Brighter & Up

Lately, I’ve created a little mantra for myself: “Brighter & Up.” What does that mean exactly?

Let me use myself as an example. And if any of this resonates with you, or you hear something in it that you can apply yourself, hopefully, you’ll share in the comments!

Typically reaching goals has gone a certain way for me in the past. 

I’m someone who will do anything and everything it takes to accomplish a goal. I’ll conquer it, accomplish it, and then I’ll pull back. 

In other words, reaching a goal for me was like reaching the “end,” and gave me the right to stop. It became a bit of a stall out on the continuation of other things I wanted to accomplish.

Does any of that sound familiar? 

Now, I do think sometimes “pulling back” is a way to replenish and recharge. It’s not always disempowering to pull back. 

But what I know about myself is that there have been times I have pulled back after reaching a goal almost to tell myself, “okay you did it. That’s enough. That’s your cap, your peak. This is the best life is going to get for you. Celebrate it, but don’t push your luck from here.”

Have you ever felt like that? Think back to the last time you set a goal and what accomplishing it looked like for you. That “don't push your luck” mindset is something that I think a lot of us have but might not realize it. And what we are even less likely to realize is why we would create a mindset like that.

I would assert it’s because we are scared. Not scared of trying to reach a goal, but scared of actually hitting it.


Yeah. I think most of us are scared of the possibility that we could reach every single goal we set out for ourselves. 

We are scared of that, because it means believing in ourselves. And it means giving up the belief in shitty stories we have. The “I’m powerless,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not talented enough” stories.

It would require full ownership of just how great we are. 

So for me, Brighter & Up is a way to own that greatness. This is what I'm practicing now, rather than that don't press your luck story. This also means reaching a goal, having gratitude and acknowledging how that goal serves as momentum for what's next for me and not an ending point each and every time. 

For instance, people in my Accomplishment Coaching community may know that this past weekend was a huge breakthrough for me. I got to step up my role as a leader in a way that I never have before in our program. I served as the co-chair in producing a program I was a part of. What I'm doing with that momentum is acknowledging everything that worked for me this weekend. This includes my authenticity, my presence, my passion, my ability to remember to be playful and have fun at it all. This is going to push me into having an amazing experience at ICF Converge next week.

I'm taking this amazing accomplishment, acknowledging what worked and what made it possible, so that I can lay the planks of the ladder to reach the next level, the bigger thing. The momentum is even brighter because it leads right into my first international speaking opportunity in just a few days. 

So my challenge for anyone reading this is to take a look for yourself and how goal setting has impacted you. 

What camp do you fall into after you accomplish a goal? 

Do you use it as momentum to go for the next one or do you use it as a reason to lean back, take it easy, give yourself a break? 

Then regardless of which camp you fall into, how has that created an empowered relationship to reaching goals or has it been a disempowering action?

3 Ways We Self Sabotage Ourselves

Hey, everyone. I am coming on for another video for a topic that is incredibly timely, 

I know for myself and where I'm at both getting ready for a program weekend and also getting ready to speak in Prague. But I would assert it's probably a timely topic for anyone who has ever led anything in their lives ever. 

Today I’m going to talk about three ways that you self-sabotage with being great. The way this is going to work is I'm just going to run through the three ways that I notice I do this and that I would assert a lot of other people do as well. 

So if you're curious to learn a little bit more about me, but also curious to maybe see if I've nailed you to a tee in ways you self-sabotage yourself as well, then keep on option.

Before I get started,. I wanted to mention when I say being great, that could mean anything. It could mean knowing you're a badass. It could be knowing your brilliant, knowing you're capable, seeing that you're a leader, seeing that you're the one, seeing that your contribution counts. 

Those are just some of the examples of what I mean, but if you relate too great as something else, like being creative, or being a good mom, or being a great coworker, consider that counts for this conversation too.

The first way that I notice I self-sabotage myself from being great is owning my responsibility with blame. 

When you're responsible for something, what it means is that you're willing to take full ownership for it, so if you're the leader of a project, even if you have a team of people, you're willing to be responsible for and own that the goal of that project is yours all the way through. 

However, what tends to happen is we confuse responsibility with fault. Fault is always about blame. It's about shame. It's about what's wrong. It's about catastrophizing yourself or shrinking yourself down.

One thing that I know for myself is when I notice a project isn't going the way that I think that it should, I tend to take full responsibility for it.  I get curious about what I'm doing that has the project going this way. 

Then sometimes as an act of self-sabotage, I also blame myself for it. I think of how it's my fault that it's not doing good enough, and from fault, I tend to just beat myself up and try to over-perform to compensate for that feeling of shame, rather than just simply get clear on what it is I need or what conversation I need to be having with my teams so things will go differently.

