A Reason To Believe

Amidst the chaos of our lives, we must be steadfast on our quest to find reasons to believe. Even in the gloomiest of times when there does not seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel, you have to look for that glimmer of hope. Because, at times, that is all we have.

It wasn’t too long ago that I sat on my kitchen floor crying, typical Lifetime movie style of crying – late at night, one night light on, while I sobbed out of fears for tomorrow. I had no idea what I was going to do about my life at that moment, never mind the future. If someone were to the say the word “goal” to me, I probably would have ran for my life screaming in the other direction with index fingers in my ears.

I guess sometimes it takes to be at the end of your rope to find reasons to hang on, so to speak. In all the darkness, at times, comes the greatest moments of clarity. It was like a teensy tiny voice whispered in my ear, “write about it.” So I did.

Like Forrest Gump did with running, I put the same tenacity in a different direction; I wrote. I wrote until my fingers were numb. I wrote on napkins, Post Its, the back of business cards, on paper table clothes at restaurants. Whenever I got an idea, I wrote about it. I had no freakin’ idea what I was going to do with all those thoughts, words, or ideas, but somehow, someway, I was going to make sense out of my crazy life – even if it was on paper.

Then, as I began to write, I started to feel better. I started to see the accomplishments of my efforts with little anecdotal stories about “Patti Tales” that were about my life, lessons learned easily and not so easily.

“Why can’t I give the world my cliff notes?” I thought. I can give them the edited version of what hasn’t worked and what has during my time of transition.

” Why not?” I pondered. So I did. Each and every day for four years, I wrote.

I wrote about job rejections, failed relationships, money worries, kid stuff, whatever was on my mind at that time in my life. Some of the entries were good, and some of them were not even worthy of being put in the trash on the computer. However, slowly but surely, I started to see myself as more than just a victim of circumstance to a life I was not too thrilled about anyway, I saw myself as the person I wanted to become.

The most important part is: I believed I could help people live a better life and I believed that I could somehow do this through writing. Simply put, I believed.

So, here I am four years later. I sit in the same kitchen but today I am perched at the table instead of my head in my hands sitting on the floor. I finally had the courage to start submitting my articles to websites and decided to blog about it. In fact, a major website has used one of my articles, ironically entitled “Finding Reasons to Believe” as part of their monthly newsletter. And it is today I realize that my words are actually starting to help people. It was a very emotional day for me.

If I could give you a tip for the day it would be this: even in your darkest of days, find reasons to believe in yourself.

Make the time to sit and think about a brighter future, that life you want to live, despite the circumstances that lead you to where you are today. Look for that glimmer of hope in the rain cloud. It’s there, all you have to do is look for it.

Would love to know what you believe in today. patti@positivelifetransitons.com

Keep the faith,


When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” Anonymous

Author's Bio: 

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1. Who is Patti?

I am a forty something single mom of two awesome kids. In the past six years, I have: separated and divorced, finished a graduate degree with honor’s, started a part-time career as a writing instructor at a local college, opened up my own business as a transition coach, and as of November 2008, became newly engaged! In addition, I have finished my basic training to become part of a collaborative law team.
As you can see, it has been quite an eventful few years! However, I have never felt more fulfilled in my life.

2. How did I do it?

I can honestly tell you that I have utilized many of the same principles I learned in graduate school (I have a Master’s of Arts in Teaching) and applied them to my life. I thought, “What are my goals? Where do I want to be in one year – two years – five years? How am I going to get there?” (Think of this as being your own tutor!)
Like a teacher does with her class, I wrote out my lesson plans on how to achieve those goals. Hour-by-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, slowly but surely, I kept my eye on those goals and made sure that I kept forging ahead, even on the days I barely could get out of bed. (On those days, I gave myself a gold star for even making myself a pot of coffee or going to the dry cleaners!)

This is a true testimony on how you can use a crisis to create a new path for your future. That is what I did. I took all the pain and suffering I had during my divorce, turned it around into a positive learning experience.

3. What is the magic formula that makes my business thrive?

I knew that knowledge was power and the better educated I was as to what I could expect from the transition going on in my life – my transition process – the better. I wanted to be one step ahead of the game when meeting with the professionals and my goal was to be the ideal client.I wanted to use this change as a way of exploring my character and my drive.

So, I challenged myself – I wanted to get the most for my money when meeting with my lawyers and other professionals for many reasons – I wanted to save money, not waste my time talking about emotional issues during our meetings and I wanted to get it over with as smoothly (and quickly) and possible. And, most of all, I wanted to learn the tools on how to learn and grow from this time of change in my life. I didn’t want this possibly uncertain time to define who I was. I wanted to own it and move on.
In the meantime, I read and studied books on goal-setting and laws of attraction as well as countless books on people who not only survived, but thrived during times of transition (refer to recommended book list). I realized there was very little information out there on how people overcame obstacles in their lives and the techniques they had when accomplishing goals during tough times.

While I was studying and researching the various aspects of life transitioning and how to do it right, so to speak, I would reward myself with reading books on how to achieve your dreams! As a result, Patricia Phelan Clapp M.A., the Transition Coach, was created!

All you need to do is commit to wanting to move forward in a positive direction.

Let’s get started! www.positivelifetransitions.com - (50% of my coaching is done via telephone and/or online correspondence)

4. What material will we cover at your coaching sessions?

* We will find the necessary resources for you during this transition process.

* We will focus on creating a positive client-based relationship that will give you the ability to compartmentalize this transition process separate from your emotions.

* I will help you achieve your goals and find a balance between the transition you are facing and moving on with your life.

* A step-by-step plan will be devised on how to come up with an action plan towards obtaining your goals.

* By creating a road map for you to follow during this time of uncertainty in your life, we can concentrate on empowering you with the peace, self-respect and hope that may have been lost along the way.

5. Background Information and Training

A. Adjunct Writing Instructor - Brookdale Community College

* specialty: collaborative teaching and process writing approach, basic skills teacher.

* focus: instruction via academic coaching – my goal is to have the students feel academically enthusiastic and confident upon completion of the class while mastering the fundamentals of essay writing.

* areas of interest/themes of the lessons: modern day heroes, laws of attraction, life lessons with Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie, the Pay it Forward movement, how to stay motivated in an academic world.

B. Patricia Phelan Clapp M.A. LLC – Founder

* specialty - motivational speaker, consultant, coach – business and professional.

* focus - executive coaching, social media networking, finding professional resources for clients going through transition, working as part of a legal team on assisting clients to stay-solution focused and goal-oriented, utilize proactive methods on how to navigate the waters of change – both professionally and personally, how to encourage moving forward during times of transition.

* areas of interest - Collaborative Law. Social Media and Marketing, Strategic Planning, Success Principles for Entrepreneurs.

Mediation Training- as approved by AOC for CLE hours.
Basic Collaborative Law Training – completed 6/13/09

Graduate Student - Rowan University

* candidate for M.A. In Writing - 4.0 GPA (previously obtained an M.A. in Teaching - 3.97 GPA)

Favorite Quotes:

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness.”

“Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.” T.S. Eliot

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” Judy Garland

“Talk about a dream, try to make it real.” Bruce Springsteen

Business Address:

Patricia Phelan Clapp M.A. LLC

Piff – Tomaro Professional Building

1704 Maxwell Drive

Suite 302

Wall, New Jersey 07719

(732) 865-5377


“Helping you find the resources you need to stay focused and balanced during professional and personal times of transition.”