Fearfully and Wonderfully Me - Ria Story

Fearfully and Wonderfully Me - Ria Story (PDF)

2022 • 47 Pages • 5.17 MB • English
Posted July 01, 2022 • Submitted by Superman

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Summary of Fearfully and Wonderfully Me - Ria Story

Fearfully and Wonderfully Me Become the Woman You are Destined to Be RIA STORY Copyright © 2020 Ria Story All rights reserved. ISBN-13: 9798639283543 DEDICATION To women all over the world: We cannot change everything, but we always have the power to change ourselves. May you have peace about the things you cannot change, the courage to change yourself, and the wisdom to understand changing yourself changes the world. And, may you love yourself enough to do so. RIA STORY.COM CONTENTS Introduction i 1 Fearfully and Wonderfully Me 1 2 You are Destined to be More 5 3 Moving Beyond the Victim Mindset 9 4 No Excuse for Excuses 13 5 Leadership and Influence 17 6 Leadership vs Management 21 7 Embrace the Leader Within 25 8 The Female Advantage 29 9 Self-Belief: I am responsible. 33 10 Self-Belief: I can change __________ . 37 11 Self-Belief: I can grow beyond trauma. 41 12 Self-Worth: I am a miracle. 45 13 Self-Worth: I create my identity. 49 14 Self-Worth: I am “Me” first. 53 15 Self-Love: I love myself. 57 Fearfully and Wonderfully Me 16 Self-Love: I love my potential. 61 17 Self-Love: I am becoming better. 65 18 Self-Respect: I choose my values. 69 19 Self-Respect: I focus on myself. 73 20 Self-Respect: I define my boundaries. 77 21 Self-Care: I am disciplined. 81 22 Self-Care: I create my habits. 85 23 Self-Care: I take small steps every day. 89 24 Self-Development: I develop my leadership daily. 93 25 Self-Development: I increase my influence daily. 97 26 Self-Development: I will maximize my results daily. 101 27 Self-Realization: I will make a difference. 105 28 Self-Realization: I will achieve success. 109 29 Self-Realization: I am living my legacy. 113 30 Transformation Happens Daily, Not in a Day 117 INTRODUCTION As I began writing, I was thinking about what I wanted to say to you. I thought about what I could say to you that would make a difference to you, for you, and in you. Is it crazy to think my words, typed on my Mac computer in my home office, and then edited by my husband Mack in his home office, (on the other side of our house) could actually help you change your life and your world for the better? No, it’s not because I know something about you: You are destined to be more, you can become more, and you should become more. Notice that I said, “help you change your life and your world,” not “change your life and your world.” I can’t do it for you. This isn’t a book about what you should do differently in order to reach your goals, achieve your dreams, and become the woman and leader you are destined to be. It’s about how to BE different in order to accomplish those things. Or, I should say, how to become. But, you must do the work. And, it will be work. After spending six minutes thinking about and writing the last paragraph while my hot coffee became cold, I decided the best way to tell you it’s going to require work was to simply say: It will be work. There’s no reason not to be crystal clear about the work that will be required to reach your potential. I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché– if it were easy, everyone would do it. It’s not easy. It will be work. Becoming the best version of you, whatever that looks like, will require personal transformation. You must transform from who you are now into who you have the potential to become. The early chapters of this book are dedicated to developing your mindset, both how to do it and why it’s Fearfully and Wonderfully Me important. That sets up the foundation for transformation. After that, you will find the Seven Elements of Transformation, which are the steps I believe we all must travel to transform ourselves. The first four Elements focus on internal transformation and support the last three Elements of external transformation. But, just reading the book isn’t enough. If all you do is read the book, nothing will change. You must apply the principles to benefit from them. To help with this, I’ve created accompanying worksheets with application exercises and reflection questions you can journal through on your own or discuss with others in a group. These worksheets are at the end of the book, beginning on page 121. Additional worksheets are available to download for free at: FearfullyAndWonderfullyMe.com/workbook. There aren’t any easy buttons, magic pills or shortcuts. I can’t do it for you. I don’t have all the answers. You do. But, they are often hard to find. What I do know is this: You can transform yourself. I know because I’ve done it. And, I’m still doing it. Personal