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The Make It Happen Mentoring Masterclass with Jackie Capers-Brown

Everything you need to get to your next level of greatness is already within you. Perhaps you need someone who has a track record of inspiring others to own and express the best of themselves in their personal and professional life. You want to create positive change in your life, but you're not sure where to start or if you have the confidence to stick to your plan once you get started. You've figured out that if you continue to do what you're doing, this year is going to end up being a reflection of the changes you wanted to make last year. If you have a dream or goal that you want to make happen, as your mentor I will utilize my vast leadership knowledge and expertise to support your ability to create progress and make your dreams and goals happen. The primary focus of the Make It Happen Mentoring Masterclass is on personal and professional leadership development. 

Join me on May 8th at 5:30pm - 7:00pm for a meet and greet at the Eau Claire Town Hall Building located at 3905 Ensor Avenue, Columbia, SC 29203. During this meet and greet, I will discuss the details of the Make It Happen Mentoring Masterclass and how it can benefit your level of accomplishment and happiness and answer any of your questions regarding the quarterly program. I look forward to meeting you.  You can sign up here.

Just in case, you don't know much about my professional qualifications, here's what some people have said about me, after working with me:

"I attended one of Ms. Jackie Leadership seminars. She is very passionate in what she do.... Ms. Jackie is an awesome leader, motivator, knowledgeable, smart and skillful person. It was a pleasure meeting and attending Ms. Jackie leadership seminar. Thank you for your guidance and wisdom!"

Shelia Summers
Office Assistant at the City of Columbia

Jackie has done an exceptional job for us over the years. Her strong point is in her leadership skills and training. I used Jackie at times as our training manager. She communicates very well and people have a clear understanding of what she is teaching.”
--Darlene Stroupe
ECPH Area Supervisor
Wilmington, NC

I have known Jackie since 1990. Since we first met, I have had the utmost respect for Jackie's commitment, determination and concern for the business, guests and employees. As tough as the business can be, Jackie was always able to balance effectively the financial, guest satisfaction and employee satisfaction goals that were required in her position. Change has been one constant with Marriott for quite a few years. Not all are adaptable as Jackie has been. Jackie has always been able to rise to the challenge. I admire that.”
--Ed Brumfield,
former GM, Courtyard by Marriott NW
Columbia, SC

Although she excelled in all areas for which she was responsible, I believe her very strongest skills lie with her ability to work with and motivate others. Jacqueline is a true leader and is both creative and innovative in her approach to motivating others. She was given several difficult and challenging assignments during the five years that she worked for me and always met or exceeded my expectations of her.”
--Dee Harrington-Hucks
former GM, Courtyard by Marriott NW
Columbia, SC

"...Working with people that often times failed to see the opportunities that exist for them, she managed to show them a little bit of what can be, a little bit of what they can achieve if they work hard and stay focused...She saw my talent, and challenged me to succeed, challenged me become the best person, colleague and manager I could be. She showed me how to be successful. Any one that is fortunate enough to have her as a business partner and friend can consider themselves lucky to have such an amazing talent around them”
Daniel Ferrucci

former assistant manager with Westwind Corporation
Mid-Atlantic Regional Visual Manager at BCBG Max Azria
Wilmington, NC

* The above recommendation are either on my LinkedIn profile or are included in my personal resume as written references.

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A Guide to A More Confident You - Part One

Don't dance around the perimeter of the person you want to be.
Step in fully and completely.
~Gabby Bernstein~

 Many of us experience periods in our lives when we don't embody the confidence necessary to pursue our dreams and goals. The complexity of our lives and the demands on our time, energy and attention often have each of us juggling so many tasks and responsibilities that we rarely take the time out to think about how we can increase our self-confidence. Confidence isn't everything, however, we won't achieve much of what we desire to experience without it. When we lack confidence in ourselves, we are more apt to succumb to our fears and self-doubt when it comes to pursuing new possibilities in our lives. We question if we have what it takes to do what is necessary achieve our desired goals. We are more susceptible to the negative opinions of others when they speak against what we want to achieve. We allow our limiting beliefs about our circumstances confine us to the status quo. We sabotage our progress because we lack a strong sense of self-worth.
Confident people realize the story that they tell themselves about who they can become, what they can do, what they are strong enough to handle and what they are worthy of experiencing shapes their identity. They are confident because of a strong sense of self that is nurtured by an empowering identity of who they are and who they believe they can become. Developing a confident identity isn't about your race, gender, circumstances or past; it's about the beliefs that make up the story you tell yourself about yourself and the courage that you demonstrate to pursue new possibilities in your life. In this three part series, A Guide to A More Confident You, I will share insights and strategies that can help you become a more confident person.

