Find a place to check the “rockstar” at the door

This one won’t pertain to everyone. It might be specifically for my fellow Enneagram 3 performer/achiever types.

I’m a rockstar and I’m proud of it.

I am really good at a lot of things. You are too. If you don’t feel like you are, it’s probably because you’re doing the wrong things or you haven’t been doing the right things for long enough.

My people actually use words like “rockstar” and “champion” to describe me. It’s the greatest feeling in the world. I thrive on it. I wake up everyday with the pressure to out-perform the day before. That adrenaline is what gets me out of bed at 4:30am almost every morning.

I do this in my work, my friendships, the gym, writing, leadership and even in my relationship with God.

I get more done before 8am than most of America gets done in a standard work day.

I strive and thrive. That’s just what I do.

But it’s important to remember that’s not WHO I AM.

I’m just Felicia. And I’m loved and cherished by the Creator of the universe before I accomplish a single thing. In fact, He loves me the exact same at 4:30am as He does at 4:30pm.

Every. Single. Day.

You are too, by the way. Not the Felicia part. You’re who YOU are and you’re fiercely and wonderfully loved by your Creator and Savior.

I am “on” 167 hours a week. At work, in the gym, coffee shops, at home with my roommates, serving and leading for my church, doctors offices and anywhere else I go. I’m even on in Lyfts and grocery store lines.

I love this way of life. When I operate from the healthiest version of me, this allows me to get a lot done and make a big difference in the world around me.

But everyone needs a time and place to just relax. Maybe for you, it’s your bedroom or an hour walk you do in the mornings or at the bar. For me, it’s the hour I spend in my therapist’s office overlooking the Nashville skyline.

My therapist and I have been meeting for (almost exactly) three years. Today, we tried something new. We decided for me to intentionally “check the rockstar” at the door for one hour every week. There’s 168 hours every week and I run at 110 percent for 167 of them. I literally track sleep, steps, macros, calls, minutes, comments, heart rate, blood pressure, dollars, words….I even track how many minutes I’m in the shower to see if I can beat it the following day.

But for one hour, I get to check it at the door and just be human. I can hit the brakes and exhale. Nobody is tracking me. I’m not trying to impress or please anyone. In fact, it’s the opposite in that room. In that room with the view of all that is happening in Nashville, I realize how small and insignificant I am in the grand scheme of reality.

That is exactly what every great human needs to remember every once in a while. You and I are not essential to the world turning. We are priceless to the God of the universe, but we aren’t anymore priceless than everyone else around us.

What is your time and place to check the “rockstar” at the door and unwind?

Confidence is a smart soldier.

“As a confidence coach, what would you say to yourself right now if this version of you were your client?”

My therapist asked a great question a few weeks ago when I was riding the wave right out of confidence into arrogance.

Two days later, I was getting pulled under.

That’s when you know it’s false confidence, by the way. When your confidence is built on the things of God (and not on yourself), you don’t ride a rollercoaster of ups and downs on a daily basis.

Confidence is being built on a solid foundation and the winds of life not blowing you every which way on a moment-by-moment basis. Confidence is built on humility in understanding how big God is and how small we are.

At the optimum of confidence, we are capable of so much more grace. Confidence suffocates offendable mentality, envy, fear and shame. Truthfully, we can’t be full of grace and full of pride at the same time.

One of the things I have learned is that arrogance doesn’t make me stronger. It makes me vulnerable. The minute I step over the line into arrogance is the moment I tell the world to come at me because my outward expression is actually reflecting an inward reality of insecurity, fear and anxiety.

Confidence acts as a smart soldier in battle. It protects our hearts and minds from attacks and finds strength in numbers. Rogue soldiers rarely make it out alive. Why? Because they think they are invincible and immune to the dangers in their midst.

Rogue soldiers aren’t confident, by the way. Contrary to what Hollywood wants you to believe, that’s almost always pure arrogance. Battles are not meant to be fought and won alone. Life is not meant to be lived and fulfilled alone.

