Category: Pursuing Your Dreams

Drop the Hot Coal: Letting Go of Anger

There’s a popular quote that makes plenty of rounds in the self-development world that goes: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” -Buddha

When I experienced an extremely difficult time in my life, I watched as everyone who I thought was a friend or loved one quickly drifted away. The one person who definitely would have been there was gone now, he had passed away onto the next plain.

I developed a lot of resentment and anger for the people who were still around, who I thought I could count on. I’d never gone through a time as trying as that and naively assumed someone would understand.

But this was no sitcom — this was real life, and in real life most people are pretty much doing their own thing.

Anger Thoughts
Over time this anger grew stronger and stronger, perpetuating and strengthening the depression I was suffering. I day dreamed about ways I could get them all back one day, how I would curse each of them out so bad if I ever saw them again and how I would make them feel like tiny ants that I could step on. I quietly seethed.

I was so consumed by that anger that I had no room for thoughts of prosperity or growth. I remained stuck in a holding pattern, unable to move forward with anything in my life.

Over that time I noticed a number of physical changes happening to me. It was weird. I gained weight in all the wrong places on my normally slim and trim body. My normally smooth and supple skin became blotchy. I developed allergies to things that I had never had a problem with before. Even my digestive system started acting up.

When you harbor inner anger, hatred and resentment toward others it really does only affect YOU. Only when you act on it does it hurt others, but it still comes back to hurt YOU. It might not burn your hand as in the metaphor from Buddha, but it can hurt you in myriad other ways.

Drop it ‘Cause It’s Hot
When I finally FINALLY decided to drop that hot coal of anger that I was harboring toward certain people in my life, I felt such a wave of relief rush over me. I finally managed to put things into the proper perspective — they didn’t owe me anything, and I don’t owe them anything. Even though I would have been there for them in a trying time, they still don’t have any *obligation* to do the same for me. We all have free will to choose what we’re going to do for others. If you do find a friend or loved one who holds you down in a time of trouble, you have a really good thing. Please make sure you do the same for them.

It’s not a surprise that my peculiar conditions slowly began to clear up soon after I “dropped the hot coal.” I felt light-footed/hearted and things began to progress in my life. My businesses regained momentum and I started to see the beauty in going outside on a sunny day again.

Can You Relate?
Are you holding onto a metaphorical “hot coal” of anger toward someone in your life? Maybe an ex-boyfriend, a family member or a friend from the past?

How does holding onto this anger benefit you in the short and long run? Is it really hurting the other person?

Contemplate these questions and I sincerely pray that you can one day find the strength to let go of that anger and move forward with your life. Anger is a poison and it needs to be eliminated as soon as possible.

Remember: you are the only one who is responsible for your own happiness in life. Claim it!

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

What Gives Your Life Meaning? (Questions to Ask Ourselves)

I believe that we all have to have something or someone worth living for — a goal, dream, aspiration or person who makes waking up every morning, bright and early, worthwhile.

Many people fall into depression or cycles of hopelessness because they don’t feel as if there’s anything or anyone worth living for. But I think each of us does have a purpose for being here, even if it isn’t immediately obvious.

If you’ve been feeling a bit down lately or like you don’t have much of a purpose in life, it may be that a drastic change has to happen in your life so that you can finally see it. And you’re the only one who can initiate that change — we all have a choice.

Here are a few motivators that keep many of us pushing forward, even when the road gets rough.

Children
Watching your kids grow from little babies to adults is one of the most satisfying experiences for many women. Then you get to see the whole process continue when you become a grandparent and then a great grandparent. Children are a major motivator for women — they make life full, rich and meaningful.

A Life Partner
In many cases, a person holds onto life tightly because she has a partner who is counting on her (and vice versa). When you have a life partner, a soul mate, a best friend, you want to cherish every moment with that person. They make life special and interesting.

A Cause
Some people find their purpose in a cause. There’s a saying that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. This cause could be charitable (like volunteer work), political, religious, cultural or motivational in nature. It’s something that you’re passionate about. When you feel like you’re making changes in this world, even in very small ways, it gives you a spring in your step, a shot of espresso in your coffee to keep you motivated each day.

