Dream Snatcher

images dream snatcherI was terrified when I contemplated going back to school to complete my Masters degree. To be truthful, I wasn’t a terrific student, although I had always excelled in the workplace. My fears about school were so strong that every now and then, the subject turned up in my nightmares.  Usually, I was running to get to my class and would realize that I had not studied for the final. (Which, of course, was happening right at that moment.)  In the nightmare, I could feel the anxiety coursing through my body as I asked myself why I hadn’t attended the classes or prepared appropriately for the exam. This scenario played itself out over and over— whenever I was feeling anxious in my life.


Yes, I had fears about school and succeeding. So, when I made the decision to go back to school, you can imagine what an obstacle that represented to me. I began to tell people my plan, with the hope that every time I shared my news, I would become a little more self-confident about the path I had chosen.  This was my dream and the only thing that was stopping me from going after it was my fear.


As you know, every time you share your life plans with someone, you run the risk of receiving a negative reaction. I remember vividly sharing the news with a good friend who reacted in a way that I couldn’t have expected.  As I excitedly laid out my plans for the future, she questioned my decision.


“Why would you do that?  How can you possibly be successful when you still have two kids at home? That’s not going to work”.


This cut straight to my heart. I needed a friend that supported and encouraged me to move forward.  I didn’t need help with feeling any more vulnerable or unsure about my decision. I was more than capable of handling that one.


This person was a DREAM SNATCHER.


You know the type. They could be loving members of your family or long-time friends.  The bottom line is that they discourage you from wanting more and believing that you are entitled to receive more. They go out of their way to share all the reasons why your decision is a bad idea and it’s not going to work.


But why do they do this? There are many possible reasons but these two are the most common.


They don’t want you to get hurt.

It’s possible that they have lived their own life following the rules and doing what’s safe.  They love you and they can’t bear to see you get hurt, stumble or take the wrong path.  Therefore, they will convince you to keep things predictable.  They will encourage you to stay where you’re familiar and comfortable.  Their pain while watching you risk this fall is so great that they feel compelled to convince you to stay “status quo”. They just can’t take the risk of having to see you struggle.


Your plans make them feel vulnerable and insecure.

Nothing is more threatening to the Dream Snatcher than watching others move forward and go after their dreams.  The Dream Snatcher doesn’t have the courage to take this leap; therefore, they feel relieved if they can discourage you from taking it.  Your ability to move forward is uncomfortable for them— they might have to face some decisions in their own life.  When my friend asked me how I could go back to school, she really was talking about herself. This was really about her, not me.


There will always be plenty of people in life who want to give you reasons why your dream is NOT valid.  Dream snatchers are everywhere and they’re more than happy to go into detail as to why your dream will fail.  Be sure to surround yourself with individuals that encourage, empower and support your efforts to go after your dreams and live life to the fullest.



4 Bad Career Moves


Do you know women that make success at work look easy? Do you ever wonder why some girlfriends soar in their careers while others falter? I’m sure that at some point in your life, you have asked yourself these questions. If you are truly serious about succeeding in your career, then it might behoove you to take a step back and give this some thought.


Over the years, I’ve observed a number of behavioral patterns that stand in the way of women accomplishing their goals in the workplace. Here are just a few for you to ponder:


Staying in a position at work way beyond its expiration date
Are you good at recognizing when it’s time to move on? Have you ever stayed at a job way too long— hoping things will get better? If you’re known for your persistence and determination, this is one situation where your admirable qualities can get you into trouble. You see, there’s a time to fold your cards and just move on. If you don’t, resentment sets in and your attitude inhibits your job abilities. Tap into your instincts to make the best decision because staying in a job beyond its expiration date is a bad career move.


Bringing your personal problems to work with you
In the many hours you spend at work, I’m sure there’s at least one day in your memory where you let your personal problems get in the way of your effectiveness at work. Let’s face it, at some point it happens to everyone. However, if you make a habit of bringing your own emotional baggage into the workplace on a regular basis, you run the risk of sabotaging your career. Earning a reputation as emotional or high strung is a death sentence for your career. Make it a habit to practice strong boundaries in the workplace— work hard to keep the emotions out of the equation.


