My Letter from President Bill Clinton

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Tonight, I had a little run in with the voice. You know the one.  The cruel, toxic, unrelenting voice that comes at you when you least expect it and reminds you why you aren't good enough to do...fill in the blank...  

I immediately started to feel overwhelm set in and despite my best efforts to battle it back, the voice was winning. It said things like, "Who do you think you are?" and "It's all your fault!" I tried to contemplate, what exactly, was my fault and the little voice responded with, "Everything." 

So instead of allowing myself to wallow or head to the freezer to find the nearest pint of Ben & Jerry's, I started to make a list of things this little voice of fear...because that's REALLY what it is...had to say.  As I wrote down these hurtful comments to myself, I cringed, realizing that none of these things are actually true. These words are simply projections of my fears and uncertainty, nothing else. They are not grounded in reality. 

I wrote the last sentence and decided to read them all back in one fell swoop. It was harder than I thought it would be...and as I neared the last line, a letter...my letter, from Former President Bill Clinton fell out on to my lap.

I received this letter in 2012, along with a donation check toward Operation Hat Trick (OHT), an organization I have proudly been a part of from the day it was created. OHT's mission is to generate awareness, support and funding for the recovery of America’s wounded warriors, both active service members and veterans. I am currently a member of the Board of Directors and coincidentally, had met President Clinton back in 2007, the year OHT began.

When he was slated to return to UNH in 2012 for President Obama's re-election campaign, I left him a note telling him the OHT story, complete with a photo of us from the time we met and an University of Arkansas OHT hat (his home state and where he once served as Governor). I had thought nothing of the gesture, other than wanting to make sure he knew about this important organization, and just 2 short months later, I received this:

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And there's his signature...in ink...it's not some pre-fab letter...he actually had some part in sending this to me. And what's better, he made a donation to OHT...which means we were able to donate that money toward the recovery of wounded service members and veterans. Amazing!

Now the reason I share this story, is two-fold...first, it's massively important to me that I share the OHT story and help generate more fans of this important organization. Currently, there are over 220 colleges & universities participating in the United States, as well as 48 Minor League Baseball teams, a few NHL teams (and fast growing) and a whole lot more. Please take a moment to visit the website to learn more and to purchase an OHT hat for your favorite team.

The second reason I share this story is to remind you and me that we need to stop doing this to ourselves. Instead of writing down the reasons why we can't do something, we need to write down the reasons why we CAN achieve our goals. Why do we always go to the reasons why we believe we will fail before we entertain all of the reasons that point to why we will succeed?

I would like to challenge you to shift the paradigm. For yourself. For your friends and family. When they start to bemoan all of their shortcomings, encourage them to look at the victories they've experienced. Start keeping a WIN folder on your desktop, store images and screenshots of great emails or notes you receive...even a Facebook comment counts. Keep track of all of the reasons why you will succeed and this little mindset shift will point you in the right direction. 

I'd love to hear about how you remind yourself of your personal victories...please share in the comments below.  And if this blog post was helpful, I'd love it if you could share it on social media or with your friends.  

Much Love to you {and your Brand}



Amber Lilyestrom

Amber Lilyestrom is a soul-based branding & business coach, writer and motivational speaker. Amber currently coaches new and established entrepreneurs in creating strategies to transform their brands and businesses. She also works with individuals who want to leave their current careers and launch their big idea. From idea conception to the construction of the business and all of its digital assets, Amber assists new entrepreneurs in making “the big leap.”