Articles Tagged with: life coach
Valuable Tools That Carried Me Through My Greatest Trial

Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t win in life? Like you just can’t catch a break? Sometimes you want to stay down when you get hit because it seems like that would be better than getting up, only to get knocked down again.

When the tough times come, what do you do? Who do you depend on? Who do you trust? Today, I want to talk to you about the tools I used to overcome my life’s greatest trial.

tools for trial

I often compare my life to that of a punching bag. The brand is Everlast, because my Father is Everlasting. I’ve taken hits but I know I was designed with quality in mind so no matter what, I will last.

My son Kayshaun was born with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, which is a disease that causes a lack of protein in the dystrophin gene. Over time, this causes a deterioration of his muscles. There is no cure, and the only treatment available has some really undesirable side effects.

Since the heart is the biggest muscle in the body, we understood that there was a possibility that it too would eventually deteriorate. In October 2013, we had just finished a regular checkup with the heart specialist at Sick Kids hospital. Every year we have the same tests done, to make sure there have been no changes in his heart function. On that day, we celebrated that his heart function was normal and only showed the slightest of changes.

Fast forward to February 2014, when Kayshaun fell ill. We were often in the hospital from severe constipation from his medication but this time seemed different. The doctors in the Emergency department looked at him quickly and sent him home with a new prescription that didn’t seem to solve the problem. By the 3rd time we had gone back to the Emergency Department, I decided that I was not going to leave until the doctors had done a thorough check.

Persistence

The doctor sent us for X-rays and it finally seemed like he had diagnosed the problem. Kayshaun was severely constipated and needed an enema to clear him out. But at the same time, the doctor had found something else. He told me that he needed to admit us to the hospital in order to take a closer look.

Doctors from the cardiac unit were called in and they kept us overnight to run tests. By morning, the doctors had diagnosed the problem. They called me into a separate room and told me that his heart had deteriorated rapidly from healthy to 5% heart function in a matter of 4 months. They had never seen anything like it and only gave him the weekend to live. They uttered a sentence I will never forget.

I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do.

I was shocked. Heartbroken. Unsure of what to do. Talk about being punched in the gut. I lost all ability to breathe, to think, to live.

I felt like I was left hanging in the air. The weight of the news was too much. I got the news on Friday, and some friends came to the hospital on Sunday to pray with me. That day I felt an indescribable peace came over me. Everlasting peace.

I had this understanding that things were going to be ok. I also made the decision to live life and make unforgettable memories with my son in the time we had together.

When You Think It Can’t Get Any Worse…

In the months that passed, many miracles took place. Every time the doctors said he only had a few days left, he out-lived their prediction. Happily. He always kept a smile. However, on the morning of August 16th, 2014 he woke up and took his last breath in my arms.

I never thought he would pass away. He beat the odds every single time. Near the end, it became more challenging for him and he kept pushing. And each time he kept pushing, I did too. We were cut from the same cloth, built to overcome.

But still he left…

After we had laid him to rest, I took a trip with a friend to get away from the noise. When I returned, I found out that a glitch in my income provider reduced my earnings from $1200 to $700. This meant that I didn’t have enough money to cover my rent. I had two weeks to pack up what I could, donate as much as possible, put the rest in storage and leave.

I didn’t get a chance to take my time even to pack and mourn over his stuff. Maybe it was for the best. In an instant the life I spent eight years building was gone.

But life has a way of shaping us by bringing us through the fire.

My “Tools For Trial”.

Here are the specific things that carried me through my greatest trial.

  • Music.
  • Prayer.
  • Community.
  • Love.

These are the tools that God used to transition me into my new beginning. They helped me find the room to breathe when I felt I couldn’t. Through the curves, the punches, when I felt frozen and stuck in one place.

Music

In the moments where words weren’t enough, I would play songs of hope. Songs of that reminded me of the truth. Especially, I played gospel praise songs to remind my soul that God is still good when I was tempted to complain. They helped greatly in uplifting my spirits

Prayer

Most of my prayers were short because I had nothing much to say and nothing much to give. Sometimes my only prayer was “God help me”, or “God, it hurts” or “God, please!”

