3 SIGNS YOU’VE OUTGROWN YOUR CURRENT SITUATION & IT’S TIME TO GO

I was 16 years old, a junior in high school. At a time when I should have been enjoying football games, Friday night pizza gatherings and sweet talk from the male cuties in my Math class–I was feeling empty.

For some strange reason, I felt like a misfit. It seemed like all my classmates connected. They talked about the same things and wanted to hang out in the same places. I, on the other hand, found myself thinking about what I wanted my life to look like “when I grow up.” From my teenage perspective, the thought of being an adult excited me.

I didn’t criticize my peers for having what I considered unimportant conversations and seemingly risky behaviors. In fact, it was just the opposite. I was wondering: “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get with this? Any of it.”

Academics bored me. My classmates confused me. And the environment stagnated me. All of which lead to a C student who was called a nerd and labeled as too good to hang out with her peers.

Those were three signs that it was time for a change:

1. I was no longer challenged.
2. I could no longer relate to the people around me
3. My energy didn’t match the energy of the environment. 

One day, I was walking down the hall and Dr. Gilbert, an associate principal, as I remember her to be, yells, “Smith”! Most of the teachers and administrators referred to me as “Smith”. I have three older siblings so most often I was known by my last name, which came with clear expectations.

Wondering if, for some unforeseen reason, I was in trouble my heart started pumping and hands became clammy. I immediately stopped and turned around. She walked up to me and put her arm around my shoulders and casually said, “Hey, how are you doing?” Not clear on whether she really wanted to know how I was doing or if she was just getting cozy to see if I had a pass to be roaming the halls, I enthusiastically responded with my usual “Excellent!”.

Engaging me in further conversation she asked, “how are your classes?” At that moment, I surprised myself. I said, “Dr. Gilbert I don’t enjoy school anymore.”

Forgetting that I was on my way to class, she said, “Come, take a walk with me.” Continuing with the small talk, she led me into her office. After taking a seat she promptly asked, “Have you ever considered going to college or getting a job?”

I lit up! I felt my eyes popped wide open and I smiled broadly. I felt the energy of opportunity. I felt a boost of confidence when she continued, “I’ve noticed you, and you are quite mature for your age.”

Whiling trying to look attentive to the conversation, I thought: Wow! I’d love to go to college. As that thought past, the little bogeyman on my shoulder said: I wonder if she knows I’m a C student? They probably don’t let C students go to college. I wonder what grade point average I have to have to be admitted? This is probably not going to work. I was too embarrassed to ask and I certainly didn’t want her to look up my record. So I said, nothing.

I told her I’d go to the admissions office of the local college to see if I can enroll. Being true to my word, that’s exactly what I did. The next semester, while still in high school, I took Speech and Biology college courses. It was amazing. I found a new space where I could breathe again.

What’s in that experience for you?

Here’s how to take a leap of faith:

1. Listen and Trust Yourself. You know when it’s time for a change. Your body, mind and spirit will never lie to you. You aren’t feeling anxious, unsettled, unhappy and disconnected for no reason. If you take the time to stop, you’ll know exactly what you feel and why you feel it.

2. Open Up. You can choose to suffer in silence and pretend to be happy or open up and share with someone who can and will help you. Consider someone who can see options that you never thought of and with whom you respect.

3. Take Action. Opportunities are all around you! Doors with various labels are waiting for you to walk through them. Many times, you see them and even feel a tug to move toward them, but turn around and step back into your box.  Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen if I walk toward a worthy opportunity?

Copyright 2018 S. Renee Smith. S. Renee is a nationally recognized self-esteem, branding and communications expert, coach, speaker and author. For more information visit is www.srenee.com.

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®

Is Your Pain Your Purpose?

In helping hundreds cross The Bridge, I’ve found that there is a direct connection between our pain and our purpose and/or passion. Clearly, since people are different, this may not be true for every person. It would be foolish for me to think that I have the solution for every person. But I know this: if we are attentive students, pain is a powerful teacher, and if we listen and learn the lessons we will be guided to exactly where we are meant to be.

My experience tells me that our purpose is our pain turned inside out. I’ve seen many people connect with and release their pain, enter into a new space, and focus their attention on providing a blueprint for others that heals a condition that once haunted them for years. The passion they have is unmatched. Conceivably, it’s because their painful experience robbed them of so much that they are driven to break its destructive power over others.

This is evident in the lives of people such as Oprah, Lady Gaga, and Suze Orman. By Oprah removing her own layers of family dysfunction and extreme poverty, as one of the richest and most recognizable persons in the world, she now helps others bring healing to themselves and creates ways to let their lessons help others. Using many gateways—television, radio, magazines, Internet, and philanthropy, she says of her venture to open a school for girls in South Africa, “I wanted to educate girls because I was a poor girl. A poor girl who grew up with my grandmother as so many of these girls do because of AIDS, now left to be raised by their grandmother. This has been a long time coming. This is not just for me some small idea; it is a supreme moment of destiny for me. I’ve been coming to this moment my entire life.”

©2011 All rights reserved. This is an excerpt from a chapter in The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility called Is Your Pain Your Purpose which is  available in paperback.  You can preview The Bridge at http://srenee.com/books_journals.htm.

Should You Watch What You Pray For?

Has anyone ever said to you, “Watch what you pray for, you just might get it”?

