So much has happened since my book released two months ago. It’s been a year of ups and downs — highs and lows. I’ve traveled to several states for speaking events, I’ve become a podcast co-host on Engaging Life and Leadership, and most recently, I succeeded in achieving an important goal. Next week I’ll unveil the thirty-five regional Walmart stores that my book will release to on November 5, 2013, through the Walmart local vendor program.
It’s a test run, but even getting the opportunity is a huge achievment. To say I’m awed is an understatement. Sometimes my stunned enthusiasm is mistaken for bragging, but I assure you, the more successful I am, the more humbled I feel.
Exactly five years ago I started this journey. I’ve learned a lot stepping into unknown territories, some through success, some by failure. I hope sharing my lessons will encourage you, I hope to inspire you to take the risk, I hope to convince you to chase your own dreams.
Without further delay, here’s what I know now, that I either didn’t five years ago, or hadn’t previously experienced to this degree.
- Every success starts with a decision. You need the gift of resolve to push you through the hard days when you want to give up on your dreams — and I promise, you will want to give up. Have notes of encouragement ready for the down turns to equip you with practical ways to keep on keeping on.
- Reviewing your personal history, especially childhood trauma, and analyzing it with fresh, adult maturity can benefit you in the present. Sometimes we realize the emotional filters we used in our past were distorted, and an honest updated reflection can allow us to reset, freeing us from old bondage. I developed my Storyboarding process through this revelation.
- Facing fear is the most powerful gift we can give ourselves, but it is the hardest. I like what Sheila Craft says, “If you aren’t standing on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.”
- Some, but not all, people you respect and love will hurt you when you do well. Rejoicing with those who rejoice seems hardest for those who battle deep insecurity.
- When I started, I trusted my fear more than my faith. I feared messing up, and hurting people, more than I trusted God to protect me from myself.
- No matter how perfect life looks on the outside, family problems, relationship issues, health crisis, and grief still come calling.
- When you take a risk for God, you must be sure it’s His voice calling. If you are, it will carry you through some tough times, if you aren’t, you can waste a lot of time, energy, and money.
- I’ve learned to celebrate who God created me to be. Loving myself through God’s eyes is not self-centered, boastful, or inappropriate. I can’t love my Creator and my neighbor if I don’t first love me. But motives mean everything — keeping the focus on serving others provides necessary balance.
- Standing on God’s promises, reading them out loud to yourself, daring to believe God, offers unimaginable strength when you feel your weakest.
I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned these past five years. And even more so, I’m thankful for the new things I’ll learn in the years ahead. Life is too short to let fear paralyze us, holding us in bondage so we don’t achieve all we are meant to do.
I understand what it feels like to ask yourself, “What if I fail?” Or to believe, “I don’t have any special talents.” Or to think you couldn’t possibly make a difference in the world.
But what would you do for God if you knew you couldn’t fail? Your answer to this question is the very reason you exist. Take the risk, act on your faith, and just breathe. God’s got this — and He’s got you.
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, and national speaker. Anita is also the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Lifeway, Christianbook.com, select Walmart’s, plus many fine stores, Christian and otherwise.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, and a client of WordServe Literary Group. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries. Anita co-hosts a weekly podcast, Engaging Life and Leadership with Darren Dake, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
Anita is passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Her favorite past time is lounging by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with with her husband of thirty years, Ricky.