We’re Still Looking for That A+

But who’s doing the grading now?

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

When I was a kid I sucked at math.

I mean really sucked. Like, never–made–eye–contact, left–the–class–in–tears, had–to–cheat–my–way–to–a–D–in–geometry kind of sucked.

By the 6th grade, I had convinced myself that I wasn’t smart enough to understand math and I never would be.

Not only had I accepted that as a fact (instead of just a thought), I also made it mean that I wasn’t as smart as everyone else who did understand math, in spite of the consistent A’s I had been getting in English and biology. 

Walking into algebra class every day with the belief that I wasn’t as smart as everyone else did not set me up for success. I felt defeated, resentful, and angry, and as a result, I resisted the instruction and blocked myself from even trying to understand it. It was a cycle that I perpetuated throughout high school.

When we were kids we had someone outside of ourselves constantly judging or grading us…teachers, parents, or family figures. I understand their jobs were to teach us, but as kids, it was difficult to separate the grades we were given on paper (or verbally) from our worth as a person. A’s = (We were) Good. B’s = (We were) Okay. C’s = (We were) Average (but more like less-than). D’s = (We were) Bad. F = (We were a) Failure.

It was cut and dry. It said right there on the paper – you were good enough, or you weren’t.

What are you still grading yourself on?

It took me a long time to challenge the belief that I was dumb when it came to math. 

Some math makes sense to me now, especially as it applies to things I’m actually interested in. I began to understand basic fractions when I started baking, and I discovered that I was fascinated with physics when I started studying exercise science (Power = Work/Time, Work = Force x Distance). 

As kids we were raised believing that the Power of Approval needs to come from outside of ourselves – teachers, parents, and authority figures, because we had no power of our own back then.

But many of us are still living our lives in pursuit of that external A+. 

Only now we’re giving the Power of Approval to our bosses, our spouses, and even our own kids. 

And that’s because we never learned that we could transition into creating our own approval.

What’s your current “math class”? Where are you giving yourself a ‘D’ or an ‘F’? 

Losing weight?

Stopping overdrinking?

Going for that new job?

How does the grade you’re giving yourself make you feel? 


Less than? 


What actions do you take when you’re feeling that way? Do you avoid? Overeat? Overdrink?

What are the unwanted results of those actions?

If choose to believe that we’re not good enough at something our brains will be happy to produce plenty of evidence that the thought is true. That’s our brain’s job. It’s trying to keep us safe by protecting us from disappointment.

But what if we challenge that negative belief? What if we chose to believe something different, to believe “Maybe this IS possible for me?” What if we just need to figure out another way that makes sense to us?

Maybe if someone had taught me basic math in a cooking class I would have understood it and had the confidence to go on and learn even more. Instead, there was one person teaching it one way and my not understanding it led me to believe that I wasn’t good enough.

You Control the Gradebook Now

It’s time to stop grading yourself on a pass/fail basis, and start grading on a (GENEROUS) curve.

Life is not an exam, it’s a learning experience. There are no fill-in-the-blank, black-and-white answers.

And you’re not doing it wrong.

Get curious. Instead of focusing on what hasn’t worked in the past, ask your brain questions that will move you to future-forward action:

  • What if you could figure out how to stop overeating, overdrinking, or overconsuming? What way might look right for you? 
  • What thoughts do YOU need to think, and what questions could you ask your brain, that would help you move forward towards that goal, instead of focusing on past evidence of what hasn’t worked?

Take some time, right now, to acknowledge what has worked for you in the past and everywhere you have succeeded. Give yourself ALL the credit for getting where you are and achieving what you have.

All of us have the knowledge and the power to teach ourselves anything we want to now, it’s no longer dependent on anyone outside of us. We control the grade book.

We just need to get curious and start asking good questions: What do I want to do next? What would success at that look like? And what might be the next right step to getting there?

You have everything you need right now. You’re good enough to start, right now. You can – and you will – figure out the rest as you go.

Discover what’s possible.

How to Feel Accepted

(Hint: It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you)

Woman sitting alone on top of a mountain
Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

When was the last time you felt accepted, like you truly belonged?

Would you feel comfortable going into a room full of strangers and hanging out by yourself?

I can say I would, but not for the reasons you might think.

It’s definitely not because I thrive in that type of environment (um, HELL no). In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I could do it because I’m a professional at making myself invisible in a crowd. I mean like Houdini-level disappearing.