A Hobby or Creative Distraction
It can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we stop taking time to ourselves to do what we really enjoy. This is a shame because in many cases, a hobby or distraction can be the one thing that adds a spice to your life when you feel that there’s not much else.

What about music? Maybe an instrument like the guitar? Maybe singing for fun?

Tae Kwon Do – learn how to kick some butt.

Youtube tutorials – teach others how to do stuff you know a whole lot about.

What you may find by exploring your hobbies is that people will eventually start to follow you and look to your for guidance and inspiration. That alone is something to inspire YOU to live life to its fullest and keep progressing.

A Dream
Some motivational speakers talk about the importance of living in the “now.” They say that we should focus on today and ignore the past and future. But I think there is value in thinking about the future, at least in terms of pursuing a dream or goal. When you have a goal in mind, whether it is to start your own company or to travel the world, it helps keep you positive and motivated about living your day to day life. Each day is a progression toward that goal, but the key is to have a plan that you’re implementing each day, little by little, so that it will actually become real.

First Things First
After much personal reflection, I think that life is about growing and creating. We’re here to grow, create, innovate and evolve into something even grander. Each of us can play a significant role in that process while we’re here, but we first have to pinpoint why we’re here and what motivates us to keep going in the first place.

What gives your life meaning?

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

How to Be the Center of Your Own Universe

I was raised by older women who selflessly gave of themselves. Many of them gave up their happiness, dreams and in many cases their peace of mind for the sake of helping other people. Basically they came last in their own lives.

Some people will call this admirable, but I disagree. I don’t think that’s what God / The Universe / The Higher Power wants for us. We’re meant to care about and help others when we can but not to the point where it robs from our own life force.

Women tend to give so much of themselves to the point where they lose themselves — they lose their identities. Later on in life, they look back at their years spent focused on sacrificing themselves to find that there’s nothing really to show for playing the role of a “martyr.” There are countless divorced women who sacrificed their careers and aspirations for marriage and kids only to find themselves struggling alone and unappreciated later on in life.

On what planet and in what universe is that fair? All of us are important and all of us deserve the pursuit of personal happiness and fulfillment.

Unfortunately, for much of my life I followed in the footsteps of this learned tradition, selflessly giving of myself to help others. It’s not until something life-changing happened to me that I realized no one else I knew would stick their neck out for me the way that I was willing to do for them.

And you know what, that’s probably smart of them.

I believe that each of us should be the center of our own Universe. We shouldn’t feel obligated to give so much of ourselves that it hurts. If we do for others it should be because we genuinely want to — not out of a sense of obligation.

So instead of holding into resentment toward people who won’t sacrifice for you, I think it’s so much more useful to turn the situation around and look at yourself. Here are a few tips for how to make yourself the center of your own Universe so that you can be happy and at peace with yourself and your decisions.

1) Take 15-20 minutes right now to answer this question “what do I need right now?” What do you need for yourself right now that will give you a boost? Write it down point by point. For example:

– I need to take better care of my health / workout
– I need to take myself out for a nice dinner
– I need to save up money to reach an important goal (no more lending — my money is my money)
– I need a vacation / getaway
– I need a massage / spa day
– I need new clothes or a new pair of comfortable shoes
– I need to quietly read a book on my lunch break (instead of listening to my co-worker go on and on about her relationship for an hour)

Now prioritize checking off this list over anything else that is going on in your life. You’ll find that as you check those things off you start to feel more important and alive. For you to help anyone else you need to be okay first.

2) Don’t ever give an immediate answer to a favor request from someone. Tell the person that you’ll think about it and get back to them at a later time. If they try to pressure you for an immediate answer, say no.

3) Before agreeing to do something for another person, ask yourself “would this put an unnecessary strain on ME?” Yes me, because ME matters. “Can I afford to do this and still be okay?” Also, “would this person do the same for me?” One of the keys to a healthy relationship with another person is reciprocity.

