Posts Tagged risk

The Gift of Gab! Episode #60 The Passionate Embrace Of Life

FOUR WORDS:

  1. Passion
  2. Embrace
  3. Enthusiastically
  4. Willingness

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These are the four words we look at and unpack in this segment on living passionately while embracing life.

Living passionately means discovering things in your life areas by embracing the experiences found in each. To live passionately means taking small risks. And, we know that small risks taken daily become great hurdles overcome. The richest treasures in your life are the experiences you carry with you, and you have to be passionate about discovering what those experiences are. If you stop risking, you stop discovering. And if you stop discovering, you stop embracing. When you stop embracing, passion for anything becomes less and less. But, life does not need to be lived this way!

Listen now to discover, embrace, and reclaim your life and your life with passion.

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The Gift of Gab! Episode #55 Weighing Risk: Is Avoiding Risk A Better Option?

Leaders need to weigh the cost of risk.

Is taking no risk a safer option than taking great risks when it comes to leading and protecting the people you lead and serve? How about in your own life? Is the avoidance the best option? How do you determine which will save and strengthen you when you consider the options?

It can be a tough call. But, one thing is certain: Taking no risk by doing nothing can be the riskiest and most damaging thing you can do.

Listen in to hear why that is.

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The Gift of Gab! Episode #37 Now That I Know What I Need To Do, Let Me Find An Excuse!

Episode #37 A world without excuses.

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“It seems to be a fact of life the human beings cannot continue to do wrong without eventually reaching out for some rationalization to clothe their act.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Have you ever wondered what a world without excuses and justifications for our actions and inactions would look like? Now think about it this way: What would your life look like without excuses and rationalizations?

Oh, it would be a much better use of our time and energy!

So, if it would be a much better place, why do we resist change and cling to excuses, justification, and rationalization for our behaviors, desires, and decisions?

 

Several reasons actually:

  1. Fear is a huge reason we avoid change and create excuses. But at what cost? Clinging to excuses and bad choices prevents us from truly living in freedom by keeping us chained to fear. “I can’t imagine what my life would be like without this (behavior, choice, etc.), because it’s just who I am.”
  2. Comparison is another biggie. “Everyone else is doing it!” We compare mortality, behaviors, desires, and actions based on what other people are doing. If ours doesn’t look, seem, or feel as bad, we write it off and convince ourselves we could be doing worse…like they are. “Well, at least I didn’t do ________ as often as him/her!” Do you remember your parents giving you the age-old lecture, “If all your friends decided to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it, too?” Of course, the answer was always “No”. The truth is, in order to save our lives, sometimes we have to do the opposite of what “everyone” else is doing, and do what we know is moral, ethical, right, and life saving. As we all remember from our teenage years, popularity and peer pressure to follow the crowd can certainly be the disguise to our demise, because we think there is safety in large numbers—even when those large numbers are traveling on dangerous ground.
  3. Avoidance of the truth keeps us locked in our present situations. We tend to focus and place blame on the result of our choices instead of the actual choices or decisions or actions that led us to the results we find ourselves facing. “I can’t change my ( resulting issue or problem) because my (insert life area/thing of blame) is failing.”

 

Truthfully, rationalizations mask truth and even allow excuses to feel legitimate even though they may very well be man-made and inappropriate. When this happens the result is always a “stuck” state and an acceptance of what really needs to change. And many times people feel safe in that state, because while it may be a miserable place to be, they know it well and find comfort in the familiar. Change is hard. Change can mean losing friends and family. But surrender to change also means surrender to positive life transformation where the benefits of change outweigh the risks and pain of staying the same.

As long as we continue to turn to justification, we will continue to turn from transformation.

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My questions for you to ponder this week are:

1. What behaviors and habits are you knowingly masking with justifications, rationalizations, and excuses?

2. How will your life areas improve if you stop making excuses and justifying those actions and behaviors and embrace change?

3. What 3 steps can you take in this next week to surrender to change and start your transformation toward truth? (Remember, truth doesn’t tolerate excuses!)

 

Be sure to register for PRIORITIZED! It’s only offered a few times per year!

 

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The Gift of Gab! Episode #29 Living Like A “Try Baby” Hinders Your Success

In what ways are you a “TRY BABY?”

No, not a cry baby. A “try baby”!

In one way or another, we’ve all stood on the brink of chickening out in life, in our careers, and in our relationships. In this episode, I challenge you to think.

Think about what your life areas would look like it you refused to try?

What would happen if you let fear overtake you before you ever gave your life and dreams a shot?

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Risk is necessary for our survival! Think about your own life and the decisions you’ve made.

Did you try? Did you chicken out? Did you insanely and boldly move forward giving it your best? Is there something you’ve been afraid to try that you now want to pursue?