It’s a trait I learned early, out of necessity.

When I was a teenager my family moved around a lot, I went to 3 different high schools in 4 years. And trust me, if there was one place I definitely didn’t want to stand out as an awkward teenager, it was high school.

Fortunately for me, I’m 4’11 so all I had to do to was keep my head down, hover on the outskirts of large groups, and avoid eye contact. I could go all day without anyone even noticing I was around.

(That sounded a lot less sad when it was just in my head).

Anyway, to say I felt like I didn’t belong would be an understatement. As far as my brain was concerned it was a concrete fact.

Looking back it’s easy to see how my lifelong pattern of not belonging was developed:

  • I didn’t believe I would be accepted so I acted small and invisible to avoid attention
  • By avoiding attention (and thereby, connection) I made sure I was by myself all the time
  • Being by myself all the time guaranteed that I wouldn’t fit in, which proved my belief that I didn’t belong

See what my brain did there?

I used to think hiding and playing small served me. And maybe it did when I was younger, in unfamiliar surroundings with no knowledge of how to protect myself. I wasn’t able to make choices for myself back then so naturally I felt powerless.

And I know my brain was just trying to keep me safe by convincing me to stay hidden.

But now I’m a 55-year-old adult woman, and I am no longer powerless. I get to make decisions about where I live and how I decide to show up. I get to choose what circumstances I put myself into and which ones don’t serve me or my goals.

But changing old patterns and beliefs definitely isn’t easy, they don’t go away just because we grow up.

One of the things we need to learn as adults (and that I continue to work on) is how the feeling of acceptance and belonging doesn’t come from circumstances outside of ourselves. 

In the case of me as a teenager, it was my thought “I don’t belong” that lead me to feel like I didn’t belong, which made me act like I didn’t belong, which lead me to “un-belonging myself”, if you follow.

It’s the same for us as adults.

If we show up believing that we don’t belong, that we’re somehow less than the other people around us — at a job, the gym, or a party — then how do we act? And what will be our end result because of those actions?

Our belief in ourselves has to come from ourselves. The call needs to come from inside the house, as they say. 

No one can make us feel accepted, or unaccepted, it comes from our beliefs first.

“Our sense of belonging will never be greater than our own self-acceptance”

-Brooke Castillo

We can decide ahead of time to accept ourselves and “belong” ourselves, no matter what happens outside of us.

It takes practice, but I’m willing to do it.

And you can too, I promise.

Discover What’s Possible


I hear from a lot of women over 50 who want to make friends but don’t know quite how to get started, so I created a free pdf “3 Simple Ways to Make Friends in Your 50s”. You can grab yours here https://skilled-trader-6387.ck.page/eff75275a1

On a Scale of 1-10, How Would You Rate the Quality of Your Life, Right Now?

How you can improve the quality of your life if you do this one thing – and it won’t cost you a penny.

Photo by Marc Najera on Unsplash

We might be familiar with the term “quality of life” as it relates to someone who may be elderly or ill. I know it came up often when my husband was nearing the end of his battle with MS. 

But we sometimes forget that every living person has a quality of life…whether good, bad, so–so, or awesome.

So how would you rate the quality of your life, right now…do you have what you want? Do you want what you have? Are you happy where you are at this stage of your life?

Rate each of the following statements on a scale of 1-10, 10 being best:

  1. You’re happy with the material items you have and you don’t want more (clothes, car, house, electronics)
  1. You’re doing what you want to day–to–day  (job, routine)
  1. Overall, you’re happy with where you are in life  (physically, financially, living situation)
  1. You’re happy with your relationships (spouse, partner, relatives)

Now total your score…was it a 20, or above? Was it average, or below?

Are you satisfied with your score, or do you think it could be better? Do you WANT it to be better?

Many of us grew up believing, and still believe, that our circumstances create our feelings —if we could just get that job, house, car, or person, then we could finally be happy (advertisers spend billions of dollars every year to keep that belief alive and well).

But what if the opposite were true? 

What if we need to be happy first in order to create that desired job, house, car, or relationship?

Here’s an example:

I used to live in a big, bright, 2-bedroom apartment in an expensive, urban neighborhood that I thought I could afford.

It lasted about a year and a half before I had to admit that, mathematically, I actually COULDN’T afford it. 