Develop A Confident Outlook
Confident people think and approach life proactively, which means you may have to make some fundamental changes in the story you tell yourself about what you are capable of and get comfortable with the temporary discomfort that occur as you take steps to pursue new possibilities in your life. View your self-confidence as a major key to unlocking the doors of how your want to live, today and in the future. Every time you challenge a limiting belief about what is possible in your life with a renewed sense of your strong and who you are able to become, you will begin to embody a greater sense of confidence that will have a ripple affect in each area of your life. In part one of this series, I discuss the role self-acceptance have on your ability to become a more confident person.

Confidence Building Tip #1: Accept Yourself

Self acceptance is a cornerstone for living with more confidence. It involves having realistic expectations about yourself and life. Self-acceptance enables you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. It allows you to walk with a loving awareness of your humanity, it's goodness and flaws. Self-acceptance enables you to embody your strengths to lead a life that is in concert with your core beliefs, values and priorities. You recognize that you don't have to be a carbon copy of someone else to live a confident and successful lifestyle. Self-acceptance requires an awareness of your strengths and weakness, your goodness and flaws. It empowers you to have a strong sense of who you are, who you can become, what you can do, what you are strong enough to handle and worthy of experiencing. Self-acceptance inspires you with a desire to be a full expression of your authentic self. Self-acceptance doesn't happen when you hate the person you are. It happens when you love yourself enough to believe that you can do better and deserve better. Loving and accepting yourself naturally leads to an increase in your self-confidence.

Believe You Are Worthy of Experiencing Better in Life
Pat Pearson, author of STOP Self-Sabotage points out, “We don't allow ourselves to have what we want until we believe-truly believe - that we deserve it.” Getting out of your own way and manifesting more of what you truly want in life begins with the journey of accepting yourself while expanding your beliefs and feelings about your self-worth and what you deserve to experience in life. Your beliefs about what you are worthy of experiencing in life influences how you treat yourself, determines the relationships you get involved in and the manner in which you value the time and life energy spent to generate the money you earn. Your sense of worthiness shapes your career path and the goals you pursue and achieve in life. It even effects the level of fortitude you demonstrate when faced with setbacks and how quickly you get back on track.

When you were a baby you didn't have no question about your right to be loved or held. You made no apology for wanting what you wanted or feeling the way you felt. As you got older, something began to happen. Pearson writes, “Our innate sense of being worthy to express our feelings and need starts to get lost as we mature. Instead of believing we deserve love just for “being”, we lower our self-esteem and try to earn approval and love by “doing”. We begin to think we must earn love, and so we give up our real feelings to meet the approved image. As we get older, we start to shrink our beliefs about our own abilities.” Somehow, everyone else seems to be able to get what they want in life while you continue to circle the same circumstances and repeat the same patterns. Overtime, these experiences began to diminish your self-esteem and confidence.

Raise Your Deserve Level and Stop Self-Sabotage

Be encouraged you can raise your deserve level. Pearson writes, “In order to increase your deserve level, you need to take possession of your feelings as clearly and as authentically as you can. When you integrate and honor both your thoughts and feelings, you have complete permission to have what you want.” Your beliefs about yourself and what you deserve to experience in life is linked to your sense of self-worth. What would you say was the level of deserve expressed in your family while you were growing up as a child? Were you permitted to express your feelings or required to stuff them? Did you feel that you were loved no matter what with unconditional love? Or, did you feel that you had to “earn” the love of your parents, siblings and extended family? What was the story that you held about your sense of worthiness as a child? How is any part of that story repeating itself in your relationships, health and wellness, personal finances, education and career? In which of these areas do you need to raise your beliefs about what you are worthy of experiencing to achieve your present aspirations? Confidence in what you believe about what you are worthy of experiencing in life begins with your beliefs about what you deserve. Transforming your limiting beliefs into empowering self-talk and aligning your behavior with the person that you need to become to manifest the dreams and goals that you desire to experience is a surefire sign that you believe that you can do better and have better in life.
Lessons from the Wizard of Oz
In the movie the Wizard of Oz, it takes a life and death challenge for each of the main characters to realize that the very thing they want from the Wizard already exists within their capacity.
The Scarecrow doesn’t think he’s smart enough to endure difficulties, and yet all alone he’s the guy with the logic and reasoning that guide the group to make the right choices.
The Tin Man thinks that he’s worthless because he was made without a hart, except that his compassion for others and his passion for not giving up are what keep everyone going.
The Cowardly Lion is ashamed that he lacks courage that should accompany the “King of the Beasts” but when put to the test, he acts with courage in the face of fear. It’s the Lion that steps forward with the real cojones to confront and exposed the man behind the curtain who has assumed a role of power that he doesn’t deserve.
The Lesson of the Ruby Slippers was that the whole time Dorothy struggled to get home, thinking only the Wizard could help her, when she actually had the power to do so all along. Her ability to understand the power of what she already possessed was obscured by her fear.
Ask yourself: How am I demonstrating a lack of self-acceptance towards myself? What is the dominant story I'm telling myself about what I'm worthy of experiencing in life? What fears are preventing me, like the main characters of the Wizard of Oz, from tapping into the the strength that I already possess? What are some small steps that I can begin to take that will help me reduce the anxiety I feel towards manifesting new possibilities in my life?
Expressing your full potential will require that you accept yourself. Accepting who you are, as you strive to express more of your unique ability is pivotal to becoming a more confident person. It necessitates that you value your present abilities so that you can leverage them to manifest new possibilities in your life. Recognizing the numerous influences that has shaped your beliefs about what you deserve and is worthy of experiencing sheds light on automatic response patterns that may be influencing you to self-sabotage. Self-acceptance is a key principle to maximizing your present moments. Optimizing your present opportunities to grow and develop your talents enables you to cultivate the foresight to embrace growth strategies that increase your capacity to be more, do more and build your confidence.

