“What you share you strengthen.”

~A Course In Miracles

In the spirit of the above quote, ask yourself this question: Could I be undermining my success by what I’m sharing with others?

Years ago, a  coach gave me a powerful assignment.  For 2 weeks, I was to simply observe my conversations, without changing a thing. Just notice what I talked about, the words I used, my typical reactions…you know, the stuff I was sharing with others.

What I saw was not pretty.

I had a habit of putting myself down…without even realizing it. I’d constantly dismiss my skills (“Oh, that’s no big thing”), deflect praise (“I thought I was awful”), and diminish my successes (“But I could’ve done so much better”).

What felt, to me, like humility, was in truth, a form of self sabotage. Every word of self depreciation put another dent in my self esteem.   I was strengthening my sself-doubt…while destroying my self-confidence.  No wonder I was struggling.

Are you doing something similar? Minimizing your achievements or underestimating your  value?

I invite you to find out. Spend a few weeks simply watching what you talk about.  Then write a comment below on what you observed.

In  my next blog, I’ll share with you the things I did that made a huge difference.

“Forgetting what you are not enables you to remember what you are”

-A Course in Miracle

I sometimes wonder if we’re hardwired to hate discipline. I think exercising discipline is to adults what eating veggies are to kids… we do it because it’s good for us. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it!! And we’ll try anything to get out of it!

It wasn’t until my interviews with women who make millions that I had a stunning realization. The key to disciplined action is disciplined thinking.

When I shifted my focus from making myself do something to monitoring my thoughts, my behavior changed (almost) automatically.

I started using a technique I call Constructive Denial. That meant I began consciously and deliberately denying any limiting beliefs, irrational fears or feelings of inferiority about how small, inadequate or inconsequential I was.  As a Course in Miracles explains: “Denial is as capable of being used positively as well as negatively.”

For instance, when that voice in my head says (as it often does) “you don’t have what it takes to do that!” instead of caving in, I come back with, “Thanks for sharing, but I absolutely DO have what it takes.” That one retort dramatically reduces my resistance to taking action.

That’s what these successful women told me they did. They carefully observed their conversations (internal and external), making sure they didn’t lapse into—or catching themselves when they did—automatic self depreciatory or negative patterns.

As a long time mega earner explained to me, “You have to remind yourself: I’m OK. I have strengths. It’s hard. But you have to!”

They made themselves focus on their strengths and successes, talk about their achievements, and reaffirm their value to themselves.  They were constantly giving themselves pep talks, and repeating positive affirmations.

I found a terrific affirmation in a fabulous book called The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel: “I am that which I will to be.”  When I feel stuck, scared or small, I repeat that phrase, followed by “I have everything it takes to be a stellar success,” or “I am bursting with creative ideas for my next blog”.  Then I act as if it’s true.  It may seem contrived. But it actually works.

I suspect a lot of you do the same thing. Share your affirmations by adding a comment below.

I’ve learned a lot from interviewing high earners. But perhaps the most significant lesson was this:

Even though these women were not driven by money, they demanded to be well compensated because-and here’s the Big Lesson- they felt they were worth it.

The problem: women, in general, devalue themselves. These women, however, taught me specific ways to strengthen self esteem. Here are 5 tips for pumping up your self-worth along with your net worth.

  1. Think Big, Then Think Even Bigger5 Tips for Getting Paid What You Really Deserve – What most of us do is unwittingly limit our earnings by lowering our expectations. Especially women. The idea is to think in terms of what you are worth, not just what you assume the market will bear.
  2. Do Your Homework – One of the worst negotiating mistakes women make is picking a number out of the air that’s way too low. The smarter ones find out their market value by researching the going rates, then ask for more than is offered so they’ll have room to maneuver.
  3. Take the Initiative – Have tangible evidence of what you bring to the table. Maybe you saved your company x amount of dollars or had an idea that generated so many sales. Every time you accept more responsibility, successfully complete a challenge or create positive changes, document it. Keeping records is an effective means of demonstrating your value to an organization.
  4. Daily Affirmations -Act As If – Affirmations are positive statements expressed as if they’ve already happened. For example: “I have the confidence to ask for what I want.” “I deserve more money in my life.” Write them down. Post them in full view. Say them out loud as often as possible. When you act as if you’re worth a lot, you’ll eventually convince yourself as well as others.
  5. Challenge yourself in other areas – A stretch in any area of life has a ripple effect in other areas as well. If you can’t quite get yourself to volunteer for that tough assignment or ask for a raise, try signing up for an art class or running a marathon. Anything that puts you out of your comfort zone builds confidence and self-worth.

By practicing these tips, you’ll begin to notice a shift in how you feel about yourself. Making more money becomes not something you should do, but something you have to do-because you know in your heart you’re worth it.

If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them.