Friday, January 20, 2017

The Common Denominator

When I look back on all my poor relationships, whether platonic or intimate, there was a common theme. I figured I could change those people's behaviors towards me if I loved harder and stronger. I gave, and they took. Before I knew it, I was depleted, depressed, and doubted my existence. Because I didn't realize my self-worth (due to suppressed low self-esteem), it showed in the pattern of toxic relationships I allowed myself to be involved in. They served no positive purpose and I kept getting the short end of the stick every time. I was imploding from the inside out and my low self-esteem was the pathway to self-destructive behaviors. Worst yet, no one knew what I was personally going through because the mask with the bright smile I wore in public, hid the hurt, pain, shame, and guilt.
It wasn't until I got to my "sick and tired of being sick and tired" point, that I realized it wasn't my job to change those people who mistreated me. However, it was my responsibility to look within and change myself. Through self-reflection and looking deeper, I had to ask myself "How could I get the same negative results from different people?" As hard as it was to accept, I was the common denominator. I was the main factor in each experience. Although it doesn't make it right for anyone to mistreat another person, it was in my control to determine how long, if at all, was I willing to put up with their horrible conduct. This decision can only come from having love and joy by starting from within. I had to stand on God's word and believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139: 14 KJV).
It is my desire to share my story because I know I am not the only one who experienced these toxic relationships and was delusional enough to believe that I could be all the other person ever needed; that by completely giving of myself, they would love me the way I desired them to. This was an unrealistic expectation because at the time I didn't know how to love myself.
There is hope for each and every person who struggles to find love and acceptance in a pattern of abusive relationships. We must nurture the little girl or boy inside and give them the unconditional love they rarely received. It is important to understand that the devil wants us to stay broken and pass the burned out torch to our children. If the devil can keep us down, dysfunctional, and depressed, then that is one less person who is walking in their true purpose and living passionately like there is no tomorrow. I pray that you will take the steps to release the toxic shackles that hold you back and down from living the way God desires for you. Take the steps to heal from any hurt and pain. Take the steps to forgive yourself and eventually those who hurt you. Once this takes place, you will be the common denominator for positive relationships in your life filled with a light that no one can extinguish.
May God bless you always beloved.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Who's In Your Boat?


I believe there are three types of people that come into our lives.



*The Rower-A person who is actively trying to help you get up the creek or help shift the current in your favor. This person could be praying for your success, cheering you on and encouraging others to do the same, and/or watching your back while you focus on what lies ahead. Overall, The Rower is a person that makes a positive impact in your life. 


*The Sleeper-A person who is just a long for the ride. They are not actively doing anything to help you achieve your goals. Most times they are sleeping on their purpose and therefore can't help support yours. I consider The Sleeper dead weight serving no positive purpose. Be careful because their snoring (gossiping, unfulfilled promises, hoarding information, and lack of action) can cause you to lose focus.


*The Driller-A person who is unhappy with the direction their boat is going in so they hitch a ride in yours for the purpose of drilling holes in it. Then they quickly jump out and happily watch you sink. They have the toxic mindset of "If I can't succeed, neither will you!" These type of people have an evil spirit of jealousy, boasting, and backstabbing. Beware! The white teeth you see from their smile is hiding the serpent tongue in their mouth.


I pray that I have been The Rower in your life in some aspect. Life is hard enough as it is, so I also pray for wisdom and discernment to know who is The Rower, The Sleeper, or The Driller. Last but not least, take some time to look down in the water at your own reflection to answer the question "Who's In Your Boat?" Instead of rowing your own boat, you maybe sleeping or self-sabotaging your purpose in life. 



Have an Unstoppable You Day!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

15 Tips To Finish Your Race Making An Impact

Recently I attended a funeral held for a dear woman that I had only known for a few years.  But in that short period of time she made a huge impact on my life personally and professionally.  This amazing woman of God had touched so many lives that at her funeral it appeared to be at least a thousand people in attendance.  It was literally standing room only.  I was inspired by the diverse crowd of all races, young and old, democrat and republican, all sitting together celebrating her life.  This beautiful woman of 74 years young, left a positive and lasting legacy not just for her family, but at the local, state, and even national level.  She was extremely active in several churches, organizations, and even was the co-founder of a few.  Her biography read like a good novel.  

I was so honored to witness this celebration of life that I felt compelled to do a Facebook live video (https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.foxworthy.3/videos/1215700165127208/).  I had posed the question to all who viewed it "How will you finish the race and make an impact?"   

It states in 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (NIV).  Often times this scripture is quoted at funerals to encourage those in mourning that the deceased has lived an abundant and impactful life. 

If you are unsure on how to run YOUR race and what reward awaits you at the finish line, these 15 tips with Christian scriptures will guide you.

1.  Tap into your potential.  Everybody has the potential (Philippians 4:13) to do great and amazing things. Ultimately, will you sit on the sidelines and watch life pass you by or will you participate and get in the race?  It is hard to make an impact if your time, talent, and gifts are not being utilized to the fullest.