Actionable Step:
Create a Confidence Booster Jar/Box. Purchase a Mason jar or small gift box and label it, “Confidence Booster”. Get a pack of post it’s or cut blank sheets of paper. On each piece of paper write down those times when you overcame an obstacle, bounce back from a setback and accomplished something you were very proud of. For the next 30 days, read one of your notes out loud to yourself to affirm your ability and self-worth and boost positive thoughts and emotions about yourself. Make it a daily ritual by placing more positive notes in your “Confidence Booster” jar/box. Share this idea with a family member and friend. Perhaps you can write positive notes about each other and swap them. Allow this simple, yet powerful practice become something nice that you do for yourself on a daily basis.

Next week in part two, I will share why and how strengthening your inner-self is essential to developing and sustaining self-confidence.

What are your thoughts about how confidence or the lack thereof has affected your success towards a goal? Share your thoughts below.

As always, thank you for being a part of the Grow Forward & Flourish community. If you've received value from this article, please share it with your network. Thank you in advance.

Dare to Be Great

Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish

My new book, Get Unstuck Now can help you develop a stronger sense of yourself which will increase your self-confidence and happiness.
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Your Story Matters!

I have a question for you, “What story are you telling yourself that's hindering you from elevating your personal greatness to manifest the success you desire? Are you telling yourself “I can't possibly return back to college at my age”, “I'll never be able to lose this weight,” “It's impossible to save money in this economy,” “I don't have what it takes to follow my dreams,” “Dreams are for young people, not someone my age,” “I'm too young to do that,” “I'll never be able to let go of this pain and get my life back on track.” Your beliefs reflect your expectations. So often, predetermined expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Your beliefs shape your identity. Your identity shapes your behavior. Your behavior drives the outcome reflected in many of your circumstances. Changing disempowering aspects of your stories liberate you from mental and emotional shackles that influence sabotaging behavior.

Margie Warrell shares in Find Your Courage, “Given that our actions are based on the realities that we define regarding who we are and what we are capable of achieving, our lives are either limited or expanded by the stories we have devised.” 

Warrell goes on to say, “Your stories are a melting pot of your opinions, assumptions, interpretations, prejudices, and beliefs, which you have created to make sense of the world in which you live and your place in it.” Through your stories, you have defined who you are, who you can become, what you can do and what you are worthy of experiencing.

Break Free from Negative Self-Talk

A simple key to transforming limiting stories is to ask yourself the following questions: “In what way is the story I'm telling myself helping me create positive and empowering experiences in this aspect of my life,” and “In what way is the story I'm telling myself diminishing my capacity to display the courage and confidence necessary to create what I desire in this aspect of my life.” Based on your answers to the previous questions, what do you need to do now to move forward from where you are? Your answers to these questions provide you with the necessary insight for taking the next appropriate steps in your situation.

You can change any aspect of your life, if you choose to divorce yourself from limiting beliefs and replace them with beliefs that nurture an empowering self-image. Your new identity will inspire different behavior which will produce different outcomes. Cultivating an empowering story of who you are, who you can become, what you can do and what you are worthy of experiencing enables you to harness your power to realize dreams that satisfies your soul and rewards you with meaningful success.

