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5 Tips For Finding Your Prosperous True North

Photo courtesy of Flazingo Photos via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Flazingo Photos via Flickr

So many single mothers I’ve met since I began working with them in 2007 do not believe they have the ability to earn a degree or gain training in a marketable skill. They do not even allow themselves to dream of a better and more prosperous life. The old voices replay demeaning messages from early childhood, some even into their teenage years. “You are so stupid,” “You’ll never amount to anything,” or “Don’t think you can make something of yourself,” are some of the comments they heard from parents.

As you read this, I challenge you to hear a different and more reliable, true, and inspiring voice. And no, I don’t know you or your story personally. I do, however, know that you are a child created by God and that God doesn’t make junk. True, some people do not make the most of themselves. But since you are reading this, I must think that you are not one of those people. You can make the most magnificent “self” you can possibly be if you will follow these tips, do so daily, and don’t ever give up. Ever.

If you are still with me, you know that something within you is saying, “Listen to this. It is true. You are a unique child of God.” I have good news for you. You have the ability to give something that is unique to you. It may be something simple. My mother made the best pies I’ve ever eaten. When a family needed a meal after the funeral of a loved one, my mother baked a pie. She shared her gift with others. Pray for the answer to this question: “What is my gift?” You may be surprised by the answer.

5 Tips to a Terrific You:

  1. Listen. Really tune in to the voices in your head. Are they encouraging or discouraging? The root word is courage. If you are hearing discouraging words, it is essential that they be silenced. But how? Here are some techniques to try.
  • Write the thoughts into actual words on paper. Do not type; handwrite them. Take the paper to the toilet and burn the paper, then flush it. You may be surprised the new image you create using this technique.
  • Another way to rid yourself of negative and discouraging voices in your head is to imagine the person who said them on a television screen. Visualize them speaking just as you would see a news commentator talking at you. Then in the middle of their rank, imagine getting up from your seat, picking up the remote control and pressing the “off” button.
  • Another way to stop the voices that are pulling you down is to shut them up. When you are not in a public place, say aloud, “Stop!” Then speak a contradictory statement. For example, you hear in your head, “You are not smart enough to go to college.” You say, “Stop! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  1. Ask yourself, What skill do I have that could be developed? Perhaps a teacher complimented you in some area, or you won a contest, or you know in your heart that you are good with a certain type of work. Spend some time with this. You might create a Vision Board to further expand your thoughts. One single mother discovered she was good with numbers after working different jobs and finally working with a tax firm. Now she is earning a degree in accounting.
  2. Review any local college or online college academic programs. I found a degree that I didn’t know existed when I did this. Once you have an idea, make an appointment and go talk with an adviser or do so online with the college of your choice. Doing this does not obligate you. You are simply gathering information. As you accumulate more and more information, you will be closer and closer to knowing what is right for you.
  3. Try out some temporary jobs for size. One way to find out what you like is by doing it. Temporary jobs are a great way to learn what you do or don’t do well. If you have the freedom to do this, it can be invaluable in your search for the terrific you. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that.
  4. Do not allow negative thoughts to creep in. Avoid naysayers, people who are negative. Fill the air around you with positive vibes. Uplifting music and positive people will make loads of difference.

I have personally experienced the search for my true north. Though I did many of the things I’ve mentioned here, I wish I had done more of them when I was younger.

Life is a journey. Sometimes detours are necessary. Do not expect immediate results. Notice what is happening as you go along. Be persistent.

About Gail Showalter

Gail raised three children as a single mother for sixteen years before she married Sam. She was an educator in regular and special education for eighteen years, finishing her professional career as a Braille teacher. In 2007 She founded SMORE for Women - a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. She is a certified Women’s Transition Coach and her stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. She released her first book Living Learning Loving in 2015.
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