Are you still trying? Or have you safely given in and live your life avoiding new things? Are you focused on rejections that may never happen in your 9 life areas? Are you limiting your potential by not seizing every opportunity to TRY? Tune in to this episode and find out!

When you’re finished, I hope you’ll sit down with a pen and make an action plan. What are you now willing to try? Especially if it’s something that has the power to change the entire course of your life?

Those questions should prompt and inspire you to THINK. After all, I am a coach. And it’s my job to ask a lot of questions to help you unlock your answers. All you have to do is try.

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Why We Can’t Wait For The Perfect Opportunity!

I’m sitting in Starbucks having my weekly “Think Drink”. And there is something I want to share about opportunity. Many times we think we should wait for the perfect opportunity to come our way. And then things will be just perfect. But that’s just not so.

Opportunities don’t always come to us. Most opportunities are created.

How?

By overcoming the adversity and challenges we face in life.

So you want an easy life? One in which every opportunity just appears even if it takes our whole lives waiting for the perfect one?

Odds are…it will not happen. But if we look at where we are right now, and work with what we have, we’ll find that we can overcome the challenges and fears we face and create the perfect opportunity that we’d likely never find without the experience and determination we have because of it.

Once in a great while the perfect opportunity will come along. But if we really look back at what it took for us to get to it, it wasn’t a result of waiting. It was the result of working diligently, persevering, pushing through, never giving up, and using what we had no matter how little.

While waiting for opportunity, you may miss the opportunity to create your opportunity and never see it. It’s not exactly how you planned on spending your life, is it?

I’d guess not!

Don’t spend your life waiting for the perfect opportunity and get busy creating it. After all, life is a sequence of events. And opportunity is found as those events unfold. Look for it. Embrace it. Overcome it. Challenge it. Master it. Learn from it. And always create your life with what you have. In the process you’ll find your best opportunities.

Your life is waiting for you. Don’t miss the greatest opportunity to live it.

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Are You Willing To Risk Your Life?

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Many things lately have me pondering this simple question: Are you willing to risk your life? Funny thing is that for such a simple question, I know there are no simple answers. Everyone’s risk level is different.

Everything we do in life has some sort of risk associated with it. There is nothing risk free. We have no guarantees. The only thing we are guaranteed in this world is that we are born and we die. And everything that happens after birth has risk tied to it. (I am not writing about guarantees from a faith-based perspective this time.)

We live in a world where sickness, disease, crime, accidents, divorce, bad relationships, hurt, and deceit happen all the time. And to top it all off, people are mainly self absorbed, expect constant entertainment, and just walk away from things when they get difficult or decide there are just too many unknowns before ever discovering what the potential really was. We don’t live in a world where everything that happens is guaranteed to have a positive or happy outcome. If we did, honestly life would simply be boring. After all, the challenge of working at something to make it successful grows and matures us in our life areas. Now, I’m not saying that we want our lives filled with unnecessary drama and constant emergencies that wear us out and stress us beyond our capacity to be healthy.

So what do we do? More often than not, I see individuals who desire things in their lives take what has happened to them and build GIANT walls around themselves to keep ALL forms of harm in that life area away from themselves. They don’t want the risk, and they run from it before there is ever a chance to explore it. They don’t want to get hurt. They want a neat little guarantee with a seal of approval that says, “100% money-back guarantee, lifetime warranty, and we’ll actually send you TWO if you order right now!” Life doesn’t work this way. And that’s why you find many of those things with unrealistic guarantees sitting in garage sales. Even with the promise, they were still not all they promised to be.

What happens with people is that they build these walls so high, that when they do find what they want in their life, the person or people who are there with them in those moments are having to climb so unrealistically high and work so hard to get around the barriers built to where they can be with the person, that they wear out and don’t ever have a snowball’s chance of getting through. And this means the person who so desires the very thing that sits right in front of them can’t even begin to receive it. They in turn build higher walls, reinforce them to become tougher and thicker, and the cycle continues! It’s the equivalent of staying trapped in one’s own prison. The risk outside the walls they have built themselves is much greater than simply staying trapped. Being trapped equals safety. And when this happens and becomes a cycle-a way of life, living ceases to exist. We may have a life yet. We’re still breathing. But we are not living, truly living with passion and gusto and with great enjoyment.

I wonder how many of us at times have forgotten HOW to live. We have a life. But we are not just here to sit and breath in and out. That just doesn’t constitute living. It means we are only existing. But there is a huge difference between existing or surviving and thriving with a life that is alive and well. We were given a life to LIVE! That means we have to take risks! And taking risks means enjoying the best things life has to offer. And while we’re enjoying those things we will encounter risks. Risks are to be overcome. That makes us stronger people and equips us for enduring to not only have the things we truly want in our lives, but keep them for the long haul.