4) Understand that your opinion of yourself is the only one that really matters in the grand scheme of things. If someone doesn’t like you because you said no, that’s 100% their problem!

5) Start living your life from the inside out instead of from the outside in. What does that mean? Do you ever feel like you’re observing your life, actions, decisions and conversations as a third party observer? That you’re constantly thinking about what that other person is thinking about you? That you’re behaving the way you believe THEY would want you to behave? Think about it.

Be confident in who you are as an individual. Instead of looking at your life from the outside views of others, look at you from WITHIN. Are YOU happy with how you’re living? What do you think about yourself? This is where self-love comes from.

6) Be perfectly imperfect and proud of it. A lot of us are striving for perfection, which can never be achieved. Not to mention, one person’s idea of perfection differs from another’s. Understand that your imperfections are perfectly okay. Embrace them and cherish them — they’re part of you.

If you feel lost or drained by life, it’s probably because you’re not putting yourself first. Implement these tips for how to become the center of your own Universe starting today.

YOU MATTER.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Behind Every Successful Woman Is…

They say that behind every successful man is a good woman. If you look at the vast majority of successful men, there is almost always a good woman they’re married to who helped them achieve great things in life. Smart men get married to the right women.

But what about successful women? We don’t always have a good supportive husband or boyfriend to provide the same positive influence in our lives when we want to reach higher heights. Yet and still there are loads of ambitious and successful single women out there. So who or what do we have behind us when we achieve great things? Here are a few possible answers:

A strong belief, faith and commitment to God. When I scan social media the majority of faithful followers who constantly Thank God for supporting them are women. They have no shame in talking about how God took them through a hard time and are often involved in some type of business enterprise. Whether they have a husband behind them or not, these women continue to achieve.

Our hard working mothers. When you see your mother working hard and persevering for countless years, it becomes ingrained in your psyche. Single, successful women almost always have a supportive mother in their corner.

Children as motivators. One of my favorite people in the world Lisa Nichols often speaks about how her son was a major motivation for her to succeed at life and make more money. She is now a millionairess. Children are often a strong support and motivation for single mothers who strive to achieve.

Our real friends. If you have a real friend who cares about you and is there for you even in the hardest times, you have to hold on tight. These friends (our truest girlfriends) stand with us and help us achieve great things. Now I’m not talking about your acquaintances or “party friends” (the ones who only call when they need a partner to party) — I’m talking about the friend who calls you to see how you’re doing “just because” and is the first person to buy/promote what you’re selling when you start a business.

Other woman entrepreneurs. A lot of women think that other women are their enemies due to the way that they are taught from a young age (don’t trust women). But if you get a mentor or join a women’s network of fellow entrepreneurs you may find a much different reality — positive and encouraging women who want nothing more than for another woman to succeed.

Our inner strength and drive. Ever since I was young, I always crunched my nose up at the idea that women were “the weaker sex.” We may not be as physically strong as men, but I believe that we are stronger in the ways that really matter. We dig deep to do the things that no one wants to do, like raise kids alone, care for our family members in need (it’s estimated that up to 75 percent of caregivers are women), juggle multiple tasks and remain resilient even in the face of adversity. Even if a woman doesn’t have anyone in her corner, she can call on this inner strength and drive to keep doing whatever’s necessary to succeed in life.

While having a life partner in your corner to help support you in your dreams is awesome, it’s not necessary for you to be successful. As women we may not always have a strong man behind us to help us succeed, but we do have other sources to tap into for support and encouragement.

Keep moving forward.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Limiting Vs. Empowering Beliefs

In my book Survive, Live or Thrive I talk about limiting beliefs and how they are the culprits behind why we did not succeed or achieve what we want to in life.

Limiting beliefs are planted in our minds by cultural influences, the media and the people in our lives who say that they love us. These beliefs, that you accept for yourself, BECOME YOUR LIFE. Stuff doesn’t just happen to you — you are a willing participant, whether it’s good or bad. Your thoughts and beliefs affect the decisions you make, the steps you take and what you accept from others.

