a different lens and being open to seeing things differently.

How can positive framing improve your quality of life?

One of the main differences between successful and unsuccessful people is the way they view the world. Successful people see opportunities, while unsuccessful people see problems. When we utilize positive framing, we can see the facts in the clearest light. We will not allow negative feelings to distort our view of reality. We widen our lens to gain the strength and clarity to face the problem and find solutions.

I remember how tough the transition was for me from high school to undergraduate school. I felt unequipped with the tools needed to be successful in undergraduate school. My peers had a slight advantage over me as they took college prerequisites in high school. I’ll never forget meeting with my English professor during the first semester of my freshman year. She told me that I would have to work really hard to graduate and she was not sure if I had it in me. At the time, I almost believed her and even questioned if I belonged in college. Sure, I graduated from high school with high honors, rarely studied and had tons of success; but college was new territory. I had poor study skills and struggled with the transition to college throughout the first semester. To my “surprise,” first semester grades reflected my struggles. I was placed on academic probation and in jeopardy of flunking out of college. My parents were surprised and disappointed. I was disappointed in myself. Then 2 things happened. I remember my English professor presenting me with the challenge to graduate college and my dad gave me 2 options, return to school and improve my grades or withdraw from school and get a job. I had the entire semester break to reflect on what would be a life changing decision. I chose to return to school and hit the ground running. Instead of being intimidated by my peers, I joined their study groups and picked their brains. I wanted to learn what they learned. If you want to be successful, spend time around those more successful than you. I had a big piece of humble pie over the semester break and I was okay with not being the smartest person in the room. As a result of my humility and hard work, I found myself on the dean’s list nearly every semester and graduated with honors in 4 years. I do not share this story to impress anyone with my accomplishments, but to press upon you how a shift in thinking can change our lives. Remember, life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you respond to it.

How are thoughts, self-talk, actions and habits connected?

Thoughts

The way in which we choose to live our lives ultimately begins with our thought process. In “How Remarkable Women Lead,” authors Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston discuss 2 types of mind-sets; growth mind-set and fixed mind-set. People with a growth mind-set believe that nothing is predestined; their work determines their success. They look for opportunities to learn and grow; understanding that adversity, setbacks and failures are a part of the process; utilizing these lessons as blueprints for success. People with limited mind-sets are stuck and often see their talents and abilities as limited and are threatened by fresh thinking that challenges their beliefs. People with growth mind-sets see the gain, the possibilities and “make it happen.” In contrast, people with limited mind-sets see the pain, the problems and “let it happen.”

What do you read?

If you watch television, what are you watching?

How do you frame setbacks?

Who do you spend the most time around? How do they impact you mentally and spiritually?

For more self-reflection, check out Vitamin C: Healing for the Mind, Body and Soul: The Healing Workbook here.

Self-talk

Be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening.

Do you speak life into yourself?

What is the first thing you say to yourself when you wake up in the morning? Are you thankful? Do you practice positive self-talk (prayer, recite daily inspirations, etc)? Or, do you practice self-defeating talk (I hate my job. I hate my boss. I have too many bills and so on)? Imagine the direction your day can take by your choice in positive self-talk or self-defeating talk.

Do you talk yourself in or out of success? Which statement best describes you? “It may be difficult but it’s possible.” OR “It may be possible but it’s too difficult.”

Behaviors/Actions

Framing also includes unlearning self-destructive behaviors. If we have been accustomed to negative thinking and self-defeating talk, it is highly likely that we will engage in self-destructive behaviors. Undoing these behaviors will take some time as these behaviors were not learned over night. If we are committed to unlearning these behaviors, we must take action by having the courage to broaden our lens and remain flexible in our thinking which will impact our self-talk and actions.

Our actions are based on past learning experiences. Raise your hand if you ever failed a test! Most of us experience an unsettling feeling in our stomachs when it’s time to take a test. Some call it test-anxiety. Our fear of failing another test is based on past experiences, and may affect how we take action, or if we take action. People who are discouraged and struggle with limited mind-sets tend to live in their fears. When we can reframe our experiences, we see the world differently, allowing us to pursue opportunities. In other words, feel the fear and do it anyway!

Habits-doing something religiously day in and day out. A regular practice that is hard to give up.

Good habits can include looking both ways before we cross the street, bathing, practicing awareness of your negative thoughts throughout the day, taking a few minutes per day to express gratitude.

