The Worst Doubt…

Passion Living Out Loud

self doubtI read a great quote today that I hope resonates with you today:

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”

Most days you are faced with some type of adversity. Unfortunately, some of that adversity is people doubting your abilities to be great; to achieve greatness; to be 100% all you were created to me. They are the naysayers, haters, success blockers, and out right negative people. Some you may not come in contact with and others you know very well, as they may be co-workers, friends, and even family. Life is quirky that way. It’s full of opposition.

Opposition from others is something that you can’t get around. The worst opposition you can have is the opposition against self. Yet, it is the easiest opposition to avoid. Stop questioning yourself. Stop wondering if you have what it takes to make it to that next phase in your life. You…

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The Benchmark Track

BENCHMARK: a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed (Oxford Dictionaries).

benchmark

In business, benchmarks are used all the time to help make business decisions, to determine what moves to make with finances, to redefine processes, or even what employees to hire. Those benchmarks can be drawn from the business’ own experience or the experience of other companies. Either way, when studied appropriately, a benchmark can be the leading example for others to follow; to maximize potential for success.

In your personal life, it’s no different. We often seek people or observe people from afar that have similar talents or skills. Maybe they are an expert in their field of creativity or business. When we’re trying to reinvent, evaluate or strengthen ourselves, we almost involuntarily look to others to help determine what the standards for ourselves will be. Even if we draw from our own experiences, there are external references that help us decide what our next moves will be.

Well, what if you became the benchmark? What if you became the guide; the mark; the reference point for others? I’m convinced that if you’re striving to become the benchmark; you’re intentionally and consistently working to be the leader of the pack; to persistently find ways to grow more solid and rooted than before. If you’re the benchmark, you’re laying groundwork for others, in turn reaching back, helping others to become benchmarks; thereby carrying the torch of community.

Being the benchmark doesn’t mean you’ve done everything there is to do or that you’ve mastered all there is to master. Life is a mountain of growth, often times with endless peaks to reach. Therefore, even as the benchmark, you’re steady-looking for other benchmarks around you. You’re constantly looking for those reference points to refuel you; guide you to the next point.

Working to become or continue being the benchmark helps ensure that you’re staying on the right track – the track that you purposely have defined for yourself and work hard to clearly follow.

Embracing My Truth

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I’ve been so reflective lately. My mind has been going in and out of my past and future. Planning. Learning. Today I came across this picture. Almost 10 years ago. It stopped me in my tracks – almost took my breath away. It represents so much more than what can be seen. The quote pretty much sums up what I learned from this period of my life.

Many times we say we wish we could go back in time and ‘fix’ or ‘redo’ some of our actions but I’m completely sold that if we make it out of those moments and can look back while we’re sane then it was all worth it. I now know who I am, who I strive to become, learning to be less and less apologetic for it every day. Focusing on what my next path of fortitude will be.
I’m living unapologetically, passionately out loud! #passionlivingoutloud #passionlivingbycw #pathoffortitude #reflectiontomoveforward

It’s My Authorversary

authorversaryI’ll celebrate this day every year for the rest of my life!

Dreams really do come true. This day 4 years ago, I accomplished a major milestone in my life. I became Author Christin Webb. I self-published my first fiction novel, Enough Time. This book began the platform for my Passion Living Out Loud movement because I know without my passion and faith, it never would’ve been printed. It has been purchased by many readers nationwide and hopefully it’s message permeated the thoughts of all whose eyes it reached.

The same little girl that has been writing since she was seven saw one of her greatest desires come to life. Since the book’s release, I’ve learned so much, have had other work published in several literary mediums, transitioned to writing for film, and simply continued to follow my literary dream. There is so much more for me to do as an author and I promise myself that I won’t let this God given talent and passion go to waste.

The best is yet to come for those that do not sleep on their passion. Be inspired to follow your dreams, dismiss the perceived downfalls or slow movement, knowing that in perfect timing God works it all out.

To everyone that was a part of this dream; the journey, whether it was purchasing a book, writing a review, being apart of the book trailer, sharing info about the book, etc THANK YOU.

Your Character Precedes You

Whatever your goals may be for today or the days to come, there is one trait that will matter most when it comes to achieving that goal – your character. You may have heard the saying, ‘your reputation precedes you’ or ‘your name precedes you’, and this is most often true, but what truly carries more weight and determines how you’re received your-name-your-characterfor years to come is your character. People may forget your name, but they will not forget the interactions they had with you. They won’t forget the integrity you did or did not display.