Confidence is smart. Arrogance is just stupid.

So how do we do it? How do we keep confidence and get rid of arrogance? I’m so glad you asked. Here’s some of the strategies I have to reduce the temptation to step into arrogance.

  1. Give it to God. Before I open my eyes every morning, I do three things. I thank God for making it through the night, I pray I can still see when I open my eyes and I ask God to take over all the decision-making for the day. I ask him to give me wisdom and guidance to make decisions pleasing to Him and to reflect His light and love to the people I come into contact with.
  2. Ask for feedback. Team Felicia knows I tend to slip into an arrogant state of mind something and they will gently or not-so-gently remind me to snap out of it. But it wasn’t always that way. For many years (and sometimes, now), I would ask people I respected for help. I would just straight ask them if they thought I was being an insensitive jerk or if I was about to do something stupid. Accountability isn’t easy for any of us but I’d much rather someone I really respect tell me the truth than to keep looking and acting like a fool. Remember – confidence breeds in numbers.
  3. Live with gratitude. It’s really hard to be full of yourself and full of thanks at the same time. Actually, it’s impossible. Write out three things you’re thankful for every day, or just verbally share them with a spouse, friend or even (and especially) Jesus. Gratitude brings me to a place of humility so quickly.
  4. Self-evaluate often. I like to keep a running list of things I need to be better at and remind myself of those when I’m starting to feel pretty full of myself. This is not about self-condemnation. The goal is not to beat yourself up over those things. It’s just to remind you that you’re still in your process and you have never “Arrived.”

I bet there’s thousands more ideas. A few weeks ago when I was struggling with this, someone challenged me to talk to someone and ask them what I could do for them. Someone else told me to just laugh. Find something hilarious and just laugh until I got in a different state of mind. Pray, write, laugh, run…whatever it takes for you.

When our confidence is based on our identities as children of God, this arrogance thing gets easier. The more you know who you are are an heir to the throne, the less you need to be a hero in your head.

Beauty rises from the ashes

I wasn’t going to share this today because it’s a beautiful day and I don’t want to ruin it, but then I felt some conviction.

Sometimes, telling the stories of how God brings beauty from the ashes is exactly what we need to build our faith and encourage others in theirs.

Three years ago today, I was at the darkest point of my entire life. I had struggled with suicide ideation for 12 years, and July 10, 2017 was the boiling point. I had my wreck just a few weeks before. I was lying in a bedroom with a back brace on and absolutely no hope. For weeks, I had convinced myself more each day that I was worthless because I was useless. I was isolated. I was desperate. I was scared.

I thought through everything. Every relationship. Every unmet goal. Every detail of what would happen after I was gone. And before the end of the night, I found myself with a bottle of oxycodone in one hand and a Sprite can in the other.

Nothing terrible happened that night. Thank God.

It took me a few more weeks after that but I hit rock bottom and the best thing about that is that the only place to go from there was up. It took a solid six more months to get solid ground under me again. I slowly discovered a new me and learned a new normal.

I spent the night at a psychiatric hospital.

I spent three days at a crisis stabilization unit.

I spent six months in intensive motive transition therapy.

Eventually, I got up off the ground and started inching my way toward a new life. Every day since, I get a little quicker and dare to do a little more.

Today, I am living my very best life. I am still living some of the consequences of that wreck and that season. I still can’t drive, there’s still broken relationships and I’m still paying off all the medical bills.

BUT despite all of that, I am working for the best team in the world doing something I love, getting stronger in the gym all the time, inching my way toward being a published author, building a confidence coaching business, serving with the coolest volunteer team I know at my church, living in a city I love…..should I go on?

The point is….I got out.

Cycles were broken.

Dreams were restored.

Health was replenished.

Abundance was fulfilled.

Hope was found.

Beauty rose from the ashes.

If you met me today, you wouldn’t know I genuinely wanted to die three years ago.

