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Life Lessons: Shelby Alexander Griggs

Are you happy at the moment?

I will say that in this season of my life, I am extremely happy. The word that comes to mind is “Full”. I am finally doing things on my own terms. I couldn’t care less about what people think of me and I’m grateful for every lesson learned in my life. They say that once you hit your 40’s you gain a confidence that you never had before. I agree that right now, I am all good and continue to welcome every birthday I have. I love Maya Angelou’s book title, “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for This Journey Now”. That speaks volumes to me. Every situation in my life has brought me to this very place of happiness.

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Oh, this is a good question. First, I would say you will develop into a beautiful woman one day so don’t worry about your lack of curves. You have a special gift that God gave you that will inspire others and those mean girls see that too so don’t sweat that. You will find your one true love and he’s not “the one” so this too shall pass. Know that you are worthy of every great thing that happens in your life. Finally, believe in yourself and listen to your inner spirit. It will be the one thing that gives you direction when you doubt yourself.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

Wow, I’ve learned so many things so far this year. However, I will have to say the one most important thing I’ve learned is that as I grow personally and in my business, I can’t take everyone with me. Recently, I’ve seen so many people let me down that I thought were my number one cheerleaders and support system. It was very disheartening but I came to the realization that they were in my life for a season not necessarily for a lifetime, as I thought. I had to understand that, although the vision I had for myself seemed insurmountable to some, it was mine. The most successful people in life never allowed others to convince them they were crazy to have such lofty dreams. Just recently, I’ve had to re-evaluate my circle of influence and reassign roles. It was a bit difficult but necessary.

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

I have so many things I want to achieve in the next 12 months! I’m sending my son off to college in the fall and I have mixed emotions about that but so very proud of him. I’m building my coaching business so I would love to see my clientele increase while changing some lives. I’m coming back for a new season of my internet radio show, Girl Talk with Shelby in the fall and looking for my listening base to increase. Personally, I sort have gotten back into the workout thing but would like to be more consistent with it. I really hate to exercise but at my age, everything sticks to these bones unfortunately!

What’s your secret to happiness?

My secret to happiness is that I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. I pick my battles and keep it moving. I also accept every challenge in my life knowing that it showed up to teach me something. I’m grateful for everything in my life. I actually say “Thank you God for allowing me to take twenty dollars out of the ATM”! I figure that someone out there is having a hard time and couldn’t even afford to take out ten dollars. It’s all about the attitude of gratitude in my book. I also, remove myself from a circle of toxic people. At this point in my life, I immediately can detect if someone isn’t my cup of tea, as my mother says. I am quickly exiting left when I feel that! Not everyone is my best girlfriend. My circle of friends has gotten smaller, the older and wiser I’ve become.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I pray every morning (and sometimes throughout the day). What I know for sure is that my gift to motivate and inspire women comes directly from God. With that said I’m always asking for direction and sometimes course correction. I have met many people in my life that appreciate my authenticity and ability to discern their hearts. I don’t take that lightly so I have to have a spiritual connection to do this the right way. I also bounce things off of my mother. As a teenager, I gave her such a hard time. What girl didn’t, right? We have become extremely close in my adult life so I share almost everything with her. She has been a good sounding board through the years. I love that she remains neutral no matter what and never forces her opinions on me. That’s pretty hard for a mother to do!

What’s your biggest regret?

I don’t like to live with regrets but if I had to say the one “biggest” regret I have, it would be not believing in myself and my gift. In my thirties, I thought I had figured out my purpose and I was excited about the journey before me. I quit a successful corporate job to pursue my dream of being a motivational speaker and author. After several unsuccessful months and many people in my hear telling me I was crazy for walking away, I panicked and went back to corporate. I was miserable every single day for years after that. It wasn’t until I hit my forties that I truly embraced what it was that I had to offer and believed that I couldn’t actually do it as a business and not just a hobby. Once I took that leap, I never looked back. I guess timing is everything.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

I have a 17-year-old and a two-year-old! Yes, that would be another awesome story I could tell you. I always teach my son to speak positive things in his life. I truly believe in the power of the tongue. You can speak life or death into your situation so I would never allow him to speak negatively about himself. I encouraged him to have a relationship with God and to never stop praying. Most importantly, I taught him to be a leader instead of a follower and stand firm on what he believed in despite the opposition. He was always getting a motivational speech from me and I’m sure it irritated him! I was so proud when I overheard him quoting me. It made me feel like I did something right after all. When he was little, I was climbing the corporate ladder and often put my career before parenting. I’m not proud of that but I’m happy that I realized early enough to make up for lost time. Having my daughter later in life has changed me in so many ways. She is definitely what I consider my second act of parenting.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

I am a perfectionist and I’m sure my military upbringing had a lot to do with that too. Sometimes I delay things way too long because I want it to be just right. In business, this is a deadly trait. I’m trying to remember “Progress over Perfection”. I have to say that to myself at least once a day, seriously.

Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

The thing I am most proud of is launching my business full time and my radio show. For years, I couldn’t separate who I was in my corporate job from who I was destined to be. When I finally made that mind shift, I never saw things the same. I am excited about what’s next on the horizon!

When were you happiest?

Honestly, I was the happiest after meeting Oprah and launching my empowerment seminars for women. People who knew me said that I became someone else on that stage. I will tell you I was in my element. I now understand when Beyoncé said she turned into Sasha Fierce when she performed! I’m not comparing my persona to her but I do know that when you’re in your element, something takes over. All the planets line up and what you do is effortless. I am on cloud nine when that happens.

What ten words best describe you?

Wow, ten words? Okay, here it goes: Compassionate, motivational, funny, perfectionist, beautiful, strong, courageous, independent, focused and loyal.

Since 1998, Shelby has inspired women with countless empowerment seminars and one on one coaching sessions. She is the author of Opening the Door to Your True Purpose  and her latest release with best-selling authors from the book, The Secret called Adventures in Manifesting: Health and Happiness. Shelby is also a radio show host for Girl Talk with Shelby on ArtistFirst Radio Network. She has been featured in Dallas Child Magazine and held a board member seat for the Dallas Network of Career Women in Dallas, Texas. You can read more about her on her website, www.shelbyalexandergriggs.com. Follow her on Twitter @girltalkwshelby

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