Bottomline, if you aren’t pleased with the way your life is going it is because you have allowed limiting beliefs to infiltrate your life for way too long.

Here is a list of common limiting beliefs that plaque women. Raise your hand if you can relate to one or more:

– I’m not smart enough to start my own business or get a better job
– I can never get healthy because bad health runs in my family
– I’m not pretty enough to deserve a good man
– I can’t find anyone better so I have to stay in this toxic relationship
– no man would ever want me as his girlfriend, all that I’m good for is sex and being a FWB
– I can never get anywhere in life because of my race or color
– My hair isn’t long enough, straight enough, blond enough, perfect enough, etc to be considered beautiful
– I’ve already lived the best days of my life, it’s all down hill from here
– I’m too old to start over
– I’m too young to be successful and make money
– I don’t deserve respect from the world (walk all over me)
– I didn’t have a father / mother in my life so I’m worthless and not meant to have a good life
– I was born poor so I’ll probably die poor (only chance is winning the lottery)
– God / the Universe is against me, so good things can’t happen to me
– I’m unlucky; all I have is bad luck
– I’m destined to fail, why even try? Why am I even here?

The list goes on and on doesn’t it? Our brains can be like toxic waste dumps.

What I’d like you to do starting today is to slowly replace some of these limiting beliefs (the messages that you’re repeating to yourself every day) with empowering thoughts and beliefs. Here are a few examples:

– the way I look and act is unique and special
– God made me, and He doesn’t make any mistakes, so I must be beautiful
– I’m alive and kicking, so I am still important to this world and have a purpose here
– I love and am loved, therefore I am a divine and significant part of this universe
– someone else’s opinion of me doesn’t have to become my reality
– I matter and I deserve respect; anyone who doesn’t agree doesn’t deserve to be in my life
– I deserve and am worthy of love overflowing
– Good things and people are attracted to me all the time — good things happening to me are the NORM

Even if you don’t fully believe these statements yet, there is POWER in saying them. Say them no matter how low you feel, no matter how bad you feel your day is going. Watch how things start to suddenly change after a week, two weeks, a month as you replace those limiting beliefs and thoughts with empowering ones.

I promise you love, no one can change your life but you — not a man, not a family member, not a friend… it’s all about YOU.

Love Lynn


Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

You’re Attracting Things into Your Life All the Time (Examples)

We all have that one person in our lives who always seems to be wrapped up in drama right? The “drama queen or king.” They think that the world is out to get them, but refuse to take ownership of the part that they are playing in the drama.

Many people fail to see how they are drawing negative people, experiences and situations into their lives by their own words, thoughts and actions.

For example, when you have low self-esteem you draw other low self-esteem people around you OR people who want to take advantage of you at your low point.

When you believe that everyone is out to get you and you’re always ready for a fight, you’re eventually going to get exactly what you’re asking for.

Constantly talking about lack, being broke and penny pinching draws more money struggles into your life.

Even something as simple as the types of songs you feed your mind daily can attract things or people to you. Listening to lyrics that constantly degrade women could draw people into your life who are disrespectful to women.

Take a close look at your life right now. Think about how you might be attracting good or bad things into your day to day reality?

An Example from My Life
Not very long ago I was feeling as if no one in the world, cared, needed or loved me. I would sit at Starbucks, dinner by myself, or just in my home alone feeling invisible. Feeling sorry for myself.

Today everything is so different — in a good way. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the attention and love I receive from the world. I am in high demand with the people in my life, to the point where I feel as if I have to give them a number and schedule an appointment for them !

What changed? I talk about this in my new book Survive, Live or Thrive?

There are so many things that changed, but the main answer is that I changed my mindset and the way that I choose to interact with the world.

I’m no longer angry and combative and feeling sorry for myself. I have taken full responsibility for my life and my choices and it really feels great.

I feel confident and happy. I treat people the way that I want to be treated. I don’t focus on petty things. I replace the urge to worry with positive thoughts of the best resolution to the issue.

And I have come to the realization that I was the one who was attracting all of that bad and sad stuff into my life, unconsciously.

