Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Giving Myself Permission: Putting Fear and Doubt In Their Place


Chapter 1


A Philosophy in the Making
Purchase a copy here

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ~R. Buckminster Fuller

The foundation for the philosophy of giving myself permission was laid during one of my knock-down, drag-out fights with God! Yes, you read that right. You can call me arrogant, sacrilegious, gutsy, or just plain stupid, but I was none of those. During this particular fight, I had accused Him of being a liar. Not only that, I blamed Him for playing favorites between men and women, and among races.

It seemed a valid fight to me. Of course, I had been taught that God didn’t have favorites, and that He loved all of His children the same. Well at the time, I didn’t feel that was true, at least not for me. Today, I know better, but that day I felt like a stepchild who just never seemed to get the support, love, and attention the other kids were getting.

My talks with God are real conversations like the kind you would have with a person standing right in front of you. They’re not sugar-coated, and seldom are they done in the traditional way of bowing my head and falling to my knees. If you walked into a room while I was talking to God, your eyes would automatically scan the room in search of the other person in the conversation.

Anyway, I was mad as hell that despite my desperate pleas for God to help me, He wasn’t responding fast enough. Other times, I didn’t think He responded at all. Don’t you hate when He does that? You’re in head over heels, struggling to sleep at night, worried about how you’re going to make it out, and there He is seemingly twiddling His thumbs, or gone on an extended vacation. UGH!

Three years prior, I had lost my retail business of nine years. My home went into foreclosure. I was hiding my car to avoid it being repossessed. My bank accounts were frozen, and I was fighting two pending liens from the IRS. Not wanting to give into failure, I worked two jobs to get back on my feet, but things just weren’t turning around the way I needed them to. I was a single mom with two kids: an eleven-year-old son, and a twenty-five-year-old daughter who had a daughter and was trying to finish college.

Around this same time, several professional acquaintances had strongly suggested that I consider becoming a professional speaker, but I never really gave it any thought. Instead, I quit my second job, took what little savings I had, and started a business creating leadership development programs. After hobbling along for close to a year, I landed a big client that would put me on a sure path toward success. Life was good!

After two short months, I was blindsided when the client reneged on our contract. I had developed a special program to cater to their needs and already trained members of the company’s team. Suddenly the client terminated my services, claiming the decision was due to budgetary constraints. It added salt to the wound when I learned the company later implemented my program using their own people.

For a couple of weeks, I threw a major pity party by crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was emotionally exhausted and stayed in bed for days. Devastated, I barely ate anything or talked to anyone. Thank goodness my son had gone to stay with my daughter for the summer. She had finished college in Springfield, Missouri, and decided to live there, at least for a while. When I talked to them, I mustered enough energy to pretend that everything was great!

The Strength of Words

While I can’t remember my exact words to God the day I got really angry with Him, the gist of my accusation was that all my life I had been told by my mother that because I was a Black woman I would never be anything more than a peon. Though everything inside me completely rejected that nonsense, hearing those words over and over again subconsciously affected me.

SIDE BAR: It is amazing how a person’s words can have power over our lives. I believe words can either empower or defeat our efforts. Be careful about the things you give ear to. Like me, you may have been saturated with negative message that may have diminished your hopes and dreams. Often, the most hurtful and deflating words come from those you loved or respected — a parent, spouse, sibling, teacher, or friend.

When they spoke those words, you may not have given it much thought. But think for just a moment — do you sometimes hear a faint whisper of these words in your mind when you’re in certain situations? Do you find yourself believing some of the very things they said about you? Until now, you may not have consciously been aware that you have been harboring feelings associated with that particular moment in life.

If you think that perhaps negative words are having an effect on your progress, make a decision right now that you will forgive the person whose words have held you back. Then, replace the message they gave you with a positive message. For example, if someone said, “You will never amount to anything,” replace their words with a new message, like, “Deep within me is the power to be as I define myself and my life!” Or, perhaps they said, “You should have given up on that dream years ago. It’s too late.” Replace that message with something like, “I may have missed some opportunities along the way, but I choose to learn from those mistakes and move on. There is a definite plan for my life, and I intend to live for that plan and purpose!”

