God has created you to be one of a kind. You are a unique, special person. Your uniqueness can inspire, influence and help someone else; it is your unique selling point.
Sometimes it can be tough to recognise and stand in our uniqueness, especially when we live in a world that encourages us to fit in. More often than not, having an opinion different from other people puts you on dangerous ground. Cancel culture is real. Even so, you must embrace everything that makes you unique.
I used to struggle with this. Throughout my life, people have commented that I am “complex”, “difficult to understand” and “strong-minded”. These statements were made as negatives about me. Many years ago I suffered from low self-esteem and confidence. At the time, I thought this meant there was something wrong with me. Now, as I have got older, grown in confidence and embraced myself wholeheartedly, I see the way I am as a blessing. It is good to be different.
If you struggle with embracing your uniqueness, I want to share with you 4 tips on how to start.
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Happy New Year to you! I hope and pray 2021 will be a great year for us all! Goodbye 2020.
It feels like it’s been a while since I wrote my last blog to you. I hope you have been well. Undoubtedly, last year was a mad one! At least we have made it into 2021. I am glad, in part to say goodbye 2020.
The common consensus from conversations I have had with different people from all walks of life is 2020 is a year people want to forget. I can totally understand why.
2020 was a mixed year for me. Even so, I did positive and productive things. I did experience discouragement in places. I look back and give glory to God for helping me get through the year.
Let me share some highlights with you.
I launched my podcast, Living The Empowered Life (see link). Three years it was on my heart to do it.
I launched my first online course. The Courage Course. Over 250 hours of work.
I finished my 3rd book. Due to be released later this year.
There are some of my achievements. Other plans I’ve had to postpone because of world events. Some things do still need social interaction!
I am looking forward to 2021. Goodbye, 2020. It is now in the rearview. I am looking to continue building my company, achieve my goals and continue to develop me. I don’t have resolutions. Improvements and achievements are what I strive for. I have been on an upward trajectory for the last 7 years, and long may it continue!
If you want to get tips on how to take hold of 2021 with fresh motivation and enthusiasm, sign up to the YEME empowerment newsletter!
Have you got an idea? Something you want to do but not acted on? or have you had an idea and not wrote it down? I’m here to tell you that your idea is valuable. You need to bring your ideas to life.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that everything I have developed, designed and created started from an idea. At first, I wasn’t good at bringing my ideas to reality. As I grew in self-belief and had the courage to take action, I saw how my confidence grew. The results of acting on my ideas have been amazing.
As is the nature of ideas, some will be successful others may fail. However, as you grow accustomed to the cycle of bringing your ideas to life you will embrace the process.
I am always capturing my ideas. I have ideas that come to me in bed at night as I’m going to sleep (I quickly write them on the notepad on my phone) or on post-it notes (a box full of them!) and I have notebooks of ideas. I’m an idea-o-holic! lol!
Interesting fact: Do you know an idea only stays in your head for five seconds? According to the scientists, that is the amount of time you have to capture it before it disappears from your memory!
Many people get put off by the idea of acting upon their idea because well, its an idea. But what if you captured that idea (wrote it down) and dared to act on it?
Everything around you started with an idea. The lightbulb you have in the lamp. The computer you work on. Even the selfie stick! Be inspired by the things around you. Be encouraged by those that have gone before you.
If you are thinking of acting on an idea, I would love to hear from you how you are making progress. I know you will do great!
Cheering you on, Yvonne
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Just the mention of the word courage can cause fear in the hearts and minds of many people.
The word is synonymous with doing bold, big, impossible, and scary things. Do you think about courage in this way too?
I have found you can have courage in doing small things like- saying no if you always say yes. Making new or different decisions or doing one thing a day towards your goal, dream, or life change that you want.
Yes, it is true. Courage does require action. You can do it in small steps. The process of having courage does not have to be overwhelming. Rather than look at the mountain, what about taking one step at a time?
It’s easier said than done I know. Especially when you don’t know what steps to take or even what those steps will entail.
Well, I have the very thing that I believe will help you. The Courage Course.
The Courage Course is an online course I have created to help people take courageous action to change their life. This course has many benefits. Besides helping you understand the process of courage it will support you in developing an action plan. Not to mention, it will provide you with the encouragement, and empowerment that you need. However, you will need to take action by completing the exercises. Don’t worry this course will help you to do it.
No longer do you have to remain stuck. Or wonder how you will get from where you are now to where you want to be. Because you now have access to a resource that will empower you to take progressive action. Your goals and dreams are definitely attainable. They are more achievable than you think.
If you need tips check out my video at the end of this blog!
Now more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic and emergence of the ‘new normal’, this is an opportunity to take courageous action. Furthermore, go for it. Seize the day!
“But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7
I have done a lot of things for the first time lately. I finished the rough draft of my first book of a different genre (my 3rd book in total) and created my first online course that I am about to launch. And I recently did my first interview on my Youtube channel The Empowered Life (see video below). I have found this to be true; the first step is always the hardest when doing something new.
