“It’s important for people to look back before they’re able to move forward.”–Karen McCall

Karen McCall has a special place in my heart. She was the first one to tell me I was an underearner. And it really pissed me off!

“I am not,” I said defiantly. “I’m a writer!”

Talk about chutzpah!  Here was the leading pioneer in the field of financial recovery. And I’m arguing with her?

Of course, she saw right through my defenses and gently guided me to the truth.

I can honestly say Karen changed my life…in ways I couldn’t even have predicted at the time!!!

She stopped seeing clients years ago to focus on training Financial Recovery Coaches.

Now there’s BIG NEWS!

Jedi Master McCall (one of her students used this phrase, in an email to me, to describe Karen) is offering a special 3 month program…Financial Recovery Foundational Training…for anyone.

Yes, it’s a prerequisite for the Certification Core Training.

And it’s also ideal for professionals to augment their financial coaching skills.

But, for the first time…and here’s why I’m so excited…this training is open to ANYONE (you, maybe?) who wants to transform their relationship to money.

This is an amazing program. There is nothing like it anywhere that I know. It’s truly transformational! Karen, herself, will be teaching. And the sessions are on the phone.

You will be matched with a personal mentor, led through  your own money history, uncovering limiting beliefs, and given a tool box of “Financial Recovery’s underlying methodology.”

In other words, if you’re really serious about healing your relationship with money, this class was tailor-made for you!!! To learn more: www.financialrecovery.com.

This course will rock your world. Are you ready?

In my previous post, I played true confessions.  I fessed up that, years ago, I constantly put myself down…without really knowing it!

I have a hunch many of you do the same.  And believe me, self depreciation is a subtle but serious form of self sabotage.

I’d like to share what I did to stop. It wasn’t easy. I’m far from perfect. But success is so much easier since I curtailed my self-criticism and began acknowledging my value.

Here’s my 3-point plan to Stop Self Criticism—Observe; Brag; Find Spotters.

  1. I started by observing my conversations. Every time I heard me belittling myself, I stopped. Literally stopped, mid-sentence, and force myself to say something positive…even if it was just ‘thank you.’
  2. I started bragging (thanks to Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts). I mean, I actually prefaced sentences with “I brag…” and then tooted my own horn.
  3. I shared my goal with a few close friends, asking  them to spot me by pointing out my more subtle put-downs. They had no trouble catching me in the act.  Their feedback was quite effective.

Admittedly, these steps, at first, felt ridiculously uncomfortable, completely awkward. But gradually, I began to notice something.  My self-derision all but disappeared. And I felt much better about myself.

I’m here to say, I swear it’s true–what you share, you definitely strengthen. Please leave a comment below on how these steps support you in achieving greatness.

Listen up, ladies. We need to talk.  We’re still on the ‘D’ word. But now we’re getting to the nitty gritty.  This form of Discipline is what separates the women from the girls. This is where the rubber meets the road.  This is, in short, the BIG SECRET to SACRED SUCCESS™.

And I got it straight from the mouths of women who make millions.  If you wanna play  a bigger game, you gotta  toughen up! That means disconnecting from your Inner Pleaser and growing thicker skin.

By  nature, we women want everyone to be happy with us. Successful women are no different. Almost all I interviewed confessed to a “little girl inside me who wants to be liked.”

However, success requires us to make difficult, even painful, decisions that often have negative consequences for other people.

“You have to do the hard stuff,” said one mega high earner. That ‘hard stuff’ included firing employees, ending partnerships, holding tight during demanding negotiations, enforcing an unpopular policy, firing high paying clients, even enduring multiple rejections and disappointments.

In fact, virtually all the women I interviewed told me that their biggest regret was not making tough decisions sooner.

‘Toughening up’ didn’t mean these women had to harden their hearts, numb their senses, or go all macho.  It did mean a dramatic shift in their mindset.

The shift sounds like this:   ‘I’d rather be respected than liked.’

As one woman told me: “I tried to be nice rather than stand by my convictions. But I learned,  you can’t always be liked, but you can definitely be respected.”

The recognition that earning respect is more important than gaining approval was what one woman described as a “watershed moment.” It definitely was life-changing for me…and liberating.

This one shift in thinking– ‘I’d rather be respected than liked’ –means developing a “rhinoceroses hide” while keeping an open heart. This is precisely how we’ll become strong, effective leaders without compromising our feminine nature. This is what will allow us to be powerful without being punitive, forthright without being unfeeling, responsible without being ruthless.