Are you feeling stuck? Having difficulty healing heart wounds? Do you feel that you are constantly struggling with negative self-talk? If so, my new book, Get Unstuck Now provides you with insights from my personal experiences of failure and success with overcoming these challenges and empowering strategies backed up by various experts on the power of our story and how to re-script various aspects of it to get unstuck, move on and be happy in life. You can find out more about clicking on the following link to the book, Get Unstuck Now.

I'd like to know your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Share them below in the comments.

Thank you for being a part of the growing readership of Grow Forward & Flourish. Don't miss any future updates by subscribing to receive weekly email updates.

I appreciate you sharing this article with your network.

Until the next time, dare to be great!

Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish

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You Can Learn How to Let Go of Anger, Bitterness and Resentments

Forgiveness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on.

~Steve Maraboli~

Do you really want your pain to define your life or do you want to own your power to define your life? How much misery would you be feeling right now if you had never let go of past pain? Nelson Mandela stated, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” When we hold resentment in our hearts it is a form of self-punishment. We've all been hurt, disappointed and angry over how some event unfolded in our lives when we expected otherwise. When our lives do not go as well as we hope, we have a choice to become bitter or better. We get to choose if we're going to be pitiful or be powerful. We have the power to choose if we're going to wallow in misery and unforgiveness or walk in love and exercise forgiveness towards ourselves and others. In A Wise Heart, Jack Kornfield writes, “Letting go does not mean losing the knowledge we have gained from our past. The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is simply to release any images and emotions, grudges and fears, clinging and disappointments that bind our spirit. Like emptying a cup, letting go leaves us free to receive, be refreshed, sensitive, and awake.”

Early in my adult life, I walked around nursing negative emotional pain from my life experiences. I had to face a brutal truth: no one owed me anything just because of what I'd gone through or what I was going through. It was my responsibility to get over the anger, bitterness and unforgiveness I felt in my heart. My parents never told me that life was fair or perfect. They told me if I put my mind to doing something, I could do it. In spite of my parent's wisdom, I was walking through life as if I had been short changed because of the number of adversities and challenges I'd faced since my adolescence.

Anger and bitterness had taken root in my heart as a result of the negative thoughts and beliefs I had about my circumstances. I often thought, “If God is so good, how could he let all of these things happen to me.” I was allowing my resentments towards those who had hurt me and my circumstances define what I believed I was worthy of experiencing in life. I made excuses and rationalized why I couldn't do any better. It was easy for me to dwell on what I didn't have in my life. I rarely focused on what was going right in my life. I majored in pity parties and my heart was full of bitterness. You know as well as I, when we open the door to self-pity and bitterness nothing good can come of it. Except for my children, much of my life was seen through a critical lens. At the time, I felt my children were the only good thing in my life.

Fortunately for me and my children, I experienced a divine intervention when my life's path intersected with Pastor Cynthia DeBerry of Abundant Life Ministries in Columbia, SC in the early 80's. Through the power of the anointing on her life and the authority in which she taught God's word and the faith growing in my heart, I started to see myself and life from a different perspective. I began to believe that my future was not defined by my past. In the freedom of my choices, I had the power to change the trajectory of my life.

During various sermons and bible teachings, Pastor DeBerry reminded our congregation about the story of Job and how he was a good man, yet, he lost all of his family and his worldly possessions. She taught us about the betrayal Joseph experienced when his brothers sold him into slavery, yet, what was meant for his harm resulted in him being in a position to save his family. In each of these men lives, the temporary conditions of their lives appeared hopeless. However, their faith in God in the midst of these difficulties resulted in their adversity positioning them for greater blessings. It was these and similar sermons that planted the seed of faith in my heart that all of my adversities would position me to experience greater blessings.

After several months of Pastor DeBerry's teachings, I began to experience inner promptings in my soul to forgive those that had hurt me in some way. For years, I'd harbored a tremendous amount of unforgiveness and resentment in my heart. They kept me chained to my bitterness and anger. I majored in the blame game and pity parties. The unforgiveness and resentment in my heart meant that my present was being held hostage by my past. Shortly after I began to sense these hunches to forgive those who had hurt me, Pastor DeBerry conducted a teaching series on 1 Corinthians chapter 13. She urged our congregation to use this chapter as a blueprint for the love we show towards one another and others. We were reminded that Christ died for us while we were sinners. Our gift of eternal salvation through Christ is a gift from God because of his unconditional love for us. God allowed Jesus to die on Calvary's cross. Anyone who believes in their heart that the death and resurrection of Jesus is payment for their sins receives eternal salvation. The more I thought about the sacrifices Jesus made for me to be in right relationship with my Heavenly Father; I couldn't justify the unforgiveness in my heart.

