Not much has been happening on my blog for the past 18 months. Disappearing with no explanation is not my norm!
But 2015 kicked my butt in a way it’s never been kicked before. Early in the year my sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and my mother’s life turned upside down with health issues. By the end of the year I’d lost five people I loved, including my mother in December. (My sister was not one of them; she’s doing brilliantly well.)
I’ve never been so happy to see a year come to an end!
The universe must have decided a balancing act was called for, because 2016 has been on the opposite end of the spectrum. The year has been filled with an abundance of goodness, including weddings, graduations, my sister’s good health, and awesome clients who are stretching their comfort zones, making bold professional moves, and shining their lights out into the world.
That would be quite enough, but the icing on the cake is watching my 22-year-old niece Alyssa taking herself out into the world in a seriously bold way.
Four years ago, she graduated from high school bubbling over with joy and possibilities. As I sat in the stands, I was surprised to find myself getting teary-eyed. Huh?! I’m the cool aunt, not the emotional parent!
But then I realized my emotion was my deep desire that she hold on to the feeling that she can create anything in her life. That no matter what bumps, moments of despair, or twists and turns her life takes, she never stops believing.
Fast forward four years.
Once again I sat in the stands, watching Alyssa graduate from the University of Maryland. This time I wasn’t teary. I was bursting with pride at the fact that she’s still bubbling over with joy and possibilities.
I’m so proud of the way she threw herself into her college experience. No dabbling for this young woman!
I’m so proud of the way she navigated the twists and turns her life did indeed take, including her mother’s breast cancer.
And I’m beyond proud that she’s followed her dream of moving to Denver, despite not knowing a single person there. Her comment to me was, “If I move to Denver and don’t like it, I can undo it. But if I don’t give it a try, I’ll always regret it.” She’s so much gutsier than I was at the beginning of my professional life!
Four years ago, I shared with her my hardest-learned lessons for living in possibility. I’m awestruck by the way she’s lived them all! Her life isn’t done taking twists and turns, so my wish is that she keeps holding these six beliefs that make anything possible:
Mindset matters. In the words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Action follows thought. Without action, not much is possible. And without a belief that “you can,” why bother even taking action? Whatever your “it” is, choose to believe in yourself.
Commitment breeds success. I’ve always known I (and you) can do anything I put my mind to. I proved it to myself when I passed the CPA exam in one try and in many other ways at other times over the years. And I also have plenty of examples where I talked a good talk about what I wanted to accomplish but never did much more than dabble. It’s no surprise I wasn’t particularly successful in those cases. Whatever your dream or goal, if it’s something you genuinely, from-the-bottom-of-your-heart want, commit seriously to giving it your all.
Positive energy lifts you up and negative energy drags you down. Be intentional about the people you surround yourself with, the environment you create at home, and the places you choose to hang out.
Obstacles are made for climbing over. Life is filled with challenges. You can choose to be the person who rises up to meet them and who knows there’s more than one path to create what you want. Or you can view roadblocks as a sign that it’s just not possible. It all depends on your perspective. Please, please, please pick the first option. And speaking of obstacles …
Fear of failure is the biggest possibility killer on the planet. My biggest regrets are all about the goals and dreams I didn’t pursue out of fear. And the things I tried that didn’t work out as hoped? No regrets. Because the growth and learning that came from each of them, albeit sometimes painful, ultimately led to something good.
What you need always shows up when you pay attention … “randomly” crossing paths with a college friend who connects you to your perfect job right in the middle of your search … support from your friends in the midst of a crisis … or landing in a situation so miserable you’re finally compelled to overcome your fears and make a big change.
Choose your mindset. Commit to your dreams. Surround yourself with positive energy. Climb over the obstacles you encounter. Embrace failure as part of the process. Trust that what you need will show up.
When you do that, anything is possible.
“Our thoughts and imagination are the only real limits to our possibilities.” ~ Orison Swett Marden