We Are Constantly Creating Our Lives
This is a simple law of the universe that many of us don’t realize is happening every day in every way.

We are the ones who create our world. We unconsciously draw things into our lives by the way we talk, the way we feel, the way we think and the people we spend most of our time with. We are in charge of the creation process.

So if you want a better life, if you don’t like where you live, if you don’t like the people you’re around or you don’t like the way your bank account is set up, start creating a new life. Change it. Only you have the power to do that — you can’t sit around waiting for someone to swoop in and change your life for you.

Change the way you think, talk and interact with the world, starting today. Decide what you want and once you have that in mind, everything you say, think about and do should be about that goal.

Start today. Start right now. Stay strong, stay positive and continue educating yourself on how to get to exactly where you want to be.

Love Lynn

 

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Lynn Gilliard is a prolific writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of the self-help book Survive, Live or Thrive?  and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU .

One Day… Why Not NOW?

A lot of us go through life, going through the motions. We wait for the day that someone will show up and vindicate us for all the hard work we’ve done. We wait for the day when someone will recognize us for the struggle we’ve gone through.

We hope for that “one day”… someone (maybe Jesus, maybe a boyfriend, maybe a woman friend) will come into our lives and say “I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that” or “You are a saint for what you’ve tolerated.”

And this very well may happen some day. But the longer you wait for it to happen, the more and more resentment and anger builds up.

So instead of waiting for that one day, why not make it happen today? You don’t have to wait for *another person* to let you off the hook. Let YOURSELF off of the hook. Tell your own self those things that you so desperately want to hear:

– you are so special
– you are amazing for what you do
– you are so hard working
– God is so proud of you

Whatever it may be.

Start living for YOU today.

One Day I Will… When…
There is another kind of “One Day” some of us secretly hold in mind. The one that says:

One day I will ___(fill in the blank)___ when I __(fill in the blank)___

– One day I will get a better job when I get my degree

– One day I will go to the spa when I get vacation time

– One day I will start my own business when my credit gets better

– One day I will move when I save enough money

This phrase is often an excuse to delay action today. Talk is cheap — action matters.

So if you really want to make those things happen, what can you do TODAY to make them more of a reality?

– Instead of waiting for your degree for a better job, start researching better paying jobs that you may be qualified for. You may find that you can make a lot more money RIGHT NOW doing something that you’re already skilled at.

– Instead of waiting for time off to act on going to the spa, make an appointment RIGHT NOW — even if it’s a couple of weeks from now. If cash-flow is an issue at the moment, you now have a clear goal in mind to save up $50 or so for a good massage and facial!

– If you want to start a business, you don’t need perfect credit to do so. You may need good credit to get financing, but there’s nothing stopping you from getting started on a business plan TODAY.

– If your ultimate goal is to move, do you have a clear idea in your mind of WHERE you want to move? Do you know exactly how much it would cost to do that? Even if you don’t have enough cash for the deposit or moving costs, you can take steps RIGHT NOW to get things rolling in that direction.

Let’s stop using that phrase “One Day” and start embracing the idea that there are actions and steps we can take TODAY to achieve our goals and get satisfaction out of life.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer, transformational blogger and author of Survive, Live or Thrive? a self-help guide for people who feel stuck in a rut, and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

New Book: Survive, Live or Thrive? by L. Lynn Gilliard

New Book:

Survive, Live or Thrive?

by L. Lynn Gilliard

 

Simple Life Tips for Those Who Feel Stuck in a Rut

This is a guide for those who feel that they may be stuck in a rut in one or more areas of their life, including:

– pursuing your dreams
– making good money
– dating and love relationships
– family relationships
– self-love

Though the book is specifically targeted for women who are experiencing challenges in their lives, the concepts apply to everyone. Fueled by the idea that life is meant to be easy and enjoyable, it is loaded with stories, blog posts from Lynn’s websites and other inspirations and thoughts to help propel you to the ultimate goal: THRIVING in every area of your life.

Get the Amazon Paperback Here

 

Audio version – Coming soon

You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone… Especially If You’re Nothing to Yourself

Why is it that some of us think so much of others but not much of ourselves?

