Today is a new day. Today has never before happened. It’s fresh. It holds possibilities.
Your history doesn’t have to define today. Just because you did something before doesn’t mean you have to do it today. Just because you never could do something before doesn’t mean you can’t today.
Just because something was too hard before doesn’t mean that today you can’t do it.
You can do hard things.
You can face the fear.
You can put on your big girl panties.
You can silence the lies.
You can overcome the obstacles.
You can have the conversation.
You can stand up for yourself.
You can fight the battle.
You can set your boundaries.
You can defend your worth.
You can be the boss.
You can decide.
You can go for it.
You can do it.
Today is a new day.
Fear is a pretty big liar. I know because I’ve heard its voice many a time. It tells you that you can’t do it. It tells you that the worst thing you can imagine isn’t really the worst. It tells you that you are alone.
When I was five it told me I wouldn’t have any friends.
When I was eight it told me I would never have siblings.
When I was twelve it told me I could not sing.
When I was fourteen it told me I’d never be accepted.
When I was sixteen it told me I’d never have a boyfriend.
When I was eighteen it told me I couldn’t make it on my own.
When I was twenty it told me I wouldn’t make the grade.
When I was twenty-two it told me I didn’t have what it takes.
When I was twenty-four it told me I was unlovable.
When I was twenty-seven it told me I would never reach my dreams.
When I was thirty it told me I would always be alone.
When I am thirty-two it tells me all of the above (and more)… daily.
I have a choice on what I listen to and what I allow to influence my life. I daily have to make the decision that fear does not get to have the final say in my life. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s loud. Yes, sometimes it can appear as truth. Yes, sometimes if feels impossible to hear anything else.
Just because fear speaks, doesn’t make it truth.
You (and I) are responsible for what we choose to allow in our lives and what we choose to confront.
Someone wonderful told me recently that confronting is simply choosing to face. To turn around and face head on the thing that has been chasing you all along. To plant your feet and believe that you are not alone in that moment. Believe that you have what it takes.
Today, let’s commit to confront our fear. I can promise you the voice will come. It will tell you that you are not enough. It will tell you that you don’t have what it takes. It will tell you any number of things, but I’m here to tell you. It’s not the truth.
It’s only when you choose to face your fear that you realize it’s been powerless all along and it is only then, that you can experience true freedom.
Photos : Lauren Modny Photography
Styling & Creative Direction : StartCloseIn & Piccadilly
Model : Ashlynn
Bring on the tissues. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this little guy. He inspires me to no end.
The fact that he was brave enough to get up in front of so many people to sing in the first place amazes me. More than that though it is his sheer determination to sing again after he “failed” that brings me to my feet cheering.
He messed up. He needed his mama. (Don’t we all from time to time?) What mattered most was this…
He didn’t quit.
The moment when his face began to crumble and when it seemed like he’d lost all hope…I can relate to that feeling. I’ve been there. I bet you have too.
We all experience failure at one point or another. We all have moments when the fear we face seems to get the better of us. It’s part of life.
I want to encourage you, the next time you find yourself in that place, take a page from little Malaki’s book.
Take a deep breath.
Hug your mama.
You’ve got this.
“The time has come for your dreams to be heard”
As a young child growing up in a small town, going to our local library was the highlight of my week. My mom and I would walk the few blocks to main street and I would browse the stacks of books for what felt like hours. I would inevitably leave with a pile of Encyclopedia Brown and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, as well as a few Highlights for Kids magazines for good measure. Sometimes, if I was lucky, we’d even check out a movie or two. Ah! The excitement.
I vividly remember the day that my mom told me I was old enough to walk to the library by myself.
This was a HUGE-FREAKING-DEAL people!
Unfortunately, my excitement and sense of accomplishment at finally being a big girl, was quickly followed by an intense fear.
Walking all 8 blocks to the library was going to be a major feat for me.
Anything could happen.
Someone in a scary white van could offer me candy. One of the neighbor’s dogs could get loose. I could trip on my own shoelaces (hey… it can happen).
