Why You Should Embrace Your Nerves

Why You Should Embrace Your Nerves

You are about to try something new and slightly intimidating.

You are about to get up in front of your peers to give a speech or presentation.

You are rehearsing the speech you plan to give your boss, asking for a raise you know you deserve.

You are about to have a much overdue heart to heart conversation with a loved one.

What is the one common denominator going on in all these events??  You are NERVOUS!

So often we spend so much energy trying to NOT be nervous.  Here’s the thing…you are still going to be nervous in these types of situations.  In my opinion, the reason you are nervous is because you care, this is important to you.  It’s something that matters.  You’ve often worked long and hard to be in this position, or it’s something you’ve been wanting to do, or thinking about, for a long time.

It if wasn’t important to you, you wouldn’t care as much and probably wouldn’t be nearly as nervous.  Am I right?

So instead of putting all your energy into fighting your nerves, which quite frankly probably aren’t going anywhere, why not put your energy into being better prepared, and more confident, as you enter the situation.

This concept isn’t completely my own.  I heard radio talk show host, Bobby Bones, talking about it earlier this week.  I’m not sure if it was something he had read or heard from somebody else, but it any event, it really stuck me as something that could be helpful to others, so I wanted to share it as well.

New activity you are tackling?  Make a pros vs cons list.  Focus on why you want to do the thing in the first place.  How excited, fulfilled, happy, confident will you feel after completing it?

Getting ready for a public speaking engagement?  Practice.  Rehearse.  Know your material.  Be confident.  Go into your presentation ready to deliver your material, ready to make a difference, to enlighten, to encourage, to educate your audience.

Asking for a raise?  Have your talking points ready.  Be prepared to share specific accomplishments.  Competitive analysis is helpful; what are others with your education, experience, expertise making in similar industries, competing companies, etc.  You are, and always will be, your best advocate.  Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.  Oftentimes, your hard work and accomplishments are simply not known by those in the position to adjust your salary.

Needing to have a serious, maybe even difficult, conversation with a loved one?  How important are they to you?  Don’t you owe it to them to let them know how you are truly feeling?  Will your relationship benefit positively in the long run if/when you have this conversation?  Prepare you thoughts ahead of time and go into the conversation with a loving and open heart.  You’ll thank yourself later.

Friends, the nervousness isn’t going anywhere.  Remind yourself that you are nervous because you care.  In all the examples provided above, you are nervous over potentially good things in your life.  Things you can be thankful for.  Things that will help you grow as a person.  So often people are nervous over difficult and painful things they are facing in life…a sick loved one in the hospital, the loss of a job, an uncertain medical diagnosis, etc.  But this isn’t you right now, you are nervous about a good thing!

The next time you feel nervous because of an upcoming event that has the potential to be POSITIVE to your life, your career, your relationships, be thankful.  Invest your energy into preparation.  Accept your nerves as simply a by-product of caring.

Now go out and do the thing!
xo Bec

 

How to Stay POSITIVE in Trying Times

How to Stay POSITIVE in Trying Times

In these uncertain times we are finding ourselves in, doing our best to fend off a global pandemic, finding ourselves captives of forced downtime, one of the most common complaints or concerns that I’m hearing is that of being bored.
I find this very interesting to say the least.  God forbid if we aren’t running at Mach speed, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.
So I thought I’d share a few ideas of things that I plan to do during the next few weeks to keep my body and mind occupied and dwelling on positive things.  Perhaps a few of these will resonate with you and will inspire you to seek out the positive in these unsettling times.
  • Read a book (or listen to one!) ~ There are many different genres, why not try something out of the norm.  If you usually read personal development, why not try a novel or biography for a change of pace.
  • Declutter a space in your home ~ This might be your closet, your office, the junk drawer.  It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking.  Even the smallest decluttering project, when completed, can lighten your mood and lift your spirits.
    Don’t forget about local charities that could benefit from donated goods.  I usually try to separate items into different piles to allow me to donate where they can do the most good.
  • Declutter your mind ~ by journaling!  This will look different to all of us.  You may want to spend time writing about things that are troubling you, thing that you need to do/tend to (your never ending “to do list”).  The idea here is to get it down on paper, so your mind can relax.  Known as a “brain dump”, it’s fascinating how once you’ve jotted it down on paper, your brain realizes that you’ve “got it” and can stop worrying (as much) about it.
    Not to say this will completely ease your worries or concerns, but it will greatly help.  Give it a try!
  • Practice gratitude ~ You may find yourself back in your journal.  Practicing daily gratitude is a sure fire way to lift your spirits.  When you purposely seek out things to be thankful for throughout your day, it forces you to focus on the positive.
    Maybe you owe a few people thank you notes.  This would be a great time to catch up on them.  All caught up?  Then how about sending out a few encouraging notes (messages or texts work too) to some friends.
  • Try out a new recipe ~ Get in the kitchen!  Not my favorite place, but I will admit, I tried out a new recipe this week, got rave reviews from my family, and actually enjoyed myself.  I MAY give this another go even.
  • Get some fresh air ~ I’m fortunate to live near the beach, so this is my destination of choice: walking on the beach.  Whatever this looks like for you, get out in the sunshine and enjoy some nice, spring weather.   Still cold where you are?  A short, brisk walk will do the trick.
  • Kick back and relax ~ Don’t feel guilty for enjoying some downtime.  Instead, why not be thankful for the opportunity to slow life down a bit and take some time to relax and enjoy time with your family, and even some alone time.
It’s easy to get caught up with worry and fear, but I advise you to take a deep breath, look around and observe all that you have to be thankful for; then take me up on a few of these suggestions.  Here’s to your health and sanity as we all get through the next few weeks.
xo Bec
March 2020
One Of The Most UN-SELFISH Things You Can Do

