When we decided to create this page we wanted it to be a special place where you could allow your dreams and imagination to soar like it did when you were a child. As a mother of 3 year old twins I am inspired daily by my children’s’ imagination and ability to create whatever they want. That’s a powerful gift they may not understand or even know they have. It’s when we reach adulthood that we decide to call it “make believe”. Actually it’s practice for something we should continue to use all our life but somehow we seem to grow out of it. For me growing up, this place of “make believe” is what saved me and kept me believing in the impossible. I held on to it because it gave me joy and hope. Hope is something you need your entire life and is powerful enough to “move mountains”. It’s one of the main ingredients of longevity and it sustains us when we need it most.
So what if I could challenge you to dream again …. to believe whole-heartedly in yourself before you even became aware of the things you would want to change or before you became influenced by the thinking of others and how their perspective might alter the way you went after your dream and what you wanted.
Now I am not suggesting you go play “dress up” and pretend you are going to become a fairytale princess. What I am saying to you is to simply “Believe in yourself and in the power that is within you to create your dream world.” Do you think that living a dream life is only reserved for a favored few? Not so! It’s within arm’s reach of everyone that wants it. So then, what does it take to “ have it all”? Well, “having it all” is different for each one of us. For some, it’s becoming a doctor living in a third world country and giving his or her talents and gifts to those less fortunate. Perhaps you have an amazing singing voice and you decide that “American Idol” is the first stop on your dream list that will determine if you really have what it takes to become a recording artist. Or maybe you want to become a teacher, or get married and create your own family. Each one’s dream is different and unique to us. No one should ever be allowed to stand in the way of your dream or take it from you. I use the word “allowed” because in most instances a dream is not realized because we simply allow someone else to take it from us or we give it away out of FEAR!!!
Fear is what robs us of our dreams most of the time… the fear of being great, the fear of what others will say or do, the fear of losing people close to us that can’t handle our light shining too brightly, and of course, finally the fear of failure and then …. What?
These are all things that I myself have had to face and at times still do and they then need to be dealt with. As you continue to learn as you go along in life, there are many obstacles that will creep up and many times it’s the same Ingredient we need to recognize and leave out. Now here is what’s important to remember … no matter what you think right now or may have been told or been made to believe, I am here to tell you…. YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!!!!
I will repeat it again and again until you start to believe it. Believing is the key to unlocking your full potential, so I am going to give you all of the “ingredients” you will need to help you create your dream and then I will teach you how to make that a reality.
What is it that you really want? Let’s say it’s time for you to choose a college. Where do you see yourself going? Put that up on the board and I want you to be very specific. What is it you want to study? If you already know that, put it down. If not, that’s okay too. You will soon. Trust me. What is the life that you want? Where do you see yourself living and do you want to be married? If so, what is your perfect guy like? What does he do? And most importantly, how do you want to be treated? What about children? Do you see yourself becoming a parent some day? I will share with you that I didn’t want children until I was almost 30 years old, however, my “clock” started to tick and then I changed and really wanted a family.
If you are single then you know how different and difficult it is to date in these days. There seems to be so many ways for guys and girls to meet and while that can be a good thing, we also know that the Internet has created lots of challenges in that area as well. Too many flowers in the garden and some men have a problem choosing just one rose. That’s not the type of guy you are looking for! Well here is the good news: I am here to tell you that if you want a dream relationship with a wonderful guy that you are attracted to, a guy who takes care of himself and has a career that you think will enable you to live the life you want … guess what? You can have it all!!!
By creating your dream board you will be able to envision in your mind’s eye what the life you want looks like. Have fun with it! Put your dream car up there and your dream house! You may even want to have several dream boards! Some of my friends get so detailed in this that they pull pictures of their dream kitchen out of magazines and post those on their board. Good for them! So the thought here is to put up anything that makes you feel good, something you’ve seen that inspires you and gets you thinking about the possibilities. Put up a physic that you like or admire. When picking people you want to emulate, choose those that have shapes similar to yours. For example, you may love Kim Kardashian but she is 5”3 and very curvy. So if you are 5”10 and super skinny, go with someone that has a similar build so you can really get close to creating that image in your mind. Are you getting the picture now?
