Reject Fear and Astound Yourself

Thomas Edison_AstoundWhen I work with clients, one phrase I hear over and over is, “I am afraid.” And when I ask where the fear comes from, I get all kinds of answers; most of which almost always boil down to a few common threads. Rejection. Disappointment. Loss.

I’ve had my share of fear, so I can empathize with clients. I also know what it’s like to be on the other side of fear — how freeing it feels to release it; how empowering it feels to move forward. And because I know the power in that courageous transformation, I am dedicated to helping others move through fear, so they can experience the other side of a frightening emotion —  the other side of fear.

What I’ve learned is that when we choose to confront that which we are most afraid of, something magnificent occurs. Doors open. People step into our lives. Information opens our hearts and makes us braver. The universe conspires to support our effort.

In January of 2014 I made a decision to write a self-empowerment series to share the many important lessons I’d learned as a life coach. I realized that too many people struggled with the same life challenges. 

Just a few months later, I was invited to join a Facebook group of visionary female authors. This group of women have all been brought together by super-visionary Linda Joy, whose message is to give freely and not worry about receiving. From a heart-centered space of giving, the act itself is enough to ensure we get what we need, when we need it. I saw this as a sign that I was moving in the right direction.

Belonging to a group of women who are more focused on giving of themselves means that we all get incredible amounts of support. These women have helped spread my “living joyfully” message amongst their own readers. I’ve even had the honor of interviewing several of them who shared personal stories of overcoming fear. Their stories are being intricately woven into my forthcoming book about conquering fear once and for all. With personal stories revealing vulnerability and doubt from women and men, readers will gain inspiration and courage to embrace doubts and fears holding them back from living life to the fullest.

If this book sounds like one that will benefit you or someone you love, I encourage you to take two steps:

  1. Join my mailing list (top right) and you may be selected to beta read the book prior to it’s publication. I count on readers like you to give me critical feedback to ensure my writing provides readers the greatest benefit possible. By joining my mailing list you get two bonuses right away! First of all, you’ll receive my latest eBook Five Roadblocks to Living Your Dream & How to Bulldoze them Out of Your Life! Secondly, your name will automatically go into a quarterly drawing I have for a $25 Kindle gift card! 
  2. Join the Power of Living Joyfully Facebook  community where I share inspiring content to keep your spirits high and your sights focused on the living the life of your dreams!

So, back to that quote at the top of the page by Thomas Edison… What can you do to astound yourself? I’d love for you to share in the comments below.

Sheila Callaham is the author of seven books and a success coach who has coached and mentored hundreds of clients to a happier life. If you want more information about Sheila’s coaching programs, please click the coaching tabs at the top of the page.

Pursuit of Life Dream Pays Off

Dreams Come True_jpgWhen the first congratulations came in from a few of my LinkedIn connections, I had to look to see what they were congratulating me for. I didn’t realize it was four years ago this week that I had taken the first (and scariest) step in pursuing a life dream. I resigned my high-paying corporate job to stay home with my children, write and publish my books, and to coach others to live the lives of their dreams.

In four years time, I’ve written six books and published seven. My first book, Truth Runs Deep, was written while I was still working full-time and managing a house full of kids. In four years, in addition to my strong Amazon presence, I’ve built a successful coaching and mentoring business. And, perhaps even more importantly, my health and well-being has improved significantly. No longer do I suffer from daily joint pain and chronic fatigue. I’ve lost 18 pounds, the need for daily pain medication, and am happier than I can remember being in a very long time. All because I found the courage to pursue my life dream.

In my coaching practice, clients frequently tell me about their life dreams. They express so much emotion around what they would do with their lives if only….

Here’s the rub: when you’re not willing to fully commit to your dreams, there will always be an if. This is the litmus test of courage. This is where you determine how badly you truly desire the end goal. And when you really want something? There is no if.