That’s nothing but the grace of Jesus, friends.

How did we do it?

I say “we” because I didn’t do it alone. There’s an evolving team of people who consistently sign up to help me build the life I love. Pastors, doctors, therapists, coaches – people who have created a space where it is okay for me to not be okay but love me too much to let me stay there.

WE consistently work on replacing lies with truth. As I discard the shame and pick up the confidence God created and called me to have as His daughter, really great things happen. Confidence breeds optimism. Optimism breeds faith.

Earlier this week, I heard a story about a man who took his own life because of the insurmountable burden of COVID-19 and the implications thereof. My heart shattered. It took me back to that lonely third floor bedroom where everything seemed magnified. I remember feeling like I was in a hole for weeks and every time I opened my eyes, it felt like more dirt was being thrown on top of me.

It’s times like these where I want to shout from the rooftops.

You. Are. Not. Alone.

Don’t give up. There is hope. Just breathe.

2020 is hard, friends. It’s hard on everyone. Not one of us is immune to the fears, struggles and confusion incurred from 2020. Based on experience, I have one promise.

It WILL get better.

This season is strengthening us for what is next. One day, we will look back and be grateful for all we learned during 2020.

But for the man I heard about this week, he won’t be here to tell the story. His wife and kids. His parents. His siblings. His friends. His coworkers. His golf buddies. They will. They now have one more thing to grieve this year. One more loss to tally. One more thing to keep them awake at night.

Can I encourage you to not give up?

That’s easier said than done, I know. Here’s some real life strategies I use.

  1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your future, even if you don’t. I learned a few years ago that I was going to have to borrow from other peoples’ confidence until I had it on my own. Here’s a secret: I still have days where I have to borrow from someone else’s confidence in me. Seriously, find someone – even if just one person – who will believe in your wildest dreams and highest success in life.
  2. Remember God’s faithfulness in your life. When things get hard, remember the stories of when God has provided and protected you in the past. Tell the stories of His promises fulfilled. In order to do this well, I encourage you to keep track of those stories as they happen. Keep a journal. Take pictures. Record audio notes in your phone. Whatever it takes. And when you need a reminder of how good God is, go back and remember that time a check came in the mail just when you most needed it to when a doctor said the word “remission” or when a friend came along at just the perfect time.
  3. Give yourself a side of grace. It’s hard out there right now and nobody that matters is judging you for being exhausted. When the thoughts and fears come crashing down in your head, just close your eyes and breathe. Once you can see daylight again, call someone who will listen and tell you it’s okay. So many times in the last three years, I have done this and had the voice at the other end of the phone speak with calmness and clarity, which transferred to me.
  4. Take your moments slow if you need to. Nobody expects you to be at the top of your game 100 percent of the time. Take your journey one mile at a time. Tackle one project at a time. Clean up one mess at a time. Three years ago, I had to slowly rebuild my life one priority at a time. It felt endless at first but as I mastered one area at a time, I gained the confidence to move to the next thing on the list.

Bottom line is this: Don’t give up. You’re created and called to greatness, even if it feels unattainable right now. You are seen. You matter. Your best days are ahead.

Additional bottom line: Never be afraid to share the stories of God’s faithfulness. Others need to be encouraged by your story. Sharing my struggles isn’t my most fun part of my Friday, but it is probably the most meaningful thing I will do today. Join the club and share yours too.

Why?

Because testifying of the beauty rising from the ashes is heaven’s language. And if we are going to bring Heaven down here, we need to speak its language.

Going deeper into confidence

I talk about confidence a lot, which is good since I call myself a confidence coach.

But what if we went a little deeper? Would that be okay with you?

Let’s start with what confidence is NOT. It is NOT arrogance, self-centeredness, ego, pride or being a jerk.

The world tells us having confidence is a bad thing. Society doesn’t want us to be confident in ourselves because if we all acted like we believed we are already strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc we wouldn’t need to spend the billions of dollars we spend every year trying to be more. “enough.”

