6 Tricks in Getting Past Writer’s Block

A few days ago, I completed the magnificent milestone of completing the first draft of my upcoming book, #UnleashTalent, that will be released this summer. Although my journey still continues and editing still remains, I have learned more than I could have ever anticipated. During the process, I had many moments of beautiful writing fury, where I could not type fast enough to get all of my ideas on the page. Yet, on the other hand, I had times where I would daze into my computer screen and struggle with articulating to find the right words. I have blogged for the last 3 years and these writing feelings are not new to me, but when you write a book, the highs and lows of writing are felt and noticed to a whole new scale.

Therefore, through my love of writing and all of its trials and tribulations, I have found the following tricks that have helped me throughout the continuous process. Whether you write for fun, blog, write books or share in the writing process with your staff and students, I hope these tips and tricks can bring an extra level of joy and dimension to you and those around you.

Trick 1: Create or locate a space to write that is inviting and comfortable

I will literally write anywhere. I write in airports, in hotel lobbies, at family gatherings, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and in my home. Through trial and error, I have found out the mix of environmental and physical factors that I personally like when I am writing. I have found that, for me, my ideal workspace is by a fire, with my essential oil diffuser on, while sitting in a comfy chair. Although this is not always doable, I have adapted some of the conditions around me to make it work. For example, I love feeling the warmth from the feeling of an authentic fireplace. Within our current home, we cannot build a fireplace, so I purchased an inexpensive electrical fireplace in our living room to help give me the vibes I was aiming for.

With that said, I do like to mix things up, too. I regularly go to the public library and read in any available chair, or check-out a room in the library for free. Some writers love to work in silence, some with minimal noise or others thrive with music or a variety of background noises around them. It is crucial that you find your personal preference, but also work to adapt yourself to different surroundings as well. Many writers and bloggers also like to go to Starbucks, Panera, or a local bakery, coffee shops, or eateries. Although I will write at these places, for me it is not ideal. It is crucial that you play around with different spots, locations, if you can, to find the best space for you.

Trick 2: Surround yourself with inspiration

At my home, the chair I sit in to write in our living room is directly next to a bookshelf filled with my favorite books and authors. When I am writing elsewhere, I throw in a few of my favorite books into my purse or backpack to take with me. For me, being able to be surrounded by my writing mentors give me the inspiration to keep going, to keep writing.

Do you have a favorite quote or book that you can keep nearby your writing area to lift you up when you need it? What inspires you? 

Trick 3: Read, read, read!

The most avid writers are the most avid readers. During your writing growth, continue to find the time to read, listen to podcasts, listen to audiobooks, and to learn. Continually shifting your thought process and growing from other authors and experts will do everything to make you better, not only as a writer but as a person. All-in-all, a commitment to reading will help you become an even better and more fulfilled writer.

Trick 4: Start collecting journals, paper, and post-its

Although I love typing in the digital world, there is something to be said about writing on paper; it is an understated art. I keep a journal around me at all times, so I can write down anything that comes to mind: Quotes that I see or hear, the advice I learn from others, bible scriptures I read, stories I want to share, and more. Having a journal keeps me in touch with my own life while having a working document that I can always refer to in order to gain more motivation for future things to write about or to weave pieces of my life together. I also use Google Keep in a pinch to add in photos, thoughts, or other tidbits that I want to look at another time. Also, when in doubt, use a post-it, or twenty. Post-its never lose their luster.

Trick 5: Dedicate times to write and commit to it

One of the best tricks of all is to purposefully set times to write and to follow through on them. I build in writing times like I build in time for my fitness workouts. Each week, I look at my Google Calendar and plug in a few times (or more) to write, based on my current goals and projects. On most days, my schedule is completely booked, early morning to evening, so on weekdays, if I can plan for a few 15-30 minutes of writing, I am over the moon. On weekends, I know I have more time, so I will plan accordingly. The important thing is to be realistic. Start planning for a few 10-minute writing sessions a week to get yourself into the routine. You will find on some days, those 10 minutes will turn into much longer periods of writing, and you could get swept away for hours. While on other days, you may have a difficult time writing at all, even if it is just for ten minutes. That is okay. Start the habit, and commit to it.