RESUME: Despite the negative words that were constantly spoken to me early on in life, I intentionally set out to make something of myself. I completed college, lived in the so called “right” neighborhoods, sent my children to the “right” schools, and socialized with the “right” people. I went to church, prayed, fasted, tithed, and gave to the less fortunate. In short, I dotted all the “Is” and crossed all the “Ts.” Even though I followed the blueprint for success, I wasn’t successful. My life was in shambles, and professionally — well hell, that didn’t turn out the way I planned either.

As if God didn’t know my situation already, I blurted every detail about the mess my life was in and reminded Him of all the work I had done to earn the privilege of having a better life. After all, I deserved every bit of the lifestyle I had been busting my butt to achieve. I insisted my overall experience as a Black woman and the persistent inequality Blacks endured, despite our efforts, just wasn’t fair. I went on to argue that I should never have had to suffer the absence of a healthy loving partner, the stigmas placed on me by both Black men and White society, and the consistent betrayals and emotional devastations that I was subjected to as a child.

As my anger surged and then peaked, I screamed, “God, You’re a liar and You play favorites! The Bible says You are not a respecter of persons. You rain on the just as well as the unjust. But what I see is Whites getting all the privileges and Blacks, well I guess to hell with us! I’ve done everything people said I was supposed to do to be successful. And I’ve done everything to win Your favor. Yet I keep coming up empty handed, betrayed, and frustrated. I’m tired of picking up the broken pieces of my life! So tell me what’s going on?” I demanded.

If there was a feeling deeper than depression, I was feeling it. My life was so dark; I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I was convinced, more than ever, that God didn’t care anything about me. Before I knew it, I was in a full-fledged affront against Him.

Physically and emotionally exhausted, I heard God say, “It’s not Me, it’s you!”

Shocked and still pissed off, I responded, “What do You mean, it’s not You, it’s me?”

Then I heard Him say, “While you do have a lot of responsibility in your situation, I don’t mean ‘you’ alone — I mean ‘you’ as a human society — far too many people are locked in the residue of their past.”

This outrageous conversation, precipitated by my matter-of-fact, in-your-face attitude, led me on the most extraordinary journey of my life. First, I was eager to find out what God meant by me being responsible for my dilemma. Second, what was this residue of the past that human society was locked into?

Why Can’t I Stop the Madness?

As time went on, I began entertaining the suggestion my colleagues made about becoming a professional speaker. Just out of curiosity, I contacted a few public speaking seminar companies and within one month, I landed a job as a corporate trainer. Not having anything else to lose, I thought, What the hell? It can’t get any worse. I actually did begin speaking professionally, not because it was an intentional career move, but because I needed a job.

A year passed and things seemed to be leveling off financially. My head was beginning to clear. Over the course of time, I met a man who pastored a church. He seemed really interested in developing a relationship with me. Within six months, he asked me to marry him, and I graciously accepted.

Since my job as a corporate trainer required frequent travel, he insisted that I quit. He argued that a pastor’s wife needed to be available at all times to assist with ministry work. It sounded rational, and as you might suspect, I quit my job to fulfill my role as pastor’s wife. As the old adage goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Within the first month of our marriage, the good pastor became physically and emotionally abusive. Rather than entering into a marriage, it seemed I had entered into the ring to spar with an aggressive boxer. Then, as if things weren’t bad enough, I discovered he wasn’t legally divorced. Here we were three months into the marriage and we weren’t even legal! Can you see where this is headed?

The what else could go wrong? list kept growing. This man, whom I thought I loved, stole large sums of money from me and pawned my jewelry. I simply couldn’t believe that my life had taken such a downward turn. Devastated, I had to find a way out of that nightmare and somehow regain my dignity and sanity.

At the same time, life had presented my daughter with her own set of challenges. It seemed as though she was repeating my life patterns, because she too had become a single parent of two children. Eventually, she moved back home and we worked together to get over our hurdles. Months passed, and even with the two of us working long hours to get ahead, we were barely able to make ends meet.

An Unexpected Journey

By the time God revealed the philosophy of learning to give myself permission, I had gone back to conducting public speaking seminars for corporate professionals. It had been four years since my failed marriage to the pastor, which not only created heartbreak, but financial setback. I had decided to embrace the gift and talent of touching people’s lives through words.

My hope was restored, and I had set my sights on becoming the next great speaking sensation. But with this grand idea came a bigger problem — I had no idea how I was going to accomplish the goal. So, when a colleague sent me information about a weekend retreat designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs market themselves, I jumped at the opportunity. The event was held in La Jolla, California, and seemed like the perfect solution to help make me visible, busy, and booked!

