Personal Development

Life is hard. Or is it easy?

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Personal Development, Work-life Balance | 0 comments

I’ve had a particularly hard life. I grew up in poverty and experienced trauma at an early age.

I had to fight, and work hard, and earn for everything I have. I bootstrapped my life and my success.

My life story has taught me life is hard, and it’s true, life IS hard. But what if life is easy? What if life is both? Life is hard and life is easy.

As a lifelong bootstrapper I tend to approach all situations with great effort. I believe life is hard and so it is.

Sometimes life is genuinely hard. Sometimes the odds are stacked against you. Sometimes you’ve got to put on your big girl pants, knuckle down, and do some hard stuff.

The thing is, I’ve recently discovered that approaching every situation with that sense of toughness makes my experience of every situation a lot tougher!

If I believe life is hard, I gather my strength and my courage and tackle problems in head-on. This approach can lead to overlooking simpler and easier solutions and outcomes, including asking for help, clarifying expectations, or negotiating terms.

My choice to stop believing work and life are hard

Years ago before I started this blog, I was on the edge of burnout. I worked so hard at everything I did that my health and happiness suffered. I remember one time in particular that I was faced with a challenge at work and I was prepared to bootstrap my efforts to deal with the situation.

A co-worker was planning a 3-week vacation during our busiest season. I began to prepare myself to work 50+ weeks to meet all our deadlines and get he work done while she was away.

Then I made a choice not to kill myself over a job. This was not a life or death situation. I chose to stop taking work so seriously.

Instead of assuming the only possible solution was for me to work too hard, I decided to brainstorm my options. I made a list of all the possible ways I could handle the situation, from the unreasonable (run away to a foreign country, or work myself to death) to some easier options (ask for help, or set boundaries).

What I chose to do was send an email to my boss, letting him know I would be unable to do all the work and meet all the deadlines alone. I proposed two solutions and asked my boss to decide which option he preferred.

Option 1 was to miss our deadlines and pay associated fines and penalties.

Option 2 was to hire a temp to cover the staff shortage.

Instead of approaching the situation as if life is hard, and I have to work hard, I approached the situation with ease.

Which option did my boss choose? Well, he decided to tell my co-worker her 3-week vacation was not approved during our busiest time of the year, and asked her to move her trip a few weeks before or after the time she requested off.

What if life is easy?

So what if life is easy? Where can you find more ease in all you do? Where can you create more ease?

Instead of following your old habits, old beliefs, and old patterns, what if you challenged the idea that life is hard and, instead, you chose to follow the ease?

life is easier than you think

Here are some ways life may be easier than you think:

Life is hard, and it is easy. Stop making life harder than it needs to be. Start creating more ease.

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Overcoming Self-doubt

Posted by on Nov 2, 2017 in Personal Development | 4 comments

Self-doubt is a bitch. And yet I don’t know anyone that doesn’t experience self-doubt. Why is this experience so universal? What is self-doubt, really?

Most self-doubt begins in childhood, but these experiences may continue or occur in adulthood. Some common causes of self-doubt include:

  • Being criticized as a child by a parent, teacher, or trusted advisor
  • Being told not to trust our feelings or experiences by a parent, teacher, trusted advisor, or spouse (includes gaslighting)
  • Being rejected or excluded
  • Being a minority and/or having a minority opinion
  • Being a visionary with ideas that challenge the status quo

Whatever the cause, self-doubt affects our ability to trust ourselves.

I’ve spent my life trying to prove myself. I grew up in poverty. I was used to being looked down on as less than. Less fortunate, less able, less desirable.

If no one expects much from you, it’s hard to believe you can amount to much.

I was lucky to have that one person who believed in me no matter what. Someone who believed I could do anything I wanted to do. Someone who believed I was worthy. That person was me.

So, yes, I trusted myself. I believed in myself, despite my circumstances. And I still experienced self-doubt. I still do experience self-doubt.

Self-doubt shows up for me when I’m afraid to act on my trust in myself. Yet somehow I find I’m not really afraid of failing- I’m far more afraid of succeeding. The seed of self-doubt may have been planted in childhood, but it’s fruit is not that I truly believe I’m not good enough, it’s that I believe I am good enough, despite experiences that suggested otherwise. Those experiences are the false proof that I am lured into believing that directly conflicts with what I know to be true.