Sure, I had been wronged, but I hadn't shed blood until death like Jesus. Harboring resentment and bitterness in my heart was not hurting the people who hurt me, it was hurting me. On many occasions, I'd heard this truth spoken by my elders. It wasn't until my relationship with God moved from an intellectual understanding to a “heart” understanding of the depth of his love, mercy and grace towards me was I willing to forgive those who had hurt me. The more I meditated on 1 Corinthians 13 and other scripture verses on love and forgiveness, the more I realized that I could actually forgive and let go of the hurts from these experiences. Mind you, I didn't wake up the next morning without unforgiveness in my heart. It was a process. However, as I committed myself to the process of forgiving those who had hurt me, the anger and bitterness began to dissipate. My soul was less burdened. I felt liberated. I began to have a sense of direction for my life that was being fueled by the enthusiasm and passion I felt about my children's future and my life. Proverbs 3:13 reads, “Joyful is the person who find wisdom, the one who gains understanding.”

Forgiveness Ends Self-Induced Suffering

Taking responsibility for your life and gaining an awareness of the freedom and power that dwells in your choices, you are able to better position yourself to be your best, do your best and experience more of God’s favor in your life. You won't rely on excuses or major in the blame game or pity parties as to why your life is in its present condition. Exercising forgiveness releases you from reliving past hurts. It helps you identify bitterness before it takes root in your heart. The ongoing development and practice of faith, in God and in yourself will reduce your anxiety, worry and anger. God's grace is sufficient. Forgiveness is not about how you feel. Forgiveness is a choice that you are given every day. Forgiveness is an act of self-love. It implies that you refuse to allow your life energy to be consumed by something that is done and over with. No matter how hurtful the offense, you will always have the power to choose if your pain or your power will define you. Forgiveness releases your soul from anger, bitterness and resentments that can influence you to take actions that you’ll regret. Forgiveness is a demonstration of the strength within you. Max Lucado writes, “Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.”

How much life energy do you use up in negative thinking about people that caused past hurts? In STOP Self-Sabotage Pat Pearson writes, “The reason to forgive is simple: it takes too much negative energy to stay stuck in a state of non-forgiveness of ourselves or others. When we stay stuck, we obsess and revisit the event over and over again; we traumatize ourselves and consume monumental amounts of energy that could be used elsewhere for our business and personal lives.” How do you know if you have forgiven someone? Pearson says, “If you can think of that person without the intense feelings of guilt, anger, hurt or sadness that means you're in the zone of forgiveness.” “Intense feelings, she points out, keep us connected to the person or problem. The umbilical cord of anger is just as strong as the umbilical cord of love.”

Feelings are in the body. Reactions are in the head. Nisargadatta writes, “Pain is physical, suffering is mental. Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting. It is a sign of our unwillingness to move, to flow with life. Although all life has pain, a wise life is free from suffering. A wise person is friendly with the inevitable and does not suffer. Pain they know but it does not break them. If they can, they do what is possible to restore balance. If not, they let things take their course.”

If you are harboring resentments, anger and bitterness in your heart towards anyone or about a life experience, I encourage you to consider how much of your life energy you are allowing to be consumed by an event that you cannot undo. You can't change your past, no matter how much you may desire for it to have been different. You do have the power to define how any experience affects you by the way you interpret your experiences and the emotional meanings you attach to them.

Sarah Ban Breathnach states, “Forgiveness is a form of gratitude. When we forgive others we show them the mercy that we have often received and been thankful for.” I have come a long way from my early 20's when anger and bitterness dominated my mind and heart. I believe that my faith in God and the transformation of the word in my heart played major roles in my ability to move beyond the shackles of these mental and emotional states. I had to recognize that I had the power to choose whether or not I was going to live the rest of my life feeling like a victim or make the choice to be a victor. You have the same power. It rests within your choices.

Every offense that you experience provides you with the opportunity to choose if you will be better or bitter, if it will break you or strengthen you and whether you will become a victim or victor. You're not going to bat a home run each time you are hurt or disappointed by an action committed by someone or yourself. After all, you are human. You can make the choice to be forgiving of yourself and others by accepting the reality that all human beings are imperfect. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to accept or tolerate behavior that demeans you in any way. Forgiveness releases you from the emotional attachment to offenses so that you have the emotional energy to get clear about the actions you will need to take to address the situation. Forgiveness plays a huge role in releasing your soul from the shackles of negative emotional pain. It's time to end your self-induced suffering. Begin to let go of the resentments, anger and bitterness in your heart by embracing the process of forgiving yourself and others. Your actions will help you get to a better state.