The second way that I noticed people self-sabotage themselves from just owning it is they love, to only look at the gaps, what's missing, what's wrong or what's not there yet. 

A perfect example of this is let's say I'm trying to fill a workshop full of people. If I said that there should be 10 of them in that workshop and a week out, there's only three, all I see are the seven seats that are empty, and all I focus my attention on are the seven seats that aren't filled yet. I beat myself up for that. 

I treat myself like a turd for that.

I start to think about what other actions I need to be to get those seven seats filled. I don't ever take the time to acknowledge what makes filling those first three seats extraordinary.

It’s also important to note that  I think sometimes people also self-sabotage in the other direction. 

They settle for "Eh, three's good enough." I'm not talking about having three be good enough. What I'm talking about is having yourself acknowledge what it took and what was special about having those three people in. 

Did you have more conversations than you've ever had before? 

Were you willing to call the person you've been avoiding for six months because it's scary to have enrollment or a sales conversation with them? 

Taking a moment to own and celebrate what's working, even when there are gaps because there's always going to be gaps in everything you work on.

Then the last way, that I want to speak about is the way that we sabotage ourselves and refuse to own that we're great is when we don't go and get our own needs met. 

We ignore them. Even sometimes it's literally the physical needs that we have for our health and wellbeing. We eat like crap, we won't go to bed on time, we'll stay up way too late, we'll check emails at three o'clock in the morning. That's a form of self-sabotage in itself.

The thing that I really want to hone in on that I think not enough people talk about because there's a stigma around this making you weak is sometimes our needs are deeper than just what we can go handle on our own. Sometimes our needs are around hearing what's working from our teammates, knowing that we're fully supported by our partners, understanding that even if a decision matters, it's not going to be the end of the world if it fails or frankly just fails based on your terms or high expectations of yourself.

I want to own I've made this statement today as a way to break up my pattern of getting to the edge of creating something great and looking for all the reasons why I won't be great at it. I hope that this was valuable to you as well, and maybe it illuminated some patterns that you had that you haven't addressed or noticed as patterns before.

Whatever the case, if you found value int this, I'd love to hear about it. Please go ahead and share your favorite takeaway or if you notice that you have self-sabotaging behaviors that I didn't talk about.

Who You Are

I went to Greece for 12 days, and my husband and I had such an intimate and incredible experience. We were so present in what we were doing. 

It actually felt like we were gone for two months! How I've been describing the experience is that it felt like the trip fully expressed what I've felt in a really long time. 

The mischievous little girl part of me got to go adventure and play. 

The sensual, thoughtful part of me got to spend time with my husband. 

The Woo-woo, witchy goddessy spirit mama part of me got to connect with being back in Greece and being with my ancestors. 

It was a magical experience.

It got me thinking about upon my return back to work and back to a regular life that I've had two monumental points in my life this past summer, I got married and I went on my honeymoon.

Both of those experiences left me feeling like I was fully expressed and completely true to who I am. 

For many of the clients that I work with, our greatest point of suffering or our greatest complaint in life is that we don't feel like we get to have that fully expressed version of ourselves more than twice a year.

When I say fully expressed, I mean is it's like there's no part of you that's wrong. There's no part of you that you don't get to play with. There's no part of you that doesn't belong in that scenario. It's the part of you that you feel like when you're on vacation or celebrating a monumentous experience in your life. 

It’s my assertion that the reason so many people, especially those that are really high performers in their jobs or their careers or their businesses, don't experience that sensation all the time is because they're too focused on fitting themselves into the mold that they've created to create certain results in their roles.

So, I realized that the concept can be a little heady, or maybe one that people haven't thought of before. So I came up with three different warning signs of how you may only be expressing yourself fully twice a year or less.

The first warning sign is in a way a little bit cliche, but it’s noticing if your work colleagues and your best friends in the world describe you as two completely different people. The reason that's a great way to take a look at whether you're being fully expressed is I assert that if you’re being who you are at your best at work, that it should actually be the same person the people who love you and spend time with you is. 

So, take notice. If you called three of your coworkers and three of your best friends, and ask them to describe you, would they describe the same person?

The second warning sign is noticing what you're like immediately before and immediately after a vacation.

In particular, notice if you're one of those people who either have the tendency to work themselves into the ground and then feel exhausted on vacation, or even more notably when you return from vacation, there's that deep sense of loss. Like that solid one or two days (or maybe even a week) where you are horrified by the fact that you have to be back to reality. 

