Instinct: Trust Yourself VOE Episode 16

Have you in the past or are currently struggling with trusting your instincts?

Whether or not you should leave your job and pursue what you’re truly passionate

about? Like starting a new business venture, establishing a non-profit organization,

investing in yourself by earning a degree or obtaining a certification in your field? Well,

that’s exactly what I’m going to help you with on this week’s show, where you’ll receive

biblical and practical advice to stir your soul and move your forward to say “YES!” to

fulfilling your passion by trusting your instinct!

Hi and welcome back to “A Woman’s Heart” podcast show, on the TRUE Conversations

Network, I’m your host Edna Howard, Founder of Voices of Encouragement, an

organization designed to empower women.

You can learn more about True conversations network at www.true-conversations.com

and more about Voices of Encouragement at www.voicesofencouragment.com.

Thank you for joining me to hear another empowering message. Think of me as your

Chief Encouragement Officer, as we explore together the power of trusting our

instincts. Have you in the past or are currently struggling with trusting your instincts?

Whether or not you should leave your job and pursue what you’re truly passionate

about? Like starting a new business venture, establishing a non-profit organization,

investing in yourself by earning a degree or obtaining a certification in your field? Well,

that’s exactly what I’m going to help you with on this week’s show, where you’ll receive

biblical and practical advice to stir your soul and move your forward to say “YES!” to

fulfilling your passion by trusting your instinct!

I’m a woman of faith so I’ll start from the Faith perspective; delving into God’s Word for

encouragement and wisdom. I look to scripture for guidance in how to increase my

faith, to make it bigger than my fears and strengthen my confidence.

The following two scriptures tie in beautifully with this podcast’s message:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to

harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

and

“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—

the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and of might,

the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2

We should always remember that God’s power and strength will never diminish. He is

never too tired or too busy to listen and help us. His power is our source of confidence.

So, when you experience set-backs, and you can’t take another step, and your plans

aren’t working out - just remember this… you can call on God and He will renew your

strength and give you fresh faith. Allow your confidence in God to lead you to trust Him

and trust yourself

What is Instinct? Instinct is a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity.

Best-selling author, T.D. Jakes defines the word ‘instinct’ in his book “Instinct The Power

To Unleash Your Inborn Drive” like this:

“Our instincts are the treasure maps for our soul’s satisfaction. Following our

instincts can make the crucial distinction between what we are good at – our

vocation or skill set – and what we are good for – the fulfillment of our purposeful

potential. He goes further to say that when you’re truly engaged with your life’s

calling, whether in the boutique, the banquet hall, or the boardroom, you rely on

something that cannot be taught”, “INSTINCT”. When harnessed, refined, and

heeded, our instincts can provide the key to unlocking our most productive, most

satisfying, most joyful lives”.

To be truly successful at anything we set out to do requires FAITH, discipline, hard

work, perseverance, tenacity, will, courage, focus, and “INSTINCT”. I am going to share

with you some guidelines for listening to that still small voice inside you that tells you

what you are doing is right no matter what others may be saying. YOU WILL LEARN

THAT WHEN MAKING A DECISION – IT IS BETTER TO LOOK WITHIN AND GO ON

INSTINCT then to rely solely on what the outside world is telling you.

Managing life requires vigilance, dedication, and commitment. It is your responsibility to

manifest your dreams and goals to come to fruition, and your instincts can help move

you forward. It is up to you to cultivate that dream that God placed in your heart.

Follow your instinct and let it drive you forward to success. Yes, Instinct allows you to

trust yourself – if you can’t trust yourself then who can you trust?

Are you ready to see if you are in tune with your instincts? Are you ready to know more?

Are you ready to pursue the steps to stay aligned with your gut soul instinct? Said

differently, are you ready to listen to yourself for yourself?

Before we get started, I have three questions to ask you first. If you can, put me on

pause and grab a piece of paper and a pen; you may want to write these down for

further reflection.

1. What decision or goal has your instinct led you to?

2. Do you trust yourself when making a critical decision?

3. After making a decision do you second guess yourself?

These thought-provoking questions are designed to help you discern whether or not you

are trusting your gut instinct to help you do that thing you say want to do. Remember

that promise you made yourself last week, yesterday or even today. (Did you trust

yourself enough to follow through?)

Let me encourage you today that whatever is on your heart or whatever you have

promised yourself that you will complete. Get your game face on and trust your instinct

in helping your make that goal or dream come to pass. YOU CAN DO IT, I believe in

you.

On today’s show I would like to share with you 4 Steps that I found in a blog, written by

Liz Funk in November 2017titled: “To Help You Trust Your Instincts”. Please note that I

have tweaked them just a little to fit the Voices of Encouragement Podcast format.

Hana Ayoub, a professional development coach says: “We spend most of our

workdays in our outer world. We’re interacting with our team members and clients. We

don’t have enough time in our inner world where we can reflect on those experiences

and listen to what our gut might have to say”.

Melody Wilding, a licensed therapist, and professor ask us the questions: “Why is

trusting your gut so powerful? Because your gut has been cataloging a whole lot of

information for as long as you’ve been alive. “Trusting your gut instinct is trusting the

collection of all your subconscious experiences.

