Talk To Yourself More Than You Listen To Yourself

A Simple Yet Powerful Strategy For Success

Dr. James Gills completed a double triathlon six times when he was in his fifties.  

When asked how he did it, he said: “I’ve learned to talk to myself instead of listen to myself.”

He continued, “If I listen to myself I hear all the reasons why I should give up. I hear that I’m too tired-too old-too weak to make it. But if I talk to myself I can give myself the encouragement and words I need to hear to keep running and finish the race.”

Managing Your Thoughts Involves Proactively Deciding What You’ll Say To Yourself

Dr. Gill’s practice is exactly what managing your mind looks like in your daily life.  

You’ve got the old, automatic thoughts that feel true and also are your default way of thinking because you’ve been practicing them for probably most of your life.  

Then you’ve got the thoughts of the part of you who knows that your success is inevitable and that you are capable of achieving what you want.  Maybe you’ve never practiced these thoughts or maybe you used to think them but have forgotten about them.  

Regardless, you can start today by choosing thoughts that will help you feel how you’d like to feel and then deliberately saying them to yourself more than you listen to the old default thoughts.  

This Is A Skill

Just as Dr. Gills said, this is a skill that can be learned.  

Most of us are not born thinking this way, and we’re certainly not taught to think this in school or anywhere else.  But just by reminding yourself on a daily basis of the thoughts that you want to think, you’ll begin to create new neural pathways and those new thoughts will become easier over time, just like every other skill you’ve ever learned.

Does it happen overnight? Of course not.

Is it worth the effort? Definitely. 

Will the old thoughts come up on a regular basis?  You can count on it.  

Can you learn to overcome them?  Indubitably. 

Try It Out

What do you want to tell yourself today?  

Write it down on post-it notes.  Put it on your phone as an hourly reminder throughout the day.  

Those daily repetitions, one after another, are what will lead you to what you really want.  

Have a beautiful week! 



My Wish For You In The New Year

When I was discerning whether to become a coach, I worried that maybe coaching wasn’t enough of a contribution.  Despite feeling called to be a coach, doubt and fear still tried to dissuade me.  

Then I realized something:  If I do what I’m called to do—helping other women become their very best selves—then I’ll be empowering them to do what they are called to do.  I’ll be helping them go out and make their contributions. That felt right. That felt like “enough.”

My goal now is to help 1000 women become their very best selves.  

Just imagine the impact of that. 1000 women who are going after what they want, refusing to play small, trying new things, coming out from the shadows and showing up as the women they know they can be in their careers, relationships, and families.  It gives me goosebumps.  

As we embark on a new year, my wish for you is that you allow yourself to become the very best version of you.  

The person who knows exactly what she wants to do in this life. 

The person who has a clear purpose.  

The person who knows that she is capable of living that purpose and achieving her goals.  

The person who stands and speaks confidently and allows herself to be seen and heard.

The person who is willing to go outside of her comfort zone and grow. 

The person who is willing to do the work of looking within and managing her mind, so that she can show up as the person she wants to be and have a better life.

The person who is willing to try, fail, and learn.

The person who is committed to living in alignment with her core values.  

That is the person who will be a better version of herself one year from now.

I am endeavoring to be a better version of myself, too.  

Every day.  I try new things.  I fail.  I learn.  I grow.  I look back and ask “What didn’t work? What do I need to do better?” (There’s always something I need to do better.)  

I coach myself daily, I get coached weekly, and I ask for help all the time.  

And what I’ve noticed after doing this for a while is that I am becoming a better version of myself.  Far from perfect, but better.  

I still get overwhelmed sometimes, but I don’t stay stuck in overwhelm anymore.   

I still feel afraid when trying new things, but I don’t let fear stop me from doing what I want to do.  

And I continue to ask:  What do I need to do better next time?   

And it helps.  Little by little, I grow and become a better version of myself.  

It’s making enough of a difference for me that I can’t help but want to share it with others, too.

By showing my clients how to use the coaching tools to create whatever results they want in their lives, I’m giving them so much more than just a wish.  So much more than dandelion seeds floating through the air.  

What I’m giving them is a guarantee:  if they work the tools, the tools will work for them.  

So that they can become their very best selves.  In love with life, in love with their careers, and thriving in both.  

What about you?  Are you ready to become the very best version of you?   

Let’s live, grow, and bloom in 2019.



What Is Your Life Purpose?

Many people spend more time and energy planning their next vacation than they spend thinking about what they want for their lives.  But when the vacation is over, you still have to go back to your life.  It’s worth taking a long, hard look at what you love about your life and career, and what you want to change, so that after your next amazing vacation, you can’t wait to get back to your life. 