The apartment had a full garage, big, bright windows, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and an in-apartment washer and dryer (industrial size–be still my heart).

The new apartment I chose had one bedroom, one tiny bathroom, no dishwasher, no in-unit washer and dryer, and on-street parking only. Also, being in the city, had a much higher propensity for crime.

BUT, it was also about $700 cheaper a month.

If I had decided to leave my fancy apartment based on thoughts like “I have to leave”, “This isn’t fair”, “This place shouldn’t cost so much”, or “I shouldn’t have to do this”, I would have felt completely miserable about the circumstance of moving and would probably have resented the move.

But instead, I knew that I didn’t want to continue going deeper into debt for no reason. The extra amenities just weren’t that important to me, and I was tired of the constant stress of having to come up with the rent every month. 

Initially, I was drawn to the city because the rents were so much cheaper. But what happened was I fell in love with the charm of the place.

My thoughts about it were: “I’m choosing to do this to save money and stress”, “I live alone so washing dishes by hand won’t bother me”, “the laundry room is only a few steps away from my apartment”, and “parking isn’t a big deal because there are so many awesome places within walking distance”.

I chose to be happy about it first.

Most importantly I believed those thoughts, they all felt true to me so I didn’t have to lie to myself first and then struggle later to make the lies feel true.

The result of liking my situation ahead of time was that I got to actually enjoy my new space, which created the circumstance of me having a more desirable living space by choosing my thoughts about it. 

These new thoughts also helped create the circumstance of being able to finally start getting out of debt (I’d trade the in-apartment washer and dryer for that any day, thank you!).

It’s not the circumstances that dictate our feelings, it’s our thoughts about that circumstance.

Based on that equation it’s possible to change the quality of your life without changing anything but your thoughts. 

Better yet, you can IMPROVE the quality of our lives, just by improving your thoughts.

The next time you feel angry, sad, or not good enough because of your circumstances, step back and get curious about the thoughts you’re thinking that are causing your feelings. 

You don’t have to trick yourself into believing your circumstances are rainbows and daisies, you just have to drop into a thought that feels a little bit better. A thought that gets you to a place where can at least feel more neutral.

And please don’t wait until you’re elderly or – God forbid – have a critical illness to start paying attention to your quality of life.

Start now.

Discover What’s Possible.

Click here if you want to learn more about how to not just improve your life, but live a fuller life than you ever thought possible!

Stop ‘Othering’ Yourself

How to Stop the Cycle of Compare and Dispair and Move on With An Intentional Life

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

“Othering yourself” was a term I heard the other day during a coaching call with the amazing Stacy Boehman. 

It’s a habit I’ve been doing unconsciously my entire life, but that was the first time I’d heard someone assign it a term to it, and it really hit home with me.

Here’s an example of what ‘othering’ looks like in my life:

Two weeks ago I decided to walk to a local coffee shop during my work break. 

I was wearing my usual leggings, sweatshirt, and Converse tennis shoes, with my hair in a bun. (I live alone and work from home, let’s just say the dress code around here has gotten extremely lax).  

I know I didn’t look my best, but I felt comfortable and wasn’t looking to impress anyone, so I decided to go as is.

While waiting for my coffee a woman walked up to the counter to pick up her order. Her back was turned to me but I noticed her grey, ankle-length jacket, tan pants, leather boots, and coordinating purse. 

The very first thought that entered my brain was “I’ll never look that put together.”

I suddenly felt dumpy, unattractive, and, less than.  And just like that, my happy trip to the coffee shop quickly turned into one of self-judgment and disappointment.

Maybe a similar situation has happened to you? 

You see someone running a half marathon, getting a promotion, or taking a sunny vacation,- basically every other post on social media – and you think “That will never be me”, “I’ll never be that good/pretty/successful/lucky”, fill in the blank. 

Fortunately, I’ve gotten to know my brain better recently, so it wasn’t surprising that my first thought was to ‘other myself’. It was a familiar pattern that I’ve cultivated over the last 54 years. 

But just because it was my first thought, doesn’t mean it had to be my final thought.

In this particular instance at the coffee shop, I was able to recognize the familiar thought spiral I was about to walk into, and I knew I didn’t want to go there. I understood it would result in me feeling sad or sorry for myself and I would carry that feeling into the rest of my day.

