And It All Came To An End…

5 Minute Read.

Just like that.

College: That place we all grow up imagining. That magical place that feels so far away, but in reality, comes so much quicker than expected. And in the 4 years we attend, it’s almost as if time speeds up far beyond what we were ready for.

4 years ago today, I was attending my senior prom. It feels like yesterday. I still remember the feeling of putting on, in my opinion, the most beautiful prom dress I had ever seen. I can still feel the weight of the gown on my body, and I can still remember the excitement that swirled around the entire day and night. Very vividly.

And this morning, as I pulled my cap and gown out of it’s plastic wrapper and hung it in my room, I was immediately hit with an overwhelming sense of sadness, excitement, fear, happiness, overwhelm, accomplishment, and regret. A combination of emotions that took over my body and sent tears to my eyes.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was a senior in high school?

I think this is a thought that all college seniors whisper to themselves. Ask anyone who is graduating, and the first thing they’ll say is “time flew by”. And as I sit here, in a popular coffee shop on campus, and write this, I look out at all the students around me, the freshman, sophomores, and juniors, and I think, damn, I wish I could go back again.

But this isn’t a normal thought for me. Not at all. As a matter of fact, if you had talked to me yesterday, I would have said something along the lines of, I can’t wait to graduate and get on with my life, college just wasn’t really my thing.

College wasn’t really my thing. Did you catch that?

As emotional as I was this morning, I wasn’t emotional because I am going to miss college. I was emotional because I didn’t make enough out of college.

And here’s why:

To me, college was a place full of parties, freedom, friends, Greek life, late nights partying, knowledge, professors, late nights studying, and eventually, a degree.

College was not a place for growth, for contribution, for involvement, for having deep conversations on a Tuesday night about the greater purpose of life, for gaining mentors, for exploration, for making a difference.

And that’s where I fucked up.

I was never taught the importance of truly getting involved.

“Getting involved” to me was joining a sorority; that was normal. That was where I would find the parties, freedom, friends, late nights partying. And you know what? The first semester I joined was awesome, I truly thought I had found my place. But the second semester, it was different. I was different. I had spent my summer in a very intense position as a sales manager, and in that summer, I had experienced more growth than my previous 19 years of life.

When I came back, I had lost connection. I wanted the deeper conversations, I wanted the strong friendships, I wanted the support, and I couldn’t find it. And any glimpse I found, it just didn’t feel right to me. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; I had changed. I was no longer the person I was when I joined. So, I disaffiliated.

I felt abnormal. My expectations of my sorority were crushed. My reality had been altered and I didn’t know how to adjust.

I threw myself into my work, both my school work, and my sales job. This felt normal to me. This was what college was about, too. The knowledge, the professors, the late nights studying, and eventually, the degree.

I wasn’t aware that there were other ways of getting involved, because to me, my college life was supposed to include a sorority.

That was where I was supposed to find my future bridesmaids.

And when my expectations did not meet reality, I crumbled.

Eventually, I found girls who I could resonate with. Who I felt as though I could grow with. Who I could have those deep conversations with on a Tuesday night. Who would be my bridesmaids. 

I felt content, but with that content came complacency. I faded into the background of a very large school, and I stopped trying to “get involved”.

There were glimpses of involvement: a semester playing club water polo, a semester in our school’s leadership program, and currently, during my last semester, a semester in our Entrepreneur Club.

With the exception of E-Club, none of them felt like “home” to me. I just couldn’t find where I fit in outside of my little friend group. So, I would just stop going.

And then came study abroad. I passed up on that opportunity. Do you want to know why? I was afraid of “missing out”. Are you fucking kidding me!? Excuse my french, but quite honestly, I wish someone had smacked me in the face at that point in my life and said DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. 

I was too wrapped up in the idea of creating the “college life” I had dreamed of, but hadn’t yet achieved.

Did you get that last part?

I was too wrapped up trying to match my expectations that I forgot to pay attention to my reality.

And eventually, I had a falling out with my group of friends, not a huge falling out by any means, but once again, the expectations I had for our friendship had been altered. I was growing in my own way, and they were growing in their own ways. And thus, we grew apart.

So now, there is one month left until graduation. And as I stared at my cap and gown this morning, I was hit with so many emotions. So many things I wish I had done.

But you know what? I didn’t. And I can’t go back now.

I have come to terms with the fact that my expectations did not meet reality, and that’s okay.

I created my own reality outside of school. I just didn’t realize it. I was involved in other places, just not the typical places. Most people don’t find life long friendships from their summer jobs, but I did.

Most people are too afraid to step away from what is normal. I was.

But without noticing it, I did.

And after sitting down a really reflecting on these last 4 years, while there are some things I wish I did differently, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

As they say, “Everything Happens For A Reason”. And here I am today, for a reason, and a reason that I am still figuring out.

College wasn’t really my thing. But because of college, I found my “thing”. And I’m grateful for every step along the way that has ended me up here.

So my advice to you?

If you are going into college, or still in college: Do everything you can to study abroad. Whether it’s for a month or 4 months. Just do it. Do everything you can to get involved beyond just Greek life. There are amazing clubs and organizations on your campus that serve a bigger purpose. Just do it. Get involved and create a name for yourself. You deserve this.

If you are graduating and you feel as though your expectations were not met: That’s reality. I’ve been there. I’m still there. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the next 4 years of your life meaningful. The saying “college is the best 4 years of your life” is bullshit, don’t buy in to it.

If you are graduating and you loved every second of your college experience: GREAT! That’s incredible and you will tell your children stories for years and years to come. But remember, this chapter of your life has come to an end. Don’t forget to carry your excitement on to the next chapter, because remember, “time flies by”, keep making an impact.

Life is crazy, isn’t it?