I want you to really think of all the time and mental energy that can be conserved by not

having to overthink or overanalyze your next move. Just trust your “INSTINCT”

Before I step you through those four steps… I want to share my favorite quote from

Mark Twain that gets me motivated:

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started”.

So, let’s get started!

But before I do, let me share my personal affirmation with you – saying it out loud to

myself every morning gets me excited and keeps me moving forward with my personal

goal of growing Voices of Encouragement to empower all women.

AFFIRMATION

I’m a powerful purpose driven woman on a mission

In 2017 I assumed this position

Thanking God for my direction and clarity, cause he’s my creator He chose this

career for me

So just sit back, step back, and watch me flow, cause VOE, we are on the grow

We keep showing, suiting, stepping up to the plate

Believe extreme success if our only fate

And as break pass this invisible wall of fear

Let me keep real and be very clear

If you think you know you have no idea

Know idea is what you have

Cause I’m supercharged I’m highly powered

I’m bad to the bone the name is Edna E. Howard

The 4 Steps “To Help You Trust Your Instincts” are as follows:

1. Carve Out Time to Reflect

2. Give Yourself Constraints

3. Be Aware of Your Feelings

4. List Every Time Your Gut Instinct Served You

Carve Out Time To Reflect: After a meeting or interaction that requires a decision on

your part, give yourself mental space to reflect. Instead of moving to the next task at

hand, take a walk around the block. Spend time alone. Even if it’s just a few minutes.

Depending on the seriousness of the decision, you may have to sleep on it and make a

decision tomorrow. Start building responses in your conversations, when a decision

requires you to take time to think and contemplate. Such as “Give me a day to marinate,

I’ll get back with you tomorrow.” Or “You’ve presented some great courses of actions,

please give me a week and I will circle back with you with my final decision.”

You have to create space to listen to what your gut is saying. That’s why people say

they get their best ideas in the shower, or while conducting a yoga practice or during a

neighborhood run. Give yourself permission to think things through, you deserve the live

your best life, and that starts with making sound decisions.

Give Yourself Constraints: This is for those who over analyze. Every time you

have a big decision or tough choice to make, give yourself a half hour window to make

it. At the end of that half hour, you’re going to have to use your instinct.

This forces you to be more instinctive. Do you find yourself saying “should I or should I

not?”; if so ask yourself according to who?’ This will make you think about the pressure

you are putting on yourself. The ‘shoulds’ help people tune in to when they’re not

listening to their instinct.

Be Aware of Your Feelings: Take the time to develop an awareness of how you feel

during work situation. Do a body scan of what’s going on in you. You may think, “I feel

nervous right now”, or “I feel like I’m not sure what’s coming next”. Use those skills of

emotional labeling to get in touch with what your instinct might be saying to you.

List Every Time Your Gut Instinct Served You: Being instinctive isn’t simply an innate

trait; it’s a quality that increases or decreases given how much we practice doing it well.

Take the time to list all the times you trusted your gut and whether the outcome was

favorable.

By taking time to go through this exercise, you’ll see, when you trusted your instinct.

Allows you time to reflect and see if you felt good about the decision you made. Your

instinct starts getting better at doing what’s right for you. And as similar situations arise

you begin to rely on your instinct, you realize you had this instinct before, and it’s that

much stronger. It gets sharper and more reactive. Then, when you experience positive

outcomes, it creates a positive feedback loop. With time, you can comfortably defer

more and more of your decision-making to your gut instinct.

TD Jake’s reminds us “If we don’t’ discover our passions, purpose, and power then we

will pursue the roles assigned by other people’s scripts.”

Said differently, you will be following someone else direction for your life. Now you can’t

allow someone else to tell you how to live out your dreams. Only you should determine

that course of direction.

Be Bold!! Be Fierce and stay the course! You Deserve It!

Call To Action To live your best remarkable life, it is critical to take consistent action in

spite of our life challenges. Promise yourself today that you are going to push yourself

to rely on your instinct when pursuing your passion, goals, and dreams. I Believe in

You!

Thanks so much for listening to the show this week.

If you have enjoyed our time together, please share this podcast or tell a friend about it.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Voices of Encouragements Women’s

Empowerment Workshop scheduled for Saturday, October 13 th (VOE will be celebrating

our one-year anniversary of the VOE Woman’s Empowerment Breakfast series. For

more information email me at Voemetoday@gmail.com.

Have a triple P Week: Powerful, Positive, and Productive

Until we meet again remember Ephesians 4:1 “Walk worthy of the calling with which you

were called.”

Leap Afraid (Reboot) VOE Episode 15


Have you in the past or are currently struggling with taking that “leap of faith”? Like leaving an unfulfilling job to pursue what you really love or starting a new business venture for for example. Well that’s exactly what I’m going to help you with on this week’s show, where you’ll receive biblical and practical advice to propel you forward to say “YES!” to fulfilling your purpose with passion!

Hi and welcome back to “A Woman’s Heart” podcast show, on the TRUE Conversations Network, I’m your host Edna Howard, Founder of Voices of Encouragement, an organization designed to empower women.

