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.

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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.

Have the headlines got you spooked?

I Can Do This !! Let me introduce you to my 2    Laws for Financial   Success…In Spite of Fear  (yours and everyone else’s!)…(drum roll please!)…expressly for the faint-hearted and other victims of the current fear mongering.

1.  Stanny’s Law of Resistance—the amount of resistance you experience in any endeavor is directly correlated to the amount of power and pleasure available on the other side.

2.  Stanny’s Law of a Lousy Economy—no matter how bad the economy, there will always be people who are prospering.

The following email demonstrates these laws in action.   The writer, a seminar graduate, ended up in the hospital after the first day of a 2 day seminar!  Even though she was in utter fear and the economy sucked big-time, she tenaciously respected Stanny’s Laws!  Look what happened:

Dear Barbara,

I took your Overcoming Under Earning Workshop last fall.   I am the woman who spent the night (after the first day) hooked to an IV in the emergency room.   My body was physically rebelling the changes that were taking place  in  me emotionally in your workshop!   As crazy as it seemed, I forced myself back for the second day… knowing I had every excuse not to launch deeper into more of my financial  mud pit.

Thank goodness I did… I am very happy to report that despite the economic upheaval of our Country I am better than ever.!!!! Since I saw you I have made some real tangible changes.  First off, I got the courage to go back to court and get a child support adjustment… this was something that I had been avoiding for 9 years… results a 233% increase!!!! Long overdue, obviously.

Even better than that, I finally know my financial future is completely in my hands… and that is incredibly empowering.   I now know that I control my financial future.  (I feel excited just writing this, and even more excited living it!!! )  I am working “smarter not harder“.

I have adjusted my business focus to accommodate the economic environment.  I now do what I had been doing full time, part time, and am working more full time with my internet brokerage company.  The  shift in focus has given me great financial success, as a matter of fact by staying on the course I am on  now, I am estimated to triple my best income  ever within 12 months!!!  Wow, didn’t even know what leverage was about a few years ago.

Just wanted to send you my  success story and express my thanks   for you, and the door that you helped me open in my life!

The moral of this story: never ever let fear or resistance stop you from going for the gold… regardless of what’s happening ‘out there’ or going on ‘in here’ (i.e. your head).  Resistance is simply a clear indication of what you need to do next!!