If you liked what you read and are looking for more insight, click here to follow me on Facebook!

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. You ever realize you totally neglected to add something in a blog? Ok, good I’m not alone because I feel like a total jerk: At the beginning of my junior year, I was fortunate enough to gain membership into the Executive Mentor Scholars Program at my school, and I was paired with a fabulous mentor who really helped me work through some major decisions I made that actually lead to my current reality. That was probably the one thing I actually allowed me to get slightly more involved on campus.

 

When You’re Not You.

5 Minute Read.

These last 2 weeks have been a blur. And I couldn’t exactly figure out why until this morning. You know those moments of clarity, when your mind all of a sudden goes “OHHHHH, I GOT IT!” And you finally feel at peace? Well about 2 hours ago, my mind slipped into that place and I am so damn happy it did.

I think you need a little bit of background here, yeah? I’m going to ask you permission to get candid, not that I really need your permission, because, hey! This is my blog, isn’t it? But anyways, here I am, asking you for permission to dig deep. And my hope is that I can inspire you to do the same, especially when you find yourself in the position I’ve been in the last 2 weeks.

It all started on March 10th…..

I went into Philly for an event with my company, I had high hopes going into that event, and although it didn’t pan out quite the way I wanted it, too, it was still a successful night in my book. However, when I say night, I usually mean “ends at 11:30” kind of night. You see, I’m pretty systematic, I enjoy structure, and I enjoy a full day. So my bed time is 11:30 and my morning starts at 6:30. It’s just the way it is. However, this particular night dragged on until about 2 AM in the morning, and while it was a total blast, it threw me for a loop.

That loop continued into Friday, where I decided to sleep in to about 11 AM, which, if you know me, is very, very rare. I went about my daily routine, and I had a whole afternoon/evening scheduled to work on my business; if you can’t tell already, I’m not really the “get wasted and stay up all night” type of girl. I was at one point, but now I’m on to bigger and better things. And in my book, those better things revolve around my health coaching business. Yet, I decided, you know what? I’m only young once, so screw it! Let’s go back to Philly.

So I did. With one of my best friends in tow, we went back to Philly and had yet another late, late night. This night was filled with more alcohol than the night before, more food, more money spent, and ofcourse, some new friends. In many people’s books, this would be considered a “successful night”. But remember, I put off my work to do this. So I was backtracking–but I didn’t care, I was having fun.

Saturday Morning, I had already planned to do a St. Patty’s Day Bar Crawl with my best friend since 2008, and her boyfriend. I know I mentioned above that I’m not the “drinking and partying” type, but every once in a while, I actually do schedule in some good ol’ 22-year-old fun. And this was in my schedule. All day and all night we drank and we partied, we spent money, and we ate lots of delicious foods, and again, made some new friends, and saw some old.

And by Sunday Morning, I was DONE. Like SO done. All I wanted was my own bed, my blankey (yes, I still have one), some Advil, and that thing called sleep, which I had clearly forgotten about the last 4 days. And sleep I did. All day, with the exception of a few short hours that I was awake and working on catching up on all of the things I pushed to the side, but I felt so scatter brained and overwhelmed by the amount of work I needed to do, that again, I pushed the majority of it to the side. Little did I know what a whirlwind that would send me in over the next 2 weeks.

From the outside looking in, I am incredibly put together. I often get told to “slow down” and “enjoy your 20s”. Listen, when I’m working on my passions, and when I am excelling in my business, that’s when I feel most fulfilled, because it means I am helping more people and I am creating a better future for myself and my family. But nonetheless, everyone has their own way of living, and I respect that. So like I said, from the outside looking in, I’ve got it “goin on”. But little did I know, the next two weeks would be some of the toughest I’ve dealt with in a while….

Before I dive in to this, because I am putting this out there on the Internet, I feel as though I must say this: By no means do I believe my problems are bigger than anyone else’s. I understand that I have lived a beautiful life and continue to live a beautiful life. But my problems are MY problems, so I still deal with them and they’re still tough.

Anyways, in the next 2 weeks, I was playing catch up. I fell into this “funk”, all I wanted to do was sleep in, watch Netflix, and complain about how ready I am to graduate and be done with school. So you know what I did? Just that. My business suffered, and my grades suffered. Again, I was able to put on a good face, because I didn’t want to bring anyone else down with me, but my mind was racing, over and over agiain;  snap out of it.

And there were moments of clarity, where I was actually able to get out of bed at 6:30 AM, get to the gym, and continue on throughout my day in a productive and excited state, like I normally am. But there were more days where I struggled to get up and get moving, then there were like the one I just described.

I was not myself. Ever feel that way?

I was misaligned with my core values.

I was veering off course.

I was letting one day blur into the next.

Well, this morning, I realized it; I was neglecting to feed my soul, and instead I was doing what everyone else was telling me was “normal”.

Oh, you’re 22, you should be getting drunk every weekend! Live a little!

All of your classes start after 11 AM? Oh my gosh! You should be sleeping in!

You’re still in college, you still have time to binge watch Netflix, just wait until you have responsibilities!

I was hearing these things, and I was letting them sink in.

I was silencing that inner voice inside of me that was saying “you’re different. You’ve got something really big and beautiful to bring to this world.”

I was being selfish; I wasn’t moving forward.

But at the same time, I understand what everyone was saying, “slow down”. College is the years of the least amount of responsibility and the most amount of freedom.

The most amount of freedom.

I beg to differ. The reason why I am working so damn hard is so I can create a life with unlimited freedom. But unfortunately, for most people, they just don’t think it’s possible for them. So, they NEED to live it up in college, because once the real world hits, there will just be no time for that.