And I know that He heard me each time.

In times of prayer, I felt God’s comfort more than I had ever felt it before.

God is your comforter in hardships 2 Corinthians 2 tools for trial

It’s interesting. You can read about the God of comfort but until you need Him this way, you don’t really know what it means. Still He always shows up.

Community

I used to isolate myself when things got really bad and I was challenged to reach out and to build and maintain my friendships through this period. To start conversations with others when I feel like shutting down.

Part of my choice to lean on community support was to hire a professional therapist to help me process my emotions. I also applied to be a part of Toyin’s amazing Leadership and Women’s Life Coaching group. There I was surrounded by 11 other women who walked with me and allowed me to walk with them through their processes as well. It helped me get direction in my life, regroup and see that my life didn’t end when his did, as much as it had felt that way for so long.

Love

Love has been a constant throughout this experience. Kayshaun showed me love every single day. God showed me love every step of this journey and finally, I realized that every time I gave away a little bit of love, it actually was a source of healing to me as well. I felt more complete.

New Beginnings

I heard that the number seven represents completion and perfection and eight, new beginnings.

My son passed away at the age of eight.

I believe that I now have the opportunity for a new beginning if I am willing to accept it. I have been branded by my Maker and walk in His everlasting strength, no matter what is thrown my way.

My Words To You

Dear friend, no matter what you are going through, I want to tell you that you also have the opportunity for a new beginning.

Take a breath *in* and *out*, breath the stress, the negative words, the haunting memories out and give them to God. He knows what to do with them and He knows how to mend your heart and give you life more abundantly in return for your brokenness.

Say these words out loud:

Lord, please help me. No matter where I am in life, keep me close and grounded in You.

You will have to choose to move forward and if even if you feel like you are starting from scratch, make sure you are doing so with a solid foundation. I promise you, God is willing and able to hear you, even if all you can do is whisper.

The best part of life is that you are never obligated to give up. Each day you keep pushing, you are inspiring people around you who you may not even know are paying attention. We need you to keep holding on.

Here’s a major tip that helped me a lot.
Besides praying, find a song that pierces your soul.  The kind of song that no matter where your head is at, it breaks through and warms your soul unlike any other. The rhythm is perfect and the words speak life.

Whenever you are having a hard time connecting, dealing with life, staying present, and moving onward, play that song on repeat. Repeat it until you feel a change within yourself and SING!

It doesn’t matter if you can hold a tune or not, sing the song with everything you have in you. There is something so powerful about singing truth out loud. It’s like you sing the problems out of your body. Once you’ve done that, make the decision that no matter what, this day will be positive. Even if everything goes wrong around you, smile, thank God for the good and bad and don’t give up.

So what’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get knocked down? How are you going to react when life throws you a curve that you never saw coming? Trust God that you too can have everlasting strength.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
-Hebrews 12:11

Let’s Talk

  1. What are some of your FAVOURITE songs for moments of hardship? Share so that others can benefit from them as well!
  2. What are some of the tools that have carried you through your greatest trials?

Guest Blog by C.o.l.a. of Up Pur Beauty

Note from Toyin

Thank you so much C.o.l.a for being willing to be vulnerable and open with us on your personal journey through such a difficult trial. We support you and love what God is doing in and through your life. We pray for greater peace, joy, and comfort as you continue to surrender yourself to Him.

I am honoured that you would share your story on this platform and hope that many of my readers are encouraged to use these tools and find others that will help them overcome the trials they face.

Everyone’s process is different, but God is able and willing to restore even the most bruised and broken heart. If you want to practice what Cola said and listen to as well as sing truth over yourself, click here for a recommended youtube playlist.

If you would like to read more about overcoming hardships, read this blog about failure and this blog about excuses.

Bless you Cola and reader,
Toyin C


Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail (and what you can do to come out smiling!)

