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.

“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.

I think it’s time we have The Talk. Don’t you? You know, the one about the Legacy you wish to leave. It’s a subject that deserves serious thought.

Leaving a Legacy is how you achieve Greatness. It goes right to the core of why you’re here and the mark you wish to make on the world you leave behind.

Some of you know exactly what it is. Mine, of course, is that there are a lot more financially empowered women running this country as a result of my work. And a lot fewer abused women who can’t afford to leave their abuser.

But many of you may be scratching your heads, wondering, ‘huh, what’s mine?’

Your legacy doesn’t need to light up the sky. It could be the tiniest footprint in the sand. All that matters: your legacy reflects your purpose fulfilled.

Need help? Try this exercise.

Imagine that it’s far in the future. You are lying on your deathbed. You’ve lead a long and meaningful life, but it’s now drawing to a close. As you lie there, you begin to review your past. What gave you the most satisfaction, outside of your family, to know this is what you’ll be remembered for? It need not be limited to one thing, either.

Once you pinpoint what it is, come back to this moment. Then ask yourself: What can I do right now that will contribute to the legacy I wish to leave?

Please share below by leaving a comment…I can’t wait to hear your insights.

I’ve been blogging about Sacred Success for almost a year. My purpose: to show you how to create Affluence—in a way that is meaningful to you and beneficial to others—by doing what you were put on this planet to do.

In review, Sacred Success unfolds in 4 Stages:

  1. Stage #1: responding to the Call to Greatness
  2. Stage #2: receiving consciously, surrendering to what is
  3. Stage #3: pursuing your highest purpose by exercising disciple.

We’re now at the 4th and final stage: leaving a legacy by modeling Greatness.

The truth is, we are always modeling something: either Greatness or Mediocrity (often disguised as Grandiosity).

Most people, as you can guess, are modeling Mediocrity. Why? Because it’s easy. All you have to do is stay in your comfort zone.    But to  model Greatness, you must  recognize your value, live your Purpose , leap into the unknown, let your light shine, and  leave your mark on the world.

This 4th stage is where Real Power lies. I believe when enough Enlightened Women, (along with enlightened Men) come together to model Greatness, our collective legacies will change the world, heal this planet. It all starts with each one of us.

Have you thought about the legacy you wish to leave?

Need help? I’ll share some tips in my next blog.

Until then leave a comment below about which stage in Sacred Success you are navigating right now.

“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.

While we’re discussing my beliefs (see True Confessions), I’ll add another  to the pot.  This belief is a biggie for me, and growing stronger by the second…due to  recent events.

I believe our financial foundation is only as strong as our individual integrity.

I am convinced the economic meltdown was a direct result of a lack of integrity,  among consumers and institutions alike.  The same applies to all the problems we’re witnessing today. Think: Tiger, Toyota, BP…to name a few. They all are, in large part, crisis that occurred when people acted out of  integrity.

I believe that every crisis comes with critical lessons. So instead of reacting solely with fury, frustration or a deep sense of futility—which I tend to do—I remind myself to treat each crisis as a teacher.

Take the oil spill, for example. Maybe I can’t do anything personally to protect the pelicans, but I can learn (and share) the lesson this crisis is offering me. For me, it’s all about integrity.

The word integrity comes from the latin root, meaning wholeness or entirety. Integrity demands  that our words and deeds  consistently reflect our deepest truths, highest aspirations,  and most cherished values.

Now, more than ever,  I believe we all need to ask ourselves 2 questions, on a daily basis:

  • Where am I out of integrity?
  • How can I correct that?

None of us are too big to fail. Nor are we too small to soar.  The difference, I believe, rests largely on our level of integrity…and our courage to act on it.

As embarrassing as it is to admit, I’m going to say it anyway. I’m enthralled by Tiger Wood’s shenanigans.

I’ve been reading everything about his sordid affairs, shamelessly devouring any article I can get my hands on.

At first I berated myself for such prurient fascination. But then I realized why this guy had my attention.  It’s because, as the Wall Street Journal explained last Saturday, Tiger’s story is “a seismic cultural event.” Ok, maybe that’s overkill. But think about it….

Underneath Tiger’s escapades, is an explicit message from the Emerging Paradigm; a paradigm that exploded into being last year, just about this time.  Remember?

That’s when the global economy plummeted almost overnight. That’s when we learned that no one–or nothing–is too big to fail.  That’s when we witnessed a sudden, swift, and dramatic fall from grace for those living out of integrity.  .    Think Bear Sterns or Bernard Madoff; think a rash of regional banks that made ridiculous loans to people who couldn’t afford them.

In the flash of an eye, those institutions or individuals who were not living in alignment with the highest truth–who were spending more than they had, who were creating products they didn’t understand, who were fudging the rules or blatantly ignoring them—publicly and painfully suffered the consequences.

Enter Tiger Woods, a striking reminder that even though the economic crisis is easing, we are, nonetheless, being ushered into a New Era. And, the #1 rule for thriving in the New Paradigm is this: Lasting success demands a life of Integrity.

The word integrity comes from the Latin root, meaning wholeness or entirety. Integrity demands that our words and deeds consistently reflect our deepest truths, highest aspirations, and most cherished values.

As I see it, this may be Tiger’s true legacy. This is the gift we can take from his gaffes. Each one of us needs to ask ourselves: Where am I living out of integrity? What are the lies I’m telling myself? What truth don’t I want to see?

Powerful questions to ponder.  You can be sure that I plan to ponder them as I step into the New Year. What about you?