My soul was telling me differently. Do you know how I know? Because when I was doing “the normal” I was falling into a funk, an almost depression-like state, where I wasn’t present in the moment, and instead living overwhelmed days, wondering “when am I going to snap out of it?”

This morning, my inner voice spoke to me. It told me, “you haven’t been you recently. But that’s okay. That’s the beauty of life. Now that you’ve realized it, it’s your duty to grow stronger.”

So here I am, being candid with all of you, letting you know that despite how “put together” someone may look on the outside, we ALL have struggles, we all deal with issues. And we all feel off course for days, weeks, and sometimes even months and years. But that doesn’t have to become a permanent reality. Because we are human, and we are WAY stronger than that.

I believe that society puts this stereotype on college, “the best 4 years of your life”, so every student feels as though they need make the absolute most of it, and for many, that means compromising their values, drinking themselves into oblivion, trying every drug in the book, and allowing one day to blur into the next.

I’m not knocking that life. You should have seen me during my freshman and sophomore year. But, don’t let that “life” take you away from your true calling; what your soul is trying to say to you. If you know you are meant for more, go out and become MORE. YOU deserve it, and so does your future, because let’s be real here, who honestly wants their college years to be the “best years of their life”, doesn’t that mean you peak in your early 20s? What does that say about the next 60-80 years of your life? That you will never be as happy as you were when you were 22? How sad is that…..

I hope this gave you something to think about; if you enjoyed reading, and would like to gain a little more insight into my life, follow me on Facebook!

Until next time….

Shelby

 

Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

I’m the most Badass of them all. Nope, not going to apologize for saying that one; want to know why? Because I know I’m a badass. And honestly, you are, too. You might not feel like it yet, but you are. But before we dive into finding your “inner badass-ery”, let’s talk about that person you see in the mirror.

I want you to think back to the last time you were looking in the mirror, and you were alone. Like maybe this morning as you were getting dressed, or brushing your teeth. When you looked into the mirror, what were you thinking?

I bet I can read your minds:

Man, I could definitely lose some weight.

I wish I had a perkier butt.

WHERE ARE THOSE ABS!?!?!

Shit, I am SO pale.

Yikes, when did that pimple show up?

I wish I had bigger boobs.

I wish I had smaller boobs.

None of my clothes look good on me.

My hair looks like a rats nest.

I’m not as pretty as my friends.

Smile, you just gotta get through the day.

Any of these sound familiar? I’ve said them all…well maybe not the one about smaller boobs…but for the most part, I’ve said them all. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are times when you stand in front of your mirror and you’re like, Daaaaaamnnnn, I look good! But let’s be real here, what is more common? The positive self talk, or the negative?

I’m going to safely guess the negative. Do you want to know why I “safely” guessed that? Because we are ALL our own worst critic. And it’s horrible.

But, I mean, it’s the truth. Right? Isn’t that what you’re thinking when you talk about yourself? Because if it wasn’t true, why would you say it?

Listen to me: it’s only the truth if you make it the truth.

What?

It’s a crazy world we live in, but trust me when I say this, the Universe listens to what you say. And the more negative self-talk that you throw upon yourself, more and more reasons to be negative will show up. It’s a Universal Law: The Law of Attraction. What you focus on, you find. What you focus on, expands. I could go on and on about this, but if you’re really interested in learning more, check out the documentary called The Secret (yes, it’s on Netflix…you’re welcome.)

Now, here’s the real question: How do we break this cycle of being our own worst critic? It’s quite simple. Be our own best friend. Think about it, would you tell your best friend all the same things you tell yourself? I know I’m making a lot of guesses today, but I’m going to go ahead and guess again, the answer is NO, right? Okay, so WHY IN THE WORLD do you say it to yourself?

Start treating YOU like YOU would treat your best friend. You deserve that kind of treatment.

And I have the perfect way for you to start: Positive Affirmations. Positive What? Positive Affirmations. These are statements that you make about yourself that start with the phrase, “I am….” and it is followed by something positive. Here are a few examples:

I am a badass.

I am smart.

I am sexy.

I am courageous.

I am funny.

I am successful.

I am respected.

I am a millionaire.

These are just a few of my affirmations. Did you catch that last one? No, I am not a millionaire, BUT I will become one. See, the thing about positive affirmations are that they don’t have to be true just yet. If we go back to the Law of Attraction, you will find that I said “what you focus on you find”, so if you focus on speaking positive words that you know are or will become true, then, guess what? You will begin to find that they ARE true. Again, this is a Universal Law, take it or leave it.

But, the bottom line to this whole post is: You Are A Badass, no matter what. Tell yourself this. Shout this from the rooftops. Stare at yourself in the mirror with the same intensity that Rocky Balboa had before his fights, and tell yourself, “I AM a badass!“. Nobody else has to hear you, but YOU have to hear you.

Just freakin’ do it, trust me.

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. Want some daily badass-ery on your Facebook Newsfeed? Yes? Great! Follow me and I’ll be sure to deliver 😉

 

Rip Off Your Mask And Get Naked

I don’t mean literally….

But I do mean figuratively. So let’s talk about that:

We all have something that’s hidden in our past that we keep to ourselves. That something can be a number of things: an event, a relationship, an addiction, etc. And we keep this something to ourselves for a number of reasons: embarrassment, guilt, pain, shame, or if you’re like me, all of the above, plus the feeling that NO ONE will understand what you went through, and therefore, judge you for having gone through it. And I now KNOW I’m not the only one who has gone/is going through this….

Listen, we ALL have stories. We ALL have shit that we’ve gone through. And MOST of us choose to wear a mask throughout our lives that serves to hide the inner and outer struggles we’ve gone through. We choose to suppress these situations in an effort to forget, or to move on.