One Of The Most UN-SELFISH Things You Can Do

Ever notice how people wear “being busy” or “being a hot mess” as a badge of honor?  Ask them how they are doing and they are always so busy, so slammed, telling you what a hot mess they are.

Not how I want to be known!

Productive.
Focused.
Deliberate.
Balanced

I prefer these adjectives. ✨

Do I have a full a full schedule? Yes.
Do I have a lot going on? You bet.
Do I have a lot of commitments? Sure do.

But here’s the thing.  I take care of myself. I make myself a priority.  I don’t try to do everything at 100%, all of the time.  I set priorities for my week, my day.  I always make sure there is “me time” built into my schedule.

Those busy, running around with their hair on fire, hot mess people? They are going to say they don’t have any time for themselves. Here’s the thing:  You need to MAKE THE TIME and there is nothing wrong with making yourself a priority!

I know this:  When I feel better, am more relaxed, more happy, more rested, I’m a better (fill in the blank) to everybody else!  A better mom, a better wife, a better friend.

Let this resonate with you.  Taking care of yourself is NOT SELFISH.  It’s one of the best things you can do for those you love.

xo Bec 🌻

It Might Be Time To Conduct a Friendship Inventory

It Might Be Time To Conduct a Friendship Inventory

It just might be time for a Friendship Inventory.

I’ve heard it said that you are most like the 5 people you spend the majority of your time with.  LOOK AROUND.  Are they who you want to emulate?  Do they possess opinions/beliefs that you want to adopt for yourself?  Are they kind?  Are they loyal?  Do they strive to grow, to continue to learn, to stretch themselves, to work towards goals and bettering themselves and their surroundings?  Are they happy?

These are qualities/values that are important to me; things that I am personally working on.

So when I look around at my friends, family, who I’m choosing to spend time with, if I don’t see these same qualities/values in them, I have to stop and ask myself, why am I spending time with them.

Have you ever been in a great mood, then interact with somebody who is a “Debbie Downer” (sorry to the cheerful Debbie’s out there!) and all the sudden you notice your mood dropping.  Maybe irritation starts to swoop in.  You find yourself jumping on the negativity train and talking poorly about somebody or a situation that “Debbie” has an issue with.

WAIT!!  What just happened??

You just picked up Debbie’s negative energy and she sucked you down into her funk.

When I accidentally let this happen, I get so irritated with myself.  This isn’t who I want to be!  This isn’t the mood I want to be in!  This isn’t how I want to present myself to the world.

Then on the flip side, do you have that “Susie Sunshine” friend who makes you happy and puts a smile on your face every time you see her?  She is fun to be around, puts you in a better mood, and makes you feel better about yourself when you are in her presence?

Yes, THAT GIRL!  That is who I want to be.  The person who puts a smile on somebody’s face when they see me.  Again, it’s the same thing happening here.  You pick up Susie’s positive energy and rise up to her level.

People’s vibes are contagious…trust me.  So what do you do?

You choose wisely who you spend your time with!  You seek out friendships with people who inspire you.  You make sure you aren’t the smartest person in the room, because if you are, what do you have to learn?

You limit your time with people who “suck the life” or positive energy from you.  You limit, or eliminate, time spent with people who have no desire to grow, to learn, to improve.  They do not bring out the best in you.  They are not your tribe.

But what if you are related to those people?  Ouch, now this can be tricky.  You probably aren’t going to completely eliminate them from your life.  Although there are people who are so toxic, this might be necessary.  But in most instances, you can simply limit the time spent with them.  You choose when you see them, or interact with them.  You choose how much of your time and energy to give to them.

Then you move on to YOUR TRIBE!  Your peeps.  The people who inspire, uplift and encourage you, those you look up to, learn from.  Seek out as much time as possible with these people.  They will elevate you and help to level up your life.  They will nourish your soul.

So friend, go ahead and take a friendship inventory today.  Choose wisely.  We are talking about your energy, your sanity, your life.  Want to be better?  Hang out with better!

REAL BEAUTY: You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

REAL BEAUTY: You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

Watch this video before reading the remainder of this post written by my friend, guest blogger, Brandee El-Attar.  ~ Bec 
Dove Real  Beauty Video (Click link to watch)

Have you seen this? A friend pointed me in this direction during a recent conversation about teen girls, self-image, peer pressure and mental health. A weighty subject indeed. And this short little snippet rocked my world.