So what does everyone tell us? They tie confidence to a body image or a hair style or a clothing brand. They tie it to the car you drive, the cell phone you use or the preworkout you drink.

I know some people who own BMWs and Lincolns and Audis who are some of the most insecure people I have ever met. I bet you do too.

Confidence is about being secure in who you already are with, or without all the extra stuff.

Whether you dropped out at 8th grade or have a PhD.

Whether you are severely obese or are an A-list model.

Whether you ride a bicycle from Goodwill or drive a $100k vehicle.

Whether you flip burgers or flip companies.

Whether you have 5 followers or 5 million on Instagram.

It doesn’t matter. Knowing that you were created to live the life you are living. That’s what confidence is. It’s walking around this planet with your head held high and eyes wide open. Assured in what you’re wearing, eating, driving or doing.

Don’t get me wrong. A true champion understands he is always on a journey and looking for ways to get better at the game, but he doesn’t go into the ring thinking, “I’m not as good as my opponent. I should be wearing different gloves. I’m probably going to lose.”

No. That would be what we call S-T-U-P-I-D.

Athletes, music artists, actors, public speakers and any kid starting the first day of school – we want them to have confidence in what they are doing or we know they will fail. So why don’t WE show up to the game every single day, ready to knock down anything in our way?

Over the next 10 days or so, I’m going to unpack confidence in each area of our lives. We will talk about careers, family, fitness, social media and more. I’ll give you practical pro tips – things I actually do every single day – to help play the game of life in confidence. You don’t want to miss it. Subscribe to FeliciaCarter.TV and you’ll get an email when new content goes live. You can also make sure to follow me on social media to not only get access to all my content but also other really random posts about me and my life – like when I am proud of a run or accomplish something awesome at work.

What specific thing in your life do you think you’re the best at doing with confidence?

Know what (WHO) you’re FOR

I am for people – and I am for them one at a time.

It’s really that simple.

I don’t care if you are an anonymous person in a chat room, a cashier at a grocery store, a homeless man on the interstate ramp, a frazzled single mom, a rebellious teenager, a Fortune 500 CEO, or a potential homebuyer in Knoxville. No matter who you are, what your story is or where you are headed, I am FOR you.

While I’ve always been about helping people and loving people well, I haven’t always known what I was for. In fact, it was just in the last few years that I was able to put my heart under a microscope and find out that the thing that fuels me is people and their stories.

And to take it a step further, it’s to see people owning their stories. Stories are the heart of every great thing happening around us. Stories are the mirrors we have to reflect God’s goodness to the world. Stories are how we connect with others. Stories are the tools we have to leave our mark in the world.

When I learned what (or in my case, who) I was for, everything else got easier. Way easier. I stopped having to chase someone else’s purpose and I started falling into mine. Knowing that I am for people and their stories changed the way I do every single thing in my life.

It’s why I work so hard to help people own their stories. Because I believe that owning your story allows you to live in confidence for your purpose.

So what are you for? Who are you for? Maybe you owning your story and living in confidence is about being FOR the people in your house. Or maybe you are for a group of high school football players. Or maybe you are for the people of your company, neighborhood, team, church, city, state, country or the world.

It really doesn’t matter. But no matter who you are or what you do/want to do, the first thing you have to do is find out who or what you’re for.

I’m going to help you out. If you can’t figure this out on your own, find out what people think you’re for. It’s not hard. Just ask them.

“When you think of me, what do you think I’m about?”

Here’s a hint.

If the answer is “yourself” or “I don’t know,” you should fix that really fast.

It doesn’t matter what you want to be about or what you think about yourself. If people think you are all about yourself and for yourself, they won’t trust you. Your kids won’t trust your. Your clients won’t trust you. Your players won’t trust you.

When you are for other people, you earn their trust and respect. And that’s priceless.

If you have to tell people what you are for and try to manipulate them into believing you, you’re just smoke and mirrors.

