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Special Guest Blog Post from 2005 ATHENA Award Recipient Deb Sofield!

Posted by: Nika White on Friday, October 18, 2013
The ATHENAs have asked Michelle Gethers-Clark, CEO and President of United Way of Greater Greensboro, to be our speaker for our November 5th ATHENA Leadership Symposium for a number of reasons. Not just for her many awards and accomplishments, not just for her community service, and not just because she survived 29 years in corporate America. No, we asked her to come and spend some time with us to refresh, renew and remind us of what will we do next. We’re asking a lot of a speaker to refresh, renew and remind an audience of their value, worth and path in the world. But then again we ask a lot of those who have succeeded as to how they found their way. Our speakers Facebook page is very clear about moving people to the Next Level – which is also the title of her book. So what does it take to move people to the next level when life happens? You stop to refresh, renew and be reminded of your hopes and dreams. Merriam-Webster defines Refresh as to have more energy and feel less tired. Renew to make something strong again and Remind to think about something again. Let me reverse that order for purposes of discussion. Do you remember the last time you sat and thought about where you’re going in life? Have you charted a course for success? Have you made a plan for your future? I doubt you have and that’s okay as long as you take a few minutes NOW to reflect on that and answer. As a presentations coach, I prepare people for their big day, their big speech, their big debut as they step into the light. But I would be remiss, if I didn’t look out across landscape of their life and yell into the vastness of what could be and ask the hardest question I know, which is What Will You Do Next? Needless to say for many the silence is deafening. I would dare say most people never think about next because we’re so busy with now. Let me remind you that to go to the next level you must make a plan. And that leads to renewal. Renewal is about making something strong again. I see people who start well but somehow fall off of the track and don’t seem to know how to get their mojo back. Their failure is due to a miscommunication about one of the hardest questions they do not ask, which is What Will You Do Next. So to answer the question here is my million-dollar advice – you must learn to Move. Really... you have to move – Emotionally, Mentally, and Physically. Moving is the only way you get to the next level. Too many people are paralyzed by fear so they don’t move. The problem is if you sit still you’ll atrophy. Renewal is about becoming stronger and that happens when you allow yourself to be refreshed. The concept of refresh is to allow you room to breath, to cleanse your soul, clear you mind, and claim your space so you’ll have more energy and feel less tired for the road ahead. The latest perusals of articles about high performance leaders are about what habits really smart people have and the number one rule of successful people is that make sleep and rest a priority. They get up early to plan their day and structure their time so they are fresh for the battle daily. I read an article many years ago about the measurement of wealth in America and it was judged by ones ability to be able to sleep as long as they wanted and as much as they needed. Sleep is the new wealth. You owe it to yourself to refresh yourself so you will be able to answer the burning question of…What Will You Do Next. And if you’re struggling with that answer come to our breakfast. I’m sure you’ll find a moment of refreshment, some ideas about life renewal and a reminder of your value and worth since you are fearfully and wonderfully made its time to step up and own it. Deb Sofield is a national speaker, author and radio talk show host. She is a 2005 Athena Recipient. Sofield is a true advocate for those who believe they can change the world and helps many find their voice to do so. She can be reached at and her best selling book, Speak without Fear, is available on


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