Because I could totally relate to the women depicted and that made me very sad. I also knew, instantaneously, where it all began~in my youth. The negative self-talk that started at a young age and served as an initial “motivator” to walk a straight line, stay fit, be a good girl, and succumb to the idea that beauty is painful, hard and just plain work. That it was something you “strive for” rather than something that is God-given and emanates from within.

I know for certain that I’m not alone in this experience. And like many of you, nobody ever actually told me those things or made me feel “less than”. It didn’t come from my immediate family or friends but nevertheless- it surfaced from somewhere….and it made me intensely focused on the FLAWS. My flaws. The ones on my face, on my body, well everywhere….ALL the time!

This flaw-focused pattern then becomes ingrained, as it certainly did for me, and it’s often set on “repeat” through the seasons of our life. It’s like your very own personal “negativity playlist” that can be conjured “on demand” or may creep up on you out of nowhere.

Think about it, how hard is it for us as women to take a genuine compliment sometimes (without countering it with something negative)? A friend says, “wow, that is a gorgeous color on you” and you may politely thank them just before you dive into how the bags under your eyes now have their own zip code on your face and your roots need desperate attention. Am I right? It’s sort of crazy.

Nowadays, this negative self-concept is amplified not only by the pressures that we more mature ladies experienced as we grew, but also by social media and the ever-present imagery of an unattainable “norm” for women of all ages. It’s spilling over to our girls and seizing their self-concept at an even more rapid and alarming rate.

Why oh why can’t we simply show up for OURSELVES each day… as others see us… as we TRULY are? Why do we as women, of all ages and backgrounds have such a hard time doing this? My friends, I PROMISE YOU, you are ALL so much more beautiful than you think.

Bottom line, we need to DO BETTER. Better at helping our girls build a strong foundation and an understanding of their INNER beauty. Better at helping them maintain a positive mindset and equipping them with coping strategies to buffer the negativity~both from within and outside of themselves.  We must do better at shining a light and creating a heightened awareness of this issue and its pervasiveness.

It’s a pattern that starts early and is reinforced (both intentionally and inadvertently) across the settings and stages of our lives. We simply MUST DO SOMETHING to effect change. It starts with our self-awareness because we are the ROLE MODELS in all of this.  And as we know all too well, these cycles continue on and on…..they are pervasive, toxic and they simply have to stop.

So….if we aren’t having conversations with ourselves, the women in our life, and certainly our daughters, we MUST make it a priority. TODAY. It’s not at all comfortable….welcoming the ugly truth, the flood of emotion and vulnerability never is, but it’s so very NECESSARY.

We can no longer perpetuate the destructive dialogues we have with ourselves in our own heads and then pass it on to our daughters like some precious heirloom. Instead, we must glimpse the beauty within, JUST AS OTHERS SEE US, and hold that image steadfast in our minds as we move through this world.

GRASP that beauty, my friends, and bless others to do the same. It truly is everything.

Follow my friend, Brandee El-Attar, on Facebook at Brandeelandblossoms.

 

 

Friendship Garden

Friendship Garden

Friendships are like flowers.  I love flowers.  They bring me joy; they make me happy.  Friends bring me joy and make me happy also.

Some flowers, annuals, only last in our gardens for a season; and some, perennials, have longevity, coming back year after year with repeated beauty.  Some friendships only last for a short time and others last a lifetime.

If you’ve ever had a friendship that has faded over time, you’ve undoubtedly feel some sadness over it.  I know I’ve had a few of these friendships.  Often, they simply faded away since one of us physically moved away from the other.  With both my father and husband serving as career Marines, I have moved frequently my entire life.  Even though these were close friendships at the time, the distance between us eventually won out.

Other friendships ended over a particular circumstance: a difference of opinion, a difference in values, something a little more substantial.  Sometimes these friendships were easily dismissed and other times the termination of the friendship hurt deeply.

The friends that were in my life for a moment remind me of annuals.  They were beautiful and filled in and complimented the garden of my life for a season.

Then, there are those friendships that are so deep, so intertwined, time and distance mean absolutely nothing.  You may see these friends daily, you may go years between seeing them, but when you are together, your friendship and connection never misses a beat.  You would do anything for them, and the feeling is mutual.  They are there to uplift, comfort, support, encourage, and celebrate you.  They are there for you through thick and thin, year after year.

These enduring friendships remind me of perennials.  Their beauty shows up year after year.  They are faithful and always there for you.  Even though they may not be blooming all year long, you know they will be back, ready to show up and delight you.

As I reflect on those “annual friendships,” I’ve decided not to feel bad about them fading away or ending.  Just like annual flowers, who fill in your garden for a season, those friends were there for me when I needed them.  Maybe they were never intended to be long-term friendships.  I am thankful for the gift of them, what they brought to my life and hopefully what I was able to contribute to their lives for the season we had together.

All friendships should be celebrated, no matter how short lived or permanent they are in our lives.  In the same way, every flower is a gift from the earth to beautify our world and fill us with joy.