Take a look at some of the things people want in their lives and the risks associated with them:

  • Relationships-RISK (broken heart, material things defining the outcomes, uncertainties, etc.)
  • Marriage-RISK-(sharing, arguing from time to time, making sacrifices, adultery, death of spouse, etc.)
  • Having kids-RISK-(kids get sick, accidents happen, kids get kidnapped, pedophiles, death of child, sickness, etc.)
  • Owning a dog-RISK-(could bite someone or get lost, get fleas, run away, eat a couch, get hit by a car, etc.)
  • Buying a car-RISK-(could break down, be part of a recall, get scratched in a parking lot, destroyed in an accident, stolen, etc.)
  • Owning a home-RISK (appliances can break, a job may be lost with a mortgage due, hail could damage the roof, always something to fix or do, etc.)
  • Eating out-(could get food poisoning, bad service, could choke on food, etc.)

There are many risks with everything, and if we wanted to avoid getting hurt or having bad things happen to us, we’d have to stay inside and never go out. Only there’s a problem with that. There are just as many hazards by staying cooped up and isolated as there are outside the safety of giving up. Of course there are the things we can think of right away-falling down stairs, cutting ourselves while cooking, etc. But what about the physical and emotional hazards we bring to ourselves if we keep building those walls around our emotions and lives that keep us from truly living a full life? Those are more dangerous to our well-being than the outside factors. Those are the things that carry the most risk to our lives.

My point with this post is this: To live you must risk something. Everything in life is an unknown (with the exception of faith, and that is not what I am writing about this time). But it doesn’t mean that we need to stop living in order to prevent things from happening to us that we are unsure or scared of. LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE. Just think back to when we were kids. Yes, we fell off of the bike umpteen million times. But we got right back on and had the summer of a lifetime with no regrets. We lived on purpose, took risks, and grew along the way. And the only time we ever stayed safely inside was likely when we were in trouble for living a little too much!;)

Life is not about sitting in the safety of a self built shelter because we’re scared to embrace what we want in our lives. It’s about being bold enough to risk using your life to live, love, be, see, do, experience, and do it all over again each day. The biggest risk in life should be not doing it! After all, who wants to look back and have nothing but what if’s?  Be willing to risk your life. Risk it for what matters to you. And enjoy the ride. It’s worth the risk.

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She Flies With Feathers of Peace

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Today has been an amazing day. It has been a day full of miracles. And it has also been a day full of frustration. But nonetheless, I’ll take any day that God can work through, so frustrations are ok, too! A few days ago, two to be exact, I prayed for a specific answer regarding an opportunity that came my way. And in that prayer, I asked God to show me His will by confirming three things with me. I just felt I needed to see these three things in order to discern His blessing, His will, His plan. Why?

Simply because what I am praying over carries HUGE risks!

It’s dangerous. It’s more than what I think I can handle alone. It’s all new to me in my “sheltered” and comfortable  little world. I worry I am not strong enough physically and emotionally. I think I may not know enough. I don’t feel significant enough to make a difference. Should I keep going on and on? Me, me, me, fear, fear, fear! You get the idea. It just seems waaaaay too hard, and I don’t know that I can go the distance.

Did I mention the risk? Every single part of it is risky. Did I mention dangerous? Most of it involves huge safety concerns. It’s expensive, it’s risky, I am afraid and fearful of specific elements and aspects, and of course, I want to know why me!

Two days ago when I prayed about it, I was viewing some photographs a professional photographer had taken in areas of our world that are so hopeless that you can see it in the tears of the children in the captured images of their daily lives. And at that time, I realized that God had raised me up to be a leader:

Nothing more than a woman on a mission and who cares more about reaching those who are lost, hurt, and hopeless than I care about my own fears. And it’s true. That’s what kind of woman that I am. But then that fear sets in. So I prayed again for three things specifically.

Today I went to my mailboxes…one at home and one at the post office near  my training room. I had prayed two days ago specifically for these three things: Protection (of my health, self, and well being-safety), Provision  (to provide the resources and funding I’d need to do what I’ve been raised up and called to do), and Peace (knowing He himself is surrounding me with His protection, mentally, physically, spiritually).

As I checked my mail today and within five minutes of getting from one mail box to the other, these items arrived:

  • Insurance documents
  • A Leadership Book I had not expected to receive (a most welcomed surprise, because I am a book nerd and LOVE books that help people change their lives!)
  • Gift cards, certificates, AND a BIG check!

Of course, I opened each thing up unsuspectingly, but it took mere seconds for me to realize that one, two, three, these were the things I had asked for in my prayer two days prior to today. I stopped. I choked up. And I grew speechless.