Know what you’re for. And then put it in front of you. On your phone, mirror, desk, dash, fridge. I don’t care – just plaster it in front of you everywhere you can. And every single decision you make should run through that filter.

For more on the idea of knowing what you’re for, you should definitely read Jeff Henderson’s book on the subject. It’s seriously one of the best business books I’ve ever read but really – it’s just a really great read for anyone!

If you found this to be helpful, head over and opt in to the Carter, Confidence & Coaching community, and then invite your friends to join in too. You’ll get weekly coaching emails dripping with value that people pay big money for. And for a (very) limited time, you can get in 100% FREE!

COVID-19 and Confidence

Just in case you weren’t aware, the news of Coronavirus is taking over the world. Nobody who is alive today has ever seen anything like what we are experiencing as the human race right now. COVID-19 doesn’t care what country you’re from, who you worship, how much money or fame you have or who your friends are.

Like many of you, I have spent the last few days trying to wrap my head around what I’m experiencing – both internally and externally. Everywhere I look, people are freaking out and social-distancing. Businesses are shutting down. Churches and schools are creating online environments.

What you believe about the virus and the widespread panic that is keeping us all on edge is critical to your emotional and mental health. What you are focused on will grow. If you’re submersed in the news and social media, you’re likely drowning in depression and anxiety. You’re wondering what to believe. How bad is it? Am I safe? Is my family safe? Will I know someone who is infected?

Will I lose my job? Will my company survive this? Will the economy come back? Can I feed my kids? Will life ever be the same again?

Can I encourage you, friends?

Just stop.

Focus on something positive.

If you’re working from home and your kids are out of school, you just got an extra 40 hours a week to spend with your kids. That’s a lot of opportunity to make up for some of the nights you’ve worked late and sent them to bed without even having a single genuine conversation with them in a day.

If you are usually so busy that you can’t see straight with activities, maybe this is an opportunity for you to slow down and focus on a few great things instead of a lot of good things.

Take this time to be grateful for all you have. Look around your life. Be grateful for your home, family, friends, job, etc. A song of gratitude drowns out the lies of anxiety and desperation.

Take this opportunity to do or learn something new. Read a book. Try an at-home exercise plan. Cook more. Find a new podcast. Declutter your house. Garden. Learn a new language. Play an instrument. Write a blog. Invent a new system for your work. Research a new topic. Paint a picture.

Instead of looking for the big bad scary news, look for stories of people doing good. Look for businesses that are helping the elderly. Look for individuals who are loving on their neighbors. Look for kids who are learning more than they will ever learn in the classroom. Look for stories of people recovering from the virus.

Spend time with Jesus in prayer and worship. If you’re so scared you can’t worship Him, sit in His presence and let Him love you. Worship and prayer are the ways we battle storms. Just because the church doors are closed doesn’t mean church is cancelled. Jump on and watch church online. If your church doesn’t have online services right now, you can join me at crosspoint.tv/live. We are even doing daily prayer and worship segments twice a day this week to help break up the isolation and anxiety we are all facing right now.

Here’s a few thoughts I have about common conversations surrounding COVID-19:

  • No matter what side of this you’re on, you know there’s some politics behind it. It’s okay. That doesn’t mean the virus isn’t real.
  • Taking precaution for you and your family doesn’t make you weak or crazy. It makes you wise. Just don’t let fear rule you.
  • Nobody knows what tomorrow brings. The most important virtues in all of this are patience and kindness. Just because something hasn’t happened today doesn’t mean it won’t tomorrow. You are not an expert. Stop arguing with everyone about what is or isn’t going to happen.
  • No matter what industry you are in, the economy WILL come back. The world is not ending. This is not vacation. This is an opportunity to dig in and prove you have what it takes, even when times get tough.
  • Live and let live. We are all dealing with this crisis in our own ways. The way you are responding isn’t right or wrong, but neither is anyone else’s. You do you and let other people do what they need to do.