It was November 2001, and the purpose of the retreat was to bring together a small group of entrepreneurs who had become stagnant in their efforts to move to the next level of success. The location overlooked the Pacific Ocean and was simply fabulous! We were all invigorated by the view. And certainly the presenter had done an outstanding job of inspiring us to refocus and pursue our dreams. During the conference, participants engaged in passionate discussions that produced tears, hugs, prayers, and major breakthroughs. Then — too soon, it seemed — the weekend ended.

There was no doubt our passion had been rekindled. We were headed toward the next level of success! As we said our goodbyes, a few of us lingered in the corridor of the facility and continued to talk about our weekend experience. We shared how the feedback from other creative, like-minded people had been simply stimulating.

After awhile, the pleasantries began to fade and the conversation began to echo the exact same conversations we had when we first arrived. Somehow we slipped away from the talk of hope and possibilities and reverted to doubt and impossibilities. It was almost as if we were openly reaffirming our loyalty to remain restrained by our limitations.

I chuckled and said to myself, Wow! We managed to spend an entire weekend making a 360 degree turn — only to end up exactly where we began — stuck in our own private hell of limitations and inhibitions. You know how it is. Sometimes we do things in life that are so asinine or bizarre that the only thing we can do is laugh. Any attempt to explain it would create even more confusion. This was indeed one of those moments.

My flight home was scheduled to leave in a few hours, so I said my final goodbyes, retrieved my luggage from the hotel bellman, and took a cab to the airport. As I waited to board the plane, I resolved in my mind that the retreat had only been a temporary mental departure from a darker reality that none of us wanted to acknowledge. It seemed our reality was far bigger, stronger, and more sinister than any pep rally weekend could change. I had experienced this feeling before. All too often, throughout the course of my life, my efforts to move ahead were met with criticism, and even ridicule, from others.

In retrospect, I realized the taunting didn’t always come from other people — most often it came from my internal self. However, when it did come from others, it was as if I somehow gravitated toward the negative words spoken about me. My pathetic attempts to break free from the mental and emotional self-sabotage seemed to intensify the abusive self-talk.

Over the years, I learned the only way to silence the taunting was just to be content with mediocrity. Unfortunately, for me, this method rarely worked because whenever I gave in to my negative thoughts, my passion and desire to pursue my full potential would rise up to haunt me. For as long as I could remember, I had lived in a constant internal tug-of-war between my potential and this dark feeling that I just couldn’t seem to shake.


The Awakening

I boarded the plane and was waiting for takeoff. Reluctantly, I had decided to pamper myself and fly home first-class. Fighting to keep the internal lunacy of negative self-talk at bay, I thought again about the group of strangers I had just met during our weekend retreat. The more I reflected on our conversations, the more I began to realize that the reasons we gave for not fully committing to our dreams were nothing more than a charade. It was just a pretense to disguise all the internal fears and doubts that were controlling our lives. In other words, the phony excuses that may have seemed logical and valid to the average listener were simply a cover-up for the subconscious, and often less credible, reasons that were holding us back.

For instance, one of the countless reasons I gave for not fully committing to my goals was I didn’t want to neglect my children by not being there for them. Using this excuse kept me from feeling guilty about not fulfilling my purpose. What excuses are you using? Do you think it’s too late? Are you procrastinating because you don’t have enough experience, or the right connections? Perhaps you’ve been delaying going back to school to get the degree you need to obtain a greater quality of life because you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have the time, money, or support.

Or, is your excuse similar to mine — your loved ones (mother, father, son, daughter, spouse, etc.) — need you? Whatever your excuse, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to give yourself permission to live through your potential. As I pondered why I was once again beginning to talk myself out of advancing my life and career, I was interrupted by the flight attendant. She asked if I wanted a glass of wine. Exhausted, I said, “Yes, a Cabernet please. I really need one.”

“Rough day?” she asked.

“No, just overwhelmed with reality,” I replied in a tone of accepted defeat.

As I enjoyed the subtle aftertaste of berries, plums, and ripened grapes, I watched passengers board the plane. I wondered just how many of them were disguising secret fears and doubts. Were they feeling hopelessly locked into the day-to-day routine of merely existing? I wondered. If someone asked, what superficial excuses would they give for not going after the bigger things in life? What were their internal hang-ups? Was it the idea of failing, succeeding, or never trying?