Sometimes, this mask becomes too heavy to wear, and instead of peeling it off to face what’s underneath, we crack under the pressure. The pressure of our past. And this pressure leads to illness’s such as anxiety, depression, and unfortunately, for a few, suicide. Now, I am not here to dive into the depths of these detrimental illnesses. I’ve been there before, and it’s tough, I know, and I understand.

But, let’s go back to that mask. Most people believe that their masks are what hold them together. Their mask allows them to be a part of society, it allows them to “forget” the past, and move on.

I’m here to tell you differently. Your mask is holding you back. It is giving you a “safe face” to hide behind. It is allowing you to “forget” your past, but let’s be real here, you’re not really forgetting, you are simply pushing your shit down deeper and deeper, and letting it sit there, and stink up your life. Sounds pretty morbid, I know, so bear with me….

As humans, we are born with one 2 fears. A fear of falling and a fear of loud noises. Every other fear has been learned over time through the experiences we’ve had: the events, the relationships, the addictions, the abuses, the fights, etc…

The Fear of Failure.

Of Success.

Of Disappointment.

Of Money.

Of Imperfection.

Of Rejection.

The list can go on and on.

And what most humans do is they put on this mask, and they accept their fears as real. The same way they accept their mask as real.

The longer you’ve worn this mask, the harder it is to take it off, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just takes a little bit of strength, courage, and badass-ery.

And whatever you do, do not blame yourself for hiding behind your mask. Our society tells us to “forgive and forget”, it tells us to “just try not to think about it and everything will be okay…”, no wonder we have so many fears!!

Your mask probably won’t come off in one swift “rip”, it takes time, but it all starts with facing your past. Facing the source of your fears. Uncover the events you’ve worked so hard to suppress, the events that created your mask. Acknowledge those events, and work to understand how your current fears are a product of your past. By work, I mean: journal, talk it out with a close friend, scream it, recreate it, whatever the “work” may be for you.

Your fears are part of your mask. As you begin to do the meaningful work required to rip off your mask, you will feel exposed. You will feel naked. But most of all, you feel vulnerable.

Vulnerability is what destroys the mask. Vulnerability is becoming your truest self.

Say goodbye to your mask and your fears, get naked, and get vulnerable.

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. If you want more daily inspiration, click here to follow me on Facebook!

 

Who Pissed In Your Cheerios?

Admit it, you clicked this because of the title, right? You saw this, and immediately thought, “Ok, where the hell is she going with this one?” Well, let me tell YOU! This is my favorite retort to anyone who gives me an attitude in the morning. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a “morning person” and that’s mostly because I believe labels are stupid and they allow us to fall into this “role” we think we need to play, but that’s a whole other post. I really enjoy the mornings, I think they are awesome, especially when I’m not rushing around and can actually enjoy my cup of coffee instead of burning the sh*t out of my mouth trying to chug it before I leave.

So, let’s talk about attitude. Attitude is a choice. You can choose to have a positive attitude, or a negative attitude, and I’m here to tell you that what you choose will determine how you go through the rest of your day. It’s the truth. Imagine mornings as if they are a fork in the road, and you can either choose the positive path or the negative path, but once you choose that path, you’re on it for the rest of the day. It may sound a little morbid, especially for those “grumpypants” out there. Yes, I just used the word “grumpypants”. But, it is what it is.

Now you may be thinking: My morning started off horribly, I woke up late, tripped over my shoes on my way to the bathroom, fell asleep in the shower (which made me even MORE late), I burnt my eggs, it’s raining and I can’t find my rain jacket, UGH and now they’re playing “Thinking Outloud” by Ed Sheeran for the 40th time on the radio. This day SUCKS. Sound familiar? Ok, ok, ok, I get it. You can’t wake up every morning with sunshine and daisy’s growing out of your floorboards. You may be thinking this whole “fork in the road” analogy is great in theory, but nearly impossible in practice. Listen to me, it’s NOT.

You have a choice. You can either react or respond. Remember that, react or respond.

Ironically, as I’m writing this, I’m jamming out to J. Biebs, “What Do You Mean”…so allow me to explain what exactly I mean….

Reacting is what MOST people do, and I’ll be the first to encourage you to NOT be most people. When something happens to them, they react. If most people had a morning like that one I described above, you can bet there would be a lot of screaming, “ugh”ing, cursing, and they may even cut some people off on their way to work, just to feel better about themselves. Reacting is allowing your emotions to get ahead of you. Reacting will lead you down the path you DON’T want. Reacting takes a completely calm person and turns them into a screaming monster (trust me, I’ve been this person before).

Responding is the KEY to this whole positive/negative attitude thing I’m talking about. The first step in responding is acknowledgement. Yes, I’m telling you to acknowledge the negative. In the example I gave above, acknowledge that your morning hasn’t been ideal. Keyword here is “hasn’t”, this is past tense. When you acknowledge the negative, speak in past tense, do not use present tense. So, what I mean by this is: don’t say, “My morning isn’t going as planned”, this is not the kind of acknowledgement I’m encouraging. By speaking in past tense, it will open your subconscious to the possibility of CHANGE. By speaking in past tense, you are releasing the events of the morning. You have now opened your mind to a better day.

Other than acknowledgement of the negative, there is one last step in the responding process. Affirm the attitude you desire for the day. This is said in present tense. “I am radiating peace and love today.” “I am exuding my total badass-ery today.” “I am a f**king champion.” Everyone has different forms of positive attitudes they desire.

Now, if you are having trouble grasping this concept of responding, don’t worry, you are NOT alone. But I encourage you to try the simple 2 steps I described above. For first timers, you will feel a little silly saying your affirmations, but I promise you, your subconscious mind will hear you and work for you. Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s not, so even though you may not feel like a total badass or a f**king champion, your subconscious mind will still work with your conscious mind to make that affirmation become reality. Please trust me on this.