The people closest to me are either in shock or admiration with how I am dealing with the virus. I am living my life as usual. I have absolutely zero fear. I don’t say that out of arrogance or foolishness. I am aware of the risk. I am also aware that the same God who created me and you knows everything about yesterday, today and tomorrow. If I get the virus, He already knows it is going to happen and how it is going to go. That doesn’t mean I am hanging out at the mall or not washing my hands. It means I’m sleeping well at night and not stressing over what COULD happen. It means I am trusting that no matter what happens to our world or to me personally, God is still in control. One hundred percent.

In other words, I am operating from total confidence.

Do you want to use this time efficiently and pursue some dream deep in your heart but you need someone to help guide you along that process? I want to help you approach this season with a sense of stability and focus in a world that is screaming otherwise. Reach out to me at felicia@feliciacarter.tv and let’s set up a consultation. I have room for three new clients right now – and I’m giving one-month packages away for FREE because I know some of you need someone to believe in you more than you believe in yourself right now AND I BELIEVE IN YOU!

Drop me a comment and tell me what your goals are for this season of uncertainty.

The Lord prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies.

About a year ago, I was right in the middle of a completely unfair circumstance. It was one of those rare moments in time when I actually didn’t do anything wrong, yet I was getting hit on every side.

This wasn’t a TV show. It wasn’t a novel. There wasn’t some genius storyline behind the drama. It was my real life. And if I’m honest, it sucked.

It was really difficult to not focus on all the ways life was beating me up. I was getting screwed. I was losing money, relationships, opportunities and respect by no fault of my own. And somehow, I was inevitably the villain.

I lost my job and my best friend. Then I fell to the ground one night and in a matter of days, I lost my health too.

I won’t lie. I was losing faith. Quick.

Then a friend got my attention one day. He reminded me that the Lord was preparing a table for me IN THE PRESENCE of my enemies.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

– Psalms 23:5 NASB

That was a truth I clung to for…well, I’m still clinging to it. For months, it felt like an empty promise as nothing changed. In fact, things got worse in the natural.

But every time I would start to go down the wrong road, I would try to remember to focus on the feast my Heavenly Father was preparing for me rather than the audience watching. I had this visual in my head of sitting at a table on a stage where the Lord was standing and preparing the finest details of an elaborate meal and I was turned away from the table staring at the audience. I was completely missing the point of the show.

Can I tell you why?

Because I’m an Enneagram 3. We like stages because of the audience, not the show. In my illustration, all I’m focused on is what the audience thinks of me. I’m missing that Jesus has a better show than I do.

Thankfully I have a crew that keeps me on track, and a Jesus who keeps improvising His way through my missteps.

I built a habit out of turning away from the audience and putting my feet under the table and watching intently as God continues to prepare a table for me. The more I force myself to make that movement, the more natural it becomes.

Actually, now I just sit with my elbows on the table and my face in my palms as I watch Him do what He does best.

I have the best job I’ve ever had. And I’m good at it.

I’m surrounded by super cool people who help sharpen me and build me up for the kingdom work I’m doing.

I am in love with the role I get to play in the stories my church facilitates for Jesus.

I am healthier and stronger than I’ve probably ever been.

I’m closer to my dreams.

I’m living my very best life.

See? When we let our Lord be the show and captivate the audience, it takes all the pressure off of us. We get to just rest at His table that He intentionally prepared for us.

He not only provided for me in a season of lack. He actually replenished everything the enemy stole from me and blessed me exponentially in the process.

I went from paying my bills to paying my bills, saving, giving, paying off debt and investing.

I went from a job where I was capped out to a career in an industry I love with unlimited growth and income potential.

I went from being a chronically scaled Crossfit athlete to a thriving runner and athlete getting coached by the best.

I went from serving for my church in a role where I had become as good as I was ever going to get to a new role in a new capacity that allows me to grow, develop and use my God-given gifts to make a real difference in the hearts and lives of those I touch.

