Quick Thoughts

What Goggles Are You Wearing?

I grew up loving to serve those around me more than anything else in the world.  My parents taught us by example to help the neighbors with projects, take dinner to those who were sick, and share the bounties from our garden with friends.  It always brought me so much joy to join my dad on a walk down the street and notice how many people he stopped to talk to, just to let them know someone cared.  I spent my high school years on committees and in clubs whose core focus was service and it brought me much satisfaction.  Even during my college years all of my extracurricular activities were centered on giving to others. Once I became a mom, I struggled to serve on the same level I had become accustomed to.  I used the excuse (and I truly believed it) that I didn't have as many opportunities to serve.  Soon, my lack of service turned to apathy, and eventually selfishness until I was drowning in an ocean created by my own self-centeredness.  I felt that my cup was always empty so I had nothing left to give to others.  Many times over the years I have stopped to reevaluate myself and wonder where the “real” Shelly went.  The girl who loved service more than anything else. As I started to question my own happiness and ability to love others, I realized that I had become so consumed with my own circumstances that I had done a 180 degree turn until I was only worried about myself.  Many of my actions towards my children, husband, and neighbors were out of duty and necessity, not love.  I had developed what I like to call and “inward mindset.”  I only focused on what was best for me, and even when I did something for someone else my motives were often not pure.

After many prayers and searching for myself I cam to the painful conclusion that I wasn’t really missing the opportunities to serve, I was lacking the outward mindset and desire to serve, and that was something that I had control over.  I needed to replace my selfish it's-all-about-me goggles with “Godly Goggles.”  

When wearing these goggles I view other people around me as God would see them.  I see them as people with fears, hopes, dreams, feelings, desires, imperfections and strengths.  When I look at them with my Godly Goggles I see them for who God created them to be and I see their heart.  I am filled with understanding and love for them and wonder what I can do that would be best for them without any thought of what’s in it for me.  Once I started putting my Godly Goggles on more often I was bombarded with ample opportunities to serve His children which filled my cup to overflowing so there was more than enough to share.

I soon found that while the service I rendered when wearing my Godly Goggles was often the answer to someone's prayer, it was also an answer to my own.

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The Jelly Bean Challenge

jelly bean challenge
jelly bean challenge

I saw a video on YouTube the other day of people taking a jelly bean challenge.  In the bag of jelly beans were several pairs of beans that looked identical but tasted different.  One was a pleasant taste like coconut, one an incredibly foul one like baby wipes.  The challenge was to team up with a friend and each select the same bean, pop it in your mouth at the same time and see who got the good one and who didn't.  As I watched two girl friends take the challenge, I wondered who in their right mind would do something like that for fun. I certainly wouldn't.

I am pretty particular about how my food tastes, even to the point that I often won’t order something off a menu that I haven’t had before because I want to make sure my dining experience is pleasurable.  I know, I am kind of boring.  But today I got to thinking about our words.  There are some words that we think look or feel just like other words, but when they come out of our mouth or spin around in our head they have a foul effect.  I find it interesting that we spend more time worrying about how our food tastes than we do about how our words taste.  Lately I have come to the awareness that many of the words that we use flippantly in our English language are foul.  But we use them naively, not really understanding the harmful effects they have on our brain, and thus our results.  So...today I thought I would share four words and phrases that I personally believe need to be eliminated from our vocabulary.

  1. I Can’t!  I have learned that there is always a how, whether I really like the how or not.  Telling myself I can’t do something severely limits my possibilities for greatness, and usually is just simply not true.
  2. Don’t:  My subconscious mind doesn't understand the word don’t, it only hears what comes after it.  So when I tell my children “Don’t touch the hot stove,” their brain actually sees a picture of them touching the hot stove and feeds the subconscious the wrong message.  Try it…Don’t think about bunnies.  Yep, what did you see?  So, instead of telling yourself and others what not to do, I focus on what I want them to do instead.  “Keep away from the hot stove.”
  3. It’s a bad day:  I firmly believe that God doesn't give us “bad days”.  I hate that phrase.  I chose a long time ago to see every day as a good day.  There are some that have extra challenges (what most would call a bad day), but every day I have been given is a gift and it’s up to me what to do with it.
  4. Hard:  This word is a tricky one.  My personal preference is to look at things as a challenge, instead of hard.  The word hard has a bad taste in my mouth, a negative connotation.  But if I find something challenging, then it feels like something that I can overcome, I can beat.  I love a good challenge.  For me, eliminating this word made a big difference in how I saw my daily experiences and tasks.