And that false belief that I’m not good enough keeps me playing small. The idea that I won’t amount to much is actually a little bit comforting. It means I don’t have to keep trying. It means I’m not really all that special and I can find comfort in living the rest of my life in mediocrity.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” ~Marianne Williamson

As comforting as it is to consider a life of mediocrity, that comfort cannot comfortably co-exist with the pain of unfulfilled potential. Oh dear, this blog post isn’t actually about legitimizing self-doubt, it is really a blog post about getting over myself and taking courageous and inspired action towards the life of my dreams.

Whoops, sorry I got all motivational on you there.

So what does it take to truly overcome self-doubt? Maybe it doesn’t matter what caused it. Maybe even understanding self-doubt it not the answer. What if overcoming self-doubt is really about trusting myself through being brave and taking action.

Well, okay then. Here are 17 ways to overcome self-doubt:

overcome self doubt

  1. Stop trying to explain yourself
  2. Stop justifying
  3. Stop complaining
  4. Develop your intuition
  5. Stretch outside your comfort zone
  6. Take a leap of faith
  7. Stop comparing yourself to others
  8. Give up those activities, thoughts, and beliefs that aren’t serving you
  9. Get out of your head and into your body (move it, shake it!)
  10. Stop trying to figure it all out
  11. Stop blaming
  12. Be kind to yourself
  13. Make mistakes
  14. Practice mindfulness
  15. Be bold
  16. Be brave
  17. Get off your ass and do something!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of god. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of god that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson

So you have self-doubt- so what? We all do. The real question is, are you going to let it stop you?

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How to get what you deserve

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in Personal Development | 0 comments

I recently had a life-changing ephiphany around deserving.

All my life I have worked hard for everything I have. I prided myself on my hard work and my work ethic. I am dedicated and motivated and I get shit done.

My work ethic has lead to my success, no doubt. Yet I can look around at the world and see deserving people who don’t get what they deserve and less-deserving people who have more than they need.

Throughout my career I’ve seen the worst employees promoted and the best employees overlooked. Lazy and incompetent co-workers somehow managed to keep their jobs when better employees were fired.

I’ve spent most of my life, my career, and my business proving myself to the world. And then it hit me, what if what we get is not directly equal to how deserving we are?

What if all I have to do is shift my mindset from proving myself to being open to receive?

I care about the work I do and I want to have a positive impact on the world. I will continue to work hard. I will continue to be dedicated, motivated, and productive. But what I get in this world is not directly related to how hard I work. And the secret to getting more is simply wanting more.

What might happen if I stop trying so hard to prove myself and simply receive? Surely I will do good with all that I receive.

What if I allowed myself to take before I give?

What if I received before I gave?

What if I filled myself up up up with all the best things in life and then used that abundance to give back to the world (instead of the other way around)?

What if I’m already deserving and there’s nothing more I have to do?

Wow. Well, that revelation certainly changed my life. I’ve been going about this all wrong. What I get is not directly equal to what I deserve. So how do I get what I deserve if it’s not by the very act of deserving it?

get what you deserve

Be awesome

Be as awesome as possible and do good work every day. I mean, let’s face it, there are days that go by and you do work but you aren’t really putting your heart in it. You’re going through the motions. What would it look like to be intentional in all you do? It would look like awesome!

Do your best and forget the rest

Working harder/more/better leads to burnout, not success. So do your best and forget the rest. It’s all you can do, really. Give yourself a break, okay?

Ask for what you want

Stop working hard while you wait for someone to reward you for it. Generally speaking, people who ask for what they want are the people who get what they want. This includes asking to be considered for opportunities, asking for a raise, and asking a potential client to work with you.

Have big desires

And while we’re talking about asking for what you want, go ahead and have BIG desires. Allow yourself to want more, without your logical brain shutting you down with all the reasons you can’t have what you want. Go ahead and want more, and want big!

Believe in yourself

To get what you deserve, and you deserve good things, you have to believe in yourself. Believe that you deserve good things. Believe you can have good things. Believe in yourself.

Receive before you give

Stop trying to prove yourself. Stop working so hard today for a future reward. You’ve got to receive before you give. This goes beyond basic self care- fill up your cup and let it overflow and you’ll have so much more to give! That means receiving from yourself and others. Let good things in. Be open to receive!

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Be true to you

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Personal Development | 0 comments

I went to a writing retreat in Hawaii and had a terrible time.

My experience was terrible because I wanted a different experience than the one I had. I thought I SHOULD have a different experience.

I had a terrible time because I didn’t allow myself to be true to my actual experience. I didn’t allow myself to be true to myself.