I began having another mental conversation with God. Our talk quickly escalated to an intense, passionate plea. “God!” I cried, “I just spent three days with a group of people who were as lost as I am. Yes, the retreat helped reconnect me to my dreams and passion; and yes it was rejuvenating. But the plane hasn’t even left the ground yet, and I have already thought of a half-dozen reasons why I would never be able to implement any of the information learned. God, I really want to know why this keeps happening. Why can’t I break free from the internal heckler that keeps me focused on the limitations and impossibilities of life?

The announcement blasted over the plane’s audio system that the doors were about to close. So I handed my empty wine glass to the flight attendant, adjusted myself, and buckled my seatbelt. For a moment, my internal chatter settled down as I watched the flight attendant demonstrate the in-flight safety procedures.

As the plane ascended, I began feeling a sense of comfort in the puffy, white billows of clouds outside my window. The view was tranquil and relaxing. But instead of indulging in it, I became frustrated about the idea of returning home a failure. After all, nothing had really changed.

All the encouragement I had received during the retreat to embrace my passion meant very little in the scheme of things. No matter what I did, things would still be the same. Living my passion, accomplishing big things, having a purpose, experiencing success, hell, that’s for special people, I thought. And I ain’t one of them!

Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed by feelings of intense sorrow. Tears began to run down my face and I cried uncontrollably. Once again that dark “something” that is always hovering over my life took possession of my thoughts. Every time that happened, my efforts fell flat and I continued living a mediocre life. I was mourning another failed attempt to break free from the internal chains that kept me in my limited existence.

Every link of the chain had been forged over the years by the sadistic reminders of what I couldn’t do because of my race or gender. Now the painful thoughts that fortified this chain were reverberating in my mind. Every negative word that had been said to me over the years began to flood my mind. Things like:

“You’re a peon, and you’ll always be a peon.”

“You need to learn how to stay in your place.”

“You have a Champagne mind, with a soda pop purse.”

“You’re just like your damn daddy. He ain’t shit, and you ain’t gonna be shit either!”

“Women are supposed to be seen, not heard.”

“No matter how much education or money you have, a Black person will always be less than everybody else.”

“Get your head out of the clouds and face reality. Ain’t nothing special about you?”

“If God wanted you to have better, you would have it by now.”

“If your prayers are not being answered, then you’re not praying hard enough, fasting long enough, or paying enough tithes.”

“A Black person can’t, and a woman never will.”

The rattling of each link in this chain grew louder and louder, and I couldn’t make it stop! I felt an excruciating pain in my heart, but I couldn’t scream. It ached to the point of nausea. My sadness became more intense and the tears flowed incessantly. I wished that I could forcefully vomit out all the negative and malicious words locked inside my head, and the memories attached to them. Then I could be free from the darkness inside me that was always waiting to kill my hopes and sabotage my efforts. I kept thinking, If only I could throw up!

Having no control over my emotions, I continued to stare out the window of the plane, thankful that no one was sitting next to me. I figured that if the other passengers noticed me crying they would think it was because I had left a loved one behind.

My mind began to shift back to my conversation with God and why this one-step-forward, three-steps-backwards dance keeps happening. I also wondered again what God meant by me being responsible for my dilemma. I demanded that He tell me WHY? Why did success in life and love always seem to elude me? Why did I have to fight for everything I had, and still come up short? Why did I identify more with a victim mentality, and less with the mind of a champion? WHY?

Just as quickly as the crying started, a silent calm came over me. The disparaging thoughts had instantly vanished. A rare, indescribable peace swept over me. What just happened? I wondered. Maybe I had just experienced a momentary, psychological meltdown. Hell, maybe I was bi-polar and didn’t know it. I’m sure if a psychiatrist had observed my actions and heard my thoughts, he or she would have been writing me a prescription and scheduling my next appointment.


The Word is Given

While drying my eyes, I looked again at the billowy clouds. Then a word came over me so swiftly and powerfully that it literally shocked me. It was compelling and clear-cut. Yes, I had demanded an answer from God, but in all honesty, I didn’t expect to get an answer — well not right then. I was used to having to wait sometimes weeks or months for any kind of clarity of thought or wisdom. Sometimes, I didn’t get an answer at all. But it appeared this time I got the answer I needed just when I needed it.

