Let’s begin with this title. Mother of 15 children, wife of 27 years to a pastor, author, inspirational speaker, lifestyle designer, tv producer, and podcast host. Many look at each of those roles and begin to wonder how I do it all. The answer is AWARENESS that I have limits! I have learned through my own adversity that I am not an island and I need a support system to accomplish my goals. Awareness was the foundation to help me transform from the victim mindset to the growth mindset. I was able to look at myself in the mirror and own up to the decisions that led me to this unfulfilled life that I was living. I had to face the reality that the person I saw in the mirror was not aligned with who I remembered being. I was living life on autopilot and had no personal goals outside of seeking the happiness of my children and family.
That was a mistake that started my journey of seeking validation with circumstances and people outside of my control. I chose to attach my worth to my roles and elements that were out of my control which constantly kept me on an emotional roller coaster.
Self reflection that led to my transformation
One of the lessons I learned through my 3 hospitalizations was that I needed to be proactive about my own mental health. I silenced my voice, worked to please others, and didn’t consider asking for help. That action led to my struggle with losing my identity and giving away my power to others. I had to be honest and search within to determine what was the cause for the recurrence of these patterns and beliefs.
Have a strategy
I began to ask deeper questions like what is the pattern? What feelings occur before certain actions? What am I thinking? How can I get my life under control? What would I like to accomplish? What is my definition of a wife, mother, First Lady, author, tv producer, inspirational speaker, podcast host and life coach? I realized at that time that those definitions were defined by others and I just followed without question. I left the most important part out of the equation- my voice. It was at that point that I created and implemented the “Fresh” start strategy.
- Fear as fuel
-In a lot of ways we allow fear to kill our dreams, relationships, opportunities because it is often disguised as self-doubt, perfectionism, and limiting beliefs. In this step I learned to use fear as fuel or a guide. If I wanted to pursue something whatever I was afraid of - that would become my curriculum for research. I jumped feet first in the ocean of self-discovery and found so many people waiting to help me. I was shocked to see that the more I admitted what I didn’t know the more people were willing to help me.
Reframe your past
- NEWS FLASH: everyone has a past! Everyone has a story. The key is that we have the power to tell the story the way that we desire. Who are you? Where are you going? What resources do you have to get there?
- I decided that a mother of 15 who was hospitalized for depression and stress was not the end of MY story. I chose to have a story about overcoming depression. I chose to add value and use my experience to help prevent other women from making the mistakes I made. I chose to create programs and strategies to convey core principles to living a fulfilled life.
Envision your accomplishments
- Take the time to listen to your heart. What do you desire? What does your ideal day look like? What are your goals? I had experienced a time where I could not answer any of those questions. I was stuck in a routine of doing for others and did not have any insight into my own desires.
- I had to take a pause from tv, social media and toxic people to determine what my own voice was. I recommend doing a vision board so that you can visualize what your goals and aspirations are. I do this regularly with my children and I suggest making it a screensaver for your phone.
- Creating a vision board helps you dream with no limits. It allows you to have hope and take baby steps to make those dreams a reality. There is also an element of accountability that moves you forward daily.
- The issues many have with depression are not quick fixes. Oftentimes, they are rooted in self-doubt and limiting beliefs. With that being said, it takes time to change our mindset which changes our behavior. I found it extremely important to create a support system to help me on my journey. It is still hard and can be emotionally draining but it has allowed me to be patient with myself during my transformation. I have learned that success is achieved by having the right people in your corner. I have coaches, mentors, family, and NEW friends who share the belief that I can daily become a better version of me. This is pivotal because your past can play in your head like a broken record so it is important to combat that with new data, new voices, new affirmations, and new routines.
- Be patient with yourself. In my case I had to remember that I was 46 years old so the layers of work would not change overnight. I also had to foresight to realize that my family and friends were victims in their own way and they needed healing also. It was in this process that I learned that it was not about me. I learned that obstacles occur in everyone’s life yet our power is in our ability to control what we say and what we do. So just as I realize that I give my grace to myself I CHOOSE to give grace and patience to others.
Think about where you are.
Are you happy on most days? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you blame others for your outcomes? Is your worth tied to rewards or recognition? Are you fearful of being judged by others? Do you have racing thoughts? Do you envy others? Do you criticize everything? My first question is how is that approach working for you? Is it helping you live the life of your dreams and accomplish your goals? The next question is when are you going to do something about it?
I had to realize that I had a choice to change my situation and the only thing stopping my progress was me. I had to face the truth about how my thoughts, lack of decision making, and distractions kept me from living my best life. The hard truth was that it was Me that allowed this unsuccessful pattern to continue.
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In my case, I was 46 years when I realized who I truly was and what I have to offer my husband, children, family, clients, and the world. I challenge you to take action today because life is so much sweeter when you are truly fulfilled.
Remember: Be the best You because there is no substitute!