Trick 6: Find your workflow

All of these tricks together will create your unique workflow. The space, the noise, the time allotment, the environment around you, and beyond. Piecing each of these parts together, and finding what works for you, and what does not, will help you gain more of a confidence in writing. This, paired with the ability to persevere when conditions are tough, will assist you in focusing more on the writing itself, and less on the writing block. Writing blocks will still happen, but to know your triggers and to how to get yourself out of it can bring more joy to the adventure.

 

What tricks do you use to get into a writing flow? What other pieces could I add below? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

My upcoming book, Unleash Talent, will be released in the Summer of 2018 by IMpress and DBC (Dave Burgess Publishing), Inc.  Stay tuned for future blog posts to get more sneak peeks of ideas within my book.

When my book is released, I will share more information here regarding book resources, materials, book study information, and where to purchase my book. #UnleashTalent

4 Hard Things I Realized in 2017

This year was a life-changing year for me. It was one of the hardest and best years of my life, all wrapped up into one. Through these blessings and obstacles, I learned a great deal about myself and how to continue to push myself to think differently, while learning more about the world around me.

In a nutshell, in 2017, I moved across the state, planned our wedding, got married, moved into a new place, started a new position as an administrator, and started and finished writing my upcoming book, Unleash Talent. Ironically enough, many of these huge life changes all happened at the same time, which bestowed on me many of the stressors that come along with it. I must say, all of these things together are complete blessings from God that I am eternally grateful for. But, as we know as educators and family people, we can tend to get pulled in a multitude of directions with many pressures, some that we even put on ourselves, that can weigh even the best blessings down if we allow them to.

With that said, here are 4 of the hard things I realized in 2017. These lessons have and will continue to be at the forefront of my mind as I lead this upcoming year with, what I hope is, even more, wisdom than I had the year before.

1. Value your talents and what you have to offer

Many times in my life I have almost self-sabotaged my own talents due to my fears of not being good enough or being judged. Although writing a book has been a life-long goal, there have been countless times when writing the book where I had writer’s block, not because I do not know what ideas to share, but because I personally got in my own way. Once I am able to get past this feeling, I am able to truly unleash my talent and to be proud of who I am. Therefore, when my self-doubt haunts me, I continue to tell myself: “I am talented. My story matters. People need to hear my story. My story will positively change people.” Although it sounds cheesy, these self-affirmations help me realize that I matter, just as much as everyone else, and they help me to keep sharing who I am to the world.

2. Know when to say yes, and when to say no

With all of the life changes this year, I have learned more of when it is okay to say yes and when to say the opposite. I used to think that I needed to say “yes” to any opportunity and to any request that people sent my way. I am a hard worker and tend to find more worth in myself through giving back to others, which makes it even harder to say “no.” This can be a blessing, but it can also wear me down if am not careful. Therefore, when people in my personal life or in my career have asked me to do things or to be a part of something, I now purposefully think before answering:

  • Am I even interested in this opportunity?
  • What projects am I currently already apart of at work?
  • What commitments do I need better to prioritize at home?
  • What talents of mine do I have to offer to this potential project/activity? 
  • What could my experience or learning be if I did dedicate my time to this?
  • What time do what I have to dedicate to something new?

Although these are 6 heavy questions, it helps me become realistic to the idea of what I have time for, the resources and gifts I am able to provide, and to what capacity so I am a fulfilled worker AND family member. I continually seek ways to build my talents and to bring more purpose in my life, but I also am mindful that I do so without bringing down other areas in my life as well. It is okay to say yes, and it is definitely okay to say no, too.