If we make a habit of practicing good habits; these good habits ultimately become our reality. How wonderful would it be to make positive framing a habit?!?!?! “We first make our habits and then our habits make us.” John Dryden

Framing is an approach utilized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-a goal oriented, short-term therapeutic approach used in psychotherapy to challenge one’s distorted thinking, inviting individual(s) to change thinking and behavior patterns that are keeping them stuck. We use this approach at HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC, and click here for more information.

Framing is hard work. By no means am I trying to simplify this process.   In order to get better and experience change, you must to set an intention to practice this approach to life. Remember, you are competing with yourself daily to be a better person. You are the wild-card. You have the power to make positive changes; if you desire.

“Our fear is not that we are inadequate. Our fear is that we are powerful beyond measures.” ~ Marianne Williamson

What are some ways that you can use framing to improve your quality of life?

Creating Multiple Streams of Income: Finding what works for you

“Prepare for war in the time of peace,” was one of my late grandfather’s favorite sayings.  In fact, he introduced our family to entrepreneurship and the concept of multiple streams of income.  From the time I was in junior high school up until the day he passed in my mid 20’s; he poured a lot of time and knowledge into me about investing, saving, passive income and entrepreneurship.  He was planting seeds, but I was not quite ready to apply this invaluable information.   At the time, I did not realize he was providing me with “free training” that some of my colleagues pay thousands of dollars to attend.   A few years after my grandfather’s passing, I was introduced to various home-based businesses that discussed similar wealth building principles that my grandfather often preached (multiple streams of income, passive income, investing, leveraging your time).  Some people viewed the multi-level marketing home based businesses as pyramid schemes, but I viewed it as a way to continue the legacy in my family that my grandfather created.  At the time, I was  more focused on the short term gains, the money I did not make “yesterday,” what friends and family would think if I struggled or even worse-failed!  I was so focused on these variables that I did not allot enough time for the fruits of my labor to unfold.  My “why” wasn’t big enough and I gave up too soon.  The only regret I have is quitting because I know that quitting guarantees failure.

What I learned:

Creating multiple streams of income takes time, commitment, discipline, work ethic and investing (not spending) money.  When creating streams of income, think of this process as if it were your retirement plan that you invest in with your employer (401K or 403B); you get out of it what you put into it.  Imagine creating a passive income-income earned on a regular basis with little effort required to maintain it.  Some examples include, but are not limited to royalties from writing a book, property income, income from traditional and home based businesses.  No matter which avenue you choose you have to put in the work.  Remember, the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.  Short term sacrifices for long term success.

Why is creating multiple streams of income important?

It may not be your goal to accumulate wealth or to pursue early retirement from your career.  However, I am sure we can all agree that time can be our biggest liability or our most valuable asset.  It is the one thing we cannot get back.  Most people struggle with time management.  I often hear people say (myself included) “There are not enough hours in the day.” “If only I had more time.”  Creating multiple streams of income will allow you to leverage your time.  Most of us spend at least 8 hours per day and 5 days per week working.  Some of us may spend even more time working and less time with our families.  How many of us see our colleagues more than we see our families?  If you’re like me, you love what you do and you would like to have more time to spend with your family without having to worry about loss of income.  Other than spending time with our families, do you have a plan if life happens on life’s terms?  What happens if you get sick and cannot be physically present to make money? If you’re a business owner, can your business run without you being physically present?  What is your plan if you lost your job tomorrow?  Have you thought about your retirement plan?  The answers to these questions are intended to shed light on the importance of having Plan A-Z in order to prepare for the uncertainties of life.

Ideas for Streams of Income:

At the moment, I work full time and have found ways to create other streams of income to prepare for the future.  Here are some ideas that may assist you in planning for your family’s future:

Traditional Business: My business partner and I started HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC; a private counseling practice close to 2 years ago.  In a traditional business you wear many hats, especially in the beginning as you are attempting to keep a manageable overhead.  The benefits of running a traditional business are the limitless possibilities.  You get to decide if you want to wear every hat or outsource jobs and hire staff.  You get to decide when your day begins and ends, you make the policies.  The success of your business depends on you.

Home based business:  Most home based businesses involve multi-level marketing (mlm).  Most people run in the other direction when they get approached about multi-level marketing opportunities.   A lot of mlm’s get negative press due to people having bad experiences.  There are mlm’s that work, but again, you have to work it.  Find a home based business that makes sense for you and get a mentor/accountability partner.

Real Estate: I have read that real estate is one of the best ways to produce passive income.  Again, you will have to put in a lot of work up front which may include buying, repairing and renting properties.  The short term sacrifice is the amount of work and money you will need to invest.  The long term success is the cash flow rental properties can produce every month and freeing up time to spend with loved ones-leveraging time.

