No Diggity…..No Doubt!

Have you ever doubted yourself? Doubted your ability? Doubted your strength? Doubted your decisions? How did you overcome that doubt?
These questions represent a tug of war I recently faced between fear/doubt & confidence/faith. Many of you have probably seen the acronym, F.E.A.R (False Evidence Appearing Real) and although I believe this to be true, my most recent task made all of the evidence appear to be very Truthful and quite intimidating. My most recent task was in obtaining my Series 7 – Registered Representative License, which involved taking a 6 hour long, 250 question exam.
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I have always been the type of person to take on new ways to challenge myself and this by far was the Mt. Everest of all goals I’ve ever aimed to achieve. The preparation for this exam required a solid 7 week self- study plan with over 300+ Hours of study time. What truly made this nerve-wrecking and where the doubt began to kick in was when I received my study materials, in which this is not an exaggeration….Imagine receiving a few encyclopedias and being told everything is important to know and is testable. I had to truly tap into my inner – college study skills and hone in on the information presented. I’ll be honest, my 1st reaction was, “what did I sign myself up for?” My 2nd reaction, “how am I gonna be able to do this?” And then my 3rd delayed reaction, “I’ve got this!” This sequence of reactions occurred throughout my entire study period.
One thing that I know for certain is that God will never put on us more than we can bear, nor will he lead us into a direction to fail. If He opened the door, He definitely wants us to make it through it. So how did I overcome the doubt of exceeding? Dedication, determination & depending on God. I’d like to share how God showed me signs along the way that this was His plan and how it turned my doubt into faith.
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About 2-3 weeks into studying, I began to feel overwhelmed with the materials so I opted to purchase a supplemental resource to support off of Amazon. I decided to purchase a used book, since it would only be for a temporary period of time. Once I received it, I did not have much time to incorporate it into my schedule, as I had a study plan that I was following to complete other topics. One day, as I was wrapping up my studies for the evening, a bookmark fell out of the used book that I had purchased. Here’s what the bookmark read, “GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE!”
I let out the deepest sigh and shed a couple tears as I saw this message. Imagine receiving such a profound confirmation as you’re questioning your Why, frustrated about a challenging topic, and simply overwhelmed. This was the first sign that I knew I was on the right path and that I had to start trusting the process and trusting God to guide me through it.
Reading this bookmark became a daily task to set my mind and nerves at ease. In addition, I began to repeat affirmations daily, such as, “I’ve got this!” “I Am intelligent!” “I Am a conqueror!” “I Am an achiever!” “I am walking in purpose!” Talk about being your own hype woman, I had to do it!
Fast forward to a few days before my exam, (3 days prior to be exact) I had a scheduled call to review a topic with an instructor. The purpose of this call was 100% to discuss this topic, mind you I do not know the person on the other side of the phone. Let’s just say, God sends signs not only visually, however also verbally! Our conversation began with the instructor talking about how she had the week off, so she had time to answer all of my questions in preparation for the exam. It then transitioned to her asking me, “Shyla do you believe in John 3:16?” My immediate response was, “ABSOLUTELY!” She proceeded to ask, “Did you recently get baptized in the last year or so?” At this point, my jaw dropped, ears perked and my eyes were wide as I had taken the step to be re-baptized at the beginning of the year. She then shared, “I’m not sure why, but God wants me to tell you that He is pleased! Continue to shine your light so that others can see!” And 30 minutes later after us both sharing our journeys with Christ, and crying, we made it to the original purpose of the call, which by that point wasn’t even needed. I took this message as God’s way of saying, SHYLA, STOP Worrying, I’ve got you and I’m proud of you! God truly places His angels everywhere, we only recognize it if we’re paying attention.
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So It’s now game day (TEST Day) And yes I am still nervous, anxious and truly hoping for the best. After completing the first half of the exam, I resorted back to doubt, not feeling as confident in myself and what I did, but I knew I had the 2nd Half of the exam to come back to and complete. I headed over to the cafe in the building to grab some food to give my brain and body energy to make it through. And I had a simple order, a croissant sandwich and two drinks. I truly cannot make this up…. my order total was $7.77! The number 7 in the Bible, represents the number of completion. (I could spend more time on this, but I highly encourage you to seek to understand why this # represents completion) All I could say was, “WOW!” I’ve always known for God to send signs, but my goodness HE showed up and showed out to ensure that I did not fail and doubt myself.
The restaurant owner/cashier, thanked me for coming in and said, “It was just what I needed because I was having a really bad day and seeing that reminded me that I have a lot to be grateful for.” God used me to be his blessing, while the cashier had no idea that God used him and his restaurant to be my blessing. At this point, I stepped out of the restaurant, prayed and thanked God for staying with me and once again reminding me that “It’s complete and He is pleased!”

