NO BARRIERS, BOUNDARIES OR CONDITIONS: 3 Questions You Need to Know the Answers to Before 2019

I love this time of year. It’s the heightened awareness and mindfulness of our behaviors and the compassion shown toward others that brings me great joy.

As I observe people moving about, I can see and feel their excitement, anticipation, and gratitude. I know everyone has their feelings and reasons for feeling the way they do, but for me, it’s knowing that God’s love for us has no boundaries, barriers or conditions.

Wow! To think and with absolute certainty believe that God loves us and only wants good for us. Goodness that we are often challenged to give to ourselves–and don’t have the courage to give to others. Hence, reducing the likelihood of success.

Embracing that reality and truth reminds me that I have more spiritual work to do to become the most authentic expression of Christ’s love. What an awesome opportunity!

As we pause over the next few days to acknowledge and celebrate the birth of Christ and accept the privilege to enter into a new year, ask yourself:

* What will ring true in your heart about yourself and your journey?

* What will you be willing to admit you need?

* What will you have the courage to ask for?

For me, I want to snuggle up with acceptance. To be present moment-by-moment with consciousness and understanding that whatever is happening is for the greater good of everyone’s life experience and learning. By doing so, I expect to gain greater freedom, clarity, and spiritual insight.

After you make your vow, don’t forget to assess yourself regularly, and regroup when necessary.

Here’s to a Merry Christmas and a year full of delightful surprises that bring you joy, peace, and measurable growth.

© 2018 S. Renee, a nationally recognized Self-Esteem, Branding & Communications Expert, Speaker, Coach, is a workplace expert and SHRM Speakers Bureau Presenter. She is the author of Self-Esteem for Dummies, 5 Steps to Assertiveness: How to Communicate With Confidence and Get What You Want, The Bridge to Your 
Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility, Our Hearts Wonder Prayers to Heal Your Heart & Calm Your Soul, There Is More Inside: Personal Essentials to Living a Power- Packed Life. You can learn more at srenee.com.

 

Letting Go of Failed Performances

I know it can be hard to stop the tape playing over in your mind. What happened, how it happened and what you wish didn’t happened. But remember, people understand making mistakes. In fact, it is likely that you are thinking about it more than anyone else.

When you require yourself to hit the bull’s-eye every time, you create a false expectation of yourself and others. Subsequently, you probably find it difficult to accept your mistakes and forgive others for theirs. The greater shame is that you miss the good fortune of the mistake — the lesson. Plus, you set the conditions for yourself to have to repeat it again.

Letting go requires three steps:

1. Acknowledge responsibility.

Without shame or guilt, take responsibility for the mistake.

2. Look for and learn the lesson.

You subconsciously created the lesson. Understand what you were to learn.

3. Share what you learned with someone else.

By sharing the lesson with someone else, you replace your feelings of disappointment with feeling of gratitude for the opportunity to help someone else. This is how you mature. Additionally, when you share the lesson, it works as therapy for you in that it releases its power over you.

By the way, don’t let imperfect people hold you to a perfect standard.

This is an excerpt from the book Self-Esteem for Dummies. For my free 90-minute audio course sign up here, How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business. 

Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. S. Renee Smith

 

Do I have a Brand? If So, How Do I Know?

It is a cold winter Sunday morning. I’m running 20 minutes late. Church starts at 11 a.m. It is 11 a.m. I still have to pick up a child I’m mentoring who lives 15 minutes away. I arrive at his home. Instead of sending my usual text “I’m here,” I anxiously, but gently blow the horn. He walks to the car, opens the door, and jumps in. While pulling the seatbelt, he says, “Ms. Renee, you are the only person that trusts me.”

Showing no emotion, yet completely shocked by his eyebrow-raising statement, I wait to hear the click sound of the seatbelt that lets me know it’s okay to begin to back out of the driveway. As I put the car in reverse I’m suspiciously wondering: Am I about to get punked by a seven-year old? Shifting to a mindset lacking emotion or judgment, I asked, “Why do you say that?” Without hesitation he said, “Because every time something happens, my mom asks me what happened, but when I tell her she doesn’t believe me.” Trying to be objective, yet wiser than the mini man, I threw out another question. “So why doesn’t she believe you?” I don’t know, he replied.

I understood his bewilderment. Like what many of my adult clients face, this young child’s quandary illustrated a classic personal branding issue based on past events and behaviors. I searched my mental database looking for an age appropriate way to explain his problem and how he could solve it.

After serious contemplation, I couldn’t decide. Hesitant to guide him from pure assumption that he had created some trust challenges that needed correcting, I waited to collect more data. Driving on to our destination, I decided that reassuring him with a list of people who trusted him would suffice for the moment. I did, however, bookmark his statement intending to revisit it when I could best serve him.

Later that day we went to his favorite place, McDonald’s. After eating a six-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal, a cherry pie, and drinking some chocolate milk, he claimed he was still hungry. Surprised, I asked, “Are you sure?” Nodding his head up and down I continued, “What would you like?” He pointed to an oversized color poster hanging on the window that advertised a 10-piece Chicken McNugget for $1.99. “I want that,” he said energetically. “It’s only a dollar ninety-nine.” I didn’t offer to buy it for him right away because I wanted to give myself more time to think and make a good decision.

Finally I asked, “And what else?” He added, “A small fry.” After some savvy seven-year old negotiation, I silently opened my purse and pulled out my wallet. Looking for $3 for the $2.99 meal, I began explaining to him how to go to the counter, place his order, and pay the cashier. Watching closely from afar, I heard the cashier say, “You don’t have enough money.” Thinking that I could have made a mistake and not wanting him to feel embarrassed, I rushed over to find out where I went wrong in totaling $1.99 + $1 = $2.99.