The dream board is my number one suggestion because you will be looking at it every day and can visualize yourself as having everything that is on the board. So you need to put it up in a place where you will see it daily and be able to reflect on your goals as much a possible.
This is very important because writing it down makes it real for us. Literally there is a part of our mind that believes it once we have written it down. It’s a real moment and it is very powerful. Likely as you read this you may be saying to yourself, “I’ve heard this before. I already know this.” So if that is what you are thinking, then let me ask you something. “Are you still doing it?” Chances are you did start but if it didn’t happen in the first month, you became discouraged and stopped. Well here is the good news. It’s always good to be reminded and you can start again now. So begin by writing down what it is you want.
Having goals is HUGE. You need both long-term goals and short-term goals. An example would be: “I need to start working out because I want to run a marathon.” Okay! A great thing to aim for, but your short-term goal would be to start running a few miles a day. Maybe you could join a running club where you might meet likeminded individuals that can help you reach your goal by training you and coaching you towards your long-term goal of running a marathon. At first, you will be running in some shorter races and every step will take you closer to fulfilling your dream. Additionally, your journey will be fulfilling in that completing short-term goals will give you confidence and strength that will make you feel like you could conquer the world. Much is said about the ”journey” being the most important part of life because once you’ve reach your goal, then what? Well take it from me, there are always things to do and you can have many dreams in life.
The journey will be a positive experience for you as soon as you understand that both you’re short-term AND your long-term goals are met. When setting goals, it’s always important to put a date beside it. So if you want to run a marathon maybe you will give yourself a year of training to hit that mark. The great thing about setting dates is if you don’t reach the target date, you can always change it. If you need more time, move it back. It’s as simple as that!
Who are you surrounding yourself with? If you are around “dream stealers” be aware of that. The people you have in your life will either enhance or hinder you. My husband and I have this saying in our marriage. When we have friends we decide whether they “enhance” our life or “hinder” us. Please let me explain that it’s not about whether this person can do this for me whereas another person can’t.
What I mean is that you will get to your goal faster if you are around people that build you up rather than tear you down. Positive people vs. negative ones. There are lots of people in the world you can have as friends but if you find yourself with the same group of people you have been with for years and they prove to be “dream stealers”, then it’s time for you to move forward and make new friends …. People who have dreams and goals of their own and who are working hard and striving to make something great out of their lives. To make the impossible happen in your life you will need to surround yourself with positive people. It’s just that simple.
When I was growing up and in high school, I worked two jobs. One was 40 hours a week, the other evenings and weekends and because of this I was able to stay out of a lot of trouble because I simply didn’t have the time to get into trouble! But I also had very few friends as I just didn’t have a lot of time to devote to a lot of different people. I was always focused on my goals and trying my best to reach each one of them quickly. I had big dreams and had to start at the very bottom which I was more than willing to do. Looking back on that now, I realize that it helped me develop more character and sensitivity towards others that I needed and am glad now that I have. But even among the small group of friends I did have there were those who didn’t want me to hit my mark. They would have been happy to see me stay at the bottom and so I realized that even though I was comfortable being around them I had to move forward and make new friends. Life is always changing and you need to be able to change with it.
Changing can be scary and difficult for us all. Growing up, my life was in a state of constant change, I was in and out of schools and apartments, monthly at times. Things were always changing and I remember thinking “Here we go again.” But in hindsight, I learned a lot. Now as an adult I can make my own determinations when things need to be changed and I am open-minded about change. As a child change is a scary thing because there is fear of the unknown and in my case, I was afraid of repeating the same painful experiences again and again. However, change can also be GREAT and amazing and as you have noticed, I always talk about “ingredients”. Change is a big one that you will encounter a lot. Now that you are doing the first three steps and are creating your “dream board”, you are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. You are writing out your goals and you are looking around you to see who is a positive or a negative influence in your life. And so now it’s time to look at yourself and see what you need to do to break bad habits and create new ones in their place.