Life design involves many different components, including defining your core values, your current priorities, and your goals.  And it’s not just what you want to do, but also who you want to be and how you want to show up in the world.

Life design also includes defining your life’s purpose, preferably in single sentence.  This is not because having a purpose will make you any more worthy or valuable as a human.  You are already 100% worthy just because you’re human.

The reason I recommend defining your purpose is so that, going forward, you can be purposeful in living your life in a way that is more enjoyable and meaningful to you.  If you bring intention to what you want your life to be about and then you go about living that out, it will change your experience. 

You Get To Decide

There is no right or wrong purpose for your life.  No one else’s life purpose is more valuable than another’s.  We adore the Mother Teresas of the world because of their selflessness and impact on others, but not all of us would be happy doing that kind of work, nor would we be as good at it.

Many people who want to create beauty or art worry that that purpose is not as impactful or important as the work of people who are literally saving lives, fighting injustice, or ending poverty.  But just imagine a world without human-created beauty:  no music, no art, no movies, no performances, no beautiful architecture, no poetry, no pictures, no stories.  It would be crushing to our souls.  The people who are on the front lines need the beauty that others create.

Others just want their purpose to be taking care of their own families and they worry that that purpose is too small.  But size and recognition do not equal purpose.  You can have a fiercely purposeful and meaningful life by focusing on your own family.  The main thing is to be intentional about defining your purpose and then living it out every day.

This needs to come from you, your heart, and your internal desires.  Not what you think you should do.  Not what you think others will view as important.

Write It Down

If you knew and accepted that you are already 100% worthy and complete as a person, what would you decide to do with your time?

What delights you?  What makes your heart open up?

Write it down.  I want to ____________.  Or: I want my life to be about ______________.

When You Define It, You Begin To Live It

Because you’ve defined your purpose for yourself, you will start living in a purposeful way.  Maybe your everyday life doesn’t change much on the outside, but you will notice an internal shift.

For example, if your life’s purpose is to be a loving mom, then you don’t have to change your external circumstances.  You can just be intentionally more present and loving when you’re with your kids.  You get to be more purposeful in how you show up as a mom.

On the other hand, maybe you find that it’s time to make some changes in your life to facilitate living out your purpose.  Having a clearly written statement of purpose will be your North Star as you make changes.

But even before you make any changes, I encourage you to live out your life purpose in who you are, no matter what your current circumstances are.  Write your life purpose on post-it notes around your house, at your desk, and in your wallet.  Remember it when you wake up in the morning and reflect on how you lived it out when you go to sleep at night.

You may find that you want to re-define your purpose later down the line.  That’s completely fine.  It just means that you are following your heart as you go and being thoughtful about how you want to live.

And when you’re thoughtful about how you want to live and you design your life with intention, you will find that you have more of what you want, more of what you love, and more of what matters to you.  It will not be perfect because, after all, it’s still a human life.  But it will be a life that you’ll love to return to after your next vacation.

Go forth, grow, and bloom.



Why Goals And Growth Are Essential

When we’re in our twenties, we’re constantly striving, stretching ourselves, and growing by earning our degrees and landing our first jobs.  Once we achieved our desired success, we’re supposed to feel content.  When we don’t feel content, we sometimes start to wonder what’s wrong with us.

It turns out, that nothing is wrong with us.  What is wrong is the expectation that, once we achieve our goals, we should be living happily ever after and that there’s no need to continue growing or setting goals.

In fact, growth is our natural state of being and when we forget that, we lose a hugely important component of a fulfilling life.

In 2006 and again in 2016, psychologists Carol Ryff and Burt Singer researched what factors contribute to having well-being and what they found was that there are six factors that are commonly found in people who had the highest levels of fulfillment and well-being:

  1. Personal growth
  2. Self-acceptance
  3. Life purpose (defined as having meaning, a sense of direction, and goals)
  4. Positive and healthy relationships with others
  5. Mastery of the environment (feeling confident and capable that you can manage your own life and do your work well)
  6. A sense of autonomy

But the two factors that diminished the most as people reached their 30’s, 40’s and beyond were personal growth and life purpose.  In other words, these things made us happy in our 20’s but we’re not focusing on them much as we get older.

But that decision not to grow has a cost.  The researchers found that people with a clear life purpose and who continued to grow are more likely to have greater well-being and remain healthy and physically stronger throughout their lives.

When Is The Last Time You Thought About Your Life Purpose and Personal Growth?

