“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.

Advertisements

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.

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.

“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 talked a lot about surrender in this blog.  I actually thought I was done with this first step of Sacred Success™ last April. But surrender unfolds at it’s own pace. It can’t be rushed. Though, Lord knows, I’ve tried.

Just this past week, waiting for my daughter to give birth, I’ve experienced a whole new level of–and whole new lesson in–surrender.

I flew to California just before her due date, July 8th, putting my life on hold to be present for the delivery.  She’d be having her baby at home and I wasn’t about to miss it. Nor were her sisters who came from their respective towns, or her father who traveled from a foreign country.

The first few days were exciting…a family splintered by geography gathered to welcome a new member to the tribe.  But after a week, the waiting began to wear thin as we dangled in a limbo of uncertainty. No one felt it more than the mother-to-be. She became  a bundle  of  frayed nerves,  seriously doubting if  there’d ever really be a baby,  sure she’d let everyone down by being late, feeling helpless and out of control.

The metaphor was inescapable. This is what I’d been feeling this past year.  Which is precisely what the first step to Sacred Success™ is all about: waiting to give birth. Since last December, when I started my sabbatical,  I’ve been dangling in a limbo of uncertainty,  consciously relinquishing control, impatiently questioning if  I’d ever be productive again, wondering what other people were thinking of me.

Fast forward to this July. At the very moment the uncertainty became almost unbearable, (as it always will)  I got a message from the Universe…literally. I subscribe to a daily email called TUT… A Note from the Universe tut.com. Out of the blue, came these cosmic instructions for surviving and thriving during a period of surrender:

“So what if you don’t have it yet, barbara?

It’s coming. You’re gonna get it. You’re gonna love it. And then you’re gonna forget there was ever a time when you didn’t have it.

Learning to be happy while you wait, barbara, is worth learning. And to help learn this, just keep yourself busy.”

And now, days after the birth of my granddaughter, it’s hard to believe there was ever a time we didn’t have her. I wonder if I’ll feel the same about the next phase of my career, whatever it may be?? I’ll tell you one thing, I’m determined to enjoy the wait, keeping myself busy changing diapers!!!

I’m back to blogging about  Sacred Success . Though I never actually deviated from it. All my recent posts have  directly stemmed from my new discoveries regarding this topic.

Now, however,  I’m ready to dive right in  and  share with you specific steps for achieving Sacred Success.

First, a review for those who never read my post Let me introduce you to Sacred Success™

  • Sacred Success is the next step after overcoming underearning.
  • Sacred Success is the game being played by women who are making millions (a very different game from the one most successful men are playing).
  • Sacred Success merges higher incomes with a higher calling.
  • Sacred Success means following your soul’s path, for your own bliss and the benefit of others, while being richly rewarded .
  • Sacred Success begins with a strong profit motive, and then requires that you give up profit as your primary goal.
  • The Primary Goal for Sacred Success is Achieving Greatness.

Sacred Success follows a 4- step process.  I can only describe this process as a combination of getting your head clear and your hands dirty, or as an Irish saying puts it:  “pray for potatoes with a hoe in your hand.”  That pretty much describes the 4 step process, a process that is both sacred and mundane, that is divinely guided while grounded in action.

Here are the 4 steps:

Step 1.  Receive consciously, surrendering to what is

Step 2.  Pursue your highest purpose according to your deepest truths

Step 3.  Exercise Mental Discipline

Step 4.  Leave a legacy by modeling Greatness

Stay tuned.  I’ll describe each of these steps in upcoming blogs. (I’ve actually discussed Step #1 at length in  The Beginners Guide to Surrender-in 6 Simple Steps )

I suspect my time spent in Surrender is drawing to a close.  I’m walking away with a whole new appreciation for down time and empty space.

But just recently, I’ve been sensing a shift.  My energy seems to be changing.

You know that light at the end of the tunnel I spoke about in Step # 6?  I think I’m there…standing in the light, not looking at it from afar.  The future is finally coming into focus.

I realize now, what I called Surrender was really Gestation. Despite feeling like  ‘nothing’ was happening,  I’ve actually been  quite ‘busy’ birthing a new body of work…which eventually will grow into my next book.

I call this new work Sacred Successthe next step after overcoming underearning. I stumbled upon Sacred Success while interviewing women who made millions.  But I really didn’t put all the pieces together until I surrendered.  Then, it was as if the pieces arranged themselves.

Just last week, like a proud mama, I took my new ‘baby’ out into the world.

I spoke at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts (www.mamagenas.com)… my first speech in ages.  I told them all about Sacred Success.  The 200 women in the audience were transfixed.  It was like my soul was speaking directly to theirs.  And they were hungry for what I was saying.  Afterwards, I was deluged by those clamoring to hear more.

Now I’m chomping at the bit to share Sacred Success with even more women.  I desire to do it right here on this blog.  So invite your friends.

Discovering Sacred Success has changed my life.  It really has.  I believe it can change yours too.  I’d love you to read my upcoming blogs and let me know what you think.  I genuinely want your feedback.