3. Limit the guilt and pressures that you put on yourself

My initial reaction when typing this lesson was to write “stop the guilt.” But, then, I realized that if I told you to stop the guilt, I would be asking you to become inhuman. Therefore, let us make the goal to limit the guilt and pressures that we put on ourselves, rather than to stop them fully, which would be merely impossible. Ironically enough, the pressures we place on ourselves can help us to be bolder and to be better overall. But, just like with anything else, too much of anything is unhealthy for you and those around you. Continue to seek progress and growth, but take the time to reflect and realize when you did something right, too! If we continue to place guilt on ourselves for not doing enough, especially when we are putting our best foot ahead of us, we can get in a looped train of thinking that forces us to focus on feelings of worry, anxiety, and negativity. Find an accountability partner who will not be afraid to call you out when you get stuck in this thinking and will help you to be proud of the choices you have made, not guilty; This has made all the difference for me.

4. Find comfort in the discomfort

With all of this said, tides and shifts in your life can make you feel uneasy and weary. When things change, you naturally want them to go back to the way they were, or for the change to de-escalate in its speed. But, as one of my new favorite quotes and ideas by Lilly Singh says, “Think of discomfort as currency- it is the price you pay to learn some pretty crucial things.” Discomfort is temporary and is proof that you are pushing yourself. Discomfort is life’s way of showing you that you’re making efforts to forge ahead. Embrace that feeling and move towards it, rather than exerting just as much effort to run away from it. If you find a way to work alongside discomfort, you will be more apt to complete your goals and to live the life of your dreams.

Discomfort is life's way of showing you that you're making efforts to forge ahead. Embrace that feeling and move towards it, rather than exerting just as much effort to run away from it. Click To Tweet

My upcoming book, Unleash Talent, will be released in the Summer of 2018 by IMpress and DBC (Dave Burgess Publishing), Inc.  Stay tuned for future blog posts to get more sneak peeks of ideas within my book.

When my book is released, I will share more information here regarding book resources, materials, book study information, and where to purchase my book. #UnleashTalent

10 Questions Principals Should Ask Their Staff

In my upcoming book, #UnleashTalent, a major element that I discuss is supporting your staff. Whether you are a principal, teacher, custodian, nurse, secretary, or superintendent, we must support each other as adults to support our kids. Everything trickles down. Happy and supported staff equal happy and supported students.

Happy and supported staff equal happy and supported students. Click To Tweet

If we want to model a culture of support- We first have to LIVE it as adults first with one another, especially if you are a school leader and administrator. What we model becomes our school culture, whether we like it or not. Thought: Is what you are modeling worth catching?

As a school administrator, it is too easy to think you understand the pulse of your building. But, one should never assume anything. In order to get in touch, we must do more than be present. We need to ask more thoughtful questions that can help us, as leaders, gain a variety of perspectives from staff members in various roles. Sometimes, it may feel that some questions you want to ask staff seem silly or redundant. You may even worry that you may be bothering them by asking.

But, the truth is that your colleagues WANT you to ask these questions. Then, most importantly, they want you to take action as a result of what you learned.

Therefore, here are 10 questions to ask staff and colleagues to grow more in your position and to gain more insight on how the pulse of your school is. The feedback you receive due to these questions can be the beginning points of transformation in your school. Be vulnerable, be brave, and start by asking staff members 1:1 a few of these questions and see what happens. Your staff members will appreciate your efforts more than I can even state.

  1. What do you love most about the work you do?
  2. What has been a highlight of something that has happened at work within the last week?
  3. What are your biggest hurdles at work?
  4. How can I support you during these hurdles?
  5. Is there any feedback you can give me on how I am doing in my role?
  6. What am I doing well in? What am I overlooking? How do I need to grow to best meet our staff and students?
  7. What do you feel is the biggest obstacle for our organization as a whole right now?
  8. Do we have an elephant in the room? If so, how might we address it?
  9. Do you believe you have an opportunity to use your talents at work?
  10. How can I help you unleash your talents with students, staff, and the community?

The Feeling of Empowerment

When is the last time you have felt EMPOWERED?

Empowered to be all you can be? Empowered to learn more? Empowered to be more? Empowered to make take risks with no comprehension of what will happen next?

Some of us may have a person in mind who gives back to others by empowering them to be all they can be. This person could even be yourself. But, what if empowerment in schools was an everyday occurrence? Not something that people talked about, but a feeling that truly resonated in the hearts of our staff members and students.

When people are empowered and trusted to do so, they have the opportunity to change the world for the better.

Our schools are representations of micro-communities within our world. Within these communities, we can choose to empower our students to be apart of the positive change or to be someone who resents it. Our attitudes, our dispositions, and our willpower to impact our school systems will trickle down to our adults and children one way or another. Let us hope our influence makes a positive impression on the youth and for the legacy that we will one day leave behind.

Each student, each teacher, each parent, each leader inside of our school system has an innate ability to make our schools and world better than they left it. But how are we empowering them to do this? We have to remember that although some individuals can be their own role models, many children and adults are rightfully looking to us to see what next steps they should make in life. It is an enormous responsibility that we have in the world of education.

As educators, we are a multitude…

Of roles wrapped into one. Students call us “mom” or “dad” accidentally while parents lovingly call us their saving grace. It is a lot of pressure to take on at times, and the weight can weigh heavily on your shoulders. But, the importance of our work is astounding- It IS making and WILL make an impact.

We dedicated ourselves to the education profession because we have seen the power education has had on us as children and adults. You may have had some of your fondest memories of your childhood at school, or you may not have. Either way, those memories become the catalysts in making the world better than we found it. To give future kids better school experiences than we had.

But, when is the last time you have empowered yourself to live and lead with this vision?

Remember: Education is learning and learning is life. No one ever stops learning or growing, whether they are 5 or 95 years of age. There is always so much to learn and so much yet to know. One who thinks they are an expert on a topic is really just a novice. The world is always changing and so are the people.Therefore, as much as we know in this present moment on any given topic, there will always be more left to inquire about with each passing day.

The most important wisdom we need to hold onto is our why and what has inspired us to be here in this moment.

Trust yourself and why you are here to do the great work that needs to be done. The natural wonder, awe, and beauty that the world lends us, give us the perfect platform as educators. Embrace your talents, the knowledge of others, and the trust in yourself to empower you and others to be all they can be.

Hold onto that feeling of empowerment; We ALL have so much to offer the world, but we have to have a little faith in order to unleash the greatness within us all.

My book, Unleash Talent, will be released in the Summer of 2018 by IMpress and DBC (Dave Burgess Publishing), Inc. Stay tuned to future blog posts here to get more sneak peeks of ideas within my book. #UnleashTalent

How to Let Go of What Others Think

Throughout our lives, we are trained to care more about others than ourselves. Being selfless and compassionate becomes a marker of who we are. It is a beautiful thing; It is what life is all about.

The dilemma within this arrives when we put ourselves last and/or on the back burner altogether. We become so focused not only on others, but what they think and how they will perceive us. When this occurs, we can lose sight of our positive values, our good intentions, and who we are. These results can isolate us within our minds while disengaging us from making the impact we know we can make in our lives.

Therefore, this is not to say “stop caring about what others think,” because that is equally unhealthy as it is unproductive. What the bigger idea is to not let others change who you are as a person, deep within. We can and should grow as individuals, but we should definitely not lose sight from who we are.

In the social media age, this is increasingly more and more difficult for kids and adults to do. We all are constantly worrying about the number of likes we have on posts, who is commenting on what we post, what our influence is, and who likes the person we are.

The better question we should be asking ourselves is: Do I like who I am as a person? What do I like about myself? What positive attributes do I bring and share?

Building and improving upon our self-concept must be a priority we all gain and teach others in order thrive in and out of the digital world we live in.

Here are some ways to do this:

 

  • Accept who you are

What makes you, “you?” Embrace that and love yourself because of that. When you are having days of doubt, write self-affirmations down either on paper, on your phone, or on a dry erase/chalkboard hanging within your office or home. At my house, I write down self-affirmations on a dry erase board (almost) every day. At first it feels strange acknowledging the greatness you have, but over time you will see that what you write and say about yourself is what you will begin to believe.

Alex Elle, author of Words of a Wanderer, inspired me to begin this journey almost a year ago. She posts her daily affirmations on Twitter and Instagram, like the picture below where she says, “Today I affirm my worth is not contingent on how others choose to love me, but how I choose to love myself.”

