“There are people less qualified than you, doing the things you want to do, simply because they decide to believe in themselves. Period.” What do you keep telling yourself you can’t do? What do you keep putting off doing because you’re scared? What are you not doing that you want to do? What makes you want to throw up because of nerves AND excitement? Go do that. Quit talking yourself out of it. Quit putting it off until “later.” What do you have to lose? Actually, wait, what do you have to gain?

Let me tell you a little about me: My name is Rachel Bray, but most people call me Ray, RB, or currently, Raquel. I am 19 years old. I graduated high school last year and moved to Nicaragua less than a month later. I founded a nonprofit organization here that is changing the lives of hundreds of people in poverty. We select the most impoverished neighborhoods and provide activities with nutritious meals multiple times a week. But there’s a catch: each person has to be in school or working. Without providing any handouts, they’ll then graduate school with a Nicaraguan education certificate and learn English because of our activities. They’ll be able to get a stable job and can rebuild their house, buy their own food, and provide for all their needs and wants. True poverty elimination. But let me let you in on a little secret: I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I wake up every day and wing it. Because here’s the deal, I 100% believe in our method to poverty elimination. I will fight for the people I work with until the day I die. I believe so strongly that this is the best way to love people to their fullest potential. I work my butt off day in and day out, with quite a few bad days, for the sake of eliminating poverty here.

And how do we do it? With a little encouragement and a lot of tough love. Sometimes, I am called “Rachel Enojada” or “Angry Rachel” because of the tough love I have to show. So, let me encourage you with a little kick in your pants. You can do all the hard things. You can accomplish your goals. You can do whatever and be whoever you want. You are strong enough and brave enough. You’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t give it a shot. You have absolutely nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. I don’t know what you’re waiting for — get crap done and accomplish your goals. Hustle hard. Make yourself proud.

“Our gift from God is the potential that He gave us. What we do with that potential is our gift back to Him.” I for sure don’t have all the answers, but I’ve learned a little over my few years of living. Here’s what I know, and I hope it’ll be helpful for you if you jump in full force.

1.  Every week, take 30 minutes for yourself to write out your goals. Goals for the week and your to do list for each day. Make sure your to do lists match up with your goals. There is nothing like crossing off items from your to do list.

2.  You can’t work hard if you don’t feel good. Take 30 minutes and get some exercise, even if it’s just a short walk. Kill two birds with one stone and listen to a podcast.

3.  Drink a lot of water. Like half of your body weight in ounces, just do it. Put some fruit in it if you have to. You’ll feel so much better.

4.  Win a battle, take a bite. Celebrate those small wins. Treat yourself. Did you write a chapter in your new book? Go celebrate that. Did you eat healthy everyday this week? Go celebrate that.

5.  Talk about your future like it’s currently happening. Instead of saying “I am going to open my own business,” try saying, “I am opening my own business.” And insert any goal you have, because when you say it in present tense, you’re already there. Congrats!

6.  Take time to read. It is so good for your soul. I recommend “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis, “Love Does” by Bob Goff, and “Sun Stand Still” by Steven Furtick.


Rachel Bray currently divides her time between a little country town in Virginia and Granada, Nicaragua. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Comunidad de Raíces, a nonprofit organization with a mission statement that reads, “Comunidad de Raíces is a Christ-Centered organization focusing on development through relationship empowerment in poverty-stricken communities.” She believes in laughing and loving and not stopping until you’ve accomplished your dreams. You can visit rootedcommunities.com to learn more about how she spends her days.