When you’ve got young kids, a job, and a household to manage, it can feel like you’re doing really well just to feed and clothe everybody.  Contemplating your life purpose, goal setting, and personal growth might seem too exhausting. But if you’re just surviving, then you’re not thriving.  And if you’re not thriving, then you are robbing both yourself and the world of the opportunity to fully experience YOU as your best self.

The good news is that you can thrive even if you have a hectic work schedule and a busy family life, if you learn how to manage your thinking and the feeling of overwhelm.  You can learn how to create time for yourself, to contemplate your life’s purpose, to think about what you really want for your life, and to make the changes you want to make to get there.  You are not at the mercy of your circumstances—you are in control of what you do.

Your Happiness Is Important

It can be tempting to believe that, if you have achieved prior goals and have built an externally successful life, your current state of discontent is not really a big problem.  Maybe you think of it as a “first-world problem,” as if the feeling of unhappiness were somehow less genuine just because all of your material needs are met.  I disagree.  I believe that lack of happiness and fulfillment in one’s work (and life) is a big problem, not only for the individual, but also for the world at large.  That’s because the feeling of discontent drives negative actions that don’t do anybody any good.  Stressing out, anxiety attacks, overeating, over-drinking, over-working, over-shopping, and disconnection in relationships are driven by the feeling of discontent.

In contrast, positive feelings drive positive actions that benefit both the individual and the world.  Taking massive action, making a contribution, connecting, creating new things, and serving others are actions that are created by the thriving mind.

Thriving minds are the ones that create and innovate, that make the technological, scientific, business, legal, educational, and creative breakthroughs.  They are the ones that will figure out to how to end poverty, how to stop global warming, how to inspire the next generation.

What do you want to contribute?  What goals do you have that you’re not currently working towards?  How do you want to grow?  If you need help with this, contact me for a free strategy session.

Go forth, grow (as if your life depended on it), and bloom.



Where Do You Want To Be A Year From Now? 

December is the perfect time of year to think about where you are and where you want to be this time next year.

If you don’t know where you’re going or where you want to go, it’s really hard to get there.

Realizing our dreams and achieving our goals requires being intentional in deciding exactly what we want, narrowing our focus, creating an obstacle-proof plan, and then taking massive action to create our desired results.

If you’re stuck in confusion about where you want to go, the first thing you’ll need to do is get clarity. Who do you want to be?  What do you want your core values and priorities to be right now?

Goal Setting Is A Spiritual Practice

Some people view goal setting as simply a way to be more productive.  Others shy away from goal setting because they believe that focusing on the future diminishes their experience of the present moment.  But I view it as a spiritual practice.  When you ask yourself “what do I want to do with this one precious life I’ve been given?”, you’re getting to the core of your very purpose.  Imagine you’re at the end of your life looking back.  What would you want to have done?  What would have mattered the most to you?  Good questions invite good answers, so write down these questions and then answer them in writing.

Then think about how you can start making progress toward your lifetime goals in the next year.   Write down the question: “What do I want to do with this next precious year of life that I have the privilege of living?”

Do you want to have a new job?  Or finally get that promotion?  Maybe it’s writing that book you’ve been wanting to write?

Or maybe it’s not the “what” you want to do differently, but the “how.”  Your goal might be to show up as the mom you want to be.  Not a “perfect” mom, but an authentic, happy, peaceful mom with your kids.  Maybe you love your job but you want to figure out how to show up more confidently and stop holding back.  Or maybe you’re ready to finally figure out how to get control of your time and your life, and learn how to plan so you can stop feeling so overwhelmed.

Whatever it is, take some time to allow yourself to imagine a better version of your life.  Nothing that you truly want is impossible. It is available to you if you set an intention and commit to getting it.

Ask Your Future Self

A powerful exercise is to write a letter from your future self.  This is the part of you that already knows what you want to do.  She already knows that you’re capable of doing and having what you want in your life.  We all have a future self that is a source of inner wisdom.  She (or he) will guide us, if we’ll just ask.

A good way to get in touch with your future self is to write down three questions:

  • What should I stop doing that I’m currently doing now?
  • What should I start doing that I’m not currently doing?
  • What should I continue to do that I’m already doing?

Really do this on paper. Sit down, write the questions, and then write down your answers.  What is your future self telling you to change?

Decide And Make A Plan

Once you know what you want, you need to create a plan for making those changes.

Our brains get overwhelmed with too many changes and are already resistant to change in general, so I recommend that you constrain your focus to one major goal per quarter.  This will be your focus goal.

Decide now the order of your focus goals: which do you want to achieve in Q1, Q2, etc.?  You can still work on more than one thing each quarter, but your focus goal is going to be the main event.

