From Here to Timbuktu

2013-03-18 11.59.59I have a button on my desk that quietly says: Believe.

There’s a huge word at the top of my latest vision board: Believe. 

I belong to a women’s networking group called B.I.G.: Believe, Inspire, Grow.

Logical assumption: I’m a believer.

True confession: I wasn’t always a believer. Shocker, right?? A few years ago, you would never have guessed that I would end up coaching people to believe in ANYthing. Those of you who know me now as Coach Pam might find this hard to, well, believe.

And those of you who knew me “when” probably find it hard to believe that I’ve made all the changes I’ve made as successfully as I have. Am I right? Yeah, I know I’m right.

Here’s the scoop: I am living proof that it CAN be done. You CAN succeed if you just BELIEVE.


1) When I first moved to Germany in 1991, I spoke not one word of German. Seriously. Heck, I was young, what did I care?? I just decided I would learn it after I moved there, one way or another. Once there, I worked as a civilian for the US Army Europe and I took all the free German language classes that were offered. Then I took classes at a language school after I made a deal with my boss to let me arrive at work at 1pm for eight weeks so I could take the daily intensive class and eventually better serve our mission…, which of course I eventually did! After that, I took night classes, two nights a week for two years. Or was it three nights for three years?… Anyway, it was a long time.FLW-you-really-believe-in

Result: During my first five or so years living in Germany, I learned lots of grammar, vocabulary and spelling but my speaking was still rough. But after I started hanging out with Germans and having a real reason to use their language, I started to improve. By the time I left Germany in 2007, I was completely fluent AND had started freelancing as a business text translator.

2) When I gave birth to my daughter in 2000, I almost didn’t make it. That’s right, I am lucky to be alive. I will spare you the gory details (mainly because my preteen daughter reads my work faithfully and she’s not too keen on those gory details), but believe me when I say it was pretty touch and go there for a while. It was all IV tubes and liters of replacement plasma and ICU time and smelling salts and damn, I’m thirsty! Can I have some water please? Um, why can’t I speak up, why is my throat so dry?? You had an intubation, the nurse said to me in German. Intubation, really?? Yeah. Except in German.

Believe_in_yourself_and_aim_by_dulce_acrisoraResult: I not only survived, I came back stronger and healthier than ever. Believe you me, it took awhile. I was as white as a ghost from…all those gory details... and weaker than a damsel in distress. Thankfully, my mother, who was there in the hospital with me (she slept in my room on a chair one night, such a loyal mom!) and my awesome roommate Evelyn, who is a dear friend to this day both cheered me on. They both motivated me to wake up, shake off my lethargy, get moving, start breastfeeding my baby and get my Self home. After a week or so, I was stronger and able to motivate my Self without help. I took my daughter out for daily walks around Hamburg and got stronger every day.

3) Okay last one. In early 2010, I decided to quit smoking. I came up with a plan that included acupuncture, Chinese herbs, self-directed mindset shift, a last-gasp deadline and an extreme diet and exercise plan so I wouldn’t gain any weight. Did I think about success rates or probabilities? Nope. Did I question whether I could achieve my goal? No. Did I worry about the possibility I might not do what I set out to do? Not a chance. I just jumped in with both feet and did it.

Result: I have not touched tobacco or nicotine since May 13, 2010 nor have I had any desire to start smoking again. I’m not just an ex-smoker, I am a non-smoker. Also, I spent the rest of 2010 plus the first half of 2011 working out and eating clean, which resulted in my losing 10 lbs, multiple inches and two dress sizes.

The point of these examples? I had NO idea HOW I would achieve my goals. You know what? Sometimes I did not even know what my goal WAS! But the one thing I had each time was faith. I believed that I would achieve success. So I did. Plain and simple.believe

Sometimes, it’s the believing that’s more important than the planning. You can plan your life from here to Timbuktu, but if you don’t really believe you can do it, then guess what? You WON'T.

Do you have anything planned for your Self to achieve in 2013? Do you believe you’ll achieve it? If not, get help. Get your Self a fitness coach, a writing coach, a marketing coach or a confidence coach (like me!) and get busy! You will thank your Self in December for making such a fabulous investment in your future!

(Previously published in the Believe issue of SoulWoman Sanctuary eMagazine, Spring 2013)