Podcasting:  I recently started my podcasting show, “The Vitamin C Show” which was a spinoff from my book; Vitamin C: Healing for the Mind Body and Soul, with the purpose of creating a platform for professionals and entrepreneurs to discuss their contributions to the community.  Health and wellness, relationships, education, mental health, entrepreneurship and financial planning are amongst the topics discussed on the show.  Starting your own podcast show is a great way to build your brand, market your business and collaborate with other professionals and entrepreneurs which can lead to passive income.

Write a Book: The feeling you experience after completing your first book and seeing the finished product is surreal.  Writing a good book is another way to produce a stream of income.  If you are considering writing a book, write a good book and prepare a good marketing plan.  Books do not sell themselves and writing the book is a fraction of the work needed to become an award winning and/or best-selling author.  One of the most important things to consider when writing your book includes your target audience.  What are the needs of your target audience?

All of these categories involve some form of sales.  I often hear people say, ‘I cannot sell’ or ‘selling isn’t for me.’  We sell ourselves every day!  If you are employed, guess what, you sold yourself at your interview.  Just remember people don’t want to feel sold, they want to do business with people they trust.  Be you, remember the reason “Why” you are doing this and have fun.  No one wants to work with someone who is too uptight.

Although there are many other avenues for creating multiple streams of income, these were the few that stood out to me.  I have learned the importance of creating multiple streams of income and my current streams of income include HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC, Vitamin C Healing for the Mind, Body and Soul, and health and wellness coaching with Herbalife. No matter which stream you choose to invest in, the common denominator in each area will be you.  Nothing will work unless you work. What will YOU do to make it work?

Eat to Lose: Tips for Slimming your waistline and maintaining a Healthier Lifestyle

How many of you have counted calories in an attempt to lose weight?  How many cleanses or diets have you tried to reach your weight loss goals?  If you’re like me, you probably have tried countless strategies to reach your goals with little to no success.  Over the past 5 years, I was a pretty consistent “gym rat;” exercising at least 4 times per week and even including “2-a-days.”  When I got bored with my exercise regime, or didn’t notice any changes in my body, I would change my routine.  However, I was neglecting the most important part in obtaining my goal; which was nutrition. Like many others, I fell victim to attempting to “out-exercise” my bad eating habits.  I was a “yo-yo dieter,” eating healthy for a couple months and then reverting back to bad eating habits.  I also was not fully aware of the ingredients contained in the food I consumed.   When attempting to reach a weight loss and/or fitness goal; it can be pretty discouraging when your results do not reflect the time and effort you put into the gym.  I did not realize I was sabotaging my work outs with bad foods.  I believed that I would make up for a few days or a weekend of bad eating by punishing myself at the gym.  It has been almost one year since I fully absorbed and applied the 80/20 rule to my life; 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  Notice I used nutrition in place of diet.  Nutrition is a lifestyle, dieting is a trend.

I also learned most people struggle to make clean eating a lifestyle for a few reasons.

  1. They don’t know what to eat or when to eat it.
  2. Clean eating has a bad rap for being boring or bland.
  3. Clean Eating is expensive