Has an act of forgiveness liberated you from a past pain? Are you diminishing your emotional energy by harboring resentments, anger and bitterness in your heart towards someone? Share your comments below.

Thank you for contributing to the growth of the Grow Forward & Flourish community. I appreciate you sharing this article with your networks.

Until the next time...Dare to Be Great!

Jackie Capers-Brown

Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish

Note: This article is an excerpt from my new book, Get Unstuck Now. You can get additional details about Get Unstuck Now by clicking here.

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Next Level Greatness: Your Future is Not Your Past

Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on.

~Alan H. Cohen~

Oprah Winfrey states, “The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.” Self-defeating assumptions about your past may seem hell-bent on keeping you contained to the way things are in your life. These thoughts consume the private conversations you have with yourself and the public conversations you have with others. They are reinforcing a reality you don’t want to continue to experience. And, they're disconnecting you from the innate strength dwelling in your spirit to take purpose- driven action towards manifesting the change you desire.

When you explain your circumstances from a disempowering perspective, this explanatory style can lead to learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is reflected in the belief that “whatever you do doesn’t work” according to Martin Seligman. Most voluntary behavior such as personal control is motivated by our expectations that our actions are going to make a difference in a situation. Resilient and highly successful people have realistic expectations about life. They don’t assume that everything they do will work out exactly as they hoped or planned. They see setbacks and failures as feedback about what not to do. They make course corrections whenever necessary to keep building the momentum necessary to produce the change they want.

People who are less resilient are less likely to make course corrections after experiencing a number of setbacks or failure. They take the results of their actions personally. Instead of perceiving their results as feedback and seeking wise advice from others to improve their effectiveness in producing the results they desire, they begin to agree with the belief that “whatever I do won't work.” They resign themselves to a state of learned helplessness which only demotivates them. They don’t expect their actions to make any difference. Over time, this belief causes many people to give up on their efforts to create positive change in their lives.

Stephen Covey wrote in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “If we want to make significant change, we need to work on our basic paradigms. The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experiences, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger perspective and a far more objective view.”

The Power of Your Self-Talk

Expanding your perspective always involves expanding the story you tell yourself about who you are, who you can become, what you can do, what you are strong enough to handle and what you are worthy of experiencing. Consider the following scenario: if you and a friend are striving to achieve similar goals and both of you are faced with similar challenges and demands in life, yet each of you experience two different outcomes, one with success, the other with failure, your outcomes are different because of the approach each of you have taken towards external influences. The approach you and your friend take towards challenges and opportunities reflects the perceptions and assumptions you have about what's possible in each circumstance. The private conversation taking place within each of you is portrayed in the approach and final outcomes of your individual experiences.

Like most of us, you may have the tendency to believe everything you think without taking into consideration the underlying beliefs, assumptions and emotional interpretations influencing your thought process towards an area of your life in which you would love to experience positive change. So often, our thinking, emotional and behavioral patterns are automatic responses due to our conditioning. We rarely give attention to evidence that contradicts what we believe to be true. This is one of the primary reasons so many people live below their potential. They don't seek nor are they willing to consider that some of their beliefs and assumptions about themselves and life are out-dated or erroneous. I get that. Our beliefs create our identity. So when we begin to question our beliefs, it can lead us to ask ourselves, “Who Am I?”

Manifesting New Possibilities

This can be a good thing. When we begin to peel back limiting and erroneous beliefs about ourselves and what's possible in our lives, we provide ourselves with opportunities to discover and manifest new possibilities. Instead of waiting, hoping and wishing for change to occur, we become the initiators of creating positive change in our life. Instead of allowing our past define what's possible in our lives, we find the courage to place a greater demand on the potential of greatness that dwells within us. First, we start by transforming the word in our heart, which is reflected in the beliefs that make up the story we tell ourselves about ourselves and what's possible in life. We awaken to our power. We stop hiding. We start showing up as our authentic selves trusting that we are enough. We step out of our history and begin to forge ahead, expanding the territory of our lives while becoming a greater blessing in the lives of others. We begin to trust in the process of our personal evolution. We have the audacity to accept our imperfections and forge ahead anyway. We recognize that we don't have to be great to start, but we do have to start a personal change revolution if we are to be great. We make the choice to define, “Who am I?” based on our present needs and aspirations and not on limiting beliefs and disempowering social messages or past experiences that weaken our faith, self-confidence and courage. We embrace the power of now and begin to believe that in this moment, we have what it takes to do what it takes for us to reach our next level of greatness.