So instead of letting my brain run with the first, unintentional thought, I decided to take a step back and just get curious about it.

First, I knew it was just a thought, and our thoughts are optional.

Second, I remembered that I had consciously decided ahead of time not to change my clothes or upgrade my look just to go pick up coffee, and that decision had been fine with me.

Third, I reminded myself that, how another person chooses to show up for themselves at any given moment, HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with me.

But that’s automatically where our brains go, right? We see someone else’s life or appearance and we turn that around to somehow mean something about us.

Kind of silly, isn’t it?

Especially since we probably know nothing about that person or their life. We still judge ourselves for somehow falling short compared to them or their circumstance.

But the truth is we get to decide which thoughts we want to keep. And we don’t have to choose our first thought.

On my way home from the coffee shop that day I wondered what other thoughts I could think about this lovely woman’s outfit that wouldn’t put me into a negative thought/action pattern. It couldn’t be some rainbows-and-daisies meme regurgitated off an Instagram Reel, it had to be something from my own brain that I could believe. A thought that felt true in my body.

The new thought I chose was: I can look put together whenever I feel like it. 

And then, to give my brain the evidence it needed (our brains are always looking for evidence, good or bad), I thought back to the times I’ve looked and felt good…like going out for sushi a few weeks ago, going to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving in a super cute outfit, and almost every day of my 33 years working in an office. 

This new, intentional thought immediately made me feel better. I could literally feel the relief in my body.

But, more importantly, I got to retain authority over how I felt about myself, instead of giving that power over to someone else.

Our self-worth doesn’t come from how someone else looks or acts. It comes from our own thoughts about ourselves. And we can choose those thoughts just like we can choose an outfit. 

It’s not always easy to recognize an unintentional thought and consciously change it to an intentional one. It takes practice, but it’s possible. 

And, like anything else, the more you practice the easier it becomes.

The alternative is to continue allowing negative thoughts to run unchecked in the background of our brains (they’re sneaky that way), and continue to be at the effect of the compare-and-dispair cycle.

What are some intentional thoughts you want to think about yourself? 

Write them down and keep them in your back pocket so you can take them out when you need to. 

Consider choosing an intentional thought, so you can move forward with an intentional life.

Discover What’s Possible.

3 Steps You Can Take (Today!) to Beat Overwhelm as an Escrow or Title Professional

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Few people outside the title/escrow business understand the hustle it takes to run a successful desk.

Maybe this sounds familiar to you:

You walk into your office Monday morning, Starbucks in hand, optimism in full effect, ready to conquer your workday.

Then you start scrolling (and scrolling) through emails.

And notice the red light blinking on your phone.

And the stack of files on the corner of your desk from Friday.

Overwhelm starts to set in, your shoulders start inching up around your ears, and your chest begins to tighten. It’s enough to make even the most dedicated of us want to run for our TikTok fyp.

You’re not alone! 

When we spin out in overwhelm it’s because of our thoughts, and the feelings that those thoughts generate. Our brain is telling us that the tasks ahead are too much: 

  • We’ll never get them all done (failure).
  • We don’t have an answer for that lender or agent (inadequacy).
  • We have to admit a mistake – even if we’re not the one that made it (vulnerability).

These unproductive thoughts lead to unproductive actions, which leads to more overwhelm.

But you can break that cycle.  

Here are 3 steps you can take to start conquering overwhelm today.

Step 1: Get a Plain Journal or Notebook

Go into your closet and grab one of the seven journals that you started but never finished (or is that just me?). 

Give yourself an hour for this exercise, and do it the same day/time each week. I find that Sunday mornings, coffee in hand, dogs next to me on the couch, is the best time for me. I’m in a relaxed state and thinking with the logical part of my brain (prefrontal cortex). You definitely don’t want to do this when you’re under pressure or already stressed.

Now write down all of the to-do items that wake you up at 3 o’clock every morning…the question you’ve been meaning to ask underwriting, the 1,000th email you need to send to the seller’s agent, your daughter’s soccer game that you volunteered to bring snacks for. 

All of it. 

You’ll want to start freaking out at the number of tasks on your list – but don’t! You don’t have to do any of it yet, or even at all if that’s what you decide. The point is to just get everything out of your brain and onto paper.

