Friday Challenge – Conquering Your Fears

Friday Challenge – Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of our motivational posts written by Shelley Wilson author of How I Changed My Life In A Year.

Shelley has been helping us with ideas about how to make our lives better places to live in with easy to follow fun challenges, if you have missed any here are links to the previous weekly posts. Week 1 http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5MH

Week 2 http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5MJ

Week 3 http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5MO

Over to Shelley…

Shelley Wilson

Conquering Your Fears

 

As a writer, there is nothing as pleasurable as sitting at your laptop and letting the words flow. Writing has been a favourite past-time of mine for over thirty years. So why did the prospect of taking part in one of the largest writing competitions fill me with such fear?

 

It is often the thing we want so much that we dread the most, the reason for this is a simple fear of failure. Every year over 350,000 writers sign up to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), all dedicated to producing a 50,000 word manuscript in just 30 days.

 

When I started writing my blog, which would eventually lead to my book How I Changed My Life in a Year, I knew that if I publicly announced my intent to take part, I wouldn’t be able to back out. I pushed myself to face my fears, and I began to research how other NaNoers had accomplished this heady feat. Outlining, plotting and research seemed to be the answer.

 

Organisation was key. I created a Pinterest board for my character inspiration and filled a notebook with my ideas for plot and scenes. Taking part in NaNoWriMo taught me the value of outlining and full character profiles. I was as ready as I could be when the 1st November arrived.

 

Nine days later I hit 50,296 words.

 

The beauty of this event is how, even if you don’t make the 50,000 word count, you can get involved in the community. You can post in the forums and learn a great deal from experts in every imaginable field and ‘meet’ new people. Writing is a solitary affair, but I’ve never felt more supported than when I was a NaNoer.

 

With all doubts firmly squashed I realised, fears are never as bad as you thought they would be, or as I tell my personal development students, FEAR is simply False Evidence Appearing Real.

 

I learnt a great deal taking part in this challenge. You are not alone; you can do anything you set your mind to, and you can enjoy writing and the beauty of a deadline to hone your skills. Finally I learnt it was possible to ask a question, ‘If I stab someone in the heart with a sword will they die instantly?’ and not get arrested. I do love a good writers’ forum.

 

Challenge accepted and achieved. I am happy to confirm that my original NaNo manuscript has been re-worked, edited and is in the final stages ready for publication, only made possible because I faced my fears. I extend my challenge to you – do one thing today that scares you.

How I Changed My Life In A Year

 

‘How I Changed My Life in a Year’ – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KAAUE88

Also on Amazon.com

 

Find Shelley on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72

Friday Challenge – Could You Adopt Better Habits?

Friday Challenge – Week 3

Welcome to week 3 of the Friday Challenge where we are joined Shelley Wilson, author of How I Changed My Life In A Year.

Shelley is sharing with us easy ideas about how we can make our lives better and also the lives of those around us.

Here are links to the previous weeks. Week 1, http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5MH

Week 2 http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5MJ

Over to Shelley…

Shelley Wilson

Could You Adopt Better Habits?

 

We could all benefit from changing our routines once in a while. Simply choosing to drive a different route to work can do wonders for your well-being. For my book How I Changed My Life in a Year, I spent month six adopting better habits by growing vegetables, eating a vegetarian diet and de-cluttering.

 

When I teach my personal development workshops I inevitably touch on the topic of de-cluttering as it is one of the simplest ways to feel lighter and brighter. Clearing your personal space can have a profound effect on body and mind. A clear canvas is the perfect starting point for any new venture, creative idea or period of recovery.

 

Using my simple four-step process, you can quench your craving for a little inner peace and maybe find the odd fiver tucked away in an old coat pocket!

 

  1. Take responsibility. Are you surrounded by magazines, CDs or twelve glass vases? Does your wardrobe contain ‘thin’ clothes and ‘fat’ clothes? Is your cupboard under the stairs full to the brim with shoes, coats and bespectacled wizards? Decide to do something about it now.
  2. Take it slowly. When faced with a mountain of ‘stuff,’ don’t panic. It may look overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Take it one room at a time. When you look around the room you have chosen, break it down even further, and take it one piece of furniture at a time. Clear a desk drawer or one shelf on the bookcase and then build up to the entire desk.
  3. Tools to help. All you’ll need are three cardboard boxes. Label the boxes: Donate, Bin and Sell. Take all your unwanted items that are still in good condition to a charity shop. Throw out all the broken items or anything that no longer has value. Sell as much as you can at a car boot, your rubbish is someone else’s treasure.
  4. Completion. You’ve done a car boot and transferred all the unsold items into your donate box; you’ve driven to the local refuse centre and dropped off your bin box now you need to deliver your charity box. DON’T leave it by your front door or in the boot of your car, you’ve done so well, don’t stop now.

 

Challenge accepted and achieved. A clutter-free home makes for a clutter-free mind and can help you feel better about yourself and your environment. With the clean slate you are ready to tackle anything that comes your way, so I extend my challenge to you – adopt a better habit, change an overused routine or tidy up your writing desk.

How I Changed My Life In A Year

 

‘How I Changed My Life in a Year’ – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KAAUE88

Also on Amazon.com

 

Find Shelley on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72

We’re back next Friday for another challenge.

Friday Challenge – Appreciating What You Have By Giving Something Up

Friday Challenge – Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of the Friday Challenge, a set of articles written for us by Shelley Wilson as a gift to you the reader. Author of How I Changed My Life In A Year, Shelley is sharing some of her own challenges with us and motivating us to make our own lives better.