6 Hours later…. I PASSED!!! 

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This Journey taught me how important it is to ensure that My faith become greater than my fears. It also reminded me that:
1) God is always there, just sometimes we forget that
2) He will never, ever put on us more than we can bear
3) He answers prayers, however it’s on us to recognize, identify and accept the answer He gives us
No matter what the task, trip, job, or experience is that you are pursuing, Remember Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Thank you for reading my testimony of how God helped turn my doubt into confidence, I pray that He continues to provide you clarity and discernment in all that you do.
God Bless!
Don’t forget to Let your light SHINE!!
Shyla
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I am……

Happy New Year!!

Can you believe it’s 2018?!

Every new year is an amazing time to assess, reflect and plan how we want the upcoming year to manifest. Lose weight, buy a home, pay off debt, travel more, enroll in school…. So many amazing goals that each of us set out to accomplish at the start of a new year.

An activity I do in preparation for a New Year is a vision board to allow myself to visualize what outcomes I’d like to attain. This creates an opportunity to think big, bold and vividly about my goals. This year, in addition to that activity, I am also challenging myself to think deeper and ask myself some additional questions in an effort to ensure that my goals are aligned with who I am.

Here’s a few of those questions:

Who is Shyla? Not who do I want people to think Shyla is, who is Shyla?

Is this who I want to be?

Is this what I want to do?

What’s holding me back from greatness?

What will I do to remove the roadblocks?

So I started with jotting down every thing that I feel represents me through I am statements. I’ll share some of my I am statements below:

 

I am a daughter

I am a sister

I am a friend

I am caring

I am loyal

I am courageous

I am understanding

I am a travel junkie

I am willing to take risks

I am not a know it all

I am unsure of each of my next steps

I am a beach lover

I am willing to learn from my mistakes

I am a foodie

I am strong

I am a fun seeker

I am enough

I am confident

…………………………………….

This was a revealing activity for me as my list continued to grow longer and longer. It allowed me to open up and recognize all of the things I feel strongly about myself as well as those areas that evoke strong emotions and may require some additional digging. This grew deeper as my goal was to only write the things that I truly believed embodied me, how I feel and not how others perceived me.

So, the next question was is this who I want to be? If not, what’s holding me back from greatness?

These questions will be very personal to you (as they were for me), however a great positive way to help you set your intentions to strive for the best version of yourself.

As I began to set my intention, believe it or not… my intention is to truly let my light shine, in any capacity that I am fortunate to have the opportunity.

Another truth, that was revealed in this process for me is to not runaway from the things I’ve asked for guidance on and that have potentially already been revealed…For instance (Take a look at my last 3 years of Vision boards below, you will notice that each year has had some type of reference to “Shine.”) So this journey towards recognizing my purpose and walking in faith towards what God has called me to do in a way has been revealed, however it’s time for me to own it and move from comfortable to uncomfortable as I grow.

I encourage you to take some time to ask yourself those questions I shared in the beginning and then take a moment to jot down your I am statements. Please feel free to share or comment your reaction, thoughts or feelings after doing this activity.

Happy planning and Happy New Year!!

Don’t Forget to Shine!!

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