Remember, your attitude is your choice. How your day goes is your choice. Whether you react or respond is your choice.

Xoxo,

Shelby

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone and Into Your Greatness

For the last two days, I have been suffering from Writer’s Block. And as much as I hate saying anything negative, I just have to put this out there: Writer’s Block is, hands down, the MOST annoying thing EVER! I have so many great things I want to share with you all, and as I sit down to get it onto paper, I crash.

But I’m back, baby! I’m back. I just chugged a delicious E-Shot, and now, I can safely say: I’m ready to deliver you the goods.

Let’s talk about this thing called your “comfort zone“. When I hear this phrase, I immediately imagine a glass box, sort of like one of those mimes mimicking being stuck in a cage or a box, know what I mean? We can’t visibly see our comfort zone, but we know it’s there. We know what we are okay with doing, and what we are absolutely terrified of doing. Everyone has different size comfort zones, and it’s not unusual to change the size as you go throughout life. For example, when we were younger, we were TOTALLY comfortable stripping down naked and running around for all the world to see…right? And NOW, as adults, we would, one, be arrested for doing that, and two, feel totally, and completely uncomfortable showing off our naked bodies for all the world to see (most of us, anyways). Another example would be, when we were in our awkward, middle school stages, we might have felt insecure talking to adults, and would shy away from any kind of interaction with someone older than us. However, as we grow older ourselves, we begin to understand that age is just a number, and those interactions are no longer uncomfortable. So as you can see, our comfort zones can both shrink and expand with age.

Comfort Zones do serve a purpose. The definition of Comfort Zone is:

Comfort Zone (noun): A place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.

And the purpose they serve is to allow us to go through life with as little stress as possible. And as we know, stress is a leading cause for heart problems, divorces, and weight gain. So, I guess you could say that there is great case in favor of staying in your comfort zone.

But I’m here to tell you differently. Yes, comfort zones keep you “stress-free”, but they also keep you ordinary, complacent, and to be quite honest, a little boring. Sorry comfort-zone lovers, but it’s true. I know plenty of people who choose to stay in their comfort zones, and because of that choice, they are also brokeAnd who wants to be broke!? Anyone who has been in a situation where they were/are broke knows that being broke leads to stress far more than staying within your comfort zone. I know this is a fact because I, myself, have struggled with “being broke”. So you know what I did?

I stepped out of my comfort zone and in to my greatness. 

And that’s what I want for YOU. Do you know what it takes?

Courage. And a lot of it.

But here is the good news! You have all the courage you need inside of you. But it takes conditioning to uncover this courage.

I encourage you to start thinking of your mind as a muscle. So, the same way we condition our bodies by going to the gym, we can condition our minds by investing in personal development, and stepping out of our comfort zones. You’ve probably heard this before, but outside your comfort zone is where your dreams will be realized. And as you build your “mind-muscle”, you’ll even find that what was once outside your comfort zone is now totally within it! Isn’t that cool?

Now, let me make this clear: I’m not here to tell you that you need to wake up tomorrow morning, quit your job, and make this HUGE change in your life, all of which is completely out of your comfort zone. That’s silly. And if you’ve never done anything outside your comfort zone, doing something like this would probably scare you shitless and convince you to never jump out of your comfort zone again.

I am not telling you to make a giant leap.

Here is what I am telling you: your mind is a muscle, just like anything else. And a muscle needs work. You can’t just sit back and wish for a great body, you have to go out and work for it. Just like your body, your mind is going to need some prepping, some loving, and some conditioning. I’ve mentioned this before, but doing something everyday that scares you is a GREAT way to start expanding your comfort zone.

I could go on and on and ON about this topic, and if you’d like to continue the conversation, don’t hesitate to friend me on Facebook, we can chat awhile 🙂

I want to end on one thing. Stepping out of your comfort zone is liberating. It is where your dreams will be realized. Your ideal life is waiting for you. When you make the decision to live a bold life, one that is outside of your comfort zone, you will find out ALL that you are capable of doing, being, and achieving. Now, who wouldn’t want that!? But, I will give you a fair warning, it’s not always a journey full of roses and tulips, there will be wall-kicking moments, but each of those moments is signaling for you to once again, step out of your comfort zone.

The first step is the hardest, but if you want it bad enough, you will take it.

Just take that step. That one step. The one that is OUTSIDE of your comfort zone. Your world will be changed, and you will change the world. 

Xoxo,

Shelby

 

 

What’s All This Talk About Courage?

Alright, it’s about time I make a post about courage, I mean, the name of this blog is Coffee Shops and Courage Talks, right? And I’ve mentioned coffee quite a few times throughout the last blog posts, so let’s get in to the other half: the deeper and more soulful half.

I’d like to start this one out with a definition, and this definition will guide our discussion today:

Courage (n): The ability to do something that frightens one.

I don’t really think that definition is a surprise to anyone, remember the lion from the Wizard of Oz? He was a real “scaredy cat” before he received the gift of courage from the Wizard, and then all of a sudden, he was able to take on anything, you could really hear him ROOOOOARRRRRR! What a pleasant way to end the movie, with all the characters getting exactly what they were searching for from the great Wizard himself….

Wait a second, didn’t he find out that he really had courage all along? Wasn’t that the whole twist at the end? Yes. YES! So, his courage wasn’t actually a gift, it was simply realized, and it took him quite the journey to finally understand that he what he was searching for, he actually already had.

This is LIFE. Welcome. 

As humans, we have an incredible power to overcome adversity. This is not my opinion, this is a fact. And part of overcoming this adversity is having the courage to do so. So, in lamest terms, the key to prospering is having courage. Now, I’m not naive enough to say that just by “having courage” you are going to see all of your wildest dreams come true, that is simply not the case.