Refusing to acknowledge the workplace politics
When I was working in career development in the school system, I spent time teaching high school seniors how to interview. Often, a few of them would express to me how they thought it was beneath them to “try to say the right things just to get the job”. They felt that this was disingenuous and beneath them. I would explain to them that regardless of how they felt, this was how the real world worked. Some women never grow out of this type of thinking. You might believe that just doing your job well is enough to receive promotions. However, if you really want to move up, you need to acutely observe and understand the political culture at work. I am not suggesting that you need to sell your soul, but you certainly need to be able to play in the game.


Digging in your heels and refusing to change
In today’s world, organizations are rapidly changing. You might be expected at work to learn a new system and within a year, that process is obsolete. Because of this, companies are in dire need of employees that are flexible and comfortable with change. Be honest— do you struggle with accepting change? If so, this can hinder your ability to be successful in your career, whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. So wake up and accept the facts— change is synonymous with success.


See a glimmer of yourself in any of these? Then maybe it’s time to make the needed changes so you can achieve your dreams

Remembering Mom

Around Mother’s Day, my thoughts are always with my own mother who I lost many years ago.  Although she isn’t around to see her grandsons grow up, her influence has definitely been felt throughout the years.


I was one of those lucky few that had a mother that passed down an excellent blueprint for being a mom.  She wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Neither am I. However, she definitely got the most important things very, very right.  So, in memory of my mom, let me share why my mother definitely had her inner sass.


She was always nonjudgmental when it came to my life decisions. Which means, she listened to me and let me make up my own mind.  She didn’t tell me what decision I should make or what I should think.  She just listened and helped me come to my own decisions.  Even though I knew what she would want my life to look like, I knew she accepted me for who I was at my core. Looking back, I don’t know how she kept quiet in certain situations! But she did, and her unconditional acceptance truly helped me become a strong woman and have my own voice.


She repeatedly told me that I deserved the best in life. Guess what happened? I grew up to think that I deserved the best in every aspect of my life.  I’m not talking about entitlement here! I was always willing to work hard to get what I wanted in life. I just felt that I never had to settle for anything and I was certainly never desperate. Not with men, jobs, friendships etc.


She was a kind, loving person that showed how she felt about you.  This used to embarrass me when I was younger. Why did she always have to get in personal conversations with the bagger at the grocery store? Why did she have to grab the hand of whomever she was talking to?  It used to drive me crazy until I was older and realized how people really felt about my mom. They loved her. She was a warm, caring person and people felt her warmth when in her presence.  Their walls came down when she was around. Funny thing is that I often find myself saying and doing the exact same things.


She taught me how to handle conflict in a healthy manner.  My mom and I had horrendous fights that often ended in tears and with doors banging (that was me).  However, no matter what we fought about or how bad it got, we always talked it out and got to the bottom of the situation.  We always ended the fight hugging and saying that we were both sorry.  Fights between my mom and dad played out the exact same way.  What I learned was this: you can have bad conflicts where you express how you feel but still work things out at the end. Because of this, I always felt confident in conflict situations and never shied away from uncomfortable truths.


She treated every person with the same amount of respect.  It didn’t matter if you were a garbage collector or you ran a large corporation.  She really didn’t care how much money you had in the bank.  What she wanted to know was this— were you a kind, caring person that treated others well?  I learned at a very young age not to be impressed by what people possessed, but by how they live their life.


So thanks Mom, for giving me such a wonderful example of a woman that has her inner sass. Although you are no longer physically here with me, I sense your presence daily with everything that I achieve in my life.




Think Before You Post!

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I spend a lot of time on Facebook.  I’ve definitely taken full advantage of this form of social media to grow my business.  Yes, connecting with my old high school friends and family has been unbelievably fun and enjoyable. However, the more time I spend on Facebook, the more I become concerned about its misuse and the message that women could be unintentionally sending to 300 of their closest friends. In lieu of this, I have compiled a list of Facebook do’s and don’ts for women that want to succeed in their careers and their relationships.


Give some thought to what you post on your status updates. Please.  Is this update something that’s going to make you look positive to the 800 people that might read this? Does it send a message that is congruent with the image that you desire to portray in your career life? How about this— would it sway someone’s current opinion of you to one that is negative? If you’re posting a picture, is your dress too revealing? I’m no prude, but multiple pictures of you with your breasts prominently displayed while you’re partying might not be the best image for your career or your personal life in the long run. People have been known to make quick judgments based on a few pictures.


