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I'm Erika Ward

Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation.  My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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Thanks so much for returning to read part 2 of The Gabby Douglas Guide to Risk and Reward. Click here to read part 1 for lessons from Gabby on taking risks. This post you are about to read is dedicated to the reward.

What Gabby Teaches Us About Reward

1.| We  Share the Win

When you involve others in your effort to accomplish a goal, there is a sense of pride for everyone when you reach victory. Gabby’s coach, teammates, family, and all others who were an integral part of her support system held their heads high when she made history. Had she not reached the ultimate goal, I’d venture to say their pride in her would still have been great for her only making an appearance at the Olympics Games.

2.| We Bring Honor to Our Legacy

Oh what a legacy Gabby has brought to her name, to the sport of gymnastics, her country, and to the African American community! What legacy will you leave behind for your children and your children’s children?

By no means should you be pressured to win a world prize. A gold metal symbolizes something different for each person. Perhaps you desire to build wells in a third world country or raise a family of future leaders? Your personal goal is just as important as Gabby’s gold metal.

3.| We Did What We Said We Would Do

There is something admirable about a person who is true to their word. When Gabby verbally communicated her dream, she instantly became accountable to whomever heard her declaration. Having a loving support group around you is extremely helpful when it comes to accomplishing any formidable task. People inherently move into action to assist you in your efforts and rally behind you because they want to see you win. The reason is two-fold. They want you to see you succeed, the other is that they want to know that it can be done–which leads me to my next point…

4.|We Are An Inspiration to Others

When we are hungry to achieve, we look everywhere and to everyone for inspiration. This post, for example, came to me out of my own hunger to achieve lofty goals in my personal life and in my business. I’ve always had an admiration for athletes because of their work ethic and discipline. I’m always amazed at how they subdue their minds and bodies into performing a specific task, to win.

At the start of each Olympic event I watched I rooted for certain people I wanted to see win. It’s not that I wanted the others to lose, but I sought to find to someone I could I identify with and share in their glory.

I wonder if Gabby thought much about the residual effect of an Olympic win. I’m sure she’s been surprised by the reaction of others to her win. Until now, most of her focus has been on competing. Knowing that she has been an inspiration to others makes her victory even sweeter.

The Gabby Douglas Guide to Risk and Return has become a part of an inspirational twitter movement spawned by two beloved bloggers, Adrienne of Eclectic A and Desiré from Sukio. They contacted me on Thursday evening after my part 1 to request my participation in the #LoveForGabby movement. To follow this movement for Gabby, check out the #LoveForGabby tweets on Twitter, and the Love For Gabby Pinterest board, a collection of posts from around the blogosphere.

5.|We Learn What Authentic Confidence is All About

When you set a goal bigger than yourself, you become aware of your inter-dependence on others as well as your higher power. As mentioned in the previous post, authentic confidence is not self-confidence.

Self-confidence is about what you can do. Authentic confidence is about what God can do through you, in you, and for you.

Lofty goals require you to seek God’s guidance, love, strength, and discernment in order to know which path to take. His divine support provides what we need to persevere until the end. Once you recognize the power of God as a driving influence in your life, you will repeatedly call upon him to help you in every situation. There is no task too small or too large for Him to handle. He meets you at your level of faith.

Go ahead and dream big, put Him to the test and also be prepared to do the work. Faith without works is dead.


Gabby Douglas and the Dichotomy of Letting Go and Holding On

When we seek inspiration in the world, we will find it. Digging for deeper meaning is a passion of mine occurring more recently when I decided to start living on purpose and with purpose.

In the interview [posted below] for Proctor and Gamble’s Raising an Olympian series Gabby’s mom, Natalie Hawkins stated, “Letting go was one of the hardest things she has ever done in her life [risk], but also one of the most rewarding things she has experienced in her life [reward].”

In Gabby’s case,  holding on even when she was homesick in Iowa and wanted to return home to Virginia, and holding on to those uneven bars because she had no spotter and her life depended on it, and holding on to her dream held great risk. Winning Olympic Gold was Gabby Douglas’ greatest rewad.

What food for thought and nourishment for the soul…

If you are still reading this post, I appreciate you more than anything. I’ve got one last takeaway that I hope you will remember for the rest of your life:

[quote]”Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.” – Acts 10:34[/quote]

Did you get that? God is not a respecter of person. What he will do for one (Gabby), he will do for the other (you).

Thanks for reading.

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Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation. My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

Learn more