Self Imposed Limitations

, , , , , ,
follow your dreams

Follow your dreams

I’ve been saying for years now, “Learn what you need to know so you can enjoy life”, and although I’ve been a huge advocate for learning, I’ve also been struggling with this HUGE concept.

Throughout my journey developing the idea behind the Time to Play concept, truly believing that everyone deserves to enjoy life, I have encountered obstacles. I have met many people who I relied on and became incredibly disappointed in.  I “waited” for things to happen, for promises that didn’t materialize.  I became amazingly frustrated, and had given up numerous times.  Sound familiar?

“Can’t” even sometimes snuck itself in there…

I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences.

Thankfully, I have been provided with amazing friends and teachers like Rebecca L. Norrington.  She has slipped in words of wisdom and empowerment to me at some of my most critical moments.  She may not even realize the power behind what she gives.  One important thing I’ve learned from her is that no one can make you “feel” a certain way… only YOU can make you feel.  Implementing this mindset takes practice. Trust me.

So, here’s the scoop on today’s revelation that I would like to share.  Hopefully I won’t lose you as I try to explain it.  Please stay with me…

I would like to share something I have realized in order to keep myself on track, and I hope it can also help you to avoid discouragement.  I have realized that ideas and a change in our thinking, no matter how ideas and concepts are presented, or how many times you hear something, are not necessarily immediate. This goes for anything… including things like “tips” for healthy eating or “pointers” or ideas for happiness or for success.  Anyone can “tell” us stuff, but it’s up to us to “get it”.

Remember how hard it may have been for us to learn how to solve a math problem?  How we tried, maybe we even had gone for extra help?  And then you “got it”, and it was easier to complete the assignments?  Like that.   I believe this is how it is for many of us to adopt a new way.  It sometimes may take time, even years, for ideas and concepts to evolve in order for us to see things more clearly and to understand.  Research shows it takes 21 days to adopt a new habit.  I think that it takes a lot longer – it takes until we are ready to adopt a different way of thinking.

Today I have realized something that I’ve known all along, but a concept that I really “got” this morning – the idea behind self imposed limitations.  I have recognized that it takes years to unlearn what we have decided to believe about ourselves.  The lack of self confidence, that we don’t belong, the belief we cannot “be” or “do”, which result in our creation of frustration and unhappiness in our lives.  I wrote about these concepts in our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now”, ( writing in chapter 2 about my belief that we are “tortured souls” that live in self-imposed prisons (chapter 2).  There’s a sample read here, where you can read the beginning of this idea.

Today those concepts have become even clearer to me.  I challenge you to look around and see how many people accept life in that manner.

Today, with a belief that is even stronger than ever, I know each of us has amazing potential.  I also know that potential is just inside every one of us, waiting for the time when we are ready to use it.

How many of us believe we can’t do something?  That we can’t achieve success in an endeavor?  That we don’t deserve ”IT”? That we are destined to be sick, poor, or suffer hardships?  That we’re “unlucky”?

I have been thinking of these questions, as well, since the podcast John Jurkiewicz, another of our Time to Play team, and I did last Wednesday.  Part of the discussion was how many of us fight our success gene.  I believe that’s totally true. I believe part of our fighting is involuntary because we act as we were taught. (If you would like, you can listen to the podcast here.)

Today, even though I’ve heard it a million times, I had an “AHA” moment.  I know that we each have, within us, the power to achieve.  But we achieve what we believe.

And, I know that it takes a long time for us to unlearn what we believe and to see things differently.

Ask yourself what you prefer to believe — that the sky is the limit or that you are here to suffer through life?

Every day is a new and beautiful opportunity.

What is your dream?

Perhaps today is YOUR day to seize it… to start on your path of making your dreams happen.

Perhaps it’s your time to stop looking back and stop thinking “can’t”.

“Talk is cheap”, someone once said.  “Someday I’m going to… “ is another famous phrase.

Do it. Don’t give up. Keep your eye on your dream.

It’s time to enjoy YOUR life.  It’s time to play.

Love, Doreen

# # #

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive working in healthcare for the past 28 years. She has seen the “sick and sad” and knows there has to be a better way.  She is also a certified professional life coach and the founder of Time to Play, a website dedicated to life enjoyment.  The Time to Play Foundation is a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of ENJOYING LIFE!  Short version … inspiring EVERYONE to enjoy life.  Contact us at 631-331-2675 or email |

I Know It’s Not Easy — But, Don’t Give Up! Here Are Some Problem Solving Skills

, , , ,
Time to Play


Time to Play – It’s Time to Enjoy YOUR Life!

This week’s article is going to concentrate on following your heart and your dreams and TAKING STEPS TO MAKE THEM HAPPEN!

Too often we have something deep inside our heart, something we may feel is our mission for being put on this earth, that we don’t believe we can make happen.  Perhaps it is a relationship or family issue we’d like to see come to fruition.  Perhaps it’s owning a house.  Perhaps it’s finishing school.  Or, __________________ (you can fill in the blank).

Today I’m going to encourage you that, even if you don’t believe it is ever going to be possible, not to give up.

“Doreen, listen to me… I’ve tried.  It didn’t work out.  It really is just impossible,” you say?

I don’t believe anything is truly impossible.

We sometimes just have to have the courage to take the first step.  And, truly, it can be the smallest baby step.  Sometimes we might even need to go back to the drawing board and start over from scratch, or we may need to be creative and find a different way to make it happen. 

Remember the old saying, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again?

So, let’s get started!