Attempt to limit the amount of bragging you post on your page. This seems to be an epidemic of on Facebook.  Think about it this way— would you go to a party of 100 and attempt to tell every single person present how your daughter just received the absolute highest score in the school on her Math exam? Now be honest— would everyone there truly be interested? Then you understand how this isn’t any different. Being humble and modest are wonderful qualities that seem to be lacking these days. They make you quite likable.  For women that are promoting a business in social media, the rules change a bit.  A certain amount of boasting is necessary in order to market your business.  You need to come across as effective, competent and successful.


If you must partake in some sleazy Facebook posts, please use the privacy options.  If you revel in your freedom to post whatever you feel like posting, please be smart about it.  I can be your friend, but I don’t need to see all your posts. Set up your Facebook page so I can’t see what you are doing in your personal time. Please.  It certainly is changing my impression of you and I am sure you don’t want that.


Don’t post about every single moment of your day. Why would anyone really care that you ate a smokehouse turkey sandwich from Panera at 12:30? Think— would someone find this interesting? Don’t post every single thing that comes to your mind during the day. If you truly want others to read what you write, don’t inundate people with posts. After a while, it’s just too much and people stop reading.


Refrain from coming across needy and attention seeking in your posts. Don’t laugh— I see this everyday on Facebook. I’ve said it before girlfriends, if you’re struggling with some issue in life and you’re feeling down, you don’t share it with 800 people. I know it doesn’t feel uncomfortable sharing this when you are sitting at your computer, but you’re sharing WAY too much information with hundreds and hundreds of people. Again, would you share that with each person at a party with 100 people? Remember that people make judgments based on what you are revealing.


I enjoy Facebook as much as the next person.  It has been very, very good to me. But if any of this hits too close to home, then make some changes to your social media habits today.


Making Healthy Changes

It’s no secret that making changes in your life takes hard work and a strong commitment.  There’s no magic elixir you can drink to be happy, healthy and successful.  Or so I thought.  The story that aired Monday morning on Good Morning America challenged this belief.


According to the reporter, a young woman was planning her wedding and was having difficulty fitting into her dream wedding dress.  It was important to her that the wedding was absolutely perfect and, of course, she wanted to look thin on her special day.  Therefore, she made an appointment with a doctor that placed her on the KE diet.  What’s the KE diet? Let me explain further.


The KE diet is perfect for men or women that want to lose 10, 15 or 20 pounds FAST.  The doctor inserts a feeding tube into the individual’s nose that snakes down into their stomach, enabling them to be fed only by a constant drip of protein and fat for 10 days. The daily diet includes only 800 calories and contains zero carbohydrates.  The doctor explained on the segment that the food solution can be carried in a bag-like purse and is a hunger- free, effective way of dieting.


The young dieter paid  $1500.00 for this experience.  Her reasoning for taking such a drastic, expensive measure to lose weight was the following,” I don’t have all of the time on this planet just to focus an hour and a half a day on exercise— so I came to the doctor.” She mentioned that one drawback of having the feeding tube was that friends kept asking her if she was sick or if she was dying.


As I’ve said before many times, it seems as if everyone wants a quick fix in life— especially this woman.  The truth is that she could easily lose those 10 pounds with a commitment to eating right while incorporating exercise into her daily routine.  What I’m describing is a healthy lifestyle change— which she’ll need to do anyway or those 10 pounds will be back in no time. And by the way, my suggestion to her weight dilemma is FREE. You don’t have to make a 1500$ investment to eat healthy meals and last I checked, you aren’t charged for going for a walk. Not to mention that exercise would be an effective stress reliever as her wedding day approaches.


Is part of this her need to make everything absolutely perfect? This particular young woman believes in her heart that her wedding day will not be complete and won’t have meaning unless she loses 10 pounds. Sometimes we focus so intensely on the details that we have difficulty seeing the big picture and what truly matters in life.


The reality is that her day is never going to be perfect.  Life is not perfect and the details of our lives are never without error.  Her wedding day can be quite wonderful and lovely even if it isn’t perfect.  At the end of the day, she’s still going to be married, and if she loves this guy, having a wonderful day should be enough. In the long run, the perfect weight, the perfect flowers, and the perfect bridesmaid dresses are not going to make you any happier. Yes, choosing to be happy, healthy and successful in life can be hard work— but it is very worth it!