If you ever watch the “Biggest Loser” on TV you will observe several things. The first thing you see is what a bad habit can lead to. Not only are these people at the end of their rope, they have terrible health issues, low self esteem, and they are beaten down. But do you know what else they have? They have HOPE! Hope that maybe they can create a new habit and end the old cycle that they have been on. And they have courage! It takes a lot of courage to get on a show like that where millions of people are watching you and judging you and you are allowing them to see you at your most vulnerable.
I find these people so encouraging that even when they’re at the bottom, the human spirit whispers in their ear “Get up! Move forward! You can do it!” “I have Hope. I have belief.” “I have failed many times before, but I am trying once again to make my dreams come true.” To them I say “Bravo!“ “Good for them!” I love this show because I know there are so many people out there who can relate to them. Maybe they are not all obese, but life has conquered them in a negative way. The good news is that they are fighting back and you can too!
Take a very realistic look at your life and what it is that you are doing that prevents you from reaching your goals and having your dreams come true. It can even be small things that, over time, create big challenges for us. This is where you need to “get real” with yourself and healthy habits will allow you to reach your dreams faster. Let me give you some examples. Let’s say that over all you are in good health; you work out a few times a week but on the weekends when with your friends, you drink too much. Okay, easy enough. Look, we all like to have fun. I enjoy having a cocktail with friends but I drink in moderation. Look to see where moderation is difficult for you. Whatever stands out is what you need to focus on to make a change.
Maybe you smoke. You hate that you do that and have tried to quit in the past but it hasn’t worked out. Well guess what? It’s time to try again once and for all. You have to decide that the pain is worth the effort it takes to quit. Find the motivation somewhere. Look at all the reasons to stop… your health for starters, and saving money because smoking is expensive. Another area is working out. The bottom-line is smoking is a negative thing in your life so it needs to be stopped. Replace it with a new habit like yoga. Yoga will calm your mind and build up your body and you will feel like a million bucks.
Repetition is the mother of skill which means the more you do something the more it becomes a habit, i.e., the more you work out and eat right the easier it becomes. Look for the areas where moderation is difficult and start there and usually, that’s where the problem lies. Decide today to work on changing one bad habit and replacing it with a new one. Write it down. Journal your thoughts daily and just remember that the more you do something great, the easier it will become and in the process your self esteem and belief in yourself will raise you up and you can then target the next thing on your list. Before you know it, you can be a “new” you! It doesn’t matter where you are staring from. Even if you are starting over for the 20th time you can just start putting all these tips into action and I promise you … you will reap rewards beyond your dreams. It’s just that simple. Now this next step has a lot to do with this one because it will help you to end old habits and create new ones as well.
This step is so important it’s really everything. This, right here, is what really motivates me to help others. I see so many talented people that could have it all when really all it would take is just shifting some things around here and there. It really wouldn’t need a lot of work yet they just don’t see it or believe because of what they tell themselves. You need to learn to be your own best cheerleader.
I don’t care if you were raised hearing negative things spoken to you even throughout your life. It really doesn’t matter what someone else thinks or believes about you. It only matters if you buy into it as per the saying “If you think you can, you can and if you think you can’t, you’re right.” This is what it’s all about. Self-confidence is something you can learn to achieve. It’s like a garden that needs to be regularly watered, pruned and weeded to keep it up and there will be times when it all blows away and you have to completely rebuild it. If this describes you, then I am here to tell you you’re not alone.
