Liz Barker

Liz Barker – Author

Take the Leap of Faith

For many years I harbored a dream—to write my non-fiction memoir of an extraordinarily difficult small window of time in my life. A time where both I and my family were challenged by fate and death.

I battled and won.

For years, I wanted to tell the story. I finally realized this dream with my manuscript entitled Changed by Chance…Champion by Choice.

What made you decide to finally realize your lifelong dream?

It was very spiritual. I’m not a religious person, but there was a prophecy made to me about 20 years ago in the aftermath of many difficult things that happened in my life.

We held a fundraiser benefiting The Arc Alliance honoring my daughter Lauren’s 23 birthday. She had Down’s syndrome and was three-years-old when she passed away from a staph infection received while in the hospital.

People came out to support me. I had a nagging inside that said, ‘Why are you not doing it? You have wanted to do it for 20 years.’ The lightbulb went on. It never seemed like the time was right. Now is the time. It was magical. I think what I’ve learned throughout our experience is you have to listen to your body, your feelings, your instincts.

At 55 I am finally realizing the dream.

What were the specific obstacles you faced?

I am free to pursue my dreams now that now my two sons are finishing college. I had the time, had settled in my career. The timing was right. The prophecy by the astrologer, ‘You are going to be in the public eye, speaking to many people. It will be the best time of your life.”

I didn’t know when. I wanted to do it years ago, but the time would not have been right back then. I would have been too busy. Now is the perfect time. I can see why it was good I waited 20 years. It makes the story better. It makes me a longtime survivor. It makes the story more credible.

Were there people who tried to discourage you?

I kept putting it out there for 20 years. I went to a networking event and met two women who helped and encouraged me to see my vision. No one discouraged me, and no one was able to help me at the same time. I don’t think the timing was right.

 How did you feel when you finally accomplished your lifelong dream?

Fulfilling part of that prophecy made me feel highly successful. I am sharing my story and offering hope and inspiration.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating finally living their dream?

One of my favorite quotes is, ‘What would you do if you knew that you couldn’t fail?’ Take the leap of faith. You need to think about what you are about to accomplish and why. Where there’s a will there’s a way. There is a lot to be said about willpower and making things happen. It does take an extraordinary amount of effort. Most people don’t have the tenacity to do it. It also took time and money.

When I pitched my story, I thought about the story The Pursuit of Happyness and Vince Papale (Invincible). He was a little older and he made it happen. People love to root for the underdog. There are so many examples of… if you put your mind to it, believe in yourself, put it out there…it can happen.

To learn more about Liz and her journey, visit her website.

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