It’s Just Common Sense

Anytime I get the chance to share my thoughts with other women on how to become sassy, I’m one happy girlfriend! I was lucky enough to give a presentation to a group of awesome businesswomen with Key4women at Key Bank yesterday.  Of course, I discussed the 6 steps to finding your inner sass— which was an extension of some of the principles that are presented in my book “31 Days to Finding Your Inner Sass”.  I presented 6 key topics that are absolutely essential to happiness and success in your professional and personal life. I covered things like knowing your strengths, risk and change, communication skills, firm boundaries, baggage in your life and problem solving.


After the presentation, a woman came up to me and thanked me for sharing the information. And then she said,  “You know, everything you talked about is just common sense. There’s nothing you spoke about that I already didn’t know”.  I agreed with her wholeheartedly and told her that I was very aware of that fact.  After I left the event, I spent the evening thinking about this.


In life, we get into our daily routines and go about our business.  Often, we are so busy that we can’t see straight.  We run from one meeting to the next, to picking up the dry cleaning, to picking up the kids, to running to the store, to running home to make dinner.  We’re on overdrive and we’ve become quite proficient at getting as many things done at one time as possible.  But the problem with this is the following— when we are running at such high speed and trying to fit everything into our schedule, we often miss the obvious.


Then suddenly, we stop and realize that we are unhappy.  Whether it’s in our personal relationships or the satisfaction in our professional life, we know that something is just not right.  It’s difficult for us to articulate exactly what the problem is, because we haven’t been feeling.  We haven’t truly been checking in with ourselves to see how things are going.  If we did, we wouldn’t be able to get all our “things” accomplished and, let’s face it; it’s just easier that way.  Maybe we were feeling before and being diligent about leading a healthy life, but slowly, we fell back into our unhealthy patterns. When we do finally check in, we don’t like what we find and we’re not sure what to make of it or how to get out of this place.


Yes, all of what I stress to being important to your health, happiness and success in life is common sense. However, the truth is that few of us are actually living our lives in this healthy manner every single day. On some level, we’re aware of these important principles. Often, however, we just stick that thought as far back in our minds as possible so we can continue to get things done.  Only until life seems to bubble over and smack us in the face can we ignore it.


That’s where I come into the picture. I’m the reminder that you need to make some changes in your life. I’m the cold water in your face, warning you that you can no longer ignore those little pesky issues that are holding you back from being your best in your career and personal life. Because here’s the thing— those pesky little issues, as common sense as they may be, become huge monster issues when left unaddressed. So I’m doing my best to make sure that you don’t let that happen. Here is your wake-up call, girlfriend— deal with that stuff now!


Tough Lessons in Leadership

Everywhere I go these days, I hear a lot of women talking about leadership. It appears to be the latest buzzword in the business world.  So, in your opinion, what is the difference between being a manager and being a true leader?


My first job out of college was as an Assistant Manager in a Retail Store. I was trained to understand my job responsibilities and how to effectively perform each task.  However, no one trained me how to actually handle employees. I vividly remember the first day that I was on my own and in charge of the store.  I instructed one of the veteran employees, Mary, to merchandise the new clothes that had just been placed on the floor. Mary, who had been there for years, glared at me and loudly said “no”.  She then refused to listen to me.  I handled the response from her with finesse, professionalism and maturity; I went in the back room and cried alone in the corner.


But while I was in the back room crying and frustrated, something quite wonderful happened.  I went from manager to leader in the next few minutes.  I stopped crying and began to think about how I was going to accomplish my goal; getting Mary to respect my authority and work for me. I realized that I obviously needed a different tactic.  I hatched my plan in the back room; my best strategy was to go back out there and appeal to her compassion.


I went out and asked if we could have a little talk. You see, I knew she had informal power in the store and could convince others of what ever she believed. This was why it was vital that I handle this situation delicately and appropriately. In our talk, I let down my guard and shared with her that I was struggling— this was all new to me and I really needed her help.  I asked her if she would be kind enough to help me through this venture.  Seeing me vulnerable, she jumped at the chance to help and support me. The truth is that while I was in the back crying, I had an epiphany.  In the few weeks that I had worked with her, I noticed a few things about what made Mary “tick”.  I understood what motivated Mary— she was a caregiver and wanted to be needed by others. Also, she wanted to be respected for her expertise and knowledge in the store. She was unimpressed by the recent confident college graduate that they had just hired.