But here is what IS the case: understanding that by exercising your courage, you will grow stronger in the face of adversity, and this is really where you will begin to see your dreams become reality.

We all have fears, some are rational and some are totally irrational (like my fear of walk-in freezers), and these fears are what stand in the way of our success. And the biggest fear among our population is the fear of failure. Let’s talk about this for a second…

Along with the fear of failure comes a host of SO many other fears: being ridiculed, being judged, being proved wrong, etc. And most people will put aside their hopes and dreams because they are afraid of failing in the process. Guys, COME ON.

Remember what I said about the lion? He had courage within him all along, but in order to realize this, he had to go on a crazy journey to see the Wizard? Okay, I’m not saying you need to find a Wizard, but you do have to go on a journey. And along this journey, YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL, but, that’s the beauty of the journey, that it keeps on going, even after the first failure.

So where is this magical journey? Newsflash, it’s LIFE. 

Your life is going to happen regardless of whether you embrace your inner courage or not. The minutes will keep passing, so will the days, and so will the years. And along this journey, you can choose to make the most of your minutes, days, and years, or you can let it pass you by.

You might be wondering, how do I make the most of my life? And I’m sure you can guess my answer, you embrace your courage. We all have it within us. Let me say that again, we ALL have it within us. And what separates those who we all desire to be (like Beyoncé, for example), and those who let life pass them by is the amount of courage these people exert on a daily basis.

All this is great, right? No, it’s not, because let’s be real here, it’s a hell of a lot easier to talk about finding your courage than it is actually living a courageous life. You may be thinking, where do I start? First off, you start today, and you start by doing ONE THING that scares you. You’ve heard that quote before, right?

So let’s break it down:

Think about your ideal lifestyle and what it will take to get there. Don’t think about the immensity of it all, just think about the vehicle you are going to use to get there; for me, it’s my Network Marketing business, for my friend, Dustin, it’s his weekly podcasts, and for my friend Chris, it’s his baseball career. All of these things are vastly different, but they will all lead us to a life of our dreams. What is it for you? It can be ANYTHING.

Now, I want you to think of the skills that are necessary for becoming the master of your vehicle. The most important skills and the least important skills, everything and anything. Ok, got it?

Today, I want you to do one thing that scares you, and that is in relation to the skills you just thought of. For example, a huge part of Network Marketing is building relationships, and a huge part of building relationships is meeting new people, and a huge part of meeting new people is chatting with strangers, and a huge part of chatting with the strangers is learning to say hi to people. Do you see how I whittled a big, scary skill down into a very simple daily action? You can do the same thing. And today, it is my goal to say hi to at least 3 strangers. Does that sound hard? No. Does it sound a little scary? Yes. Do I have the courage to complete this simple task? Yes.

And you do, too. 

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. if you want to chat more about this on a 1-on-1 basis, please reach out to me via Facebook, I would love to brainstorm ways to elevate and realize your inner courage!

 

A Day in My Life: Red Ants, Truth Bombs, and Coffee

“You can’t always choose what happens to you, but you can always choose how you feel about it.” -Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map

That quote above is what I call a truth bomb. Now, of course, the term “truth bomb” isn’t what we would call a legitimate term, in other words, you can’t look this phrase up in the Oxford Dictionary. (Although, side note, you can look up the word “selfie”, crazy world we live in today, isn’t it?) But, despite the fact that you won’t find this phrase in a legitimate dictionary, I still want to give you an accurate definition of what exactly a “truth bomb” is, so without hesitation, I consulted Urban Dictionary, because despite some of the more ridiculous answers, I knew I’d be able to find at least one good definition of the phrase:

Truth Bomb (n): A fact, or a piece of knowledge, that when told to the listener, is devastating to the listener’s argument or world view.

I personally believe this is a phenomenal definition, and if you beg to differ, please comment below on what you believe is a better definition, seriously, do it, I won’t be offended. But anyways, let’s go on with the show here….

As I mentioned above, this quote is a total truth BOMB, and I want to encourage you all to take some time to let this quote digest because it’s often hard for us humans to accept responsibility for our feelings.

For instance, let’s look at the events that took place this morning: I woke up, absolutely exhausted, and contemplating whether or not to skip my 8:15 AM yoga session. I pressed the snooze alarm up until the absolute last minute, and then I thought to myself, Shelby, stop being such a little “b” and get UP! You love yoga, you preach yoga, just get your *** to yoga! So, I got up and began to rush through my morning routine. As I stepped into my bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face, I felt a little sting on my foot, I immediately jumped, screamed, and looked down to see my feet and the rug COVERED in red ants. WHAT!?!?!! OUCH, NO! MOOOOOOMMMMMM! (Side note, this is the kind of thing that happens when you leave a full trash bag by your front door in the Carribean…) So, in an effort to still make it to yoga in time, but also deal with this red ant problem, I grabbed a bottle of bleach and began killing this LONG line of ants that was storming into my room. I won the war in a matter of seconds, and after checking my clock, I noticed I had about 10 minutes to get to Yoga; it’s a 10 minute drive away. I threw on my yoga attire, and began looking for my dad, because he’s the one that does the driving down here in the Dominican (trust me, if you are not a tad bit crazy, the driving conditions are really not suitable for you). I noticed he wasn’t around, and turns out, he was at the grocery store. Welp, looks like yoga is not happening today. 

And, it didn’t. Alright, Shelby, roll with the punches. I let this event pass by and went on with my morning routine. Things were going well, and I even had a kickass Skype session with a friend who is doing kickass things with personal development and livin’ the kickass entrepreneurial lifestyle. So despite the craziness of the morning, I felt like the day was picking up; it was time to explore the coffee shops downtown and write today’s entry.

I ended up at one of my favorite breakfast spots in Cabarete called Friends. They have great coffee and reliable Wi-Fi, so I knew I could really get my juices flowin’ and write you all a great post. I grabbed a nice spot with a view of the street, perfect for people watching. I ordered my coffee, black of course, and I opened up my iPad. I was ready to deliver the GOODS.

Guess what? The Wi-Fi didn’t work. It didn’t work for me, and ONLY me. Seriously, everyone else around me could connect but for some reason, my iPad was giving me an attitude. And I couldn’t even leave to head over to the next place, I had already ordered my coffee; I was stuck there. If you know me, I’m a “get it done” kind of girl, so when my schedule was thrown off, so was I.

Ugh, today is just NOT going my way. This sucks. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I don’t get it! Why isn’t this damn wifi working. Ugh! This is stupid, this coffee isn’t even that good, ugh I shouldn’t have bothered coming here, I should have just stayed at home to write. 

All of a sudden, I seemed to have forgotten about my awesome Skype session earlier. I seemed to have forgotten that I’m in the Dominican Republic. I seemed to have forgotten that I woke up this morning with my health and my mind still intact. And most of all, I seemed to have forgotten that I CONTROL MY ATTITUDE, and thus MY OUTCOME.

“You can’t always choose what happens to you, but you can always choose how you feel about it.” What did I say before? TRUTH FREAKIN’ BOMB. Calm down, Shelby. Take a deep breath and remember your Core Desired Feelings: Freedom, Gratitude, Inspire, Love, Courage. Are you exuding those right now? The answer, is an obvious “No”. Once I “checked up from the neck up” (a.k.a. did a little assessment of my current thoughts and released those that were not serving me), I literally felt a smile spread across my face, a little weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I knew that everything is really not as bad as it seems; it usually never is.

And then, all of a sudden, an ADORABLE little toddler walked in to the restaurant (with his parents in tow) carrying a little blue guitar, and he was strumming it like he was the next Jack Johnson. He was the kind of cute that you just stop what you’re doing and stare. And without even thinking about it, I said out loud, “AWWWWWW”. And I laughed. The Universe was sending me a sign, lighten up.

I listened. I’ve learned the Universe never fails us. And if you’re new to my style of writing, learning, and leading, then you may not feel comfortable when I use “the Universe” like it’s some magical invisible force that gives us everything that we desire in life, well, I’m going to challenge you and say that it’s because you haven’t learned to listen yet. The Universe will reward you 10x when you open your heart, soul, and mind to what it’s capable of doing.

So, at the end of this whole ordeal, I learned to remind myself of my Core Desired Feelings, and to choose THOSE feelings over the anxiety of things not going exactly the way I planned.

I encourage you to commit the quote at the beginning of this post to memory, and every time you’re having one of those “WHY ME” moments, just remember, YOU control how you FEEL. YOU control the outcome.

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. If you are looking for more daily truth bombs, follow me on Facebook, Shelby Wildgust, because I post them on the reg!

 

Find Your Tribe; Enhance Your Vibe

It’s the afternoon; you’re starting to notice your lack of focus and energy as you move throughout the day. What do you do? Go for the Joe. Traditionally, coffee is a morning drink, however, many people resort to coffee as their PG-Rated “Afternoon Delight”, am I right? I’m not feeling particularly tired at the moment, and I still feel energized from my recent win in 500 Rummy against my Mom, but I know you might be feeling the opposite. So I encourage you to get up from your chair, do a little happy dance, and head on over to your nearest coffee shop, faculty room, Keurig, or whatever other magical device you use to dispense your coffee, and gain a little more “pep in your step”. And as you regain your focus, let’s chat for a while:

Tribes; What are they?

When I first heard the term “tribes”, my immediate visual was Native American’s in headdresses, chanting a sacred mantra, most likely around a bonfire in the middle of Nevada. Excuse my lack of Political Correctness, but I think it’s a fair assumption that you probably had the same visual.

All this changed when I cracked open the book, “Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us” by Seth Godin. His definition of tribe is “any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.” Ahh, makes more sense now! The book is only 147 pages, and it’s a quick read; so in a matter of 2 days, I finished the entire thing, and now I feel compelled to write about it for all of you.

A core human desire is belonging. We like to feel like we are part of something; whether it’s a sports team, a sorority/fraternity, a club, a team at work, or maybe, you’re just a regular at a coffee shop and everyone knows you by name. Still, there is a sense of belonging. And this is important! It creates unity among members, and friendships are typically born from tribes.

However, I want you to assess the tribe(s) that you are part of. But before you do that, I want you to assess yourself. What is it that makes you excited? What is it that fuels your passion? What makes you laugh? What are your desires in life? Woah, those are some pretty deep questions, Shelby. I don’t know if I can answer that. Well, listen, if you can’t answer all of them, that’s fine, but at least try to answer one or two of them.

Okay, do you have your answers? Now, look at the tribes you are currently part of. Do they align with your answers to the questions above? Maybe your answer is yes, and if so, you are a lucky one, because most people go throughout life missing out on finding the tribe that best suites them. So if your answer is anything but a strong “YES!”, don’t freak, you are not alone.

But here’s the deal; if you’ve read this far, it means you’re still interested in what I have to say, and I’ll give you a fair warning here, you probably aren’t going to like it, but the bottom line is, CHANGE YOUR FREAKIN’ TRIBE! This is YOUR life, and if your current tribe is not fulfilling your desires, your passions, your excitement, then you need to grow a pair and make a change.