When I was growing up I had no self-confidence. In fact I really became quite introverted because I didn’t want to draw any attention to the fact that I was “without” most of the things others took for granted on a daily basis. We did not have a lot of money, so learning how to coordinate appropriate clothing from a limited wardrobe was something I learned at an early age and I was teased all the time because we had no money. What I came to realize was that in my mind and in my thoughts I had power and any time I wanted, I could go to that “special place” in my mind to dream and to visualize myself as “having it all”. Finally I began to put it together … that one-day through hard work and an effective plan I could make those dreams a reality. My parents had always told me that with hard work I could accomplish anything I chose and I began to believe this to be true so I started to tell myself that I could do anything I set my mind to. Because of suffering from such low self-esteem, however, I never really wanted to share these dreams with anyone because I knew that they would look at my humble beginnings and think “she will never make it!” That’s why I’m saying that you have to surround yourself with good friends who are supportive and you need to become your own cheerleader. I wrote my book “Beautiful Ambitions” because I wanted to provide you with a tool that could help you reach for the stars but also give you a step-by-step approach on how to do it quickly.
Getting into self-development right now will help you so much you will begin to learn that all things are possible and every morning when you start to focus on what you plan to accomplish that day to hit your marks, your self-confidence will soar. Write down daily affirmations about yourself and speak empowering words over your life. An example would be: “I like myself and other people like me as well. I make friends easily, I make money easily, and I am in the best shape of my life.” Create a long list of positive affirmations that you can say to yourself at least twice a day. Put them on a mirror and look yourself in the eyes when you say them. The more you say them to yourself out loud, the more you will believe them to be true. Be careful, however, of what you say to yourself as well as to others, making sure you don’t put yourself “down”. I overhear people do this all the time. They will say things like “ I am sick all the time” or I’ll never meet the right guy” or “I never have any money.” Let me tell you right now that as long as you think those things and say those words that will be your reality. Your words have power so you need to be mindful to speak kind words to yourself and to others. Don’t put people down. Don’t be the type of person that judges others too harshly. Have a heart of compassion. We are all here trying to make it, trying to find love and to be successful and happy. This brings me to my next point.
You may or may not believe in “Karma”. I do. Basically it means that whatever you put out there you will get back in return. Now I believe this because I have watched it work in my life both with positive and negative responses. When you are deciding to change your life and make all your dreams become a reality, you will need to have your heart in the right place as well. Avoid getting caught up in the daily “Melrose Place” gossip of “he said, she said”. Gossip is a nasty habit and in this area, I am as guilty as the next person. I continually tell myself “Tara, stay out of it. Move on”. So become aware of how much time you are wasting gossiping about others. In our world today we are being constantly entertained by gossip and how it relates to everyone’s world. Most of these “reality” shows pull peoples’ lives down. They are so negative and full of needless gossip. Yet we all watch and then gossip to others about what we heard or saw. Now I know that it’s entertaining to watch and observe other people’s lives and a little bit here and there is fine and entertaining. I get that, but be careful not to put too much time into the realities of others instead of focusing on your own reality. This is your life and it’s your show. You really are the Director of your life. How do you want each Act to play out? If you had a reality show, what would we see? Would you be a happy healthy person who helps others and lives her life to the fullest? I hope so, because that is a life worth watching and learning from.
Always be aware of what you say about others, trying instead to focus on their positive qualities. That doesn’t mean that you purposely let negative people enter your life, but a reminder that no one is perfect and as imperfect human beings we all make mistakes all the time. So as you look to form new friendships be aware also of the perception you put out about yourself. As I mentioned before, I grew up shy yet from a very young age I was “fiercely independent”. Once I became a model I found that to others, I was considered as not being approachable and that bothered me. So I had to take a really hard look at myself to understand why some people may have thought I was “stand offish” or even, god forbid, a “ Bitch”. I had to realize that it wasn’t them. It was me! I was putting forth vibes that they would interpret the wrong way. You see, my being shy yet independent came across as “I am not interested in what you have to say and I don’t need you.” Adding to that the fact that I worked as a model made it that much harder because then it appeared to others that I thought I was better then everyone else. This could not have been farther from the truth and so was a difficult reality for me. The reason that I was so shy but independent was because I had learned at an early age to lean on myself rather than on others so the lesson for me now was to allow others into my life and not be “stand-offish”. I had to learn to trust people again and really put myself out there, which is why I now do this for a living. Offering advice and motivating others to pursue their dreams feeds my soul and makes me feel good about the time I am spending here on earth.