Step 2: STS (Schedule That Shit)

Go back into your closet, next to the stack of unused journals, and get out one of your unused monthly calendars.

It doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, simple is actually best.

Open up your calendar for the upcoming week and schedule each task on your list. 

Each task gets a time frame:

Email client – 7:30am – 7:45am

Walk at lunch – 12:30pm – 1:00pm

Stop after work to get soccer snacks 5:30pm – 6:00pm

Again, don’t panic! It’s your calendar, you’re in control. You get to decide what goes where, or even if it goes at all.

Schedule with kindness! Don’t sabotage yourself by planning an entire day, or days, of back-to-back tasks. You don’t need to be super-human to get it all done, just realistic. 

For example, if you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule a gym session for 5 am. If you know your brain is typically dead by 6 pm schedule your high-functioning mental tasks before 3 pm, or, better yet, before work.

Pro tip: Schedule self-time FIRST. It can be as simple as taking yourself to lunch or dinner, even binge-watching Yellowstone (yes, you can still binge tv shows! Just schedule it). We know how quickly self-time goes by the wayside if we don’t make it intentional.

Also, think about delegating tasks when possible: order groceries online, use auto-pay for your bills, or even hire a house cleaner to come in once a month, if that’s feasible for your budget.

Step 3 – DO. THE. DAMN. THING.

Spoiler Alert: You will want to avoid this step. 

Your brain will try to tell you it’s too hard or uncomfortable. 

It will tell you to pick up your phone, head for the fridge, or go get more coffee.

Expect those thoughts. Be ready for them.

When they arrive just tell your brain to settle down, and then put on your big girl pants and get it done. 

Five minutes of feeling uncomfortable beats two weeks of having that same task hanging over your head while you beat yourself up for not having done it.

Budget the time you think each item will take, then use ONLY that time, and move on. If you’ve underestimated how much time you needed then re-schedule another time to finish it.

Obviously, there will be circumstances outside of your control, but it’s your schedule, and you get to decide how to respond.

This isn’t about writing yet another to-do list, and it’s not about wearing our busyness as a badge of honor or feeling sorry for ourselves.

It’s about making decisions on purpose, then executing those decisions. We know what to do, we know how to do it, and we’re worth the effort.

Now, get to scheduling! I’d love it if you’d drop your comments below and let me know how this works for you, or if you have any questions!

How Is Your Fear Holding You Back?

When I was 10 years old I knew I wanted to play the drums. My parents didn’t take me seriously, because, back then, it just wasn’t something girls “did”. But I also didn’t take myself seriously, so I never pursued it.

But the desire to play drums never left. 

I was 38 when I bought my first set of drumsticks – just the sticks – I suppose it was a way of dipping my toe in the water. 

I was 41 when I bought my first full drum kit. The kid working at the music store asked if the kit was for me, and helped me pick out a set, but I remember I was so afraid of being judged that I kept my head down and couldn’t even make contact with him (even though he was very nice!). 

I had no idea how to play, but I set up the drum kit in my garage. I played along to rock songs on my iPod. I had no idea how to read music, but I could play by ear, and actually hold a beat pretty well.

I played on stage for the first time when I was about 45. My wonderful brother-in-law challenged me to sign up for a program at a local music store that put musicians together into groups, gave them practice space, and then put them on stage at a legit nightclub downtown. I had never even played in front of anyone at the time, not even my family, but I accepted the challenge anyway (if there’s one thing I CAN’T do, is turn down a direct challenge).

The day I went to sign up for the program the room was filled with mostly men around my age. I didn’t know a soul.

When I wrote my name onto the sing-up list I was terrified. My mouth was as dry as the desert, I couldn’t even swallow. My hand was shaking so badly I didn’t even recognize my own signature.

Everything within me told me to run away, go back home.

Instead, I sat in a corner and waited for my turn to play. 

When my turn came I walked over to the band area and sat down at the drum kit. Now, I’m 4’11 and the kit I used was set up for a grown man, but I somehow made it work. I did hit the rim instead of the drum head a couple of times, but I had rhythm, I knew the song, and I wasn’t half bad! 

It was the first time in my life that I played drums in front of other people,  and it was more exhilarating than I could have imagined!

After playing one song we were all assigned into separate bands. Over the next 4 weeks, each band would practice together 4 times, and then we would get to play live, on an actual stage, in front of an actual audience. 