In regards to interviewing guests on my channel, I had been meaning to do this for some time but I kept putting it off. I don’t know why. Conducting interviews is not a new experience for me. Back in 2007, I worked as an Interview Officer for the U.K passport service for five years. I
It was a repetitive but important job. I interviewed people from all walks of life. I never thought the skills I acquired from this job could be used outside any specialist role. Yet, here I am years later using it creatively to interview guests on my channel.
So what finally helped me to take the first step? Nothing in particular. I just decided to push through my fear and go for it.
With the help of faith, creativity, previous interview skills, and belief in me. I am so glad I did it. I am keen to build on what I’ve learned. Are you considering trying something for the first time? Here are three things I want to share with you about taking the first step:
Feel the fear and do it anyway Joyce Meyer, a famous evangelist uses this quote often. Fear and discomfort will always be present when attempting something new. It is part and parcel of taking the first step into something new and unknown. It’s easy to let fear get in the way of what. But you must go for it anyway. Anything worth having in life will involve some type of personal cost.
The first step requires courage Courage builds confidence. Confidence is built after taking the first step. Once you have done it you will find the other steps are not as scary. Of course there will be challenges to overcome but you will figure it out. Be courageous and see what happens.
The first step provides an opportunity to learn After the first step, you can make changes, learn from mistakes, and re-define your goal if you need to. Seize the opportunity that the first step will teach you today.
Without the first step, procrastination and fear will keep you bound. This is an ideal time to move forward. Something new awaits you. Put your best foot forward!
Ecclesiastes 11:4 If you wait for perfect conditions you will never get anything done.
The Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone’s life in some way or another. Life as we know it has changed. All my best-laid plans have gone to pot. When life hands you lemons what can you do?
I must admit the first couple of weeks were tricky. The realisation of what this pandemic could possibly mean for my newfound business was difficult. Alongside managing a new workday routine and homeschooling my daughter, dealing with all the sudden changes has been a task in itself. But as time has gone on (give or take a few up and down days) I have got into a new rhythm of life. As a matter of fact, I have used this time in quarantine to work on some amazing things. I look forward to sharing them with you soon. So what have I learnt from this coronavirus curveball that has come my way? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
Rather than focus on things outside my control I am actively doing things that will further develop and strengthen me, my family and business. I am finishing projects and creating new products. I’m reading great books, enjoying family time and planning my next moves.
I know for many people fear is ever-present concerning financial security, employment and what the world will look like post-pandemic (I have these concerns too). But one thing life has taught me is you can add nothing to a situation by worrying. I choose to remain optimistic. I hope and pray you can also do the same.
So today I encourage you to make lemonade with your lemons. Use this time to start that project you have put off for a long time. Invest in self-care and pamper yourself. Take up a new hobby or learn something new.
If you are a self-employed/entrepreneur you may find my video ‘8 things entrepreneurs can do during Covid-19’ (below) helpful on things you can do during this time to strengthen your business. Also if you are finding it hard to mentally get going, my video ‘fight the mental slump’ may be of encouragement to you (see below).
Life will always bring the unexpected. But you can choose to rise above its challenges. You may surprise yourself and find that you exceed your own expectations.
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23:18 Cheering you on Yvonne
I had the great privilege of attending the Women Appreciating Women awards. The event is a celebration of women that are positively contributing to society. I was nominated by a lovely lady for the work I have been doing over the last decade, empowering survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I have never won an award before. Women Appreciating Women is my first one.
Over 100 women attended the event. Women of all races, nationalities and backgrounds were present. Some travelled from their home countries to attend. All the women were offered an opportunity to be interviewed on camera. I was nervous when it came to my turn but nevertheless, I completed the interview. Afterwards, I enjoyed the drinks reception.
Doctor Pauline Long, is Founder of Women Appreciating Women and a Philanthropist. It is clear from many conversations had during the course of the evening, that she is highly respected and well thought of. Moreover, her passion for empowering women was evident in her speech. The theme for this year awards was ‘she must-win’. Dr Long encouraged us as women to push through challenges and be the best we can be.
Dr Long interviewed a selection of women. She asked what inspired them to make a difference. Each story was unique, but a common theme stood out; a desire for change. Adversity, hardship, discrimination and injustice was significant in their vision to achieve extraordinary things. It was truly inspirational.
I had a lovely three-course meal. Besides receiving my lovely award. The D.J played some great throwback music (80’s Madonna and Whitney, I loved it!). Through conversation, I learned women are making a difference through a range of interesting careers. I met a Councillor and award-winning Indian drummer.
The atmosphere was really special. I left the event feeling proud and inspired to continue to do great things. Indeed, the event reminded me of why it is important that we are celebrated. I am a proverbs 31 woman; a wife, mother and businesswoman. Also, I am a leader and a world changer. It is okay to be all these things. My gender does not define my potential. Nor will I let other peoples limitations define me. So, therefore, I will continue to dream big and fly high. After all, she must-win.
Discipline the key to success. As we begin the start of a new decade, it is the perfect time to set new goals. This is the year to have the courage to go for the things you really want. In whatever you are trying to do: lose weight, build your business, develop new habits or save money. Discipline is the key to success because it will take you to the next level.