This article is an excerpt from my new book Get Unstuck Now: Changing Your Story, Unleashes Your Power to Move On and Be Happy. You can get additional information on how to transform your self-talk and tap into a greater measure of the strength that already dwells in you by purchasing my book on Amazon.com. Click here for details.

What are some actions you can take to redefine what's possible in your life? Share your comments below.

I appreciate your support in the growth of the Grow Forward & Flourish community. Thank you for sharing this article with your networks.

Until next time...Dare to Be Great!

Jackie Capers-Brown

Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish

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Reclaim Your Personal Power!

Every test in our life makes us bitter or better. Every problem has within it the power to break us or make us. The choice is ours whether we become VICTIM or VICTOR.


How many times have you believed something about a situation, only to find out that your perception was inaccurate? The story you're telling yourself about why you are stuck reflects the perception you have of yourself and your experience. Your perception governs how you respond to every experience. Is it possible that if you adopted a more empowering perspective of who you are, who you can become, what you can do, what you are strong enough to handle and what you are worthy of experiencing that your outlook on the experience would change? Yes - it is possible. This possibility has within it the power to blow many of the limiting beliefs and misconceptions you have about yourself and your experience to smithereens. Many breakthroughs come from simply believing a new idea has validity. Admitting the existence of a new possibility sets in motion the probability that you could perceive and approach your situation from a more empowering perspective. In the Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander writes, “...many of the circumstances that seem to block us in our daily lives may only appear to do so based on a framework of assumptions we carry with us. Every story you tell yourself is based on a network of assumptions.” The Zander's point out, “Draw a different frame around the same set of circumstances and new pathways come into view.” When you begin to examine and challenge limiting assumptions about yourself and your experience – you open yourself up to experience new possibilities.

Regardless of what has happened or is happening in your life, you have the power to say this is NOT how the story of my life is going to end. You have the power to choose if you will allow your past continue to define your present and future. You have the power to choose if you will allow a temporary condition become a permanent state of powerlessness. You have the power to choose if you will settle for what is or rise up and decide that you will pursue what can be. You have the power to choose if you will continue to deny your truth or face it head on with an unwavering faith that you will prevail in the face of your truth. You have the power to get unstuck, move on and be happy.

Your can begin to tap into your power to get unstuck, move on and be happy by challenging the limiting beliefs and assumptions you have about who you are, who you can become, what you can do, what you are strong enough to handle and what you are worthy of experiencing. In the moment that you decide to transform the story, (the word in your heart which is reflected in your beliefs) about yourself and begin to think and see yourself from a more empowering perspective, you will begin to unleash the strong dwelling in you. If you do this, you will change the way that you live your life. You will create lasting change in your life.

You can reduce your life to a story that makes you feel powerless and pitiful or you can begin to nurture an empowering perspective in your heart about yourself that enlarges your vision of who you can become and begin to immediately take action to manifest new possibilities. Your destiny is determined by your decisions. It is not dependent upon your circumstances. If that were the case, all the people that you know about, have read about or heard about that has been able to rise above daunting circumstances would not have been able to do so. They are no stronger or better than you. They decided that the circumstances they were faced with was not going to be the way the story of their life ended. They recognized that destiny is not about chance, it's determined in moments of decisions.

James Baldwin stated, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” They say time changes things but you actually have to put forth effort towards the change you want to see in your life. The positive change in your life is not going to happen because you're hoping and wishing that something changes. You have to step up and take responsibility for the change you want to experience. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Perhaps you are shackled to emotional pain from past hurts, disappointments and setbacks. Feeling emotionally exhausted. Afraid to challenge the status quo because of fear, uncertainty and self-doubt. Repeating the same mistakes Having difficulty sticking to your plans to achieve your goals. Perplexed about what steps you should take to navigate a new normal after experiencing adversity. The private conversations you are having with yourself about yourself and life experiences govern your perception and behavioral response. Change the story you are telling yourself about yourself and life experiences and new possibilities will come into view.

In my new book, GetUnstuck Now, I share my struggles and successes of transforming various aspects of my story and insights from other experts on the subject. This step-by step guide expands your awareness of how the story that you are telling yourself in the area in which you are stuck is sabotaging your ability to develop and demonstrate the spiritual, mental and emotional fortitude necessary to press through internal and external roadblocks to manifest your breakthrough.