You can learn more about True conversations network at: www.true-conversations.com and more about Voices of Encouragement at: www.voicesofencouragment.com.

I’m so excited you decided you to join me for another empowering message. Think of me as your Chief Encouragement Officer, as I guide your through this episode of “Leap Afraid”. Have you in the past or are currently struggling with taking that “leap of faith”? Like leaving an unfulling job to pursue what you really love or starting a new business venture for for example. Well that’s exactly what I’m going to help you with on this week’s show, where you’ll receive biblical and practical advice to propel you forward to say “YES!” to fulfilling your purpose with passion!

I’m a woman of faith so I’ll start from the Faith perspective; delving into God’s Word for encouragement and wisdom.  I look to scripture for guidance in how to increase my faith, to make it bigger than my fears and strengthen my confidence.

Scripture tells us in Isaiah 40:31 (NIV) “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not  faint.”

We should always remember that God’s power and strength will never diminish. He is never too tired or too busy to help and listen to us.  His power is our source of confidence. So, when you experience soul-crushing anxiety, and you can’t take another step, and your plans aren’t working out - just remember this… you can call on God and He will renew your strength and give you fresh faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready to “Leap Afraid”? Are you ready to know more? Are you ready to pursue living out your purpose and passion? Let’s get started!

I have just a couple of questions to ask you first.  If you can, put me on pause and grab a piece of paper and a pen; you may want to write these down for further reflection.

1.    What would it mean to you, to be able to accomplish your God-given purpose and passion? Picture yourself living that vision. What would it feel like?

2.    Do you let what people think about you, prevent you, from living out your purpose and passion?

3.    What are you afraid of?

4.    What is really holding you back?

These thought-provoking questions are designed to get you thinking about what it will take to get you going in the right direction to “LEAP AFRAID”.

Said differently, no matter how scared you are and worried about what people are going to say about you - you should “do it anyway”. Leap anyway and gather your courage on the way down.  I promise you God will give you either a  firm foundation  to stand on or wings to soar like an eagle. So, ask yourself, what do I have to lose?

On a personal note, standing up Voices of Encouragement was scary because I kept asking myself the “What Ifs” questions – you know those questions we run over and over in our heads about all the things that could prevent us from moving forward: “What if not enough women register to cover the cost for the first empowerment workshop?” or “What if someone says something negative about what VOE is trying to accomplish?” and on and on.  But guess what?  I did it anyway – “I leaped afraid”. Now, I’m not saying that I have conquered all the “what ifs”, but I can say that I just keep doing it anyway and God keeps blessing VOE every step of the way. 

I earnestly believe that God will keep blessing VOE if I keep seeking His wisdom on what Speakers should present at future events, and who should serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies – all this is a vision God placed in my heart and as nervous as I was I “leaped afraid”.  I operate out of complete surrender to God knowing that He will guide my footsteps all along the way, and that is enough.

Ok so now that you heard a little bit of my personal testimony about “Leaping Afraid” let me share with you the four themes  we will explore on this PODCAST:

·      Pursuing your Purpose and Passion

·      What’s holding you back?

·      Why not you?

·      The next steps

Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started”.

So, let’s get started!

But before I do let me share my personal affirmation with you – saying it out loud to myself every morning gets me excited and keeps moving forward with my personal goal of growing Voices of Encouragement to empower all women. 

AFFIRMATION

I’m a powerful purpose driven woman on a mission

In 2017 I assumed this position

Thanking God for my direction and clarity, cause he’s my creator He chose this career for me

So just sit back, step back, and watch me flow, cause VOE, we are on the grow

We keep showing, suiting, stepping up to the plate

Believe extreme success if our only fate

And as break pass this invisible wall of fear

Let me keep real and be very clear

If you think you know you have no idea

Know idea is what you have

Cause I’m supercharged I’m highly powered

I’m bad to the bone the name is Edna E. Howard

 

PURSUING YOUR PURPOSE/PASSION

To pursue your purpose and passion you will need to get laser-focused on what it is God is calling you to do.  You’re probably thinking, “well Edna, I don’t know because I’m good at so many things”.  This is a wonderful problem to have, however, to become great at one thing doors you never knew existed will open to you.

I encourage you to conduct this exercise at your convenience in the near future. Go to a quiet place with absolutely no distractions. Now, think about what you know you are good at, and how amazing you feel when you are doing it.  You know your superpower, don’t be shy “OWN IT”– for me, its my spiritual gift of encouragement – which I use every day, starting with my family (especially my daughters), my church family, girlfriends, colleagues/clients at work, and the work I accomplish with Voice of Encouragement.

Many people will never live out their purpose and passion because they are so concerned about what other people will think or say.  They end up stuck in that “people pleasing trap” which unfortunately prevents them from operating in thier true excellence; downplaying theiry gifts and talents because they’re afraid they might offend someone.

If you truly want to live out your purpose and passion you will need to be confident in your skills and compentencies and get comfortable with being uncomfortable, venture boldy outside your comfort zone on a consistent basis. Inevitable, you will experience amazing results and outcomes.