Maybe because we’ve allowed so many negative messages about ourselves to enter our heads over the years since childhood, but for some reason we don’t think anyone else could have had the same experience.

In our minds, everyone else is living well and oh so happy. Everyone else is just great! But we can’t see the greatness in ourselves.

sad sunflower
Courtesy © Ivan Chuyev | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The truth is that everyone else around us is probably going through the same stuff. But because we think everyone ELSE is awesome and perfect, we will do more for them and pay more attention to them than our own selves. How twisted is that?

Women do this the most by far.

Do you downgrade yourself when talking about yourself but uplift and support everyone else?

Are you always coming to the rescue of others but don’t think you’re worthy or important enough to help yourself?

Do you minimize your own light to let the light of others to shine brighter?

This can apply to something as seemingly minor as neglecting to tell people that it’s your birthday. Are you the type of person who will hold back from telling people that it’s your birthday, on the day of your birthday, for fear of seeming “narcissistic” or self serving? I used to be one of those people, but now I am more than happy to tell everyone who will listen that it’s my b-day or that it’s coming up soon. Yes! This was the day that the awesome human being that is ME came to be. Celebrate with me baby!

And guess what? I get gifts, birthday wishes and special dinner offers when I do that!

So here is the question of this post:
How can you be everything to everyone else when you’re nothing to yourself?

The answer is that you can’t. No way possible. Even people who have sky high self-esteem and self-worth know that it’s impossible to please or help everyone.

Take care of yourself! I can’t stress this enough. It’s admirable to want to help others but it’s only truly EFFECTIVE when you’re mentally, emotionally, physically and financially healthy first.

Love Lynn

3 Reasons Why Being Selfless Is Actually Pretty Selfish

A quick search of the definition of selflessness turns up this result:
“Having, exhibiting or motivated by no concern for oneself.”

In other words, being selfless is like trying to be a martyr. You sacrifice your needs in favor of others. You don’t care about yourself (or at least you say you don’t), only others.

Some believe that this term is synonymous with being unselfish, but I disagree. Let me tell you why I think being selfless is actually a very selfish way to live.

1. It Creates a Vacuum.
Being selfless is not normal. It basically says that everyone else in the world is important except for you. But you should be the most important person in your life. You are an important being. So when you go about your life with this attitude it’s like you’re creating a sort of vacuum where positive energy (your positive life force) is constantly being sucked out of you but you’re not allowing it to be replaced. When someone does come to you and say “let me help you” the “selfless” attitude within causes you to say “no no no. I don’t need help. I don’t need love. I don’t deserve or want any of that goodness.” You’re rejecting the good from coming back into your life, which is making it harder for the Universe to do its job. The Universe doesn’t like that — it wants you to be filled up to the brim and beyond with good things. Fighting natural laws is selfish.

2. It Demands Recognition.
When you selflessly spread yourself thin by preoccupying yourself with the lives of others, in a way it is a cry for attention, love and recognition. You believe that if you do everything for everybody, one day the world will say “Man, that Sally is just so awesome!” Then when that doesn’t happen as you dreamed it would, and people just start to expect you to help them out all of the time, you become resentful and angry. Constantly putting yourself out on a limb because you want to be seen as a martyr is selfish.

3. You’re Ignoring Your Own Needs. When you’re selfless, you’re actually being the most selfish to YOURSELF. You have needs just like the next person. You matter just like the next person. So if you run yourself ragged every day helping everyone else and don’t even stop to nourish your own mind, body and soul you are doing a great disservice to yourself. You are the only person who you can really count on to take care of your needs. Ignoring your own needs is being selfish to yourself.

When you think about it from this perspective, clearly being selfish and selfless are negative behaviors. A happy, healthy and fulfilled person is open to helping others but not at the expense of her own sanity and well-being.

Do your daily behaviors fall under the category of being “selfless?”

If so, it may be time to re-evaluate. You are important and deserve attention to your needs as well. It’s time to give YOU the attention you need to set your world back into its proper balance.

Love Lynn