Image Credit: @_alexelle on Twitter
  • Focus on your strengths and talents

What are talents that you have in life? We all have strengths and talents. Whether it is personal or professional talents, we each have areas in which we shine. Focus on those first, rather than your weaknesses. If we focus on our strengths, we will grow at much more rapid rates than diminishing our self-worth based on weaknesses.

  • Remain authentic

How often are you living your most authentic life? How much do you represent who you are as a person? 

The answer is, probably not enough. We all owe it to ourselves to step up our game and to show ourselves and the world what makes us “US” and what we have to offer. Grow to who you are, do not shrink into someone you are scared of becoming.

I love this quote that depicts this idea perfectly: “I’m not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.” -O.M.

  • Set boundaries on what matters and what does not

This one is especially tough. We see a million things that need our love, care, and assistance, and can default to “GO” mode where we want to positively impact anything and everything. But, this is impossible. Instead, focus on what matters. Do not get bogged down or stressed with items that will not make an impact in 1 year, 5 years, or 10+ years. When every situation arises, ensure that you are setting boundaries to focus time in areas with the most significance and influence.

  • Worry about what YOU think, not others/Let the negativity GO

We spend hours and hours worrying about what others think, but how often do we think about what we are thinking? Be in tune with your thoughts, your opinions, and your dreams. Go after those, not what you think others want you do. Stay away from negativity within your mind at all costs; Negativity can be such a brain drain. As I mentioned in an earlier post, 10 Habits of Positive EducatorsBe a fountain, not a drain. Spread positivity, after all, it is FREE.

Takeaway: If we want to unleash talent in ourselves, we have to begin to accept and love who we are as individuals first. Do not focus on what others may think of you. Talent cannot thrive in environments filled of negativity and self-doubt. We all have something special that can make ourselves and the world better because of it. #UnleashTalent

My book, Unleash Talent, will be released in the Summer of 2018 by IMpress and DBC (Dave Burgess Publishing), Inc. Stay tuned to future blog posts here to get more sneak peeks of ideas within my book.

Jump into the Unknown

In college, during our training and courses, many of us were programmed to be regimented to create our lesson plans, to book our calendars, and to fulfill what we have written down in that tiny lesson plan box, no matter what.

Today is different. Lesson plans are not just a box; they are life-sized. We aim to reach the whole child, not just the content. We see outside the curriculum and look into how we can help all students, all teachers, and all people.

Additionally, we continue to ask kids to be risk takers. Teachers across the nation are asking students “to be brave” and to “try new things” regularly, which is remarkable. But, I often wonder how often we trust ourselves as adults to adhere to the same advice?

As adults:

How often are we jumping into the unknown, by choice?

How are we sharing our experiences of risk-taking with students?

How regularly do we authentically model being brave with our students?

I ask those three questions above to myself on a very regular basis, especially during moments when I hesitate to take risks.

For our students to be willing to be brave, I think all of us, each of us, need to find those moments to live it as adults FIRST. We cannot have the cart before the horse.

Yet, if we were honest with ourselves, the thought of “jumping into the unknown” sometimes feels uncomfortable and unsettling to us. When we have these moments of discomfort, we have to remember that our students can feel the same exact way in similar circumstances.

The regimented part of us wants our day to fall into place as we see in our head. It gives us a sense of ownership, control, and success. But, if we always want to control the day, without embracing the unexpected, we will miss out on what life is all about.

The most rewarding outcomes will never meet us where we are if we do not set foot in the unexplored territories. As Steve Harvey eloquently says (when discussing success), “If you want to be successful, you have to jump, there is no way around it. When you jump, I can assure you that your parachute will not open right away. But, if you not jump, your parachute will never open. If you are safe, you will never soar.”

Truth: We may not always jump into the unknown; Sometimes, it may just be a slow step forward. Our direction is more important than pace and what is even more important than pace is patience. Whether we choose to walk, run, or jump into the unknown, we may not feel the most confident. But, if our hearts are centered in a good place, we can rest assured that our parachutes will soar.