2.  Eat right.  God blessed us with the nourishment of His word, the bible.  It is our daily bread (Luke 11:3) and guides us on how we are supposed to live.  In order to fight temptation, one must be rooted in scripture daily.

3.  Wear the proper clothing for the race.  In order to live a righteous and impactful life, putting on the Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18) is necessary.  When wearing the armor, you are protected from head to toe, which makes it hard for the enemy's evil spirits to penetrate.  

4.  Keep your head up and stay focused.  Prayer is powerful and is our direct communication to God (1 John 5:14).  In order to listen to God's voice and reduce distractions, it will be essential to seek wisdom and discernment (Colossians 1:9-10).  Praying for wisdom and discernment will help you navigate through life's trials and tribulations. 
  
5.  Stretch.  This is God's opportunity to challenge you to go beyond your comfort zone (John 16:33).  During this phase of your journey it can be uncomfortable, but worth it in the end.  It demonstrates your ability to step out on faith and do God's will, which is to live on purpose as He desires for you.

6. Ensure you have a good coach.  I encourage you to find someone who is making a difference and can properly guide you in all the areas of life (Proverbs 27:17).  You may need several coaches (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally) and that is ok.  It is not a sign of weakness asking for help (Proverbs 17:17).

7.  Pep talk.  There maybe days to where you feel alone and think the world is against you.  This is the opportunity to dig down deep and encourage yourself to not give up and keep going (2 Chronicles 15:7).  

8.  Know where your cheering section is located.  Your cheering section consist of people who genuinely have your back (Proverbs 12:26).  That will pray, support, uplift, and push you to be the best you can be.  Overall, this is your "A Team."  Note: be careful who you invite to be in your cheering section.  Not every smiling face is for you.  The schemes of the enemy come in many forms.  This is why tip #4 is so important.

9.  Endurance.  You were built for your race.  God knew you before you were formed in your mother's womb (Psalms 139:13-16).  It requires patience with yourself and others.  It is not how fast you run but the impact you make along the way.  Just keep moving!

10.  Keep a steady pace.  By having a steady pace in your race you can last longer.  Don't try to be perfect, but be consistent (Ecclesiastes 9:10).  

11.  Stay in your lane.  This tip is very important to understand.  When you lose focus and get distracted on how other people are running their race, you run the risk of crossing into their lane.  When this happens you can get disqualified (2 Corinthians 10:12) .  You are fearfully and wonderfully made, which makes you unique.  Embrace who you are and Whom you ultimately belong to. By being authentic, you realize that you no longer have to compete with others or covet what they have.  Once you understand this, any evil spirit of jealousy and greed will disappear.  By staying in your lane, you are able to walk in your purpose (Ephesians 1:11).

12.  Help an injured runner.  We are our brother's and sister's keeper (Colossians 4:5-6).  This is not meant to say that we enable them through life, but uplift and encourage them.  To run past someone in need is not what God intended for us to do.  Remember the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you."  God made us to be of service to others.  Your act of kindness and compassion can speak life into someone (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). 

13.  Overcome the hurdles.  You can overcome the obstacles in your race, regardless if they are self-imposed or made by external sources.  No matter if you jump over it or go around, obstacles are temporary and can be an opportunity to learn valuable lessons.  Just hold on to God's unchanging hand (James 1:12).

14.  Passing the baton.  The baton is the legacy that you pass down to the next generation (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).  Will you make a positive impact on those around you and leave a legacy of inspiration or will it be filled with dysfunction and negativity (Titus 3:10).  This will depend on how you run your race. 

15.  Leave the track in better condition than what you found it.  Make a difference in the world by being a productive citizen of society and in your family.  Growth starts from the inside out.  So if you are unstable so will your house.  If your house is not built on a solid foundation then it may impact the community in which you live.  Therefor, be a person that unites and not divides (2 Timothy 4:1-22).

At the end of your race, your reward will be eternal life in heaven.  Matthew 25:23 (NIV) "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master's happiness.'"  As Christians this is what we should hope to hear.  Now run Your Race!




Thursday, June 2, 2016

Delay or Denial Does Not Always Mean Defeat.

When I retired in 2013 from the U.S. Navy after 21.7 years, I stepped out on faith to start my business Inspirationally Speaking, LLC as a professional motivational speaker. In addition, I was simultaneously writing my first book to self-publish. I prayed, planned, researched, and got mentors because I knew the make or break point for a small start-up business was between three to five years, and I needed to give myself the best chance to succeed. Like any company, I needed clients to take a chance and give my services a try. I made phone calls, mailed letters, sent emails, attended networking events, scheduled meetings, asked for referrals, and followed up on everything. Some doors opened and many other times my direct approach (the elevator) had me chasing my tail, only to get delayed and denied. Even though I was discouraged, I focused my energy elsewhere and figured the doors I wanted to open, were just not for me. 