Regardless of what’s on your resume, your check stub, your social security card, or job name plate, your character, not your personality, says who you are. It clarifies what you stand for. It allows people to know if you can be trusted or if they want to invest in you or your passion.  It’s long-lasting. It is formulated over time, however, with true intent, can’t be changed. Your character may be the one trait that separates you from the next individual; your competitor; your ally.

So, the next time you leave out of room full of people; an interview; a team meeting; an investor’s office; or even out of your house, think about the character you presented. They may forget your name, but your character is often unforgettable.

Faith – The Driver of Your Future

faith“Hello. My name is Christin Webb and I am a recovering worrier.”

These are the words that I said to myself as I prepared for bed last night. The evening hours is usually when I spend my time reflecting. I reflect on the day I just ended and begin reviewing what tomorrow may present. Sometimes that reflection becomes moments of worrying about things that I often have no control over. When I realize I’m starting to worry, I immediately stop and begin praying. I begin praying over the things that I am concerned about and promise not to think any further about them; accepting the fact that my prayer will be answered and things will work out as they should. In other words, I’ve learned to be more faithful about the ways of my life. I say I’m a recovering worrier because it’s an ongoing task to remind myself not to be worried, but be encouraged in knowing that God is merciful and extends grace all the time; therefore moments of worry are merely rejections of my faith. I’m clearly not in the business of rejecting faith, so I must be cognitive of not worrying. It’s a process, but when done with intent, works.

As relates to your passion; how can one be successful at living their passion out loud if they are in constant worry? Following your passion, like anything else in life, can come with some moments of concern, but the same requirement exists – having faith that all that should work out will do just that.

For all the recovering worriers, you are not alone. The goal is to remember that worrying must be a practice of our past and that having faith becomes our habit because it is the only driver that makes our future truly successful.

The Best Opportunity

FailureOne of the greatest quotes I recently heard really put the idea of failure into perspective.

“Failure is an opportunity to intelligently move and begin again.”

What if you never failed? As if that were even possible. But what if you never failed after crossing a hurdle or you possibly never had to cross a hurdle at all? How much smarter would you be?

How much more could you share with the world on how to overcome challenges? If you’d never failed it is true that you would have achieved some basis of knowledge. You could tell others step by step how to go from point A to point Z. But imagine how much more of an impact your message and advice could be if you could not only share that straight line direction, but also the direction that most encounter, the squiggly line direction. You know, the direction that is full of pitfalls, resets, and more – anything but smooth-sailing? The majority of people in life never travel from point A to point Z without having to visit point A-I or F-II or T-III, etc. Sometimes, they travel from point A and get stuck. Others may travel from point A and somehow circle around to point C before they ever make it to point B, if ever. Life has no road map. The roads each of us travel require us to sometimes stop, reflect, and then start again. Those stops or pauses become what some view as our failures.

Put into another perspective, what if those failures were actually just opportunities for us to intelligently begin our paths again. Think about it. Every time you had to start over again, be it a new job, a challenging project, an old relationship, you began again with so much more insight than before. In short, you were much more wise when you began again. If you put yourself in a place where you were reflective of how you approached the situation previously, or diagnosed some of the internal or external factors that led to the lack of success, you gained invaluable wisdom. It’s the type of wisdom that only comes from traveling to point C before point B or simply riding around in circles.

Transparently, I can recall plenty of times where I may have been hard on myself about my perceived failures. Here are some examples. I should’ve worked harder in school when I first attended undergraduate, maybe I would’ve finished in four years instead of six. I should’ve been smarter than to hang out with ‘those’ group of friends once upon a time, maybe I wouldn’t have encountered some of the dark spaces in my life. I should’ve started saving money when I first got out of high school, maybe I’d have a greater financial safety net that I do now. All of those ‘maybes’ were things I beat myself up about not initially realizing the lessons and opportunities that came out of each of those ‘unfulfilled’ moments. What I should have been focusing on was the fact that when I did get focused about school, I knew what to do, finished and then went on to earn my masters. When I figured out what healthy friendships/associations meant, I intentionally changed my social circles. Or after running into many financial ruts, I learned what I was doing wrong and now I know what it is to save and be prepared for that rainy day. All of these moments became my intellectual opportunities to move again. I wouldn’t have gained the intellect or the wisdom about each until I experienced them myself. Of course, I may have heard or been told what I should’ve been doing, but to do is often a better lesson than to hear.

The point of the quote isn’t for us to seek out failure, but to intentionally embrace it if, and whenever you’re facing it. The failures won’t dissipate from our lives, but we can better handle them knowing that we’re more equipped than before.

