What's Holding You Back?

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author, speaker, and life coach dedicated
to helping you:

  • Be happier and have more fun, even when life seems routine.
  • Navigate setbacks or disappointments that make you better, not bitter.
  • Make a major life change that's exciting and scary at the same time.

Are You Ready for Something New?

While unpacking a box in my new office this week, I found a little, brown, leather pocket Bible that was given to me almost ten years ago at a business meeting with a publisher. I used it often until a couple of years ago and the satin ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding still marked the last page I had read. I flipped it open, secretly hoping to find a moment of inspiration – a little nugget that might give me some direction. Highlighted with my own pen marks and scribbles, I found this:

“Forget the former things; Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”


Until a couple of years ago, that scripture from Isaiah 43:18 was completely unfamiliar to me. I mean, I must have read it at some point, but it wasn’t something I remembered. Then oddly, a couple of years ago, that scripture kept crossing my path. I heard a pastor mention it in a sermon. Then I read a book and the author quoted it. Then I turned on the television, and someone referenced it. I took it as a sign that I needed to pay attention. This was the message I sensed in my spirit and this week, as the scripture appeared randomly as I opened my little, old pocket Bible, I wonder if it is a message I am meant to pass along to you:

Forget the old stuff you wish were different – you cannot change what happened or did not happen in the past. Don’t dwell on it because something new and better is forming right now. Can’t you tell? You are not alone. Out of desolate and desperate situations, God will make a way. Believe it. Then receive it.

I believed the message, even though it didn’t look like anything was springing up at all. But isn’t that what it means to have faith? To believe and hope and move towards a vision which can only be seen in your mind’s eye. At the time, my hope and vision was for a beautiful marriage and family. I could sense it springing up, even though there was no evidence of it yet. And today, that is exactly what I have. But I honestly don’t believe I would have it if I had dwelled on the past and given up hope for my future. After all, faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith cannot exist without hope.

I don’t know what you are hoping for, but this week, I invite you to forget the former things and stop dwelling on the past. A new and good thing is springing up. The next chapter of your life awaits you. But you cannot write your next chapter while you are still re-reading an old one.

My challenge to you this week:
Open your eyes to the new thing that is springing up in your life! Give yourself permission to hope for it. Believe it.

Journal about it:
What are the “former things” you need to forget? What is it time to stop dwelling on? When you get quiet and pay attention, what “new thing” do you perceive springing up in your life? Post your comments below or share this message on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have your copy of my brand new book Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable yet? Get it here now or any of your favorite retailers!

The Power of a Small Gesture!

We took a family trip to London a few weeks ago. Maybe you saw some of the personal pics on my Facebook fan page. It was so much fun – my first time in England, and my first time back in Europe since living there as a kid. One night, after going to the West End to see the hit musical Wicked, I was tired, but knew if I didn’t do my hair before going to bed, I would regret it the next morning. My hair is as light as cotton, so no style survives eight hours on a pillow – even a satin one. Despite how tired I was, I stayed up, washed it and then stood in the mirror twisting my hair. My husband, already under the covers about to drift off to sleep, looked over curiously and asked if I would show him how I twist it. I did. He twisted it. The next morning I untwisted it and loved it. I declare, that man can do anything!


As he brushed out my tight curls to make sure they were as smooth as possible before twisting them, he said, “I just love your hair. It’s so pretty, so soft.” I felt an unexpected wave of emotion. It wasn’t the first time he’s told me how much he loves my curls. But I guess the combination of him doing my hair and genuinely appreciating its beauty felt like salve on an old wound. Caught off guard by the tears I felt welling up inside, I said quietly, “I know you will probably never understand why your words about my hair feel so good, but thank you.”

To be honest, until I was 35 years old, I really didn’t like my hair at all. I did all that I could to make it look different than the way it grows out of my head. I didn’t think it was long enough, straight enough, thick enough, pretty enough. What I was really saying to myself is that my hair wasn’t acceptable as is. When I finally went natural in 2008, I was shocked to see that my hair, without chemicals, is hair that I like. More than acceptable, it is authentically me. And to have that punctuated by Jeff’s compliment as he cared for my hair that night was a beautiful thing. Being fully accepted and appreciated just as you are frees you to fully be you.

Words are powerful and healing. The words you say to yourself, the words you say to others and the words you ingest from others. This week, I invite you to affirm someone in your life for the authentic beauty you see in them. Don’t keep your thoughts to yourself. Share them. Be genuine. It only takes a moment to bless someone with your words. Whether it is your spouse or your child or a co-worker or friend, your words just might be the healing salve they need that day – the words God uses to speak truth to their soul.

My challenge to you this week:

Affirm the beauty you see another that they may not see in themselves.

Journaling assignment:

Who needs your words of affirmation this week? What could you genuinely say that would be meaningful and even healing to that person? What are you waiting for – when will you say it?! Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Do you have your copy of my brand new book Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable yet? Get it here now or any of your favorite retailers!