As these thoughts piled up in my brain, the distance between home and the library seemed to grow farther and farther. What I at first was elated to do, quickly became an insurmountable obstacle.
There was just no way.
My fear took over and I convinced myself that I’d never know the joy of visiting the library again. There was just too much that could go wrong. Oh, but the books that were on the other side of my fear! Finally, I mustered up the courage (in no small part thanks to my mama) to take the first step in the direction of the library. Slowly putting one foot in front of the other I finally made it. Elated to have conquered my fears, I threw open the front doors only to be greeted by a warning look and stern “shh” from the librarian. It didn’t even phase me though, I had my faced my fears and won.
While going to the library is no longer accompanied by a great amount of fear for me, this pattern hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years. I still encounter things that scare me. I still wrestle with wanting to throw in the towel, quit and re-read the Highlights for Kids magazine I got the week before. Who needs the new crossword puzzle anyways?
Much like that first solo trip to the library though, I have learned that the only way to conquer those fears is by simply putting one foot in front of the other. As I do that, I have noticed, that the things that scared me in the past don’t seem to have the same hold anymore. Just like Bob from one of my all-time favorite movies “What About Bob?”, I’ve had to take “baby steps” to face my fears. Each time I do though, I move a little bit further.
I started writing this post a few weeks ago while on an airplane flying over the Atlantic Ocean. I had just had the opportunity to visit countries I had only ever read about in my books as a child and had never ever dreamed that I would one day be able to visit.
I never would have made the trip if I hadn’t first visited the library.
The same applies for you. There may be things in front of you today that seem overwhelming. Perhaps your internal narrative keeps telling you that you can’t do it.
I’m here to tell you today that you can! Just take the first step. Put one foot in front of the other and move forward. You don’t have to figure out how you’re going to scale the whole mountain or conquer all your fear today.
You just have to take the first step.
Having girlfriends is the best.thing.ever. Someone with whom you can swap stories, giggle and share life’s wonderful moments. There’s so much wisdom that I have gained from the amazing women in my life; whether about the best product to get rid of dreaded frizz or advice on how to live my life with passion. My life is better because of the girlfriends in it. That’s why I started “Girl Talk“.
This is my friend Eileen.
She’s one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. I met her when I was a scared little freshman at GW and she instantly reached out to me and made me feel welcome. I remember being a little bit in awe of her and always overwhelmed when she would make it a point to ask me to hangout? Over the years she has been one of my best friends, a constant encouragement, an inspiring leader, a supportive cheerleader, my first call when deciding where to put my couch, my style icon, mother to some of my other best friends (two, soon to be three of the cutest kids in the world) and the list goes on and on. Needless to say, I’m a fan.
On top of that, Eileen is launching her new Blog – it’s sort of a ‘Joyce Meyer’ meets ‘Rachel Zoe’ guide to overcoming stress and anxiety in order to reach your dreams. I’m thrilled that the rest of the world is going to get to see all the wisdom and fun that I’ve seen over the years! It’s also another reason why I am beyond excited to have her on the blog today.
LAH – Tell me a little bit about your journey thus far?
Eileen – I’m a Long Island girl, who came to DC for College with a New York accent and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I bounced around, actually switching my major 5 TIMES (much to my parents chagrin) and right before I graduated – I discovered a passion for Art and Music.
I started using this passion to serve people in my local church, making graphics and writing music. Eventually I started my own design business, later becoming the Creative Pastor in my local church. I may have lost my accent – but I totally found my dream.
LAH – What were some of your dreams growing up?
Eileen – I have always had a deep desire to reach people, to impact them at a core level….I just had no idea how to do that. I remember as young as 5 years old I had dreams of singing “The Sun Will Come Out” from Annie, before large crowds. People were being super touched in my dream…really affected by my amazingly brilliant song!
It seems so silly – but I think the singing was a metaphor of my art, inspiring people. It’s what still lights a fire in me today.
LAH – What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in going after your dreams?
Eileen – At 5 years old, the same age as my “singing dreams” began, was the same year I had my first anxiety attack. On a normal everyday bus ride I started trembling, my heart started pounding at a rapid pace that totally scared me – and I got nauseous – all over the bus, in front of my friends.