From that day forward, I never had any trouble with Mary.  In fact, Mary loved me and would do anything for me. In the end, Mary respected my work and encouraged me to move up in the company. In those few minutes where I lost my composure in the back, I internalized a lesson for a lifetime.  I forever would understand the real difference between a manager and a leader.  A manager is hired to complete tasks.  A leader completes tasks but much, much more.  A leader knows that in order to be truly effective, she needs to understand how to motivate and inspire each employee.  A leader puts her own feelings aside to accomplish this goal because she sees beyond the short-term goal of completing tasks. The truth is, I knew I wanted to rise to the top, so I figured I better find a solution to my first simple dilemma in management.  And I did.




Take Charge of Your Inner Critic!

Right this minute, I am sitting outside on a patio enjoying the bright blue skies and warm sunshine.  There’s a gentle breeze blowing and two birds above me chirping a calming melody.  If I look up from my computer, I can see the palm trees swaying.  Let’s just say that I am feeling pretty content, happy and relaxed, which is a far cry from where I was just 6 days ago.


I am embarrassed to admit this, but last Sunday, I let my inner critic get the best of me.  One reason this happened was because I wasn’t diligent and I let my guard down.  I started listening to the lies my critic tells me now and then.  And here’s the thing, once you start listening to the lies, you can get really carried away.


Last Sunday was a crazy busy day for me-and maybe that statement is a big part of the problem. Now really, should Sunday ever be a crazy busy day?  Sunday should be a relaxing day, a time to regroup. If you are working hard all week, you need down time to reenergize for the coming week. But I was not listening to my own advice and was running full speed ahead.  I spent Sunday trying to accomplish as many things as possible.  I knew my stress level was high, but I didn’t allow myself to stop to think about it; I just kept on going.


I had talked to my son midweek and he was struggling with some issues that had led him to feel unhappy. Considering that he is a sophomore in college, that is not so hard to believe.  Now that I am sane again, I realize that there are good times and bad times when you are trying to grow up.  Anyway, Sunday, sometime in the afternoon, I decided to give my son a call and see how he was doing.  The phone rang once and then went right to voicemail.  I tried again and the same thing happened.  My inner critic started and I did everything I could to allow him to excel at his work. “Why wouldn’t he answer his phone in the middle of the afternoon?  Is he sleeping the day away because he’s so unhappy?  Is he miserable and I am not taking this seriously when I talk to him?”  I can honestly say it went downhill from there into some territory that was downright ridiculous!


I had worked myself up to a frenzy when I gave him a call again at 5:30 pm and he answered.  My critic informed me that he had just woken up-my reality did not.  “Hi mom”, he said loudly with energy. “I just got out of the theatre performance all my friends were in-it was great!!”.  I’ve been there all afternoon-I would love to be in at least one play sometime in the next couple years!”  I asked how he was feeling but I could already tell-back to his usual happy self.


When I hung up the phone, I thought about how happy I was for him and then my mind went to myself.  What a waste of energy on a day when I couldn’t afford to lose any!  How quickly my inner critic had hijacked my sane thinking and poisoned my thoughts.


Your inner critic can be sneaky. Just when you think that you are in full control of your situation, he sneaks in to sabotage your thinking. He knows your Achilles heel and when to strike-he recognizes when you are most vulnerable.  But you can control this-the key is to truly listen to what you need and take it seriously. So girlfriends, stay on guard and refuse to give in to your inner critic!  Listen carefully and stop him dead in his tracks.

How Do You Spell Success?

I was working with a client the other day when she mentioned that she had always been told she was going to do something very special in life.  This burden of success weighed heavily on her heart throughout her life.  What was the one special thing she was destined to do?  Is she letting everyone down?  Is she supposed to be president or CEO of a massive company in order to fulfill her destiny?  Instead of this being a motivator, this became a massive albatross around her neck.  She was constantly feeling that whatever she accomplished was just not enough.


This leads me to think about how you define success. Everyone seems to be able to tell others what success really is.  You’ve read all the promises out there. “Learn these 5 business strategies and achieve success” or “take this course and learn the secrets to becoming a millionaire”. Do you achieve success when you become president of the United States?  Is it when you have a bulging bank account, or is it when you own 5 houses all over the world?