I’m reminded of a quote by Anais Nin that I taped to my work computer when I was going through a hostile divorce and custody trial. At that time in my life I needed more courage than 15 people together could muster, and I drew strength from these words. This quote became my daily mantra. After moving past that challenge, I kept the quote as a constant reminder of the power in digging deep for the courage that resides within. When I resigned 15 years later, I gently pulled the quote from my computer display and brought it home. It’s now taped to my book shelf next to my desk.

Anais Nin quote

People’s resistance to courageously stepping into the life of their dreams is rooted in fear. I know what that feels like because I had to work through my own fears before I took a leap of faith. I had wanted to resign my job for five years, but I kept thinking of all the money I was making and the excellent benefits I had for myself and my family. My biggest fear was that, without my income, we would never be able to make it. We had bought our home with a dual income, we had four more children to put through college. But there came a time when I wanted to live my dream more than I wanted the security of a steady pay check. That’s when I became focused on the when and the how. That’s when I put my plan into action.

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. All I needed to do was believe in me.

I’m still receiving notes of congratulations from friends and former colleagues. And every time I read one, I smile from the inside out.

What is your life dream? Are you living it now or making excuses?

Want to Jump-start Your Creativity? Try People Watching!

creativity

What is his story? Whatever you want it to be.

Although I consider myself a highly creative person, there are times when I just don’t feel it. Maybe I have a headache, or find myself distracted. Maybe I’m juggling too many things to concentrate on the creative process. At times like this, forcing myself doesn’t typically yield the results I desire. Instead of wasting time and energy, I give myself permission to do something completely mindless and benign; I go “people watching”.

While Urban Dictionary defines people watching as a hobby, I define it as one of the single most creative outlets I have in my repertoire. The one simple truth about this activity is that everyone has a story. The creative aspect comes from allowing your imagination to determine what story fits a particular person.

Here’s how to use people watching to boost your creativity:

1.    Go to any high-traffic location where you can find a comfy place to sit and watch what’s going on. For organized group observations, check your local newspaper or online town calendar for events that are free and open to the public.

2.    Bring props like a magazine or laptop so you can appear to be doing your own thing, just in case you become the observed instead of the observer. Always carry a notebook to capture interesting quotes, unique character features, or story ideas. After all, you don’t want to go to all this trouble and then forget your great idea before you have a chance to get home and write it down!

3.    Scan your area to observe the different people and their respective activities. Then look at them again, but this time more slowly. Who captures your attention? What is it that makes this scene most interesting for you to observe?

4.    Let your imagination go! This is your time to shine as you shape the person’s life story, just by observing his or her body language and actions. What can you surmise? What gives you those impressions? How certain are you in your assumptions? How would the exact opposite character description fit your story? What kind of account can you dream up that would make this person the most loveable person on earth? What would make him or her the most detested? Which story seems most plausible?

5.    As you continue your observations, write interesting details in your notebook so you can use them later. Capture story ideas that present themselves as you go through your imaginary game. When you feel newly inspired, enjoy a latte before packing up to go home to write!

Because people watching inspires my creativity, I find ways to incorporate into my weekly routine. I watch people while waiting to pick up my son from after school sports. I observe people while waiting in line at the grocery checkout, or when in the waiting room for a dental appointment. No matter where I am, taking a few moments to observe others always sparks my creativity.

I’ve found blog posts and videos that prove people watching is a popular form of entertainment. For example, two or more people might want to play one of these 12 games created around the hobby of people watching.  There’s even a wiki how-to on people watching, in the event you need more details than what I’ve outlined above. Here’s a short video that shows how entertaining people watching can be.

In the end, people watching is like watching television except you write the script as the characters move on the stage of life. For me, that’s an incredible source of creativity. While I can sit and stare at my computer, refusing to write, I simply cannot sit and stare at people without my imagination taking over. Creativity is guaranteed, or your money back.

What one thing can you always rely on to spark your creativity? Let me know in the comments below.