growth and transformation, or becoming the woman and leader you are destined to be, isn’t a one and done deal. It’s a lifelong journey, and I’m still (thankfully!) alive to continue my never-ending transformation. It’s absolutely been worth the work. As you grow and develop yourself, you will find you not only become the “best version of you,” but you will also realize your influence with other people increases exponentially. Whether you are a stay-at-home-mom or a CEO of a multibillion-dollar global organization, you need to be able to influence other people. It’s the essence of leadership. Women are major influencers in the lives of their spouses, children, family members, co-workers, communities, and in the world. But, we must intentionally develop ourselves in order to RIA STORY.COM develop and increase our influence in an effort to reach our potential. Your journey will be different than mine. I’m not the expert in your life. You are. I’m not an expert about anyone’s life but mine. But relative to the human experience, what is most personal to each of us is most relevant for all of us. I’ve spent my entire life preparing to write this book. I have acquired a lot of knowledge and experience along the way. Much of it was gained the hard way during lessons learned through mistakes, setbacks, trauma, obstacles, challenges, and all types and sizes of problems. I learned many lessons during my successes, achievements, wins, triumphs, and victories too. I’ve also read hundreds of books that allowed me to learn from the failure and success experienced by others. I’ve transformed a lot through the years while learning to effectively share my heart and my story with the thousands of women I’ve reached all over the world through my books, podcasts, articles, blogs, and speeches. As I’ve shared my story with others, there have been times when I felt I received much more than I gave. I want to share with you how I transformed. How I transformed from a broken and ashamed 19- year-old girl who had suffered extreme sexual abuse since age 12 by my father who also trafficked me to others in the later years. How I transformed from a 19 year girl who chose to escape from that abusive home (without much more than a couple of duffle bags and a pillowcase stuffed with a few clothes and personal items) leaving behind the father who had abused me for years and the mother who still blames me for it to this day. How I transformed from that abused young 19-year- Fearfully and Wonderfully Me old girl into the international speaker, author, and leadership trainer I am today. It didn’t happen by accident. It happened by design. My story isn’t your story. But, I guarantee you the principles found in the lessons I’ve learned can help you. I learned how to transform myself from being a timid waitress without communication skills or a high school diploma making $2.13 an hour (plus tips) to earning my MBA with a 4.0 GPA and becoming a successful director in a large healthcare organization. This part of my transformational journey provided me with many lessons on personal and professional success. I learned how to transform myself from being an insecure girl who desperately depended on approval from others for my happiness to becoming a confident entrepreneur who teaches and speaks on leadership, resilience, and personal growth to people at all levels all over the world. This part of my transformational journey provided me with many lessons on personal and professional achievement. I learned how to transform myself from being a body shamed teenager who was using and abusing food to cope with almost daily sexual abuse to becoming a strong, healthy, happily married (since 2001) woman who runs 26.2 mile marathons. This part of my transformational journey provided me with many lessons on mindset. I learned how to transform myself from being a small- town sex trafficking victim in no-where Alabama who spoke to almost no one to becoming a professional speaker who has spoken at Yale University, on a TEDx stage, and at the United States Capitol in Washington DC. This part of my transformational journey provided me with many lessons on intentional growth. I’ve learned it’s possible for all of us to get better in all RIA STORY.COM areas of our lives. I’ve learned how to help you increase your influence, develop your leadership, and maximize your results. And most importantly, I’ve learned how to help you become the woman and leader you are destined to be. Not because I’m special. Because you are. 1 Chapter One FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY ME 2 “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works…” ~ Psalm 139:14 In 2003, Mack (my husband) and I bought our first home. Since we were moving from a small mobile home, we chose to buy a lot of new