Now, I am coming up on my third year business anniversary. I have kept God first, tried to remain humble, and built a consistent brand. I am here to testify that the doors that I peeked through or that never opened for me, are about to swing wide open that not even the devil can shut. I didn't realize it in the beginning, but I understand now that God is the ultimate strategist. The route he had me take (the stairs) was long, windy, and unknown. Although my journey has been exhausting (and still have a ways to go), it has taken me to a huge penthouse filled with people who are willing to come alongside the vision. Contrary to the route I tried to take earlier, it would have led to a small janitor's closet with mice and roaches. So please stay encouraged and don't despise small or slow beginnings. Do not give up, sometimes the reward is bigger than you can imagine when you have to climb the stairs. The direct and easy route may not always be the best or safest. Habakkuk 2:3 "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." Trust the process and know that a delay or denial does not always mean defeat.



The Spiritual Growth of an Unstoppable You Woman

Because of my own journey, I know that their is a spiritual growth that I have experienced to get to where I am now. I didn't always have the mindset to be an Unstoppable You Woman.

When I really took the time to read and digest 2Timothy 3:6, I had to admit that I was a weak-willed woman. I was ‪#‎Broken‬ and ‪#‎Vulnerable‬ looking for love and acceptance.
Then I digested the true example of Proverbs 31:10-26 which explained what I should be. Once I got to my sick and tired of being sick and tired point, I surrendered to God's will. It wasn't easy changing old habits but necessary. This is when I began to be ‪#‎Restored‬. I couldn't truly pour out into another if I was empty. Because of my restoration journey, I can be the mother and wife God called me to be.
Last but not least, I had to digest Titus 2:3-5 to be ‪#‎Complete‬ and ‪#‎Authentic‬. By doing so, I could be a positive example for other women, young and old. Sharing our wisdom, testimonies, and teaching can be extremely beneficial. That's how we give back, walk in our God given purpose, and be an Unstoppable You Woman.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Getting Rid of the Garbage

On my last tour in the Navy, I transitioned from military warfare as a Naval Aircrewman to military welfare as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. During my training to be certified, I learned many tools to help the patients understand that certain people, places, and things can be triggers, which can jeopardize their recovery. In addition, understanding emotions and feelings, while utilizing healthy coping skills was critical to enjoying a life of sobriety.
These lessons I had learned to help others, would prove invaluable in my own journey to clearing out the clutter and garbage. If someone made me upset or frustrated, those negative emotions led to toxic behaviors. It took me a while to self-reflect and get to the root of the issue. On the surface my emotions were anger, sadness, depression, and so on. However, below the surface was the feeling of hurt. Many times I didn't want to look under the surface because of what it might reveal. Why did I feel HURT? Because of EXPECTATIONS. I experienced many let downs because I had high expectations of others. I put them on a pedestal holding them to the same morals and values that I had. And just like flawed human beings, they didn't live up to my standards. So I became disappointed and suppressed my feelings, mixed it with low self-esteem, and BOOM BAM just like that, I had a recipe of DYSFUNCTION! I didn't realize my denial fed the suppressed sewage of negative emotions that bubbled inside. Eventually, it had spewed out like toxic waste threatening to ruin everything I loved, starting with myself.
Finally, I was faced with dealing with my mess because God was trying to take me places, but my baggage was heavy. I had to lighten my load in order to walk in my purpose. I needed to acknowledge what led to the baggage of self-pity, jealousy, depression, low self-esteem, fear, and worry. Believe me, I am a work in progress. I didn't change my standards, but I applied wisdom to the expectations of others and myself. This shift led to healing and ultimately forgiveness.

If you are struggling to get from under your baggage, I encourage you to go below the surface and acknowledge the hurt, restore your broken spirit, and eventually you will have the peace to forgive. God needs you to pack light beloved so that He can reveal the amazing things just for YOU!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Closed Mouth Won't Get Fed

Have you ever experienced something that challenged your comfort zone? God has an amazing way of pulling us out of our comfort zone to not only walk in our purpose and to do His will, but for us to work on certain shackles in hopes of becoming better people. Well for me I am working on the shackle of pride. Many of you know, that doing a women's conference was never on my list of goals. I had never attended one prior to mine. So when God gave me the vision to organize the Unstoppable You Women's Conference, I figured it was my burden alone to bare. Needless to say, I learned many tough lessons along the way. I was afraid to ask for help, for fear of people saying no or not following through. My pride blinded my sight. Overall, that old saying applied, "A closed mouth won't get fed" or maybe you heard of "You have not, because you ask not." Humility was a key lesson learned.
I have come to realize and understand, that when God calls you to do something, He provides all the resources to be successful. God showed me that all the networking events I attended and the collection of business cards I gathered was for a reason. So now I am opening my mouth and letting people know what I need. And if by chance I am told "no" or "not right now," I can respect that and move forward. But if I never ask, I will never know and I will continue to do without. Being Unstoppable You is a never ending journey of self-reflection and self-improvement. Unstoppable You is the person who seeks help, knowing they can't do it all alone. Be encouraged and put your pride aside.