I just got back from my week long End of Year Retreat and since my return to the real world, I’ve been asked this a couple of times – What are your resolutions for 2017? It makes perfect sense to set these resolutions, after all, it’s the beginning of a new year. Perfect time to turn a new page, start a new chapter, be a new you! Yes? Not quite.

The guys at Statistic Brain Research Institute state that over 40% of people who start New Year’s Resolutions, fail. While only 9% feel they are actually successful in achieving their resolution each year. NINE PERCENT>> Yikes!

I’m about to share with you the four (and a half) biggest mistakes people make when setting their New Year’s Resolutions – which causes them to fail. As well as exactly what you need to do to one-up these mistakes and ensure you are living your highest potential with each new year.

After all, we’ve only got a few years on this planet. Let’s live them well. Read on!

Why most new year's resolutions fail, and what you can do to come out smiling!

1. Resolution Overload!

I’ll start with one of the biggest mistakes people make when setting new year’s resolutions. Making too many of them! It’s as though we sometimes think we have become super human or worse- god-like and can do absolutely everything at the same time. You cannot! You have to be aware of your finite nature, your finite brain, body and energy and let yourself off that hook.

God is omnipresent (everywhere at once). You’re not. He is omniscient (all-knowing). Once again, you aren’t. He can and is doing more each second than you can even imagine, but you can only do a certain number of focused tasks -successfully- at a time.

Yet we want to have our cake, plus 5 other ones in hand and eat them all too. So we make a New Years resolution list that looks like this –

  1. Grow business by 50%
  2. Start healthy lifestyle- exercise 3x a week
  3. Come out of $20,000 debt
  4. Apply for a Master’s Program
  5. Get a promotion at work
  6. Spend more time with family

AND

7. Learn how to drive stick

It feels great to have a list like this. Feels like you’re about to conquer the world. Like you are going to KILL this year and finally start living the perfect life you have envisioned from way too long ago.

Yet 3 weeks in, you feel completely overwhelmed, unsure of where to start, what to focus on and are completely stressed out and tired from trying to do it all. As they say you’re burning the rope from EVERY end.

new year's resolutions fail

Wisdom Key

Instead of making a list with an undetermined number of goals for the year, limit yourself to 3 top things you want to see changed this year. You can have a side wish list with absolutely everything you want.

After you have accomplished one of the three, then include the next one from your wish list, but do not add to your plate until you have fleshed out each new habit or completed one task. Until you have begun to live out one of your lifestyle changes effortlessly. Capishe? Capishe.

2. You Put Matter Over Mind (Get it? Mind over matter? lolol)

Instead of focusing on how to change the way you think, you focus on changing external habits alone. Forgetting that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So you grit your teeth, squeeze your eyes, wrinkle your forehead, cross your fingers – toes – eyes – trying to become someone you are not inside.

Trying to change the externals, when you haven’t dealt with the necessary mind patterns that dictate the daily decisions you are making.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 #livewell #wisdomClick To Tweet

This can actually prove to be very detrimental to you. If you push your body to adjust to a reality that your mind has not accepted, you end up sabotaging yourself in that endeavour. Then, your past or present failure within that task becomes a greater burden to overcome as you try the next time to accomplish it (or other tasks).

For example, you can make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or start going to the gym, but  ignore targeting your mind. Changing the way you view your body, the way you understand healthy living, the way you view food (comfort, stress relief etc)… starting to get my point?

Your resolution is much bigger than the final product. It’s about what thought patterns have led you to where you are now, and what you are changing about it, to ensure your entire being is headed in the direction you think it is or want it to.

2b. There is no Carrot on the Stick!

When you address the mind behind your new year’s resolution, you must also address the why. You have to know the deep, root reason you have that item on your list.

WHAT IS YO’ CARROT?!

Too many people think their minds will be satisfied with simply losing weight. Uhhh, no. Your inner being needs to begin to understand what losing weight will do for your entire life. The inner you is crying out to know why you have been subjecting yourself to these past 2 weeks of grueling gym time.