What many of us don’t realize is that the words we speak really affect the results we get in our life.  So here is the question I ask you?  Do you want to take a chance by using the words that come easily but taste yucky?  Or do you want to have a good tasting jelly bean by making the intentional choice to use words that taste and do good?  Unlike the Jelly Bean Challenge, the choice is up to you!

Idol Worship and False Eyelashes

I suffer from a form of idol worship.  Before you judge me too harshly, let me explain.  I am pretty particular about who tops my idol list.  To qualify for my devotion and following, an idol must be actively doing the very best they can to be the person God intended them to be.  They must be using the gifts and talents God placed within them to touch and bless His children here on the earth.  And they must have a mindset that God placed them here to bless those children.  It’s a bit if a high standard and there are few who reach it, but I honor and respect those who do and strive to be one of them.  I used to think these people were perfect, and that I could never hobnob with them or be worthy of their attention (I know, it’s a personal issue I am working on but many of you can relate).  Over the last year I have learned that these amazing people are still just people.  

And every month I have an amazing opportunity to learn, grow, and eat dinner with some of my idols at the National Speaker’s Association meeting.  The other night was no exception.  I was already suffering from the shock of trying to carry on a conversation with the amazing Jason Hewlett (who is on the idol list) in which I basically pounced on him, then tried to apologize for bulldozing him over, when I looked over to see Hillary Weeks standing near me.  Now, I have been a musician my whole life and my dream has always been to change the world through music and speaking, so I have a few musicians on my idol list, and Hilary is one of them.  The day before this event I was brainstorming and visualizing my “Dream Team” of mentors and she was at the top.  And though at one point I sang on stage with her as back up, so did about 150 other women, so we really haven’t made any connection.  Jason Hewlett, seeing my jaw on the ground from discovering who was standing in front of me, offered to introduce us.  Dream come true, right!  Yep!  Until a decision I made earlier during the day came back to haunt me.


Beauty withinYou see, a few weeks ago I had an amazing photo shoot with Chelsea Lewis Photography where I got the royal treatment.  Hair, makeup, even false eyelashes which were new to me.  Yesterday, while getting ready for the NSA meeting I was struggling with my self talk.  I wasn’t feeling very attractive and thought maybe I should put the eyelashes on to make myself look prettier.  As I was trying to keep my wits about me talking to my idol Hilary, these fake lashes started to come off my eyes!  I felt like I was in the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours, when Lucille Ball’s teenage daughters put fake lashes on her for date with Henry Fonda.  But while on the date her lashes fall off into her drink.  Luckily in the movie, Henry looks past her outer beauty and falls in love with her anyway.


Not knowing how to handle the situation with Hilary, I just kept talking as if nothing was wrong.  I didn’t think it was that big of a deal until we walked away and the first thing my husband said was “Um...your lashes are coming off pretty bad.”  Well, if a guy notices, then certainly Hilary did!  I spent the next five minutes laughing at how stupid and embarrassed I was, then convincing myself that I wasn’t going to be embarrassed and that at some point this story was going to make a great speech.


But as I looked inside me and realized my motivation for putting those lashes on in the first place, I recognized my poor self judgement and vowed that I would make more of an effort to love myself just the way I am and work harder at letting my inner beauty shine instead.


How often do we refuse to see ourselves at the beautiful person God made us to be?  I confess, I do it all the time and I know many of you do too.  So the lesson learned…Quit trying to be something you aren’t and value your own beauty.  It just may save you from some very embarrassing moments down the road.


Check out Hilary at www.hilaryweeks.com   You will be glad you did!

2015-02-11 Shelly (Glamour Portfolio)-0008 (1)Shelly Coray is an inspiring speaker, trainer, coach, and mom. She has helped hundreds of youth and adults gain greater control over their thoughts and actions and achieve higher levels of success through her workshops, speeches and training programs. Find out more about her HERE.

Accomplish Anything in 5 Minutes!

Someone once told me that any project could be finished by spending 5 minutes a day on it.  I waited until she walked away before I laughed out loud.  “Whatever!” I thought.  Just a few weeks later during a group text with some friends, we were sharing our overwhelm with the state of our homes.how to be consistent You see, I get overwhelmed by my home on a daily basis.  And it seems to shut me down in every other area of my life.  Maybe you can relate.  It seems that it doesn’t matter if I clear off the counter in the morning, by lunch time it looks like a tornado hit the kitchen and made it look worse than before I cleaned it.  And the office (which happens to be in the living room) is the dumping ground for EVERYTHING, and always looks cluttered, not to mention we can never find anything.  Before you think I need some organization…I will let you in on a little secret.  I LOVE organizing and do it often, just for fun!  I have dejunked and organized my entire home 3 times in the last 18 months.  Yet, chaos still runs rampant in our home.  Some may say that it’s because I have 4 littles under the age of 9, that we are trying to jump start a business out of our home that is taking up what little energy we have, or that we are still recovering from extreme burnout and mental breakdown brought about by the last business.  Well, those things may be true, but I also know something else is true that would make all the difference no matter what is to blame.  My problem is that I have become complacent in my duties as a homemaker and housekeeper.