The following tips can serve as a guide on your journey to beginning and/or maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Do not skip breakfast! I often hear people say “I’m not hungry in the mornings.” Or, “I don’t have time for breakfast in the mornings.” When you skip breakfast in the morning, your blood sugar drops even lower, resulting in increased hunger and less energy. This can also set you up to snack on foods high in fat and sugar throughout the day. Studies have shown people who lose weight and keep it off eat a well-balanced breakfast (high in fiber and protein, low in fat and sugar). Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. By eating breakfast, you are “breaking the fast” since we usually haven’t eaten since the previous dinner. It is the fuel that kick starts our bodies and gives us energy for the day ahead of us.
  2. Eat Eat Eat! There seems to be a misconception that depriving ourselves of food will result in weight loss. Again, our bodies are vehicles and they need fuel. Food is the fuel that speeds up our metabolism. When we go long periods without eating, our body goes in to starvation and stores energy for fat as reserves rather than burning. For example, if you eat one meal per day, such as dinner, your body is in starvation/fat storage mode for approximately 16 hours per day (6-8 hours while you sleep at night and at least another 8 hours during the day before dinner), This sounds like a long time to go without food. The longer you wait to eat between meals, the hungrier you get and the more likely you are to overeat.  Research has shown that our blood sugars begin to fall after about 3 hours. Healthy snacking in between meals are great ways to keep our bodies fueled.
  3. Drink Water! Sometimes it is difficult for the body to tell the difference between hunger and thirst. Before snacking and even before meals, drink a full 8 ounce glass of water. Research has also shown that drinking a full glass of water right before a meal helps us to feel fuller, eat less and aids in digestion. How much water does our body need? Most of us are used to the formula of 64 ounces of water per day. However, research reveals it depends on your size, weight, activity level and where you live. We should drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound we weigh every day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink between 70 ounces and 140 ounces of water per day. This amount will increase if you exercise or live in warmer climates.
  4. Snooze to lose! Oftentimes we can get so occupied in meal planning and exercise that we miss another key ingredient in this process; rest! Recent research has shown that sleep plays an important role in weight management. People who sleep enough (6-8 hours per night) have lower body mass indexes (BMI) than people who don’t. Sleep affects the levels of several hormones in our bodies; including those that regulate hunger and growth. Lack of sleep can cause us to feel hungrier and give into our “late night cravings.” While we sleep, our body also produces more growth hormones than when we are wake. Listen to your bodies, rest is an integral part of living a healthier lifestyle.
  5. Plan: When we fail to plan, we plan to fail. In order to be successful in beginning and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, we need a plan. What are your goals? What days will you shop? What is your monthly budget? When will you cook? Will you meal plan for the week or the day? Planning our meals for the week or even the day is imperative as it helps to ensure we don’t skip meals and fall victim to impulsive snacking on bad foods. Meal planning (and snack planning) ensures we always have food available to us.

Are you or a loved one struggling with not knowing what to eat and when to eat it?  Or, maybe you are feeling bored or discouraged in your attempts to maintain a healthier lifestyle.  Don’t wait another second!  Let me help you with your transformation!!!  Contact me today at vitaminchealing@gmail.com

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What I learned in my first year as a business owner: Lessons that sparked my growth

The first year of business is tough.  In fact, statistics have revealed that 50% of businesses fail in their first year.  During my first year in a partnership as a small business owner, I had my share of struggles and successes.  The first 6 months were the toughest; there was so much to do, so much to learn.  I was transitioning from working independently as a full time employee to being in a business partnership as a part time entrepreneur with a long-time and dear friend.  We had our share of excitement and ups and downs which allowed us to grow individually and as partners.

Over the past few months, I spent time reflecting on the lessons learned throughout my first year.  It has been on my heart to share these lessons, as they may speak to those trying to find their way as business owners.

The top 10 invaluable lessons learned in my first year:

  1. Don’t quit: This is by far the most important lesson I have learned. By quitting, we rob ourselves of success and guarantee permanent defeat. Starting a business is fun, exciting and pretty scary. Maintaining a business through the highs and lows is not fun and cause most of us to quit.
  2. Find your “Why”: This lesson is just as important as the first lesson. In fact, the 2 go hand in hand. When you are able to get to the core of the reason you are doing your business, you are less likely to quit. Discovering what drives you when the referrals are low, rejection is high, the cash flow is lower than the overhead and you feel defeated. “Your why should be so big it makes your cry!”
  3. The fortune is in the follow-up: I dread making phone calls. This “feeling” may be linked to fear of rejection. However, I have grown more fearful of what may happen if I don’t make that phone-call or worse; fail to follow-up. As a business owner, it is on you to follow-up on projects, referrals, etc. There is no boss to hold you accountable for your lack of follow up. You are the boss. The success or failure of your business is on you (following up).
  4. Treating your business like a “Fortune 500 Company”: My business may not yet be featured as a fortune 500 company. However, I still choose to treat it as such. If you treat your business like pennies, you will make pennies. Our professionalism, quality of services offered, quality of marketing materials and promotion of events all speak to the quality of our company. Would you be your own customer?
  5. Investing versus Spending: We spend money on entertainment, clothes and vacations. We invest money in building our brands. Money invested in marketing materials, promoting events and personal development are designed to build you in order to build your business. The price for success is paid up front and in full. When we put in the work, we will see a return on our investment (R.O.I)
  6. Be prepared to work non-traditional hours: Being a business owner is a daily grind; it may even be a “moment grind.” You are never really “off the clock.” There is no punching in and out of work. You are always “on,” people are always watching, you are constantly networking. Again, there is no boss to manage your time or work. You are on your dime. I have learned, “If it’s gonna be, it’s up to me.”
  7. Prepare for war in the time of peace: My late grandfather and successful entrepreneur, Earl Hemby always preached this saying to my family. There will be times when business is “booming” and there will be times when business is slow. As a business owner, you don’t get the benefit package of an employee. There are no paid vacations, sick days or paid time off unless you provide them. Can your business survive without you running it or working in it? What if you get sick? It is imperative to plan for unforeseen events that may require you to be away from your business.
  8. If your mouth is closed, your doors are closed: When we opened our doors on November 1, 2013, I envisioned HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC having satellite offices throughout the surrounding counties of Pittsburgh and eventually expanding throughout the East Coast. By the way, this is still my vision for HandinHand. I know in order to make this happen; people have to know we exist. We are blessed to have the ability to use social media as a free marketing tool. I have also learned the importance of being present in the communities of our targeted populations, attending events and collaborating with other providers. I am just as excited about HandinHand as I was when my partner and I envisioned our baby.
  9. Working in the business versus working on the business: “Build the business and the customers will follow.” Working on the business is an ongoing process. When we work on the business we are developing business plans, engaging in personal development activities (seminars, reading, conferences, workshops)handling the administrative tasks and promoting events. Working in the business includes collaboration and customer service.
  10. No limits: I may have mentioned many unappealing aspects to being a business owner. However, I am sure most if not all business owners would agree that owning your business is a surreal feeling. You have complete control of the direction of your business. You make the rules, policies and have the freedom to use your creativity to grow your business. You are your own boss!

