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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

In Order to Grow You Need to Sow

I had the opportunity this month to provide my insights on some topics for a book a friend of mine is writing.  While I was being interviewed I really started to reflect back on my life and the many different journeys my life has taken me.  As I thought about life, I thought about what has truly helped me to achieve success.  I am very happy with my growth over, specifically, the past 6 years.  If someone would have told me 10 years ago I would be doing what I'm doing today, I probably would have laughed.  It's amazing as you continue to go through the journey of life the things you uncover about yourself.  What I have found is that through all my growth I have had to sow.  What does that mean?  In order to achieve your success you have to invest in the success.  Each investment is a seed sown.  However, you need the wisdom to know where to sow.  You can sow in good or bad ground.  It's your choice to decide which one.

How has this concept worked for me.  I have so many stories, but I will share a couple in this blog to demonstrate.

When I started speaking seriously, in 2009 I was so green.  I thought it was just simply creating a presentation, getting up in front of a group of people sharing what you know about a specific topic.  It is definitely FAR from that.  When I did my first few speaking engagements, I realized, after the feedback, I was not engaging and/or capturing the audience as much as I wanted.  I wanted to capture the audience because I was investing money into the speaking investments and I wanted to ensure my investment was worth it.  I knew this was something I wanted to do and be successful at.  I decided to watch individuals I respected, who would always receive great feedback, and consistently invited back to conferences to determine what I should be doing differently.  I also took advantage of opportunities to facilitate and speak at my day job to learn how to effectively engage the audience.  All of these steps allowed me to sow into my dream.  I was sowing of my time, energy and finances to achieve my goal.  What is even more interesting is I really prefer not to speak in public.  When I was younger I used to stutter.  I felt I had a hard time articulating my thoughts to where they made sense.  I also internalized rejection.  I took constructive feedback as rejection, and negative feedback to where I felt I as failure.  In my mind, why would I put myself in a position to go through just that?  To overcome the things that scare you, you have to approach them head on.  What I should have been doing is changing my mindset that feedback truly is a gift.  You can always learn from others and through experiences that may make you uncomfortable.  Though I may not have liked public speaking I do love sharing my knowledge, and gaining knowledge.  Through sowing into my dream I have really grown in the speaking circuit.  This year has been phenomenal.  I'm speaking internationally, I'm a keynote speaker at a BA Conference, I'm speaking at conferences where I've been asked to do multiple breakout sessions, and more. All of those years of sowing are now allowing me to reap a bountiful harvest.  I definitely could not have done it without the support of my family, friends and mentors.  The journey hasn't been easy.  I've had to humble myself, get rid of the ego, accept the fact that I need help from others , commit to my dream and stay disciplined to achieve it.

Helping Others
A few years ago I decided that if I received a bonus from work I would bless 1-2 people to help them achieve what they had a desire to achieve, or just to be a blessing in general.  I have a heart of giving and though I have been hurt by my generosity, it's part of my DNA.  I don't do it to receive anything in return because it's just my heart.  However, every single time I do bless someone I have received 3x or more of the blessing I have sown.  I have found this to be a boomerang effect.  When I give, I receive, which makes me give again.

I truly believe in order to grow you must sow.  There must be an investment and not a mentality of entitlement.  You tend to appreciate things more when you invest in them because you are putting a part of yourself in to it.  So take a moment next month to think about how you can sow into good ground to help someone else.  Do it expecting nothing in return.  Regardless whether who/what you sow in appreciates it or not, continue to sow in others.  My challenge to you this month is to sow to continue to grow.

Trust me, it's worth it!!!!! 😊

Signing Off,
Paula Bell
BA Martial Artist