If you feel that way then I imagine its because you're feeling there are parts of you that you were able to release on vacation that now you feel like you have to lock up again, that you don't get to have in the reality that you've created for yourself.

The third warning sign and this one is a little bit silly and cheeky, but I think it's perfect given that the holidays will be here soon. Notice what your gut reaction is to spending time with family, specifically extended family. We are raised in a very specific way, and we create a version of ourselves when we are with those people.

Even as we grow, and mature, and evolve, and find joy, and peace, and happiness, sometimes when we're back at the scene of the crime, we're back to that shy introvert, or the black sheep, or the fuck up, or whoever you were in your family. And we don't know how to actually be the adult version of ourselves that we are now and that we're proud of.

So, those are just three simple ways to start taking a look for yourself. If this doesn't resonate with you and you feel like, "No, I feel like me every single day of the year and it's great." That's awesome. 

If you have tips for me, I'd love to hear them, because I know this is something that I'm still working on. 

If you're in my camp of "Holy shit, this was an eye-opening experience," but you're not quite sure what to do now that you're noticing these things, or noticing it has you really present to the fact that you want to do something about it, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message. I'd be happy to get on the phone with you to have a discovery session to learn more.

Compassion for Perfection

It’s is almost 7:30 PM where I am and I realized I still hadn’t filmed a video for today. 

To be honest, a part of me just didn't want to film one at all. 

I've been sitting here judging how today has gone and especially judging:

How I'm really tired...

How I personally feel….

That my office is too dark…..

Then there's this other part of me that's like:

 "No, you've got to film no matter what because it's what you're committed to." 

Somewhere in between the two extremes, I realized that I have some content to share for today. It's about how to have compassion for perfectionism.

My guess is if you also can’t relate to being a perfectionist or maybe if you don't even know you are one, this is still a video that could be super valuable for you. 

So what do I mean when I say having compassion for perfectionism? 

Well, first of all, people’s issues with perfectionism lie in the assertion that perfectionism is a problem. I don't think being a perfectionist is a problem….

Having a radical case of it myself for the entire 27 years I've been alive, I know that it tends to create a lot of judgment. It also applies pressure, and it makes me feel like nothing I ever do will be good enough.

Those things can be draining. Because of that level of perfectionism when I achieve incredible goals, I still don't feel completely satisfied because there's always that little itch in the back of my mind that could have been better.

So from that place, why would anyone want to have compassion for that? 

Here's the kicker I know for a fact that perfectionism is just my own commitment and integrity turned up a little too loud. It's just a way that I express who I am in the world and what I'm committed to.

So having compassion for perfectionism is actually taking a step back and acknowledging what perfectionism is created in service of. 

So first of all, let’s take inventory. 

Do you identify as a perfectionist? And if you do, what's the greatest costs or consequences that's having on you right now? 

What are the gifts that it brings you? 

For me, the gifts that it brings me is I tend to be the most reliable person on any team and I never forget anything. I carry on until the last minute of the last day for any project goal until it's complete. 

Seriously, you should ask my buddy Alex Terranova about that! I'm editing his book right now and we constantly joke that this thing wouldn't be done for seven more years since I'm on the project with them!

How is perfectionism and expression of how committed you are or how much you care about things?

I think once you start to have compassion for that part of you, you can also take a look at other ways to express that commitment and integrity that is not so draining. For me, as someone who's currently in the impact of my perfectionism, I am clear that the thing I'm willing to take on next is rest because nothing gets better without rest. 

I am also looking at how to voice my commitment in such a way that I'm being overly supported instead of feeling it's solely up to me to produce the results that I see. 

What do you think it is for you? 

It could be creating more partnerships and relationships. It could be creating more accountability for yourself in a way that isn't like your punishing yourself. 

It could be bringing the conversation to your therapist or your coach or whoever it is in your life that supports you in these conversations. Maybe you've never thought about it before, or if you don't have the aforementioned specialist in your life, it could be me.

Either way, I don't have the perfectly knotted bow to wrap this all up with and consider that is also a practice in compassion for the perfection. With that, I'm willing to trust that there's value in what I have shared and leave it here for tonight. Take care.

What does power mean to you?

I think most people know by now that I fly to Chicago once a month to train leaders and coaches at Accomplishment Coaching. What's super cool is that we just hit the halfway point of a twelve month program. At that point we always take a look at what the next big breakthrough for our participants will be going into the final six months. 

It's really cool because it brings up all these conversations around the ground that we've taken and what's next for us.  From that place we can distinguish what will actually make the difference for people and the team overall. It’s really just a great time to take inventory of what's needed to really have you reach the goals that you've declared.