I am the closest I’ve ever been to seeing my blood, sweat and tears on real pages sitting on bookshelves all over America – and the book tour of course!

I went from being able to see less than 50 percent out of both eyes combined to now being able to see 100 percent out of both eyes, and we are starting to talk about the possibility of driving again.

I could go on….but you get the idea. The God of the universe knows what He is doing. Instead of us being so focused on the audience – the enemy – we have got to gaze at God and glance at life.

All I want is all you’ve got.

In John 2, Jesus asked servants to fill water pots at a wedding that was out of wine. They filled six water pots up with water TO THE BRIM. Once they were finished, He turned their water into the finest wine of the day.

God has consecrated this idea in my heart lately.

It’s easy to give God the best when things look good. Last year, I wrote about this same idea but I was in a very different season of life. I was living the dream. Everything was going right. I had zero complaints.

But this year has been a different story. It’s been hard. And at times, I’ve felt hopeless. All I’ve been able to see on most days is that we are out of wine at the wedding and I’m not sure filling waterspouts is going to do anything except waste time, water and energy.

But in the last month or so, God has arrested my heart. He’s asked me to just simply do what He asks and trust Him, just like Mary and those servants did at the wedding.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a new TV show out and one of his favorite lines in that show is,

“All I want is all you’ve got.”

The Rock is onto something there. That’s all God wants to.

When we bring Him our best efforts, He does amazing things with them. He turns water into wine. He saves the day.

Think about those servants. How do you think their faith was impacted when they saw God bless their best efforts? I know when I remember God’s faithfulness in my life, I walk out on the other side stronger than ever. Why? I’ve seen yet again how powerful God is, and how true His promises are.

Whatever you’re doing today, fill it to the brim. Do it like you’re doing it for Jesus. Even if it feels ridiculous. Even if it fills like a waste. Do it, and do it well.

It’s important to note that the waterpots Jesus asked the servants to fill were heavy. It would have likely taken at least two people for every pot, if not more.

If you have a writing project God has asked you to fill it to the brim on and you need a little help with that, join me tomorrow for Winning at Writing Projects: A 7-day email course for writers.

It all starts TOMORROW! This free email course that will help you win at writing. No matter where you are in your project, it will help get you a few steps further in your process.

You will get seven jam-packed emails from me, along with access to a private Facebook group and one-on-one access to me for consultations for your individual projects. 

Registrations ends TODAY. This will never be free again, so don’t miss out! Sign up here. 

“Do you love people enough that you are willing to be put in the fire for them?”

Chances are, you have a memory of something you were dared to do that probably wasn’t very smart. 

Maybe it was a dare to jump off a cliff into shallow water in the dark, or to sneak onto the roof of the neighbor’s house. 

I found myself in this position often and to be honest, my answer more often than not was “YES!” Why? Because I’m an Enneagram 3 and we will always rise to the challenge out of our desperate need to impress the people around us with our performances. 

When I was a kid, there was a TV show and one of the recent episodes had a scene where a bunch of high school kids had been dared to walk over hot coals. I don’t remember the show, or the reason for this scene. I just remember my friends thought it would be a great idea to re-enact it. I took my shoes and socks off. I was ready to make this thing happen and be the hero of my friend group. 

(Side note: If you feel you need to do stupid things to impress your friends so they will like you, find new friends.)

As the coals heated up and I saw the red ember around the coals, I heard a little whisper of logic in my head. And then as I started to put my left foot into the first step, it hurt enough for me to decide maybe this wasn’t a good challenge to “rise” to. 

It’s a good thing logic won that night because that probably would have burned my feet really bad, and there was no real purpose to walking across fire. 

A friend of mine asked me a question a few months ago that has kept me awake at night more times than I can count.

“Do you love people enough that you are willing to be put in the fire for them?”

He was referring to the dream God has placed on my heart. The one to help people find confidence in who they are as children of God so they can be all He has created and called them to be. 