For example, if you have the goals of losing 20 pounds and writing a book, your brain will not like starting both of those at the same time.  You’re likely to have more success if you stagger your goals.  For example, you can focus on the weight loss in Q1 by changing your eating habits, meal planning, adding in exercise etc., while you write down ideas for your book in a journal as they occur to you.  Then in Q2, when you’re already used to the healthy habits, you can focus on sitting down to start writing chapters of your book without reaching for chocolate to get you through the discomfort and sabotaging your weight-loss goal.

Plan ahead but be nice to yourself when planning.  You need to set yourself up for success!

Imagine Your Success

Imagine yourself where you want to be.  Think about how amazing it will feel when you get there.  How will your life be better when you’ve achieved it?  Taste the sweetness of that success now.  That feeling can help propel you to make the changes you need to make.

Write down your goals in several places.  Carry them with you in your wallet and read them everyday.  Keep them top of mind so that next year at this time, you’ll be celebrating your successes and triumphs.

There’s nothing better than actually becoming the person you know you were meant to be.

Go forth, grow, and bloom.



P.S. If you need help clarifying your goals, creating a plan to reach them, or taking massive action, let’s talk in a free strategy session to get you where you want to be.

Setting Good Goals

The reason to set goals is not so that you can be happier when you achieve them.  I’m sure you’ve noticed this in your own life, but attaining a goal doesn’t actually “make” you happier in the long term.  We can see this when looking at past goals that we’ve attained in own lives, such as getting a degree, getting a job, getting married, and having kids.  We’re glad that we attained those goals, but we’re not usually floating around on a cloud of bliss forever after.

The real reason to set goals is that they help you grow.  They stretch us to become the next best version of ourselves.  And if you do goals right, hopefully you’ll have a ton of fun, enjoy the process, and be amazed at who you become along the way.

Moms Need Goals Too

After having kids, a lot of women often stop thinking about their own goals.  Holding down a job and keeping a family going may feel challenging enough.  You might be doing well just to plan dinner for tomorrow night.  Goal setting for the next year, five years, or 10 years seems too distant and removed from the daily grind.

But while goal setting isn’t urgent, it certainly is important.  It’s almost impossible to get somewhere or do something without first setting an intention to do so.

Having goals that are only about you—not your kids or family—is also important.  Sure, you will have goals for the family as well, such as travel goals or things you’d all like to experience.  But thinking about your own goals is key.  You want to know that at the end of your life, you’ll be able to look back and know that you did what you came here to do.

Make Your List

Many moms that I work with haven’t really considered their own dreams for quite some time and some have all but forgotten how to dream.  I ask them to write down 20 things that they want and just practice what it feels like to dream again.  Their minds will want to shut down by focusing on the “how” with thoughts like “I don’t know how to do that.”  Those kind of thoughts are not allowed at this stage in the process.  Just keep practicing dreaming of possibilities, even if they feel impossible today.

What is on your list? What do you want that you didn’t even know you wanted?

Pick One

There is actually freedom in constraining to one goal at a time.  Your mind will focus so much better on a single goal than it will on multiple goals and it’s hard to make any real progress if you’re juggling projects.

So look at your list and pick the one goal that you’d like to commit to working toward.

Write it down again, but this time be as specific as possible.  Create a deadline for achieving this goal.

Warning: Expect Negative Feelings to Arise

When you’ve picked a good goal—a goal that will cause you to grow and achieve something you really want—and you’ve written it down in a way that is specific, your brain will proceed to freak out.  Expect it. This is your primitive brain realizing that you’re planning to do something that could take you out of your comfort zone.  It’s going to tell you all kinds of reasons why you can’t achieve the goal. And those thoughts will, in turn, produce feelings of doubt, fear, and confusion.  This is all part of the process.  When you expect it, you can recognize it for what it is and keep going.

Break It Down

Next, write down all of the action steps that you need to take to achieve that goal.  From start to finish, what would it take to complete it?  Do not tell yourself that you don’t know.  You may need to gather more information.  If that’s the case, add that in as one of the action steps.

Then write down all of the obstacles that your brain can think of that might prevent you from achieving your goal.  The obstacles may be external, such your current work schedule, or internal, such as your own doubts about your ability to accomplish the goal.  Think about strategies for overcoming those obstacles and write them down.  Then add the strategies into your plan of action.

Then for each step and strategy, decide your timeframe and date of completion.  Put each step on your calendar.  Make them non-negotiable, as if they were lunch dates with your favorite writer or actor, which you would never postpone.  Then honor your calendar.  Commit to doing the work and you’ll be on your way.

If you need help with getting past your own internal obstacles, contact me to schedule a free mini session.  That’s my jam!

Go forth and bloom.