So I was having this conversation with someone around a breakthrough that she sees for herself in power. The really interesting thing that I noticed in the conversation was she was declaring that power would give her access to what she wanted in life, but it almost occurred like it was something that she was also scared of or concerned with. 

I shared with her, that I used to have a really wacky relationship to power. Based on my own experiences growing up and the household that I grew up in.  What I've realized is that I used to equate power with authority or with fear or with power dynamics or with anger. Like this was something that was used or a thing that you do to make yourself powerful.

With that interpretation of power, came the consequence of thinking that in order to be powerful, it meant that the people around me had to become less than or weaker than me. As a result, I was super resistant to relating to myself as a powerful woman and relating to my leadership as powerful. 

Through sharing this experience of power that I used to have with this person, we opened up a conversation around what power really means or what power gets to mean for each of us. For her, the definition of power was actually vulnerability and harmony and being willing to be patient in the face of circumstances.  It meant being willing to be open and truthful and at times face pain and at times face sadness.

That was just so beautiful to me. It reminded me that too often in our communities, in our companies, in our spheres of influence, we take vulnerability as something that's the opposite of power. We aren’t willing to own it as an access point for authenticity, honesty and integrity. What a cool conversation to be a part of.

So here is a quick little exercise for you.  Take a moment, and ask yourself these questions:

What is your definition of power? 

Where in your life are you expressing power as you defined it? 

Where in your life would things be completely different if you brought that power?

What will you take on today to make that shift?

Feel free to share in the comments below, or if you would like some support in having this conversation email me

Three Reasons You Roll Your Eyes at Self-Help

Back in the day, I was a self proclaimed “Hater of Self-Help Books”.  I was in a book club prior to starting my coaching journey and the book we were reading was You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay.  I hated it. I thought it was a load of crap, and I let the group know just how frustrated I was with it. Over the years of being in the service + transformational industries, I got really clear on why I, and my clients, often felt this way about self-help books. I have distilled it down to these three reasons.

Reason 1 - You have the “just get it done” attitude.  

You have always prided yourself as being a self starter. You pride yourself on being able to produce, and will work yourself into the ground if it means seeing something to fruition. It can be really frustrating to read self-help books because most focus on the introspective perspective shift and attitude change. After reading them, you don’t feel like you really gained any new skills on how to work harder, do more, or take action etc. Consider that rather than the introspective “here is how you love yourself to get the job done” types of resources, you would benefit more from something that points to how to generate those same results without needing to work hard and martyr yourself to do it. What? Same results without the suffering? Sign me up.

Reason 2- You’re scared of unlocking the gateway drug of woo-woo magical thinking.  

I know, that sounds ridiculous (and maybe even offensive #sorrynotsorry). What I mean is that you as an individual most likely have taken a lot of pride in creating a very professional and practical image for yourself. You are reliable, solid, and quick thinking. The reality is that in our society there is still a stereotype around people who like certain self-help books or anything off the shelf labeled spiritual enlightenment.  

The thing I have come to learn is there are plenty of people who have created a belief system and life system that works. If you have produced  the results you want to produce, and created the relationships you wanted to create, great. No one is asking you to trade in your Tylenol for sage or to sleep with oracle cards tonight. It has been my experience that the people who are so anti-woo have always had a longing to explore these areas more but they are insecure about what that means or where to start. No one is telling you to become a witch or join a coven. Consider that there is no harm in picking up some beginner resources that refresh your perspective a little. You might just be surprised by what you learn about yourself.

Reason 3- You probably have that one friend.

Take a moment and think about it. You have that one friend. You know...the one who has been in a six-month book club for Jen Sincero. The one who whenever they go on social media they post Brene Brown quotes. The one that bought the Gabby Bernstein oracle deck. The reason you roll your eyes at this one friend is simple. Despite them investing all this time and money into these resources, it’s not working or at least not working well enough to see the point to it. At least based on your judgement or perspective. I am not saying that this perspective is wrong. I am asserting that no book- no matter how good, divine, or right it is- will change your life for you.  You have to have the motivation and be willing to change your life yourself. It’s not magic. That being said, if you are so proudly self starting as you claim- consider what gold might be in these resources that you can take on. How might you put your money where your mouth is, and take on the actions that could help your friend who is digesting all the info but not able to take the action?

This is certainly not a plea for people to change their minds about self-help books. I definitely pick up some from time to time that I still roll my eyes at.  What I am curious about is if you fall in the category of not being able to stop digesting self-help or you used to be a hater- what books have changed your perspective Please share in the comments below.