Is it to have more energy to run around with your nieces and nephews?
Or because your family has had a history of diabetes and that is the last thing you need in life?
Is it because you love your hubby and want to look your best for him?

Why do you want to lose weight?

If you do not know why, you will, not might, will fail at it. Because once the first challenge smacks you on the behind, it will become too inconvenient to continue.

Wisdom Key

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8

As you make your top 3 resolutions (or goals as I call them), begin to ask yourself these questions-

What brought me to this point (financially, health wise, in my relationships etc)?
What do I have to change internally to make sure that if I hit this goal, I do not default back to where I am now or worse?
Why do I want to change this?
Where do I envision myself related to this matter?
Why?
Is this matter holding me back in other areas of my life?
What thought patterns can I begin to implement to change the way I think about this entire topic?

When you have limited the number of resolutions or goals you are focusing on, answered these questions, you can then move forward to the third reason most New Year’s Resolutions.

3. They make wishes and not goals.

Ooooh this one is a kicker. It deserves to be numero UNO because so.many.people.DO IT! They treat New Year’s Resolutions like wishes! Like letters to the tooth fairy that you can simply write, place under your pillow (or on the altar at church with your offering stuffed in it), do absolutely nothing and still see a magical turnaround by the end of the year. 

Half way through, they realize they haven’t gotten as far as they had hoped, figure the wish simply wasn’t granted and “move on” carrying the baggage of despondency, discouragement and hope deferred.

Wisdom Key

Make for gosh-darn sure your New Year’s goals are actionable. Please.

There is so much to say on this, but that is a blog post all it’s own. Until that blog post is created, click here to get on the waiting list for my FREE goal setting (and accomplishing) email course or schedule a one-on-one Purpose Call where we can see whether I am the right fit to help coach you into living at your life’s highest potential.

The last reason I believe many people fail at their New Year’s Resolutions is
*Drum roll please*

4. Because they take themselves WAY too seriously.

I’ve seen way way WAY :) too many people give up and beat themselves up when things don’t work out they way they envisioned. Instead of getting back up, dusting themselves off and getting back in the race. Nike said “Just Do It”, I say “Keep on doing it”. Keep on doing it even after you’ve “failed” in men’s eyes or by your own standards.

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
Proverbs 24:16

That’s so good I’ll say it again-

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
Proverbs 24:16

You choose what camp you’re in. Get back up after you’ve fallen. Laugh at your own mistakes. Myself and my husband say the exact same thing after tiny inconsequential mistakes and huge “it’s gonna take us a few months to recover from this one” mistakes – “You live and you learn”. We laugh, encourage each other and keep it moving.

If you’ve made the mistake today, at least you are much less likely to make that mistake again tomorrow. So laugh it off, forgive yourself and move on!

Ya hurd?

Alright! Now ask yourself the following questions as you set (or reset) your New Year’s Resolution for 2017.

  1. Is it concise. Limited. Finite. Like I am?
  2. What part of my thinking led me here and how can I change it?
  3. WHAT IS MY CARROT?
  4. What is my goal? Is it actionable? Is it SMART?
  5. Have I allowed me past failures to sap my joy and drive? How can I begin to forgive myself and enjoy life – mistakes included?

new year's resolutions fail

Your friends and family also have goals, resolutions and want to achieve their BEST this year so make sure to share this blog with them and give them tools to getting ’em done! 

If you have been battling with the same New Year’s Resolutions for years and have yet to see yours (or God’s) dreams come to life, you might need a life coach! Click here to book a Purpose Call, and see whether I am the right fit to help you begin to live at your life’s highest potential. 

Until next time, live well, live wisely
Toyin


Let’s Talk!

What are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions (or goals as I call mine)?
A few of mine are learn to cook 3 more Nigerian dishes -one of my highlights from last year,
Be a LOT more flexible about everything around me -I’m expecting TONS of change this year,
And fearlessly do what God is telling me to do- nothing more, nothing less. (this is a much more specific list I’m just pleading the 5th on the deets ;)