“Paying it forward” just, means helping someone out when you are able to do so. It’s the little things sometimes that add up the most. For instance, you are in line at the super market when someone with just a few things in their grocery cart gets behind you. You can tell by their body language that they are in a hurry and you are ahead of them with a cartload full of groceries. Instead of feeling annoyed like you are being rushed you could simply be gracious and let them go ahead of you. Offer to help an elderly person when you see they are in need of assistance. Open the door or keep it open for the person coming behind you. When you meet someone and make eye contact, smile at them and say hello. The more I practice this, the more people realize that I am a kind person and no longer am I viewed as being “unapproachable.” If you are aware that someone needs a little help and you are able to provide that help, then by all means, do so. These all seem like such minor actions but they sure do add up. My good friend always says, “it’s giving someone a hand up, not a hand out.” On the other hand, you don’t want to become the “go to” friend for funds; but here and there if you can afford it, to help out is fine. Yet there are times when you need to say “no”. That’s has been a real lesson for me. You just need to learn when to say “yes” and when to say “no”. Good advice also is to try to look at the glass as ”half-full” if you are more inclined to see it as “half-empty”. While that may just be part of your personality, guess what! You can change if only you want to and become a more positive person. It just may take a little extra effort on your part. Another thing here is to really think about what you say before you say it. Our words carry so much power so always try to speak a blessing over someone rather than a curse. If you can give someone a little encouragement, do it! We all need one another and we are all bound together as a human family so let’s help each other in any way we can. You will soon find that you are smiling on the inside as well as on the outside.
You’ve heard the saying “fake it till you make it”, right? Well truer words were never spoken yet this can easily get misinterpreted. My husband likes to say, “Think it! Act it! Become it!” In fact, that is the title of one of his books. But it is so true. You have to practice what you learn and each time you do that, you get better.
Now then, think about the person you would like to be. Think about how that person would act, how would they carry themselves, what would they say. Here’s another example that my husband Jason and I practice all the time. Next month we are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary and we have one of the best relationships of anyone I have ever known. There are many reasons why this is so but here’s one that I will share with you. The first thing is that we always say to our inner self, “I am the best husband/wife in the world” so when you tell yourself that, then you have to act like the best husband/wife in the world. And once you do that, you draw attention to how that person would act. Once you decide what those traits are, you use them and over time, you naturally become that ideal partner. This is one of the reasons we have such an amazing marriage because when things come up, as they will from time to time, we ask ourselves “How would the best husband/wife in the world respond in this moment?” We then take the time to think about it and to act according to what we think is the best response. We also do this with our kids. We say “we are the best parents in the world” and we try to act according to what we think that means. Now we are far from perfect and like everyone else, we make mistakes all the time but we really do try to start from there, to conduct our lives as though we are the best at whatever it is that we are doing. This point of view really makes you think more clearly and I have found over time that I do more things right than wrong. I would love for you to adopt this one for yourself and see if you can put it to use within your marriage, with your kids, with friends and with your co-workers. You will see how much positivity you get back when you put the good out there. It’s not just doing it well, its doing it best. As you read this, think to yourself “What would be the best husband in the world for me?” This question … “what is the best?” can carry over into everything that you want for yourself and the beauty in that is we all have different ideas of what is “the best” for us. So what I decide is “the best” for me may be completely different to the choices you would make. That’s why I love this! It’s so personal and you can, as I said, apply it to everything! i.e., “What does the best job look like to me / family / friends / ….
Whatever aspect of your life you can imagine”.
If you try to introduce all of these things into your daily life, I promise you will reap the reward that you are looking for. These are all universal laws so if you put them to work for you the rewards will be endless.
Here’s to your success,