Why Am I Being Tested?

“I remember wondering how it got to this point. I was a student of developing and maintaining a positive self-image. I taught others how to develop and maintain theirs. What happened? I was numb. I couldn’t feel myself anymore. I was deaf to my own voice. All I could hear were the people in my personal and professional life whose actions were saying, “You’re not good enough.” I was now a student of my own teaching.” This is an excerpt from There Is More Inside

It was Spring 2000. I don’t know if I was struggling or being strangled. Regardless, I was suffering. What I now realize is that my stamina and beliefs about myself, God and the world around me were being tested.

Finding the courageous and confidence to own your space and smoothly transition from one phase of life to another is what I teach today, but first I had to be taught. Briefly, here’s the story. You can read the entire story in my first book, There Is More Inside.

I was facing two painful rejections. My former fiancé asked me to marry him and four months later walked out of my life. Then, I was fired from my job.

Prior to getting engaged, I firmly stated that we would not set a date until we went to marriage counseling. After starting our sessions, he and I had an argument about going to counseling. He told me he had been hoodwinked into going to counseling. Realizing our deep differences, I said: Well, we won’t be getting married.

In less than 30 days after that dramatic episode, I was fired from my job. I was being bullied by my supervisor—humiliated in front of my staff, described as a premadonna, and told I couldn’t write. After seeking help from the director of human resources and the university president, I was granted medical leave due to the tremendous amount of stress that they knew I was experiencing. The stress affected my health. I went to the doctor who diagnosed me as being depressed. He prescribed an antidepressant. Yes, I felt like my life was crumbling out of control, but everything about my life up to this point told me that God had prepared me for this personal and professional challenge.

© 2012 All rights reserved. S. Renee, SRS Productions, Inc., There Is More Inside®


Each person forms the character of their brand. Hopefully, the character is formed with boundaries of integrity, truth, passion, purpose, respect, and trustworthiness. You’re the core of your brand and your moral and ethical character is the core of you. Traveling everywhere with you, your character exposes you for who you really are. If you are weak in your character, lay low and develop your character before overexposing yourself to the public. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up to be embarrassed.

Save this in your memory bank:  Integrity provides the guideline for your interactions with yourself and others. Be honest and transparent as much as humanly possible. Everyone has secrets, including me. Most aren’t necessary to share with anyone, so don’t. Moving forward, keep in mind that yielding to pleasurable wrongdoing ranks far beneath your potential and sits very high in negatively impacting your brand.

Integrity can also serve you as a barometer of how you are doing. Do you overcommit and underperform? Do you miss deadlines, appointments, and goals? Do you say you’re going to do one thing, but do another? These are factors that crash our brand.

Truth is relative and always changing, therefore, it can be difficult to communicate our truth. To build a solid brand you have to establish your truth. It’s a great part of the brand message that people buy into. You don’t have to be dogmatic with your truth. Flexibility gives you room to grow and evolve and even change your truth as you come to know it. But, it’s not going to fly with people if you are saying the sky is blue today and red tomorrow.  People will make room to accept you as a growing and ever-evolving learner, but they will abandon you quickly when they figure out that you are clueless.

Passion is a persuasive emotion. It’s not always logical, sequential, or rational. This doesn’t mean that it moves us out of alignment, either. Undoubtedly, it can and often does serve as a driving force for unexplainable behaviors. Passion is one of life’s most desirous emotions because it’s an insatiable and consuming feeling. But watch out—because it can easily be confused with temporary false emotions that prompt us to start projects we don’t or can’t finish. This is a blemish on our brand. As I stated in Chapter 3, I believe that most passions are birthed out of pain. Unquestionably, when we are free from our pain it is gratifying to see others free from theirs.

Nothing brings more meaning to life than a purpose for living it. When we have a worthy goal in life it can become our passion. Passion is the strong emotional motive moving the behavior. Purpose is the ambition, intention, and aim that form the focus that directs the behaviors.

Respect for your calling protects the purpose. When opportunities come that put the purpose or brand at risk, respect thinks of losing, damaging, or harming itself and the people who have embraced the brand. Respect understands its role to build and not break. Freedom of speech allows for loud-mouthed, disparaging, and even foul and sexually perverted brands to slip through the cracks. Some are even paid lots of money to lead people toward hate, violence, and selfishness. You have to decide what kind of legacy you want to leave for others to build upon. Remember, those closest to you are the ones most impacted.

Every brand structure starts with building trustworthiness. This is the credibility dynamic that I talked about in Chapter 4. People have to feel safe with you. They have to believe that you know what you are talking about. They have to believe that you believe what you believe.

People are looking for answers to questions they ponder, agonize over, and worry about daily. Situations that rock them at their core, disturb their family’s well-being, and deprive them of stabilizing peace.

This is an excerpt taken from The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility. Copyright 2011 All rights reserved.