I referenced an African proverb in the introduction, but it’s worth mentioning again: “When you understand the whys of life, you can endure any how.” The word God gave me helped me to better understand why I had unintentionally been sabotaging myself and living in mediocrity. It also gave me wisdom to finally move out of my own way and into a more powerful state of being. The word I heard was “PERMISSION.”

It came over me with such conviction that I said aloud, “WHAT?” Then I heard Him say the most astonishing thing: “It’s because you won’t give yourself permission to see a better reality for yourself. To be, do, think, or expect anything different. You would rather live imprisoned by your weaknesses, fears and inhibitions than give yourself permission to live freely in your possibilities and divine potential.”

Taken aback by the whole experience, I responded, “Oh, my God — that’s it!” (In fact I said it three times). It made sense. I had never, ever given myself permission to be or do anything other than live under the influence of the negative conditioning or experiences that had dictated my way of life. I had rarely challenged the status-quo, and when I did, I was riddled with guilt and a host of fears.

I immediately began to feel a release in my mind, heart, and spirit. Joy overtook me and my tears turned into laughter. It was truly an “awakening.” I would finally be able to live free of the internal torment that had undermined me practically all my life.

Totally oblivious to the things going on around me, I looked up to find the flight attendant standing in front of me with another glass of wine. It was as if I had actually asked her for it, but I hadn’t. As though she was aware of what had occurred, she handed me the glass of wine and with a gentle, affirming smile she looked me in the eye and said, “Reality is never as bad as it seems — is it?” Before I could answer, she walked away. Talk about God making a point! I’m convinced He used the flight attendant that day to reinforce that the Universe would work in harmony with me once I gave myself permission to be and do things differently.

For most of my life I had felt all alone, but something had just happened. A switch had just been flipped to the “on” position and I realized God has always been there. He heard me! He actually heard me, and He did care after all!

For the rest of the flight, my heart and mind raced with excitement. I had a ton of questions about this whole permission thing. I wanted to know what it meant to “give myself permission.” Was this some kind of newfound freedom? Would it be a whimsical free-for-all, an excursion of self-absorbed indulgence, or something completely beyond what I could comprehend? And if so, how would I learn it? Would there be principles to follow, steps to take, and how drastically would my life really change as a result of giving myself permission?

By the time the plane landed, I was ready to move full-speed ahead with the notion of giving myself permission. That day I was determined to share this new epiphany with everyone I met! And so my journey into exploring the self-permission concept began.

Not really knowing how to give myself permission, I tried everything from chanting daily mantras and affirmations to fasting, to taking spiritual sabbatical, to attending psychological counseling. I practiced the laws of attraction and took advice from life coaches. You name it, I tried it. Yet, when the cloud of euphoria cleared, I realized I was no closer to understanding what giving myself permission really meant. In fact, I was still burdened by the destructive habits of self-doubt and apprehension. However, I clung tighter to the notion of permitting myself to do, be, and think differently.

In my quest to give myself permission, I came to understand that I had failed to consider the mental conditioning I attained while growing up. Up until this point, I had subconsciously reinforced this mental conditioning by giving into my fears and inhibitions. It was a mindset that relegated me to a life that was defined by the deeply-rooted restrictions and limitations set by others. There I was, contemplating the unthinkable — to go against everything I had ever been taught, and instead of seeking approval from others I would now be self-approving. I would be “consciously” making the final decision.

Because my perceptual and emotional foundation had been distorted by years of abuse and was in need of major renovation, I misinterpreted situations, had unreasonable expectations, and often felt hurt or disappointed by the outcome of my efforts. I was quick to assert my control, set unreasonable boundaries, and in some cases, be overly self-protective. Somewhat frustrated by all the time I lost in previous years, I wanted to rush the journey of learning to be more self-approving. Bad idea!

A complete novice, I did a lot of things wrong, like writing my first book too soon. It was my first major attempt to introduce this philosophy. While I meant well, I was quite naïve in my timing and my understanding. The idea was relatively new then, and I really needed to have practiced the concept longer so that my readers could benefit from my trial-and-error experiences. If you read my first book Giving Myself Permission: The Simplest Path to Successful Living, you might have noticed that some of my thoughts were fragmented and disjointed. For that I apologize. In my pursuit to understand, I gained a greater sense of respect for the experience and the action of giving myself permission, and learned valuable lessons along this journey.