The practical application of the book's proven strategies empowers you to:

  • Identify and challenge limiting beliefs and assumptions about yourself and life experiences
  • Cultivate hope in your heart and faith in your ability to move on and be happy
  • Raise your deserve level and stop self-sabotaging
  • Let go of resentments and release unresolved feelings
  • Turn fear into purpose-driven action
  • Redefine and manifest new possibilities by utilizing the My DRIVE Advantage™ methodology

Alice Walker stated, “Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” In my personal and professional life, I've found that there is one consistent factor that keeps people from getting unstuck, personally and professionally - the limiting beliefs that make up the story they tell themselves about who they can become, what they can do, what they are strong enough to handle and what they are worthy of experiencing in life. I know first-hand what it feels like to lose my sense of power, wallow in self-pity and major in the blame game as a result of negative beliefs and assumptions. And, I know what it feels like to reconnect to the innate strong within my spirit, transform negative beliefs and the story I'm telling myself to realize dreams and goals beyond my imagination. Changing your story transforms the word in your heart. It enables you to adopt fresh perspectives on the reasons why your feel stuck. Seeing yourself and situation with new eyes increases your capacity to redefine new possibilities.

It's imperative that you focus on what you can control: your response to your experience. When you change your response to a situation, you change how you experience the situation. Although you may feel some type of way about your present circumstance, you have the freedom to redefine new possibilities by changing the story you are telling yourself about yourself and the experience. Today is just as good as any day to end your allegiance to limiting beliefs that's keeping you stuck. Use the power of your imagination and begin to envision new possibilities. Make a decision that you're going to stop circling around Mt. Misery. It's time to pull up your stakes and break camp from a state of feeling stuck to a state of moving your life forward. You have the power to do so. Believe you can and you will.

What are the challenges that you face with transforming the beliefs that you tell yourself about who you can become, what you can do, what you are strong enough to handle and what you are worthy of experiencing? Share your comments below.

Thank you for contributing to the growth of the Grow Forward & Flourish community. I appreciate you. And, I appreciate you sharing this article with your network.

Dare to Be Great!


Jackie Capers-Brown

Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish

Note: This article is an excerpt from my new book, GetUnstuck Now. You can find out additional details about Get Unstuck Now by clicking here. Get Unstuck Now is available now on Kindle. The paperback version will be released within 7 - 10 days. Thank you for your interest and support.

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Destiny Calls

The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.

~Oprah Winfrey~

Your destiny is calling, it's time that you stop putting it on hold and take the call. The difference between who you are and who you can become is what you do. And what you have to do to get where you want to be may not be pretty or may not come easy. When the path to fulfilling your destiny becomes difficult, it doesn't necessarily mean that your aspirations are impossible. When your challenges are great, your efforts must be greater than the challenge. Period.

There are three simple rules to realizing your potential:

  1. If you do not GO after what you want you'll never have it.
  2. If you do not ASK, the answer is always NO.
  3. If you do not step forward you'll always be in the same place.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. Your future is not your past. Your destiny to achieve next level greatness dwells within the power of your beliefs and choices. You have the freedom to choose which thoughts and beliefs that you will lend or reframe your agreement. Your circumstances don't have the power to define you, unless you believe that they do. People don't have the power to define you, unless you believe that they do. You have the power to decide regardless of your upbringing, experiences, resources and the limiting opinions of others, who you will become, what you are capable of doing, what you are strong enough to handle in life and what you are worthy of experiencing in life. It's time you take back your power. Your destiny is calling.
I would like to know your thoughts about fulfilling your destiny. Is it pre-determined, based on our choices or a combination of both? Share your comments below.

Thank you for being a part of this growing online community. I appreciate you sharing this article with your network.
Until Next Time...Dare to Be Great!

Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish

P.S. I'm looking for twelve individuals who have been or is working in a leadership capacity to write a personal essay for my eBook, Lead to Succeed. I'm looking for a diverse group of individuals that have demonstrated sustainable success in their chosen profession for a minimum of three years AND they are active in community service.

 The book has been written to serve as a funding source for the Elevate Mentoring Initiative summer camp. The personal essays will be on the topic, "The Best Advice I Ever Got" min. 300 words- max. 1000 words. They will go into the 2nd edition of the eBook and the first edition of the paperback version of the book. . These essays will need to be written and emailed to me by April 11th 2014. Contributors will receive two FREE copies of the paperback version of Lead to Succeed for participating in this project to raise monies for the summer camp. If you are interested or know someone that might be interested in this community service writing project, please email me at jackiecapersbrown@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your help.
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