Each day I set at least one goal geared toward improving my business.  The goal can include collaborating with a referral source to reading a chapter of a personal development book. The lessons learned in accomplishing and even falling short of goals in 18 months of being a business owner were designed to shape me into the person I am today.  I am not the same woman who opened her first business in 2013.  I am still a work in progress, my journey continues.

Also check out Sharise Hemby’s book; Vitamin C: The Healing Workbook here.

Please share your experiences as a new or seasoned business owner.  Maybe you are considering starting a business, please share your thoughts, fears concerns and questions.

The Myths & Realities of Conflict: Tips to Managing Conflict in the various facets of our lives

What is conflict?

Conflict can be defined as 2 or more parties with opposing views having a disagreement or debate.  Examples of where conflict shows up include parent-child conflict, workplace conflict, couples conflict, peer conflict.  Some of us attempt to avoid conflict as if it were the plague.  Others welcome conflict as if it were a long-lost friend.  The purpose of this article is to enhance your tool box so you are prepared to manage conflict as it occurs in your personal and professional lives.

What are the myths?

“It’s better not to talk about conflict?”  This statement may speak to what we were taught about conflict.  What are your views about conflict?  Can talking about conflict make the problem worse?  Discussing the problem that resulted in conflict is likely to cause both parties to escalate.  However, the things we do not discuss have no chance of getting resolved.

“The other party must change!” Take a minute to reflect on your last conflict.  Did you spend time attempting to convince them why your way was “the” way? Did you spend time convincing them that you were right and they were wrong?  Maybe you were on the other side of this conflict where you were the receiver of this convincing and persuading.  Did this strategy effect change in you or the other party?  We may be able to temporarily convince or persuade someone to see things through our lens but it is nearly impossible to sustain this behavior.  Remember, change comes from within and is sustained by internal motivators.

What are the realities?

“Conflict is a form of communication.” I see many clients who seek our services stating “they want to learn to communicate with each other.” I remind them that they are in fact communicating with each other, conflict is a form of communication and conflict occurs in the healthiest relationships.  Combat, however is not a healthy form of communication and occurs when each party is gearing up to take on the other on the battlefield.

“We can change how we respond to conflict.”  Conflict is 10 percent of what we absorb from our party and 90 percent of how we respond or react to our party.  As mentioned previously, we cannot change our party, but we can change how we think and respond to conflict.  Be the change you want to see.  I discuss this further in my book, Vitamin C: The Healing Workbook, available for purchase here.

Managing Conflict in our personal and professional relationships

Use the conflict as an opportunity.  Our perception is our reality.  If we view conflict as combat, each time conflict arises we will gear up to battle our party.  However, if we view it as an opportunity to learn, grow and connect; conflict may not have such a negative connotation associated with it.

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Although conflict is normal in all relationships, it is still uncomfortable for most of us.  We must have those necessary, but uncomfortable conversations where conflict will arise in order to grow in our relationships.  Helping professionals who advocate for social justice on behalf of their clients encounter conflict almost on a daily basis.  Co-parents disagreeing on child rearing practices, colleagues disagreeing on company projects, business partners disagreeing      on the structure of the company are more examples of relationships where each party relies on the other for a bigger cause; and their ability to manage conflict can have a profound impact on society.