Growing up I never liked that saying, but I didn’t know why. As I have come to understand God, myself and the power that is within all of us, I realize that it’s not what we pray for (request of God) that is the problem. It is a combination of the following:

1.  The words that we choose to send  into the universe, the conversation  with others and ourselves that either supports (or aborts) our petition and our thought life

2.  The faith that carries and sustains those thoughts and words

3. The choices that we make along the way that lead us closer to (or further away from) our desired destination

When I first launched There Is More Inside, a little over four years ago, it was my request to touch millions of people through the media, Internet, educational products and live presentations.I am excited to share with you that on Saturday, July 17, I’ve been selected to be one of two featured speakers at Kingdom Vision Buffalo. The purpose of Kingdom Vision is to bring hope, encouragement and transformation to the “forgotten city.”Gathering on Niagara Square in front of city hall, we will submerge the 20,000 expected people of Buffalo under the power of love, truth and hope.


Nicky Cruz, described by the Wall Street Journal as the Billy Graham of the streets, is the main attraction. Over the past 50 years, his message has reached millions.  He also has written 18 best-selling books and the movie, The Cross and the Switch Blade is the story of his life.

How did this happen?

About four years ago, I met Hall of Fame entrepreneur Chris Delprince. Over the years, we have shared uplifting conversation and life-changing information with one another. When it was time to look for speakers, Chris took There Is More Inside to the boardroom. The rest of the story will make history.

Will you join me in Buffalo? If you can’t, will you speak words of success for this event and the people of Buffalo?

As always, your love keeps me strong.

There Is More Inside,

S. Renee

ONLY IF LOVE TAKES YOU THERE

As a positive, focused, high-energy level four soul, I thought that the days of senseless agony and spiritual torment were long gone. But I recently experienced divine intervention and
received spiritual enlightenment concerning a personal decision that I felt needed my immediate attention. In opening my spiritual senses to a fresh idea, I have found a new way of settling my spirit and getting a much needed good night’s sleep, even in the midst of facing pivotal life-changing decisions.

This year is a transitional year for me in both the spiritual and physical worlds. As I’m about to reach the completion of four decades on this side, I have found myself facing unexpected moments of uncertainty and emotional confusion. To bring calm back into my life, as always, I performed an internal self-check. I cleared out all thoughts and evaluated my own emotional and spiritual state. Once I thought that all systems were go, I asked myself: Renee, is this decision based on a deep rooted fear or is it based on your destiny? As I quietly sat in my meditation room and waited for God to respond in a profound, revolutionary way, I didn’t hear, feel, or see ANYTHING! This was unusual I thought, and, like many of us, I attached an explanation to the silence: “Wait on the Lord and be of good courage.” I never thought that I could be hindering God from communicating a very simple message to me.

With my perceived notions and high expectations of how God works and how to make a “good decision” I continued on my journey while being sub-consciously consumed with how I should proceed in this area of my life. As days passed I could feel my body becoming tense, anxious, and an unusual, long forgotten yet identifiable energy was surrounding me. No, it wasn’t the devil. It was my own whirlwind of conflicting thoughts swirling around me.

What started out as settle uncertainty began to mushroom into a full blown state of conscious anxiety. This was not good and I knew it. So, I raised my spiritual awareness to match the moment. In that instant, God made a simple, clear statement. He said, “Only Go There If Love Takes You There.” Ah, ha! I got it! God was teaching me a new way of making decisions. It doesn’t matter where you are going, what you are doing, or what decision you need to make, this is an uncomplicated formula. If the intent in your heart isn’t in harmony with love then you are going in the wrong direction.

What I now declare— as my truth— is that a person’s soul level doesn’t determine his or her experiences. The person’s soul level only determines how quickly and effectively it can acknowledge and apply spiritual weaponry, which is God’s favor and truth to the circumstance. If the truth that I have shared about “going only where love takes you” vibrates with your spirit and you want to use this prescription for successful decisionmaking, then consider the following.
1. Ask yourself, “What am I doing (or saying) and how does it serve others?” Although many of us react to what another person says or does, I don’t believe that most people are intentionally malicious. I believe that many people who walk on the path “lack knowledge” and thereby suffer from a severe case of low self-esteem. When we don’t understand ourselves, we feel powerless. When we feel powerless we compare, complain, judge and try to manipulate others. What is in your heart? Why is it in your heart? How can you release your negative intent toward yourself and others and replace it with the light of love?

2. Ask yourself, “Do I freely offer my time, talents, and services without expectation of reimbursement?” World systems do not carry over into spiritual systems. When you do something with the anticipation of a returned favor, you may gain the favor, but miss the divine blessing from God. Check your intent. Do you spread hypocrisy by showing greater respect and care for certain people because of what they can offer you in return? Remember, Jesus did not come for those who are well; Jesus came for those who need a divine
healer. Why are you here? Who do you enthusiastically serve?

3. Ask yourself, “Am I being driven by love?” We say and do all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons. In some cases, we don’t know why we’re doing them. And in other cases, we do them for egotistical, self-gratifying reasons. Check yourself. Only go there if love takes you there!

S. Renee, The New Edge in Motivational Speaking™ is an image consultant, motivational speaker, columnist and author of There Is More Inside. For booking information visit www.srenee.com.Copyrights © 2207 by S. Renee Smith All rights reserved. No part of this article may be copied or reproduced without the written permission by the author