One Good Change Leads to Another

Image Credit: QuotesNew.com

Many of us share similar struggles, no matter what our path is, even if it is outside of education. We want to change EVERYTHING at once and can feel so small if the changes we wish to make are outside of our reach today.

In the world, we see people who desperately need our help… Hey, sometimes we are the people who need help from others! Having said that, it can sometimes feel insurmountable to give and be everything you need to be to everyone, all the time. We often think:

Where do we begin?

How do we help everyone who needs us? 

Instead of trying to change everything by yourself, all at once, first, focus on one person. Start by making a difference in one person’s life. Being there for one can have a positive domino effect on the lives of everyone that person interacts with. One change can lead to a multitude of changes; One person feeling loved can lead to that person spreading more love to others.

Ironically enough, by spreading love, you will also feel more loved, too.

By starting with one, you can gain the momentum you need to keep going. One good change leads to another, and another, and another; But, you have to start somewhere.

One good change leads to another, and another, and another; But, you have to start somewhere. Click To Tweet

To echo this, Jon Gordon recently quoted Andy Stanley in an Instagram post with these words, “Do for one which you wish could do for everyone.” 

I could not have said it better myself.

Try This: Take time each day to recenter your focus; Start your day off, by affirming that you will make a positive impact in the life of one person, one colleague, or one stranger. Say it out loud, believe it. Then, throughout your day, find opportunities to be that one person for someone else. After you find your one person, reflect on the positive interaction afterward.

But, tough days will happen. When you do have these tough days and wonder the breadth of the difference you are making- Find solace in yourself. Appreciate who you are, what you bring to the table, and reflect on those people and those moments in which you simply started by helping one person. Then, in fact, you will see the influence you are making.

Keep Spreading Hope-

Begin the School Year with a Fresh Slate Mindset

Each school year seems to go faster than the year before. Over the summer, our brains tend to race as we ponder about the, “I wish I would haves” from the year before.

Maybe you are thinking to yourself:

  • I wish I would have tried ____________ (add in the curriculum idea here).
  • I wish I would have been a better ______________ (add in job title here).
  • I wish I would have taken more risks in the classroom for my students.
  • I wish I would have built more positive relationships with my colleagues.
  • I wish I would have been more generous with my love and time to others.

Soon after, we start to dream big with the marvelous, grandiose, and detailed plans of everything we aspire to do for this upcoming school year. We commit ourselves to it all and believe that this time, nothing will stand in our way to reach our plans.

It can be a vicious cycle of dreams, hope, then guilt if we feel that we fall short at the end of the year.

But, I believe that over the summer during our brainstorming sessions, we can get so blinded with everything we want to do that what we all often miss are discussions of starting the year with a “Fresh Slate” Mindset.

As educators, we have a unique opportunity to start each year with a fresh slate. In most other professions, people do not have this chance. We can and should take our failures and missteps from the year before and turn them into learning opportunities for the future; Rather than dwelling on the past, we have a responsibility each school year to make it better than the year before.

So, as you approach this upcoming year, I challenge you to embody a “Fresh Slate” Mindset, for yourself, students and your colleagues. What I mean by this is for you to give yourself grace for failures made, and most of all give that same grace to others, too.

Remember this: We can be whoever we want to be today. Who we were yesterday does not have to dictate who we will be today or tomorrow.

We are all human, we have all made mistakes, and every person in this world could all use a little more love and acceptance. After all, we are all learning and figuring life out as we go, right?

In the excitement of the new school year and ideas, do not forget to take the time to press the restart button for yourself and others. Start small and always start with love.

We often practice this with students, but forget to apply it to ourselves and other adults.

Sometimes, what we ALL need the most, even more than new programs and innovations, is a chance to start over and do better than what we have ever done before.

Here is to making this school year the best yet,

Be the Man in the Arena

 

Image Credit- Kara Knollmeyer
Previously published post- 2016

On April 23, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt delivered the “Citizenship In A Republic” speech in Paris, France. The small excerpt from his 35-page speech, which you see above, is widely known as the Man in the Arena. This notable passage was most arguably the finest speech of Roosevelt’s entire Presidency.