 

I’ve Got Life to Celebrate (and so do you)

  • January 2016, I decided that every social media post I made that was directly related to my life I would post the hashtag: #yearof35. I’ve stuck to that for the most part. As a matter of fact, you’ll see it later in this post!
  • May 2016, I approached a family member explaining to them how I wanted to celebrate my 35th birthday. In my excitement and visual story telling, I listed each thing I wanted to do. If someone was listening and closed their eyes as I spoke they’d hear nothing but excitement fall off the ends of each word.
  • July 2016, I’ve been posting more and more on social media about my birthday as a way that I choose to celebrate out loud. Some have been receptive. Others probably find it annoying or unnecessary.

Well, I’ve received some questions and to some degree push back as to why I’m making such a big deal over my 35th birthday. One person said, “It’s not like it’s your 40th birthday.” Another said, “You act like its your last birthday!” I just laugh it off because they don’t understand my story. The backdrop for my birthday celebration this year is based on my New Year’s Resolution. For all that I’ve been through in my life, this was the first year, I promised myself I’d live as loudly, as fruitfully, as abundantly as I could. In the past, I’ve never really celebrated my birthday. I’ve gone even as far as being resentful when it arrived.

This year, I made a conscious promise to myself that I would begin valuing life; more importantly, my life and the many blessings that I’ve seen. When I reflect back on my life, there were times in my past where I could have been dead, in jail, or just in a rut that didn’t offer a shovel to dig out of. I’ve faced chronic sickness and been healed. I’ve taken a last breath before, had breath breathed back into my body and been given another chance to live. I’ve made choices that could have altered every bit of my life and re-directed me to the pits of hell. The damage from all of it sometimes resonating beyond the moment that it impacted. The beauty in it all is that there have always been many more blessings than sickness or death or poor decisions. There was always a new day for me to begin again; to make a promise to myself and my future. With each lesson, I learned to live again and move forward more grateful and aware of what having life really means.

My story hasn’t been shared with many (even this post doesn’t cover the details of the destruction that has been attempted on my life), but those that know my story in detail, know that I’ve got something to celebrate. I’VE GOT LIFE TO CELEBRATE! What I’ve learned from my story and my life is that it can be so easy to rest on the negative; to wonder why life isn’t going the way we plan it; according to our rule book. My view on life has changed so drastically and for that I’m grateful. We have to celebrate LIFE. I now make intentional efforts to thank God for EVERY blessing; whether it was perceived to be small or great. This year, my 35th year of being on this earth begins my public celebration of being grateful. My relationship with God continues and my thankfulness and the display of that won’t end.

So this post encourages you to do the same. Celebrate the small and the large moments that define your life and who you are as a person. Don’t be shamed into minimizing your happiness. Ignore or pray for those that just don’t get it. Remember to some degree, they just won’t get it! It’s not their life. Everyone reacts differently. Post every hashtag you please or plan every event that allows you to display your appreciation of life. Your happiness depends on it.

I will continue to live out loud! Appreciate the moments that matter most to me. Embrace and celebrate myself and I encourage you to do the same. When July 24th makes its way this year, I’ll wake up full of joy; full of happiness, knowing that my life has been spared another year to share with myself and others.

Oh yeah… Here’s to #yearof35 #happiness #livingoutloud #grateful #forme #myjoy #mylife

Breaking to Mend

When your knees are bloody and your back is broken, what or who do you turn to?

If the skies fell today, who’d cover your head?

In despair and disarray

The days of dark seem to outweigh the light that we so desire

It is with much disappointment, more despair and disarray that we bend

We bend

We break

We bend again trying to mend

 

When your knees are bloody and your back is broken, who or what do you turn to?

If the earth opened wide and sucked you in alive, would you fly to the heavens or fall to the pits of hell?

In despair and disarray

We wipe our tears; we hold our hearts; we detest the hurt that seems far too common

The ending has been written yet we remain hopeful that the journey there is less painful

We bend

We break

We bend again trying to mend

 

When you heart becomes curdled and your eyes blind to what is

Where do you go?

If the love no longer believes in its own possibilities, how do you live with self?

We hold our hearts closer and trust the outside even less because the past tells us what is safe

We bend

We break

We bend again trying to mend

 

When value remains on the possibility of change, but the change remains austere, what new value do you create to cope?

Is there new value to be gained or lost in the dust and crevices of all the ills?

How do we clean the blood from our knees and our hearts?

How do we heal the broken backs and when done, which way do we turn?

The desired light remains vigilant in our hearts

The ending has been written and the hope for love

We bend

We break

We bend again trying to mend

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