Puzzled by the miscount, I looked probingly into the eyes of the cashier and asked, “He doesn’t have enough money?” She confidently replied, “He ordered a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, a small fry—and a smoothie.”

I smiled at her, peered down at the mini man, and gave him my you’ve-been-naughty look. I requested that she remove the smoothie from the order. I then walked slowly back to the dining area to wait patiently and wisely for him. As I perused my mental database again for the best way to handle this defining moment, I suddenly remembered the statement he had made earlier. But before I could say one word, the 4’2” fella hopped up in the seat and cleverly declared that the smoothie was for me. “I wanted to surprise you,” he announced.

I thanked him for his attempt at generosity. Then I carefully constructed an illustration that explained why surprising someone with a gift by spending their money on what he believed they wanted failed to exhibit genuine kindness. I also revisited his opening statement for the day, “Ms. Renee, you are the only person that trusts me.” This led to his first free coaching session on personal branding and its impact on his present and future relationships and endeavors.

If you are like him, you may not realize that you have a brand that you’ve been consciously or unconsciously building since you came to this planet. It’s the reason you were treated a particular way in school by your classmates and teachers. It’s what’s causing you to be overlooked and underestimated. It’s your brand that is still tagging along with you determining your personal and professional advancement.

The most important point to recall for now is that you have a brand. Subscribe now to get this week’s posts as I walk you through the steps to discover what your brand is.

This is an excerpt from The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility. Get your copy now to get the information and questions to help you shape or reshape your brand.

Copyrights 2011 All Rights Reserved

What If…?

What If...?

You’ll find me on page 29 –
Notes on Business” 

What if today was your final day on planet earth? You are scheduled to die, transition, crossover, or pass. Whatever you call it–what if?

I recently returned from Alabama, where I travelled to celebrate the life and legacy of a dear friend of 12 years, Coach Benjamin Blacknall. His unexpected transition from here to there has awaken me to a deeper awareness–daily, we sketch the contemplations that others will have of us when we’re gone. Death doesn’t change how we lived.

That’s why I’m grateful for Ben and for you. I know our divine calling is to plant seeds of justice, love and truth while being teachers to one another. Since God is in all things, it’s our responsibility to be the God experience that others are looking for.

That’s why I’m grateful to our innercircle friend (my nephew) Jakeem Smith for helping to expand my message to a national audience. He nabbed an interview opportunity with Sheen Magazine, which is in stores now. Will you help me to support the media outlets that support my message by picking up a copy at any Target, K-Mart, Wal-Mart or bookstore near you?

I appreciate your support.

Stay tuned, There Is More,
S. Renee

WHEN NEXT DOESN’T SHOW UP, THEN WHAT?

Under a tight deadline to complete some writing, with my manuscript and Apple laptop in hand, I arrived at 11:50 a.m. for a scheduled 12-noon lunch meeting with a vice president of marketing. We were meeting so that I could thank him for his decision to provide corporate funding for a fundraising event I chaired.

Engrossed in the writing, I was startled twenty or so minutes later when I heard a voice from the other side of the table say, “You didn’t think I was going to show, did you?” While standing up to embrace him, I began explaining my deadline requirements for The Bridge. Our conversation continued pleasantly, when in a matter of minutes a surprising, but welcomed statement poured out of the heart and mouth of the 50-plus, successful white male.

“I could never write a book,” he whispered. I was stunned at his unexpected transparency. But I instinctively knew and understood that this was a moment for us to connect on a deeper and richer level. Compassionately, I offered, “Even though it doesn’t look or sound like it today, I thought the same thing when I was writing my first book, There Is More Inside. In fact, in the first chapter I share my insecurities with the reader about how I didn’t think anyone would buy or read it.” My identification with his self-doubt must have created more safety. The muscles relaxed on his face, and he disclosed, “That’s exactly how I feel. What do I have to say that people would want to know?”

Having listened well to his earlier ponderings, I reminded him of a statement he had made about how he hadn’t realized how much he knew until the opportunity for him to teach showed up. Appreciating my reminder of his success, he took in a deep breath and readily nodded in agreement. The coach in me, however, wasn’t through. I continued to probe. “So, what would you write about?” He confessed he didn’t know. “What are you passionate about?” I inquired. His eyes rolled upwards to indicate thought. But again he answered, “I don’t know.”

The confused expression on my face must have prompted him to continue talking, and had I known the magnitude of what he was about to share, I would have tape-recorded the entire dialogue. From my mental notes and a few scribbles that I jotted down that day, I have recounted to the best of my ability this man’s profound awareness and insight. Listen to his heart.

“I’ve always known where I was going to next. I entered the job market and it was a natural progression. Next was just there. I would plan for my next logical step for advancement and professional growth. It’s laid out for you, an automatic sequence. But, what if there wasn’t a next? That’s when you realize, you left everything that you love and deeply desire on the sidelines for—next.  And, one day next doesn’t show up.”

We sat silently for a moment to ponder this undisputed truth together. Do most people take the well-traveled road laid out for them within organizational structures and systems? Do they wait for calamity to come before they ever seek their divine path of passion and personal self-fulfillment? When they find it, do they have the courage to cross The Bridge to get there?

©2011 All rights reserved. The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility will be available in paperback beginning August 15, 2011. Pre-order your copy today.