Hawaii isn’t my idea of paradise. I prefer the mountains to the beach, boots to sandals, and cold to hot. Despite my preference for pine trees to palm trees, I went to Hawaii ready for an amazing, life-changing experience! I was ready for expansion. This retreat was going to be the next step in my evolution. Bring it on.

Only it was the wrong place, the wrong time, and, well, the wrong just about everything.

There I was at a resort on the north shore of O’ahu, surrounded by amazing people I admire, all opening ourselves up to write our books, and all I could think was, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” And the very next thought was, “what is wrong with me?”

It wasn’t just being in Hawaii that pushed me out of my comfort zone. For the first time in my life I stayed at a fancy resort. I’ve never stayed at a resort before. I grew up in poverty.

But let me be real for a moment- my discomfort was not really with staying at a resort. I was uncomfortable because for years I’ve practically prided myself on being a “have not”. I survived for years with the understanding that there were certain things I didn’t get to have, and traveling to Hawaii and staying at a 4-star resort is certainly something I believed I did not get to have.

I wasn’t ready for this experience, but I told myself that didn’t matter. I SHOULD be enjoying myself more. And all that is before the writing retreat officially began.

I’ve always been a writer. When I was 7 or 8 years old I began writing poetry and short stories. I started blogging 8 years ago. I love writing. It comes naturally to me. I didn’t think writing a book would be easy but somehow I thought it would be easier for me.

The writing method and process we were taught at the retreat turned out to be ineffective for me. When I asked questions about the method and process, my questions were dismissed. “Just keep writing,” I was told, “That’s a left-brained question- don’t overthink it.”

As an expert overthinker my initial reaction to this advice was, “there I go again,” and I accepted what I was told and kept writing. And kept writing and kept writing. I kept writing through the disappointment, frustration, and tears. I felt ashamed that I was struggling. I didn’t stop to ask myself why it was difficult. I SHOULD be able to write by this or any process, right?

Then I realized- this process was not working. It was not going to work for me and that’s perfectly okay.

As soon as I gave myself permission to feel what I was feeling, I started having a lot more fun, even though my circumstances were not ideal. Finally, I allowed myself to be true to myself.

Hawaii is not my idea of paradise. I’m not ready for resort living. I depend on my left brain to balance and ground my writing. So why did I judge myself for being who I am? Why did I deny my actual experience by telling myself what kind of experience I SHOULD have?

I learned a lesson I’ve learned many times before. The most important thing I can do in this word is be true to myself. I’m happier when I am true to myself. My success is bigger when I am true to myself. My experience is not going to match everyone else’s, and that’s okay.

Doesn’t it work that way for you, too? How can you be true to yourself?

Take a moment to think about where in your life you are SHOULDing  yourself. Where are you not allowing yourself to be true to you? What would you do differently today if you were true to you?

be true to yourself quote

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How to believe in yourself when life gets hard

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Get your goals, Personal Development, Professional Development | 2 comments

It’s easy to believe in yourself when things are going well. When you’ve just been hired in an exciting new job, when you sign your first client, when you start a new relationship. Everything seems possible. The world is open to you and good things are happening.

But what about those times when things aren’t going well? When you’ve been unemployed for months and your savings is running low, when you have zero clients and the mortgage is due, when you just ended a relationship that you thought was the one. In times like these it’s harder to believe in what is possible. It’s harder to trust. It’s harder to believe in yourself.

The best lesson I’ve learned since launching my business full-time is to always believe in myself. To remember than no matter what is happening in life, the world is open to me and good things will happen. To stay on track, on task, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

The problem is when life gets hard, the temptation is to shut down. To isolate. To withdraw. It seems like the sensible thing to do. But it’s not really sensible at all.

It happens to me. I get discouraged when things aren’t going well and I am tempted to limit myself. I am tempted to limit my activities, my spending, my choices. But when I limit myself, I limit my ability to believe in myself. I limit my ability to create something better.

Believing in myself is not something I do alone. I surround myself with colleagues, mentors, and coaches- people who believe in what’s possible for me. People who provide accountability, strategy, and see the greatness in me.

I spent years of my life in poverty and plenty of people didn’t believe in me. And that’s why people who are impoverished tend to stay that way. They are not only struggling to survive the day-to-day, they have no one to believe in them.

Against all odds, I believed in myself, even as a young girl. I believed I was meant for something better and I was determined to create a better life for myself.

