Take The First Step

As I sit here admiring my maturing backyard garden through my patio window, I can’t help but chuckle at myself. For the past four years, all I’ve talked about was starting my backyard garden and all the reasons I hadn’t started it.

At first, it was, “I can’t wait to start my garden, but first, we have to get a fence.” Then we got a fence, and it became, “I can’t wait to start my garden, but I don’t want to put it in the ground. I need some raised garden beds.” Then I found some raised gardens, and it became, “I found some raised garden beds, but I don’t know which one is right for me.” You see the pattern? For every solution, I found another excuse for why I couldn’t get started. But this year, it was different. As COVID-19 brought everyday life to a screeching halt, I decided that it was time for me to stop making excuses and take the first step.

And make no mistake about it, I only had less than half of a clue as to what I was doing LOL. Nevertheless, I got started. The amazing thing was after I got started, the help I needed began to appear. One friend told me where to go and buy my seedlings since I was a little late in starting the process. Another friend told me what type of soil would be best and what plant food to use. Then my cousin came up for the summer and helped me plant and care for it. Now I have plants that are bubbling over and preparing to produce a harvest for my family.

What I realized in the process is that this little backyard lesson I was learning stretched beyond just my garden. It also applied to my life. So many times, we have these great intentions, but absolutely no real follow-through. We’re waiting for the perfect conditions and circumstances to come along, and while we’re waiting, opportunities are passing us by. And yes, some of the “reasons” we give for waiting sound like legitimate reasons, but at the end of the day, most of them are just excuses. Sometimes we have to simply do as Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Today, take an assessment of your life. What are you putting off starting because you’re waiting for the perfect conditions to move forward? Stop procrastinating and apply some action to your faith. Once you start walking, the resources will begin to reveal themselves to help you get to the next step, and before you know it, your garden will be blossoming too.

I hope today’s message has encouraged you on your journey. As always, I thank you for stopping by. Be sure to like, share, and subscribe to this blog. Remember, today is a great day to make a difference in the lives of those around you. Until next time…

Be Safe & Be Well,
T. Lynn Tate
The Wholeness Coach

Minding Your Health

Having an unexpected panic attack can be very alarming. Oh, did I mention basically all panic attacks happen unexpectedly? I don’t know which was worse; the embarrassment of not being able to control my response to stress and anxiety, or the fear of the panic attack itself. However, life wasn’t always like this for me.

I remember a day where I could take on the world. Balancing 200 plates while working two full-time jobs, one that paid the bills very well, and the other fulfilled my passion for making a difference. I was on top of the world. As life changed over the years, the stress kept mounting, but my weight-bearing capacity was not expanding at the rate of the pressure. The difference was so significant my body started sending warning signals.

To start, I was fatigued almost always, with little to no desire to eat, and slightly depressed. I developed a condition called Primary Raynaud’s Phenomenon, which is a high sensitivity to cold that affects my hands and feet. According to my doctor, it was activated by the high-stress levels in my life. “Nothing to worry about, things will get better,” at least that’s the story I told myself. 

But I made a few changes, lost a few pounds, started a new job, and life was really feeling good. Then, life started getting stressful yet again. With my work commute increasing to about six hours roundtrip, the addition of a demanding and challenging client, and the inability to set boundaries and disconnect from work after hours, I certainly had the recipe for high stress and anxiety. However, this time my body fired off some major warnings with numbness and tingling in my face coupled with random chest pains and panic attacks. After a battery of stress tests and heart sonograms, the doctor informed me I was indeed having the beginning signs of a stress heart attack. He prescribed me some meds and strongly advised me to get my stress levels under control.

The threat of a stress heart attack in my late 30s was a pivotal moment for me. The frank dialogues with my doctors, and my family helped me to realize that I needed to make some changes fast. It wasn’t easy by far, and it took practice, but here’s what I did:

  1. I resolved within myself that I would come to work, work only my 8 hours unless it was an emergency that required me to work longer.
  2. I turned off the audible notifications for my work email. Unless I knew of an emergency reason to check it, I didn’t during non-work hours.
  3. I obtained a personal trainer that fit my budget and schedule. 
  4. I intentionally went to the grocery store weekly and began carrying my breakfast, lunch, and commute snacks with me daily.
  5. On the weekends, I took one day to spend with my family to laugh and have fun, and the other to simply rest and reflect.
  6. Finally, I began to seek out that lane that was purposefully designed for me. When I found it, I turned on my blinker and started moving over in it.

Today, my life is more in balance than it has ever been in years. I have taken my life back, gotten fully in my lane, and regularly mind my health. Yes, I still have moments of stress. As a business owner, it comes with the territory, but it isn’t consistent, and generally doesn’t last long. I encourage you today, start minding your health, and ensure that you are in the right lane. Regularly take an assessment of how you’re doing mind, body, and spirit; and make adjustments whenever necessary. There’s only one of you, and someone out there needs your specific expertise and contribution to this world. 

As always, I thank you for stopping by. Remember, today is a great day to make a difference in the lives of those around you. Until next time…

Be Safe & Be Well,
T. Lynn Tate
The Wholeness Coach

Are You Self-Sabotaging?

A few years ago, I had the privilege to have an impromptu one-on-one dinner with a well-known speaker. As we sat in the small quaint vegan restaurant chatting back and forth, I began sharing with her a little bit of my background and experience. After hearing my story, she looked at me and said, “Oh, so you’ve been self-sabotaging.” I thought, “Wait, what? Why would I sabotage myself?” Then suddenly, the words of a friend came back to my remembrance, “Stop being afraid to succeed.” I didn’t agree with either of their opinions. I mean, who in their right mind would purposely choose not to succeed, right?

The months following that dinner, life decided to show me better than it could tell me exactly what they were talking about. You see, although it wasn’t my intention to sabotage myself, my choices and decisions seemed to suggest otherwise. So let’s take a look at the three behaviors that were setting me back and see if you’ve been doing the same in various areas of your life.

The first thing brought to my attention was procrastination. I had great ideas and great intentions, but when it came time to execute, I would always find a way to delay and put things off. Unfortunately, my luck with that began to wear off. I started missing deadlines, which led to losing opportunity windows, and sometimes, even worse, I took so long that I started seeing my brilliant ideas being brought forth by other people. All because I kept putting things off. As I became aware of this behavior, I took a closer look, and I realized a lot of my procrastination was rooted in fear. Many times I was afraid of what the hypothetical results would be and therefore delayed in applying action to the matters at hand.

Then I discovered procrastination had a friend called constantly comparing yourself to others. Listen, if I thought procrastination was a doozy, this one right here surely held me captive. I would look at other people’s lives and see their success, immediately comparing my apples to their oranges. Then convince myself that I must not be worthy or have what it takes because, despite the similarities, I wasn’t getting the same successes as them. I did this with my career, relationships, material possessions, and more, never realizing or taking into account what that person had to go through to get to that point in their lives. To often, these comparisons would dictate my narrative of self-worth and value.

Finally, because I struggled with procrastination and comparing myself to others, I realized it put me in a POOR state of mind. What’s POOR? It’s a state of mind where I was Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly. Whether it was fear of failing, not feeling qualified enough, or simply the opportunity didn’t look like what I thought it should be, I was always missing out or not following through on opportunities that could have led me to the success I so desired. When you put it all together, yes, I was self-sabotaging.

However, all was not lost. In discovering that I had been self-sabotaging, I also gained some much-needed wisdom to help avoid doing the same going forward. First, when you are walking in your purpose, there is always room for you at the table. Yes, you may be doing the same thing someone else is doing, but you each have your own niche and uniqueness to bring to the table. Next, appearances can be deceiving. You may see someone’s success on the outside, but you don’t know how much that person had to go through before they achieved the success you see today. Lastly, give your self a break. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and perfection is in no way required.

So now that you see how I did it ask yourself, have you to been self-sabotaging? As always, I thank you for stopping by. Remember, today is a great day to make a difference in the lives of those around you. Oh, and don’t forget to share the love and Like, Love, Share and Subscribe to our blog, so you don’t miss a beat. Until next time…

Be Safe and Be Well,
T. Lynn Tate
The Wholeness Coach