My dad was not a rich man.  I didn’t grow up in a big house with a lot of material possessions.  My dad sold cars and he absolutely loved his job and was quite good at what he did.   I believe he was a natural born salesman. That’s not to say he didn’t have plenty of bad sales months with the good months. Wherever we would go, people would be excited to see him and give him a big hello.  You see, I didn’t know anyone that didn’t think he was a nice guy. He rarely if ever yelled at us or became angry and he was consistently in a good mood.


Although my dad didn’t appear to be an overly successful man by many standards, he actually believed otherwise.  He felt extremely lucky to have my mom and there was always laughter in the house.  He was so proud that he had three kids that were college graduates, and he had been able to pay for their college educations on his own. He was proud that his house was paid off and he rarely missed a day of work. Everyday that he lived, he felt that he was a very lucky, successful man.


Becoming a CEO of a company when it’s not your passion or goal is not success.  Being president of the United States when you don’t have the skills to do the job well is not success.  Success is being true to who you are and using your strengths daily in your life.  Success is challenging yourself to learn and grow physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially throughout your life. Success is not being afraid to be true to who you are at the core and not buying into what other people dream for you.  You need to dream for YOU.


It’s impossible to evaluate other’s success because there is no universal measure of success.  Many times this idea is contrary to what our culture teaches us. But the truth is we can only gauge how we are fairing in life by our own measuring stick.  Not our mother’s, not our father’s or sibling’s, but what we feel in our heart. Only you know what success looks like.  Success is in the eye of the beholder.



Competitive Tree Climbing


I’m beginning to notice a pattern when I speak with women about finding their strengths and passions in life.  Often, there is some confusion surrounding the process to finding your “real” self. For example, at the last “Sassy Girlfriend Talk”, we were discussing what you enjoyed doing when you were young.  The reason I always ask this question is because usually, when we are young, we partake in activities that us bring us joy and seem natural to us. This is before we have been influenced by what is culturally acceptable and valued in our family and community.  It’s usually when we are innocent and most pure to who we are.  I remarked that one of the things I remember enjoying was climbing trees. I was always the fastest to climb up and the one at the very top of the tree.  One of the women commented that there isn’t much work needed in the city of Cincinnati in the business of “Climbing trees”.  I agree, which leads me to share a couple misconceptions about finding your strengths.


Translating your passions in life is not always a literal process. My love of climbing trees and being the highest one up in the tree translates to my need to be challenged.  It translates to my need to be physical and active in my life. I feel most like “me” when using my physical skills and when I’m able to expend some energy.  It’s not surprising then, that in the last couple years I discovered my love of meeting challenges through biking.  So, when you’re searching for your passions, be open- minded to understanding how you can interpret what brought you joy and happiness as a child.  How can that feeling be recreated today?


Whether she believes it or not, EVERY woman possesses strengths and passions.  I get the strong feeling that some women I come across want to convince me that they are different from others and just don’t have any strengths or talents unique to them.  I’m here today to tell you that that’s simply not true!  Maybe you haven’t taken the time to truly get to know yourself and explore different interests. Possibly, you’re just scared to take a risk and try new things, so you stay with what’s safe.  Maybe you’ve wrapped yourself around your family so tight that there’s no more room for your own passions. Your family’s interests and activities rule your life, and you run from thing to thing staying busy. The truth is, they are there, girlfriend.  You need to give yourself the space to discover them.


It’s possible to passionately love taking part in an activity and eventually tire of it.  My first job out of college was in retailing, where I was promoted quickly through their management program. I was able to play an instrumental part of their phenomenal growth as a company.  I LOVED my job! It wasn’t work for me because I was able to utilize all my strengths: my management skills, people skills, my love of fashion etc.  I was very successful and was being groomed for the Director of Operations position.  But guess what happened? I became burned out and I yearned to do something very different in life. It’s possible to tire of using those specific skills in that specific realm and to need to have an entirely new challenge.  Say it with me— There is not one thing I am destined to be or do in my life!  Does that take some pressure off of you?


Listen girlfriends, each one of you has passions and strengths that possibly you have yet to discover. Try to remember that finding yourself is a continual process throughout life.  So, don’t waste anymore time living your life without going after what burns brightly in your heart.  Do the work needed to find where you belong.