Since the inception of this philosophy in 2001, I have evolved in my understanding of what it really means to give myself permission. My experiences have taught me so much more than I can present in one book. In this book, I maintained the original integrity and purpose of the first book. I have even used some of the original content, but I’ve integrated new lessons learned over the years. In this journey I have come to the strong belief that giving yourself permission is an absolute prerequisite to achieving anything of value and meaning in your life. Without it, little if anything is possible. I will go so far as to say that we can’t truly receive the fullness of God’s love, until we give ourselves permission to. This is a truth I have lived.

Attitude is Everything!

The philosophy of giving yourself permission is grounded in theoretical research and exploration. In the first part of this chapter, I explained the origin of the self-permission philosophy. In the remaining portion, I will lay out a model that will help you to develop a mindset for giving yourself permission in life, love and success.

In my attempts to practice self-permission, I discovered something else. I call it “self-work.” I define it as the intentional, sometimes unplanned, act of soul-searching — examining your motives and methods and then telling yourself the truth in order to make positive changes and better decisions in life. To make the necessary changes in my life I had to exert some real effort to find out first “what” caused me to act and think the way I did. The process I am about to share with you helped me to accomplish that goal.

Self-work involves making small mental steps toward change. In other words, you must adjust the way you think. First, you must acknowledge the truth concerning many areas and things in your life. Second, you must have the courage to re-evaluate the attitudes and perceptions you have about yourself. Third, you must permit yourself to let go of things, people, and situations that cause you to betray or sabotage yourself. I’ll get into the specifics of doing your self-work in the next chapter.

When I became serious about changing my life so that I could be successful, I had to make three mental shifts. I’ll also discuss each of these in the next chapter. One of the ways I limited my success was by failing to prepare mentally for the success I wanted. In most cases, people have to engage in a type of mental preparation before they begin working toward their aspirations. Failing to do so will always result in temporary success. In other words, a person may be able to attain the goal he or she desires, but is unable to maintain it long-term because their unconscious attitude or mindset doesn’t match their conscious wants.

Many of our failed attempts at success occur as a result of a restricted mindset. We all want to be successful, but we’re not all able to handle it once we get it. How many times have you heard rag-to-riches-to-rags stories about people who finally achieved the success they wanted, and one self-sabotaging act caused them to lose it all? It happens in business, relationships, and even personal goals like losing weight, buying a house, or letting go of defeating behaviors. For example, people subscribe to a particular diet, lose the weight, and then gain back more because they adjusted their mindset for temporary change, instead of a lifestyle change. After they lost the weight, they went right back to their old habits.

The same thing is true when it comes to buying a house. A person saves up enough money to buy the house, but they fail to realize that it will take more than a monthly house payment to manage it. Ultimately, they lose their homes because they carried their apartment mindset into their new home and lost it all!

I have heard people say, “You can take the person out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the person.” Another saying goes, “You can take the person out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the person.” The undertone of both these statements that applies to every area of our lives is you have to transform your attitude and mindset if you want to change the results you get in life.

Whether your goal is to be successful in improving your quality of life, getting or maintaining love, or fulfilling your life’s purpose, you have to cultivate a fertile mindset that will sustain the success you desire. By taking the time to do your self-work— changing your attitude about success — you will have a more confident and deliberate start. You will also avoid the unconscious tendency to sabotage your efforts, and experience greater results!


Self-Permission Challenge

For your first challenge, I want you to accept for just five minutes that it’s “possible” to put the fears or doubts you have in specific areas of your life in their place. Start by selecting the simplest area of your life that you want to experience success in. After you have identified that area, answer the following questions:

1. What is most gratifying to you about the positive choices you’ve made in this area of your life?

2. When you have experienced success in this area what do you attribute it to?

3. What in this area is important for you to keep, strengthen, or preserve?

4. Without considering any limitations, what would you like to happen in order to achieve success in this area?

5. Considering your responses to the first four questions, what is one small step you can make today that will get you closer to the outcome you want in this area?

There is no time span as to how long you work through this challenge, so don’t rush this process. This is all about allowing yourself to just experience the possibilities in your life.

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