Far into my 20’s, I continued to have these anxiety attacks at regular intervals. The anxiety also began manifesting in other forms like low self-esteem, insecurity, depression and eating disorders. I felt totally trapped.
LAH – How have you overcome them?
Eileen – It was so frustrating! I totally felt like was on one side this “chasm” – riddled with insecurity, overweight and anxious. On the other side of the chasm – there was this fearless, bold, HOT version of me…but I had no idea how to get there.In my twenties, I began to resign myself to the fact that I would never get better. My days became filled with fear about having another attack publicly (my worst fear).It wasn’t until my husband Harrison, said “….so what if you have another anxiety attack? If you give up, and stop trying to fight – that’s when the enemy wins.”
That one statement started giving me a vision to fight. I began to see I was going to have become fierce with fear – because fear had been fierce with me. I became a woman determined. Focused upon creating a bridge to the other side of the chasm. I began to fight fear with a plan.
LAH – Oh wow! That’s so interesting. Tell us more, how did you go about creating this bridge?
Eileen – It was when I started examining the lives of successful people, that I discovered that my thoughts were the bridge.
My negative, anxious mind was what was keeping me on one side, and positive faith-filled thoughts could get me to the other side. I had no idea I could choose my thoughts. That I could think “good thoughts on purpose” – was totally new information to me.
An ancient proverb says “As a man thinks in his heart; so is he.” Once I got a handle on that – I began a total mind-makeover.
LAH – What inspired you to start writing?
Eileen – To share what I’ve learned, in an effort to save people all the time I lost – and frustration I went through.
It took me close to my thirties, to finally have peace of mind, to feel truly great about myself. That’s too long! I really want to save people time so they become their best – sooner than I did. So they can have more peace, more confidence, so they can be the weight they want – with the joy they deserve, as a child of God.
It’s one of the reasons I started the free GLAM thoughts….because we are all super busy, but yet we need quick, power thoughts to get us going!
LAH – Ohhh GLAM thoughts, I love it. What does GLAM stand for?
Eileen – GLAM thoughts stands for “Gorgeous, Loved, Amazing & Magnificent” – because the reason we live so far below our potential is because we fail to recognize the stunning beauty that we possess. It’s impossible to become your best self listening to a soundtrack of negative self-talk.
And let’s be honest – we’re all living full, busy lives! So GLAM thoughts are aimed at injecting quick, power thoughts to get your mind straight, and you feeling great. Like a great latte before jumping on the metro…power thoughts are the key to crossing the chasm.
LAH – What’s your heart for you blog?
Eileen – To inspire and inform people to become the best version of themselves.
Studies show over 40 million Americans are seeking treatment for fear and anxiety related issues. 9 out of 10 women claim to have a faith in God – yet women are 60% more likely to suffer from most anxiety disorders as men.
As women of faith, supposed to live fearless lives – the question is “Why are we so afraid? and more importantly – is there a way out from feeling this way?”.It’s not that we don’t see who we’re meant to be, it’s that we have no idea how to get there from here. We have failed to connect faith to our everyday lives.
This is what I hope to do with my blog. Through the Daily GLAM thoughts and weekly posts I want to give readers the practical tools they need. I want to help people cross that chasm. To get rid of that fear. To get to the absolute best version of themselves.
LAH – If there was one thing you could say to the dreamers among us what would it be?
Eileen – I would say, “Why not you?” Plenty of people not as intelligent, not as creative, not as good-looking as you…have accomplished success beyond their wildest dreams. Why not you?
At just 5’ 11”, Russell Wilson, the Quarterback for the Seahawks, who recently won the SuperBowl said that his father would always say to him, “Why not you, Russ?”
So why not you? why can’t you be as successful as you want to be? why can’t you start that business? publish that book? why can’t you be the weight you want? be the best version of you?
and why not start now? because just one thought can change everything.
Find out more about Eileen’s Blog and GLAM thoughts at www.eileenwilder.com