Listen, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So if your current tribe are the people you work with, and you are constantly complaining about how negative they are, how you aren’t respected, how nobody gets you, or my personal favorite, how you are overworked and underpaid, then maybe it’s time you make a change. This change is scary, trust me, I know. But if you want to raise your vibe*, then you’ve got to change your tribeit’s as simple as that. *By vibe, I mean the quality of your life.*

But it’s not as simple as that, is it? For many of you, coming to this realization is terrifying, right? You’ve been with the same tribe for years, any change to you is simply the quarters and dimes you receive from the barista down the road. I’ve been there. I understand. And I can tell you first hand that making this leap from the tribe that is keeping you miserable, complacent, or just downright, dull, is going to be met with resistance.

Nobody in your current tribe wants to see you charge ahead. Nobody in your current tribe wants to see you do what they wish they would have done years ago. I’m not saying your current tribe will hate you for leaving, but they might. So, I’m giving you a fair warning here, you might not get invited to that Holiday Party anymore. Jeez Shelby, you’re really making this whole “switching tribes” thing sound horrible.

It’s not. It’s liberating. It’s courageous. It’s the key to your success that you’ve been searching for. You can’t raise your vibe by attending self-help seminars and reading all the personal development books you can find if you are not willing to assess your current surroundings and notice your current tribeAnd if that tribe is not making you happy, is not helping you to fulfill your passions and desires, and especially, if it’s keep you stagnant, then maaaaaaaaybe, you ought to reconsider where you are spending your time. Keyword here, YOUR time.

Have I convinced you to leave your tribe yet? Maybe you’re on the fence, but you don’t know where to find your new tribe, okay, okay, I can help you with that. First and foremost, join the app called MeetUp, I have no doubt that you will be able to find a great tribe here, but maybe you’re yearning for something bigger and better, that’s how I was. My biggest suggestion is to start looking into Network Marketing Companies, that’s what I did, and that’s what worked for me, it may or may not work for you, but give it a try anyway, at this point you really have nothing to lose.

I am a huge advocate for this industry for many reasons, but the first and foremost, is that GOOD, RESPECTABLE companies attract GOOD, RESPECTABLE people. Network Marketers are some of the most passionate and driven people I have ever met, and I am proud to be one, and I am proud to be part of the tribe I am in.

If you’ve gotten all the way down here, congratulations, I know I was a little harsh above, but it’s reality, and I want your reality to be freakin’ amazeballs. So….I have to end on this last little note here:

If you did a self-assessment, and you noticed that your tribe is no longer serving you, it is now up to YOU to make that change. YOU control the outcome of your life. YOU control the energy within your life. YOU control who’s influence you allow. If you stay miserable, that is YOUR fault, not your job’s, not your spouse’s, not your friend’s, YOURS. If you choose to find a new tribe, and raise your life to a whole new vibe, then I solute you, welcome to the best years of your life!

Xoxo,

Shelby

 

 

The Importance of Your Daily Essentials

Mmmm, Dominican coffee is the freakin’ best. It’s rich flavor is what it’s known for, the way the taste lingers in your mouth, even after you’ve taken your last sip; I’m a total sucker for it. And as you know, I like to have my cup of coffee every morning, and today is no different. It’s part of my Daily Essentials. It’s not the same coffee every morning, it honestly depends where I am at the moment, and in this particular moment, I happen to be sitting on my parent’s deck here in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean as it crashes along the beach.

Laid out in front of me is all that you see in the picture above, and by laying out each item, piece by piece, I realized, I have quite a collection of daily essentials. I have my cup of coffee (of course), my Passion Planner, my Macbook Air, my journal, my phone (which is taking the picture), and my current read: The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorteNow, you may be wondering why I keep bolding the words daily essentials, and it’s because that’s the topic of today’s Daily Cup of Inspiration!

First and foremost, what are daily essentials? In my mind, these are the items that you carry around with you on a daily basis, the items that, no matter where you are going, you have in your possession.

We all have different daily essentials, and usually what you do for a living determines your daily essentials; for example, my cousin Katie, who is a world-class photographer, would never think to leave the house without some kind of camera, and my roommates, who are amazing artists, always have some kind of sketch book on them. So it differs.

I’m not here to tell you that you need to carry around all the same things as me, but what I am here to tell you is to find what is or should be part of your daily essentials. This will help with your organization, and trust me, when you start to become more organized, you start to find more minutes in an hour and more hours in a day. If you are a person who has a million thoughts per minute and happens to write them down on whatever piece of paper you can find, I suggest finding a nice notebook or journal that you can begin carrying around with you, thus keeping all your thoughts in one place.

Maybe you are one of those people that has 3 different scheduling methods: your iCalendar, your Google calendar, and the paper calendar that hangs on your fridge. I suggest consolidating all of that in to one main planner. My recommendation? The Passion Planner! There is ample space for planning, both in a calendar form, but also in a notebook and to-do list form.

I could go on and on with examples, but the bottom line is, it’s important for you to figure out the items that you require on a daily basis to be your most efficient and productive self. Instead of waking up every morning wondering what it is you need to pack for work, school, and/or life, have faith in your daily essentials that no matter what, these items will get you through the day, even if you happen to leave your lunch at home.

And remember, less is more; you’ve heard that saying before right? I’m learning to do this now, but this brings me back to what I mentioned earlier about all the different journals. Try your best to consolidate your daily essentials into about 3-5 things, all of which can fit into your bag. This will help you immensely, because instead of spending hours searching around for where you put the address to your upcoming cocktail party, or the name and number of a potential client, you know exactly where it would be, because you’ve created a system for yourself as to which essential is for what.

With all that being said, I hope I’ve inspired you to create a system of efficiency for your life! Let me know what are some of YOUR daily essentials and how you use them best!

Xoxo,

Shelby