Let’s remember what scripture says in Matthew 5:16: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

To pursue your purpose and passion you will need to have your own “Board of Directors” made up of three types of people:

1.    Inspired – these are the people who you aspire to be more like (they will become the wind beneath your wings to help you soar)

2.    Excited – these are the people that empower you with their words of encouragement and push you to keep going

3.    Grateful – these are the people who remind you of your blessing and how far you have come

OK, think about who you have in your life that fall into these categories, and if you don’t, it’s your responsibility to work on getting these types of people in your life.  These people become a lifeline on the days you need to hear a word of encouragement (you can pick the phone or send a text and they will give you that encouraging word you need to keep going).  Remember, these people complement your vision because it is up to YOU to move on your purpose and passion.

God does His greatest work through people with grateful and trusting hearts. So rather than just planning and evaluating, practice trusting and thanking Him continually and “Leap to Action”!. This paradigm shift can revolutionize your life and help you “Leap Afraid”.

 

WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK

I want to share with you a phrase I picked up from one of my favorite motivational speakers Les Brown:

 “Someone else’s opinion of you doesn’t have to become your reality”

Said differently “what other people think about you is none of your business”

Or, my personal favorite that I like to say to myself:

“Never let anyone tell you what you can’t do especially if they haven’t done it.”

Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are told more about our limitations than our potential.  After years of hearing and believing “you can’t”, we can end up being sucked into these little black holes of absuridity, merely existing instead of truly living. Is that you? No worries… keep listening – because I have additional insights for your consideration.

The world is designed to take the wind from beneath your wings, but you have to be vigilant and stay fully woke (not in a fog). I encourage you to stay alert so you can run with endurance and not hold back on your God-given purpose and passion.

Sometimes, we unconsciously are Edging God Out (which also just happens to spell EGO). When we do this, we are holding ourselves back because we get caught up in “perfection” before we take a chance to make a change in our lives.  NEWSFLASH - there is no perfect time to begin walking into your God-given purpose and destiny. You just have to “Leap Afraid”!

Take time to take a personal inventory of your gifts and talents and improve upon your strengths and manage your weaknesses.  Become the best at doing the one thing you know that sets you apart from the crowd. 

Ask yourself

Is there an area in my life I am allowing to challenge me to get better?

Is there an area of my life that brings me fear?  If so, tell yourself to “Do the thing that you fear the most and the death of fear is certain”.

You will be empowered to move forward when you:

·      Take a risk and gain insight

·      Take responsibility and achieve freedom

·      Take initiative and create opportunity

·      Take your own counsel and discover the wisdom

I encourage you to “Leap Afraid”!

WHY NOT YOU?

I want you to ask yourself a question.

Are you interested or are you committed? 

If you’re interested that’s great but being committed to pursuing your purpose and passion means that you are willing to do it no matter what.  Yes, that means you are willing to “Leap Afraid”!

Many times, when we are working toward doing something we feel is our purpose/passion we don’t always see how far we have come and how many lives we have or can impact because we had the courage to just show up.

Said differently, “you can’t always see the picture when you’re in the frame”.

I ask you “Who is writing your story?” 

Is it your friends and family or boss or significant other? 

Harley Davidson said, “When writing the story of your life don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”

So be Bold!! As a matter of fact, start caring around an extra pair of sunshades so when your light shines super bright you can hand that extra pair of shades to the people around you so they won’t get blinded by your light.

Seriously I encourage you not to dim down your light – remember that everything you do sets you up for your next best season. “Leap Afraid”!


 

NEXT STEPS

An original quote I tell myself, “Don’t get distracted by the sideshows in life  keep your focus on the main event.”

 What are the sideshows?  They are distractions such as:

·      What other people think about us

·      Comparing ourselves to other people (women seem to this a lot)

·      Competing against other people (we should find our best and outdo our own best and compete against ourselves)

·      Wanting what other people have (you don’t know what that person had to go through to get where they are)

To move forward into your next steps ask yourself these 3 questions:

1.    Where have I been?

2.    Why am I here?

3.    Where am I going?

I encourage you this day to take action and move forward. 

Another one of my favorite motivational speakers is Lisa Nichols  says we should “Give notice and not ask for permission” I interpret this to mean that we should not ask for permission to walk in our God-given destiny we should listen to God’s direction and move forward to “Leap Afraid” and we can gather our courage on the way down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question from the listening audience:

A week ago, I sent out an email blast asking VOE listerners to send me questions they’d like me to try to answer.

Thank you Schinnell Leak, Founder of Extra-Ordinary Birthdays, for submitting the following question:

How can a woman live her life with a greater degree of intention?

Schinnell, that is such a great question. Now let me see if I can give you a definitive answer.

I think a woman can live her life with a greater degree of intention by doing the following three things:

·      Let GO!

·      Look Forward

·      Lean In

Let GO!

How often do we hold on to comfortable routines that negatively impact our life? (autopilot) One critical step to re-directing our lives is to let go of needless worries, distractions or occupations that pull us towards mindlessly existing (being on autopilot) in life instead of intentionally living life. Letting go is incredibly difficult. It means uprooting what we know for what we don’t know (Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable).  That is a scary trade, which is why many stay safe in routines instead of exploring new options. However, by letting go we give room for the opportunity to become more fully ourselves.  Deciding to get off autopilot will ultimately leave you with the freedom to craft an intentional life.

Look Forward!

Keeping our mind and energy focused on our goals is a critical component of living with intention. Even if we are not in an ideal place or job, looking forward and having faith in what lies ahead is invaluable. Aristotle said that “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light”. Looking forward means solidifying an inward intention for our lives—a sense that even in small actions and choices, we are moving towards our goal. Only a goal that excites the core of who you are and moves you into action is big enough to make you  

Lean In

Leaning on the Grace of God and grounding ourselves in prayer will help us lean into any situation we have going on in our lives. Being vulnerable to God with our struggles and most authentic desires allows us to release them and entrust them to another. “Throw your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” – Psalm 55:22. To ‘sustain’ means to support and provide peace. Often living with intention and deep purpose is trying and deeply exhausting. It requires the best of ourselves and all our faculties. Prayer rejuvenates and replenishes our hope and revitalizes our dreams, while also keeping us grounded and authentic. Spending time in prayer each day gives us a structure in which we can set the intention of our day and week, a way to intentionally begin each day in Grace.

We only have one life… what we do to cultivate and mold it will shape our future. Living with intention is a daily choice and effort that often produces an abundance of peace, joy, and gratification.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for listening in.

If you have enjoyed our time together please share this podcast, or tell a friend about it.  Mark your calendars for the upcoming Voices of Encouragements Women’s Empowerment Workshop scheduled for Saturday, October 13th.. For more information email me at Voemetoday@gmail.com.

 

Have a triple P Week: Powerful, Positive, and Productive

Until we meet again remember Ephesians 4:1 “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called”

 

Walking In Your Purpose - with Extraordinary Birthdays founder Schinnell Leake

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Breaking Out Your Comfort Zone VOE Episode 13

Have you in the past or are currently struggling with stepping out on faith and pushing past your comfort zone? Deep down inside you know that you have the gifts, talents and gifts to take your life to the next level, but… you keep hitting an invisible wall of fear that keeps you from moving
forward and venturing out into the unknown. Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to help you with
on this week’s show, where you’ll receive biblical and practical advice to stir your soul and
propel you forward to say “YES!” to pushing pass your comfort zone!

Scripture tells us in “Philippians 4:6 (NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every
situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And in Joshua 1:9 (NIV) it tells us “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do
not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We should always remember that God’s power and strength will never diminish. He is never too
tired or too busy to listen and help us. His power is our source of confidence. So, when you
experience fear and doubt in your soul, and you can’t take another step, and you can’t push
past that invisible wall of fear and doubt that keeps you in a comfort zone remember this... you
can call on God and He will renew your strength and provide you fresh faith to receive that
breakthrough you so richly deserve.
I am reminded that to be truly successful at anything we set out to do requires FAITH, focus,
discipline, hard work, perseverance, tenacity, will, and courage. And in a few minutes, I am
going to share with you some guidelines in how to boldly and gracefully break out of your
comfort zone.

I have three questions to ask you first. If you can, put me on pause and grab a piece of paper
and something to write with; you may want to write these down for further reflection.
1. Is what you are doing right now what you want to be doing?
2. What fears and beliefs have you picked up that are keeping you from
pushing pass your comfort zone?
3. What will it take for you to take that first step of faith toward taking your
power back?

These thought-provoking questions are designed to get you thinking about whether you are in
your comfort zone or your growth zone. Do you remember that promise you made yourself last
week, yesterday or even today? How’s it going?
No matter what is happening in your life right now – it will take courage to push pass your
comfort zone, live out your dreams, and manifest your greatness. I’ve quoted motivational
speaker Lisa Nichols before in a previous podcast and I think it’s worth repeating again “Leap
afraid and gather your courage on the way down”. I promise you God will give you either a firm
foundation to stand on or wings to soar like an eagle. So, ask yourself, what do I have to lose?
On a personal note, I know I have had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. God has
placed a big vision in my heart for VOE (I am crystal clear that I have been called to encourage
those around me – I am walking in my purpose and calling on my life) but that does not make
me exempt from experiencing the comfort zone dilemma. Every day God gives me more and
more ideas and leads me into unknown territories. For example, creating the “A Woman’s Heart”
PODCAST Show – this was really was a divine gift from God I had no idea how to create one,
what to say, but God did. Let me tell you how HE showed up and showed out! – He sent into my
life Schinnell Leake, Founder of Extra-Ordinary Birthdays and she introduced me to Meghan
Enriquez, owner of True Conversation Networks and Meghan planted the Podcast seed – and
the rest is history. What happen next was another divine plan from God. At one of the VOE
Empowerment workshops I met Elisa-Ruth Nelson, VOE Podcast Chief Editor; she approached
me and simple said, “I believe in your vision, I want to help, use me as you see fit.” (you know
they say when the student is ready the teacher will appear).
I am walking in God’s plan and watching it unfold and it has been awesome! Frame of
reference - for many years God has been depositing every form of empowerment and
encouragement in my spirit through books, training, leading, teaching, coaching, information
sharing, and networking. He has allowed me to use this podcast medium of communication to
inspire, coach, and empower those who need to be uplifted and refreshed – for that I am truly
grateful. I’m so glad that I pushed pass my own comfort zone to create this Podcast show,
collaborate with Elisa-Ruth to deliver these messages every 2 nd and 4 th Friday of the month. I am
a living witness of how Voices of Encouragement has blessed so many people (it is completely
bigger than me and the VOE Executive Leadership Team -- it is out of our hands) we are getting
the word out through the empowerment workshops, podcast shows, inspirational books, and
coming soon… the VOE success goals life coaching services. With all these moving parts of
the business I have had to really push pass my own personal comfort zone and walk by faith.
As I was creating this podcast I did some internet surfing just to see what information is out
there about breaking out of your comfort zone, in my search I came across a list that Forbes

Magazine published. It’s awesome and it is geared toward getting you to think about moving
pass your comfort zone. I will expand on what I believe are the top five (5) in today’s show.
Forbes Overcoming Fear: 10 Ways to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
1. Do Small Activities to Challenge Yourself
2. Coach Yourself
3. Become Familiar with Discomfort
4. Clearly Visualize Success
5. Don’t Go at it Alone
6. Remember: Some of the Best Things Happen when You’re Uncomfortable
7. Turn It into A Learning Experience
8. Picture Yourself Filling with Light and Confidence
9. Perform Research to Get A Handle on Fears
10. Embrace A Role 

Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started”.
So, let’s get started!
But before I do let me share my personal affirmation with you – saying it out loud to myself
every morning gets me excited and keeps moving forward with my personal goal of growing
Voices of Encouragement to empower all women.
AFFIRMATION
I’m a powerful purpose driven woman on a mission
In 2017 I assumed this position
Thanking God for my direction and clarity, cause he’s my creator He chose this career
for me
So just sit back, step back, and watch me flow, cause VOE, we are on the grow
We keep showing, suiting, stepping up to the plate
Believe extreme success if our only fate
And as break pass this invisible wall of fear
Let me keep real and be very clear
If you think you know you have no idea
Know idea is what you have
Cause I’m supercharged I’m highly powered
I’m bad to the bone the name is Edna E. Howard

Top 5 Tips for Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
1. Do Small Activities to Challenge Yourself
2. Coach Yourself
3. Become Familiar with Discomfort
4. Clearly Visualize Success/
5. Don’t Go It Alone

Do Small Activities to Challenge Yourself
When pushing pass your comfort zone you can challenge yourself to take small steps of faith
toward you targeted goal. For example, let’s say you have a goal of passing a major
certification or exam. The best way to get yourself geared up and ready to pass the exam
would be to first pray about it and ask God for his help in absorbing and retaining the
information then prepare yourself to take a series of small practice examines, immerse yourself
in the subject, talk about the certification and what it takes to pass the exam with individuals
who support you. Of course, you know you must do your homework and study with belief,
schedule yourself for the exam and go ace it. Create action items for your plan and make mini-
goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This can be one of the most difficult steps in the
process of pushing pass your comfort zone but remember you build your confidence by slowly
moving toward your goal, each step of faith will increase your confidence.
Coach Yourself
When pushing pass your comfort zone you need to coach yourself; however, I like to say you
need to encourage yourself. I use the ministry of remembrance – that is when I reach back and
look over my life and focus on my many blessing and then I remember all the challenges that
God has help me to overcome. You could say… I leveraged my good memories for my future
successes. I remind myself that if God has help me meet my goals before He will do it again
(this could require you to sit down in a quiet place and write out your successes). It is important
to remember that God will bless you but that it may look different from before so don’t get
caught up on what it will look like – just have faith and watch Him work on your behalf. I
encourage you to stay confident in your abilities and push pass your comfort zone.

Become Familiar with Discomfort
When pushing pass your comfort zone you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
This requires you to lean into – whatever you’re pursuing whether it be a new job, sticking to a
new exercise regimen or realizing a life-long dream, etc. It will require you to have tremendous
focus, persistence, and yes discomfort. You will need to dig your heels in and push, and push
some more pass your comfort zone. When you finally do arrive on the other side of that
invisible wall of fear you will be able to celebrate your success. Take courage to live your
dream and manifest the greatness in you.

Clearly Visualize Success
When pushing pass your comfort zone you don’t ask permission you have to give notice. This
tip may require you to be a little creative, and what I mean by that - create a vision board. (A
vision board is a wonderful tool to help clarify and accomplish your goals.) Now if you attended
the January 2018 Write the Vision Workshop you would have received some instructions from
speaker (the master of living outside her comfort zone) JL Bolton on how to create an effective
vision board.

Another way to visualize is to go into t quiet place, sit still, close your eyes, and begin to imagine
meeting your goal, think about what it is going to look like and more importantly what’s it going
to feel like (tying our emotions to something we want to accomplish is a powerful way of pulling
us toward that which we want to achieve). Lastly, get clear picture of what it is you want to do
and write it down and give it a completion date - look at it every day and speak it out loud. For
example, I thank God for helping me complete my goal of finishing my Success Goals Life
Coach Certification by September 30 th . You’ve got a vision now it’s time to get a plan. A plan is
a documented desire which could be a desire that God has planted in your heart. A detailed
written plan will help you hold yourself accountable in order for you to advance to the next
level… manifesting.

Don’t Go It Alone
When pushing pass your comfort zone, sometimes you need to ask for help! Reach out to
someone who is doing what you want to do and ask them if you can buy them a cup of coffee so
you can chat with them about how they accomplished their goals. Ask them to walk you through
how they got started and to give you some advice on where you should begin. (Remember to be
very selective in choosing someone to help you – because you need someone who is willing to
give back and coach you). You can also assemble an entourage of vison accountability
partners that will help you keep the vision at the forefront and prevent it from falling by the
wayside. When obstacles and opposition come, these encouragers will motivate you to keep at
it. Keep asking questions, pray, journal and continue to seek guidance so that you will be
moving in the direction of your provision.
One thing I want you all to remember is that it’s OK to refine and revise your goals and plans
because that helps you to keep moving pass your comfort zone.
I would like to share with a poem that I believe will put this topic in perspective for you, when I
was a Senior Sales Director in Mary Kay Cosmetics. I used the words of this poem to get the
consultants in my sale unit encouraged and motivated.
The Comfort Zone
by Anonymous
I used to have a comfort zone
where I knew I couldn't fail,
The same four walls of busy work
were really more like a jail
I longed so much to do the things
I'd never done before,
But I stayed inside my comfort zone
and paced the same old floor
I said it didn't matter
that I wasn't doing much,
I said I didn't care for things
like diamonds or furs and such

I claimed to be so busy
with the things inside my zone,
But deep inside I longed for
something special of my own
I couldn't let my life go by
just watching others win,
I held my breath and stepped outside
to let the change begin
I took a step and with new strength
I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone good bye
and closed and locked the door
If you are in a comfort zone
afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners
were at one time filled with doubt
A step or two and words of praise
can make your dreams come true
Greet your future with a smile,
success is there for you!

This poem is so powerful! Consider writing this poem out (or you print it from the script that
comes with the Podcast) – and place it where you’ll see it daily – perhaps post it to your
bathroom mirror or at your desk at work.
I would also like to share with you a book that I read in my earlier 20s. I tell you, it
revolutionized the way I approached my goals and I have been utilizing the techniques ever
since; “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Dr. Susan Jeffers. This book has some great
coaching tools that can help you take a quantum leap!!
Thanks so much for listening in.
If you have enjoyed our time together please share this podcast, or tell a friend about it. Mark
your calendars for the upcoming Voices of Encouragements Women’s Empowerment Workshop
scheduled for Saturday, October 13 th (VOE will be celebrating our one year anniversary of the
VOE Woman’s Empowerment Breakfast series. Registration for this workshop opened on
August 20 th . For more information email me at Voemetoday@gmail.com.
Have a triple P Week: Powerful, Positive, and Productive
Until we meet again remember Ephesians 4:1 “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called." 

Get Your Life Back VOE Episode 12

Providing you with an effective method that host Edna Howard uses when life decides to throw her a couple of punches – she uses this method to help to fight back. 

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Hi and welcome to “A Women’s Heart” podcast show, on the TRUE Conversations
Network. I’m your host Edna Howard, Founder of Voices of Encouragement, an
organization designed to empower women.
You can learn more about True Conversations network at: www.true-
conversations.com and more about Voices of Encouragement at:
www.voicesofencouragement.com
I’m so excited you decided to join me today! Think of me as your Chief
Encouragement Officer, that will provide you with an effective method that I use
when life decides to throw me a couple of punches – I use this method to help me to
fight back . But before I dive into the details – first things first.
I am a woman of faith, so I’ll start from the faith perspective; delving into God’s
Word for encouragement and wisdom. I look to scripture for guidance in how to
increase my faith, to make it bigger than my fears and strengthen my confidence.
Scripture tells us in - James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into
various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let
patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete lacking
nothing.”
We should always remember that God’s power and strength will never diminish. He
is never too tired or too busy to listen and help us. His power is our source of
confidence.
So, when you find yourself in a rut, flopping around in the muck and mire, remember
His Word - and your empowerment toolbox – which I’m about to add to with an easy
to remember method to keep you uplifted when you find yourself: boxed in, hemmed
up, and/or tore up from the floor up.
Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
So, let’s get started!

But before I do, let me share my personal affirmation with you – saying it out loud to
myself every morning gets me excited and keeps me moving forward with my
personal of goal of growing Voices of Encouragement to empower all women.
AFFRIMATION
I’m a powerful purpose driven woman on a mission
In 2017 I assumed this position
Thanking God for my direction and clarity, cause he’s my creator He chose this career for me
So just sit back, step back, and watch me flow, cause VOE, we are on the grow
We keep showing, suiting, stepping up to the plate
Believe extreme success if our only fate
And as break pass this invisible wall of fear
Let me keep real and be very clear
If you think you know you have no idea
Know idea is what you have
Cause I’m supercharged I’m highly powered
I’m bad to the bone the name is Edna E. Howard
I have a couple of questions for you – I really want you to be honest with yourself.
1. Are you in a rut right now?
2. Are you having difficulty living your best life because you are bogged down
with negativity?
Then let’s proceed – it’s time for me to introduce you to my:
P-A-C method
 Perspective
 Attitude
 Choice
Three powerful ways to shift your mind (perspective), outlook (attitude) and decision
making (choice) in a positive way – to bounce back when you are down and out,

As we move through this life things are going to get on us and in us that we don’t
want to stay (for example… anger, resentfulness, bitterness, or unforgiveness)
these all weigh us down (it’s like trying to run with a ball and chain).
For instance, you get an attitude with a coworker, friend, or family member that you
felt have done you wrong - or perhaps a series of small little negative occurrences
that have happened throughout your day, week, month (in fact the bible tells us in
scripture Songs of Solomon 2:15 that those are called “…the little foxes that spoil
the vine”. At some point you look up and realize that you have been carrying the
anger, resentment, and bitterness longer than you had anticipated. You get mad
each time you think about it. You meditate on how you are going to fix it. Then you
get sick and tired or being sick and tired. And then low and behold… you have a
good old fashion STRONG HOLD in your spirit, which leaves you with a funky
attitude from here to kingdom come. Because see it all began with a crack which
then turned into a foothold and now it is a STRONG HOLD
Now you might be saying no this has never happen to me – and if that is you,
congratulations and this podcast may not be for you (but listen anyway you may
walk away with a gold nugget or two to share with someone).  But for those of you
who have had this happen to them at some point in your life or is currently going
through it (yes… the STRUGGLE is REAL) then today’s podcast message is for
you.  It is designed to give you encouragement that may help you get your life back
(GIRL GET YOUR LIFE!) and position you to bounce back and brighten your
outlook.
Over the years I have discovered that when I start to become negative it is because
I have held on to something negative.  It just doesn’t serve me, it makes me more
sarcastic and cynical, and downright mean spirited.
I’m sharing this with you because I believe that it could help you get out of your
immediate rut and begin to find your focus again.
The PAC method can help you snap out of the fog and bounce back to being that
“Powerful Purpose Driven Women on a Mission” God intended you to be.
P is for Perspective
First, you need to stop and get in a quiet place. Next you need to close your eyes
and take a deep breath.  Now you need to begin to change your perspective about
the situation or situations that have occurred.  Remember that everything good or
bad that we encounter is designed to serve us and move us closer to what God has
purposes us to become for Him (biblically it tells us in scripture Romans 8:28 that
“All things work for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to
His purpose”).  Sometimes it is a lesson we are learning about others or other times
it something we are learning about ourselves. Never the less it is all a lesson.  So,
to change your perspective ask yourself these questions to help you shift.

1.   What practical steps have I taken to calm the noise in my spirit? (for example,
have you prayed for guidance, have you searched the bible for scriptures to help
you overcome?)
2.   What change needs to be accepted and initiated?
Read scripture with an open heart it will help your shift your perception of any
situation
A is for Attitude
You need an attitude adjustment and that will have to come from the inside out
(which means you bring about what you think about) if you have been meditating on
the situation it is affecting your spirit and your perception of life.  (Scripture
Philippians 4:8 tells us in the bible to meditate on what is good, excellent and
praiseworthy etc.)  
So, I encourage you to meditate on the good in your life; start a grateful journal –
keep it by your bed and before going to sleep at night write down three things you
are grateful for.  Pray to God for forgiveness, ask for him to fill you with his love and
light so others can see Him in you, and ask Him to help you see life through His
eyes and go to sleep. (Best attitude adjustment ever!) 
Lastly, C for Choice.  I look at life as a series of events.  We have a choice to stamp
each event in our lives as either positive or negative.  I will say it again we have a
choice to stamp every event in our lives as positive or negative. Guess what?  You
are in charge of how you move through this life and how you engage with other
people.  When things don’t go our way or someone does something that takes you
to that place you don’t want to go – YOU have control over how you respond to
every situation.  So, take control and choose to move forward past any pain or
anger that may have lived in your spirit. Decide to extend grace, mercy, and
forgiveness toward those who may have wronged you. 
In closing – remember to rely on God’s Word to guide you out of your rut, out
of the pit. Let me share three scriptures that will help you apply the PAC
method effectively:
*Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and
supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God; and the
peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus”
*Galatians 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
*Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that
you may know how you ought to answer each other.”

Thanks so much for listening in.
If you have enjoyed our time together, please share this podcast or tell a friend
about it. Mark your calendars for the upcoming Voices of Encouragements
Women’s Empowerment Workshop scheduled for Saturday, October 13th (VOE will
be celebrating our one year anniversary of the VOE Woman’s Empowerment
Breakfast series. For more information email me at Voemetoday@gmail.com.
Have a triple P Week: Powerful, Positive, and Productive
Until we meet again remember Ephesians 4:1 “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were
called”