If you missed week 1 here is a link to the post http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5MH

Over to Shelley…

Shelley Wilson

Can You Appreciate What You Have By Giving Something Up?

 

After taking part in this year’s Cancer Research Dryathlon, whereby I refused all alcohol for the month of January, I decided to carry this challenge on and am now tee-total (nine months and counting). Don’t panic readers, we’re not asking you to give up your Friday night glass of vino… well not yet anyway!

 

In my book How I Changed My Life in a Year, I dedicated an entire chapter to giving up the demon drink. For my month seven challenge, to appreciate what I have by doing without, I had to come up with four other activities to forgo.

 

With the television, Facebook and my car eliminated from my life for a single week each, I felt much better. More time to write, no incessant stream of notifications and increased exercise were the benefits of my challenge. The fourth week, however, was a very different story. At my twelve-year old daughter’s request, I gave up wearing black clothing. A simple task you may think, but oh no!

 

Here is an excerpt from my book.

 

I realised the magnitude of this challenge when, on day one, with bleary eyes and bed hair, I fished around in my underwear drawer for any other colour of pants! (Note to self – pants situation critical.)

 

   Fast forward to the 3 p.m school run and thank goodness for blue denim.

 

   With two minutes to spare I stood in my jeans and bra (white one) looking at 25 black tops. If I turned up at school in just my underwear, my daughter would disown me, then I remembered a multi-coloured T-shirt I’d bought for an eighties fancy dress party – yes, I wore it.

 

   I didn’t think it was possible for an eye roll from a twelve-year old to stop me in my tracks, but hey, this challenge was never going to be easy.

 

Giving up wearing black clothing may have seemed a trivial goal but it certainly made me appreciate my wardrobe and think about my image. Interestingly, as I opted for a more colourful palette, I noticed a change in my moods and emotions. Leaving the dull, dreary black clothing behind meant I filled my life with reds, pinks and greens and benefited from a little colour therapy along the way.

 

Challenge accepted and achieved. It can help us to appreciate what we have in our life by giving something up, so I extend my challenge to you – Give something up such as twitter, diet coke or taking the car and embrace the experience.

How I Changed My Life In A Year

 

‘How I Changed My Life in a Year’ – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KAAUE88

Also on Amazon.com

 

Find Shelley on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72

We’re back next Friday with another challenge.

 

Friday Challenge – Do Something You’ve Never Done Before

Friday Challenge

For the next four weeks we are presenting The Friday Challenge. These are easy to follow motivating articles from author Shelley Wilson who wrote How I Changed My Life In A Year http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Ky which featured on the blog earlier this week. It was followed by a guest author interview with Shelley http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Lb and she kindly agreed to write us four articles which I’d like to share each Friday with you as my gift to you wonderful readers, so that you too may be inspired to make positive changes in your own lives and those around you.

Over to Shelley…

Shelley Wilson

Could You Do Something You’ve Never Done Before?

If I asked you to do something you’ve never done before, what would you choose? Abseiling or white water rafting perhaps, or maybe you would opt for something a little less hair-raising and try a new food. To do something new was one of the first challenges I tackled in my book How I Changed My Life in a Year. As it happens, my plans went slightly askew as I received an opportunity to help my local junior school prepare for exam season.

As I run a holistic health business, I spend my days and evenings de-stressing the general public. I offer treatments such as reflexology and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or ‘Tapping’ as I like to call it.

To be asked by the headmaster to give a demonstration and talk to thirty of the year six children (ages 10 and 11) was a terrifying prospect. I have three children, but that doesn’t mean that the school hall full of them wouldn’t scare me to death. As I was dedicated to my month five challenge – do something I’ve never done before – I couldn’t say no!

My fears surfaced fairly swiftly; fear of making a fool out of myself, fear of thirty impressionable youngsters thinking I was a moron, fear of forgetting my presentation. However, I’d told the headmaster I would do it and so I prepared myself as well as I could. (Sleeping with my copy of Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers may have helped!)

Blinded by my irrational fears I momentarily forgot that Tapping (EFT) was the perfect therapy to alleviate apprehension. My task was all about helping the year six children cope with their trepidation of the impending SAT exams. So as I ran through my presentation, my anxiety gradually lifted. Standing before a sea of shiny, eager faces, who believed I was going to help them, I filled with pride and an eagerness to teach them a valuable self-help tool.

EFT is a simple process which can help alleviate anxiety and deep rooted issues that have a detrimental effect on our day to day life. The fear of the dentist, overeating, depression and so many other ailments can be vanquished using this method. It involves tapping lightly with your fingertips on specific parts of your head, face, body and hands. The tapping action vibrates along meridians (energy lines) within your body and neutralises any blockages. (For more information, or to find a therapist near to you log on to the AAMET site http://www.aamet.org).

The children were amazing and took to the therapy with an infectious enthusiasm, and I was happy to receive positive feedback from the parents once they had rushed home to teach their siblings how to ‘chillax.’

Challenge accepted and achieved; I’d never done that before! Trying something new can open up a world of opportunities, so I extend my challenge to you – Do something you’ve never done before and embrace the experience.

How I Changed My Life In A Year

‘How I Changed My Life in a Year’ – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KAAUE88

Also on Amazon.com

Find Shelley on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72

Next Friday we’ll be back with our second challenge.