On this group text I was telling you about, my friend said that her tactic top keepin up on her home is to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour a day on her home and leave the rest up to her children and husband.  They all have certain chores they are responsible for.  She figures that whatever she can get done in an hour will have to be good enough.  I realized something as I read that…it wasn’t really the time that mattered, it was the consistency.  I have a hard time being consistent.  And most of the women I talk to have the same challenge.  We all have great ideas, systems, and programs we have tried to keep up with all the demands we have as mothers, wives, business owners or employees, etc.  But the problem isn’t with the system we have created, it is with our ability to be consistent with the system.   And here’s an idea I use when I do the dishes or help my kiddos get something done quickly, we set a timer and try to beat it.  It’s amazing how many dishes I can get done in 15 minutes.

So my challenge to each of you (and especially me) with week, is to give your home or whatever area of your life that seems to be falling behind, just 30 minutes a day (or start with 15 if 30 seems too much to sacrifice).  Schedule it in, whether it is first thing in the morning, during nap time for the littles, after school while kids are playing, or maybe after they have gone to bed.  I dare you to do it every day for a week, starting today.  I will let you know how it goes for me.  I commit to give my home 30 minutes a day.  And remember, while we may not be perfect as the process, we can still be committed to it.  So even if you miss a day, start again the next day.  Continual growth is what this life is all about and something done, even if it’s not perfect, is better than nothing done.  And darn it!  She was right!  You really can finish any project if you spend 5 minutes a day doing it.

2015-02-11 Shelly (Glamour Portfolio)-0008 (1)Shelly Coray is an inspiring speaker, trainer, coach, and mom. She has helped hundreds of youth and adults gain greater control over their thoughts and actions and achieve higher levels of success through her workshops, speeches and training programs. Find out more about her HERE.

Be Who You Really Are

Tonight I trained an amazing group of girls.  They constituted a Freshman, JV, and Varsity Volleyball team.  Most of our “practice” together was talking about “The Power Within” themselves that they bring to the court. One of the things that stuck out to after watching them play last night, and spending the afternoon with them today, was that so many of them are scared to be who they really are.  So I called them out on it.  I asked specifically “Are you scared.”  Every head nodded.  So I asked “What are you scared of?”  Those who were brave enough to answer said they were scared of failing, which is pretty common.  But many of them also said they were afraid to disappoint their coaches, peers, and themselves.

Now, if you’ve ever coached youth, you know that during the developmental stage, it is far more important for them to feel safe to make mistakes so they can learn to be better players, than it is to do everything perfectly.  This amazing group of youth was so afraid to make mistakes, that they didn’t play all out and it showed.  When we don’t feel safe to make mistakes, then we often quit trying. They were so afraid that every mistake would be so disappointing, that they started second guessing themselves, and therefore, made many errors and played far below their skill level.

As I watched them play, I noticed that many of them seemed afraid to really show up on the court in a way that was most natural to them (an energizer, connector, ignitor, or executor).  They feared they would not be accepted.  The problem is, as athletes, when we don’t show up true to who we are, our performance really suffers, and so does the dynamic of the team.

After our little pow-wow, we put them back on the court, encouraging them to use their power within to play all out.  The difference to me was astonishing.  They not only played much better, but the synergy was contagious and exciting.  By the end of our time together, I saw a completely different team.  A team more confident, understanding, accepting, and powerful.  Will everything change literally overnight?  Most likely not.  I guess we will find out tomorrow when they play for their chance to go to the state tournament.   But will they start to show up different from now on?  I think so.

At the end of our practices/trainings I always ask the athletes to write their biggest “Aha” or “Take Away” from the training.  The consensus was overwhelming.  They realized what power they brought to the game and finally felt safe to show it.

2015-02-11 Shelly (Glamour Portfolio)-0008 (1)Shelly Coray is an inspiring speaker, trainer, coach, and mom. She has helped hundreds of youth and adults gain greater control over their thoughts and actions and achieve higher levels of success through her workshops, speeches and training programs. Find out more about her HERE.