Three times in my life, I’ve hung clothes on a line to dry under the Texas sun.
First, standing next to my grandmother, my small hands turned backward on my hips in a mirror of her own.
Next, in a little house I rented where the dryer put rust stains on anything it heated.
And finally, in a small duplex where I lived so poor and distraught and sick that I nearly died.
We’re supposed to look back at our lives and see how far we’ve come and feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude. That’s what our ancestors would want for us, right? That’s the expectation we all have.
There was a time in my life when I looked back and wished above all else that I could just rewind.
Because what I saw wasn’t a triumphant climb or even a steady progression, but a steep, heart-breaking decline.
It was winter of 2000, and I lived in a place with no phone, no heat, and no running water. If I hung clothes out to dry in the winter chill it was because I’d...
Let’s say you want to write a book to help people avoid the same crap, the same heartbreak, and the same massive losses you’ve suffered as you live your life and pursue your dreams.
And let’s say that to fulfill this magical mission to share your wisdom, you’ve got to share the crap, the heartbreak, and the massive losses you’ve suffered…with the world.
That’s scary stuff. And it stops a lot of us from being our best and giving our most. But it doesn’t have to stop you.
Courage comes in many forms. Sometimes, all you need to see clearly is the obstacle in your way to realize that you can step right over it. So today, let’s take a look at what’s holding you back from serving at your highest.
1. Fear of facing trauma or past pain. This is a doozy because the emotions we have tied up in past suffering aren’t just in our heads. Neurobiologists now say that trauma is actually stored in the body. So...
That moment you know everything is different. That instant when you realize the truth and can’t go back to the time before you knew it. That second when a flash of insight hits you—profound and shocking and sometimes delightful.
But what if it’s not delightful? What if it’s horrible. What if the Truth—not the regular truth you tell to other people but the Truth you tell to yourself—is that you’ll never be okay going along in the same way you’ve been living or working or relating or loving? What if the Truth is a total shift in who you are?
You feel overwhelmed, scared, tempted to stick your head back in the sand of denial, distraction, or ignorance.
But once you know a thing, you can’t unknow it. Once you look at a Truth within, you can’t unsee it. Once you admit a scene into the vault of memory, it remains to permanently alter your perception on the present as well as the past.
If you admit to yourself...
The preacher, entrepreneur and author found his blessings in brokenness, and success amid failure.
“I can still see his cracked, parched lips, fever blisters and all that.”
Bishop T.D. Jakes is silent for a moment, struck by the memory. “It hurt me a lot. I even got to a point of wanting-to-die painful.
“But if you took that away from me, I wouldn’t be sitting here.”
When Thomas Dexter Jakes was 10 years old, his father got sick with kidney disease. He was the youngest of three kids, living in South Charleston, West Virginia. Until this point, Jakes’ life had looked much like the lives of other kids in the neighborhood. His mother was a home economics teacher, and his father owned a janitorial business. He went to school. He sold vegetables from his mother’s garden to earn extra money.
But when Jakes’ father got sick, the world tilted on its axis, and childhood all but disappeared. The family traveled back and forth to...
Here’s the truth:
Sharing some of my most painful, shameful, and depressing moments with the world felt great. For about twenty seconds.
And then it felt horrible. Then great again. Then terrifying. Then freeing. Then crazy. Then gratifying.
It’s been a roller coaster of emotion over here at the Anderson house. (You ever have those days?)
So why in the world did I share this kind of deeply personal story in SUCCESS magazine? [Read it here]
Because over fifteen years ago, I walked into a room where one person was honestly, openly, brazenly sharing his own personal story. He talked about his fears, his selfish choices, his scars. And in his story, I heard echoes of my own.
Do you remember the moment you knew you weren’t the only one? The only outcast or the only failure or the only one who was different? It’s life-changing to realize that you’re none of those things—that you’re just human. Spectacularly, painfully, marvelously human.
I went up...
Life Coach Martha Beck on trusting yourself, finding what makes you happy and going for it.
In 2004 I was enjoying the highest-paying, most respectable job I had ever worked. Everything from the title on my business card to the location of the building fed my notion of success.
Then a Cadillac Escalade sideswiped me on my way home one evening. After an ambulance ride and an MRI, I was told there was a problem with my spine. Over the course of the next few months, I waited to find out if I needed surgery. And everything changed.
“If you had asked me a week before that accident if I was happy, I would’ve said yes,” I told life coach Martha Beck over the phone. “I had this dream job, a nice car, and everybody thought I was hot stuff. But a week after the accident, I found myself saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m scared to death. I don’t belong at that job. I don’t think I like myself anymore. I’m not following my purpose, and I feel like...
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