That determination served me well, helping me build a successful life, career, and business despite many challenges and setbacks. My success didn’t come from my effort alone. I studied with great masters, even when it was only through books. I took advantage of every opportunity to learn, to grow, to take classes, to be mentored, to be supported. When I started my business, I hired a coach to support my business growth.

That’s the secret to believing in yourself- you don’t do it alone. 

In my work as a Career Coach I talk to people who need support- people who want support- and they don’t accept it. They have a million reasons to keep on as they are. They are overwhelmed or nervous or uncertain. They tell themselves they need to “figure it out”. They tell themselves they can do it alone. They tell themselves they have to wait until one thing or another falls into place before they can accept help. They’ll get help when…..

If you’re struggling to believe in yourself, find someone to believe in you. Seek out support and risk something to get it. Risk your time or your money or your fear of failure. Believe in yourself at least enough to be supported.

You’ve got a lot of potential. You are going to do amazing things. The world is waiting for you.

I believe in you. Do you believe in yourself?

believe in yourself

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Why it’s better to receive than to give

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in Personal Development, Professional Development | 0 comments

My biggest lesson this past year has been learning it is better to receive than give. This is the lesson that has contributed the most to my business success.

Yeah, you read that right, I said it is better to RECEIVE than GIVE.

I was raised to believe the opposite is true- that is better to give than receive. And am I ever a giver. I give and give and give. I give to everyone and everything. If I have anything leftover, I’ll give a little to myself, too. But therein lies one of my problems, you see, I was giving to myself last.

Putting myself last meant I had poor work-life balance. My health suffered. I was burned out at work.  And, this giving behavior was limiting my potential. I recently realized I need to be a lot more selfish if I’m going to achieve my BIG DREAMS.

I was so busy giving, I never really learned to receive. In fact, I suck at receiving.

I deflect compliments. On the rare occasion I accept a compliment, I will immediately return your compliment with gratitude so I don’t really have to let it in. Or maybe sometimes I’ll allow your appreciation in if I know really, really earned it.

I’m uncomfortable being the center of attention. I am a better hostess than guest.

I will go above and beyond for you, but I don’t really need much help, thanks. I only want what’s fair, and maybe then I’ll still feel a little guilty for whatever I get.

My worth is valued by how much I give. I can only receive as part of an exchange and you’ll probably get more than you give with me.

You see what I mean. I suck at receiving.

What does it mean to receive?

verb | re·ceive |\ri-ˈsēv\

1:  to come into possession of

2
:  to act as a receptacle or container for

3
a :  to permit to enter :  admit
b :  welcome, greet
c :  to react to in a specified manner

4
:  to accept as authoritative, true, or accurate :  believe

5
a :  to support the weight or pressure of :  bear
b :  to take (a mark or impression ) from the weight of something

In order to receive, I have to come into possession of your appreciation. Worse yet, I have to act as a receptacle or container for you admiration. I have to admit and welcome your praise. I have to believe your compliments and accept them as truth. I have to support the weight of your gratitude.

Why is receiving such an important skill?

Because to be successful in life we have to receive.

We have to be comfortable receiving appreciation from our clients and colleagues. We have to believe it’s true. We have to allow other people’s admiration bolster us- to embolden us!

We have to receive so we can move forward even when we’re scared. So we feel encouraged to take the next big leap. So we can stretch the limits of our comfort zone and grow into our full potential.

Are you living up to your potential? How are you at receiving? What could you accomplish if you were better at receiving?

Learning how to receive

I’ve been learning to receive through the Art of Feminine Presence® body of work. If you’re ready to receive inspiration, impact, and income, I’m starting a series of Art of Feminine Presence® classes in Fort Collins in May. Join me for the introductory class.

In the pursuit of a career, or having to take care of so many people around them, many women have disconnected from their feminine essence and their personal presence without realizing it. This affects everything. From fulfillment in our work, the state of our health, and to the unfortunate situation of women competing against women everywhere.

This class is for empowered women who:

  • Want to show up in a bigger way
  • Are afraid of putting themselves out there, even though they know they want more from life
  • Are wanting to increase their income through their business or career
  • Want to stop people from draining their energy

In this class you’ll learn:

  • A simple practice to instantly gain respect and recognition from colleagues and clients
  • How to make a great impression in new situations like networking groups, interviews, and sales conversations
  • Learn to follow your “higher guidance” rather than push to make things happen.

Claim your spot today!

receiving beauty power strength

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