A good friend of mine from growing up recently reached out to share with me the impact that Don’t Be has made in her life. This was an incredible moment for me. I was hesitant to start this blog and post these messages on Facebook because I feared Don’t Be was too simple to have an impact in this way. I thought I needed to explain it as I do in my keynotes and workshops for it to click and make sense. This moment affirmed my belief in the ripple effect. The ripple effect is the reality that we are always throwing stones out into the ocean and these stones create ripples. Most of these ripples go out and never come back to us. They exist but we never know it. However, every once in a great while a ripple does come back to us and we are affirmed that the stone we threw out did in fact make a difference. Most of you who follow my work are educators or students. I hope this post serves to encourage you that you are creating ripples with the work you do whether you know it or not. Below is the guest post from my good friend:
Six letters, two and a half words, two syllables. One seemingly small and simple phrase that has the power to make a tremendous impact in your life. For me, this phrase has been a powerful force of positive change in my life since I took the time to reflect on its message and allow it to really sink in. “Don’t be” is a belief and way of thinking that everyone can use. I’m here to talk about a few of the major ways that “don’t be” has helped me change my life for the better.
Don’t be self-conscious.
One way that is hard for me to discuss, but I think is important for other people to hear, is “don’t be” is helping me make some healthy lifestyle changes. I had two difficult pregnancies, and between the two of them, I spent 40 weeks on bed rest, resulting in me gaining a lot of weight. This had major negative impacts on my self-esteem. I was able to lose some weight between my first and second pregnancy, but not nearly as much as I would have liked to, and I ended up gaining some weight back during my second pregnancy. Shortly after I had my second child, I was feeling very self-conscious about myself. Then I came across Bobby’s message of “don’t be.” I stopped hating how I looked so much. I realized that while yes, I gained a lot of weight, my body, my wonderful human body, created these two amazing human beings who were perfect in every way. I stopped hiding from pictures, and avoiding pictures playing at the beach or in the pool with my kids. I even began asking for more pictures to be taken of me with my kids because years from now, I want them to be able to look back on these pictures and know that I was there and playing with them, not just taking pictures of other people playing with them. I also don’t want my kids to grow up being afraid of having their picture taken over what they consider to be a physical flaw.
Don’t be complacent.
While I was no longer nearly as self-conscious, I still kept thinking to myself that I don’t want to be overweight and not in shape for the rest of my life. Then, one day I remember thinking, “so, don’t be. Do something about it.” I took this new motivation and began putting it into action. I have now reached a weight loss total of forty pounds, and I’m still losing. I still have a long way to go, but I realize how far I have come and I know that I have the power and the motivation to continue on this weight loss journey to become a healthier, more in shape me.
Don’t be afraid.
I very recently scheduled an interview for a position working with very challenging students. After hearing from the director of the charter school how intense the job can be and that these students are capable physically violent outbursts, I began to worry that I’m not cut out for the job, and that I should try finding a job at an easier school. Then, Bobby’s message of “don’t be” popped into my head. It completely changed my view of viewing this challenging job. I now see it as this amazing learning and growing opportunity for me.
Don’t be someone who gives up on his or her dreams.
“Don’t be” has the power to change all of us, and help us become who we really want to be in life. Too often people let fears and negative thoughts prevent them from achieving everything they want to achieve. It’s time to stop letting these negative thoughts hold us back. The human mind is an amazing thing, and I truly believe that every one of us has the ability to accomplish anything we put our minds to. We just have to remember and recall the saying “don’t be” whenever a negative thought or action is standing in our way.