I was reflecting on my achievements last year. As I sat looking at my vision board at things I have and yet to achieve, the common theme to reach my goals, dreams and aspirations is discipline.
I must admit I have struggled with discipline. But over the last few weeks as I have spent time studying and applying what I have learned to my life. I am already reaping great benefits that include a changed mindset and more focus.
Discipline is a mindset habit. It has to be developed and involves being intentional in the things you set out to do. Show up and commit whether you feel like it or not. It requires focus.
It is not a word that naturally makes people jump for joy, because most people associate the word discipline with rigid rules. But there is no escaping it. Sooner or later it must come into the equation in all that you do; if you want to achieve your goals, dream and aspirations.
Medicine tastes unpleasant but is required to feel better. Certainly the same applies to discipline. It must be applied to produce positive results. Here are five tips to help you.
Goals are essential part of planning for your life. It is not the number of goals you have, it is about accomplishing the goal set. One goal is better than none. Write them down, make it manageable. It does not mean make it easy! Set a time frame for your goal to be completed. Hold yourself accountable.
Have a routine
Plan your day. Maybe do it the night before if it helps. Do not drift aimlessly. You are setting the framework of discipline. Planning tools such as a diary or wall planner are really helpful.
Just do it
Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today because this is where procrastination creeps in. We have all done this at some point in life, but to develop discipline you must take action.
Hold yourself accountable
Conduct daily and weekly check-ins. Have you done what you said you would do? If not why? Hold yourself accountable. Reflect on progress. It will help you keep an eye on yourself. Write it down in a diary or journal what is and isn’t working. Make adjustments if necessary.
Make the medicine of discipline easier to swallow. No matter how big or small acknowledge your achievements. A reward is part of success.
My entrepreneur journey has been a lesson in self –development. It has resulted in unknown and challenging situations. In this post, I share with you five things I identified on my transformation journey from leaving traditional employment to becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
I distinctly remember waking up the day after I left my job, I was excited. It was a huge weight off my shoulders to finally make the decision. More importantly, I was excited at the prospect of creating new things. Creativity has been the essential motivator that has kept me going on my journey to shaping the vision of my company YEME Empowerment.
I was running off the adrenalin of the excitement. My confidence was running high and my self-belief was unbelievable. The realisation that I was really living the life of an entrepreneur suddenly hit me. I was not mentally prepared for how tough it would be financially in the first year. It was the right decision to leave my job, a window of opportunity moment that I had to take. It was a scary realisation. I was now in charge of making choices that would help shape my destiny.
I worried about things outside of my control but I did not doubt my ability to accomplish my goals or that I would achieve my vision. I chose to let go of the fear and I pushed forward one day at a time.
I spent twenty-three years mentally conditioned by working in the traditional paid employment system and it shaped the way I lived and thought about my life. I am unlearning habits and behaviours associated with my previous way of living. It has been a freeing experience that has helped me grow mentally.
My journey to finding my way has brought clarity. I started out I had an outline of what I believed it would take to build my vision. The reality was I had to adjust my methods to achieve it.
Because I took courage and embraced risk I have seen great outcomes in my endeavours but the entrepreneur journey is not for the faint-hearted. It has taught me perseverance, resilience and patience.
I believe I can go the distance on my entrepreneur journey because I have a solution to a problem. I also have passion and inspiration. That is the fuel and strength I need to see things through.
I went through a period of discouragement this year. I lacked focus, I was inconsistent in doing things that I had planned and I second-guessed myself. After much reflection, I identified the reason why I felt discouraged; unmet (and unrealistic) expectations, fatigue and focusing on things outside of my control.
As a new entrepreneur sixteen months into a new way of life, I have discovered that discouragement is part and parcel of the journey into the unknown. It is very difficult when you are doing things you have not done before. It can leave you wondering if you are on the right track, especially when you are on such an individual journey. Yes, there are some things that entrepreneurs commonly experience, but each journey is personal.
It is important to recognise the signs of discouragement because it can lead to negative thoughts. I was able to see the positive in my experience and I became a stronger and more resilient woman. I want to share with you 3 things that helped me get my groove back.
I am building a new business, I am a Wife and Mother, Founder of a charitable organisation, and many other things. I juggle many different balls and work long hours in between working for clients and managing my home. It is very easy to always be on the go, bouncing from one task to the next. I have found this not a productive thing to do. A change is as good as a rest as they say. Now when I am tired or worn down I am not afraid to say “this can wait”. It is amazing how taking rest can refresh your mind; It gave me a different perspective on things.
Focus on the positive
What I found helpful was reminiscing on my achievements and this encouraged me because at one point they seemed impossible. This helped me refocus on my long-term vision and goals. I made time each day to engage in activities that I love. This helped me to feel encouraged again.
One of the biggest contributors to my season of discouragement was focusing on things outside of my control. It is very easy to think that you have to be in control of everything as an entrepreneur. It is true that I have a certain responsibility to “make things happen”. I am only in charge to an extent. I have learned to let go and let God.
There is always something to learn from all experiences. Discouragement “shall pass”. Do not give up. Recognise it for what it is, part of a process to building you.