Don’t Let Hidden Insecurities Keep You From Pursuing a Goal

Since starting this blog in January of this year, I have had some fantastic opportunities to connect with some great women.  Our conversations revolve around the power women have when we support each other, the importance of motivating others (for them as well as ourselves) and how education broadens the choices we have for ourselves as well as our families.

There are four women I can think of off hand who are facing financials constraints as they contemplate further education.  I am a planner and like to have a budget set up prior to taking a financial leap such as going back to school.  But when I applied to grad school,  my plan wasn’t rock solid.  I had submitted my FAFSA and brainstormed with my family but it wasn’t until I jumped in and started school that all the pieces fell into place.  Maybe I didn’t think I’d get in or some major family issue would keep me from taking that leap.  I think many times women let these financial worries hold them back when deep down it is our fear of the unknown as well as other insecurities that keep us from pursuing a goal.

By checking out scholarships and other assistance programs, we can alleviate some of the anxieties and get the push we need to move forward  towards our goals.  Check out these resources and see if it will give you the incentive you need to reach further towards your goal of further education.

The Talbots Women’s Scholarship Program is specifically for women who choose to return to college later in life.  Thirty scholarships of $5,000 and one of $30,000 are given to women pursuing a bachelors degree.  Scholarships are given in honor of Talbots founder, Nancy Talbot.

The Linda Lael Miller Scholarship was established by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Lindal Lael Miller, to encourage women to improve their lives through education.  Applicants must be over the age of 24.  Maximum grants are $1,000.  $10,000 is awarded each year.

PEO Program for Continuing Education is one that I have mentioned in a previous post. Up to $3,000 can be awarded to women who have a break in schooling of over 24 months and are within 24 months of reaching their educational goal.  An applicant must be sponsored by a chapter in order to apply.

Emerge Scholarships awarded 14 women over the age of 25 with scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 this year.  This organization believes in empowering women through education as well as recognizing the importance of giving back to a community.

The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship is named for the first woman to be elected to the United States Congress.  Women applying must be over 35 as well as low income to meet eligibility requirements.  87 women benefited from this scholarship program in 2013.

Whether you proceed to the next step or hold off for a bit, I hope you check these programs out and keep that information in your back pocket.  Hopefully it will come in handy one day!

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Be Patient: 21 Days is Not the Magic Mark!

If 21 days were all it takes to form or change a habit, I would have it made!  I’d be eating healthy, exercising and getting all my schoolwork done.  Three weeks just isn’t long enough when I am looking at establishing an exercise habit or healthy eating habit.  We all know that there is no safety zone once we hit day 21. There is no guarantee that will keep us from cheating once we’ve made it to that magic mark.

Unknown-1Research shows that 21 days may be sufficient to establish a simple habit such as drinking the required 8 glasses of water a day.  But a more challenging habit such as running 4 miles 3 times a week (for a non runner) will take a lot more than 21 days to establish.  To vary the timeframe even further, every person has different goals and motivational factors.  This allows for even further deviation from any kind of standard habit forming timeline.

Ok, enough harping on how long it’s going to take to form a habit.  The important thing here is to decide to make a change for the better by establishing goals.  Hopefully, with enough perseverance, we can manage the goals to ultimately form great habits.  Here are a few tips to do that.

  • Start slow.  Don’t overdo it by running the full 4 miles on day 1.  Set up a schedule starting slow and increasing progressively.  This will prevent discouragement early on as well as sore muscles!
  • Be consistent.  Engage in your new habit every day for a good 30 days.  This is just giving yourself every opportunity to latch on to your newly acquired habit.
  • Forgive yourself.  Sticking to your new commitment will be tough so allow yourself a few “oops”, acknowledge the slip and move on.
  • Partner up with a buddy.  By working with another person on a common goal, you provide accountability and much needed motivation.
  • Remove as much temptation as possible.  Why make it any more difficult that it needs to be?!

Healthy living and eating habits will benefit you for years to come.  So remember that building any habit takes three things:  intention, consistency and time.  Commit to those three items and your habit may be attained sooner than you think.

What’s on your “habit making” list?


It’s the Journey…

PerfectPerfectionism (in psychology) is a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards accompanied by overly critical self evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.

Normal perfectionism tendencies push a person towards a goal without compromising one’s self esteem.  This is a healthy drive that can increase productivity as well as satisfaction along the journey to the goal.  Neurotic perfectionism tendencies cause internal conflict and anxiety as unrealistic goals are set and dissatisfaction is felt when these goals are not met. This can lead to depression and low self esteem.

Perfectionists often struggle with inner peace. As they venture through life with certain expectations, it is inevitable to feel discontent as they struggle to fight this uphill battle. This inner conflict stands in the way of tranquility for themselves.  Additionally these tendencies can impedes a person’s gratefulness and appreciation, making way for negativism and skepticism.

Perfectionism can be related to the person – the need to organize a home, stay in shape or climb the corporate ladder.  It can also be projected on others – identifying others imperfections in their looks, behaviors and life, in general.  To work towards a healthy blend of perfectionism and inner peace, we must realize the merit in doing our best to work towards a goal.  There may be a better or more efficient way to do things but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy and appreciate things as they are.  Try not to become overly attached and focused on the negative aspects of this journey.  By looking at life without judgement, we can more clearly see the joy in life.

Try to catch yourself falling into the negativity of the unattainable and enjoy your life today, making the most of the journey.

Life is a journey, not a destination.”    -Ralph Waldo Emerson


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