Let’s work on setting a goal and breaking it down into a plan so you can get going…


I just finished a book entitled How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything Yes Anything! by Robert Ellis, Ph.D., and I really liked the way he broke emotion out from problem solving.  You see, (and if you really think about it you will), emotion takes over and then gives that little voice that “shoots us down” power to think we can’t do it. 

The following is a problem-solving exercise Dr. Ellis included on page 100 of his book that can be applied to anything we’re trying to accomplish.  I believe it can help be a guide for you, or anyone, to start problem solving so you can achieve your dream.  Again, take note that you have to REMOVE your emotional baggage as it relates to the problem.  You have to get rid of that “voice”, the negative thinking, the emotion, when you’re trying to plan to make a change.  I know it’s really hard to remove yourself from that voice, as I know it’s there all the time telling us stuff, but I hope you will try.

So, here it goes!  Dr. Ellis suggested starting with these problem-solving skills – note that, in the example, the “problem” he used was getting a job:

“State a problem as clearly as you can.  For example:

  • What shall I do to get a good job?
  • What step had I better take first?
  • What steps shall I take next?
  • Who should I consult about getting a good job?
  • Can any of my friends possibly help me?
  • What kind of a resume – or several resumes – shall I write?
  • How can I get help with my resumes?
  • Shall I let my past employers know I am looking, to be fully sure they give me good references?
  • What shall I do to have better job interviews?
  • Et cetera.”

Dr. Ellis then suggested writing good problem-solving questions and then an outline – on paper, with your answers.  He further recommended to make a plan and – here’s the hardest part — ACT ON and IMPLEMENT the ideas and push ourselves to follow the plan.

Is this work?  Is this effort.  YES!  Absolutely.  However, think of how you will feel and what will happen if you do not take that first step to make that change, to solve that problem, and to move ahead with your dream.

This problem-solving guidance is really easy to understand, and I believe it can be applied to anything:  Losing weight, getting a job, starting a business, finding the love of your life… you get the idea!

What is in your heart? 

What is your dream?

When are you going to start????

I suggest sitting down for a few minutes and start writing those questions and your plan.

Good luck, and keep me posted on how you are doing!

With much love,


Reference:  Ellis, Albert. “Solving Reality Problems.” How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable about Anything–yes, Anything. NY: Carol, 1988. 100. Print

Foster Bold Dreams, Bolder Actions

, , , , ,

I‘ve been reading The Everyday Entrepreneur written by Rob Basso.  Chapter 5 was one in which I found myself reflecting on things I have been working on or thinking about, and wanted to share.

The chapter started off with pensive statements about what sets a WILDLY successful person apart from others: “Imagination, a solid plan of action and determination to break down barriers” (p. 71). Rob noted that the challenge to achieve is the main difference between true entrepreneurs and complacent business people. Hmm. This is something I need to reflect on. In my life I was complacent to get a job, to feel secure, to get a check. There was a course I recently took where they used an acronym for JOB: Just Over Broke. Interesting, right?

So, for most of my life I played it safe, had my 9-5 (or 6 or 7 and weekends) job and that was it. Do you have something in your heart you want to achieve? I know I do. It’s a burning, energetic feeling – and it drives me forward. This brings me to the “no regrets” / follow your heart sentiment noted by Ken Davenport on page 80, where he was headed to study law in college but went into theatre instead, “he decided to study acting so that he would have no regrets later in life about what could have been.” Can we all do this? Do we have the luxury? In my case, no. Early on I had to get a full time job to support my family. I was 17 at the time. But, my path seems to have led me to where I am now, to a life I believe has been filled with achievement. I have learned things I know I would never have learned if things went differently in the beginning. And now I’m using what I’ve learned to propel what’s in my heart. It’s never too late.

What is one to do if you have a passion, if you have an idea, if you have a desire? Well, Rob did cover that, too! Pretty much what I’ve been doing working on the project – on page 83 he talks of Mr. Scott Snibbe of Snibbe Interactive who had to fit his artistic pursuits around his schoolwork first, and then his professional career, while developing his company. In off times you can make it happen. For me, I rarely watch TV. I find myself thinking and planning and researching when I do have down time to make things happen. I “squish” it in. Remember the “NO REGRETS” statement? That’s one of the goals for To bring people resources so they will have no regrets. To remind them to enjoy life and to learn what they need to know so they can. In this case, following your dreams and doing what you love is one thing, maybe the most important thing, in the world to a person so they can enjoy life.

I know so many people who hate what they do in their career but become “STUCK”. They wake up every day and are exhausted, stressed or frustrated because they have to go to work. Can you change this? Maybe you can by fitting in some type of time to make it happen. . .

Rob’s Entrepreneurial Insight on p. 83 is “Find the space to nurture and grow your new pursuits”. Maybe it’s not to become an entrepreneur and start your own business, but maybe it is to study law, dance, guitar. . . something that you’ve wanted to do and think about all the time. Do you have something in your heart that you wish or want to do?

Do it.

Make it happen.

Rob also included an interview from David Becker, president of Philippe Becker Design, Inc. who noted that, “human nature [is] to trash new ideas”. Don’t let that stop you, either. In my experience, there are a lot of people out there who are so negative towards change and will push you down. Advice? Rob notes that you need people who support you to surround yourself with and perseverance. “I’ve got nothing to lose. . . what’s the worst that can happen? We won’t get the business. Or the best? We will get the business. But I can’t be afraid of what might happen.” David Becker, p. 82.

Onward and upward!

# # #

Embrace the philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  Check out to get tips and read articles from amazing professionals to help you have a better life.  It’s time to enjoy life and foster bold dreams!