furniture. That part was fun! One of the few pieces of furniture I picked out and had my heart set on was a huge 4’ X 7’ wall mirror with a beautiful frame for our bedroom. I didn’t care if he made the final choice on the bed and nightstand. But, I wanted that mirror, so I could use it while getting dressed. Call me vain, but having a large mirror really helps when I want to see if my shoes match my outfit – an area I haven’t always excelled in. A mirror also helps when putting on a bathing suit for the first time in Spring and realizing it shrank while it was packed away for the Winter. That mirror has remained with us through several moves. To this day, it’s still in our bedroom. And, pretty much every day, the next-to-last thing I do before I leave the house is look in that mirror. Did I remember to put makeup on? Check. (Don’t laugh! I once got to work and realized I had NOT put makeup on!) Does this top complement this skirt? Check. Do I have on the right shoes? Check. But for years, there was something else I noticed when I first I stepped in front of that mirror naked. My flaws. My first thoughts weren’t, “Look at that strong woman who can run a marathon.” Or, “There is a healthy woman who makes great nutritional choices 95% of the time.” No. My first thoughts were, “Cellulite!” Or, “Saddlebags, thunder thighs, etc.” Those thoughts were immediately followed by, “I need to lose weight, tone up, Fearfully and Wonderfully Me 3 go on a diet, or go to the gym.” I know I’m still not perfect. In fact, I’m pretty far from perfect in every way possible, not just physically. However, I know God created me in His image just as He created you in His image. The paradox of being human is that we are created in the perfect image of God, yet we aren’t perfect. We know God doesn’t create mistakes, only miracles. But, when was the last time you felt like you were a miracle? As women, we don’t have any trouble believing babies are miracles when they are born. And think about it, the fact we can actually grow another human inside of us is pretty miraculous too. So, why do we have so much trouble continuing to believe we are still a miracle? Why do many of us think, almost subconsciously, “God must have been having an off day when He created me.” Most of us excel at noticing our flaws and embracing a feeling of insecurity and inferiority because of those flaws. Next, we become experts at creating self-limiting beliefs about our potential based on those flaws. And ultimately, we allow those beliefs to hold us back. These beliefs may or may not be about physical insecurities. They may be related to social, mental, or even spiritual insecurities. We all have insecurities. “I’m not enough” is the lie we often tell ourselves because of our insecurities. We say things like: I’m not pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, talented enough, brave enough, strong enough, or __________ enough. The theme of “I’m not _________ enough” is one that I believe is universal for almost all women at some time in their lives. I touched on this in my book, Bridges Out of the Past: A Survivor’s Lessons on Resilience, but I bet you already know exactly what I mean. RIA STORY.COM 4 I don’t mean we make a mistake and then realize we goofed up. That’s guilt. In this case, we simply correct the mistake if possible, learn the lesson, and move on. I mean that gut-wrenching feeling that we are the mistake. That we are somehow dirty, messed-up, unworthy, unlovable, fundamentally flawed, horrible, or “less-than.” If you tell me you have NEVER, and I mean NEVER struggled with this, I’m going to trust you are being completely honest with me, but perhaps not completely honest with yourself. If you have ever done or not done something because of the fear of what other people might think about you, you’ve struggled with this. Your insecurities don’t have to become self-limiting beliefs. You aren’t a product of your circumstances. You are a product of your choices. The key is realizing you make mistakes, but you are not a mistake. You aren’t perfect, but rather “imperfectly perfect.” You are made “fearfully and wonderfully.” In this sense, “fearfully” means awesome. So, you were created “awesomely and wonderfully.” In other words, you are a miracle. Being a miracle doesn’t mean you are perfect, but it does mean you are human. We will always make mistakes and do the wrong things. But when we realize what we do, what we look like, or where we were born doesn’t determine our worth, value, or choices, we can begin to learn from our mistakes, learn to laugh at ourselves, and learn to move on. It’s hard sometimes. But when you catch yourself doubting yourself, remember to love who you are. Who you are gives birth to who you may become. 5 Chapter Two YOU ARE DESTINED TO BE MORE