It is remarkable that a message stated over 100 years ago can be just as powerful, magical, and moving; When a message can touch generations, there must be a common thread that people can relate to time and time again.

After much introspection, here are my six takeaways from the Man in the Arena:

1. Feel your fears

In many cases, the critic is someone who is just fearful as the man in the arena; Fearful of their inadequacies, fearful that they could be more successful than measure, and fearful that others may know more and be more than them. Feel your fears. OWN your fears. Do not let your fears embody a critic mindset that flattens the spirit and gusto from those around you. Feel your fears and deal with your own insecurities first and foremost.

2. Be Brave

Everyone feels inadequate at some point in time. It takes pure guts and bravery to overcome inadequacy and trying times. We are each capable of becoming the metaphorical “Man in the Arena.” Moreover, any critic can turn into a champion if they have the steady heart to persevere.

3. Discomfort Equals Growth

Putting yourself out there is not easy, and no one said it was. Furthermore, I do not think it is supposed to be easy; It is supposed to be meaningful. Times of discomfort prove that you are growing and learning. Accept it and appreciate the uncomfortable process.

4. Focus on the Man in the Arena

It is not about the critic. the naysayers are usually not the individuals evoking change…The man in the arena is.

Sometimes it can appear that critics are as prevalent as your need to blink. When you are the “Man in the Arena,” you may feel like a spectacle under the watch of analysis. Stay steadfast with your doggedness and zeal. In time, you will see the successes of your efforts.

5. Do Not Judge

If you see an individual struggling- that is not their story. If you see a highly successful person- that is not their only story. Perception is not reality. The beauty of life is that each individual is a unique collection of stories; One snapshot of someone’s life does not tell all. Do not judge a person for their highs or their lows in life, because there is always more unseen and left to understand.

6. Be an Advocate

Nothing is done well without passion. Find something worth fighting for and go after it. By doing so, your zest for life will rise exponentially. When you love what you are doing, you start giving less emphasis to the critics; The doers are too busy to be worried about the critics anyhow. Focus more on the vision, more on the future product, and refrain from sweating the small stuff.

Remember:

If you do not advocate for what you want or what you believe in, people assume and interpret that it is not of value.

Here’s to all the men and women in the arena…

The Fear of Not Being Enough

Usually, on blogs or social media, we tend to display the highlights of our lives. The best of the best.

And what are we too afraid to put online? Our inadequacies.

Why?

If we write someone on paper, we can toss it in the can and forget its existence. When we write online, it is imprinted forever.

But, in this post, I want to be vulnerable. My hopes are that through this post, I can help others feel that they are not alone.


To give you a little backstory, within the past couple of weeks, I have moved, gotten married, and will be starting a new leadership position.

A lot of change; Good change, exciting change, but still change nonetheless.

Throughout these recent and pivotal changes of my life, where I see all I have ever wanted before me, one question keeps hitting me harder than the rest:


Am I going to be enough? 

  • Will I be a good enough wife?
  • Will I make my husband happy?
  • Will I be able to make the positive impact I dream to make in my new leadership position?
  • Will I be able to give students and staff everything they deserve?

Although my husband and I have dated for years previously to our marriage and in my career I have had a myriad of educational leadership experiences, I cannot help but feel the feelings and ask myself these questions.

Change in all areas in life is incredible. But, it still looks like and feels like vulnerability.

But, I am learning that a part of being human means we have to start allowing ourselves to feel the feelings that come along with it. To be honest, to be raw, to be authentic.

We were born to be imperfect; To have polarizing emotions. Some days I feel confident, other days I do not. No one may ever know or be able to tell if I confident or not, but it still does not mask my inner feelings.

This is a message for you (and me):

Asking yourself,  “Am I good enough?” does not make you any less of a person or educator. It does not mean you cannot handle challenges. You absolutely can.

Being brave enough to ask that question means that you care deeply; You love people and want to help more than you can even describe.

I can feel, even as I write this, that opening myself up to unknown and embracing it, rather than feeling inadequate because of it, is the best thing I could do, not the worst.

Remember: You are enough.

You will continue to make a difference because you are the difference. Click To Tweet