The sting of rejection burns to the core. Job loss, unrequited love, college entrance denial, book rejection, bad reviews, negative feedback, betrayal or divorce can knock you on your butt. Smacked down, again and again, how does one center, have faith and move forward with confidence?

Any one of these could drive you into a fetal position, sucking your thumb. The hurt is real. Confidence is shaken. Everyone experiences loss and failure, which is painful, but it is the way we learn.

As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Looking back on my life, I realized that when one door closed, more opportunities appeared. Stuck with blinders on, I never made a change until pushed by unseen forces. With the autopilot kicked off, I was forced to be creative.

Below are 10 ways to get out of the thumb-sucking, victim mode and back into your power:

  1. Look for support groups.
  2. Improve your skills for the job market
  3. If single and looking for companionship, join groups, i.e church groups, meet-ups, etc.
  4. Exercise
  5. Take care of yourself. Confidence comes with looking good and feeling good.
  6. Keep swinging. Do not let a few strikes knock you out of the game. One is bound to connect.
  7. Practice gratitude. Think about all your blessings, not the disappointments.
  8. Be honest with yourself. Pick out your best features and say them out loud. “I am loving, kind, make delicious pasta sauce, have straight teeth, great hair.” Whatever you like about yourself, spill it often.
  9. Think about things that put a smile on your face, i.e. puppies, flowers, birds, children, hiking, swimming, travel, ice cream.
  10. Be patient and kind to yourself. This is the hardest to apply. Things come when the time is right. Do not beat yourself up while waiting.

Remember that you are special, a unique creation. Be the best person you can. YOU!!!!!

Beating Your Head Against the Wall

If I told you to run headfirst into a brick wall, would you?  Probably not.  Yet, metaphorically, most of us do it day after day, week after week, year after year.  We repeat the same behaviors, bemoaning the results and expecting different outcomes.  Trapped in miserable relationships and jobs that do not support our needs, we lack the courage to take a leap of faith.  Change is terrifying. We came to terms with our pain and fear that jumping from the frying pan would plunge us into the flame. Taking a chance could be worse than enduring our misery. Pessimistic, we remain stuck, never considering that something better is waiting for us.  Phoenix rose from the ashes with renewed youth and energy.  With determination, we can transform.  Possibilities are limitless.  

If you think that I sound like Pollyanna, I understand. It is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, when you cannot see where to take your next step. Change does not happen overnight, but the process can begin immediately. First, listen to your heart.  Where would you like to be in five years?  What career would you like to pursue?  There are online courses, community colleges and training programs that tailor classes around your work schedule.  If you are in an abusive relationship, seek help and counseling.  

Life is packed with disappointments, lessons, loss and sorrow, but also joy, excitement, pleasure and love.  You deserve to be happy.  You were not put on this planet to be a victim.  Take charge and create the life you were meant to live. Only you know what that is.  Enjoy the journey.  Bon Voyage!

Let Go

Are you a control freak, sure that you can manipulate everything and everyone?  That is what your ego wants you to believe. Truth is, that everyone has free will and stuff happens.  We are here to learn and grow. Obstacles will be placed in our paths. Some problems, are solvable, but painful lessons may include forgiving and letting go of hurts or the ones you love. To see a child floundering, regardless of age, gashes a parent. There is a time when stepping back is the better option. Letting go of a loved one due to death bores a hole in the heart that never heals. The love space is there for eternity.  Walking away from a lover or letting go of unrequited love is gut wrenching, but if one truly loves this person, electing to move on is best. Pray for his/her happiness and your healing. Fighting to keep a tight fist on another human being is futile.  Our children are through us, not our possessions. True love can only be by choice. Documents, guilt and threats cannot bind another’s love.

To let go, is one of life’s toughest challenges. Unconditional love, releases the chattels. If their love is strong, they will return. If not, new opportunities will appear. Trees lose their leaves, confident that new growth will appear in the Spring. Be open to life’s magical surprises. Be grateful for today. Happiness is a choice.

Analysis Paralysis

Are you stuck and unable to get out of your own way?  What is blocking you from pursuing your heart’s desire?  Analysis Paralysis traps many of us.  The ego plays devil’s advocate, shouting every “what if” we can imagine. Our insecurities devastate the dreams that we cherish. Instead of striking out boldly, we cower in fear.

Too much in my head and not enough in my heart, I languished. A friend gave me a gentle nudge to begin by taking the first step, writing one paragraph. When the flame has gone out, grab a match and some kindling. You are precious, capable, unique and special. The ego tries to protect you from hurt, but what is life without risk?

Pursue whatever makes your heart sing.  All of us must deal with survival on this planet, but the heart longs for more.  Write the song, play the guitar, plant the garden, cook your favorite comfort food or take up a new sport.  Whatever feels right, do it. 

Our journey here is pre-destined. A veil protects us from knowing when it will be our last day. Our purpose is to learn and expand our souls. Happiness is here, but it is a choice. Start each day with joy, welcoming whatever comes.

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love,” Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach. Get out of your head and into your heart.  Life is meant to be lived.

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