As scared as I was to sign up that first day, I imagined that the fear of playing on a stage in front of 100+ people would be debilitating. 

The day of the show came, and I was definitely nervous, but it was one of the few times in my life where I felt like I was LIVING. It was a high I will never forget. I knew I was exactly where I belonged.

Our band sounded really good! We played 5 songs and I savored every second. I was in my element and there was nowhere else I would have rather been. 

I was 45 when I first got paid to play a gig at an actual venue. It was the first time I felt like I could truly believe I was a drummer.

Our band stayed together for a few years, playing fairly regularly at bars around town. I stopped playing for a while when my husband started to become really sick. It was too difficult for him to be alone so I focused on that and ended up selling m,y drum kit. I knew I could always buy another one, but for the time my focus had to change.

I’m 54 now. I recently bought an electronic kit after moving into an apartment. I signed up again for the same music program as before, and we got to play on stage again a few weeks ago. 

Playing drums is my happy place, and I have no intention of stopping.

When I was 10 I gave up on my dream before I even gave it a chance, and I hate to think about what would have happened if I gave it up a second time, simply out of fear?

My fear was that people, strangers, would think I looked stupid. Not only for being a female drummer but for being one at my age. 

I was afraid they would think I sucked. 

 I was afraid they would think I didn’t belong.

The truth is I was already thinking all of those things about myself.

My real fear was that those thoughts would be echoed by other people, and, thereby, validated.

If we didn’t believe other people’s thoughts about us, we wouldn’t feel pain from them. 

If someone told me “I don’t like you, because you have blue hair”, I would think they’re crazy. I know I don’t have blue hair. And just because someone tells me I have blue hair, that doesn’t make it true.

If someone told me “You suck at playing the drums”, my pain would come from my own thought “maybe they’re right?”. If I’m already doubting myself, then their words would only validate my self-judgment. 

But just because someone says I don’t know how to play the drums, doesn’t make it any more true than saying I had blue hair. 

Maybe they don’t know what to listen for? I can play songs, I can play along in a band, I can pick up sticks and move around a drum kit to a song. 

Maybe someone else truly believes that I know how to play the drums? That still just makes it their opinion, not a fact. And why would I let one person’s opinion invalidate what I believe to be true? 

Their opinion can only be true if I ALSO choose to believe it.

Fear is just a feeling, it’s a vibration in our body. And feelings can’t harm us. Not if we process them…feel them, allow them, then let them go. 

What are you choosing to believe? What are you letting fear hold you back from? 

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. ☺️

How Do You Measure Your Self-Worth?

Happy Monday strong humans 🙂 

I know your time is valuable so let’s get into it.

How do you measure your self-worth?

Is it your hustle? What you can do for others? What you can produce?

When I was in my late teens and twenties I was a workaholic.

I went to high school during the day and worked at a fast-food restaurant at night, sometimes until closing, which could be as late as 1:00 am.

After graduation I got a “real”, 8-5 office job, I started as a receptionist but quickly proved myself to be a very hard worker and moved up quickly. In order to impress the ‘higher ups’ I started coming in early and staying late. I even worked weekends.

My bosses loved me, and I was making good money.

I lived like this, even after having my first baby, for several years. 

My first marriage ended after just two years (to be fair we were both still children when we first got married). 

In my early thirties, I remarried and had two more babies. By then my focus had shifted. I not only had to prove myself worthy to my coworkers and bosses, I also needed to prove myself worthy to my kids and my husband, and his family, while still working full time. 

Shortly after that, my husband became sick, and I felt I had to prove myself as a caregiver.

Looking back at this makes me feel exhausted. 

In a nutshell, I’ve lived my whole life feeling that I was only as good as the work I could produce, and what I could do for other people.

Because I’ve only known how to view my worthiness through their eyes. 

Only their approval of me mattered, mine meant nothing. 

And I feel like a lot of women are living their lives the same way. 

Are you one of them?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as easy as repeating a mantra, or shoving down your current thoughts and swapping them for a “happy” one.

So what does it take to truly acknowledge our self-worth? To believe it?

First, we need to look at why we ever questioned ourselves in the first place.

Who told us, or got us to believe, that we weren’t worthy?

And why did we choose to believe it?

However it started, it’s in the past, and we don’t have to believe it anymore. We’re adults now, and we get to choose whatever thoughts we want to think now. Intentionally.