I had received everything but peace. But, when I got out of my car after parking in front of my training room at our downtown location, I couldn’t have missed it even if I had tried. There on the ground, right in my path, was a feather that was just there, not blown away with the wind blowing all around. I stooped down, picked it up, and treasured it in my heart. God provided a feather of peace.

**I have to go back in time to explain about the feathers:

In 2007, I gave my first public speech after writing a newsletter article for one of my past employers. It was in that job as an employment specialist that I started coaching individuals. In that season, I started writing newsletter articles. And I wrote one called, “Challenging Everyone To Fly” to encourage them to empower themselves by attending the Caucus. I will write the ending here so you get the jist of it:

“Think of your participation like feathers on a bird. One feather cannot fly alone as there is nto enough ESTEEM in one. But all the feathers combined can ENGAGE to make up the wing. With wings, we can soar to new heights and EMPOWER ourselves. For those who believe in the EMPLOYMENT of individuals with disabilities, I hope to see you there carrying a feather. I’ll provide feathers for those attending. I’m willing to fly. Are you?”

I needed a miracle that day. I had never spoken in front of a group that large. They gave feathers to every participant-ALL 650 of them! I was told the speech I had prepared probably wouldn’t hold their attention. So I did something RISKY. I risked it all by not doing what they thought everyone wanted to hear. Instead, I gave the prepared speech and spoke passionately about what they NEEDED DESPERATELY to hear. And it was a success on so many levels with cheering, tears, and hotel staff stopping to listen and get involved. I stopped at a gas station after to get ready to embark on my trip home, when I heard someone holler out from across the store, “Hey Christine! Whoohoooooooo!”

When I look back, I can see it so clearly! Yes, risk. Yes, success. But not because I did what was safe and conformed to the normal patterns of this world. I took that risk, did what I new in my leaders heart what was RIGHT, and I never regretted it. It changed not only their lives, but IT CHANGED MINE, and the course of my life history. I received my first feather at that conference.

Ever since that moment in time, when I am uncertain, when I need clarity, when I need to feel the presence of God, when I need to pray, when I am blessed, when I least expect it, I will find a simple feather that is where feather’s just sometimes aren’t even found. I can tell you story, after story (I found two in my training room under a poster about God’s grace the first time I walked in here when trying to find an available office space, and others at a grave side while praying for a friend for the loss of his father while the wind was blowing 70 mph  that day…you tell me how that feather was there and survived!), testimony after testimony at how God works in my life today.

But the feathers are not just about how He works in my life. They to me represent how He works in the lives of every single person around me. Every feather He gives me through every trial I endure, every season I grow, every heartache I face, every uncertainty I conquer, every mountain I climb, HE gives me those wings to fly, just as I encouraged everyone else to fly that day. For a woman too afraid to fly on her own, He sure has given me a set of wings over the past three and a half years! And in this season of my life I find myself needing and wanting to trust Him that He will provide the wind those wings need to fly.”Come on Christine, YOU CAN DO IT!” (But don’t you know…”Even Eagles Need A Push!” I love that book, too!) Somebody push me! And I wonder if that is what God is now doing, yet I stand on the edge of the cliff and stare right at Him and wonder…Am I cut out for this? Am I ready now? Oh, how I long to soar yet I am plagued with fear sometimes! But I see the people’s tears, and I know it’s time to dive and let His wind carry the feather’s He’s provided: Provision, Protection, and Peace.

I posted on facebook earlier today: “If God has given me these wings, will He not give me the wind I need to fly?”

Of course I know He will. I’m just afraid to try sometimes. I am afraid of the risk. I am afraid of the uncertainty. I am afraid of the danger. But when I think back to the feather I found today, it takes me back to one of the pieces I prayed for: PEACE. As I look back, I can see He’s been with me all the time. And when I think about the footprints in the sand story where there were only one pair of footprints, because at those hard times of life God carried me…I now think that sometimes in my life there ARE NO FOOTPRINTS in the sand, because HE WAS TEACHING ME TO FLY!!!

THAT IS INCREDIBLE!

When I think about the type of woman that I am, I can’t help but to hope that someday, I will fly like an angel. Not because it’s fun, but because I want to help others learn to fly with the feathers that fall out of my wings from time to time that are there to remind someone else of their life, purpose, gifts, talents, and that they matter, because God made them, and EVERY person matters in the Kingdom of God. I want to fly to help get them there and give them a nudge or another feather to help them gain their confidence just as God has given me (and is still giving me) mine. That is very humbling. And it’s how I see my life and who I am.

Sometimes we just need to give people encouragement, help them, believe in them…one PEACE at a time. And I know that, because I’ve got a collection of feathers and a mighty Father in Heaven who provides them to prove it.

It’s time to fly :)………………………………………………..

 

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