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Sometimes You Just Have to Breathe

Throw Back Thursday…

steph4themoon

just breathe

Fact: I’m a busy person.

Sometimes I can get overwhelmed; it happens. However, sometimes it just takes a moment to calm down. Sometimes it just takes some breathing.

I’m starting to realize how important breathing is. Basic concept right? But how often do you  think about it really? Here are two situations that point out how important breathing is.

1. This summer I started working with a friend to get fit. He is a football player who is nice enough to be my trainer and get me into shape. I’m calling him coach 🙂 Every week, I go through a four day workout plan, and I admit, it really pushes me. It’s great though; I’m really loving the challenge. Anyways, something coach keeps repeating and trying to drill into me is just to breathe. “Remember to breathe.” “You gotta breathe.” “Better be breathing.” I admit, breathing really isn’t my forte…

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Two Options

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Are you making progress or excuses?

Here is a quote to get a difference perspective:

“The traveler was active: he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sight-seeing’.”  –Daniel J. Boorstin

Are you a traveler or a tourist?

What are yo doing with your life? With your goals? Your dreams?

Making progress….

Or excuses?

-Steph 🙂

Public Speaking…

10462457_516840468415656_3429680213255222186_nPersonal Experience Time: Public Speaking

This last week I had the privilege of not only working with the Paradigm Shift team once again, but I also got the chance to speak to a great group of Educational Talent Search students in Pensacola, Florida.

This is a big deal to me because it is my first time public speaking, giving a motivational speech. Yes, I’m a teacher and an actress, but trust me when i say that giving a speech is different for me. I’m not a complete natural when it comes to public speaking, but I do prepare a whole lot. That’s exactly what I was thinking when Kyle the intern of Paradigm Shift asked me if I wanted to give a keynote. For the speech, I had to come up with the topic, what I’d say, what I’d use for the presentation…I knew I wasn’t a natural (I get nervous and ramble). My mind pondered on things that could go wrong, how I could mess up. However, I was presented with this opportunity and took it. I dream of these moment: public speaking and motivating students.

So was I going to pass it up? No! Just like my fear of heights, I wasn’t going to let a little nerves and self doubt keep me from taking this opportunity.

Taking this chance and not being a natural or experienced, I knew I was going to have to put more effort into it. I was going to have to super prepare, ask for solid advice, and repeatedly practice. I had to set myself up for success. 

I did all of those things in about a week. I thought about topics I was passionate about and could genuinely speak about. I researched so many quotes and videos. I created a prezi. I created tokens. I asked speaking advice from both Ryan Eller and Jerrod Murr. I practiced presenting my speech several times, both on my own and in front of great supportive friends. 

I’m very proud to say that the speech went over very well, and I enjoyed every minute of it 🙂

My advice then is this:

  • Don’t let fears, nerves, or self doubt hold you back from great opportunities. (You may surprise yourself 😉 )
  • Sometimes things take some extra effort. It is worth it, so set yourself up for success.
  • Setting up for success for public speaking: Prepare, ask for advice, and practice.

-Steph 🙂

P. S. I will be sharing my presentation with you soon, and I can’t wait!

Like a Girl….

You run like a girl

You throw like a girl

You fight like a girl

What does this truly mean? Most of us have been raised our whole lives in an environment where this phrase “like a girl” as a negative connotation. It is thought to be an insult. Why?! Are girls not strong? Are girls not capable of great things?
I don’t mean to go on a feminist tirade, but this video moved me. Seriously.
I’ve written about it before and am one to revisit this fact: your words matter.
Your words can impact someone’s life. Your words can make a difference.
Have you ever really thought about this phrase “like a girl” or even just your own words?
Think about those words impacting young kids…because the fact is that is where we use the phrase. That is where the phrase catches fire and affects young impressionable girls. Kids hear adults say it and copy-cat it. They repeat it over and over to each other whether intentionally being mean or joking. It is a phrase consistently passed down from generation to generation with this negative undertone. Let’s stop it.

One girls in the video asks ” Why can’t run like a girl also mean win the race?”

So why not?

Your words can make a difference. You can make a difference. Make the choice to watch what you say. Attempt to positively impact lives. Use “like a girl” as a compliment not an insult.

-Steph 🙂

I’d like to point out one girl’s response in the video because I really love it:

“If someone else says that running like a girl, kicking like a girl, or shooting like a girl is something that you shouldn’t be doing, that’s their problem. Because if you’re still scoring, and you’re still getting to the ball in time, and you’re still being first, you’re doing it right. It doesn’t matter what they say. I mean, yes! I kick like a girl, and I swim like a girl, and I walk like a girl, and I wake up in the morning like a girl…Because I am a girl. And that is not something I should be ashamed of, so I am going to do it anyways.”

Good Morning…

Good Morning...

You can do this!

You can…
run that mile
pass that test
nail that speech
rock that job
finish that project
lead that team
reach that goal
help that person
make a difference

You can do this!

-Steph 🙂

P. S. I believe in you. =]

Would You Follow You?

The simple question is: Would you follow you?

-Steph 🙂

If you want to talk about something that takes real talent and teamwork, watch any video of an a cappella group performing.

Earlier this year, I randomly came across a group called Pentatonix on youtube and then continued to watch videos from the show “Sing Off”. In case you’ve never heard of the show, it is a show where a cappella groups compete, like “American Idol” or “America’s Best Dance Crew”. Pentatonix won season three of the “Sing Off”, and they are incredible.

I’ve watched them and other a cappella groups, and I seriously think “WOW”.

First off, just consider the amount of practice and skill goes into it. A member has to know pitch, tempo, etc. They have to be a master of their own voice.

Secondly, to be a member of such a group requires one to be an excellent team member. They each have to play their part well to ensure the whole group does well. Every person is so vital: sopranos, altos, tenors, baritones, basses, people to sing melody, people to carry harmony, and vocal percussionist–yes, people who are skilled at imitating sounds of instruments–what a skill! If one person is off tempo or hitting the wrong note, the whole team could unravel or the song could fall apart (a bit dramatic but true in a sense).

I just applaud all of those who are being that excellent team member in an a cappella group. Hats off to you!

So, for final thoughts and curious questions, I ask: Where do you see excellent examples of teamwork? Any examples most people don’t consider? What are your thoughts on a cappella groups and teamwork? What leadership or teamwork lessons can you find there?

-Steph 🙂

 

P. S. Just some other a cappella videos I love if you’re interested: