Thank You!

A couple of days ago, my brother Wade – who now works with me, walked into my office with a non-descript box that had just arrived from my publisher. Inside, five copies of a hot pink paperback book with foreign symbols I couldn’t make out. “What’s this?” I asked as I squinted carefully, as though staring more intently would somehow make the words make sense. The only symbol on the cover to offer a clue was the number “9.” “Ohhh … I know what this is! It’s one of the new foreign editions of “Successful Women Think Differently: 9 habits to make you happier, healthier and more resilient .” Recently, I received word that the book will be translated into several foreign languages, including Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese. This new arrival was the Russian edition.

Sitting in my office, staring at the cover, I thought of who might read it. What is that woman’s daily life like halfway around the world? And how amazing that my words have a chance to reach and encourage her. A wave of gratitude rushed over me as I thought of the series of events and people required to make something like this happen – and one of those thoughts settled on you. Yes, you! You see, I can write to my heart’s content and hope that my words will resonate with readers, inspiring them to live more fulfilling, purposeful lives. But until those readers buy the books and start talking about them to their friends, spreading the word of mouth, the words don’t have the opportunity to make an impact. So as we head into Thanksgiving week, I want to tell you THANK YOU. It is because of your enthusiasm about this book that it is now garnering interest around the world!

Success doesn’t occur in a vacuum. We can’t “go it alone.” Without you forwarding my newsletters, buying my books for you or your friends, or hosting book club and small group discussions, this opportunity would not have happened. I wrote my first book 15 years ago and self-published it using my nearly maxed-out credit card with a plan of breaking even the first month. It came off the presses the day before Thanksgiving in 1999. Reaching out to everyone I knew, I broke even by selling 400 books in the first three weeks – most of them purchased as Christmas gifts I personally signed. Back then, I filled every book order myself, packaged them and made constant runs to the Post Office, sometimes selling books to the postal clerks who were curious about what I was up to – and the customers in line around me. I kept copies in the trunk of my car “just in case”, and called up local television stations for interviews. Some pretty wonderful people help me with those things today, but I’m grateful I was once the author, the editor, the publicist, the accountant, the order-taker, the salesperson and the marketing director – because it makes me appreciate where I am on my journey so much more.

Every once and a while, you need to stop and remember when – when you used to dream of being where you are now. Whether you’ve made it into a new career or finally found the love of your life or become a mom or climbed your way out of debt, you might not be exactly where you want to be, but thank God you are further along that you used to be! Researchers point out that gratitude counteracts our tendency towards “hedonic adaptation,” the process of adjusting to continually improving circumstances. As you succeed, you can raise your expectations and become discontented more easily. But looking back at how far you’ve come gives you perspective on your life and makes you more grateful for your journey.

My challenge to you this week:
Notice how far you’ve come!

Journaling assignment:
In what area(s) of your life have you come a long way? Spend a moment remembering what life was like before your circumstances improved or progress was made. Then write down what you are most grateful for and to whom you are grateful. Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

The Power of Surrender

Surrender. It is a word that conjures up thoughts of giving up and giving in. I picture soldiers on the battlefield, rifles above their heads, allowing all their hard-fought efforts to dissipate, all they’ve fought for coming to nothing. It is no wonder then that the idea of surrendering is not an idea I naturally embrace-even surrendering to God. I have to talk myself into it. I have to remind myself of the wisdom of surrender.

Fighting the Battle

Sometimes, we find ourselves stuck because we are fighting the wrong battle-one we will never win because it is not ours to win. We work ourselves into a frenzy creating plans, devising strategies, and repeatedly hitting a roadblock in our life management. Determined not to give up on our goals, we go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan. Surely, this plan will work. We’ve learned from our mistakes, accounted for them, and sought advice from all the right people. We try again. And once again, we hit a roadblock. This cycle can go for some time before we get so worn down we even secretly question whether God is on our side. Have you ever been there?

It isn’t something I pride myself on admitting as a believer-the idea that I have ever questioned God. But I have. I have had my moments-quiet moments-lying in bed pondering a situation and wondering why God was withholding something from me. Am I being punished for something? What am I doing wrong? Why does it seem to happen so easily for so-and-so, but not for me? And as I ponder more, the temptation is to become angry.

Asking the Right Questions 

Instead, I grow curious. I’ve walked long enough with God to know those questions are the wrong ones to ask. I’ve been humbled frequently enough to know my good deeds and obedience fall short of deserving even the blessings that have already overtaken me. Those questions are the enemy’s whisper, not God’s. In moments of deep disappointment and frustration, when I lean on my own understanding rather than trusting God’s process, my ears are open to hear the lies. It is a line of thinking that gets me stuck, asking, “Why? Why don’t You know better what I need? Why don’t You see the timeline I see? Why don’t You open the door that would be so easy for You to open?”

Rather than look at such questions rhetorically, I believe God invites us to actually answer the questions. I mean, He is God. And there must be an answer, right? And if He truly loves us, there must be a reason your timing and God’s timing aren’t aligned-an explanation for that closed door.

Spiritual surrender is to stop fighting for your own agenda and turn yourself over to the service of the Almighty. It is to want what God wants for you. It is to stop battling with Him and ask, “Lord, what are You trying to show me? What are You trying to teach me? How do You want to use me?” There is a reason the door isn’t open. But in our finite understanding, we may never know the answer why. Our alternative is to keep fighting, to keep pushing against circumstances that push back with equal or greater strength-and remain stuck. Or we can throw our hands up in courageous trust of the Lord. When we do that, we are no longer stuck. We are no longer pushing against what is. Instead, we rest in the Lord and flow in His plan. We find the good in what He has given us and trust that He knows best. We breathe. We trust Him. We surrender.

Trust in the Lᴏʀᴅ with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ɴɪᴠ)

My challenge to you this week: Surrender. Stop fighting for your own agenda and turn yourself over to the service of the Almighty
 
Journaling Assignment: Pray and meditate on what God is trying to show you in this season of your life. Ask, “Lord, what are You trying to show me? What are You trying to teach me? How do You want to use me?” Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you! 

This post is an excerpt from my book, Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable: Step Into the Amazing Life God Imagined for You.

It’s Not Too Hard!

Have you ever gotten a divine reminder – a little message that reminds you of something you needed in that moment? I got a little reminder and I think it’s a message I’m meant to share with you for whatever you may be facing.

Each day, I begin by acknowledging what I am looking forward to that day. I end the day by acknowledging the experiences, people or things for which I am grateful that day. Recently, I began jotting these down in a gratitude journal that has short scriptures at the top of each page. When I finished writing in the journal yesterday, I closed it and ended my quiet time with prayer. I prayed for something that seemed pretty major to me. It was the kind of prayer that requires a lot of faith to believe it can be manifested. As I got ready to move on with my day, it dawned on me that I had closed the journal without reading the scripture at the top of the page. That’s when I was reminded that a request that seems major to me, isn’t necessarily major to God. It read:

“I am the Lord, the God of the whole human race. Is anything too hard for me?”

- Jeremiah 32:26-27

This week, I want to remind you to have faith that something that seems hard to you – perhaps even impossible – is absolutely possible! Sometimes we are afraid to hope for something more for fear we won’t get it. Refuse to allow fear to dash your hopes and diminish your prayers. In what area of your life have you stopped dreaming? What circumstance have you settled for despite a persistent feeling that it isn’t the right fit for you? What hope do you need to rekindle?

It’s time to exercise your faith muscles. Build them up to believe that more is possible – and you will begin taking steps that demonstrate your belief. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your heart’s true desire may take more time than you thought to manifest in your life. It may look a little different than you imagined. It may take more work than you signed up for. But your dream is possible. Believe. Persevere. Have faith.

My challenge to you this week:
Stretch your faith. Pray for something that feels “too hard.”

Journaling Question:
In what area of your life have you stopped dreaming? What circumstance have you settled for? What hope do you need to rekindle?

Resistance Means That There’s Something There!

A few months ago I hired a new coach, presumably to help me navigate the multiple transitions I’ve enjoyed this year and to get clarity of my vision moving forward. Several times over the last few months, I hung up with my business coach feeling – to be blunt – a little peeved. I found myself pushing back on his tough questions because, a) they forced me to face some of my habits that might be counterproductive to my goals and b) I didn’t feel like changing those habits and wasn’t totally convinced I could. So our conversations were at times tense, and yet beneath it all, I felt a little tug saying, “Hey, you need this. No coach has ever quite challenged you like this. Don’t run from the challenge.” So I didn’t. Despite my defenses going up, I stuck with it. I was intrigued by the questions and my strong response. What was going on?

To go to the next level, you must get bigger. That means stretching beyond your comfort zone. And that is uncomfortable. Growing usually means growing pains. When a question or opportunity leaves you resisting, defensive and uncomfortable, it is often an indication that there is something there that you need to explore. Rather than run from it, press in. Your boss gives you feedback that hit a nerve? Someone makes a valid observation that left you feeling defensive? Has your journey to a goal stretched you more than expected and left you questioning your own abilities? All are likely to cause resistance.

Breakthroughs happen when you do the hard work of looking honestly at yourself, your habits and the patterns of fear that can get you stuck. Whether it’s exploring why you feel guilty about stuff you didn’t do wrong, or notice how the overachiever in you is really just craving approval and acceptance, “doing the work” requires courage, time and honesty. Take criticism and learn from it. Get better, not bitter. Push through it. That’s how you have a breakthrough.

This week, my breakthrough came – a major shift in how I see my mission. And that breakthrough gave me the insight I needed to see what I believe my next season looks like. It is the vision I have been seeking for months. And finally, thankfully, my eyes are open to it. But without the hard work of pressing in rather than giving up when I met resistance, I’d still be waiting on my breakthrough.

My challenge to you this week:
Ask yourself the hard questions and answer them. Find the grain of truth in criticism. Stretch!

Journaling assignment:
Where are you resisting? What are you defensive about? What is the real issue beneath the resistance? What message is your resistance offering you? 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!

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!

Gear Up, Don’t Give Up!

There’s often a point as you are moving towards your vision when things just get hard. You get tired. The road is longer than you expected it to be, and you wonder if things will ever come together. And to be honest, you feel like giving up. In fact, you can try to convince yourself that the vision is not all that big of a deal. You don’t really want it that much. Yeah, that’s right. You’ll be just fine without it.

But your spirit knows that is not true. And today, I want to encourage you to gear up rather than give up. Gear up for the final stretch! Stay in the game. Admit you want it. You really want it. And you are willing to go all out to get it. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll deal with the devastation then. But today, you’re all in! Fear of disappointment tempts us to pretend our desires aren’t that important. Courage says, “I want it and I’m willing to risk failure and heartache to get it.” Where is this message true for you right now? Maybe it is the relationship you desire or the financial breakthrough or the dream career or a family of your own or healing from a health challenge.

I just want to encourage you today to be bold and courageous. Be willing to be ridiculed for being a dreamer, an optimist, a fool. Your tenacity will be rewarded, one way or another. I’d rather be a dreamer, an optimist or fool than a settler, a pessimist and full of regret.

My challenge to you:
Gear up, don’t give up! The road might be long, but it will be worth it.

Journaling assignment:
What does this week’s message mean to you? In what way do you need to gear up for the long haul? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

Will You Be Joining Me in a Few Weeks?

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I am so excited to announce that we are hosting our THIRD Coach Training Intensive for the year in just a few weeks! This intensive is an accelerated personal and executive coaching course that also features our popular bonus Business Development Day for those who want to grow a highly profitable coaching business. This intensive is designed to focus on the needs of professional coaches, business owners, psychologists/counselors, corporate managers and other leaders. The Coach Training Intensive will equip you with the skills to effectively coach clients, team members, staff, and others as they navigate through challenges and opportunities. See an exclusive peek inside our weekend intensive and see what YOU can experience in November!

Join me, my team of instructors and aspiring coaches just like you from all over the country on

November 1-3, 2014 in Atlanta, GA at the InterContinental Hotel.

This Coach Training Intensive will help you:
• Become a more sought-after leader who motivates and develops the potential in people.
• Learn how to attract and sustain a steady, profitable client base.
• Gain the latest research-based skills in coaching and applied positive psychology.
• Earn 22 accredited coach training hours approved by the ICF (International Coach Federation).
• Connect with like-minded individuals in a fun, faith-filled environment.
• Lay the groundwork to become Certified Personal and Executive Coach (CPEC).
• Walk fully in your life purpose and maximize your own potential!

Don’t miss out on this wonderful experience! Registration closes on midnight Monday October 20th.

Click here to register TODAY!

For questions, contact Erika Davis at 800.980.8208 ext.88/ edavis@cappinstittue.com

May and June 2014 Graduates

May CTI group

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Is Your Light Bright Enough?

“… Let your light shine before [others], that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
— Matthew 5:16

This week, I would like to remind you of one of your most important “divine assignments” – being a light that draws people closer to God. No matter what your purpose in life, this is an underlying mission: Living your life in such a way that people say to themselves, “There’s something different about that person and I want to know how to experience some of that peace, joy and love in my own life.”

Matthew 5: 14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Here are five ways you can exemplify this principle:


1. LOOK FOR WAYS TO BE A BLESSING
.
Letting your light shine means letting all that is good within you come forth. There is so much negativity swirling around us on a daily basis that when good enters our environment, it brings light to the darkness. It is a refreshing burst of clean air. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Find ways to be a blessing – even simple ways such as being a courteous driver, thoughtful friend, and kind co-worker.


2. REFUSE TO BE JUDGMENTAL.

One of the fastest ways to dim your light and turn people away from God is to judge them. You can acknowledge that a person has done wrong without condemning them for it. Remember that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Perhaps you would never do what someone else did that was terrible, but you know what? There is something you’ve done that was wrong – and God forgave you for it. You experienced His grace and mercy. Be merciful to others. Everyone does things for their own reasons – right or wrong. Let God be the judge. Choose to pray for those you feel tempted to judge. Embrace and support them if they are trying to do better. When you do this, they will be more likely to be curious about the faith you profess.

3. SPEAK UP FOR WHAT IS JUST.
Notice, I did not say, “Speak up for what is right.” Too often, we confuse “being right” with “doing right.” Focus more on the latter. In every instance and especially every conflict, it is essential that you treat people justly – to ensure that those who cross your path are better off for having done so. If you are in a work or personal situation in which others are being cheated, disrespected or done a disservice, let your light shine and speak up. You can do so in a way that is direct, yet calm and non-judgmental.

4. LET GO OF THE DESIRE TO “FIT IN.”
If you are going to let your light shine, unfortunately, it will be hard to do so and fit in everywhere you go. In some environments, simply smiling and speaking to people in a kind way will cause you to stand out. Choose to be more concerned with being a vessel of God’s truth and love on a daily basis than fitting in with those who do not share your values.

5. DON’T HIDE YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE.
One of the most common ways you can dim your own light is to pretend publicly that God is not central to your way of life. If God is an important part of who you are, there is no need to have a private relationship you keep to yourself and a public persona that never acknowledges your own spirituality. You don’t need a Bible on your desk or a preacher’s robe to share your faith with others. When opportunities present themselves to share where your strength comes from in difficult times or to acknowledge how God has protected or blessed you, be honest. Your faith is a part of who you are. When you free yourself to be who you are, you also free others to be who they truly are.

My challenge to you this week:
Identify at least one way you will “brighten your light” this week. Then intentionally set out to be a vessel of love and light in the world.

Journaling assignment:
In what ways have I dimmed my light? How can I go about becoming a brighter light that attracts others to God by the way I live my life and treat others? Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

My NEW Book, Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable is in a Store Near You!

I’m so excited that my new book, Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable officially launched today! This book is so special to me because like you, I’ve been stuck. More importantly, the life I live today is better than I even imagined – and it’s all because I made a decision and found the courage to break free of fear and get unstuck. It is a decision. I want to help you step into the amazing life God imagined for you. If you find yourself stuck in a job, frustrated in your relationships, repeating a cycle of debt, or unable to sustain momentum towards your goals, then I wrote Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable for you. Head out to the nearest bookstore to pick up a copy for you and a friend!

Order today and get a FREE in-person workshop with me, and two more gifts FREE.
(Must order THIS week!)
Follow these three simple steps to get instant access to your gifts:
  1.  Order Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable in store or online by this Saturday, October 4th
  2. Email a copy of your receipt or receipt number to getunstuck@valorieburton.com
  3. Instantly receive your gifts!
      • FREE: An in-person workshop. The book is your exclusive invitation to join me for the Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable workshop. $399, your admission FREE.
      • Instant access: The Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable webinar.Watch and take notes. The webinar is packed with eye-opening questions. $39, FREE for you.
      • Download instantly: The classic teleclass that got rave reviews. The Seven Secrets of Highly Effective Goal Setting teleclass was life changing. Now you can experience it by instantly downloading the recording! $39, FREE download.
      • Be Unstoppable inspirational quote cards: Stuck? Just read one of the inspirational messages, and move another step in the right direction.