Do you want to believe you’re only as good as someone else thinks you are? Do they know you better than you do? Or do you want to finally believe in your own self-worth?

We live and breathe. Our brain contains chemicals that can generate enough electricity to power a lightbulb! 

It takes six muscles just to operate the human eye.

We are capable of loving others. Our children. Our parents. Our siblings. Ourselves.

We are walking miracles. We are born being worthy of love. And that never changes.

The only thing that changes are our thoughts about ourselves. 

But we can change them back. 

Find that worthiness in yourself, it’s there, I promise you! You just need to see it, and accept it. 

And if you need any help with that just let me know. No matter who you are, or what you feel you’ve done to lose it, I GUARANTEE I can show it to you 🙂 

Don’t waste one more day giving away your power, your worth

Decide to take it back.

Start today.

You’re worth the work. I promise. ❤️

Primal Vs Prefrontal – a Tale of Two Brains

Photo by That’s Her Business on Unsplash

Did you know that, as humans, we function primarily from two different parts of our brain?

They’re the polar opposite of each other, and their functions are the difference between sitting down and working on a college thesis, or binge-watching Tin Star (highly recommend!) the whole weekend.

Let me introduce you to them:

The Primal Brain

Its job is to

1) Seek pleasure

2) Avoid pain

3) Be efficient (which, in this case, is NOT a good thing!)

Back in the primal days being full, being warm, avoiding uncomfortable situations, and thinking ‘inside the box’ literally meant staying alive. (We weren’t always at the top of the food chain).

The Prefrontal Cortex

This is known as the ‘higher-thinking’ brain. It’s the workhorse, the intentional, problem-solving brain, and it’s available to us 24/7. We can tap into it any time we want.

Most of us just don’t know how.

The primal brain is considered ‘efficient’ because it runs on default, which takes no energy or conscious thought to operate. Because of this, it tends to generate the same (often negative) thoughts so often, for so long, that they become our unconscious beliefs:

“I can’t do that”, “I don’t know how”, “I’m not good enough”, “Things like that are only available to other people, not me”. 

But imagine for a moment…what would be possible for us if we decided to challenge those default thoughts? If we chose an INTENTIONAL thought instead? How would those intentional thoughts feel in your body? 

We don’t have to choose an opposite thought right away because most of us have found that forcing positive thoughts doesn’t work. But we could decide to choose a thought we can believe, one that would serve us:

“What if I could do that?”, “What if I could learn how”, “What if I AM good enough, right now, just as I am”. 

Pick an intentional thought from your higher brain, make sure it feels believable, and make sure it’s a thought that will serve you. Then journal that intentional thought, every day. Make it part of your routine. “I AM worthy, just as I am”. “I AM capable of learning this new thing”. “I can do hard things”.

YOU CAN RE-TRAIN YOUR BRAIN to think thoughts that work FOR you. Tap into that prefrontal. Make it intentional. 

It will change your life.

I wish you all a very happy, intentional week!

And Happy Valentines Day my beautiful friends ❤️

The Thoughts You’re Holding Onto, Are the Same Thoughts Holding You Back


Do you ever find yourself wanting something more? Something different? Something better?

What if I told you the only thing holding you back from that ‘something’ – was just a thought?

Let me explain…

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not worthy
  • I don’t know how
  • I might fail
  • People will make fun of me

Are any of these sentences you’ve said to yourself? And if so, how often?

The thoughts we default to over and over again create a thought loop. They can often be negative (see any of the above), but we repeat them so often that they become the path of least resistance for our brains.

Our brains are designed to be efficient, so they will choose that default thought – over and over – until it becomes automatic and requires no energy to generate.

These are called ‘unintentional’ thoughts.

Now here’s the good news.

Thoughts are never facts. They are optional sentences in our brain.

And we don’t have to choose them.

Instead, we can challenge them.

Try this (play along, I promise it will be worth it!): Read the unintentional thought, and then the intentional thought. Pause for just a second to notice the different feelings these thoughts generate in your body

Unintentional Thought:

Intentional Thought:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t know how
  • I’m not worthy
  • I might fail
  • But what if I am good enough?
  • What if I could figure it out?
  • (That one is a trick. You are worthy. 1000%. So stop it)
  • What if I succeed?

When you read the unintentional thought “I’m not good enough”, how does that feel in your body?

Tight? Heavy? Dark?

Now, when you read the intentional thought “But what if I am good enough?”, how does that feel in your body?

Take just a second to believe the intentional thought is truly available to you.

How does that thought feel in your body?

Does it feel lighter? Brighter? Maybe even hopeful?

Can you start to imagine generating that feeling on purpose?

Intentional thoughts are available to us. Every day.

Let me prepare you, it’s not as easy as just flipping a switch. You can’t fake it, or guilt yourself into it, or beat yourself into submission.

First, you have to get curious (there’s absolutely NO self-judgment allowed!). Where did those negative thoughts come from? Your childhood? Have you been carrying them with you your whole life? Did they serve you at some point by keeping you safe, or keeping you from feeling sad, or hurt?

It’s time to challenge those thoughts. You’re an adult now, you don’t have to keep the unintentional thoughts just because they’re familiar, and thereby, comfortable. You can choose to let those thoughts go.

Find a believable, intentional thought. Something as easy as “I am someone who can figure it out”, or “I’m worthy simply because I’m a human”.

Journal the intentional thoughts every day. Write sticky notes if that’s what it takes.

You can form a new neural pathway in your brain. It’s possible. It just takes practice.

So, how about you?

Are your thoughts serving you?

Or are they holding you back?

I’d love to hear your comments ❤️

Hi, I’m Vicki

I coach single, empty-nester women to discover who they are, and what they want. Then I teach them how to go get it. I just launched my 6-week program where I help you discover what you want from the next stage of your life. Are you in?

Holding Space for Yourself

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

Okay, before you write this off as all ‘woo-woo’ hear me out…

You may already have an idea of what ‘holding space’ means, but just so we’re on the same page, I describe holding space as:

  • Listening without judgment, no matter what is being said
  • Staying ‘out of the pool’ – not agreeing with the person’s story, not feeling sorry for them or justifying their emotions – just listening quietly, and with compassion
  • Being patiently and giving them all the time they need to get their words and emotions out

Maybe you’ve already done this for a friend, a loved one, or even a customer or an employee.

But have you ever done it for yourself? 

Have you ever help space for YOU? Have you ever listened to your own feelings and needs, from a neutral space, without judgment, and with compassion? 

I recently made the difficult decision to end a romantic relationship, even though I did (and still do) care very much for this person. 

We separated on good terms, but shortly afterwards I found that I kept returning to a feeling of anger towards them. The thoughts coming up for me were that they weren’t who I needed them to be, or who I thought they should be, and if they had been, then none of this would have happened. 

Now I know that this person wasn’t truly making me angry, it was my thoughts about them that were causing my own feelings of anger (‘they should be different’, “the circumstances shouldn’t have been be so challenging”).

It took me a few days – and many thought downloads – to understand my  real problem. 

I was sad.

Even though I’m the one that decided to end that part of our relationship, I was still very sad about it, and I was mourning the loss.

The problem was, I didn’t want to feel sad. That emotion was WAY too uncomfortable, so I was trying my best to avoid it. For me it was much easier to feel anger, because I could at least project that onto someone else, and not have to own it (spoiler alert, that actually doesn’t work 😬).

When I finally decided to let go of my ‘false’ anger and get curious about my sadness, it allowed me to discovered another underlying thought that I was trying to avoid…the thought that somehow I “didn’t have the right to be sad because I’m the one that caused all the pain to both of us in the first place”. 

Ouch. 🙁 

(Can you believe the way we talk to ourselves sometimes??) 

Once I discovered that these thoughts were the actual cause of my pain, I decided allow them, explore them, and to hold space for myself.

I gave myself permission to be sad. To allow it. To feel the feelings, without judgment, without reacting, and process them when I was ready. 

It was difficult for sure, and brought up some issues that I wasn’t aware I had been avoiding. But finally understanding the thoughts that were causing my pain felt so much better than projecting anger at someone I loved. 

And that’s the same option I’d like to offer for you…to hold space for yourself. Just like you would for a loved one, your best friend, or a child.

Whatever you’re going through, whatever feelings you’re trying to work out, make sure to have compassion for you. Have your own back. Don’t judge. Identify your thoughts that are causing your feelings, allow them, and process them. 

And always remember to love yourself through that process. 

You’re 100% worth it.