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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“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.

“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.

Oh, the irony of it all.

I haven’t blogged in awhile.   And I’ve got a good reason—I’ve been really busy. I mean, I was preparing for my first Sacred Success Retreat.  I had house guests visiting. I flew to California for my grandson’s 6th birthday.  Yada, yada, yada…..

But you wanna know the real truth? I went oblivious to what I’d been blogging about—DISCIPLINE. I wasn’t making myself do what I needed to do, when I needed to do it….because I bought into my excuses. I actually believed them!!

Excuses are to discipline what cheating is to diets…a sure fire way to undermine your success by letting yourself off the hook.

And we all do it. We make a commitment. Stuff comes up. We get side tracked. It comes with the territory. Discipline isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being persistent.

As of today, I’m making it official. I’m getting back on the Discipline Train. And I’m inviting any of you who’ve fallen off (you know who you are!) to join me.

What that means to me is that I’m back to writing regular blogs. I’d love to hear what it means for you.

“Self discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think you can’t control what you do.”

~~Napoleon Hill

In Sacred Success™,  discipline is far less about doing and all about thinking. Mental discipline paves the way to disciplined action.

When you discipline your thoughts—ridding yourself of any self depreciation, pessimism, or worry— disciplined action becomes so much easier that it may even feel effortless.

I was struck, during my interviews with women making millions, how fiercely—to the point of obsession—they practiced Mental Discipline.

For example, one woman told me: “I don’t use the word ‘can’t’. And I started fining my employees a dollar who did”

Virtually every woman I interviewed  consciously and deliberately monitored the words that went into her head and out of her mouth, in all areas of life.  These women were so vigilant, that what started as a discipline, eventually became a habit. That’s just the way it works!

There are 4 specific forms of mental discipline I want to share with you: constructive denial; creative separation; situational reframing; and strategic thinking.

I’ll be blogging about each one, right here. If you have any to add, I’m all ears!

Whoa…I must have struck a chord.  Since I announced my Sacred Success™ retreat, I’ve been flooded with emails…most saying the same thing: “I wish I knew my purpose, but…..”I’ve found that, among those women not reaching the success they desire or the fulfillment they crave, most have only a vague idea of their purpose, if that.   A lack of purpose can be disheartening. Having one, however, is positively galvanizing. This is the work of Step #2.  This is the essence of Sacred Success™. As I learned from women  who make millions—a woman with a purpose is  a force to be reckoned with. I’ve been blessed. I’ve known my purpose for 30 years—to empower women. But for those of you wishing to find—or redefine—yours, let me give you some ideas on where to look, based on my own experience.

1.  In Past Pain

I had a line in my book, Prince Charming Isn’t Coming, that my editor cut because she considered it corny. “In our deepest pain, lies our highest purpose.” I’m not sure our life purpose has to come from pain, but it’s a good place to start looking. What’s been your most painful challenge in life?

2.  In World Problems

Someone once asked me, way back in graduate school: “If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change on this planet?” I knew immediately: liberate women to work as equals among men (mind you, it was the 70s!). Right after that, I got a job at the Women’s Center on campus, helping women re-entering the workforce. That started the trajectory that’s led me to where I am today.  Look around…what  global problem do you feel super-strongly about? How could you contribute to the solution?

3.  In Childhood Play

When I was little, I always played school with my sisters. Of course, I was the teacher. Later, I organized a neighborhood camp, me being the sole counselor. As I grew older, I dreamt of becoming a college professor. I had babies instead. As we look back at the tapestry of our lives, it’s easy to spot certain threads that continually repeat, displaying an unwavering pattern holding clues to our purpose.  What did you love to play as a kid?

4.  In Secret fantasies

You know, those pipe-dreams you’ve never told anyone about…because they’re so absurd, it’s embarrassing. Mine was to be a rock star (oh god, it’s true).  Once, someone asked me: “If you could have anyone’s job, who would you be?”  That was easy.  Neil Diamond.  When he asked me why, the words just slipped out: “I want to write my songs and sing them.” This phrase so resonated, I’ve let it guide me through a myriad of careers. OK, so I can’t carry a tune.  But I’ve managed to write my songs (books) and sing (teach) them.  If you could have anyone’s job, who would YOU be?

5.  In this video blog

This just came to me while writing this blog, so naturally I had to include it. My good friend and wise minister, Richard Rogers, offers a foolproof suggestion for finding your purpose. Watch his video – “What’s Your Purpose?”

There’s other ways to figure out your purpose. I’d love to hear how you’ve pinpointed yours.