Where do you need to toughen up?  If you’re like me, I bet it’s not just at work, but on the home front too.  Leave a comment below about what “toughening up” looks like in your life.

“The only thing standing between Greatness and me is me.”

–Woody Allen

Leave it to Woody to state the obvious. But I bet you don’t realize the insidious way countless women (me included) have been keeping ourselves from Achieving Greatness? I call it ATBS–Addicted to Busyness Syndrome.

We women stuff every cranny of our lives with so much activity that we’ve lost touch with what’s really essential and what’s truly irrelevant.

But ask us to lighten our load, actually say no to a task, and we start to panic. As if our world would shatter if we slowed down.  The truth is, we’ve become so controlled by shoulds, oughts, musts, have-tos that we’ve lost sight of what’s honestly important.

As you may know, I’ve spent the last 6 month clearing the clutter from my life. And I’m the first to admit—busyness is a bitch to give up!  Do you know why?  Busyness is the drug of choice for most women.

Without endless activity, we’re left with empty space. And empty space gives rise to painful feelings.  (For me, I felt unproductive, like a failure and a fraud)  Rather than experience the pain, we fill up the spaces. But, as I’ve learned from the last few months, when you stop running from the truth, you start recognizing your power. When you face what you fear, you realize it no longer controls you. When you eliminate the unnecessary, you begin to notice what really matters.

So I ask you….What could you slowly start cutting out of your day?  I’m not telling you to go cold turkey. But I invite you to observe all the needless activities you cram into your life– from constant emailing to extraneous chores.

What if you didn’t load the wash until later in the afternoon? What if you responded to emails only once a day? What if you didn’t answer the phone and instead stared out the window.

Maybe you’ll find what I did. It’s only in stillness that you’ll begin to hear the secrets your soul yearns to share. It’s only in the quiet that you’ll discover the path to Sacred Success™.

After you’ve eliminated everything but the most essential you’re ready for Step 2…

Step #2—Allow uncomfortable feelings to surface.

Uncertainty, fear , self doubt–all those demons we’ve been artfully dodging through over-work, over-eating, over-spending and other drugs of choice—will inevitably rear their ugly heads.

For me, my biggest fear was being invisible, disappearing, not mattering.  I knew that was exactly what I had to face.  Because, I knew very well, on the other side of  fear is power. And, more than anything, I wanted to retrieve all the power I had given away in a myriad of ways.  So, too,  I yearned to retrieve all that creativity I felt I lost.  To that end, I also knew that uncertainty, as anxiety producing as it was for me,  is  the natural beginning of all creative acts, a primal state of pure energy, a very fertile time.

It’s been an emotional roller coaster, but I buckled in for the ride. As I wrote in Overcoming Underearning: “When you learn to face that which makes you fearful, it need never control you again.” I genuinely believe that!

Check back tomorrow for Step 3 – Reassess, reevaluate….

I have a question for you. It’s an important one. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Whenever my children ask me what they should do, I always respond the same way. “Do what scares you the most.” They rarely like that reply, but they always know I’m right.

Why?

Because when you stretch beyond your comfort zone, miracles occur. They really do. Dreams come true. Your confidence soars. All sorts of amazing things happen when you tackle what terrifies you. It’s the one act that separates high earners from underearners, a life of joy from one of quiet desperation. But don’t just take my word for it.

Here’s a beautiful email from a woman who attended my workshop last December:

“Your BIGGEST gift to me was your admonition to stretch – to commit myself to being uncomfortable for the sake of financial growth and, to a certain extent, self-respect. In my case, that willingness to be uncomfortable took the form of keeping up marketing relationships even when there was a clear possibility – even likelihood – of disappointment, and asking for more money for what I do. I set a goal of $100,000 in billings for this year and am happy to tell you I had exceeded that goal by the end of May. What is more, being uncomfortable is no longer very uncomfortable! (Italics are mine!) Disappointments and even outright refusals/rejections now feel like part of the landscape instead of the monumental cliffs I had imagined them to be before.”

I get emails like this all the time. I’m sure that’s what gives me the courage to stretch as often as I do. And that’s why I’m sharing the email with you…to inspire you and challenge you to go where you fear.

Two things I have come to see for sure:

1) The closer you get to what you fear, you’ll find it’s never as scary as you expected.

2) There’s a direct correlation between the level of fear you feel and the amount of pleasure, power, and freedom awaiting you on the other side.

So, I ask you again: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Care to share???