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” When managing conflict we need a healthy balance of emotion and logic in order to be successful.  Emotions allow us to have empathy and logic allows us to reason.  Being empathetic is acknowledging the other party’s position.   Lead with “I” statements in order to avoid blaming.  For example “I feel hurt when you call me names.” “I’m hearing you say.”  Applying logic to conflict is using discernment and determining when it is okay to agree to disagree.

When approaching a situation that may result in conflict, take a deep breath and ask yourself these 2 questions, “What is going on within me that will impact this conversation?”  What am I hoping to accomplish from this conversation?” Remember, conflict is inevitable; combat is optional.

Are you seeking techniques for managing conflict in your life?  Click here for more information on managing conflict.

Change your thinking, Change your life: Tips for shifting your thoughts into assets.

Have you ever spent time around someone who seems to never have anything positive to say?  When asked how their day is going, brace yourself for a laundry list of everything wrong in life.  An uncle of mine used to say these people were “happy to be mad.”  Oftentimes they have alienated quality people from their lives because of their negative outlook on life.  The good news is there is still hope for this group to transform their negative thinking into positive thinking.  One may question the benefits if they view life as unfair.  Life is unfair, but what if I told you that life is 10 percent of what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond.  If my math is correct, this adds up to us having huge control over our lives.  Will you choose to traverse through life expending energy with a negative attitude?  Or, are you ready to transform your thoughts to positive thoughts and experience a paradigm shift?

One of the distinguishing characteristics between successful and unsuccessful people is their mindset.  Successful people do not succumb to the seduction of victimhood and sing the “Woe is me” blues.  Successful people choose to stare in the eyes of adversity as their unwavering commitment to their goals will not allow them to quit.  When problems arise, successful people view problems as “possibilities” or opportunities to learn and grow.   The more successful people have actively taken steps to make their thoughts assets instead of liabilities.  You may be wondering; how do they accomplish such a simple but powerful task?  Based on my experiences, observations and conversations with the more successful people in life; I have learned that their answers to the following questions separates them from others.

Who do you spend your time around?  “If you’re the smartest person in the room, find another room.”  Do you spend time around people who inspire, encourage, challenge and motivate you?  Or, do you spend time around people who criticize, discourage and drain you.  We are the sum or our 5 closest friends and oftentimes we can find at least one quality that we share with those friends.  We attract who we are and where we are in life.  If your desire is to shift your thought process and become more successful, take a look at your circle.  I discuss this concept further in my book Vitamin C: The Healing Workbook, which can be found here.

How do you spend your time?  Time can be our ally or our friend. I am a firm believer in “work hard, play hard.”  However, I also come from the generation where parents told us “if you are too sick to go to school you are too sick to play.” The purpose of this concept was to instill work ethic.  The ways in which we choose to spend or invest our time will determine our level of success.  You can also read more about the impact time has on our level of success in my blog about balancing full time employment and part time entrepreneurship here.

What book(s) are your reading?  Are you reading? Our brains are like gardens and the seeds we plant in our brains by the material we choose to read can impact our thoughts.

What thoughts dominate your mind?  Do you focus on the problems or the opportunities?  If we remain problem focused, we are more likely to view life as problematic.  The more successful people are problem solvers.  They identify the problem and use their resources to find solutions.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  What legacy do you want to leave behind? Are you living or existing?  Do you go through the motions or apply yourself?  Another characteristic of successful people is they have long-term thinking.  They begin with their end in mind and work in the present to plant seeds for their legacy.

Who inspires you?  Who do you look up to?  Do you have an accountability partner?  As aforementioned, the more successful people are mindful of whom they share space, time and energy.  Most successful people started their journey with a mentor, someone who tells us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear.  I encourage you to reflect on one person you look up to.  If you haven’t already, reach out to them and pick their brains.  Successful people are usually not hoarders of information and are more than willing to share their knowledge with people who are open to learning.

The direction of our lives can begin with one thought! Our thoughts become our words, our words become our behaviors, our behaviors become our habits, and our habits become our values, which can ultimately determine our destiny.  Remember, whether you think you can or cannot, you are absolutely correct.

How do you keep negative thoughts at bay? How has your life been impacted by positivity and/or negativity? Please share your experiences.

If you are ready to transform your thoughts to transform your life, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation @ vitaminchealing@gmail.com.