Like when I was an overly-confident 15-year-old idiot, my answer is a quick and confident,

“YES!”

But then as I get closer to the fire and the soles of my feet start to feel the heat, I start to listen to logic again. 

As I begin to get disappointed or feel the burn of haters or see the effects of failure, it’s easy to convince myself that stepping into the fire is a bad idea. I start to listen to the voice of reason. The voice that tells me I can help people some other way. I can honor God and love His people, no matter what I do with my days. That I should play it safe.

But see, that’s not the deal God made with me. He said, “Get in the fire if you really want to help people.” 

Making a decision to get in the fire is asking for the heat. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be uncomfortable. 

But you know what will happen every single time you and I choose to get in the fire to fulfill what God has for us? We will get stronger. Our stories will get better. The ways in which we can help people will become brighter. 

The fire is absolutely worth it. I don’t want to do God’s plan for my life any other way, especially not the logical one that makes sense. That’s not God’s way.

So I think it’s time I stop losing sleep over my friend’s question. I’m running right into the fire. 

Do you really want to help people?

Do you want to help people badly enough that you’re willing to get in the fire for them?

Because you will. God will use that fire to refine you and mold you into the version of you He will use to help the people you’re meant to serve. 

And every time you start to lose faith and try to get out of the fire before it’s your time, it will be all that much more painful to step back into the fire. It’s better if we choose to walk into the flames with confidence and the resolve that we’re going to stay there for the duration.

I talked earlier this week about how being in the fire with Jesus is the safest place for you to be.  Check that post out here. 

If getting into the fire for you means getting started (again) on a writing project, join me Monday (July 22) for Winning at Writing Projects: A 7-day email course for writers.

We will cover big ideas, practical steps and lots more. No matter where you are in your process, I guarantee there will be something for you to learn to get you a few steps from where you are. 

It’s completely free but it will never be free again so don’t miss out on this opportunity. Sign up TODAY. 

What you will get:

  • An email from me everyday next week (July 22-29) with ideas on writing, including practical steps to move along in your process and things I actually do in my own writing process. 
  • Access to a private Facebook community where we can all learn from and encourage one another through the week and beyond. 
  • One-on-one access with me if you have specific questions or need help getting unstuck on your personal projects. 
  • An invitation to give me constructive feedback at the end of the course so I can continually enhance this course for others after you.

Registration ends in 24 hours on July 21 at 11:59 CST, and the first email goes out on Monday. I’ll see you there!

Day 14 of 730. 716 blog posts to go!

Stop wasting time.

I have been more aware of some startling things on the Internet lately.

Do you know how much time people spend arguing with strangers on the Internet about politics and religion? Or filling up community Facebook pages with complaints about every single solitary thing they can think of? Or taking pointless quizzes and playing games? Or rambling on about how terrible their lives are and how all of their problems are unsolvable?

It’s actually really sad to me how much precious time people waste when they could be creating something new and productive.

What do online arguments accomplish? Nothing

What do pointless games and quizzes accomplish? Nothing.

What do complaints accomplish? Nothing

Absolutely nothing.

MILLIONS of people are wasting what precious hours a day they have on doing absolutely nothing every single day.

And for every moment they waste, we are losing out on their contributions to the world. Millions of books, blogs, podcasts, songs, software applications, photographs, artwork, businesses, nonprofits, talks and other masterpieces are never created each year because people are wasting their time arguing on Twitter and complaining on Facebook.

What a waste.

What if we did our part to stitch the world back together by putting our time and creative energy into something that actually mattered?

Join me Monday for a FREE email course that will help you win at writing. No matter where you are in your project, this 7-day course will help get you a few steps further in your process. I dare you to say yes.

You will get seven jam-packed emails from me, along with access to a private Facebook group and one-on-one access to me for consultations for your individual projects.

Registrations ends in TWO days. This will never be free again. Don’t miss out! Sign up here.

Day 13 of 730. 717 blog posts to go!

%d bloggers like this: