My Black Identity

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Are You Interested or Committed VOE Episode 10

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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, to help you discern whether you’re “Interested or
Committed” in realizing your personal/professional goals and dreams. Have you in the past or
are currently struggling with taking that “leap of faith” and really committing to what you said you
want in your life? Like leaving an unfulfilling job to pursue what you really love or starting a new
business venture, or writing a book, 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 stir your soul and
move your 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 “Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) “Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”
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 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. Allow your confidence in God to lead you to become committed, not just
interested. Gail Turner emailed me an awesome pearl of wisdom a couple of weeks ago,
that came from best-selling author Madisyn Taylor. It simply says: “Vision is an important
companion to our efforts, but it can’t accomplish anything all by itself. One of the hardest parts
about having a vision is that when we test it in the laboratory of life, it often comes out looking
completely different than what we had in mind. Or worse, it doesn’t come out at all. If you read
the life stories of people who’ve made their dreams a reality, you’ll hear about their experiences
as they reached their goals. But, you’ll also hear about the hard work, perseverance, and finally
the successful birthing of a dream!”

To be truly successful at anything we set out to do requires FAITH, discipline, hard work,
perseverance, tenacity, will, courage, and focus. I am going to share with you some guidelines
for pursuing your goal – not matter what life throws at you, YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE A
DECISION - THAT YOU WILL BE EITHER “Interested or Committed”.
Remaining committed in the pursuit of achieving a goal is difficult, especially when life’s
demands tempts us to abandon our journey to cross the finish line. Managing life requires
vigilance, dedication, and commitment. It is your responsibility to manifest your dreams and
goals to come to fruition, so you can’t be interested you have got to be hands down committed.
It is up to you to cultivate whatever that dream is. So, I ask you again, are you “Interested or
Committed”?
In research, I came across some good tips from Tony Fahkry, Self-empowerment Author and
Expert Speaker, which I will share later in this Podcast.
One gold nugget for now – Tony says “he often hears the reasons people recount why they
gave up. It typically follows this course of dialogue: “It wasn’t meant to be,” “It wasn’t fun
anymore,” or “Life is all about having fun.” The point worth mentioning is our minds can create
any mental state we impose upon it. So, it is fair to say that through belief, you can create the
circumstances for giving up and thus validate it by looking for evidence to substantiate it.
Are you ready to see if you are “Interested or Committed” to your life’s goals? Are you
ready to know more? Are you ready to pursue the steps to stay committed and inspired
to achieve what you said you were going to do? Said differently, are you ready to keep
your word to yourself for yourself?
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 do you sense God nudging you toward right now?
2. Do you let what people think about you; prevent you from walking out on
your commitments to yourself?
3. What could you do differently to end the second guessing yourself game?
These thought-provoking questions are designed to get you thinking about whether you are
“Committed or Interested” to completing that thing (not sure what that is for you) that you said
you wanted to do. You remember that promise you made yourself last week, yesterday or even
today.
No matter what is happening in your life right now - you should “stick to your commitments to
yourself”. 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, writing my first book was very 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 and staying committed to ourselves: “What if I

never finish this book”? Or “What if no one reads or purchases the book?” and on and on. But
guess what? I did it anyway – I was committed not just interested in completing the task before
me.
Now, I’m not saying life didn’t get in my way but when it did I would push through. My focus was
clear and I was committed. For example, I would deliberately carve out time for myself to go
through the writing process. When I think back on how it all came together - I chuckle to myself
because, at one point I had so many pink sticky’s in my meditation/devotion area of the house it
looked like it was raining pink sticky’s - but this exercise really helped me to get focused and lift
pearls of wisdom from my journals and used them as topics for the book “Running Your Race” A
Devotional Journal for First Year College Students. This included writing, rewriting, looking up
scriptures, and pulling it all together, there were days I would fall off the mark but my
commitment to God and self - kept pulling me back to the place of being in the “zone”. I also
gave myself internal deadlines, milestones, and target dates to get certain sections of book
completed and I would write them down. I prayed to God to give me the discipline to stay
focused and committed to completing the task. To be honest with you there were times where I
could feel God tug at my heart to get back on track and not binge on a Netflix series or get on
that computer and send emails (I had to remove those distractions to be “Committed not just
Interested”). I made a promise myself that I would finish and I did. 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 become “Committed not just Interested” in making your goals and
dreams come to past. YOU CAN DO IT, I believe in you.
Ok so now that you heard a little bit of my personal testimony about me being “Committed not
just Interested” in making my goal happen.
Let me share with you the 4 Steps To Help You Stay Committed And Inspired To Achieve
Your Goals that leading health and self-empowerment expert Tony Fahkry wrote in a blog post
in November 2017. Now, I have tweaked them just a little to fit the Voices of Encouragement
Podcast format:
 Create Successful Habits
 Be Accountable to Someone
 Focus on Smaller Victories
 Develop an Insatiable Hunger

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

4 Steps To Help You Stay Committed And Inspired To Achieve Your Goals
Create Successful Habits
Paulo Coelho once said, “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open,
concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their
eyes closed.”
It is extremely important to establish sound habits for long term success. You’re already in an
advantageous position to draw upon habit making skills. Many of your current day to day tasks
are habitual in nature. You may have started them months or even years ago. Some of them
you’ve learned from childhood. The key element is to create daily habits that will draw you
closer to your goal.
If you’re aware of negative habits, replace them with affirmative ones. To illustrate, when I sat
down to write my book I would find myself wasting time surfing the internet on occasions. I knew
I wasting time from the real task at hand — writing the book. You stop this habit by disabling your
internet connection so you could focus on the task at hand. This is such an excellent practice -
NEW habits became ingrained; thus, disabling the old negative habit. You should solidify a new
habit by persisting with it. Continue your new habit until it becomes second nature — until you
have a firm grip on it. Phase out the old habit by replacing it with the NEW, empowering habit.
Be Accountable to Someone
“Focus on your goals, not your fear. Focus like a laser beam on your goals.” - Roy T. Bennett

Be held accountable to someone, irrespective of how disciplined you think you are. Find
mentors that are doing what you want to do and hold yourself accountable to them. This can
help you to stay focused and committed to your goal. You gain valuable insight when you have
someone else critique you as well as make creative suggestions in areas you need
improvement.
Being accountable may also entail making declarations of your commitment to those close to
you. You might verbally or in writing, declare your intention to achieve a certain goal by a
specific date. We’re likely to stay focused on the task at hand since we don’t want to disappoint
others.
Being accountable allows an impartial observer to assess your work. It is advisable to work with
people who have walked your path or who have similar experience.

Focus On Smaller Victories
“Dream Big Focus small,” said differently you want to break your goal down into achievable chunks.
Depending on the size of the goal, it’s advisable to focus on smaller victories that draw you
closer to your goal. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon (42km), you might allow a
specified period in which to realize the goal.
It might be a ten month project or more in which you undertake smaller goals along the way.
Completing your first 10km run and gradually building up to competing in a longer distance
event would be a logical progression.
Focusing on smaller victories along the way gives you the self confidence you need to
forge ahead; it is self-empowering and testament you’re on the right path. You might
stumble upon setbacks along the way during the pursuit of smaller goals. These are
valuable lessons since they allow you to iron-out the creases before pursuing the larger goal.
The opportunity to get it right in the build-up phase is advantageous than getting it wrong when
it matters.
Develop an Insatiable Hunger
“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream, precedes the goal.”
― Rabindranath Tagore
Have you ever asked yourself: What makes some people pursue their goal with intense desire
while others give up when the going gets tough? I’m sure these folks have asked themselves
the question am I “Interested or Committed”

Successful people are unrelenting toward the pursuit of their goal. Sure, they experience
setbacks and failures like everyone else. What sets them apart is the ability to get back on track
and learn from their mistakes immediately. It’s the ability to do this time and time again until they
gain the prize that sets them apart. Ask yourself are “Interested or Committed”. You see,
successful people believe in themselves. They’ve developed an inner resolve — an inner
dialogue that continually feeds them with successful images, thoughts, and beliefs. These inner
dialogues have the power to cancel out any external misgivings that arise in the pursuit of their
goal.
I invite you to take time out of busy schedule and find your inner conviction. Discover the reason
for pursuing your goal. Why do you want it? Who will you become once you’ve attained it? What
will life look like when you’ve reached your goal?
Model the people who’ve attained a similar goal and pursue it with passion. Successful people
are adaptable. They know what they want. They’re open and receptive to allowing life to show
them the HOWS.
When you develop an undying commitment to achieve a goal, roadblocks and failures are
merely speed humps instead of stop signs. Your goal needs to be so great that it feeds and
ignites your soul with purpose and meaning. You embody the goal in every cell of your being so
that you become inspired to attain it as opposed to motivated
WHY NOT YOU?
I’ve asked these questions before but I think it is so worth asking again so that you can get it in
your spirit.
Are you interested or are you committed?
If you’re interested that’s great but being committed to pursuing your goals and dreams means
that you are willing to do it no matter what. Yes, that means you are willing to stay the course
no matter what life throws at you!
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.
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 become
committed not just interested in your goals and dreams. I Believe in You!

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. For more information email me at
Voemetoday@gmail.com.
Have a triple P Week: Powerful, Positive, and Productive
Until we meet again remember Ephesians 4:11 “Walk worthy of the calling with which you are called."

Our Struggle, Our Thrive (feat Joe Lockwood)

How do you thrive through hard times? #iStruggleiThrive — Listen as Strav and Juan discuss topics regarding wellness, pop culture/current events, and even reading emails for advice from you, the listeners! Celebrate your #WellnessWednesdays here with us on The Tomorrow Talk! 

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JOIN THE TRUE CONVERSATIONS PODCAST NETWORK WITH YOUR OWN ORGANIZATION'S PODCAST TODAY!

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Our Learned Helplessness (feat. Brian McNiff)

How long do you let a bad experience define you? — Listen as Strav and Juan discuss topics regarding wellness, pop culture/current events, and even reading emails for advice from you, the listeners! Celebrate your #WellnessWednesdays here with us on The Tomorrow Talk! 

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Hustle with Heart Episode 7

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Nikki began her career in Insurance and Financial Services in August 2010 after her grandmother passed away from a heart attack. Her grandmother was one of the core reasons for her starting a career in this industry. The life insurance and other investments that was left to Nikki and other members of her family had paid for her grandmother's funeral costs and more. After this experience, Nikki realized how important it was for her to begin helping others in protecting their families from future financial burdens just as her grandmother had helped her. She is a true professional who listens and cares with helping you find the right solution for you and your family. She is also very passionate about fitness,nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. She began breaking into this field professionally earlier this year and is excited to be bringing value to many whos lives depend on changing how they take care of themselves. She sees a near future collaboration with both her life insurance and health businesses.

LISTEN TO THESE PODCASTS AND MORE FROM YOUR PHONE WITH ITUNES AND STITCHER

JOIN THE TRUE CONVERSATIONS PODCAST NETWORK WITH YOUR OWN ORGANIZATION'S PODCAST TODAY!

CHECK OUT OUR LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP SERIES ON HOW TO HAVE MORE TRUE CONVERSATIONS AND WHO YOU HAVE TO BECOME TO HOLD SPACE FOR THEM.